Dec. 28, 2017

The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Revelation 19 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And a voice came from the throne, saying,

“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” 10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”

19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.


Amos 3:7 says:  Surely the Lord GOD does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.   There have been times throughout history that what God revealed to and through His prophets was direct and clear. There are other times, such as what we read in Revelation, when the message is filled with symbolism and allegory. Still it is God’s revelation of His secret counsel, so we should heed what we hear and understand. Jesus, when speaking of the events surrounding His return, says in Matthew 24:36:   "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”  So it is not the timing of His coming we should seek to know and understand, but rather the fact of His coming and the reason for it. In today’s text it says:  worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.    The testimony of Jesus, the Revelation of Christ is the spirit of prophecy. The testimony and revelation of Christ is also the spirit of God’s written word. All of scripture, from Genesis to Revelation is intended to reveal God’s plan and His will for man; redemption, reconciliation and restoration through Jesus Christ. God’s written word, logos in the Greek and His spoken word, rhema, both then share this same vital spirit, to testify of Jesus.

The ancient prophecies recorded in the Old Testament generally did one of three things. It either served to warn the people to change, to return to God or there would be consequences. From the beginning of His ministry on earth, Jesus message was:  "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17)   There are also prophecies which speak of the blessings of following God, of the good things in store for those who remain obedient to Him. Jesus Himself says: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  (Matthew 6:33)   He says: I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)  All of the blessings, the provision and the protection of God are available in Christ. There are also prophecies which speak of and point toward the coming of Christ, both the first time, as a baby and the second as King.    Isaiah 9:6-7 says:   For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever
. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
   Jesus says:  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)    The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

There are many today who claim to be prophets of God. The measure of prophecy is not as much about the accuracy of the predictions, but rather about the spirit of the prophecy. Does it testify of Christ, His coming, His redemption and abundance or His call to repent?   The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Christ. Jesus Himself says:  “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)   Every prophecy that has been or will be uttered, in the name of God, is based in and depends on love. It is based first on loving God with all of our heart, soul and mind. We do that only because and in response to His love for us, given and demonstrated through Christ. Second then every prophetic utterance is also based on love for others. It is not though love as the world loves. It too is love based in responding to the love of God. The words we speak to others, in the name of God should be a testimony of Christ. It should tell them that He came and is coming again. It should speak of the promises, protection and provision of God in Christ. It should call them to repent, to change the way they think and act, to be reconciled to God and restored to all that He intended for them.

 “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;  because His judgments are true and righteous…Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him… “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.    Amen.