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Have We Ever Fallen At His Feet?

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 1:17 KJV – And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3LJ

Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:”

SIH HALTAL ICONHeb 9:24 KJV – For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

 

Christ did not simply entered a human temple to minister for His people, but He has entered into heaven to make eternal intercession before God !

 

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:17 KJV

(17)  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

 

When John sees Christ in His greatness, he responds by falling at Christ’s feet as if he were dead.  This was very similar to Ezekiel’s response when he saw the Lord (Ezekiel 1:28) and the disciples reaction at the Mount of Transfiguration when they saw the glorified Lord (Matthew 17:2-6).

 

We can all understand why seeing the Lord in all His glory would bring about such a response.  When we see Him in His greatness we are reminded of our shameful sinful condition, our impotence, our frailty, and our mortality.     Isaiah described it best when he described fallen mankind as “a drop in the bucket”, “the small dust of a balance”, “as nothing”, “less than nothing and vanity”, and “grasshoppers” (Isa 40:15,17,22) in comparison to the greatness of Jehovah, our Creator, Sustainer, Savior and Lord.

 

Although none of us have ever personally seen the risen Christ in all His glory, we certainly can “see” Him with our spiritual eyes.  By looking to the Scriptures and coming to an understanding of His greatness, we too can come to a realistic understanding of our needy condition before God.

 

Why is it so important that we all come to a moment where we fall on our faces before Him?  It is only when we see our true needy condition before Him that will lead to our salvation and will be a constant reminder of our need to rely totally upon Him as we live our lives on earth.

 

The Lord, Himself, reminded us of this same principle in John 15:5, when He said… “…without me ye can do nothing”.

 

Folks, as we go about our day do we ALWAYS have in our minds that we are in constant need of our Lord to intervene in our lives?  The continuing forgiveness of our many sins, our decision making, our physical strength, health and life, our opportunities of service,  and so many more areas of our lives depend entirely on the Lord’s merciful intervention.

 

May we all, as John see the greatness of our Lord anew, recognize our weakness and desperate need of Him every minute of our day, and learn to rely upon Him as our sole source for all our daily needs.    Just as the Apostle Paul had learned during the course of his life…

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3KX

The Word Of God Is Powerful!

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:16 KJV – And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3LC

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:16 KJV

(16)  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

 

In John’s vision, we can see that a two-edged sword proceeded out of the mouth of our Lord.  What does this represent for us?    It shows us the powerful Word of God that is spoken by Christ.  This is clearly explained for us in Hebrews:

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:12-13 KJV )

 

This same powerful Word can be used by God’s people to successfully enter into spiritual warfare against the powers of the darkness:

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”   (Eph 6:17 KJV)

“Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.   And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;  And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”  (Isa 49:1-3 KJV)

 

Folks, may we never forget the power of God’s Word when it is put into effect in our service to Christ.  To be a successful servant of Christ, His Word must be proclaimed either with our mouths or in our actions or a combination of both (based upon the individual opportunity of service we are given).

As we minister to others, if Christ (as revealed in His Word) is not presented, we have failed in our service to Him.  Period.

It does not matter what outward results of our ministry we may see take place, what good words others might say about us, or what exalted position may be given to us as the result of our ministry… If the Word’s revelation of Christ is not given to others, we have failed miserably.   Those we have ministered to have received no spiritual benefit, but are now simply two-fold more the children of hell…

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of  heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves”.   (Mat 23:13-15 KJV)

 

As we go about our day, seeking areas of opportunity to serve Him, let’s all keep in the forefront of our mind the importance of speaking and living out the Word’s testimony of Christ.  By doing this, we can be assured of great spiritual success in our ministry and can know that we are pleasing to the Lord and helping those who come our way.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3KX

For Whom Did Christ Die?

Is Christ In The Midst Of Your Local Church?

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 1:13 KJV –  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Lv

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:13 KJV –  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

 

In John’s vision of Christ, John sees that Christ is standing “in the midst of the seven candlesticks”.  Later in John’s vision, we learn that the candlesticks represent the seven local churches to which Revelation is addressed.

 

If we could picture John’s vision in our mind, it would be something like this.  We would have the seven candlesticks (churches) forming a circle with Christ standing in the center of that circle.  This simple understanding of the vision teaches us that He enjoys a close relationship to His churches and has direct access to each church and vice-versa.

