#3 Keeping the Word

Revelation One – Verse by Verse
#3 Keeping the Word
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References: Revelation 1:3

Well, thank you for that beautiful singing both up here and all over this room. Revelation chapter 1, if you’ll turn there please, David read to you not only that verse, but all of the beatitudes of the book of Revelation. There are seven of these verses. We’re only going to look at the first one and that is in verse 3 where we are given a blessing for reading God’s word. We come to the end of three verses or the epilogue of the book, if you will, as John’s kind of introduced himself and the way he’s received this revelation. There’s also an epilogue at the end after this prologue where he says in chapter 22, God said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true. And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. Then John said this, I saw these sayings and heard them. And when I had heard them and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. But he said unto me, See thou do it not, for I am thy fellow servant and of thy brethren the prophets and of them which keep the sayings of this book worship God. And so that is the directive of these seven Beatitudes. You know there are also seven sayings of the coming of Jesus in this book. We have the first one in verse 7 of this first chapter where he says, Behold, he cometh with clouds and every eye shall see him and they also which pierced him and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him, even so, amen. And then in chapter 22 verse 20 you have the last of these sayings. You remember this, he which testifyeth these things say, Surely I come quickly.
And John answers even so, come Lord Jesus. Seven times we’re told that the Lord will return also. But most unique in the verse that we’re looking at, verse 3 of chapter 1, is that there is a blessing pronounced on one reading and one understanding and one keeping the book of Revelation. This book that we are reading and have in our hands, as a matter of fact, it is the only place in the Bible where such a blessing is pronounced on one that reads the Scripture.
Isn’t that unique? And here we are at this last book and we have that blessing. Now Jesus said, Ye rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it. But here John says those two things plus blessed is he that readeth.
And you know, reading God’s word is always a blessing, is it not? We have it in our hands, we carry it, God has given it to us. This book keeps us from sin or sin keeps us from this book as we often say, that’s a blessing in our life. It directs our paths. You’re here today because God has directed your path. Your life has been changed throughout your life because God has directed your path.
That’s a result of reading this book. You are here because God has comforted you and he comforts you in trial, does he not? Whether in the valley of the shadow of death where we fear no evil for his rod and his staff, they comfort us. This book empowers us for witnessing. You have the ability to give it to your friends and to preach it to your neighbors and to witness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And why can you do that? Because it’s in this book you receive such power and you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, largely because of reading this book. It is through the reading of these pages that the Holy Spirit inspired and wrote that he fills you and empowers you for service. So there’s always a blessing for reading this book. But why this book of Revelation? And why do we receive a blessing if you’re reading this book and the prophecies of this book?
And maybe there’s a number of reasons for that. First of all, it’s the last book. And you know, since it’s the last book of the Bible, it has to be the most complete book in that there’s nothing more to be said, is there?
We have nothing else to ask God for. No other book of the Bible to be written. No final paragraph to be put on the story. This is it.
This is the last one. And so when you have read God’s Word and you read this book, it is a blessing to you because you have it in its entirety. You have all things that pertain to life and godliness from the Lord Himself. Also I think it’s a blessing because in this book of Revelation, you have the believer’s hope. We are saved by hope. This is a divine and holy calling that we have. And what are we called to? We’re called to heaven. The calling that we have from God and that we follow doesn’t just end in this life.
It begins in the next life. And so our hope and our calling is in heaven. So when you read the book of Revelation, you are reading about your calling. You are reading about your hope.
You’re reading about where you’re going for eternity. What a blessing that is. And not only that, but when you read the book of Revelation, it describes Jesus in glory. As a matter of fact, we only have glimpses of it, maybe on the Mount of Transfiguration. But here in chapter one, and we’ll get to it as we step through this chapter in the weeks ahead, you have a description of Jesus in glory, what he will look like when you get to heaven and you see him. We sing that song face to face, I shall behold him far beyond the starry sky, face to face in all his glory. I shall see him by and by. This is how you will see him.
