Posts Tagged ‘revelation’

A Memorable Trip to the Isle of Patmos

September 26, 2012

Patmos… I had often dreamed of visiting it and one early morning while we were staying on Kos I realised as I looked across the sparkling sea from our balcony that this dream was about to come true that very day!

In the mellow early morning sun we drove to the harbour in Kos town where we parked and then boarded the Puglia Queen bound for Patmos. Unlike the boat to the volcanic island of Nissiros, this was a large vessel for the much longer sea journey involved.

The Greek island of Patmos, referred to as the ‘jewel of the Aegean’ and the ‘Sacred Island,’ is the island to which St. John the Divine is said to have been exiled “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 1v9) He wrote of his experience of hearing the Lord speak to him there in Patmos…

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” (Rev. 1v10&11)

It was a smooth pleasant journey – more like a cruise and as I sat there I reflected on the fact that human nature has not changed at all since the days when John, the servant of God, was inspired to write those sacred and precious messages which the Lord revealed to him.

At first sight of the little island (these days home to around 3,000 people) my thoughts turned to John and how he must have felt as he approached it, not on a comfortable ship with refreshments at hand, but most likely by sailing boat on rough seas – banished to this small remote island because of his love for “Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 1v5&6)

Despite his circumstances John continued to praise God, being filled with His Spirit to the extent that the prophetic words that the Lord gave him to write and the wonderful visions that were revealed to him, would speak to billions of souls down through the ages ahead.

 After docking we boarded the coach for ‘the cave of the Apocalypse’ which is where John is said to have received his revelation; yet sadly I knew that very few of these pilgrims to the cave would truly own the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

Several monasteries on the island are dedicated to St. John too and as I suspected, the cave etc. are used by the Greek Orthodox authorities to make money from the thousands of tourists who visit there each year.

I chatted with a friendly little elderly man, dressed in black with a white beard, who accepted my Greek John 3v16 bookmark with a smile and a ‘thank you,’ while my husband got the opportunity to talk to one of the monks who showed a genuine interest in what we believed.

We also met two young Dutch girls, Evangelical Christians, with whom we had a good conversation.

All in all, it was an unforgettable and fascinating day. I noticed that when we initially boarded the ship, a passenger list had been made, reminding me of the ill-fated Titanic… How many of those names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?

The last words of Jesus, written in Revelation 22v20, are these: “Surely I come quickly.”

John could say with complete assurance: “Amen, Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (v20)

How many today can truly say these words with confidence?

Jesus’ message to each precious soul for whom He died is still the same as it was when John walked the dusty earth on that lovely little isle of Patmos, around the year AD 96… “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Rev. 3v20-22)

Jesus is coming again… oh that we would be ever ready for that day that no man knows – and that we would see His face and that His Name would be in our foreheads! (Rev 22v4)

“Behold I Come as a Thief…”

December 26, 2011

It is hard to believe that seven years have now passed since the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake which occurred on Sunday, December 26, 2004. ‘Tsunami’, a Japanese word, originally meant ‘a large wave in a harbour’, but is now used to describe the most destructive of all waves. Unlike other waves, it is caused by neither the influence of moon or sun – but by a giant disturbance under the sea, which may be either a volcanic eruption or an earthquake (as in this case). As coincidence would have it, my reading was in Revelation when this disaster struck. Earthquakes are mentioned more in this final book of the Bible, than in any other, and are very much associated with the end times. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24v7&8: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. And these are the beginning of sorrows.”

As the months and years of our ageing universe pass, we know from God’s Word that there will be more and more earthquakes in ‘diverse places.’ In the latter times, our earth will suffer the most violent tremors ever experienced in the history of mankind. Those of us in western Europe, to date, have had very little experience of earthquakes, and yet, some day every nation of the world will be affected by that great earthquake mentioned in Rev. 16v18: “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” In Verse 20 of this chapter we learn that: “…every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.”

As the terrible story of the Tsunami unfolded, so too did many stories of heroism and fortitude. I read a newspaper report of one young girl, a tourist in the region, who saw and recognised the signs of the Tsunami before it struck. Being a student of geography, she was well read in this particular phenomenon, and knew the tell-tale signs of approaching catastrophe. The result was that she raised the alarm within the little area where she happened to be at the time, and was able to save the lives of at least one hundred people. Surely, we too, as Christians, need to be well read in God’s Word? His will for us is that we should know the warning signs that accompany the times we live in, and be prepared to warn those souls around us to “flee from the wrath to come.” (Matt. 3v7;Rom.5v9). I am sure that it took courage for this young girl to shout the warnings to the formidable adults around her. It takes much courage for us also, to visit our neighbours, and warn them of the things that we have gleaned from God’s Word. But proclaim it we must, going in His strength, for Jesus tells us: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 10v32&33). And in Mark 8v38 we learn that… “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Just as God told Noah to be prepared for the coming flood, we are exhorted to be prepared for “that day and hour” which no man knows. (Matt. 24v36). “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would have not have suffered his house to be broken up.” (Matt. 24v42&43).

