Revelation 1:17-18

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Revelation 1:17-18

John writes that he fell at the feet of the Lord as if he was dead. The majesty that John beheld was overwhelming. John saw Jesus in the fullness of His glory. When you behold the majesty of Jesus Christ you truly see how empty and worthless this world truly is.

Jesus simply places His right hand upon John and comforts John. Jesus understands who He is and when a mere human being comes to behold the glory of who He truly is it overwhelms every capacity you have.

Jesus says to John that He is the first and the last. All authority belongs unto Jesus and creation began with Him and all things will end with Him. He is the one who will pour out the wrath of God upon the earth.

Jesus is Him who lives who died and overcame the grave. As followers of Christ we have nothing to fear. We will be victorious in all that we face because Jesus has overcome. When we understand the fullness of who Christ is we will walk in the freedom and strength that Christ purchased for us.

The keys of hades and death were taken from the devil when Jesus rose from the grave. When Satan deceived Adam and Eve, he stole the authority Adam was given over creation and he know possessed authority over humanity because of the reality of death. But through Christ that authority was taken back because Jesus came in the flesh and died upon the cross without sin. What Satan truly believed was his greatest triumph, was actually his greatest defeat. Today we who are in Christ have been given authority by Jesus and He calls upon us to use that authority in the place of prayer. This again is why studying God's word is so important. We come to understand who we truly are in Christ.

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Revelation 1:14-16

His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. Revelation 1:14-16

When it speaks of Jesus hair being white like wool and white as snow it speaks of His eternal nature and His perfection. For in Jesus Christ no spot or blemish is found. He is perfection throughout. John is seeing Jesus in the fullness of His glory. Imagine for a minute if you will what it was like for John exiled to this island and when this vision begins, He sees Christ in all His glory. How different this is from when Jesus first walked the earth. So many mock the name of Jesus, but someday when they stand before Him in all His glory they shall be speechless and unable to stand.

His eyes as flame of fire speak of the intensity of who He is and the fire of His love. None will escape the sight of the Almighty. He sees all things, down to the depths of every human heart. For those who fail to receive Him as Lord and Savior will be terrified when they see Him face to face.

His feet as burnished bronze refined in the fire speaks of Christ being tested and passing the test. Jesus passed every test and the ultimate test was Calvary. What Satan thought was his greatest victory was ultimately his greatest defeat. This is how God has always done things through the history of creation. God will always have the last word and everything Satan means for wickedness, God will turn around for His glory.

His voice as the sound of many waters speaks of the majesty and the power of Christ spoken word. At His word when He returns to the earth the anti-Christ and the armies that follow him will be destroyed. For in our limited minds we cannot conceive nor understand the power of Jesus Christ.

In His right hand He holds seven stars. The seven stars representing the church and the light of His glory shining through His bride. His right hand is the hand of authority and He holds His bride close to His heart. For we are sustained by His glory and His power.

The sharp two edged sword that proceeds from His mouth is the word of God. It divides souls and spirit, bone and morrow. When God's word is preached without compromise under the power of the Holy Spirit it holds the power and ability to change the course of history and nations.

His countenance is as the sun shining in all its strength speaks of His glory and magnificence. For those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior will one day see Him face to face and it will be beyond words. But for those who stand before Him who do not know Him will be a terrifying experience that will only be followed by an eternity separated from God and who He is.

God has given us His word and we are called to diligently study. Don't waste your life on empty pursuits. Diligently study His word and be the disciple He has called you to be. He is calling you to impact this world and history for His glory. Rise up my friend and walk in the plans and purposes He has for you.

Revelation‬ ‭1:6

“and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Through Christ we have been made kings and priest in God's kingdom. This means that we will rule and reign with Him. That we have been given authority to declare His will and purposes into the earth. That we stand in the place of intercession before God's throne upon the earth for those who are lost and broken. For the priest under the old covenant were the mediator between God and His people. They would intercede for the people. Christ Jesus Himself is both our High Priest and our King eternal. We are created in His image and through the power of the Holy Spirit we are transformed and reflect His glory and majesty.

