General Service in Malang, September 05, 2021 (Sunday Morning)
Peace and grace in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 14 refers to the seven sprinklings of blood in front of the Ark of Covenant. It refers to the suffering of the church of God with Jesus. It is the last purification up to the perfection, namely the quality of the bride.
Revelation 14:1-5 is about the church's following Jesus as the Lamb of God.
14:1. Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads.
The church's following Jesus is signified by the sprinkling of blood or the one of the cross, so we experience the increase of purification up to Mount Zion. It refers to the quality of being spotless as the heavenly bride.
In Revelation 14:2-5 there are seven facts about our following Jesus up to Mount Zion as follows:
Ad. 2. like the voice of loud thunder
- [Revelation 14:2a] like the voice of many waters.
- [Revelation 14:2b] like the voice of loud thunder.
- [Revelation 14:2c] the sound of harpists.
- [Revelation 14:3] a new song.
- [Revelation 14:4a] they are virgins.
- [Revelation 14:4b] being firstfruits to God.
- [Revelation 14:5] in their mouth was found no deceit = for they are without fault.
20:18. Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.
20:19. Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die."
The voice of loud thunder is the same as the thunderings.
It is linked with God's speaking with Moses. It is the same as God's giving His Word, namely the one whose secret is revealed by Holy Spirit through one verse that explains the other verses in the Holy Bible. It is the same as the true teaching Word that is sharper than any two-edged sword.
There is the Gospel Word to make us newborn babes, but there is also the teaching Word to grow our spirituality to maturity. The cross and the Word cannot be separated in our following Jesus.
The first step of our following Jesus is driven by the Gospel Word, so we believe in Jesus, repent, and enter the baptism. As a result, we are blessed by God. But our following must be increased to become the one which is driven by the true teaching Word that is sharper than any two-edged sword up to perfection. We become the heavenly bride who is ready to greet Jesus when He comes a second time.
19:6. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!
We are in a great multitude, namely the body of Christ or perfect heavenly bride to greet Jesus' second coming in glory until we enter the Paradise and the New Jerusalem forever.
We become one body with one sound: "Alleluia".
The gospel is important, but it must be continued to the teaching. The congregation on the last days urgently needs the true and strong teaching Word for the things as follows:
When Moses received the two tablets of stone, there were the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking.
- Facing against the increasing challenge and obstacle which is like climbing a mountain up to the age of the Antichrist.
- Reaching the quality of being perfect as God's bride.
It means as follows:
2 Timothy 4:1-2
- The lightning. It refers to the light of the glory, namely the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. It shows the hidden sins in the congregation, so we realize, regret, and confess our sin. As a result, we receive the forgiveness from sin. We can live in righteousness as well as be set free from death.
If the Word can show our sin and purify us, we will be able to experience God's presence in the glory of the Bridegroom in the congregation.
- The thunderings. It refers to the teaching Word which reproves hard, so we do not repeat the sin. We do not fall and rise in sin, so we can live in holiness.
- The sound of the trumpet. It refers to the true teaching Word that becomes the command which rules the things which we must do according to the will of God.
The teaching Word becomes the advice or God's guidance and the way out of all problems up to the impossible ones.
4:1. I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
4:2. Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
Paul the apostle charged the congregation, so they could be prepared until they reached the quality of being perfect.
Paul exhorted and gave example earnestly to Timothy, "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." It is like the lightning, the thunderings, and the repeated sound of the trumpet, so the Word must be repeated. The repeated Word is God's longsuffering to give the opportunity for those who have not received or obeyed the Word yet.
A shepherd must also be patient to repeat the Word.
3:18. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
3:1. For me to write the same things to youis not tedious, but for you it is safe.
3:2. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!
Paul exhorted and gave example first. He repeated the Word; even weeping because there were many people who had not obeyed the Word yet. For Paul the apostle to preach or write the same Word was not tedious and ashamed, but giving the assurance of faith for the congregation, so they could fight against the false teachings. We must earnestly hear and receive the repeated Word which is like the thunderings until we receive the stable faith to fight against the great roar of the lion, namely temptation, false teaching, et cetera.
Where can we hear the great teaching Word to defeat the great roar of the lion? Previously, Peter had been defeated by the roar of the lion until he denied Jesus. But later, Peter could be shepherded, and he wrote his experience.