And you get that glimpse of him in the book of Revelation. I think it’s a blessing when we read this book because it reveals the near future. You know what is ahead for this life. You know what is ahead for this planet. You know where this world is going. You know how it’s going to end. And that is a blessing.
It’s a comfort to you. Someone says, well, maybe someone will, you know, shoot off all the the bombs in this world and everyone will be gone and destroy all the life on the planet. And you say, no, that can’t happen. And why can’t it happen?
Because this book describes other things that have yet to happen on this planet. So that’s a comfort. It’s a blessing that you have this book. And I like it because it tells us who wins in the end.
I don’t know if you were one of those kind when you used to read children’s novels, you know, and you’d sneak ahead and read the last chapter first and then go back and start reading the book. I know some of you record ball games, you know, and you’ve got it recording at home and you walk out of the church on Sunday morning with your hands over your ears because you don’t want anyone to tell you, you know, who’s going to win. So you can go home and sit on your couch and be nervous and get upset and be disappointed and cry and go through all the emotions about who’s going to win because you don’t know. But if you were walking out the church and someone said, I just want you to know this team’s going to win. I already know. And you go, oh, somebody told me, but you know what? You go home, you sit there, your emotions don’t go up, they don’t go down, you don’t get worried, you know how it’s going to come out. You know, that’s how the believer ought to be in this life because we have read the end.
We know who’s going to win. And the ups and downs in this life and the ins and outs and those things that bother others don’t bother us because we know where we’re going and we know where this world is going. Now notice a few other things about this verse, verse three.
First of all, all of these statements are in the present tense. We ought to notice that. Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear, they that keep. In other words, blessed is the one who is reading and keeps on reading, not just someone who says, oh, I read that book once or, you know, I read the Bible in Sunday school when I was a child. No, blessed is he that is reading the one that keeps on doing it. And blessed is the one that keeps on hearing the words of the prophecy of this book keeps on working at it, keeps on studying and blessed is the one who keeps on hearing the and keeping these things that are written in this book. And so the present tense is important.
It’s kind of unique that you have a singular and then two plurals, if you will. Blessed is he the one who is reading and then secondly, blessed are they who hear and they who keep. And I think one of the reasons for John putting it that way is that for the next two chapters, chapter two and chapter three, that’s exactly what we’re going to see happening in the churches in Asia. This letter is handed to the pastor of the church, the angel of the church, if you will. I always wonder why you don’t call the pastor angel, but that’s for another message. But the angel of the church, the messenger of the church then has this letter that Jesus has given to that church.
He reads it. And then at the end of each letter, he that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches. And so all of us are to hear, all of us are to heed these things. And so we have a natural order in the local church.
And throughout the history for 2000 years of our churches, we have had someone stand up here and read whether it’s the pastor or whether it’s someone else as we do in our service. This is a blessed time from God. This is a time that God has pronounced his blessing on us.
If we will read this book and to the whole congregation, And then we can sit and we can hear and once we hear we can do these things. What a blessing it is to come to church for that reason. One of the reasons we should come to church.
But let me say I don’t think these things are limited to Sunday morning. I don’t think this is the only time you should be reading the Scripture or hearing it, of course. Blessed is he that readeth, and then in these letters he that hath ears to hear, let him hear. You have ears, you have a way of understanding, he that overcometh will I give blessings to. And so you are directed to read, you are directed to hear and understand, and you are directed to overcome, that is to keep these things.
Now I want to dwell on these few things a minute. First of all, a blessing is pronounced on those reading the book of Revelation. And I think we can apply that to the whole Scripture, but a special blessing. There’s something unique about this book, something different about it. Do you know that the word read means to know again, Anna Genosco, to know it again. That’s where we get our word read. So when you look at a page, you are knowing something for a second time, and then when you read it again, you are knowing it for the third time, and you are knowing it again and again as often as you look at these words.