It is Christ alone who will have dominion and authority forever. If you knew nothing of God you would falsely believe that wickedness is in control. But God works mightily behind the scenes using all things to bring about His plans and purposes. What Satan fails to understand is he is only allowed to do what God allows him to do. He is limited because he is simply a created being. God knew he would rebel and the Lord knows His every scheme and purpose before it even enters his mind. God alone is fully in control and the more we understand this the more we are filled with and walk in God's perfect peace.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us[e] to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited[f] in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.  1 Peter 3:18-22

Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins so that our relationship with God the Father can be restored.  In the Garden of Eden the relationship between man and God was destroyed because of sin.  It is only the precious blood of Jesus that removes the curse of sin and death.  It is only the precious blood of Jesus that permanently washes away our sin.  Jesus came in the flesh and died and was brought back to life by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Today He sits at the right hand of the Father and has been given all dominion and all authority.

Jesus once He died upon the cross descended into Hell and declared to those placed in prison that the curse of sin and death has been destroyed.  Jesus took all authority the enemy had.  Satan today has no authority.  He deceives the world and leads all into death and destruction.  But for those who trust in Jesus Christ are saved from being eternally separated from God.

It was God who saved Noah and his family through the ark.  God led Noah to build the ark and Noah faithfully followed the Lord.  Day in and day out those around Noah watched him build and ark.  They thought him a foolish man until Noah and his family were locked inside the ark and the flood waters came.

Jesus is a type of ark for us.  He has saved us from the flood of judgment that has come on humanity for its wickedness and its sin.  People cannot save themselves.  In there pride and arrogance they see no need for a savior.  For all who reject salvation found in Jesus Christ they will be eternally lost and separated from God.  But for us who have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ we have been saved.  When we are water baptized it is a public declaration with the world that we have died with Christ and have been raised to new life again with Him.

All things are subject to Jesus Christ.  Sitting at the right hand is the seat of authority.  Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and has been given all authority and dominion.  Jesus has given us His authority and has told us whatever we bind on earth is bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth is loosed in heaven.  We have been given authority and we must understand the authority we have.  All we need is found in Christ alone.  May we fix our eyes upon Jesus and continue to press on toward the high call in Christ Jesus.

I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul

11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.  1 Peter 2:11-12

This world is not our home.  When we come to Christ our home is in Heaven.  In this world we are aliens and we are strangers.  We are here for a very short time compared to where we will spend all eternity.  We are called to abstain from fleshly lust.  Fleshly lusts are simply the desires of the sinful nature that war against our soul.  When we come to Christ that doesn’t mean the temptations will stop.  In fact they often intensify because the enemy would like nothing more to destroy us when we become children of God.  But we have nothing to fear because it is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to overcome and walk in victory over temptations.  God has given us the Holy Spirit to be empowered witnesses in this world.  Without the Holy Spirit nothing would be accomplished for God’s kingdom because in ourselves we are nothing.

We are called to keep our behavior excellent.  We are called to emulate the character of Christ in all things and again this is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The gentiles it speaks of here are all those of non-Jewish descent who were nonbelievers.  People who are not followers of Jesus Christ will closely watch those who claim to follow Christ.  Christian faith without action means absolutely nothing.  If we claim to be in Christ but our lives are no different than the world, our faith is null and void.  Faith without works is absolutely dead and meaningless.  If we have authentic true faith in Jesus Christ then our lives will be transformed and the fruit of the Holy Spirit will be evident in our lives.

When people see authentic Christianity they are drawn to it.  People today are looking for the authentic.  For far too long the church has conducted itself in hypocrisy.  We have been filled with tele-evangelist who for many of them use the name of Christ to build a kingdom for themselves and make themselves rich.  They are false teachers and when you examine the New Testament you find that the common denominator between all false teachers is they were driven by the love of money.  They use the name of Jesus in vain and will stand before Christ someday in terrifying judgment.

But when people see authentic Christianity they are drawn to it.  Our greatest witness is the way we live our lives.  As we abide in Him our lives are transformed and we live each day in the power of the Holy Spirit.  When we try to live this Christian life in our own strength we will fail miserably and it will not be pretty to watch.  But when a person lives this life in the power of the Holy Spirit it draws the attention of many.  May we understand who we are in Christ, abide in Him, and be transformed for His glory and His honor.  He is coming soon.

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”

32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”  John 1:29-34

John the baptist sees Jesus coming and declares “behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”.  Jesus is called the Lamb of God because under the Old Covenant it was a spotless lamb who was sacrificed for the sin offering.  Animal sacrifices had to take place over and over again because they could not fully atone for the sins of the people.  But in Christ He only had to go to the cross one time because His sacrifice was the ultimate atonement.  Perfect and without sin, Jesus voluntarily laid down His life.  No one took His life from Him.  He laid it down as the ultimate sacrifice.

