Peace and grace in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 1:4-8 is about greeting the seven churches.
1:4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
John the apostle greets the seven churches in Asia or the seven churches of the gentiles. Nowadays, they are not anymore because they have scattered over the earth. John the apostle greets them by involving
- Him who is and who was and who is to come, namely Father God.
- Him who is and who was and who is to come, namely Holy Spirit God.
- Jesus Christ, the faithful witnessor the Son of God.
Thus, the greeting also comes from Father God, the Son of God, and Holy Spirit God or the trinity of God in the Lord Jesus Christ as heavenly Bridegroom. Moreover, the greeting of John is made firm by two witnesses, namely John and God in heaven.
Greeting in service and ministry to God is not a usual thing only to follow others without any meaning, but it has serious spiritual meaning. There are three meanings of the greeting as follows
ad. 3. Statement of the happiness to make fellowship
- The opening of a teaching.
Greeting determines the content of teaching. If the greeting changes, the teaching does too.
- Salvation prayer from a pastor that the congregation feels peace and grace.
- Statement of the happiness to make fellowship.
John the apostle shows the fellowship of Father God, the Son of God, and Holy Spirit God that must become the example of a true fellowship.1 John 1:1,3-4
1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life––
1:3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
1:4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
John shows the power of living Word
, namely the true teaching Word that has been practiced as living experience. It will encourage us to join the true fellowship with others and God that will peak on the marriage supper of the Lamb of God. John 17:11,20-23
17:11 "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be oneas We are.
17:20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
17:21 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
17:22 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be onejust as We are one:
17:23 "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
John shows the power of Jesus’ intercession prayer
as the High Priest to bring the congregation in the true fellowship taking the example of the trinity of God.
Jesus prays that the congregation enters the true perfect eternal fellowship four times.
The four times refer to His longing as well as the four corners of the earth.
Thus, Jesus longs for the oneness of congregation all over the world in the perfect body of Christ to welcome His second coming on glorious clouds. The four times also refer to a difficult thing. Jesus only prays once to resurrect Lazarus who has died for four days
Thus, creating the true fellowship of the body of Christ is more difficult than resurrecting a dead person. Nevertheless, there is nothing impossible for God. Jesus will not fail because of the power of true teaching Word that has been practiced or living Word and the intercession prayer. The requirement to enter the true fellowship of the body of Christ is as follows
- One true body only has one true Head, namely Jesus.
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus is logos, namely true teaching Word that is born as human.
One Head means one true teaching Word. It is the requirement to enter the true fellowship of the body of Christ.
The signs of true teaching Word are as follows.
Fellowship in marriage, shepherding, and inter-shepherding must have one true teaching Word to go toward true perfect eternal one.
- Being written in Bible.
- Being revealed through a verse that explains other verses in Bible.
- To dare reveal true marriage.
- Being preached without any purpose to get physical advantage.
Without the true teaching Word, the fellowship of sons or servants of God will be of the world. Fellowship in the world will only reach the tomb and after that it scatters.
Moreover, birds and wolves or uncleanness and evil spirits become the head of such fellowship. Consequently, the fellowship goes toward Babylon or the bride of Satan that will be destroyed.
- Being active in the ministry for building the body of Christ.
It begins from the ministry in marriage, shepherding, inter-shepherding, up to the one perfect body of Israel and Gentiles.
4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
The requirements of ministry for building the body of Christ are as follows.
- Holy life.
Without holiness, one will only destroy the body of Christ.
To live in holiness, we must be in the Holy Place or shepherding pen in which there are three kinds of equipment that refer to perseverance in doing three main services as follows.
If we persevere in the shepherding, our body, soul, and spirit will make fellowship with the trinity of God, so there is no chance for Satan to touch our life.
- Golden Candlestick or perseverance in doing General Service or fellowship with Holy Spirit God in His anointing and gifts.
- Table of Showbread or perseverance in doing Bible Study Service with Holy Communion or fellowship with the Son of God in the teaching and Christ’s sacrifice.
- Golden Altar of Incense or perseverance in doing Prayer Service or fellowship with Father God in His love.
