References: Revelation 1:9
The other one was One Day. You might know that song too. Great song. In Revelation chapter one again, if you’ll turn back there, where Ron read to us a minute ago, I really didn’t mind his snow blowing yesterday. It was a biblical thing, you know, though my Ford be a scarlet, it was white as snow.
So I, you know, that was fine. All right, Revelation chapter one, we are trying to work our way through this chapter, a verse at a time. It’s really a study of the Lord Jesus Christ, even as we’ll see here today. And of course, a testimony from his apostle, John the apostle. The introduction to the book is over. Pretty much through the first eight verses, he has described what God is doing in giving us the book of Revelation and the truths that are contained therein. And now John begins to give the context of what he saw and how that happened to him. Now we have it in past tense.
It’s kind of interesting. You can think of him on the Isle of Patmos when these visions came to him and Christ revealed himself when exactly he wrote these. We’re not sure whether he wrote it exactly as he was seeing it or if he had writing material there on that island, maybe shortly after it, or maybe even soon after he was released.
But of course, he looks back with the help of the inspiration of the spirit of God and writes these things down as God gave him that infallible instruction to do that. And so here is John. He says to us in verse nine, I, John, he’s the only living apostle, you know, the only one by this time by about 95 AD. If you think of Christ being crucified in 32 AD, the apostle Paul probably died in the late 60s AD.
Now it’s 95 AD. John evidently was a young man when he walked with Jesus. I think the reason we have always Peter, James and John is because his brother James was much older than John.
So his name is usually mentioned first and no doubt has passed away by now. This is probably why on the cross Jesus said to young John, I’m committing my mother to you for safekeeping. So you be the oldest son.
You take care of my mother. And really throughout the New Testament era, we don’t find much of John in those early years, not in the book of Acts very much. And his books were not written until the late 80s and then into the 90s AD, probably because John was taking care of Mary, doing exactly what the Lord had commissioned him to do until she passed away.
No doubt had passed away by this time. And so now John laid in the first century when the other apostles are mostly gone, if not all gone, he begins to write four books of the New Testament. He writes his gospel. There we have him as the beloved disciple, the one that Jesus loved, if you remember. And then he writes first, second and third John, three short letters, short epistles.
And there he uses the title. He is the elder. And no doubt because he was the elder. But here in this book, he simply uses the name John. I think by this time he didn’t need any other title, he didn’t need any other description.
Everyone knew John and knew who he was. Now halfway through this verse, we’re told then that he was in the isle that is called And we know that when we think of the book of Revelation, we think of that island, that little island about 10 miles long and 6 miles wide at the most, maybe as narrow as 1 mile in some places, just southwest of Ephesus, in the Aegean Sea, when you look at your Bible maps and you find Ephesus easily and just to the southwest, this island sits out in the sea there. Domition was the emperor at this time. Domition was a persecutor of Christians and no doubt did not want John preaching. We’re not sure exactly what he preached or what the sentence was. We just know that Domition put him out here on this rock. It was a place for criminals, a place that they would be put, either left till they die or maybe be released. And we know that Domition died in 96 A.D. and John was released from Patmos just after that. So we usually place the writing of this book about 95 A.D. because, or at least the receiving of this revelation at that time. So here he is, out there on that island.
It’s not an unusual thing, is it? Not in the New Testament and not in church history. Defined God’s choices, servants exiled somewhere and yet in that place doing their best work for God. Here’s Moses exiled out to the backside of the desert because Pharaoh would have killed him if he had stayed around. Here’s David running from Absalon and living in caves and places like that from his own son even though he was the king at that time. Here’s Ezekiel, Daniel both carried off to Babylon. Captives as it were in Babylon and yet we have these great books of Ezekiel and Daniel written while these men were in captivity. Jeremiah is taken down to Egypt against his will. He didn’t want to go to Egypt but some of the Jews fled down there, took Jeremiah with him and he’s writing his book.
