Thursday, December 31, 2009

Revelations Chapter One (Part II)

By Odon Bulamba (9th Feb 01)

Lets look at Revelation 1:4 - 6

4. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
5. And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood,
6. And He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

This message was sent to the 7 churches. If we look carefully at the number 7 you will see it has a lot of meaning. You know about the 7 days of creation, the 7 words Jesus spoke on the cross and the 7 years of judgement, the 7 lamp stands in the church of God; so from the beginning 7 plays a vital role.

These 7 churches must receive a message from John. John said grace and peace be given unto you. Peace and grace don’t come from man but from God. So what does peace and grace mean? From time to time we talk about grace but what is it? What is peace? It is up to us to think about those things and understand what they mean.

When God gave this message it was the same God who is and was and who is to come, to say that this message was not a message from the God who was in the past, but from the God who is in the present and tomorrow. Most people say God is now old. Brothers and sisters, God never goes old, He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

Some people say it was only for the church of Ephesus, but the church of Ephesus exists today. People say this church was in Asia so it doesn’t apply to us in the Pacific. This church exists today; the Bible says there were 7 churches and also 7 Spirits before the throne. What are the 7 Spirits of God?

Isaiah 11: 1-3, Rest, wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge and fear.

These are the 7 spirits of the Lord, if you want to know about the 7 spirits meditate on this and you will really know who God is. You will see how His spirit is with us and how He can give us the wisdom to know Him better. The church is the picture of God Himself and the church is meant to use these 7 Spirits. The Spirit of God is always with us. We must know that if we want wisdom we’ll find this wisdom in the Lord. To know this wisdom the Spirit of the Lord must lead you, that is what John said, “the 7 spirits from the throne and from Jesus Christ the faithful one”. These 7 spirits are with Jesus. He is the faithful witness. One day He’ll ask you, “did you learn about those seven spirits?” If sinners don’t receive the message Jesus will ask you, “why didn’t you preach this message to the people?” Jesus loves us and has set us free from his death. The Bible says that Jesus will come through the clouds and when something is in the clouds you cannot see it clearly.

I remember when I was a child I saw a plane in the clouds then all of a sudden I would only hear it, but if you had asked me who was in the plane I would have said that nobody could be in something so small. So I talked a lot with my parents about it. One day I went to the airport and had a big problem. My parents told this was the plane you saw in the sky but I said no, it’s not possible and I couldn’t accept. When the Lord comes He will come through the clouds but not everyone will see Him. Some people will say I think there is something but it’s not clear, we need to get closer to see God face to face. If you don’t want to make an effort to get near to God, you will only hear a noise. The Bible says most people have eyes to see and ears to listen but they still don’t know who God is. That is why the Bible says we must be careful; we must open our eyes and see the Lord come through the clouds. It’s not like the sun, it’s not like the stars, but we must know how the Lord comes through the clouds.

What do clouds mean according to science? Clouds are water vapour; if this vapour looks like smoke will you know there is water in it? When they taught us about evaporation our teacher would say, when water is boiling you can see steam rising, the water steams then this vapour goes up and makes condensation. So I had a bottle of water and wanted to put vapour in the bottle so I would have rain, but this was impossible.

I couldn’t understand a thing. So I ask my mum, is this true or not? She said yes but it was hard to explain. You can see that when God talks to us about certain things it is difficult to analyse and understand. When you get wet from the rain you can see it, but with vapour you cannot see it, and if you touch vapour you will not know if you have touched it or not. This means that when God reveals Himself people think He’ll do it like the rain and therefore each person wants proof. That’s why the Son of God asks us to have faith. It means to believe without seeing and when you believe you will see it later. Faith does not mean, “seeing is believing”.

We have many examples in the Bible about faith. If you want to be healed Jesus would say, “first believe and you will be healed”. If you have faith everybody will see the result of it. We must first believe and then God will show us everything.

The Bible says in Revelation 1:7 that every eye will see, even those who Pierced Jesus. Unfortunately Jesus said that some people have eyes but can’t see. Can the blind see Jesus? Woe to the person who is blind [spiritually]on this day for the Bible says, “He’ll come like a thief in the night”. People will see Him but it will be too late. Those who have eyes can understand what is happening here on earth, Jesus gave us signs and those signs are already here. Jesus is at the door so get ready! Don’t just think that this is for the world only. Who pierced Jesus? Can you tell me how many people pierced Jesus?

