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Posts Tagged ‘Revelation’

“And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me; and when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment reaching to the feet, and girded about at the breasts with a golden girdle.” – Revelation 1:13-14

In the very first chapter of Revelation, which was written by the aged apostle while in exile, John describes the vision of the Christ he saw. He saw the Son of Man walking in the midst of the seven lampstands and He was clothed with priestly garments. In the Old Testament it was the job of the high priest to keep the fire of the lampstand burning all the time since it was the only source of light in the tabernacle. This job involved mainly two things – trimming the charred wicks to reduce the smoking and adding fresh oil to keep the fire burning. This is what it meant to dress the lamps.

I’ve been enjoying lately that this is exactly what the Lord is doing today in the church. In Revelation 1 the seven lampstands are symbols of the seven churches that eventually were the recipients for this epistle. As lampstands, their function was to shine in the dark age they were in. What an encouragement it must have been to them that Christ was the one walking in their midst, caring for their condition, and fulfilling His priestly duty of keeping the fire burning. What an encouragement that He does the same for us in the churches today, especially considering that the age today is surely much darker than that of apostle John’s time and the need for us to shine is so much more intensified.

It might be a strange prayer, but for the past few mornings I’ve been asking the Lord to trim my wick and add more oil. If a candle or lantern has any charred parts, though it might be burning, what it gives off is more smoke than light. If we’re honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that there are many charred parts in us – all our opinions, concepts, natural preferences, basically anything in us that is not Christ. So even though we may be very active in pursuing the Lord and serving in the church, because those things have not been “trimmed,” we can give off unpleasant smoke which makes us and everyone around us uncomfortable. If we are open to Him and allow Him, the Lord as the real High Priest has the way to deal with those things in us by applying the cross to our being. He doesn’t quench a smoking flax, but He does care for it so that it shines again. Then when the negative things are dealt with, He comes in and adds the fresh oil which is simply a fresh supply of the Spirit. The Spirit is our fuel and supply for living the Christian life and the church life and is what sustains us to keep burning and shining.

If we would allow the Lord to “dress our lamps” in this way everyday, how pleasant the church life would be and what a bright testimony we would give to those in the world! I’d like people to sense light when they’re around me and not be made uncomfortable by my “smoke.” Which would you rather be, someone who’s “smoking” or someone who’s shining?

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Last night a friend came over and we resumed our study of the book of Revelation which we had started a while ago. I know what you’re thinking – Revelation? Isn’t that the book about the end times and Armageddon and stuff? Some people think it reads more like a science fiction novel than a book in the Bible. While this book does describe many of the things that will happen, I was reminded that in the very first verse John says that it is “the revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to Him to show to His slaves…” So even though it reveals many things, the primary focus of the book of Revelation is Jesus Christ. If we come to this book with our human curiosity with the goal of finding out what all the prophecies mean, we will not get much, except maybe a good script for a sci-fi movie. But if we approach this book focused on Christ, then in every chapter we will receive more appreciation and revelation concerning who He is.

So last night, after reading chapter 5, I really enjoyed that our Christ is the Lion-Lamb. This whole chapter is a description of Christ as the One before God’s throne, the only one worthy to open the scroll in God’s right hand. In verse 5, one of His titles is the “Lion of the tribe of Judah.” This title points, of course, to His kingly status and portrays Him as the One who has fought and overcome. To the enemy, our Lord is a lion – He’s fierce, He’s strong, and He’s the King. But after verse 5, Christ is referred to as the Lamb. He’s the Lamb “having just been slain” (v.6) and to Him has been given “the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing” (v.12). What John saw was not a scary lion, but a gentle lamb. We might be afraid to approach a fierce lion, but not even a child would be scared to pet a little lamb. Hallelujah, our Lord is so approachable!

He is not just a lamb, but a slain lamb, which shows us that He’s the redeeming Lamb of God. Even in that day, before the throne, we will be reminded that He’s the One who was slain for us. Satan has every reason to fear this overcoming Lion, but we have no cause to worry, doubt or fear because the One before us is a redeeming Lamb.¬†For eternity the Lamb will be on the throne, meaning that we will never have to worry or be fearful for our sins because He took them away and purchased us to be a kingdom and priests to God. As we enjoy Him as the Lamb, we actually become one with Him to reign on the earth (v.10). Worthy is the Lamb! To Him be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever, Amen!

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