Revelation 1:9-16 – 2024 Feb 01

I find it necessary to remind everyone of the kind of thing that John was going through because there is something very comforting in the terrible situation John found himself in.  John had been ordered by the decree of Domitian onto the Isle of Patmos.  There is evidence that Patmos was NOT one of the main prisons that were used to kill those who had fallen into disfavour with hard labour, though it would have been a part of the tour package, so to speak.  The reason we know this is because there were other islands that WERE used as this kind of prison, and they were all named in the literature of the day.  Try as I might, I found them on my laptop when I was at the carpet store, and then couldn’t find them when it came time to type up my notes, so I’m sorry about the lack of names here.

Regardless of this not being an island where people were sent to be worked to death, people who ended up on it were on their own for food and other survival staples.  Tradition has it that John’s friends on the mainland in Asia Minor and other places sent food and other requirements to Him there.  John lived there in a cave near the beach, and it is still there and can be visited today by tourists wanting to see it (The Cave of the Apocalypse).  There is also a theological school on the island that bears his name, the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian.  It’s a Greek Orthodox monastery, so it isn’t something I would necessarily track out of interest, being a Particular Baptist.

Let’s let that set the historical context for the moment and move into the text.  I broke the text up into the following:

KV13:  Christ calls His servant to the work

13:  and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.

9-10:  John, the faithful witness to Christ

11:  The command from heaven to serve Christ

12-16:  The vision of the Risen King Christ

Please, let us resist the temptation to read ourselves into the text here.  That’s something called “narcigesis,” and we are NOT in the text as a participant, though there are principles that we can learn from John and his situation, which I will mention briefly in a moment.

KV13:  Christ calls His servant to the work

13:  and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.

The most noteworthy thing I can think of here is that John was in exile on the island of Patmos, a Roman prison colony that was used to house criminals.  John would have been considered a criminal at that time because He was a Christian, an illegal religion since the time of Nero.  John was the beloved disciple and we most definitely are NOT John.  Think about this:  John had to undergo persecution, trials, and imprisonment on bogus charges before Christ called Him to write this letter.

You have to remember that we were the ENEMIES of Christ when He regenerated us.  He did this because He chose us, not because we chose Him.  I know, I know, we had to say yes, but we did, and here we are.  There is something to think about as we go through these verses in this study.  In comparison to John, are we considered criminals?  Not yet at any rate, no.  Are you living in a cave on a remote island?  Again, no not really.  Have we been through some really nasty things?  Some of us have been, some of us haven’t, and both of those things are okay.  I hope you never have to, but if you do, just know that God is getting you ready for something great.  Suffer through it, as Paul told Timothy (2 Tim. 2:3), as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  It never fails.  After you have been sufficiently trained, God will call you to what service He wants you to perform like He did here with John.  Personally, I’ve been through a great deal, and so have some of you.  God knows all of that, and further, He allowed it in your life for your training and maturing in Christ.  When, and ONLY when HE wants to do so, He calls you to His service and in the form He chooses.  I know that’s hard to take, especially in our society, but that is the truth.  Whatever happens to you, it was God’s will for you.  We know, because it is what happened—enough said.  Let’s look at the text.

9-10:  John, the faithful witness to Christ

Again, I will remind everyone that John is the person to whom all this was happening.  I do this because some of the (false) teachers of the greater Evangellyfish instruct people to read themselves into the text and make it all about them.  This is NEVER the point of Scripture, by the way, and those who make it so are trying to gain followers to steal money from, and that’s a fact.  We could name names, but it would be counterproductive and a waste of time to repeat those names to the crowd that already knows either who they are or what to look for.  Let’s see what John is saying.