Elijah out on the backside of the desert at Seraphat and other places, you know, fleeing from Jezebel for his life. And here is Paul in the later years of his ministry writing most of the books that he wrote, the epistles to the churches either in the Caesarean prison or in the Roman prison. So it’s not that God’s men can’t do the work that God wants them to do. Often God kind of directs his own retreats, you know. Maybe it’s because apostles and prophets and preachers never have taken vacations like they should and God says, all right, I’m going to give you a forced vacation out here in the Mediterranean Sea.
You can sit there with your feet in the water all that you want, eat all of the sea bass that you want to eat and you can write a book. So he puts John out on Patmos and lets him do that. I find in church history the same thing, John Bunyan. If I say the name John Bunyan, what do you think? Pilgrim’s Progress.
At one time, and probably still is, the most printed book other than the Bible in the world and in more languages. And what happened to John Bunyan? For preaching he was put in the bed for jail up above the river looking down.
For 12 years as the water flowed underneath him, he could see his church and he could see his house from that jail cell yet he was there for 12 years. What does he do? He writes Pilgrim’s Progress which is a blessing to the church and has been ever since. Tyndale was running for his life trying to translate the scriptures into English in England and had to flee to the continent finally up to Antwerp where he was martyred for the faith. And what did he do when he fled to Europe? He translated the book, the scriptures into English. Luther in the Wartburg Castle hiding for his life and what does he do when he’s in the castle? He translates the scripture into German and they hadn’t had the Bible in German before. Or the Pilgrims for that matter. Seeking religious freedom come to the shores, the cold snowy shores of our continent and bring the faith that they brought here.
What a great thing that is. Oliver B. Green some of you remember him said, God’s servant is indestructible. He cannot be destroyed by the devil and all the forces of hell until God is finished with that servant here on earth.
And when God’s finished with him then he’s destructible but not until or after that. I want you to hold your place and I’m going to have you this morning go with me to a few places in scripture but go to Acts chapter 20 holding your place there in Revelation 1. In Acts chapter 20 I think we have in the life of the Apostle Paul one of the great illustrations of a man of faith who was prepared for whatever God wanted for him. In chapter 20 you know this is the time when he was headed back to Jerusalem and he would be captured there and then imprisoned for years to come in his life. And he’s on his way and he stops near Ephesus and he calls for the elders of the church and he begins speaking to them in verse, well 17 the story begins, but in verse 20 he says, I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you but have showed you and taught you publicly from house to house testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now behold I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem. It’s an interesting phrase that he went bound in the spirit three other times before this in the book of Luke. He talks about being stirred in the spirit and moved in the spirit but now he goes bound in the spirit to Jerusalem not knowing the things that shall befall me there. Save that the Holy Ghost witnesses in every city saying that bonds and affliction abide thee. I look back over my ministry and I realize where he’s taken me from jail cell to jail cell and I realize that the Holy Spirit is saying to me that’s your life. This is what’s going to happen to you but he says in verse 24 none of these things move me.
me. Neither count I my life dear unto myself so that I might finish my course with joy and the ministry which I have received to the Lord Jesus to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” And you remember in chapter 21 and about verse 10 and following the prophet Agabus comes and takes Paul’s belt and puts it around himself and he says, the man that wears this girdle or belt will also be bound if he goes to Jerusalem. And all the church there began to say to Paul, well don’t go then, don’t go to Jerusalem because the prophet said if you go there you’ll be bound. And verse 13 of chapter 21 Paul says, what mean ye to weep and to break my heart? I am ready not to be bound only but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and when he would not be persuaded we ceased saying, well then the will of the Lord be done.
I think in those kinds of words we find the heart of an apostle, of a witness, of a missionary, of those who live to testify and witness of their Lord Jesus Christ. And what can you do to a person like that? You can’t imprison them, you can’t discourage them. If you die all you’ve done is send them on to a better place, what can you do to a person like this?