Nothing stands between Christ and His local church.  He can directly intervene and work within them.  Likewise, each church can directly approach Christ and enjoy fellowship with Him.  This very principle is presented to us when the Bible says…

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”    (Matthew 18:20)

 

Anytime we meet together in His name (meet together under His authority) He promises to be present in our midst.    Think about it, every time we meet as a local assembly, the Lord meets with us and we enjoy a unique level of communion with Him.  This is just one of many reasons why we should never take membership in the Lord’s local church for granted or forsake it.   Although all Christians enjoy fellowship with the Lord, those who are members of His assemblies can enjoy an enhanced type of fellowship with Him.

Another great blessing of church membership also involves fellowship with the people of God.  Certainly we can enjoy Christian friendships and acquaintances apart from church membership, but nothing can be compared to be a part of a group of Christians that meet together to worship the Lord and are unified in a desire to glorify and honor Him.  It is when we serve side by side for His glory, unified in our desires and ministries, that we enjoy a  very special sharing relationship with our fellow laborers.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.   
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.   And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common;   And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favour with all the people.
 And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
 (Acts 2:41-47)

 

May we always take local church membership very seriously, enjoying its many benefits and being faithful in its many responsibilities.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3KX

What have we suffered for the sake of Christ?

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 1:9 KJV  – I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Lk

Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “… shall the blood of Christ… purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

SIH HALTAL ICONHeb 9:14 KJV – How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

 

It is through the shed blood of Christ, that our conscience can be cleansed for our old acts of sin and made profitable in our service to the Lord.

 

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”   (Titus 2:13-14)

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Revelation 1:12-20:“Christ In The Midst Of His Churches”

SIH STSTA ICON

THE TEXT:

The Vision Of Christ, the Candlesticks, and the Stars…

 

 

 

 

Rev 1:12-20 KJV

(12)  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
(13)  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
(14)  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
(15)  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
(16)  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
(17)  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
(18)  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
(19)  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
(20)  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

 

 

 THE INTRODUCTION:

 John’s Vision of Christ and His Churches…

  1. The Vision Of Christ (v 12-16)
  2. John’s Reaction To The Vision (v 17a)
  3. Christ Comforting Words (v 17b-18)
  4. The Vision Explained (v 19-20)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 1: – 

 (12)  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

John now turns his attention to the voice that sounded like a trumpet.  As he turned, he saw seven lampstands made of gold.

In verse 20, we are told these candlesticks symbolize the seven local churches…

  1. Gold is a symbol of great value and a symbol of the divine. The Lord’s local assemblies are valuable possessions of God. They are divine instruments of service.  Their existence and continuance are through God’s grace and intervention.
  2. Seven is the number of completion, perfection and fullness. Each local church is to strive for perfection and will reach their goal in eternity (Eph 5:27).  The characteristics of these churches, when taken together, represent a complete representation of the churches that exist on earth.  Every church on earth can be likened to one or a combination of these local assemblies.
  3. Candlesticks (Lampstands) uphold and send forth light into the world around us. The first and greatest responsibility is to fulfill the Great Commission (upholding and sending forth the gospel message and all doctrinal truth into the sin darkened world).   How do they do this? They are put into service by Christ (as a lamp being lit) and then continue in the power of the Holy Spirit (as the oil that is burned in the lamp)

These symbols teach us that local assemblies are God’s institutions in which He intervenes and enjoys fellowship with His people.  They were established to hold forth the light of His Word into the sin darkened world.  They are to strive for perfection which will be finally achieved at their entrance into eternity.

 

(13)  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man,

John sees Christ standing among the seven candlesticks.  Christ is described as “One like unto the Son of Man”.  This is an OT description of Christ found in Daniel 7:13.

We know that Christ is called “the Son of Man” in reference to His human nature (John 8:28), but why would He be said to be “like unto the Son of Man”?  Christ, as God Himself, was sinless… He was not a fallen sinful man, in that sense, He was only “like a man” (Romans 8:3).

This title helps us to see Christ’s deity, sinlessness and humanity.

 

clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

In this vision, Christ is symbolized as wearing a garment down to His feet and a golden girdle around His loins. This comes from Daniel 10:5.

  1. The garment that extends down to His feet – robes symbolize righteousness and priestly garments. Christ is the perfectly righteous One.  He is our Priest, the One who stands between sinful man and a Holy God making peace.
  2. Gold is a symbol of great value and a symbol of the divine. – Christ is the priest accepted and sanctioned by God
  3. The girdle is a symbol of the Priesthood and strength – Christ is the strong priest who was successful in doing the work necessary to bring fallen mankind into communion with a Holy God.

These symbols help us to see Christ as our great divine Priest, who stands in the presence of His churches, intervening on their behalf and bringing about communion and fellowship with Almighty God.