9:  I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

  • MacArthur’s Commentary points out that this is the third time in nine verses that John identifies himself.  At this point, John is incredibly humbled at receiving this “vision” to reveal to all of his brothers and sisters in Christ.  You can see it in the language He uses.  “I, John, your brother…”  As we have supposed, this is none other than John the Apostle of Christ, the last living apostle, who is charged with the care of all of the churches in Asia Minor, and probably a bigger area than that as an overseer of the overseers, and HE calls himself a mere brother in Christ.  He is right to do so, because we are all but men, and only our King can bestow the honours like this on those whom He chooses.  No one can claim them for him- (or her-) self.  Here’s a handful on purpose on that subject:  Anyone who DOES claim those gifts for themselves really doesn’t have them.  Same with so-called apostles and prophets today.  Even “evangelist” is better seen than claimed.  “Pastor” is one of those too.  Don’t claim it if you are not qualified to do the job, and in some measure actually doing the job!  But who is John in his own mind?  He’s simply brother John. 
  • He also claims affiliation with his audience.  He calls himself a “fellow partaker” in three specific areas.  The first of those is “tribulation,” a form of the Greek word thlipsis, the word for ANGUISH.  John knows sorrow and grief like the Lord did, though not to the extent of our Lord’s sufferings.  I liken this to 2 Pet. 2:7, where Peter talked about how righteous Lot was “oppressed” by the “sensual conduct” of lawless men.  We look around our world today, and we are challenged by the outright flagrant sin we see all around us.  It is so bad, that I self-censor on the topics mentioned from the pulpit and used proverbs.  Our chosen proverb here is the theoretical “car thief.”  Beloved, all I can say is that people are not only proudly displaying their “stolen cars,” but screaming in non-tolerant protest at you if you suggest that it is a sin for which one must be forgiven by a holy God!  Parenthetically but to the point, I was gifted a couple of years ago by one of the brothers in fellowship here the six-volume set of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.  The Roman Empire was in such a state that what is going on today in our society runs a very close parallel.  I read headlines every week that talk about the “fall of the West” in a similar manner.  That’s the kind of anguish John is talking about, because we meet people who are caught up in that, and we care about them and love them in Christ!  We MUST say something to them, and our government made that illegal some years ago with their “hate speech” laws.  I know I’m getting a bit ahead in Revelation, but here is the patience and faith of the saints.  If you know, you know, and that’s all I will say here.
  • The second specific area of partaking that John refers to is Christ’s kingdom!  Again, the word here is basileia and is an abstract idea denoting royal power and dominion, or sovereignty.  It does have a concrete usage as well, meaning that sovereignty or power and dominion over a people, held specifically by a king.  It is a reference to both the sphere of God’s rule and the sphere where His rule is acknowledged and holds sway.  If you are a real believer, you are a partaker in that kingdom, so by extension, this book is also for us. 
  • The third and final area where John claims to be a fellow partaker is in the patience of Christ.  The Greek word hupomonē or “a remaining under” (Vine) speaks of partaking or staying in that situation.  HERE is the patience and faith of the saints, as John says later on in the book.  We do not run away because it is hard, that should be the reason we stay and pray for Christ’s return and grace for ourselves to endure the suffering until that happens, either at our death or by harpazo, to cite the Greek.  John tells us that ALL of these things are found in Jesus, personalizing our saviour so that we know that He also is a partaker with us and John!  Christ is there to help, even when it vexes us and is painful.  As James said, “Let patience have her perfect work.” (Jas. 1:4)
  • It is here that John makes reference to Patmos where he has been exiled until death.  This happened, though it wasn’t John’s death, it was Domitian’s that ended it.  So much for his delusions of deity, but I digress.  John tells us the reason he is exiled to this small island (about 13 sq. mi.) in the Aegean near Asia Minor.  John would not disobey the word of his own king.  For John it wasn’t Kurios Caesar, it was Kurios Christos.  Caesar was not Lord, that was Christ.  He would not disobey the word of God, Jesus, our own Saviour and Lord, no matter the penalty.  All of the other Apostles had experienced that at this point.  John decided.  He would remain under the test and obey His King.  He would witness to that reality knowing it could cost Him everything.  We should view life the same way.
  • There is a kind of application there that I must state, but I like Martin Luther’s version better, so I will quote him.  “Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also, The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever!”  Those are the closing lines of the great reformation hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, penned by Martin Luther himself in 1529 and translated into English from German in 1852 by Frederick Hedge.  His point, and mine, is this:  It doesn’t matter what is happening to you or how it makes you feel.  I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt, I’m not saying that it’s good.  He and I are saying that whatever we lose here will be worth it!  Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, what God has prepared for us who love Him.  That’s all verse 9!