He is just there to preach for the Lord Jesus Christ. I remember in Scotland, I’ve been there often you know, but in the summer I spent in North Barrick and just off the coast in the North Sea is what they called Bass Rock and it’s a huge rock coming up out of the sea. It’s white because of all of the seagulls that land on it all the time. It’s just a rock. And now there’s an old monastery on the side of it. When you look at that rock out there about like this there’s the monastery, the buildings of it look about like this right on the side of that rock.
But it was famous for dropping prisoners off and letting them die kind of like an Alcatraz. You take them out there and you leave them there and many of our Baptist brethren folks back in the days of the Reformation in Scotland were taken out to Bass Rock and left there to die for their testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ. Would you turn one other place with me in Hebrews 11 as you’re getting closer to the book of Revelation? Hebrews 11 and verse 32, after this great hall of fame right of men who serve the Lord at the end of it the writer of Hebrews in verse 32 says, What shall I say more? The time would fail me to tell of Gideon and of Barak and of Samson and of Jephthah, David also and Samuel and of the prophets who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women’s received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourging yet moreover of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned. They were sawn as thunder.
Tradition has it that Isaiah himself was placed inside a hollow log and then the log was sawed in half and maybe he’s referring to Isaiah there. We’re tempted. We’re slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goat skins being destitute, afflicted and tormented. Notice this parenthesis.
I love it. Of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and in mountains and in dens and caves of the earth and these all having obtained a good report through faith received not the promise.
God having provided some better thing for us that they without us should not be made perfect. I mean we’re all waiting for the resurrection day. We’ll all see the Lord together. We’ll all be in the kingdom of God together.
These men are great men and you know what folks? We’re all in this same boat. We’re in this same place. Aren’t we witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ? In our text in Revelation 1 9 the last phrase says the testimony of Jesus Christ, the martyr Rion is the word. You hear the word martyr when I say that. The martyr Rion of Jesus Christ, the testimony, the witness of Christ and I want to talk to you about that this morning. And so if you look at this verse, our text chapter 1 and verse 9, there are two things being done here in this verse, if you will. First there is the character of the witness, in this case John, but the character of the witness given first and then the content of what the witness says.
Read it again. I John, whom also your brother and companion in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience of Christ, there’s the character of the witness for Jesus. was in the aisle that is called Patmos, and here is the content of his message for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. And you know what folks? Things haven’t changed. That is still what we do today. It is still what we’re after, the same type of character and the same content to our witness for Christ. Notice in this character first.
Here is this common relationship. He calls you don’t have to look at me as an apostle. You don’t have to look at me as some exalted one, though I’m the last living apostle and so forth.
Just look at me as your brother. I’m out here because, not because I’m an apostle, but because I’m a witness of Christ, just as you are. You know, tough times make us all equal. The quality in this world folks, like brotherhood and the brotherhood of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have churches like this and all over this world today. In all countries of this world, people have come together in rooms similar to this one and have sat down like you’re sitting now and there would be rich and poor, bond and free. There would be privileged and unprivileged. There’d be all mixture of people who come and we sit equally together as brothers and sisters in Christ. There’s no equality like Christian brotherhood. And you know what? It’s a necessity.
It’s a necessity that we have this. I remember Paul and Silas, don’t you? In Acts chapter 16, the great apostle and Silas his helper and here they are reduced to having their backs bleeding and chained to a cold Roman cell and at midnight they lift up their voices and they sing. And when they’re released from that prison, when God delivers them, they go to the church and they say, we’re not leaving town till we meet with the church. And they share with them.
You know what? Philippians 4-9, when Paul writes back to them later, it says, those things which you have both learned and received and heard and seen in me do. And the God of peace shall be with you. Whatever you saw of me do, you do. You’re a witness too. This is the same gospel. We’re all brethren in this thing. So there’s this common relationship and notice then this common experience.
I’m talking about the character of the witness here. Back to our text. I’m your brother and companion. I want you to notice that word companion. It’s an interesting word.
