Monday, July 29, 2013

Revelation 1:9 Beauty in Banishment

Revelation 1:9 Beauty in Banishment

REVELATION- A Verse by Verse Study- My own personal journey

"A journey of studying what’s revealed to me; not a journey to study what isn’t revealed!"

Revelation 1:9 Beauty in Banishment

Revelation 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, one of the 12 disciples, the one Jesus loved, the one who sat with his head on Jesus heart beating, was in prison for his faith in Christ and for the Word of God.  Sometimes we don't realize the generals in the kingdom of God go through trials too! John was in prison! He was exiled! Why? Because he believed in Jesus and spoke his Word!  Your faith doesn't guarantee that you won't be in trials but it does guarantee you'll go through them.  When you go through something, you come out the other side.  Sometimes the middle is tough.  John was in a trial. He was imprisoned for his faith. He would die there....and live again on the other side!


John's banishment to Patmos is interesting. Patmos is a Greek Island. At the time, Patmos was a place for banishment of political prisoners as well as those that practiced sorcery, witchcraft and astrology.  John, being prophetic would have been in that category as some saw prophecy as witchcraft... just as they do today!  Prophecy is not witchcraft when it's from God!  John didn't say he was imprisoned for being a Christian but for God's Word!  I find that interesting and although I can't confirm it, I wonder if John was preaching of future events and proclaiming the living prophetic Word of God!


We may think of John as being imprisoned and I guess being exiled is imprisonment but if I was going to be exiled anywhere at all, I guess I'd choose an island....a Greek island!  The story is told, the encounter with Jesus that brought the Revelation was in a cave. I don't know if he was held there or if he was free to roam the island but just remember, in the same way God can give you beauty for ashes and joy for mourning, he can give you beauty in banishment. We must have our eyes open as John did.  One version of the text said he "saw the voice of God!" Whether he saw the voice or what the voice was showing him matters not. He saw something with eyes wide open and in the midst of his banishment, he saw something beautiful!

Revelation 1:10-12 I heard a loud voice behind me, trumpet-clear and piercing: “Write what you see into a book. Send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea.” I turned and saw the voice.

It was here, on The Isle of Patmos, John had his greatest encounter of all, out of which came the Book of Revelation which is a glimpse into the future for the body of Christ and the world at large.  Trials can be difficult but there are lilies in the valley!  Sometimes our greatest encounters come at our lowest moments.


John was "in the Spirit."  He was praying and as he was praying he heard a loud voice like a trumpet.  Note John didn't lose his faith while in prison. He still continued to pray. How many of us get into a funk when our hopes and dreams don't turn out the way we expected?  Sometimes in a funk, we may stop praying. John may have gotten in a funk but prayer brought him through. Today John isn't in a funk. Today John is in heaven, seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus worshiping, living in the reality of the revealed and tangible presence of God, and waiting to hear Jesus say, "Come on!" "It's time to see your Revelation revealed!"

When we are "in the Spirit," things happen! As we call upon the name of the Lord, he shows us things to come as he did with John.  We must stay "in the spirit," to make it through our own "Isle of Patmos!"  We must stay in the Spirit to receive heavenly vision.  Jesus had already spoken about this in John 16 as he was telling the disciples about the role the Holy Spirit would have in their life. John wrote about it as he recalled the words of Jesus telling them of the revelations the Holy Spirit would bring:

JOHN 16: 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. 


Now we've all heard of the experience of Moses on the back side of the desert. He was dilly dallying along, minding his own business, herding sheep when out of nowhere came a voice.  He wasn't seeking God at all. He may have not been in a funk at all since he had fled Egypt long ago. Moses may have been living an entirely new life, married to the daughter of the Priest of Midian and minding his sheep.  Moses had given up on the call of God having murdered a man and gone into hiding.  Then out of nowhere he heard a voice, turned aside to look, and there was a tree burning but not desinigrating. 