10:  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,

  • Allow me to paraphrase John here.  He is saying he was thinking about the Lord in worship because it was the first day of the week.  This is born out in the Greek construction of the sentence.  I have to say this because there is a different view.  Being “in the Spirit” is John telling us that he was in a state that transcended his physical reality.  He was in a place where God was revealing things to John that no human could normally see or hear or touch or smell or taste.  He was in the Spirit.  I’ve been to that space as a believer, and so have you been if you are His.  It doesn’t mean for most of us that we will see things like what John saw, but it does mean that we will know Christ in our hearts in a deep way.  I have been there while constructing what to say at these bible studies, preparing for a sermon, leading worship, or developing an order of service. 
  • It was the Lord’s day, not “the Day of the Lord.”  The Greek construction reflects the former, not the latter.  For the linguists among us, the Greek phrase here is tē kuriakē hēmera.  The Day of the Lord is a reference to judgment and not worship.  It has an entirely different Greek construction, tē hēmera tou kuriou.  This refers to the 70th week of Daniel, or the final seven-year period of history before the Millennial kingdom of Christ, and we will go over that when we get there.  It has an Old Testament equivalent that the translators of the Septuagint translate with the same appropriate Greek phrase.  I think it means that John was worshipping Christ on the first day of the week, which the church had done since its inception on the day of Pentecost all those years ago. 
  • While John was in that state, he heard a voice behind him.  I pause here to explain that John had to turn around.  Even the Apostle of Christ was facing the wrong way to truly serve the Lord because he had to turn from his own direction and face the Lord.  This is not a surprise to us, because we all know what it means to live in these rotting bags of dead flesh.  See Romans 7.
  • That voice was like the clarion call of a trumpet.  It got John’s attention, and it was clear as a trumpet!  It was loud!  And in the next verse, we will see that it was a CLEAR sound, and could not be mistaken for anything else.  This is so unlike today’s false prophets of the NAR or other Charismaniacs.  I thought I heard the Lord say that something was going to happen.  It strikes me as a very stark contrast that these guys, some of whom predicted things like the immediate end of COVID-19, or President Trump having 2 consecutive terms as US President, tell us they hear the voice of God.  No, they didn’t.  They’re making stuff up to take your money.  JOHN had no money or incentive to speak of other than HE had returned and arrested John’s attention.

There are two things I would apply from here for you, Beloved.  The first of these is that as we walk in the Spirit, we must be careful readers of Scripture, and take it right back to the original Greek if there are questions of meaning.  Words mean things.  We must know, as closely as possible, what the original said.  This is why I use the NASB and the LSB and why I preach from them, and it is why I am learning Koine Greek.  I want to be sure that I am accurately handling the word of truth for you.

The second thing is that we all need to learn to turn to Christ and follow Him.  He will not be unclear in His call to you, and when He does (finally) call you to His service, it will be when HE feels YOU are READY.  That brings me to my next paragraph.

11:  The command from heaven to serve Christ

Think about what the Lord is doing here with John.  He waits until John is ready to do what He is ready to be tasked with what Christ wants him to do.  At this specific time in history, at this specific location on the planet, our Lord calls out to His doulos John and tells him what He wants done.  He is specific, He is clear, and He is exact in His order.

