(To Coincide with Fasting Prayer Service)
Peace and grace in the love of Jesus Christ. Good evening, let us listen to the Word of God. May the peace and grace from God be within us.
This evening, we will summarize Revelation 1:9-20
refers to the apostle John's vision on the island of Patmos.1:9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
John, the apostle, was exiled to the island of Patmos (experiencing the suffering in the flesh) not because of committing any sins (the island of Patmos is the exile for evil doers), but for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ (verse 9), which made John experience three things as follows
- verse 9 'both your brother and companion' refers to entering the true fellowship(the fellowship of the Body of Christ), starting from a marriage (it has been explained since Bible Study Service in Surabaya, December 09, 2013).
If we are getting married only because of physical things and not because of the true teaching, it will lead us to the fellowship of Babylon (the wrong teaching, which is not based on the true teaching Word). The same thing applies to our services. If our services are not based on the true teaching, it will lead us to Babylon.
- Verse 10-16 'a loud voice, as of a trumpet, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man' refers to being able to listen and see the loud voice of the trumpet (the shepherding Word), or being able to be in the shepherding righteously (it has been explained since Christmas Service in Surabaya, December 23, 2013).
Entering the shepherding is hard for the flesh but easy and light for the whole life if we are willing to undergo the suffering in the flesh.
If we are willing to suffer in the flesh because of Jesus and be in the shepherding righteously, we will see 2 real figures as follows.
- The seven lampstands, which refer to the perfect church,
- Jesus in the glory as a High Priest, King of kings, the Just Judge, and the Bridegroom of Heaven.
- Verse 17-20 'I fell at His feet as dead'. Being able to fall at Jesus' feet as dead means being able to worship with a broken heart until the flesh speaks no more(it has been explained since General Service, May 11, 2014).
This is the reason why John was exiled to the island of Patmos. If John had not been exiled, he would not have been able to fall at Jesus' feet.
The spiritual condition of John as described in verse 9 is having the word of God (Table of Showbread) and the testimony of Jesus Christ (the Golden Candlestick), but he didn't have the Golden Altar of Incense.
This is dangerous! If we don't have the Golden Altar of Incense, we become the target of the antichrist.
12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of Godand have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
'keep the commandments of God' refers to the Table of Showbread.
'the testimony of Jesus Christ' refers to the Golden Candlestick.
If we become the target of the antichrist, there are two possible outcomes as follows.
- Experiencing the torture of antichrist for 3.5 years because of not being willing to worship the antichrist (keeping on worshipping Jesus) until being beheaded. But, we will be raised in a glorious body when God comes again.
- Worshipping the antichrist because we can't stand the torture of the antichrist. Physically, nothing will happen, but we will be like antichrist and destroyed forever and ever.
We should give thanks that John the apostle was permitted to be exiled on the island of Patmos, that he underwent the suffering in the flesh, not to destroy him, but to be spiritually elevated until he could fall at Jesus' feet and worship God
(and not become the target of antichrist).
The same thing applies to us. If God let us undergo suffering in the flesh because of God, including a fast this evening, face tribulations, problems, get mocked and any other things, those are not meant to destroy us but to elevate our spirituality so that we can fall at God's feet
(worshipping with a broken heart).
If we fast, it will be faster for us to be broken hearted when worshipping God. It is different when we worship God without a fast.
God lets us experience suffering in the flesh because if everything goes normally, we will start getting used to the service and worshipping God. The meanings of being broken-hearted are as follows
- Psalms 119:20
119:20 My soul breaks with longing For Your judgmentsat all times.
The first meaning is always longing for God's Wordmore than anything and always experiencing the work of God's Word(the sword of God's Word will sanctify us from sins).
We have been saved. Now, we have to look for the Word of a higher level to show and sanctify us from sins. We can accept the Word if we are willing to be broken hearted.
This Word will push us to confess our sins, like what King David has experienced.
At that moment, David fell in sin with Bathsheba,
Psalms 51:1-2, 16-17
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
51:2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
51:16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise.
Nathan the prophet strongly rebuked David. Generally, a king will get angry if he is rebuked. King Asa was helped by God, but then he did wrong in his ministry and was rebuked, but he got angry.
In this case, David got a broken heart because he always longed for God's Word, and when the Word came, he was not hesitant to confess his sins ('Blot out my transgressions').
King David was broken hearted because of the work of the sword of the Word which was preached by Nathan, the prophet (a prophet preaches the teaching Word), so that he confessed sins to God and to others (to Nathan), and he experienced forgiveness and didn't commit any more sins.
This is what meant by being broken-hearted.
If we confess our sins but do it again, it is not a broken heart, but it was a pretense.
Those who confess their sins and leave them are precious livings on God's eyes ('A broken and a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise'), and they can come to God's throne. Those who keep their sins are despised.
Tonight, if we are broken hearted because of the Word, we will confess our sins, and we can come to God's throne.
57:15 For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
In this worship, let's confess our sins.
- Luke 20:17-18
20:17 Then He looked at them and said, "What then is this that is written:
'The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone'?
20:18 Whoever falls on that stonewill be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder."
This is the parable of the vinedressers in the vineyard.
'the chief cornerstone' refers to Christ's sacrifice (the One who committed no was sins but cast by the workers, crucified and became the chief cornerstone).
