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Exploring Revelation
257
“John's Vision Begins”
by Art Sadlier   
July 8th, 2007

In this section of the chapter, John tells us where he was, what he saw, and what he was told to do about it. John says "I, John, who also am your brother and companion in tribulation." That is loaded with significance. To be a brother in Christ is the most wonderful human relationship. To endure persecution and tribulation with brothers in Christ is an experience that brings hearts closer together. There will be no envy, jealousy, or rivalry, just a sweet, sweet spirit of brotherly love. Is that your experience? Is that your church?

John had been pastoring the church at Ephesis, he was arrested and exiled to the Isle of Patmos. John is now between the ages of 90 to 100. We can envision him alone on a desolate rocky island.

There is a tremendous lesson to be learned at this point. Is this John's reward for 70 years of faithful service to Christ? Is this fair? Understand that John's finest hour of service is yet ahead of him at this point. He is about to give to the whole church of the whole church age, the wonderful revelation of God concerning the future.

DON'T MISS THIS GREAT PRINCIPLE.

God has great things for His children to do for Him, no matter what age they are! Not great things in the eyes of the world, but things that are important to God. Brothers and sisters, God has great things for you to do, things that are important to Him!

HERE IS A SECOND GREAT PRINCIPLE.

John was alone on the Isle of Patmos. John had served the Lord now for 70 years or more. If God could use anyone, it would be John! Understand, before John could give the message of Revelation to the church, he had to spend time alone with God.

This is a principle found throughout scripture. God's servants have to spend time alone with God. Remember Elijah, alone by the brook Cherith, no T.V.set, no newspaper, no Tim Hortons coffee shop, no family, no friends, just Elijah and God! Alone with God in a quiet, secluded place for a whole year.

Remember David, alone with the sheep as God spoke to him and prepared him to be Israel's king.

Remember Moses, 40 years alone with God in the wilderness. Remember Paul, alone with God in the Arabian Desert. Everyone that would be used by God must spend time alone with God.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, I remind you that God has great things for you to do for Him! Things that are important to Him! You will never do those things, you will never be what God wants you to be until, and unless, you learn to get alone with God. Find time, find a quiet place, shut the world out and get alone with God in an unhurried way every day, listen to Him speak through His Word and talk to Him in praryer.

Rome's effort to shut off the witness of Christ brought John into a place of solitude and closeness to the Savior. As a result of that, he became the voice of the Lord down over the centuries for the Revelation of Christ as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

John was transported by God into the future evidently just his spirit and not bodily. John was transported beyond the time in which he lived. He travelled down in time to a yet future day, "The Day of The Lord" translated here as the Lord's Day. The "Day of the Lord", is the endtime of the present age. He viewed the tribulation period and beyond. He viewed it as God sees it, and he viewed it as man sees it.

This period known as the "Day of the Lord", begins in Revelation 4, and goes through to the end of Revelation 20. It actually includes the Tribulation Period and the Millenial Kingdom.

John says in verse 10, "And heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet." Verse 11 tells us who is speaking, "I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last", that is none other than God Himself. How can anyone dare take the message of this book lightly?

The command comes to John, "What thou seest, write in a book and send it to the Seven Churches." The question may have risen in John's mind, I am alone on this island, there is no way I can get this to the Severn Churches. That is always an issue, how can I carry out what God commands me to do? John knew the answer. Obey God, do what He commands and God will take care of what is impossible to us. How often we stumble here, how often we fail to obey, because we lack the faith to trust God, not John.

The Seven Churches here in Revelation were seven litereral churches that existed in John's day.

The Seven Churches are also representative churches, seven is the number of perfection and completeness.

The situations in these churches represent situations that may be found in any church at any point in the Church Age.

Because the book of Revelation is a "prophecy" (vs.3), and because history verifies it, each of the seven churches represent prophetically, a period of what is now Church History. A period in which the characteristics and problems of a given Church are predominant in the Church in that point in time.

For example, we are now living in The Laodicean age, a time when the characteristics of the church of Laodicea dominate the Evangelical Church today.

Finally there is a personal message to individual believers, that may be found in any of the letters to the Seven Churches.

All of this makes the messages to the Seven Churches of tremendous importance to us. They laden with invaluable help and blessings for us.

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