It means to gather exact knowledge. There’s a verse in 2 Corinthians where Paul says, their minds were blinded, for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament, which veil is done away in Christ. And so we are to read this book so that the veil of our understanding is removed, and then we know God’s word. Listen to the psalmist say, princes also did sit and speak against me, but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. God’s word is your delight, and it is your counselor.
And as you read it, that blessing comes to you. You know it again. Those things are told to you one more time. Now, first of all, thinking of this, it can’t be impossible, therefore, to understand God’s word. You know, some people say, especially of the book of Revelation, I just can’t understand it. I mean, there are too many things in there that are kind of different, and I don’t know how to apply those or how to interpret those, but keep this in mind. First of all, God says, blessed is he or she that reads, and that’s directed to you, and do you think God would say that to you if you couldn’t understand it? Someone described, remember the Bible, as baby talk to God.
I mean, you know, we think of these kinds of books, and we think, oh, this must be really difficult. No, not to God. Do you ever see a grown person talk to a baby? You know, those of us who have grandkids now, we are willing to be foolish in front of a lot of people in order to talk to our grandkids. Goo, goo, goo, goo, you know, and we say, and people are standing by, and whatever age, you know, we kind of adapt our language down to that age, whether it’s baby, infant, or whatever, on up through teenagers, we’re still going, goo, goo, goo, you know.
I mean, we’re trying to keep up. But you know, God, in the most complicated passage of Scripture, the most difficult one to understand, God is talking mere baby talk to us. There are deeper things and far richer things to know that God has not even told us that we will learn in eternity. And so keep in mind that whatever part of the Bible we’re reading, God has made it so that we can understand it, and he’s given it to us for that purpose. And God promises here a blessing.
Here’s a unique thing. In chapter 10 of this book, John receives instruction from an angel to take the small book that was in the angel’s hand and to eat it. Something like Ezekiel was commanded to do with the scroll in the Old Testament. I kind of like when they call the scroll the roll, you know, and then you’re commanded to eat the roll. So if you’re ever having coffee and rolls, you have a command in Scripture. But in Revelation 10, 9, I went under the angel and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it and eat it up. And it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. When you read the word of God, it is sweet as honey. When you’ve finally taken time to get away from it all and sit down with this book and clear your mind and clear your head and begin to read, then it is honey to you. It is what God has given you. So he ate it and it was in my mouth sweet as honey as soon as I had eaten it.
My belly was bitter. That’s true. I mean, to live this book is tough. To live this book sometimes brings bitterness in this world around us, but you can go back to these promises and they’re sweet as honey. honey.
Blessed to see that reads it because you’ll have this kind of honey coming to you. You remember Psalm 19, the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold, sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. And that is part of the blessing we have in this book. You know, there’s a great price paid for this book. It’s a blessing just to have it and read it.
It’s a blessing to have the word of God and to have it in your language and to have it in a book that is in your lap and to be able to read this book and to be able to understand what God is saying to you. I was reading again this week the life of William Tyndale, who largely is responsible for us having a Bible in English. And back in the 1500s in England, it was against the law for someone to have the scriptures in their own language.
It was against the law for them to have it in English, believe it or not. And Tyndale firmly believed he said this, It is impossible to establish the lay people in any truth except the scripture is plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue. You need this truth first.
You need these words from God first. And then talking to a cleric of the church who said, No, you should not do this as Tyndale was beginning to translate the scriptures. He said, If God spare my life, ere many years past, I will cause a boy that driveeth a plow to be more knowledgeable in the scriptures than thou. And so he gave his life to taking these scriptures and putting them into English in the early 1500s. He was driven out of England.
They would have killed him there. He went to the mainland. He was shipwrecked, lost much of his material, had to rewrite it again. People were stealing it, copying it. There were those trying to take his life.
And finally they did. They captured him in Brussels and they strangled him and burned his body because all he wanted to do is give people the word of God. And his last words were Lord, open the king of England’s eyes who happened to be Henry the Eighth.