John had been sent to the Isle of Patmos to live out the rest of his life.  Imagine the hopes and dreams that were crushed.  Having walked with Jesus in his earthly ministry, having seen Jesus perform miracle after miracle and having heard Jesus speak the Words of life, then to die right before his eyes had to be heart rending.  Then Jesus rose from the dead and restored hope but as they began to spread the good news the opposition was great.


Both the bible and Foxe's Book of Martyrs are great resources for knowing what some of the apostles of our faith went through to lay the foundation for the Kingdom of God!

They were imprisoned, beaten, chained, stoned and killed. Some were boiled and some were burned at the stake.  They were persecuted, harassed, chased down like animals and tortured. Through all of this, their faith did not fail.  The key word is through. All of them went through!  In America, we are fortunate to have religious liberty.  They were not so fortunate.  Some may think those were acts of ancient times but get the publication "Voice of the Martyrs," and you'll know these thing are happening this very day!

Our faith has to go beyond our circumstance!  Our faith has to be forever settled in heaven and on earth. Our faith has to be settled in our hearts, that no matter what we go through, even death, our faith remains strong and our expectation that he will deliver us and do far above all we could ask or think will be realized!  We must in the face of our greatest trial, have our greatest faith! We must remain "in the spirit," and pray!  Just as John and Moses out of nowhere heard a voice, so our encounter with God that carries us to our next assignment will come suddenly!  Although this assignment didn't bring deliverance from Patmos, it brought a message of deliverance for the entire body of Christ!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013



A Verse by Verse Study
A journey of Studying What’s Revealed to Me
Revelation 1:6 & 7 Part III: The Priesthood of You

Revelation 1: 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen....

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

Part III- cont’d from Parts I & II

Jesus is coming quickly!  When he comes, there will be many on the earth that never knew him.  Every eye will see him!  With modern technology we now know that is possible naturally as we already knew it was possible spiritually. I used to wonder how every eye would see, even as recent as in the 80s.  I don’t wonder that anymore! Modern technology is advancing at lightning speed. Truly every eye on earth will see Jesus! The Jews will be here, who in times passed, asked for a thief and murderer to be released and for Jesus, the perfect lover of their soul to be crucified by piercing.  Ultimately we can say all mankind was responsible for the piercing of Jesus since all mankind has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory! People truly need the Lord!  When he returns the tribes of the earth will mourn, some from repentance as they realize they were wrong and some as they realize the judgments that are coming and are here and life as they know it will change and unless they get saved it won’t go well for them!

Before God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and the rest of the law, there were priests who stood before God.  There was no law from God dictating who would be priests.   There were priests in other nations and religions that were not necessarily priests of God.  Only God knew if a person was really approaching him.  God did recognize one priest who was not a priest according to the law, who had no record of birth and who did not fit the description of the qualifications of the law and his name was Melchesidek.  There were other priests. The bible tells us Moses’ father in law was a priest.  Later God established the priesthood according to the law but before the law, whether a priest truly was a priest of the one true God was determined by the heart and by God.   Abraham recognized this Melchizedek and gave him tithes long before the tithe in the law was established.  Abraham tithed to Melchizedek because he recognized he was greater, not because of the law.  The law had not been established, yet, Melchizedek was a Priest of the Most High God, and later in Hebrews was recognized by God! In fact, God himself said Jesus would be a high priest, after the order of Melchizedek! Jesus’ priesthood was not according to the law but was according to the truth. Remember, the law is a schoolmaster to teach truth!

God later established the law and the order of the priesthood according to the law.  Priests had to enter into the line of the priesthood according to their birth.  If one wasn’t a Levite one could not be a priest.  In addition to being chosen by birth, priests were chosen and anointed for their task.  The wonderful lesson here is although the priesthood is no longer Levitical, even today, God chooses men and women for tasks and anoints them.  Once he chooses you, he puts his anointing upon you to enable you to fulfill your call.

God said he would make up his kingdom and nation a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.  Some may say he was speaking to Israel but this was never established or fulfilled through Israel and the law because only Levites were priests.  God’s goal is to have a holy nation and a kingdom of priests. This is fully accomplished in Christ alone!