11:  saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

  • He tells John to write it in a book.  He wants to communicate with His chosen Bride, the Church, and His chosen method is what now?  It is IN WRITING.  This is critically important.  It hasn’t happened outside of the brothers here like Alex comically coming to me and saying, Gerry, Gerry, I have a word from the Lord for you, and then reciting either some promise from the word, or more likely a comical litany of the false teachings of these morons in Charismania.  It’s a sort of private joke, and I find it funny.  The chosen method for the Lord to tell us what His will is and what is going to happen because of that is IN WRITING.  It is not some “activated gift” that God gives to all believers (which is also unbiblical because God doesn’t give everyone the same gifts).  It is what Jesus says here to John.  Write it down so that they can READ it.  The secondary motto of is “Read, hear, heed,” and it comes from verse 3 of this chapter!
  • What specifically is John to do?  Write down what he sees.  He is to accurately report on what his own eyes view.  That almost sounds like journalism, doesn’t it!  Later on, John is even told NOT to release some information he hears, but we’ll talk about that when we get there.  What else is John to do?  He is to write it all out, and then write 6 more copies of it and send them to the seven churches named here in Asia Minor.  In fact, there was a circular road that joined all these cities that started at Miletus and then went to them in the order that Christ spoke those churches’ locations here. 
  • There is something I find interesting here as well.  These were not the only churches in Asia Minor.  Colossae was near Laodicea, as was Hierapolis, and both of those cities had churches.  Colossae had a letter from Paul that appears as a text in the New Testament!  Philemon, the only letter in the New Testament that doesn’t have proper doctrine in it (though doctrine caused that letter), lived in Colossae!  The cities of Galatia were all in Asia Minor.  We know Antioch had a church, Paul was there for over a decade!  Iconium had a church, it was mentioned in Acts, as was Derbe and Lystra.  None of these churches got a letter from the Lord, did they?  Well, yes they did.  In fact, they got seven of them, just as we have now, and we will look at them all individually.  This is how we know the Lord wanted this communicated to every believer everywhere.  When Paul wrote a letter, he sent it to a church.  That letter got passed around from church to church and read aloud to the congregation.  Copies of it were even made by hand.  They were traded around as Brothers would travel to other places.  Paul even tells the believers at Colossae to trade letters with Laodicea!  Sadly, Paul’s epistle to the Laodiceans has been lost to time and there are no actual copies of it around anymore.  The ones that do exist are clumsy forgeries, according to Wikipedia.  What did the Lord do here?  He had John write out seven copies in total and distribute them along the circle road that was a vital part of the transportation network of the Roman  Empire so that it would spread even faster.  By the time the 4th century began, there were ample copies of every book that appeared in Scripture to finally unite all of them into what is now called the New Testament.  What happened after is irrelevant here, it hadn’t happened yet.

There are some things we can take away from this.  First, God works through His servants.  When they are ready, He WILL call them and commission them, and then nothing can STOP what they will do, provided they are faithful to the task.  Second, God works through means.  Could God have just compiled the Scriptures for us and written them down for us?  Yes, He could have, but He didn’t.  The genius of that should put you in awe.  God only wants to speak with those who are His and who are therefore willing to do what He says in His word, the Bible.  Let me put it this way.  For those who believe, no evidence is necessary.   For those who will not believe, no evidence will be enough.  There is a reason that we must struggle and uncover the things God hid from the world.  In fact, it is our job, ultimately our glory to do so.  God tells us so in Prov. 25:2–“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”  Scripture also tells us that we are a kingdom of kings and priests, so that’s us, Beloved, by simple extension.  Moving on.

12-16:  The vision of the Risen King Christ

So far in this study, we have talked about John and how the Lord called John to service, and extracted applications from the text and bits that are good to know about as principles.  Now we turn to what John saw as the vision of the Risen Christ.  Buckle up, it’s going to get fast and furious!