John understands the greatness of Christ.  Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit John declares that Jesus was before Him.  Jesus has always been and was with the Father from the beginning of creation.  John came baptizing with water to prepare the hearts of the people for Jesus.  John declared to repent for the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand.  Salvation is only found through true repentance.  There are many who will come to Christ, but there are few will come to true repentance.  Repentance requires turning from the wickedness of sin and many have sat under the preaching of a false gospel that preaches salvation and God’s grace without the mention of repentance.

John understood from God that who John saw the Spirit descend upon and stay was indeed the Lamb of God and coming Messiah.  Throughout the Old Testament the Holy Spirit would descend upon people but not remain.  The Holy Spirit empowered God’s people to great exploits.  But the reason the Holy Spirit did not remain in the past is that the saint of old had sin that was upon their lives.  But in Christ sin was absent because He was perfect and without sin.  It was the Holy Spirit that empower Jesus to do all things.  He relied fully upon the Holy Spirit in every circumstance.

Jesus indeed is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.  John came baptizing with water, but it is Jesus who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.  Whenever a believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit, it is Jesus Himself who baptizes.  Baptize simply means to immerse.  John would immerse the people in water.  When Jesus immerse a believer in the Holy Spirit it is to empower them to be a witness upon the earth.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit is available to all who would believe and receive.  For it is unbelief that hinders the power of God.  Where ever unbelief exist the power of God is null and void.  It is faith that unleashes the power and might of God’s kingdom.

John testifies that Jesus is surely the Son of God.  There is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ.  The only way to salvation is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  There are many who reject Jesus Christ and they will spend an eternity separated from God.  But for those who have been saved by the grace of God and have been chosen before the foundations of the world, Jesus is all that we need and must become the number one obsession in our lives.  He is coming soon.

You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture:

Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious cornerstone,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,

The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the very corner stone,”

and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”;

for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 1 Peter 2:4-8

Jesus is the corner stone.  He is the foundation on which everything is built.  During His earthly ministry He was rejected by men.  It was God’s plan from the beginning that He would rejected and go to the cross and through His life pay the penalty that humanity could not pay.  Jesus is choice and precious and we who have placed our faith and trust in Jesus are seen as choice and precious in the eyes of our Father.  The righteousness of Christ has been applied to our lives.

We are living stones.  The Lord is building us into a house for His glory.  The Lord does not reside in temples.  He lives in the hearts of all those who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  We are a holy priesthood.  We have the opportunity when we come to Christ to come to the throne of grace with confidence and to pray and intercede for one another.  There is so much we have in Christ and the more we draw near and come to know Him, the more we come to know and understand all we have in Him.

Jesus is the chief corner stone and all who place their faith and trust on Him will not be disappointed.  A cornerstone when it comes to masonry is the first stone that is laid for the foundation on which all other stones are build upon.  Jesus is the sure foundation and all of the church is built upon Him.  He is the head of the church and He is an unshakable foundation.  We must fix our hearts and minds upon Him alone and He must become our obsession and our only aim.

Those who would reject Jesus Christ will stumble over Him.  They will be crushed by Him and in the end they will face destruction.  For it is through Christ alone that salvation is found.  There is nothing else that can wash our sins away like the blood of Jesus.  Many in the world reject having sin in their lives and see no need for God.  They don’t believe they even need a savior.  The sad truth is that if they go their entire lives this way in the end they will be separated from God for all eternity.  It is the reality for all those who would reject the precious gift and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own,[c] and His own[d] did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  John 1:10-13

Even though all things were created through Jesus and He created all things, when He walked the earth the world did not know Him and the world rejected Him.  He even came to His own people Israel and because of the sin and pride of the religious leaders of the day they were unable to see the Messiah before them.  Instead of embracing and receiving Him, they screamed and demanded that He be crucified.  This was God’s plan from the beginning that He would be rejected and go to the cross.  But it is still incredible how blinded the people were to who Jesus truly was.

Those who do receive Jesus as Lord and Savior become children of God.  When we come to Christ and choose to follow Him with our whole heart and all of our lives, we are adopted into God’s family and will one day spend all eternity in His kingdom.  But those who reject Jesus Christ will spend all eternity separated from God.  Without Jesus there is no answer for the sin that covers our lives.  It is only the precious blood of Jesus that was shed that washes away and atones for our sin.