And though his eyes didn’t get very far open, his daughter did. And that was Queen Elizabeth who made freedom in England for people to have the scriptures and to read it. And so there’s been a great price, I’m saying, paid for this book. And so blessed are we who have it and we read it every day and we carry it with us in freedom and joyfulness. We’re glad that we have it. Secondly, there is this blessing for hearing the word of God. Not only for reading it, but for hearing it. Now this word, a kuo, you hear the word acoustics in that?
A kuo, blessed when you hear this. But it means more than just to hear sound, doesn’t it? It can’t mean just you hear sound going on, but you have no idea. If you were hearing me talk in a language that you didn’t speak, what good would that do you?
But if you hear it in the sense of understanding it, then it profits you. Paul said this same thing in 1 Corinthians 14 and speaking of the gift of tongues, which by the way was passing away in the New Testament, coming to an end. And he was explaining this to the Corinthian church. He says in 1 Corinthians 14 too, for he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God. Then he says this, for no man understandeth him. And you have there that word understanding as our word, a kuo.
No man hears him in the sense that no one understands what in the world he’s saying. What does that profit the church? It doesn’t is his point. He just speaks in some kind of mystery. And so this idea of blessedness, he not only that reads, but the one that hears, means of course to understand. Now God said through the prophet Malachi, if you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, sayeth the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yea, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart. So what God has always meant by the reading of his word is lay it to heart.
Understand what is being said here. That’s where the blessing comes from. Again, Psalm 119, that in 176 verses, every verse says something about the word of God. Verse 18, open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Verse 80, let my heart be sound in thy statutes that I be not ashamed. And verse 130, the entrance of thy words giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple. So we need to understand it.
Now folks, let me put this footnote in here. You cannot understand the word of God without the whole word. Holy Spirit.
It’s one of those mysteries of life, isn’t it? It’s one of those things that before a person is converted, before a person is saved, they don’t understand what we mean by this. We can’t, they try to hear that, but they don’t understand when we say you’re just not going to understand it until you’re born again. The Holy Spirit wrote this book, and the lost person has placed the Holy Spirit outside of themselves saying, I don’t want you, I don’t want the Savior in my life. And yet when a person, when a heart turns to the Lord, the Lord comes in and the person of the Holy Spirit, he takes up resident inside that person, he becomes the resident teacher, if you will. The natural man didn’t receive the things of the Spirit of God, he thought they were foolishness, but they are spiritually discerned. And so the Holy Spirit all of a sudden allows you to begin understanding this book. I heard the testimony of someone this week who was, who was not saved and she didn’t have much interest in the Word of God and didn’t want to go to church and didn’t want to read it. And then someone told her about Christ and she accepted Christ to Savior and immediately her life changed.
Immediately she was hungry for the Word of God and looking for a church that preaches the Word of God and looking to read it and be in Bible study and all that. What is that change that takes place? It’s when that Holy Spirit comes inside you. And so we understand that a person who reads the book of Revelation, who doesn’t know Christ as Savior, is going to have a tough time with it until they know Christ, until they have the Spirit of God.
Now Paul instructed many of his churches to read this book, Colossians 416, when he was writing this book and sending it to Colossae, he said, when this epistle is read among you, cause it to be read also in the church of the Laodiceans and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. I mean I’m writing these letters, pass them around the churches, read them and read them in the church. Blessed is the one that’s going to be reading and blessed are all those that are going to be hearing and those things and those that will do them.
I like 1 Thessalonians 527 when he says, I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. I thought when I read that, well what about the rest of them? You know, if it’s going to be read to all the holy brethren, what about the rest? And I thought, well two things, number one, the rest probably aren’t there, that’s why he can say, cause it to be heard among the holy brethren. But the other thing is, if you are a brethren, you are a holy brethren. Because the word saint means what? Holy one. The saint which you are if you know the Lord Jesus Christ is a holy one. And Paul can say, cause us to be heard among all the holy brethren.
