Sun am 17 January 2010 – Kobus Swart
Rev. 1:1-3, 10-20; Rev. 3:14-19; Rev. 2:1-7; John 16:5-8;
Hebrews 2:1-4; Heb. 10:1-4;19-26, 1 John 1:7
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated(signified) it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things, which are written, in it; for the time is near (Rev 1:1-3).
When John was on the island Patmos, God took him into the realm of spirit to show him things from a finished perspective. While the fulfillment of many of the events shown to John were to take place “shortly” – which referred to AD 70 when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, others seem to have taken place in the “past” (Eg. Rev 11:15, 12:9, 18:2 etc). And then there are things which have yet to take place (Eg. Rev 21 & 22). A blessing is promised to those who read and hear the words of this prophecy. That implies that there has to be a way in which you can grasp and embrace what is in this book with all its numbers and symbols – all significant and pointing to something. There’s an angel (or messenger) for every church initiated and planted by God, through whom He communicates to that church. These seven (number signifying perfection and completeness) churches – when viewed on a map – formed a circle, which is symbolic of completeness; representing the whole church in every age.
The prophecies in the book of Revelation (as well as in other prophetic chapters such as Matth 24) point to more than one level of fulfillment. What value would the Bible have unless you see that is it relevant for the Church today? Otherwise the Bible would be no more than a history book of things that have happened a long time ago. Many of the end-time prophetic Scriptures have been fulfilled, and will be fulfilled again on other levels. John was overwhelmed by what he saw, and in the different chapters he often described the same mysterious event, but from a different angle or perspective, like a photographer taking different pictures of the same explosive events.
God is in the midst of His Church and He weighs each one. God says, “I know your deeds.” Nothing is hidden from God. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love” (Rev. 2:2-4). This is a word to every Christian pilgrim who has been on the road for a long time. The danger with the Christian who has come a long way is that they become weary. A walk with God cannot be stagnant. We need a fresh, unfolding revelation of who Jesus Christ is. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place. But you have this in your favour: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God (Rev. 2:5-7).
The book of Revelation contains promises to the overcomers. This is the challenge in this age we are living in. The spirit of this age attacks the perseverance, the spiritual temperature of somebody who has a consistent walk with God. We need to be diligent in our walk with God.
We have to come back and look again at the fact that God is also a God of judgment. He will discipline every son whom He receives (Heb 12:6). Then the book of Revelation also makes no secret of the judgment that will fall on those who committed acts of immorality with Babylon the harlot (Rev 17). Our God is a consuming fire! (Heb 12:29). The attack on the Church is subtle but powerful and especially focused on our younger generation. Review and redefine your approach to the awesome God we serve.
“… if I go, I will send Him to you. And He (the Holy Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-8). We are going to get a whole new fresh revelation of the function of the Holy Spirit in this apostolic age. Let the Holy Spirit convict us when we fall from that sensitivity we had as young born again believers; when we fall from our first love. Once we have been to the Lamb we do not need to harbour a sin consciousness. At the cross He took away the sin of the world. We have access to the Father with a clean conscience, not formed by your culture or tradition, but sensitized by the Holy Spirit. Pray for a pure conscience led and directed by the Holy Spirit. Because of the once for all sacrifice in Jesus Christ we know that sin has been dealt with once for all (Heb. 10:10). But now you have to keep on walking in the light as He is in the light. But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). He who willfully continues to live in sin, however, loses the benefit of the once for all sacrifice (Heb. 10:26).