It appears a lot of different ways in our scripture. And the root of this word is Koinonia. You know what Koinonia is, don’t you? It’s fellowship, right? Koinonia is fellowship. And he says, I am your fellowship, right? I’m your companion. You know, somebody said fellowship is nothing more than a bunch of fellows in the same ship.
And here, that’s exactly what he’s saying. I’m your brother. I’m your companion.
We’re in this boat together. It’s used in a negative way in these ways. Ephesians 5-11, have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. There are some things in this world that we are not to have companionship with, not to have fellowship with. In Revelation 18, John will use this word again when he says, I heard another voice from heaven saying, come out from her, my people, speaking of the great ecclesiastical system of the last time. Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins and that you receive not of her plagues, fellowshipers or companions in her sins.
Come out from that and be separate. But this word is used often in positive ways in the New Testament. Not withstanding, Paul said to the Philippians, you have done well, then that you did communicate with my affliction. You were companions in my affliction. Or to the Corinthians, this I do for the gospel sake, that I might be partaker with you, a even as it was meet for me to thank this of you all, I have you in my heart in as much as both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you are partakers of this grace also. You are companions with me. So John, when he says, you’re my companion, this is what we do together.
We understand what he means. You know, the man who was the president of the seminary, I went with Richard Clearwaters was born in the year 1900. So obviously he’s with the Lord now, but I knew him in the mid seventies when I was in seminary. He was a great man of God.
They would have called him a separatist, no doubt. I mean, he stood for the things and he didn’t. He knew where to fellowship and he knew where not to fellowship. And he used to say, you be careful, young men, because when you begin fellowship with liberals, you’re going to like them.
When you fellowship with men like this, you’re going to like them. They talk smooth. They talk about love.
They talk about, let’s all get together. And you’re going to like those things. And before you know it, you’re going to be walking down that road of error with them. them.
Be careful of those things. And John would say the same thing. He uses the word positively here.
He uses it negatively in chapter 19. But notice these three things that we share. The three things, the common experiences that we share, first of all, suffering for Christ’s sake. I was in the Isle of…or excuse me, companion in the first word, tribulation. This word means to be afflicted.
This word means to be pressured, to be squeezed. And here we are suffering for Christ’s sake. Paul says in Acts 14 that he was confirming the souls of the disciples and exhorting them to continue in the faith, for we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Between now and the day you get saved and when you will enter the kingdom of God, folks, it is a narrow road with a straight gate.
A straight means compressed, tight. And we must through tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. 2 Timothy 2.12, if we suffer, we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him, he will also deny us. Now, turn back again with me to 1 Peter chapter 4.
It should be just to your left a couple books. 1 Peter chapter 4. And look at these words. If you begin, you really ought to read the whole chapter, chapter 4. But look at verse 12. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you. Well, I didn’t think there’d be trials in the Christian life. Well, welcome to the Christian life. But rejoice in as much as you are partakers.
By the way, there’s our word companions. You are partakers of Christ’s sufferings that when his glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.
On their part, he’s evil spoken of, but on your part, he is glorified by this, folks. Let none of you suffer as a murderer, as a thief, or as an evil doer, as a busy body in other men’s matters. Like I said before, when you get a ticket coming up, highway one here going 55 instead of 45 and the patrolman pulls you over, don’t look at yourself as suffering for Jesus.
Because that’s because Peter is saying here, if you don’t suffer as an evil doer, you deserve that. But verse 16, if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf, for the time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God. And at first begin with us, what shall the end of them be that obey not the gospel, if the righteous scarcely be saved? And there’s a lot of people going to scarcely be saved.