15:3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
We are as a branch dwelling in the True Vine. We are sanctified by the revelation of the Word or true teaching Word sharper than any two-edged sword. It sanctifies our body, soul, and spirit, so we do not lie but say well and righteously. We do not stumble in word or our body, soul, and spirit are as perfect as Jesus is.
3:2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
Not stumbling in word means that our mouth is used only to worship God.
Our sweet life is determined by our tongue. If our tongue does not lie, our life has produced sweet fruits. As a result, our marriage and shepherding are sweet.
If our tongue says something that is wrong, there will be bitter fruits up to hell forever.
- We must have ministry and the gifts of Holy Spirit.
4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
Ministry is our place in the body of Christ and heavenly kingdom.
The gifts of Holy Spirit are miraculous ability from Holy Spirit that we can minister to God according to the ministry.
If we live in holiness, God will give us ministry and the gifts of Holy Spirit.
The ministry and the gifts of Holy Spirit may be different but all of us must cooperate. We must support each other until the perfect body of Christ is formed.
Ministering to God without holiness means using our own strength without the ministry and the gifts of Holy Spirit. Consequently, the body of Christ will be destroyed.
The ministry and the gifts of Holy Spirit are the tunic of many colors. If we minister with holiness and unity, all things will be beautiful in His time.
- We must have the love of God.
4:15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head––Christ––
4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
The love of God unites and perfects us. All things are useless and destroyed without the love.
10:22Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.
24:12"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
The finishing of the perfect body of Christ is in winter of love when lawlessness abounds.
10:21 "Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
Rebellion happens in marriage where there is no love anymore, but hatred, sexual affairs, divorce, remarriage, murder, and so on.
It also happens in service and ministry to God, namely murmur, envy, revenge, and so on.
Moreover, it happens in the revival for building the perfect body of Christ that is described as the movement of Joshua to Canaan.
7:11 "Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff.
7:20 And Achan answered Joshua and said, "Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I have done:
7:21 "When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it."
Do not rebel against God when you are victorious and used by Him. Do not be like Achan. Do not steal the tithes and offerings that is the possession of God. Such is the evil lust of Judas.
6:24But they burned the city and all that was in it with fire. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.
Be alert because evil lust comes together with unclean one, namely sins concerning eating-drinking and marrying-being given in marriage.
7:24 Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor.
7:25 And Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? The LORD will trouble you this day." So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.
If one complicates, hinders, or obstructs the building of Christ’s body because of rebellion, uncleanness and evil sins, stealing or slandering, he must be in the Valley of Achor, namely the valley of difficulty and perdition.
3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
Tithe is our confession that we have been blessed by God and we with all we have are the possession of God.
Because of the tithe, there will be food in the house of God, namely living Word which is able to preserve our life from now on up to the eternal life.
Offering is our thanksgiving because of all blessings we have got from God.
6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."
If we can give the tithes and offerings, God will give us ministry and the gifts of Holy Spirit.
Because of the tithes and offerings, God gives the Word and the gifts of Holy Spirit or the two wings of a great eagle, whose functions are as follows.
- There is physical and spiritual increase as well as renewal from fleshy man to spiritual one as Jesus is.
39:30 Does the eagle mount up at your command, And make its nest on high?
39:31 On the rocks it dwells and resides, On the crag of the rock and the stronghold.
39:32 From there it spies out the prey; Its eyes observe from afar.
39:33 Its young ones suck up blood; And where the slain are, there it is."
Spiritual man worships God, keeps silent, corrects himself, and confesses his sins to Him much more. He is strong and none may touch him.
- To pass through the storm in the sea of world wilderness.
32:10 "He found him in a desert land And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.
32:11 As an eagle stirs up its nest, Hovers over its young, Spreading out its wings, taking them up, Carrying them on its wings,
32:12 So the LORD alone led him, And there was no foreign god with him.
We only hope in the grace of God because only God is able to make the storm in the sea of world wilderness calm. He is able to solve all problems in His time.
- To give us new strength, so we keep strong and of good courage.
40:29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.
40:30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,
40:31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
We are not disappointed and hopeless. We do not leave God and our service and ministry to Him, but keep faithful and fervent in spirit. We keep on persevering and having patience following the Lord and waiting for His second coming until we are renewed to be as glorious as He is. We are lifted up by the two wings of a great eagle when Jesus comes a second time.
God blesses you.