Exodus 19:5-7  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him. 

Priests were chosen by God to minister both to and before him. They were to live consecrated lives, set apart for God.  Today were are to live our lives both for and before God. We are to live a consecrated life, set apart. We are called out to be distinctly separate from the world even if among the world.

2 Corinthians 6:17 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Priests were to go before God for the people carrying the sacrificial blood of bulls that atoned for sins.  Priests put fire on the altar that became a sweet smell acceptable to God, reminding him, sins had been forgiven.... for a year!  Today we go before God making spiritual sacrifices of prayers, praise and thanksgiving.   Our lives become a sweet smell that reminds God of the blood of Christ that has atoned for sins.  Priests keep the flame burning so there never ceases to be prayers going up for the people.  They keep the flame without mixture.  Strange fire, not from God and unrecognizable to God isn’t allowed to keep the fire burning.  Only pure and holy oil from God creates the holy mix that burns brightly before God.

Priests were and are to stand in the gap for people.  They stand before the Lord and minister to him.  They weep in intercession and cry out for restoration.  They cry out for God to spare people from his judgment.

Joel 2:17 Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, “Where is their God?”

Priests were to stand before the Lord not only for forgiveness for the people, to keep the flame burning and to stand in the gap but one of the most important things the priests did was bless the Lord.  We today as priests come before God not only for our needs and the needs of others but we come before him to bless his name!

Deuteronomy 21:5 Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to bless in the name of the Lord; by their word every controversy and every assault shall be settled.

Priests are called to build the house of the Lord and to give the Word of God its’ proper place.   The call to build the house of the Lord is one that moves the heart of priests.  While not all will go into the 5 fold ministry we all have a part in building God’s house. As God moves upon our heart, we are called to build his spiritual house and keep his Word before us and the people. Even if not in the full time ministry, this is done in your home, your life and your service.

Ezra 1:5 Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 8:9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

Nehemiah 8:13 On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered around Ezra the teacher to give attention to the words of the Law.

The reason understanding the Priesthood is important is God has in the New Testament changed the order of the Priesthood. As he said he would make Jesus the High Priest after the order of Melchizekek. Everything in the Old Testament was a foreshadow of the truth of the New.  Jesus is our high priest, yes, according to birth but not according to the Levitical bloodline. Jesus was of God, not of Levi. He was not of the tribe of Levi. He was after the order of Melchizedek who was a priest before God before the law was ever established. Melchizedek birth was not recorded; he had no beginning or end. Jesus was with the Father in the beginning and Jesus has no end.  He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. His Priesthood was in the beginning before the law and has no end!  Now because of our birth into the family of God, with Jesus as our high priest, not after Levi but after his father, we are a priests after the new order of God before the law.  Jesus is High Priest after the truth, which came and was already in existence before the law. 

Psalm 110:4  The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 2:17  Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

Hebrews 7:11-12 [ Need for a New Priesthood ] Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?

Hebrews 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.

God also said he has made us Kings and Priests, a Kingdom of Priests, a Holy Nation! We are now all Priests and we are the representatives of God that go before God for the people who are not yet saved and who will be saved. We weep between the porch and the altar for the lost. We stand in the gap. We are keepers of the flame!  We keep the Word in its place and communicate it in the earth. We bless the Lord and make spiritual sacrifices in praise, prayer and worship, all of which are a sweet smelling savor to the Lord!

1 Peter 2:5  you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Revelation 1:6  and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The bible says the time is short and he is coming back. If you have been born again into the body of Christ, you are a Priest of God, part of a Holy Nation and a Kingdom of Priests!  We must be not just living for ourselves but live to make his name known and make his name great.  We must be standing in the gap for those who are not yet his, pouring out our hearts as a sweet smell before God, making intercession and crying out for salvation for our loved ones and for those who don’t yet know him.  Behold he is coming quickly and has made us both kings and priests!  Let’s fulfill the role of priests while we still can! Amen!