Where shall the ungodly and sinner appear, that is, apart from God for eternity? And so, suffering for Christ’s sake? It’s a joy, it’s a thrill, it’s a privilege that the mockings that came to him come also to us, if it is for the gospel’s sake. So we are companions with John in that. Secondly, we’re companions with John also in the kingdom of God. May I say this, companions being heavenly minded. Do you think about the kingdom much? Do you pray as Jesus taught you to pray, thy kingdom come, Lord, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven? That’s what I would like to see on this earth. And I want to be in heaven where God is, Paul said to the Philippians again, our conversation is in heaven. Do you know that the word conversation there is literally the word politics?
You actually say it in that language. Our politics is in heaven. What party are you for? I’m for the angelic party, you know, the good angels, not the fall.
That’s my, there are politics are in heaven. So we are companions with John looking for the kingdom of God, looking for that day when we will be like him. Somebody said, well, you Christians, you know, you’re too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.
And I say impossible. Maybe somebody can be really not, they’re just hypocrites, but they act pietistic. That doesn’t do Christ any good. But to be truly heavenly minded is the only way we can be any earthly good.
We have to be like that. When you begin to be heavenly minded and think of, of what your future is with Christ, you will be more useful on this earth. Do you know that? God can use you finally. He can inhabit you. He can do his work through such a person and you’ll be unattached to heaven, to earthly things. The more you’re attached to heavenly things, the more you’re going to let go of earthly things and God may then actually move you or use you or put you in the place that he wants you to be. And if you’re more heavenly minded, you’re more concerned about heaven and heaven. heaven help. You’re concerned about heaven because you’re ready to go there. You’re concerned about hell because you know friends and family and neighbors and people are going to that place forever.
You know that. You know the facts about eternity. So to be heavenly minded is to be earthly good. And there’s a last thing about our common experience in this verse and that is in tribulation in kingdom and in the patience of Jesus Christ. Notice a few verses if you have the book of Revelation right there. Turn to chapter 3 verse 10. In chapter 3 verse 10, because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that are upon the earth. If you keep this patience, if you can go to chapter 13 and verse 10, here’s the tribulation riddle. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity. He that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.
And here’s part of the solution to that. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. It doesn’t matter if you die for Christ. It doesn’t matter if you’re one of the tribulation martyrs is what he’s writing about these people because you know having the patience of the Lord Jesus Christ, you too will die and be resurrected to be in his kingdom.
That’s okay with you. It won’t matter to you though the antichrist will think I’m going to wipe these people out, they’re scared to death, they’ll run from me and here they take it patiently even as Jesus did. And chapter 14 and verse 12, here is the patience of the saints.
Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me right, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth yea sayeth the spirit that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them. That is the patience of the saints. Patience until Christ comes. Paul wrote to the Romans and said rejoicing in hope and patient in tribulation. There’s a great passage to your left again in James chapter 5 as he ends his book just before Peter’s book. You remember he talks about patience and in this chapter he talks about the farmer who goes out and plows his field and plants his seed. But he says this in verse 7 of chapter 5 of James, be patient therefore brethren unto the coming of the Lord behold the husbandman the farmer waited for the precious fruit of the earth and hath long patience for it until he received the early and latter reign. Be also patient, establish your hearts for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
He’ll even say the judge is even standing at the door. I mean it’s about to happen. That is the patience of the saints which we need to have also. You know in serving the Lord and especially in stepping out and doing something for the Lord that might be difficult, that might bring you scorn or laughter or whatever. There’s always a certain resignation to that isn’t there?
There’s always a certain hesitation in us. I don’t know if I should say anything. I don’t know if I should step in there and do this.