The second meaning of being broken hearted is appreciating and exalting Christ's sacrifice. We, who are in the vineyard, have the chance to exalt Christ's sacrifice.
The practices are as follows.
- Being willing to have a suffering in the flesh withoutsins.
Jesus did neither commit any sin or know it. However, He had to suffer on the cross until He died, cursed on the cross.
If we exalt Christ's sacrifice, we will be willing to have a suffering in the flesh without sins.
'a work in the vineyard' refers to the work in the field which is brought up by the bride tidings. In the vineyard, the grapes are squeezed (there are sufferings in the flesh without sins), and we can't do anything the way we want it. This is what appreciating Christ's sacrifice is.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17
4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewedday by day.
4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
We are willing to have a suffering in flesh without sins to experience a life change from the carnal human to a spiritual one like Jesus.
Experiencing a life change means bearing grapes.
A life change starts from stopping telling lies(only telling truthfulness and good saying) and living in righteousness.
Although everyone else sells fake products, we have to sell the original things, or even when the whole class cheats on an exam, we don't cheat. This is what appreciating Christ's sacrifice is.
If our speech is not righteous, the whole life will also be not righteous.
These sweet grapes are acceptable to God and others (we please God and others).
9:12"Then the trees said to the vine, 'You come and reign over us!'
9:13 But the vine said to them, 'Should I cease my new wine, Which cheers both God and men, And go to sway over trees?'
- Total submission to Christ's sacrifice (' falls on that stone', like a person who falls without making it up). We put our whole lives upon Christ's sacrifice and surrender to God's mercy, because we can do nothing (it is not that we don't care).
Revelation 22:122:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
If we can be broken hearted and come to God's throne tonight, we will feel the river of water of life from God's throne (the power of the Holy Spirit).
This evening, this is our helping Spirit.
Let's come with a broken heart, always longing for the Word to correct our lives and Christ's sacrifice (surrender everything to God), and we will be at God's throne and experience the river of life.
The usages of the river of life (Holy Spirit) are as follows.
- Ezekiel 47:8-9
47:8 Then he said to me: "This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.
47:9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will livewherever the river goes.
The first usage is 'everything that has died will live', which means that the Holy Spirit is able to nurture our lives both physically in the middle of the impossibilities of the word (as there is no life in the Dead Sea) and spiritually.
Although people may call it 'dead', but if there is the water of life, everything can be alive. The important thing is that we can come closer to God's throne with a broken heart.
"I experienced a lot of things. Someone came to me and said 'No Pastor, it's impossible'. But I said, 'It is possible'. Lately there were some students came to me and said 'My professor makes everything hard'. I said, 'Let's pray. God is able to help us'. It was on Thursday, the last day of the Fellowship in Medan, I prayed for him. Suddenly a few days ago I got a call and he said 'Pastor, my professor let me arrange my seminar.' In fact the professor always asked him to revise his work before, but on Monday he was called and the professor let him do the seminar. I can only praise God."
Guard your heart! Don't let your heart be hard, but be broken. We confess our sins like what David did. We surrender all things to God and are willing to take the suffering in the flesh without sins to change, from our mouth to be able to produce righteous and good speech (which is like a sweet wine for God and others). We will experience the river of living water from God's throne.
- John 4:13-14
4:13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,
4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give himwill never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of waterspringing up into everlasting life."
The second usage is the Holy Spirit will give us the spiritual satisfaction that we will not be like the Samaritan woman.
The Holy Spirit will give us Heavenly happiness in the middle of the dry, cursed, and unclean world and an everlasting happiness ('springing up into everlasting life').
If we don't have the Holy Spirit (we are thristy), we absolutelywill go to the woman of Babylon (we are destroyed), either by our speech, readings, thoughts or deeds.
- Revelation 22:1
22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
The third usage is the Holy Spirit will bathe us (change our lives) from a carnal human to a spiritual one, which is 'clear as crystal', which means as follows.
A life change is the greatest spiritual miracle.
- Being honest('yes' for yes and 'no' for no)
We have to be honest, most of all in regarding the true teaching. We should also confess our faults and failures.
If we are honest, we are near to the throne of Heaven. If we are not, we are near the snake's tail.
- Believing(a sincere faith).
As long as we are able to be bathed with the water of life, we can be changed whatever our condition is.
There is no other reason, it is only about our willingness.
If the spiritual miracle happens, the physical ones will also happen. An example is Lazarus, who had died for 4 days. Martha was dishonest (she didn't want to take Lazarus' tomb stone, which means she tried to hide something). If it had not been opened, Lazarus would never have been raised but destroyed forever.
It is better to be honest and open everything (be honest and believe). We confess that we are wrong and rotten, as what David did.
If we are honest and believing(Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?'), even the dead and rotten one can be raised (the impossible things become possible).
Tonight, God is able to finish everything as long as we are honest and believing. When Jesus comes back, we will be changed as glorious as Him (the last miracle). Our mouth won't say anything wrong, but we will only say "Alleluia" to welcome Jesus' second coming in the glorious cloud.
Whatever our conditions are, the most important thing is to be broken-heart before God (we confess our sins by the work of the Word, are willing to be in the suffering in the flesh without sins and surrender everything) and the river of the water of life is poured upon us and bathes us.
God blesses us.