And you know why? Because the holy spirit which wrote this book dwells in you and gives you that holy understanding of what is being said and what is being written in this book. There’s a great passage in Ezra 8. You can turn there, I’ll read a few verses to you. In that Old Testament book of Ezra, you remember that, excuse me, in Nehemiah 8, but it’s about Ezra. In Nehemiah chapter 8, the people had come back to the land and they had for 70 years been in captivity, but their temple had been gone, their synagogues had been destroyed, the scriptures had largely been taken away from them. And so a whole generation had grown up and they had not known the scriptures and they had not heard them read. And so Ezra and Nehemiah both get together and they construct a pulpit and Ezra stands on that pulpit and begins to read. And the passage goes like this in Nehemiah 8. So they read in the book, in the law of God distinctly and gave the sense and cause them to understand the reading. Now it’s not enough just for us to make sound folks. It we must read it distinctly and gain the sense of it and cause ourselves to understand it.
That’s why we’re here. Nehemiah and Ezra the priest and the scribe and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, this day is holy unto the Lord your God, more not nor weep. For all people wept when they heard the words of the law. And then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared. For this day is holy unto our Lord.
Neither be ye sorry. Do you see this picture? People come in with sorrow in their heart and they’re sorry that they haven’t heard the word of the Lord. But Nehemiah and Ezra say, now don’t cry about this, rejoice that you’re hearing the word of the Lord for the joy of the Lord is your strength. I know that you know that verse. So the Levites still all the people saying, hold your peace for the day is holy. Neither be ye grieved. And all the people went their way to eat to drink to send portions to make great myrrh because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.
them. So no doubt part of the blessing of the word of God folks is when we read it and when we understand it and we go away rejoicing and say thank God for what he has said in this book and what we have to understand. Let me ask you this about this book of the Revelation. Do you believe these things are going to happen?
I mean as God’s people if the Holy Spirit dwells in your heart and you are reading this last book of the Bible inspired by this Holy Spirit this is God’s word. You ever ask yourself are these things really going to happen? All of these fantastic things in the book of Revelation are they going to happen? And I say yes and they will happen just as John wrote them. We’re to take it as it’s written and this will happen this way. If the first coming of the Lord happened literally in every detail I believe the second coming of the Lord will also.
And so we’re to read it and understand that these things will happen. So what happens when you think like that? You go away sad? You cry? No you say oh thank God that he will be in control and when man has brought this world to the lowest ebbit has ever been in God will still have his way in this world. Thank God. Let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Give him your ear. You know my wife’s family were Russian and Ukrainian and her father was born before World War II in Ukraine when people were starving to death and Stalin starved 8 million Ukrainians to death and he grew up in a very poor situation in that country at that time. But I used to hear them tell the story that Ann’s dad Peter whom you’ve not met you know Mary but he hated to go to school. So as a little boy you know mom would send him off to school and there was a one school house down at the end of the road and they were all supposed to go there. He would leave the house he would walk down the street go right past the school out into the woods and fish all day long and because he just wanted to spend time in the woods fishing and he did that day after day until one time his mother realized what was happening. Now his mother I met her before she died. She never spoke English. She was four foot 10 probably on her tiptoes this little bitty lady and she went down the woods and she found Peter Ann’s dad and grabbed him by the ear. Imagine reaching up there and grabbing him by the ear and marched him through the middle of town right down through Main Street with everybody laughing and everybody watching marched him into the school house sat him down and said you will be here and you will learn and he did and he learned.
By the way when he immigrated to this country received two doctors degrees before he died after all that. You know what we need to do we need to say Holy Spirit take me by the ear and march me back to your word and sit me down and teach me to hear this book. He that hath an ear to hear let him hear the spirit says to the churches. Now one more thing in this progression is the keeping of the book of Revelation to keep it means to observe to keep strictly to guard it if you will. Revelation 16 15 behold I come as a thief blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments lest he walk naked and they see his shame. We want to be found with shame before the coming of the Lord. We want to be found undone spiritually before the coming of the Lord.
