He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance. Revelation 1:16
Many people first start reading the Bible, and they quickly try to skip to the end. They might get bored with the book of Leviticus and then skip right to Revelation. The problem is that instead of the Bible being a murder mystery book or a novel, it is filled with many different books written in different ways. There are books of history that give us a picture of the Israelites and their kings, prophecy, songs, and some that look to future things. Revelation was given to a suffering church that needed to understand that in the end, good triumphs over evil. Some of the pictures and images in Revelation are terrifying for those who are new at reading the Bible. However, a detailed study for those who understand how it was written and the future prophecies it contains, come with a blessing.
At the very beginning of this vision, John, one of the original disciples, sees Jesus. However, Jesus is very different from His first appearance. He comes dressed in blazing white and is described as having a mouth with a two-edged sword. This imagery is important because of what we have learned about the sword of the Spirit. Jesus comes to make things right on the world using the very truth of the Word of God. Later in the book, we see this image a second time when Jesus rides on a white horse into battle, again with the sword. In both of these pictures, Jesus was using this offensive weapon to beat back the forces of evil. He was holding onto the truth and proclaiming it with His mouth as a way to defeat the evil one.
We have to do the same in this Forgotten War. We have to hold onto the truths that we find in the Bible and proclaim them if we are going to stand a chance against Satan. Through memorizing Scripture and hiding it in our heart, we have an easy way of moving from defense to offense as we say, "…no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!" (Isaiah 54:17) God uses those times that we declare His words and promises to deliver us from evil. When we hold onto His word, we can fight boldly for the truth.
This last weekend, we shared with you some "go-to" Scriptures for you to know and memorize as you are preparing for battle. Here is a reminder of the verses: - Next time you say, "I can't," remember Philippians 4:13 tells us, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." - Next time you are afraid, remember 2 Timothy 1:7 that says that "God did not give me a spirit of fear, but He gave me one of power and love and self-discipline." - Next time you are pacing the floor, overwhelmed by worry, remember 1 Peter 5:7 that says, "I can cast all my anxiety upon God because He cares for me." - Next time you feel condemned, remember Romans 8:1 that says, "There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." - Next time you feel alone, remember Hebrews 13:5, "I will never fail you. I will never forsake you." - Next time you feel like a loser, remember Romans 8:37 that says, "I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me." - Next time you think Satan has the upper hand on you, you remember 1 John 4:4, "The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world."And, the next time you think that God won't forgive you, remember 1 John 1:9. "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
Choose one of these verses that you need right now and write it on a card or piece of paper. Put it somewhere where you will be reminded of the truth of God's word, then commit it to memory. This way, you will be ready to go into battle at a moment's notice.
Read Revelation 1:4-18 (NLT)
This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia.
Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne; and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him— even those who pierced him.And all the nations of the world will mourn for him.Yes! Amen!
“I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”
I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus. It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.
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