Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Revelations Chapter One (Part I)

By Odon Bulamba (9 February 2001)

Praise the Lord. The Lord says that, “When two or three are gathered together I will be among them”. I thank you one more time because you have left what you were doing to share the good news. God said to Elijah, “you must leave everything to go on a journey”, “yes Lord I will go”. He left everything for God’s calling. As he was travelling he became tired. The Lord could see that he was hungry and needed something to eat, but because he was in a desert there was no food, so the Lord thought of a way to feed him. After eating he made a step to go where he did not know. Elijah submitted to the Word of God. If he couldn’t accept the food God provided for him, then how could he have accepted God’s calling? In order for him to eat he had to submit.

We are going to speak about the first chapter in Revelation. Before that we can read in

1 kings 17:1-7

1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall neither be dew nor rain these years, except by my Word.”
2 The Word of the Lord came to him, saying,
3 “ Go away from here and turn eastwards, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.
4 “ It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.”
5 So he went and did according to the Word of the Lord, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.
6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook.
7 It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

While others were suffering from hunger and thirst, Elijah ate and drank. Elijah told the people that the rain would stop but they didn’t believe him. They said, “we have rivers and streams everywhere and the ground is fruitful, surely there is no chance of a drought”? They didn’t listen to Elijah’s message. The same happens today in the church; the church neglects prophecies.

I can remember when I was in Africa singing to God with a friend. This song was saying whether or not God would come back because it has been 2000 years already and still no sign of Jesus. If there is an end time for the world why does God allow children to be born?

There was only one man in the whole community God fed and that was Elijah. The others didn’t realize that Elijah was eating when the drought happened throughout the land.

The Bible says that the ravens brought him bread and meat. Try to imagine ravens bringing bread and meat? Ravens are not butchers or bakers, so where could they have found this food? We know that a raven can provide food for himself, but for a man is quite different. Try to imagine what happens. This is what God did with John. When people said we’ve had enough with John’s gospel let’s get rid of him but John carried on submitting to God’s Word. He was taken to the island of Patmos where this island was surrounded by water and nobody could go to visit. Nobody could go to talk with John and he suffered there, but this was the place he could know the Will of God. It was a place where he could be quiet and not speak to people.

As God visited Elijah through the raven to feed him, He also visited John to feed him spiritually. Elijah received bread from God and as you know in John 6:35 Jesus is the bread Himself. Elijah prophesied that something would happen but the people didn’t understand what could possibly happen at that time. Jesus said, “What you are drinking is My blood, but remember where this bread comes from. This is the blood of the Lamb and when the lamb is killed meat is left”. Exodus 12 tells us how you can treat this meat. It is written that this meat must be roasted. When you take some meat and put it over the fire, you can see that water starts dripping from it. I don’t know how but you will see the water flow from it, and then it becomes good to eat. This is what happened with Elijah when he ate the meat.

You know where this water comes from. Jesus said to the Samaritan, “give me water and I will give you living water and you will never thirst again”. So people cried because they were thirsty. When God gives us water to drink people don’t accept it. That’s exactly what John was doing, he would give them water and food spiritually but they didn’t accept it. God said, “because they refuse to listen to Me and you are the only one to accept, I will tell you what is going to happen, I will not only tell you what is going to happen now, but what will happen in the future”. Let’s read Revelation 1:1-3.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what, must soon take. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw-that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

This book was written to speak to the servants of God. The Bible says that this message was revealed to John to show us what was going to happen. This message was given God’s servants so they could know God’s plan. Most people are confused about this book. The Bible says this book was written at Patmos, which was surrounded by water. If you don’t have a boat or can’t swim you cannot reach there. It’s the same thing with this book, people want to reach and understand what God has written, but they can’t because they only have their own thoughts. Instead of asking God to reveal to them the message of this book they rely on their own knowledge and because of this they say that prophecy stopped in the days of John the Baptist. Other people say it stopped after Malachi or after the first church. Is this book of Revelation a book of prophecy or not?

If prophecies have stopped then why is this book being fulfilled today? Why was this book sealed in the past but now people today can find its meaning?

So when servants of God cannot find an explanation they put the book of Revelation in the corner. Many preaches never preach on Revelation because they think it is too difficult, so they become afraid to interpret it. The Bible says we are not allowed to be afraid and that the spirit of fear is not in us, so when you say you are afraid to speak about this Book it means the Spirit of God is not in you.

God sent an angel to John on Patmos to talk to him. It’s not a truth revealed by men, it’s not a truth revealed by knowledge or science, but a truth revealed by Jesus Christ. It’s not something we learn by reading books or at school, but Jesus will come and talk with us and visit us.

Remember when the Israelites left Egypt? Only a few people believed that the Red Sea would open and could walk through it.

According to science and human knowledge a sea to split open in two brings a lot of doubt. When Pharaoh reached the Red Sea he carried on through hoping to risk it but the Bible says he died with his army. This is happening in the church of God today; when God reveals something to someone or reveals something to the church there are always those who oppose or fight the message. The Devil tells his army to get up and attack those people and that these people have physical eyes but not spiritual eyes. Everything that is happening right now on this earth is just the fruit of this book. Christians and non-Christians can see what’s happening but their eyes will be open when it is too late. Elisha’s servant Gehazi said to him, “an army is coming to attack us”, but Elisha said, “Do not fear the army for we have a stronger army then this one”. So he asked God to open his eyes to see what was happening. This is exactly what the church needs today. As for us Christian’s we need to pray for others so we will see together, we also need to open our eyes because if our eyes are closed the world and crowd will shake us and we will be weakened. If I say this to the priest and because he is my friend, will he be against me? If this world is against me it will be hard. For us Christian’s we must not fear man’s attack but God’s. The Bible says in Revelation 1:3

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heeds the things, which are written in it: for the time is near.

How much time do we take to read this book? How much time do we take to put it into practice? Do we obey what is written in this book? If you want to obey you must know WHAT to obey. If you say I must obey my mum and dad, you first have to know WHO are your mum and dad? If you say I obey God’s Word, you first must know WHAT is the Word of God because you cannot obey what you don’t know. That is why the Bible says this message is for God’s servants so we can help others know what they must obey and blessed are those Christians who listen to this message. Not everybody will accept or listen to this message, but blessed are those who do. It means woe to those who don’t listen.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this new font. It's so easy to read. Thanks! (The message is awesome Odon!)