I don’t think so. 227 behold I come quickly blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. Or Revelation 19 excuse me Psalm 119 again before I was afflicted I went astray but now have I kept thy word give me understanding I shall keep thy law yea I shall observe it with my whole heart. And so it’s not enough just reading it’s not enough to understand the sense of it you have to do these things else what are we we’re a hearer of the word and not a doer as James said aren’t we we must be a doer of these things someone said to hear it is a blessing but to keep it is a duty or this book will not change therefore we must if you’re waiting around for this book to change to your lifestyle this book to change to your wants and desires you’re going to wait for eternity because forever oh Lord thy word is settled in heaven and since it’s not going to change you’re going to have to change and you’re going to have to conform yourself to this book let me ask you this how do we keep future truths I mean we’re reading the book of Revelation the blessing is for those who who keep the words of this book and they haven’t happened yet How does that work?
Well, let me remind you of this. Do you remember the Beatitudes of Matthew chapter 5, as Jesus gave them on the Sermon on the Mount? Do you ever think that in these Beatitudes of Matthew 5 that they all really don’t apply to us in this life directly? Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, but you’re not there yet. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth, but the last time I saw someone being meek he got trampled on in this life, right? Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, but the Bible declares no one has seen God yet.
So how is it that these kinds of things can be true? Well, in Psalm 37 we have the root for verse 5 which says, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. And so Psalm 37, let me read a few verses.
Think about these things now. Psalm 37 verse 8, Cease from anger, for sake wrath, fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For, that is, for this reason, evil doers shall be cut off. You say, well, yeah, but Lord, but they aren’t cut off yet.
And God says, but evil doers shall be cut off, therefore don’t fret thyself. But those that wait upon the Lord shall inherit the earth. Well, Lord, I like to inherit the earth, but I don’t have much of it yet. You wait upon the Lord and he’ll renew your strength, and you will mount up with wings as eagle. You will inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be.
Do you understand that? The world’s full of wickedness. People today say, well, if there’s a God, why all this wickedness? If a God loves us and if a God is powerful enough to do something about it, why do we have all this wickedness in the world? And God says, yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be.
But, very next sentence, the meek shall inherit the earth. It will be ours, folks. It will be the earth where we dwell, and they shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. May not be peace now.
There may be wars and rumors of wars now, but one day we will inherit this earth, and we will delight in the abundance of peace that is going to come to this earth. The wicked ploddeth against the just, gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him for, because for this reason, he seeth that his day is coming. Even the Lord sits in heaven and laughs at the wicked because he knows the day of their judgment is coming and the day of his victory is coming too.
So the meek shall inherit the earth. We can read the book of Revelation and read these judgments that are coming. We can understand that we’re not in heaven yet. We can understand that Jesus Christ is not reigning on David’s throne yet. That the world is still a pretty evil place and a wicked place, and yet we can sit here and rejoice and be glad because when we read this book, we know who’s going to win in the end.
And we know what’s going to happen. That is a great thing. So, blessed is he that overcomes. Each letter that we read to these seven churches ends with, to him that over cometh, I will give this. Notice, if you will, you just glance across the page to your right and you will see at the end of the first letter to Ephesus in verse 7, right in the middle of that verse, to him that over cometh, you who read it and understand it and keep these things. To him that over cometh, I will give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Are you there yet? Have you eaten of the tree of life yet?
No. But if you keep the sayings of this book, if you overcome, you’re one that will be there. Or you can read it again in verse 11, he that hatheneer, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches, he that over cometh shall not be hurt of the second death. And on and on it goes, middle of verse 17, to him that over cometh, well, I give to eat of the hidden manna and he, and will give him a white stone and in the stone a new name written.
There’s a new name written down in glory, right? Which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. And to every reading of these letters, there is a blessing pronounced for those who are keeping it. Those who overcome will receive these wonderful blessings.
