Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Revelation Daily Devotional - Day 3

Day 3
Revelation 1:9-20
[Rev. 1:9] ¶ I, John, your brother and the one who shares with you in the persecution, kingdom, and endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus. [Rev. 1:10] I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day when I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, [Rev. 1:11] saying: “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches—to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” [Rev. 1:12] ¶ I turned to see whose voice was speaking to me, and when I did so, I saw seven golden lampstands, [Rev. 1:13] and in the midst of the lampstands was one like a son of man. He was dressed in a robe extending down to his feet and he wore a wide golden belt around his chest. [Rev. 1:14] His head and hair were as white as wool, even as white as snow, and his eyes were like a fiery flame. [Rev. 1:15] His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.  [Rev. 1:16] He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword extended out of his mouth. His face shone like the sun shining at full strength. [Rev. 1:17] When I saw him I fell down at his feet as though I were dead, but he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last, [Rev. 1:18] and the one who lives! I was dead, but look, now I am alive—forever and ever—and I hold the keys of death and of Hades! [Rev. 1:19] Therefore write what you saw, what is, and what will be after these things. [Rev. 1:20] The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
The Apostle was having to endure tribulation on account of the Word of the Lord. Sometimes believing what God’s Word says attracts the ridicule of our society. It’s far easier to believe and be a witness within the four walls of a church building on a Sunday than it is to believe God’s Word in the marketplace and bear witness to the testimony of Jesus through the week. John experienced exile to Patmos for a time.. We too might experience social exile if we dare to stand up for the Word of God. 
John was to write to the 7 churches of Turkey. While it is true that there is one Universal Church to which all who are Christ's are connected, it is equally true that an authorised local congregation of believers is a “church” and should not be regarded as of lesser significance than the Universal Church to which it belongs and represents.
It was on “the Lord’s Day” that John was “in the Spirit”. The early Church referred to the first day of week, which Christ rose from the dead, as “the Lord’s Day”. Thus, one of the greatest proofs of the physical resurrection of Christ has now been invested into Sunday- that an entire community of converted Jews who valued Saturday as the Sabbath would immediately transfer its significance to Sunday despite their rich cultural attachment to Saturday! It was on this newly significant day that John was as we should be: in the Spirit.
It was with John’s focus on the local church, on Sunday, in the Spirit, that he received the grandest vision the Bible gives us of Christ. The All-Conquering Christ not only rules the world, He guards and guides His Church- He is in the midst of the lampstands. What we will read later is that some groups claim to be a church, when in fact Christ has long since removed their lampstand.
 Andrew Corbett

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