September 05 2022
Today, Monday September 05
The Faithful and True Words
“Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book." Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God." And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still."
Heaven is more than a destination; it is a motivation. Knowing that we shall dwell in the heavenly city ought to make a difference in our lives here and now. The vision of the heavenly city motivated the patriarchs as they walked with God and served Him (Heb. 11:10, 13-16). Knowing that He was returning to the Father in heaven also encouraged Jesus Christ as He faced the cross - Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The assurance of heaven must not lull us into complacency or carelessness but spur us to fulfill our spiritual duties.
One of our main responsibilities as a believer is that we must keep God's Word (vv. 6-11, 18-19). Because what John wrote is the Word of God, his words are faithful and true. When John saw Jesus coming back to earth on the white horse he said, “He is called faithful and true…” (Rev. 19:11). The same God who spoke through the prophets also spoke through the Apostle John. As the "capstone" of God's revelation, John's book cannot be divorced from the rest of the Bible. If we deny that John wrote the truth, then we must also deny the prophets.
I’ve often reminded people that all the Bible was not written specifically to me, but all the Bible was written for me. For instance, some of the Old Testament books were written by the prophets specifically to the nation Israel warning them to repent or they would be taken into captivity. But those books were still written for me to make application and to learn from. Paul put it this way in Romans 15:4, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
What does it mean to "keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book"? (Rev. 22:7) Basically, it means to guard, to watch over, to preserve intact. We must not add to the Word of God or take anything from it (Deut 4:2; Prov. 30:5-6). And this responsibility is especially great in light of Christ's return. The word shortly in Revelation 22:6 means "quickly come to pass." The church has expected Christ to return since the days of the Apostles, and He has not yet come; but when John's prophecies begin to be fulfilled, they will happen very quickly. There will be no delay.
The warnings in Revelation 22:18-19 do not suggest that people who tamper with the Bible will be brought back to earth to suffer the Tribulation's plagues, or that they will lose their salvation. Nobody fully understands the Bible or can explain everything in it; and those of us who teach the Word sometimes have to change our interpretations as we grow in knowledge. But we must never treat the Word of God lightly.
To keep God’s Word also means that we read it diligently, regularly, systematically and reverently! To keep God’s Word means that we memorize and meditate on it. To keep God’s Word means that we believe it and obey it!
Today is Labor Day and for some reason on this day I always think of the words of Jesus in John 6:27-29 where He said: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
God’s Word is the food that endures to everlasting life because it always leads us to believe in Jesus Christ!