"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still."—Rev. 22:11.
This language is often understood to teach that those who are unjust, or filthy, or righteous, or holy, at the death of the body, will remain unalterably fixed in that condition forever. If this were true, then millions of infants would be miserable to all eternity, for those who understand the text to relate to the future state of existence also teach that infants are born and die with depraved and corrupt natures.
But a careful reading of the context shows that the revelator has no such reference. He declares that the time of its application was "at hand;" saying, "Behold, I come quickly." The whole book was written, according to its author, to "show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass." The approaching destruction of Jerusalem, and overthrow of the Jewish state are the topics prophetically described throughout the book. The second overthrow of the Jewish nation was at hand. This event was to signalize the establishment of the Christian religion, and therefore it assumed immense importance. When the great event took place, those who had not previously become converted were fixed in their wicked ways, were filthy still; while those who had embraced Christianity were righteous still. The death of those spoken of is not referred to; the condition described is in this life. Tomson's Beza gives the correct view:
"This is not as were other prophecies, which were commanded to be hid till the time appointed, as in Daniel 12:4, because that these things should be quickly accomplished, and did even now begin."
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