When we come to Christ we are born again.  This is not according to the plan and will of the flesh, it is according to the purposes of God.  Those who come to Christ are saved by the grace and mercy of Almighty God.  He choose us before the foundations of the world and when we come to understand the depth of His love for us and His grace and mercy, we desire simply to use our lives to glorify and honor His holy and precious name.  Let us not waste our lives on vain pursuits that have no eternal value.  May everything we do simply be an act of worship unto the Lord.  He is returning soon for His bride.  May we be found prepared and ready and be busy with the work of the Father’s kingdom.

And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear

17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.  1 Peter 1:17-21

Someday all of us will stand in judgement before the Lord.  Believers will go through the Bemaseat judgment which will be a judgement of our faithfulness with the gifts given here on earth in service to the Lord.  With knowledge of this truth we should have a holy fear of who the Lord is.  Some look at their relationship with God as some type of hobby or something that is flippant.  But we need to recognize the price that was paid for our freedom as believers in Jesus Christ.

It was the precious blood of Jesus that set us free.  Under the Old Covenant Israel had animal sacrifices and the reason this was instituted is because life was found in the blood.  So to give an accounting of their sin the life of an animal was taken.  But this had to be performed over and over again.  The blood of animals covered the sin, but did not remove the sin and set them free.

But it is through Christ alone that we are set free.  His sacrifice only had to happen one time because His sacrifice was perfect.  He gave His very lives for ours and His life was without sin.  He didn’t deserve the cross and the wrath poured out upon Him.  But His love led Him to Calvary, His love led Him to the cross, His love held Him to the cross.  He laid down His life simply because of His love for us.

Jesus death and resurrection were foreordained before the foundations of the earth.  The Lord knew that when He created Adam and Eve that they would indeed sin and reject His commands.  That sin would enter in and separate the human race from God.  But long before anything was created the plan was put into place.

But Jesus coming and giving His life, He would one day rule the earth through love.  All those who would rule and reign with Him would do so out of freewill and out of choice.  Those who follow Christ do so because they choose to follow Him.  The kings of the earth now force people to serve and submit to them.  But in Christ all things are done in love.  Jesus gave His love and the plan for Him laying down His life was before anything was created.

Before even angels were created the Lord knew that Satan would rebel and a third of the angels would follow after him.  Many people ask “why would God create Satan if he knew he would rebel”.  The answer simply is God’s ways are above our ways and someday when we walk with the Lord in His kingdom we will fully understand all things.  But God knows all things and nothing takes Him by surprise.

He knows our every mistake and shortcoming and has chosen us in light of knowing all this.  I often am in awe as I sit in the Lord’s presence and think about His love, grace, and mercy for me.  I understand fully that it is by His grace alone as I sit and type these words.  None of us who follow Christ have anything to be prideful about.  We are nothing without Jesus and the more we come to know Him the more we come to know the depth of His sacrifice for us.

Because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy

13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:13-16

We are called to be holy.  As we walk with the Lord daily our lives are transformed by the Holy Spirit.  True life is found in Christ alone and it is by His strength and the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to walk in holiness and obedience.  When we walk in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit we walk in holiness.

The apostle Peter tells us to gird up our loins of our minds, to be sober, and rest our hope fully upon the grace of God.  We are called to be a watchful people.  We are called to diligently follow Jesus until the day He returns.  Many in this hour are sleeping and slumbering because they have allowed sin to creep in and take hold.  There is a vast difference between sinning once in a while and living in habitual sin.

Because of our imperfection we will sin from time to time.  But every time we do sin, the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us as we confess our sins.  But if we are living in sin which means our life is dominated by it, that is a major problem.  Because in Christ we have been set free from the curse of sin and death.  But if we begin to indulge in it once again it will blind us and harden our hearts to the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit.

We are called to be obedient children and not conform to the lust of this world.  Everything this world is built upon is the lies and deception of Satan.  Those who chase after the world will in the end forfeit all that God has for them.  What will it truly prophet someone if they gain the whole world but forfeit their very soul.

The death we face upon this earth is the first death.  But those who are in Christ will be saved from the second death.  All will stand before Christ some day and for those who were not willing to repent and turn from the wickedness of this world, they will spend an eternity in the lake of fire.  May we be sober and vigilant on a daily basis.  Not worrying about tomorrow, but having our eyes fixed upon Jesus Christ alone.