When He was crucified the Bible says there was only one person, but the Bible says it in a plural way. It means that some people kept on piercing Jesus and some continue to pierce Him, up to now and the one who pierced Him along time ago was silly. Why do I say this? The Bible says that Jesus was already dead. The solider pierced Jesus after He had died. Can you tell me where Jesus was pierced?
John 19:30-34.

30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, it is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 31The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32Then came the soldiers, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other, which was crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they broke not his legs: 34But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

Jesus was already dead but they still pierced Him. If a solider commits suicide in Congo you can whip his body to punish it, but what will you gain by doing that or what difference will it make? Because the life has gone from the body this person who pierced Jesus side was wasting his time because Jesus was gone. Some people will try to find life in Jesus Christ but it will be too late because grace will not be there anymore.

The Bible says water and blood came out. As you know, when a mum gives birth there is always blood and water, this is a sign of birth.

In some Bibles it says the solider received a miracle, he could not see out of one eye but the water that gushed from Jesus touched his eye and it was healed. Even though he hurt Jesus he found healing. Those who keep piercing Jesus today might not have the grace for much longer. They might see and remember all they did do Him, but it will be too late.

There is an example in the Bible about Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man saw Lazarus as a poor man and could not imagine that the presence of God could be in him. The rich man forgot that you cannot love God if you don’t love your neighbour. The Bible says that the rich man was surprised when he lifted up his eyes and saw Lazarus in glory and we all know what he asked for. It means that water is important. God opened the red sea to let His people go through it and also John was surrounded by water. So we must know the meaning of water.

The Bible says that all the people on this earth will lament over Jesus. Whether you like it or not people will cry. How much lament can we see today? How many pagans lament? I’ll give you the example of an eagle. Someone walked through the forest and found eagle eggs. He had a hen at home and put these new eagle eggs with the hen eggs. So the hen sat on the whole lot and one-day the eggs hatched.

The hen would go everywhere with her chicks but among these chicks was another species. So after one month the size of the eagle chick was the size of the mother hen. The mother hen then started wondering, why is this child growing up so fast, in one month it is like me? One-day an eagle flew over the chicks and saw that it was like himself. The eagle flying over thought, “maybe this is one of the eggs I lost”.

When the eagle whistled one of the chicks would listen but the hen would say, “there is danger, flee”. Only the odd one out stayed and listened to the voice. The mother hen asked the eagle chick, “why don’t you come and hide with us otherwise you will be eaten, have you forgotten how eagles eat? Please come with me for I am your mum and I cannot fight with an eagle”. But this chick wouldn’t listen. Finally the eagle left but the message got through to the little chick and it connected with that whistle. The eagle started realizing that he was different from the rest because his colour was different, his beak was different and his body shape was different. So from here he realised he was different. “Tell me who is my dad”? The following day the hen took her chicks for a walk, the eagle knew that the chicks were there so she whistled again. This would terrify the hen but bring joy for the eagle chick. The hen said, “come inside”, but the mother eagle said to the chick, “try to open your wings, try to jump”, so he tried but couldn’t because he wasn’t trained. However, the eagle chick made a better effort and flew off.

The hen tried to fly but couldn’t fly higher than 3 metres so she called for the eagle chick. “My child, come back”. It is the same with God. God is the eagle and those who are called by Him will always listen to Him. Even if you are in one denomination or one church, if you hear His voice you will come and work for God. Do not be deceived by others, many will try to persuade you to follow their rules. Blessed are those who have eyes and can see.

We must know that God called us. He said he is the “Alpha and Omega”, so we must let God start in us and finish in us. In the end times people will say, “my Pastor deceived me, I wanted to pray but he said the opposite”. Maybe when Christ comes back you will see that pastor cast out for Jesus will say, “go, I don’t know you”.

God is and was and is to come. He was with the Israelites and He is here with us now but shortly He will be back. The Bible says very soon He’ll be back, so it is in our own interest to get ready and know what it is to be called by God. We must also open our ears to listen to what He has to say. We must remember He is the same Jesus as He was when He used the ravens to feed Elijah. He is the same God who opened the Red Sea; He is the same God who fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. If we start to ponder how two fish can feed five thousand men we risk going far from the truth and this is how the world today understands the book of Revelation. With our own minds it is impossible to understand. God bless you

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