 

(14)  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

Christ’s appearance continues to be described…

  1. Snow white hair – The color snow white is a picture of purity, perfection, completion. White hair is symbolic of old age and the wisdom that comes from it.  Christ is not only sinless, but also He possesses all knowledge and wisdom that are perfect and complete.  They are error free.
  2. Eyes as a flame of fire – Eyes are symbolic of perception, knowledge. Fire is a symbol of judgment, revealing, and purity.  Christ’s perception is perfect.  He can see clearly the true nature of all things.  He can see where no man can see (our hearts, minds, unknowable truths etc etc).

These symbols reveal to us Christ as the possessor and source of all perfect and complete knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

 

(15)  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; John now describes the vision’s representation of Christ’s feet …

1. The feet are representative of Christ’s walk of life (His works that He has and will perform)

2. Fine brass burned in a furnace is a picture of perfect judgment bringing about perfection. Christ, as supreme judge tramples down His enemies taking perfect vengeance against them.

In this vision, we can see that Christ’s works are always just, fair and lawful. We can also see a glimpse of His coming judgment against lost mankind which will result in the renovation (purification) of this world in preparation for eternity.

 

and his voice as the sound of many waters.

and His voice…

1. the voice is representative of His revealed Word

2. sound of many waters (very loud that drowns out all other sounds) pictures demanding attention and possessing great authority

Here, we have the authority, power and importance of Christ’s Word being symbolized.

 

(16)  And he had in his right hand seven stars: 

Christ’s hand held seven stars.  In verse 20, we find the stars are the “angels” or “messengers” of the churches. These refer to the pastors of the churches.

  1. seven stars – put forth a much smaller light than the sun. This is the role of the pastor to share whatever truths they are given from the Lord.  Any one pastor only knows a small amount of the entire set of truths of God.  It is his responsibility to shine as a light in the midst of the assembly declaring these truths to the members.  There are seven pastors which represents one for each of the seven assemblies.

2. right hand – this is the powerful hand, the one with which work is done.  Pastors are one of the most important tools that the Lord uses within the assembly to feed, protect and lead His assemblies.

The Pastors of Christ’s assemblies lead, feed and protect the assembly by proclaiming God’s Word in their midst.

 

and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: 

The sword coming out of Christ’s mouth…

  1. out of His mouth – is indicating His word is being spoken of
  2. two-edged sharp sword – is describing the power of the Word (Hebs 4:12)… it can both take life or give life (much like a weapon or a scalpel) This sword is said to be used by the Holy Spirit to do God’s bidding in the lives of the hearers (Eph 6:17)

As the Word is proclaimed, God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, applies His Word to the lives of the hearers.

 

and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Christ’s face shown like the sun…

  1. countenance (face) – pictures for us the person of Christ. We recognize people by looking at their face, likewise we can recognize Christ by seeing His face.
  2. sun shining brightly – bright light pictures His greatness (glory), holiness, and truth

This teaches us that, when we see the true Christ, we are looking at God Himself in all His glory, the sinless One, the Truth.

 

 

(17)  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. 

John’s response to this glorious vision of Christ is fearful reverence, humility and awe.  As he falls at His feet we can see a reverent and humble response.  To fall “as dead” seems to imply a time of silence and non-movement which helps us see a humble and awe-filled response.

He is shocked, speechless, and guilt-ridden as He recognizes the greatness of His Lord and his own sinful, unworthy, condition.

 

And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; 

Christ’s hand of comfort, acceptance and power comes upon John.  Christ continues to comfort John by telling him that there is nothing to fear.

Christ is not only the Sovereign, Glorious God and King over all, but He is also the compassionate Lord who cares and reassures His servants.

 

I am the first and the last:  (18)  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Christ now begins to describe Himself.  This is meant to remind John of His Lordship.  Christ begins this threefold description of Himself:

  1. I am the first and the last – He is the beginning and the ending of all things including all events in history.
  1. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen;  – He is the One that was alive, died on the cross for sinners, was resurrected and is now living and will live throughout eternity.
  1. and have the keys of hell and of death.

He is the one that is in control of the afterlife.  He is in control of the condition and location of the spirit and physical body of those who have died.   He will, someday, resurrect both lost and saved, He will preside over their final judgment and consign them to their eternal destiny.

In all of these descriptions, we see Jesus as the living absolute Sovereign over all mankind throughout history and the eternity that is to come.

