January 13 2022
Today, Thursday January 13
Blessings in the Midst of Tribulation Revelation 1:4-5 “John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,”
The Book of Revelation is definitely a book that mainly focuses on the judgment of God during a seven year period of tribulation, as He pours out His wrath on mankind on the earth. But even in the midst of this terrible time of judgment, it is interesting to note that the Holy Spirit pronounces at least seven blessings on those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and are being faithful and obedient to the Lord’s commandments.
Blessings in the midst of tribulation! It is very clear here in verse four that John is specifically writing this letter to seven specific churches in Asia. Real local churches in seven different cities that existed in his day.
The number seven is important in this book because it signifies fullness and completeness. In Revelation, God tells us how He is going to complete His great work and usher in His eternal kingdom. In Revelation, you will find seven seals (Rev. 5:1), seven trumpets (Rev. 8:6), seven vials (Rev. 16:1), seven stars (Rev. 1:16), and seven lampstands (Rev. 1:12, 20). Other "sevens" in this book will be discussed as we study.
The special messages to each of the seven churches are given in Revelation 2-3. Some Bible students see in these seven churches a "panorama of church history," from apostolic times, starting with the church at Ephesus, and ending with the church of Laodicea, in the apostate days of the twentieth century. While these churches may illustrate various stages in the history of the church, which was probably not the main reason why these particular assemblies were selected. Instead, these letters remind us that the exalted Head of the church knows what is going on in each assembly, and that our relationship to Him and His Word determines the life and ministry of the local body.
We need to keep in mind that these seven churches in Asia Minor were facing persecution and it was important that they be rightly related to the Lord and to each other. They are pictured as seven separate lampstands, each giving light in a dark world (Phil. 2:15; Matt. 5:14-16). The darker the day, the greater the light must shine; unfortunately situations existed in at least five of these assemblies that required correction if their lights were to shine brightly. As we study Revelation 2-3, we will see how that the Lord always reminded them of who He is, and encouraged them to be "overcomers."
What's more, the promise of Jesus Christ's coming should be to all Christians, at all times, a motivation for obedience and consecration (Rev. 1:3, 7; 2:5, 25; 3:3, 11; 22:7, 12, 20; 1 John 3:1-3). No believer should study prophecy merely to satisfy his curiosity. When Daniel and John received God's revelations of the future, both fell down as dead men (Dan. 10:7-10; Rev. 1:17). They were overwhelmed!
I don’t want to appear to be critical, but I’m afraid that much of what we call worship today is no more than human emotions stirred up by loud music and musicians that causes us to jump up and down and around in a state of ecstasy. In the Bible whenever God manifest His presence, people fell down on their faces in holy fear and worshipped. Remember Isaiah in Isaiah 6:1-8, and Peter in Luke 5:8, and John here in Revelation 1:17. For sure there is a place of joyful and emotional praise and worship as we see in the life of David and the Psalms. “Just saying.”
We need to be careful to approach this book as wonderers and worshipers, not as academic students simply curious about end-time events! We should come with repentant hearts confessing our sins!