1 Peter 5:8-9
5:8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
5:9. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
We must be shepherded well and correctly. The requirements are as follows:
God blesses us.
- We must become a witness of the sufferings of Christ, namely we are ready to experience the sprinkle of blood or suffering in the flesh. It is the same as bearing the cross with Jesus.
1 Peter 5:1
5:1. The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
Without the cross, we will never be firm in the shepherding.
We bear the cross to do the things as follows:
- Entering the door of the sheepfold or the Holy Place, namely the perseverance in the three kinds of main service to God as follows:
Our body, soul, and spirit firmly attach to the trinity of God. We sit, not walking about, and God works for us. We have the full power of God to fight against a roaring lion which walks about. We will not fall into sin and get lost.
- Perseverance in committing General Service. Holy Spirit refreshes us, so we are not thirsty.
- Perseverance in committing Bible Study Service and Holy Communion. The Word and Holy Communion become food, so we are not hungry.
- Perseverance in committing Prayer Service. We receive God's love.
- Not giving any chance to hear false teaching, gossip, strange voice, et cetera.
We just hear one sound, namely the true teaching Word, so we have the increasing power to fight against the roar of the lion.
The roar of the lion means suffering, famine, flattery, impossibility, et cetera.
If God's voice is louder than the roar or the lion, we will not be desperate and disappointed as well as leave God.
We are happy even though in the midst of sufferings and famine.
- We must minister willingly and eagerly, not being forced or forcing but because of loving God.
1 Peter 5:2
5:2. Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
If we minister willingly, we will minister to God with joy. We do not grumble. We are not sad, but only give thanks to God.
If we love God, we will surely be willing to sacrifice anything for Him. We cannot be blocked by anything. We do not minister to get physical advantage, but we are always ready to sacrifice anything for God such as time, power, mind, et cetera, except the true teaching Word.
20:24. "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Paul the apostle willingly sacrificed anything to minister God; even he did not count his life. It is the same as having the steady faith, so Paul could reach the finish line, namely entering the Paradise and the New Jerusalem forever.
- Not as being lords, but becoming the example of faith.
1 Peter 5:3
5:3. nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
13:7. Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
13:8. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
13:9. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
The example of faith of a shepherd is giving the spiritual food for the congregation until his finish line as well as lifting up the intercession prayer for the congregation.
The example of faith of the congregation is eating and enjoying the spiritual food or the Word, and holding fast the true teaching Word. We do not change the Word. We do not doubt no matter the things that happen to us. We keep totally trusting and hoping God when we are in the temptation and impossibility which are like the roar of the lion.
1 Peter 1:6-7
1:6. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
1:7. that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
The purpose is that we receive the steady and tested faith which is pure like gold up to perfection to greet Jesus when He comes a second time on the glorious clouds.
The facts of having the steady faith to defeat the great roar of the lion are as follows:
- We can surrender all of our worry and anxiety to God, so we experience peace. All things become easy and light. It means that God cares for our soul and spirit.
1 Peter 5:7
5:7. casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Further, God will surely take care of us physically until we give thanks to Him. We become blessing for others. We are calm and full if we can sit in the shepherding like a baby in his mother's hug.
- We humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. It means becoming lowly in heart and obedient.
1 Peter 5:5-6
5:5. Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
5:6. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
We stretch out our hand of faith to God. We totally trust and commit ourselves to God, and He will stretch out His mighty hand for us to help, heal, lift up, and make all things beautiful in His time.
4:16. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Do not want to become cleverer than God! God is always in time! God is active. We just need to become diligent and patient for waiting the time of God.
For example, Job kept becoming diligent and patient like a child praying without losing heart or a widow asking to the judge who did not fear God. We pray day and night until God has mercy on us.
The results are as follows:
- Holy Spirit God, namely the Spirit of Helper helps us in His time (Hebrews 4:16).
- God the Father stretches out His hand to make all things become beautiful in His time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
- The Son of God lifts us up in His time (1 Peter 5:6).
It means that we are changed to have the fear of God.
20:20. And Moses said to the people, "Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin."
The renewal of life starts from having the fear of God. It means being afraid of doing sins.
1 Peter 5:4
5:4. and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
We keep on being changed in the shepherding until we receive the crown of glory when Jesus comes a second time. We become perfect as God's bride. We are lifted up on the glorious clouds to greet Jesus when He comes a second time. We enter the Paradise and the New Jerusalem forever.