12:  Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;

  • I’m going to talk about this in the order it appears, because it is my opinion that the order in which John sees things is deliberate and important, even if John didn’t know that.  The first thing we see is that John turned!  I’ve talked about this already, but I’ll say it again.  We ALL need to turn.  In our turning, the details of what we need to see will resolve themselves.  You are never, this side of heaven, beyond repentance.  That’s what turning means to us.  It should be for us a lifestyle, not a single event, because we all sin every day.  John turned.
  • As John turned, he turned to “see the voice that was speaking.”  Do you think he didn’t know in the split-second he heard the voice who it was?  I think he did.  My guess is that his heart leapt for joy in that split-second before reality set in.  He was the disciple that Christ loved, and Christ was coming to His beloved disciple in the darkest, most forgotten place he had ever been. 
  • And having turned, John’s vision began to resolve.  What he saw was seven golden lampstands.  We will find out in a moment what that meant, but I find it important to see that it was after John turned that he began to see.  There is a lesson and a promise there for us.  Repent, and we will begin to see.  It will begin to make sense.  It will begin to resolve for us into a vision of the glory of the living Christ.  Let’s look further at what John saw.

13:  and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.

  • In the middle of the area surrounded by those lampstands, John saw someone.  Someone he knew.  Someone he loved.  Someone like the Son of Man, Jesus favorite title to use for Himself when He was on earth the first time.  He saw the Lord Jesus Christ, He whom his soul loved.  Then he saw the glory He was standing in.  Details of the current clothing of Christ began to resolve for John. 
  • John saw the robe.  It was full length, reaching to the floor.  He wore a gold-coloured sash across His chest.  Who wears the gold sash?  The King wears the gold sash.  It is the signal to everyone that He is the King!  Well, that and the crown, but they don’t always wear crowns I’m told.  The robe itself is a symbol of royalty, just for the information.  Even more common for the followers of Christ, that was the robe of the high priest.  It reached the feet.  The High Priest in the Old Testament ALSO wore a sash like Christ was wearing.  What is John actually seeing? 
  • John is seeing the Lord Jesus in His dual role of our great High Priest and of our King.  Hebrews tells us in a number of places that He Himself entered the holy place once for all to atone for our sins.  “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”  (Heb. 9:11-12)

14:  His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.

  • Now that John is done with the clothing, for the next two verses, he describes the person of Jesus.  I like this first part.  His hair is white like wool or like snow.  Not only is this reinforcing the idea of the holiness of God, it ties right into a description of the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:9.  That reads, “I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool.  His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire.”  A number of theologians reckon that to be God the Father on His throne, and I agree with them because I have no reason not to.  I think that this is a nod at the divinity of Christ found in agreement between the Old and New Testaments.  It’s also a nod at the Trinity, or at least two of the members.  I know.  The Three Who are One.  It’s a concept I cannot explain at a human level with human understanding and limits to intelligence at the moment.  At any rate, that’s just His hair and beard. 
  • Then His eyes.  His penetrating, burning eyes!  It is a hint of things to come here, but His burning eyes symbolize the judgment that He is bringing.  He judges it all according to His own holy standard, and nothing will escape His notice.  Think of who He is looking at now…His bride, the Church.  No flaw will be tolerated, He will perfect it.  No sin can be hidden away from Him.  He will reveal it.  For those people that are a part of the church that will not repent of that sin, He will judge it, because judgment begins with the house of God.  That is what those burning, piercing, all-seeing eyes represent.

15:  His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.

