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The apostle John had spent his life preaching the gospel and in his old age, about 62 years after the crucifixion, he had been banished to the isle of Patmos. He gives the reason for his imprisonment, "For the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ."
About-Him.Com Devotional 03-18-2017
Come Up Hither
Life was not easy in this Roman penal colony in the Aegean sea. The terrain was rugged and the prisoners were forced to work the mines of the island. I doubt that John had the day off, but that did not stop the apostle from worship on the Lord's day. Perhaps his mind went back to another Lord's day, many years earlier when he outran the apostle Peter, to look into the empty tomb of the Lord. He remembered the Lord appearing and showing the scars of his hands and feet. He had been instructed for forty days by the risen Christ, who gave commandments concerning the kingdom of God (Ac. 1:30). John had seen the ascension, and was present at the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost (Ac. 2:4). He stood with Peter as he addressed the mocking crowd and proclaimed that the Jesus they had slain had been made both Lord and Christ.
Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Today was the Lord's day and regardless of conditions, John was in the Spirit. Suddenly he heard the voice of the Eternal. The voice that had framed the worlds by a spoken Word, who had stretched forth the heavens alone by Himself (Is. 44:24). The voice that shook the mountains at the giving of the law. He heard the voice of the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last. The root and offspring of David, the bright and morning star (Re. 22: 13,16). The One who had always proclaimed Himself to be the One and only God who knew no others, either, before, beside, or after Himself (Is. 44:6,8).
John turned and saw a form that was similar to that of the Lord Jesus whom he had known . Jon wrote in 1 John 1:1 that he saw," That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life (Jn. 1:1, 14)."The Deity was no longer veiled. It was shinning through the Lord Jesus, just as it did on the mountain of transfiguration, but to a greater extent.
Revelation 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
John was in the Spirit. No great cathedral, no mass choir, no driving musical beat. Nobody present to work him into a state of hysteria. Just him and the Lord. To us, this would be the ultimate experience, and yet John was invited to , "Come Up Hither." There is always a higher realm, a higher experience in the Lord. Just as the apostle Paul stated that he had not obtained, and had expressed a desire to know Him (Php. 3:10-14), John was being elevated to yet another plane in the Spirit. He was taken to the throne of God. Here he saw the Godhead embodied in the Lord Jesus Christ (Co. 2:9). He saw myriads of redeemed people of every kindred, tongue, nation and people (Re.5:9), praising the Lamb, who had redeemed them by His blood, to be kings and priests unto God. Somewhere in this vast multitude, John saw you and me.
Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
We have a place reserved for us at the throne. We did not obtain it by our good works or our merit, nor does our obtaining it depend on our performance. It was purchased for us by the blood of Jesus.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
We have been predestined to come up hither to be conformed to the image of the living Christ and to be eternally at the throne of God with Him.
Romans 8:29 ¶ For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
We were foreknown in eternity past, before we were ever conceived in our mother's womb (Jer. 1:5), to be a participant in the great celebration at the throne of God as one of the redeemed. We were also predestined to be living epistles, known and read of all men (2Co. 3:2), as we proclaim the good news of the kingdom. We are predestined to manifest the presence of the living God in our daily lives and to be an extension of His person and presence, His heart and His character.
There is a place in Him - up hither - where the things of earth grow dim and lose their importance. John didn't have any comforts of life on Patmos, but it didn't matter. He was "Up Hither" with his Lord.
Just as John was not mindful of the cruel conditions of his imprisonment while he was in the Spirit, we also strive to obtain a higher plane in the Spirit where our earthly cares aren't so important, where the things that easily beset us will be seen as trivial. In the higher plane we can see that the things of this earth are temporary, they are going to perish. Therefore, we don't labor for the treasures of this world that are going to perish with fervent heat (2Pe. 3:10), but we labor for the eternal things of the kingdom of God (Jn. 6:27).
Matthew 6:25 ¶ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Luke 12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
He knows everything that I have need of, and He has promised to supply it, if I will put Him first and seek His kingdom. He knew temptation, He knew weariness, He knows the frailty of our flesh and has made provision for it on His cross. He was made like unto His brethren, He took part of flesh and blood, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God (He. 2:17).
He is about to come for you, to take you Up hither. He wants you to be a part of that innumerable host. Your mansion has been prepared (Jn. 14:2) and your seat at the throne arranged. That scene won't be complete without you.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
I Corinithians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Yes, we will see Him as He is (1Jn. 3:2). We don't know every thing that he has prepared, but we know that we will be with Him and be like Him. His eternal purpose will have been realized. He will have gathered all things together in One, even in Christ (Ep. 1:10). There will be no more suffering, pain or death He will wipe all tears from our eyes. The former things of this earth will have passed away (Re. 21:4). He will be our God and we will be His people. Our fervent prayer is, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done (Lu. 11:2), Come quickly Lord Jesus and take us up hither."
Song: My God, My King and My Redeemer
Have you ever talked to someone that just dominated the conversation and never let you say one word? This is what it's like when we pray ‘at’ God and do not take time to listen to Him. Think of prayer as Divine dialogue… listen just as much as you talk. - Read more at Beliefnet.Com/
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