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Changing The Present

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On January 4th, 2010 ABC News 20/20 did a report on theBook of Revelation, Revelation chapter 4. The only place where we could find Revelation that was for the whole world to see, was in the four books of the Catholic Bible and yet this book, Revelation, was written by John the apostle in either the second or third century.

For many people the four books of Revelation are an aging book. For some it is a book about one person and that person is John the apostle. For others, Revelation is a book about an end time event and for them, the end time events of Revelation are predictions of the end of the world as we know it.

For me, although I have read and studied this book in its entirety, I discovered something very interesting concerning the book of Revelation. In the “book” of Revelation we have a direct conversation between two witnesses. The first witness is Jesus and the second witness is Revelation itself.

The two witnesses are the same two witnesses that drove nails in Peter’s hands and feet according to the biblical book of Acts. We read in the book of Acts where Peter is shadowed by the presence of a messenger in his bedroom and we also see Peter walking along by the seashore in theMartyrdom of Christowing himself. Peter is carrying the scales of judgment and the burdens of Jesus onto himself. In the book of Revelation where John appears, he carries the arms of Jesus and in his hand he holds the dragon, the old serpent, that serpent of lying words and John appears to us in a vision carrying the two staffs of judgement and the teraphim of God.

With his two staffs hold and depict judgment and theia of punishment for the people of God and where John appears in a vision carrying the two staffs of judgement and the burden of Jesus on his shoulders. So there is John in his ordinary everyday clothes as a Jew and he is carrying Jesus’ light to the world. The book of revelation itself says that he was a slave of Christ and a prisoner of Jesus, and yet here we see a very special prisoner being rescued and released from something that held him in bondage and imprisoned him.

What might John’s role be in the whole book of revelation? Killing and imprisonment? Yes, what he sees and handles, he experiences first hand and this gives him great compassion.

Is this to be expected in the life of a Jewish slave in a Roman jail? No, but we can very well extend this to the life of a Roman prisoner who was a slave in more ways than one.

John is the servant of Christ, and he has not yet found his own purpose or his own vocation. He is still learning the lessons of faith and love, and he is certainly learning his “clothes” as well.

When he is rescued and released from these Roman lights, he takes his staffs with him and he ministers to the other prisoners. He cares for them and embarrasses them. This is not the John of the gospels.

John’s compassion for others causes him to be with them out of kindness – and ultimately for his life. When God puts John in the forefront of the story – in the first century – it is for this reason: John was set apart.

If you need help in your journey towards the consecration of your life, take a closer look at John.plug into the Word of God through prayer and the meditation of the virtues, so that they can and do help you in your journey.

Consider the references to friends, family, and those involved in his life, because John intimately knew all the details of who Jesus really was.

Now, on the other hand, why not add to the mix, the life of Jesus’ disciples: the women who came to the marriage feast at the beginning of his ministry, the men who were initially with him and the ones who walked away – maybe saw him in need and gave their worldly goods to help feed and provide for John – now these women and men become friends (verse 19). As they help and encourage John, he grows in power and is the cause of much further salvation.

And let us not leave out Peter, although he is the leader of the whole fellowship. His gracious response to the challenge from Jesus is inspiring to those around him.

When we go to God in prayer, may we have a sense of achieving a purpose and a goal, and may Almighty God in His blessing aim to bless our prayer and to bring about His perfect will.

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