 

(19)  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Jesus has already personally given John the commission to write down the visions that make up the Book of the Revelation (v 11- “what thou seest, write in a book”).  Christ now, more fully explains to John the content of the visions that he is receiving…

  1. the things which thou hast seen –  Some of the visions describe events that HAVE ALREADY TAKEN PLACE before the Revelation was penned.   They are events, that John had perceived through personal experience, the verbal accounts of others, or through the historical records that existed in John’s day.

This includes events throughout history between creation of the world to just prior to the writing of Revelation (approx. 92 AD).

 2. The things which are –  Some of these visions describe events that were CURRENTLY TAKING PLACE, as John penned the Book of Revelation.

This includes events that took place approx. in 92-95 AD.  This is the approx. time period in which Revelation was written by John.    

3. the things which shall be hereafter –  Some of the visions describe events that WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE FUTURE (after the penning of Revelation is completed.)

In other words, these events include events that have taken place in history from approx. 96 AD into eternity future.

In the book of Revelation we will see many events in the history of mankind being recorded in the form of visionary symbols.  These include events that span all time and reach into eternity future.

 

(20)  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Christ now helps John to more fully understand the vision he has just seen (v 10-16).  The seven stars that were seen in the right hand of Christ were representative of the “angels” (messengers) of the seven churches.   Also, the seven golden candlesticks represent seven local assemblies of the Lord, with Christ standing in their midst communing with them.

Please note: by using the term “mystery” the Lord is simply saying that the interpretation of the candlesticks and stars is not understood by all men, but only those who are taught these things.  To the lost and the untaught saved, it is a mystery, but not to all mankind.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this vision, we see Christ presented as God Himself, interceding on behalf His people as their Great High Priest.  As such, He is standing in the midst of His people and His local assemblies on earth enjoying communion and fellowship with them.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

May we all recognize Jesus, the True God over all, who has so graciously worked to grant us communion and fellowship with Him.  He did this by taking upon Himself the office of Great High Priest, sacrificing Himself on the cross for our sins, arising the third day in victory and constantly intervening on behalf of those for whom He died.

Also, may we all see the importance of local church membership to our enjoyment of a full, close relationship with the Lord.  Through this vision we can see that the Lord meets with His local assemblies in a very special way as they worship and honor Him.  This truth is also seen in Matthew 18:20… For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: John, … for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:9 KJV  – I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

John describes a life situation he did not share in common with the church members… he was  banished to an island (Patmos) because he proclaimed the word of God and testified of his prior experiences during the first coming of Christ.   What a wonderful example of a living sacrifice!

Folks, there are times that we all need to stop and be honest with ourselves.  We need to be willing to search our hearts and come to an honest evaluation of what lies within us.  For this morning, can we take a moment and HONESTLY answer this question…  How much are we willing to suffer for Christ?

Are we willing to suffer mockery?  How about rejection by our friends or our family?  Are we willing to suffer defamation of our motives and character?  What about loss of a promotion, a raise, or even our job?   What about physical suffering, imprisonment, or torture, as do some missionaries who face persecution every day?    Or, of course, are we willing to make the ultimate sacrifice… physical death of a loved one or ourselves?

Going down through these questions (and many others we could ask) is a very sobering exercise for us all, probably for myself more than for any other.

My desire is not for us to say “Yes, I would be willing to suffer all these things for His name’s sake.”  To do this would be to think much too highly of ourselves and set ourselves up for a great fall…
Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.   (Proverbs 16:18)
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  (1 Corinthians 10:12)

 

Anyone who is brutally honest in this evaluation will come to the conclusion that, it would only be by God’s intervening grace that we would be willing to suffer these things for His name’s sake…
But in all [things] approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 
By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and [yet] true;  As unknown, and [yet] well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;  As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things. (2 Corinthians 6:4-10)

 

Apart from His intervention, NO ONE could stand under these things.  Let us all acknowlege the truth and say, “We are totally deficient, but our Lord is perfectly sufficient to meet our every need” …
And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:   Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God; “    (2 Corinthians 3:4-5)
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
 (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

 

May we all enter our day fully trusting in the Lord… We realize that opposition to our testimony may come our way, our only hope of remaining faithful will be His gracious enabling.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3K6

Do We Share In The Patience Of Christ When We Face Hardships?

RSIH HALTAL ICONev 1:9 KJV  - I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Le

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: John, … a companion in the patience of Jesus Christ…

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:9 KJV  – I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

John, while under the persecution of the Roman government, was called upon to exercise a tremendous amount of patience.  He knew that the churches of Asia were exercising great patience as well in the midst of the opposition that they faced.   Because of this, John described himself as a “companion in the patience of Christ”.