  • His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace.  Those feet represent the Lord Christ walking through His Church to exercise that judgement in the pursuit of His Bride’s holiness.  John MacArthur asserts, “It is the Lord’s love for His redeemed sinners that pursues their holiness.”  (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, MacArthur, J., Rev. 1-11, p. 46)The fact that His feet are described immediately after His eyes is no coincidence, at least in my opinion.  His all-seeing eyes search out all sin that stains His Bride, and He moves directly toward it for judgement.  Peter said, “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17). He sees it, and He deals with it, and that is an application for us as well.  We should seek this out!  King David himself said it best in Psalm 139:24-25:  “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”  We should daily ask God to search our hearts and get rid of all the sin and stain He finds in us!  Then we should ask Him to lead us as we walk daily with Him!  That is the broadest possible way of putting it that I know, and that is really all we can take the time to do for now.
  • His voice was like the sound of many waters.  Over time, this has come to symbolize the governmental authority that is vested in Christ.  I’m sure it was loud and conveyed great power, like the crashing waves on the shores and rocks of Patmos.  John would have the experience to make a valid comparison here.  This is like the description of the Eternal God, the God of Israel in Ezekiel 43:2.  “…and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.”  Same sound.  And a nod at the divinity of Christ and at least two members of the Trinity.  See the previous verse.  Moving on.

16:  In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

  • Here, John begins to describe some things that are defined in a few verses, and I’ll mention it here, because we will see it in more detail in our next study.  The seven stars that Christ was holding in His right hand symbolize the “seven angels of the seven churches” He has named (v.20).  We will consider them in more detail in the next study.  As the head of the Church, this shows that everything to do with the Church is “in His hand,” that is to say, within His governing control.  If we refuse His governing authority, we cannot legitimately claim to be His Church.  We will talk more about that when we consider the letters to each church in chapters 2 and 3.
  • Out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword.  First of all, we know from Heb. 4:12 that this is the Word of God, and we know that is Christ from John 1:1-3.  Hebrews 4:12 reads, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  John 1:1-3 reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”  He Himself bears that sword, and more importantly and comfortingly, DEFENDS His Church.
  • His Face is like the sun shining in its strength.  At the end of this description of the Christ, the Son of Man, God the Son is seen in all of His radiant glory.  Hebrews 1:3 says, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…”  That radiance of glory is to remind us that our Lord Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One of God, and is the exact representation of everything that is God the Father.  You know, there are many names for God throughout Scripture that each describe some attribute or characteristic of God, often with the name Jehovah or Yahweh as the first word of the descriptive term.  Jehovah Jireh, for example, means “The LORD will provide.”  Jehovah Tsidkenu means, “the LORD our Righteousness.”  These two verses are also describing Jehovah.  This is Jehovah Jesus, the LORD our Salvation.  Who can not love Him when this is realized?  Who can fail to see Him as He shines in the strength of the noonday sun?  I tell you, it is only those that deliberately look away that will not see His glory when it is revealed like this. 

Every eye WILL see Him, though.  Whether they want to or not.  At that time when the God-Man, our Lord Jesus returns to earth, every eye will behold it.  I don’t know if that will be through technology or through supernatural means, but when He returns to the planet, EVERYONE will be made to confess that He is Lord, again, whether they like it or not.  As for me, I would rather bend my knee here and now, willingly confessing to the world that He is My Saviour and my Lord, and give the Father all the glory for that.  Others, however, will sadly be forced to their knees and be made to spit out of their mouth through clenched and broken, bleeding teeth that He is Lord of all.  This will also give God glory, but in a different way that I confess I do not understand, but that is perhaps because it is not the reality I will know.  I pity those who will insist on this “hard way” of learning what we already know–that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

It is perhaps because of all of the trouble that we go through as those who have called upon Him for salvation and have found it through that faith and the turning away from our sins in humility and fear of God that we will be spared all of the trial that is coming upon the world.  We have been called to repent of our sins and follow Him by faith, and that is what we do as we also walk in the Spirit as John walked.  Is everything around us perfect?  No, but neither was it perfect for John, I’m sure you will agree.  And yet it was THERE, alone, exiled from the world but not yet in glory, without resources of his own, living in a cave, no warm house or roof over his head, that God called John to work for Him.  It is my hope that He calls me when He will find me of use to Him, and that is also my prayer for you.

That is what I saw in this evening’s text.

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