I don’t know if I ought to do that and stand up for somebody against the bully in the playground you know or something like that or you know you’re gonna step in in some place when you’re a little kid and the rest of the class is going to be against you. I remember my friend Billy McLaughlin, the fat kid in class you know. Billy, I say that enduringly, but Billy just got picked on by everybody and he wasn’t too athletic and he was kind of slow on things and I remember a bunch of guys picking on him one time and I you know he was my friend. I used to spend time at his house. He’d be at my house you know because like things go together and I remember kind of stepping out and saying all right I’m going to stand up for Billy and stepping in in front of all those kids on the playground. I don’t know how old we were, seven, eight years old, something like that and and and yet once you do it you kind of get a certain boldness then don’t you? You kind of say all right well I’m going to take whatever comes you know and and you and I don’t remember the bloody mess that happened after that but I don’t need to. But the point being there’s there’s always a certain hesitation and then once you step in there there’s a certain boldness that kind of comes for doing what’s right and I’m only paralleling that to standing up for Christ and saying the things we should and being witnesses for Christ. Yes there’s a hesitation but that’s our flesh holding us back but once we step in there once we say once we speak then there’s a certain strength of boldness that God gives us and even thoughts and and courage to help us say what we need to say and if we’ll take God up on that and have that patience of the Lord then he will help us in these things. So here is the character of the witness but quickly let me at the end of this verse show you the content of the witness.
us. You, as a matter of fact, look back to verse 2 first. John bears record of the word of God and of the testimony of Jesus Christ and of all things that he saw.
That’s the first place this combination is mentioned. Then in verse 9, I was in the isle called Patmos. He says it again, for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Chapter 3 verse 8, I know thy works, behold I have set before thee an open door, no man can shut it, for thou hast a little strength and has kept my word and not denied my faith. Chapter 6 verse 9, he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
On and on it goes. Chapter 12 verse 17, chapter 14 verse 12, chapter 19 verse 10 and chapter 20 verse 4, or always this thing. Go over to chapter 12 and look at verse 11. I think one of the most powerful verses in the book of Revelation as the Antichrist is killing those who have the word of God in the testimony of Jesus Christ. He is the accuser of the brother in verse 10. But verse 11 of chapter 12 says, they overcame him, that is the believers overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony and they love not their lives unto death.
So here’s John in the Isle of Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Two things about that statement. First of all here is the veracity, can I use that word, the veracity of the word of God. This is God’s word. This is God’s book. This is the word that God gave and we have it in our hands and it’s a good thing we have it.
Remember Paul saying to Timothy, maybe he thought Timothy was beginning to get a little weak and he says to Timothy, don’t be ashamed of the Gospel. Stand up for the Gospel of Christ and then he says, wherein I suffer trouble as an evil doer even unto bonds and he says this, but the word of God is not bound. You cannot bind this book. You can’t do away with this book. You can’t quiet this book and our testimony is on behalf of this book folks. Thank God for those who spend their lives defending it, translating it, interpreting it and preaching it.
The word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. This book is the Spirit’s book. As a matter of fact take the word W-O-R-D and then take S for the Spirit and put S in front of the word and what do you have? You have the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, just to play on words, but I mean it’s a way to remember it. This book and the Holy Spirit is all the sword, the offensive word that you need. Now it’s the Spirit’s word. It’s the most powerful thing in the world. It goes where you can’t go.
Isn’t that great? You can leave it, you can mail it, you can speak it, broadcast it, it will go where you can’t go and it makes the center, the center accountable and leaves you unaccountable. The blood is not on your hands. You give them the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, the blood is on their hands now.
The decision is with them and you’re unaccountable for that. Our bottom line folks is this book. We say it and preach it, don’t we? We believe it as Baptist, we believe it as independence, we believe it as Bible believing people. Our bottom line is this book.
We believe it in every way and in every detail. It’s God’s word. The first temptation that came into this world by Satan was, yay, hath God said, did God really say that? And he’s been tempting people with that ever since.
And when he tempted the Lord Jesus Christ in the wilderness, how did God answer Satan three times by saying the Scripture says and he gives him the answer. Now secondly, not only the word of God, but the testimony of Jesus Christ. It’s his testimony, not mine, not yours.
It’s his testimony. We’re companions in this, we’re partners in this. We’re not building a name for Metro Baptist Church. You’re not building a name for yourself.