What a great thing that is. Now, back in our text at the end of verse 3, for the time is at hand. For this reason, folks, It’s about to start for this reason. This time is at hand.
The word time means a particular season. This time that I’m describing in this book is about to happen. Romans 13, 11 through 14. If you don’t have that cross reference in your Bible, put it in there at this verse. Knowing that the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
The night is far spent. The day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness. Let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness and in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying, but put you on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof. The time is coming and it is closer now than it’s ever been. It is high time to do these things, folks. You say, well, the Lord hasn’t come for 2000 years.
Well, then you better be even more ready. You know that we’ve been in the last time, the last days for 2000 years. The New Testament makes it clear that the age of grace and this last dispensation truly is the last time. Hebrews 1, 1, God who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past them, the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his son. And in Hebrews 9, Christ is entered into the holy place. But now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 1 Corinthians 10, 11, all these things happen under them for examples and they are written for our admonition, listen, upon whom the ends of the world are come. The ends of the world are come. Behold, the time is at hand, he says.
Understand that the time is hand. And you know what John did when he saw these things? And he saw the literalness of him. He was taken up to heaven and God says, look around you, John. He could probably look over here and feel the flames of hell and realize that there are people that are going to be in the lake of fire for eternity. He could look over here and he could see the white throne judgment where God will say to lost people, depart from me, ye that work iniquity, I never knew you. He could though look at the crystal river and the streets of gold and the tree of life and he could rejoice for what was ahead for him.
But when he saw it all, he fell down flat on his face to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And that’s what we do folks when we come together. That’s what we do in our heart and our spirit.
And in our mind, we fall before him and say thou art worthy to receive glory and honor and power because you’ve done all these things. So let me ask you this. Where are you this morning? The first question always to ask when you hear the word of God is, are you a born again believer? Have you invited Jesus Christ to come into your heart to save you from your sin and to become your savior? And when you do that, the Holy Spirit will regenerate you at that moment and will make you a child of God. And that invitation is open to you anytime you feel that Holy Spirit speaking to your heart saying you know you ought to do this. So our first invitation for you this morning is to receive Christ as savior if you don’t know Him.
And secondly, there are things that we ought to be doing to keep the words of this book. If you’re a believer in Christ, have you been baptized? Have you followed the Lord in scriptural baptism?
How can we walk and do other things if we haven’t taken the first step? And being united with the church and walking in pureness and holiness and having fellowship with the brethren and all of these things, God wants us to do. You search your heart and say Lord, what is it you want me to do? As we sing, we have an invitation and I invite you to come forward. If you don’t know Christ as savior, I meet you here at the front and someone will take the word of God and sit with you in a private way and show you simply how to receive Christ as savior. We have places on the side here where if you would like you can come as we sing and kneel there and pour out your heart to the Lord and get up and go back to your seat if you would like. Whatever it is that the Lord is leading you to do and I know sometimes we just have to get things right with God before we sing the words of a song and say Lord, you’ve laid this on my heart and I need to make it right with you. So whatever it is God is leading you to do today, you do it as we have this invitation.
Stand if you will before you open your book. Let’s go to the Lord in prayer. Let’s ask His help in this time. Now Father, we have read your word and Father, we have sought to understand the sense of it and we have tried honestly to apply it in a proper way to our lives. So Father, now your Holy Spirit will take this word and do with it as He will.
It’s sharper than a two-edged sword. We know it pierces between our soul and spirit so do that this morning. And Father, I pray that if there’s one here that doesn’t know Christ as savior that that person would come and receive Him today. I pray Father that you would speak to your children, your people, cause them to respond to your word in the way that you desire. And we ask all of these things in Jesus’ name. Amen. We’re going to sing page 344.
Jesus I come. There are three verses to this song. Let’s sing them together. If you have a need to come, you come as we’re singing. You let God deal with your heart the way He needs to. 344. Let’s sing this together.

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