The Tsunami ‘came as a thief.’ People were not expecting this sudden dreadful devastation which overtook them. Those masses of people who checked in at airports during the pre-Christmas rush would have made excellent preparation for their holidays. Perhaps weeks, even months of meticulous planning and anticipation filled their lives. How much more should we anticipate and be prepared for “the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord!” (Mal. 4v5). “Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” (Rev. 16v15).

Some day that curse upon our earth shall be removed, and terrible events like Tsunamis shall be no more, for we read: “And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. 22v3-5). And so, this life is but for a season, but the years of eternity are indeed “for ever and ever.” Without the Lord, those ages of eternity are too awful to contemplate, for we read: “And whosoever was not found in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20v15).

To those who know Him, He says: “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Rev. 3v11). So long as we are followers of Jesus, and “Walk in the Spirit,” (Gal.5v16) this day and all our tomorrows belong to Him.

To those who do not know Him, He says: “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Rev.3v20).

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22v16&17). “He which testifieth of these things saith, ‘Surely I come quickly,’ Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus.” Rev. 22v20). May God bless His precious words to the hearts of all who read, and may “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Rev. 22v21)

My Love for the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible (1611-2011)

February 2, 2011

I have always had respect for the Bible and when I was very young, my father ensured that we learned to recite many passages; one of these being Psalm 1: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…” Today I can still recite that Psalm by heart, but it wasn’t until I became a Christian that I felt the words of the Bible come alive and especially relevant for me. “Read the King James Bible,” my old English teacher had advised, “for its great literary content.” Then, in the autumn of 1977 I asked my mother for a simple gift for the following Christmas – a copy of the King James Bible. Indeed I still have that old Bible but it is now carefully stored in a little box to keep the pages together, since over the ensuing years I was to search those pages for inspiration, for answers, for hope. I started to systematically read it through and I came to love every word, but I also came to question the nature of my life and to be convicted by words like… “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53v6) Despite the fact that I was a ‘law abiding citizen’ I came to see that, like every other soul born into this world, I needed a Saviour because of words like: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3v23)  Then one late evening in August 1978, just eight months after receiving my first Bible, in the quietness of my heart I repented of all that previous life lived outside His grace and asked the Lord Jesus to come into my heart and to be my Saviour.

From that moment on my life was never to be the same again, for it was to be guided by the Word of God; a book which even some atheists will admit is extraordinary in content. Its words brought revelation, guidance, comfort and joy throughout the years ahead. When my children were ill or in hospital I would seek the Author of this book in prayer and then He would comfort me with loving words from its pages; words which were amazingly apt for every situation I would find myself in.

The beauty of its language is second to none and despite the fact that there are numerous other English translations of the Bible, I feel that there is no better translation than this one for the English speaking world today.

Tonight I lift my first Bible in my hands with nostalgia. Inside its cover I read words which were written nearly 34 years ago by my mother:

Christmas 1977 from Mum and Dad. (Isaiah 41v10)

Then I go to Isaiah 41v10 and read: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

How often those beautiful words would speak to me over the years and how comforting they are on this night as I pray for my father who is very ill in hospital. I love the poetic beauty of those books from Job to Song of Solomon, the history, the genealogy… yet everything contained in the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation ultimately points to the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for all mankind, making it possible for every soul on this universe to be born again, “not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1Peter 1v23)

Years later my husband gave me another Bible; still the beautiful King James translation but in bigger print this time because I was growing older! Every time I read the Bible through, I record the date of that reading and leave a comment like “Praise the Lord!” Today its words breathe life to me and as the years go by they are more precious than ever. The full colour gift books which the Lord has led me to write, quote extensively and exclusively from the Authorised Version and in this, the 400th Anniversary of its launch, I hope, in the Lord’s strength to promote it all the more.

This is the Bible which inspired the great spiritual revivals in history throughout Britain, Ireland and the U.S.A. My prayer is that its words will once again, in this 21st Century, live on to pierce the hearts of men, women and children with its truth and that souls would search its pages and turn to its Divine Author in repentance before “the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” (Malachi 4v5)

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Rev. 22v18&19)