We’re building the name of Jesus Christ and that is all. And that’s what he’s done throughout the ages. Who would even know the name Domitian right now? He was the emperor that banished John to the rock and put that scrawny little old man out there on the rock to be done with him. And now 2000 years later, the whole world knows the name John and nobody knows the name Domitian. Because John did it not for his name, but for the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know the name of the king of England when John Bunyan was in prison on the Bedford Bridge? Do you know it was Charles II?
No, and who cares? We know John Bunyan. And who put him there? Do you know who the Pope was when Luther was in the Wartburg Castle? No, Leo the Tenth. And who cares who he was? We know Luther. Do you know who the king was that banished Tyndall to the continent? You probably do, Henry the Eighth, but you wouldn’t have known it at that time.
And who cares? Or who the king of England was when colonists in America said, no, we have to have our own country so we can worship without your interference. Who was the king of England?
George the Third. But who cares? What we care about and what history will care about is the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. And after we’re long gone and our generation is long gone, the only thing that will matter is what is done for Christ. So Ephesians Paul said, now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask our thank according to the power that worketh in us. unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages. Joseph Seis, I like his prophetic writings.
And let me end with this. He said that the world is at any time at peace and on good terms with the church. It is because the church has become debauched and descended to a compromise to be at one with the wicked.
The nominal Christian and the formalist, the world cannot hate. They are of it and it will love its own. But the Johns and the Pauls must go into banishment to give their necks to the block. And from that the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ is exalted.
Now let me ask you this. Does then the testimony of Christ and the word of God flow from your lips and from your life? Does the boldness that ought to be there? Do you have that from God as you ought to have? And we all say no, we don’t have it as we ought to have. And what is our problem? We are like a pipe, a conduit through which God wants to send his word and send the testimony of Jesus Christ.
And he will do that and he’s trying to do it. But our pipe is all clogged up with calcium and everything else with humanity. And we’ve got it squeezed down inside so much that God can’t get that flowing through us like he wants to have through us. You remember that great verse in 2 Corinthians 4, we have this treasure in earth and vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. And so you know what we have to do?
We have to clear out the conduit, folks. This is just a vessel to be thrown away when we die, to be God to be, he will use it and he will honor us later. But in this life it is to be used and set aside, used and die.
But in the meantime he wants to do this through us. And so unclog the arteries. You know we have hardening of the spiritual arteries I guess. And we need to unclog them and let the word of God and let the testimony of Jesus Christ flow through us. It’s not so much of looking for some secret or some way to get a miracle upon you or having some magical power that will allow you to do these things or some great talent that will let you do it.
It is simply clearing away the obstructions that keep the Holy Spirit from flowing through you as the vessel he desires to use. Be surrendered to him. Turn those things over to him.
Put away those things that discourage you and that block God from living in your life. I want you to stand now if you will. And we’ll prepare for our invitation song as we’re standing.
Let’s bow our heads before we open our song books. Let’s go to him in prayer. Now Father, we have loved this book of Revelation thinking back to that wonderful man John on that island all alone. And yet Father how he praised you and how he spoke of your word and under inspiration wrote your word. And Father we thank you for that because now we have the testimony of Jesus Christ. We have the word of God. We have the seven sealed book that is opened only by Christ himself.
So Father we stand here before you as needy believers also. We’re fearful often. We don’t know what to say often. We’re hesitant in doing the things for your sake that we should. Father help us to look inside ourselves today and confess those things that are displeasing to you.
Those things that hinder the Holy Spirit from working in us. And may we leave them here today. May we put these things aside and invite you to be part of our lives as you desire to be.
The Father speak to our hearts about these things. Perhaps there’s someone here that doesn’t know Christ to savior. He’s heard the gospel.
She’s heard the gospel has perhaps turned it down before. But maybe this is the day. Maybe this is the time when that person will say yes I’m going to receive Christ to savior and come even while we sing. And Father I pray you do this work in our hearts in this service today in Jesus name. Amen. Page five hundred and forty seven of familiar