3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
Revelation 1:3 ESV
When God raised up Joshua after the death of Moses in Chapter 1 of the book of the same name God instructed him to meditate in the Law day and night. Here John leaves an admonition to those who care to approach a most complicated book must do so in 3 different dimensions; 1. Profession 2. Comprehension 3. Submission.
It is curious that the reader must proclaim it aloud, so that those who hear it must hear it and know what it means to hear it truly. Then in hearing know how to keep it and walk it out.
The faith dimension starts its activation in the profession that we declare. If you examine the whole book of Revelation the whole of God’s story in man’s life here on earth is interspersed with worship and profession. When God does something upon the earth there is always an accompanying declaration. If God is proclaiming over the earth, over us, it would be interesting to know what He is professing over us. That profession we give guarantees the activation of God’s declaration over us. Our profession of Christ in the midst of all men guarantees Jesus’ intercession for us before the Father. The purpose of Revelation is to as Isaiah 46:10 declares:” To declare the end from the beginning ” because as we declare we agree, as we agree we flow in the power of that agreement because God declared even in Genesis 3 the end, and the finish of what calamity the devil brought into creation. When God looks at us, speaks to us, He declares our overcoming, our triumph as we declares His Triumph. As we join our profession to the language of heaven and the purpose of God so we will flow into that which God is doing throughout. Joshua was exhorted to meditate day and night, declaring to himself all what God said in the Law. How much more we need to declare not what the media are saying but what God is saying.
The 7 letters to the Churches in Revelation 2 and 3 speak to those who “he who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches“. God gave ears to us in the inevitability that we would hear and then comprehend. It seems though we have an issue in that we may not be hearing clearly what the Spirit is speaking to the Church. We may have denominational bias, trauma, self justification or self preservation at work that clouds our hearing.
In each Church presented there are several key factors Jesus’ being the Head, that needed to be comprehended. God was showing each Church an aspect of Jesus to be comprehended, received and obeyed to with holy fear. Each Church needed an aspect of Jesus in a Church undergoing persecution. Then the Church needed to comprehend what Jesus saw of them, accept His Correction. This Correction would position them as overcomers who would inherit the full redemption that Ephesians 1 talks about.
In a retreat last October I understood that our redemption is phased with some of the redemption privileges and inheritances being given now but some are reserved for eternity. It is urgent that God’s Church comprehends the times we are living. The world is not becoming more favourable to the Church and we need to face the fact no matter how respectable we try to make it that the world finds Jesus distasteful and an obstacle to all that which is demonic and that which is of self. We must truly comprehend the Son of God and we must comprehend what the Father gave into His Hands.
The main enemy of the Church now is ignorance because of a modernistic lifestyle that puts comfort and entertainment before discipline, prayer and study. Until we comprehend that the comfort and entertainment represent the spirit of the age, we will never come into the knowledge of Christ nor what He has purposed to do in our days.
The type of submission I speak is the type none of us will like. It is the type that is the backdrop to the Book of Revelation being written and where it was written. John was subject to a painful persecution but God spared him. He for identifying with Jesus was an enemy of Rome and banished to Patmos. The book of Revelation tells us clearly the cost of following Jesus and how our submission to that call may bring us face to face with eternity.
The question I must make here is: is the riches of what Christ gave us far more precious than our very lives? This is the process the Holy Spirit is bringing us to. If we have lived shallow spiritual lives we will bow to the Beast, take his mark and live his way. We will shy away from the ultimate price. Our submission is to a life that is holy and set apart because what Christ has done in us is far greater than what the world can offer and can threaten to take away. We must therefore shun the easier way of living in pursuit of Christ.
Our Profession distinguishes our identification with Him, our Comprehension causes us to grow in Him, and our Submission causes us to walk with Him in the end time purposes spelt out in the Book of Revelation.