Folks, when we face opposition to our service to Christ, one of the most important spiritual fruits we are to exercise is the fruit of patience.    The Apostle Paul remembered this truth when he recalled his past sufferings for the cause of Christ…

But in all [things] approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,  In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;   By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,   By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,  By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and [yet] true;  As unknown, and [yet] well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;   As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things.”  (2 Corinthians 6:4-10)

In these verses, Paul explains that the exercise of patience in the midst of hardships results in “approving ourselves as the ministers of God”.  In other words, when others see our patience in the midst of persecution for the faith, it proves to them we are genuine followers of Christ.

When we patiently endure persecution, we are following the example that Christ Himself has set for us…

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:   Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not;…”   (1 Peter 2:21-24)

By being patient in tribulations, we are living representations of what Christ has done for His people.  In other words, through the possession of a patient, calm demeanor, we are displaying to a lost and dying world the tremendous love and grace that Christ has shown towards us as He faced such great pain and suffering without complaint or regret.

There are, basically, two areas of belief allow us to patiently endure suffering, our 1 Peter text continues by giving us the first basis of our patience…

“…but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

First of all, we can be patient in tribulation because we are trusting in our Lord to accompany us, care for us, and allow only what is for our good into our lives.

 

Paul helps us to understand the second basis of our patience during hardships..

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?   But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].”   (Romans 8:24-25)

Secondly, we find that we can be patient in times of trials because we have hope of a wonderful  future.  Someday, these trials will pass away and we will enjoy eternal life in glorified bodies, in the presence of our Lord!

 

May we all seek to live lives of patient enduring during times of hardship, knowing that we are showing Christ to all who are around us.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3K6

Christ Is Our King and We Are In His Kingdom…

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 1:9 KJV  – I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3L7

 

 

Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

SIH HALTAL ICONHeb 9:11-12 KJV – But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

 

It is through the shed blood of Christ alone, that we can be eternally redeemed!

 

And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,”   (Revelation 1:5)

 

 

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: John, … a companion in the kingdom of God…

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:9 KJV  – I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

In our text for this morning, John, as he writes to the members of the seven churches of Asia, describes himself as their “companion in the kingdom”.   Very basically, John was reminding his readers that they are all citizens of the same spiritual kingdom and subjects of the same King, Jesus Christ.  As believers in today’s time, we serve the same King of Kings and Lord of Lords as those of John’s day.  Because of this, we all share the same basic goals, desires, purpose of living and message to share with others.

Knowledge of our spiritual citizenship defines our purpose for living (bringing honor to Him) and motivates us to strive to fulfill that purpose every day of our lives…

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ…But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”   (1 Peter 2:5-9)

 

Another very important aspect of our citizenship in the Israel of God is our guaranteed possession of an eternal, sinless, dwelling place prepared by God Himself.  This truth alone should revolutionize our lives and encourage our hearts when the armies of the darkness of this world wage spiritual warfare against our kingdom.

Notice how this great truth affected the lives of the OT believers…

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

 And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.   But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”   (Hebrews 11:13-16)

 

This same set of truths should affect us as well.  We should find them to be a constant source of encouragement and strength knowing that we will, someday, be delivered from this sinful world and enter into eternity in the presence of our King.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3K6

Remember when we are faced with tribulations… we are not alone!

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 1:9 KJV  – I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

For The SIH Devotional On This Subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3KR

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: John, … a companion in tribulation…

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:9 KJV  – I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

In our text for this morning, John, as he writes to the members of the seven churches of Asia, describes himself as their “companion in tribulation”.  John understood the seven churches were facing opposition and abuse because of their stand for Christ.  This was taking place while, at the same time, John was banished to Patmos, being punished for declaring God’s Word.   The churches were not alone in their sufferings.  This is John’s message to the churches and to us as well in today’s time.    When we find ourselves facing opposition and abuse in service for Christ, remember we are not alone.

 

This same message is given to us by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:16-18…

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” 

 

Paul reminds us that, if we are the children of God:

  1. We are His heirs
  2. We will share in suffering in His service
  3. We will be glorified and enjoy eternity with Him

 

Folks, persecution is to be expected on the part of God’s people, but when compared to the glory that awaits us, it will be worth it all.

As we begin our day of service to the Lord, we may come upon those who will oppose and mistreat us.  When this takes place may we remember the two basic truths we have seen this morning… we are not alone in our suffering for Him and it will be worth it all when we see His face throughout eternity.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3K6

Do We Appreciate and Love Other Members of Our Spiritual Family?

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 1:9 KJV – I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

 

For the SIH devotional On This Subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3KK

 

 

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