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The Fruit of Obedience - The Book of Revelation
Week 12, 2017
This week we will continue with:
I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.
I then saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?"
But no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it.
Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it;
So, one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”
What is this book that no one in heaven or on the earth except Jesus is worthy to open? What are the seven seals? We need to understand why John was at this remarkable event before the throne of God, and why Jesus alone could open this book.
John is not just in this vision as a prophet, but he was there also as an intercessor. As we are told in Psalm 115:16, “The heavens are the heavens of the LORD, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” He knows what we need better than we do. Because He has delegated authority over the earth to mankind, He will not do things on the earth unless we ask. So here John takes the role of the intercessor and weeps that there is no one to open the book. A representative of the earth had to want the book opened. Then came the revelation that there is One worthy to open it—Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David.
I was once caught up before the throne and witnessed the anger of the Lord directed toward a friend of mine. The Lord said that He was about to end my friend’s life because of a grievous sin he was committing and had not repented of. I begged the Lord to give him another chance, and the Lord granted it.
I knew I had been given this experience to intercede for my friend, but intercession is more than prayer. I determined to find out what sin had gripped his life that caused the Lord to have to end it. It was revealed quickly and a long process of restoration began.
A main purpose in this life is to be a priest to the Lord. This is a calling on all New Covenant believers. If we are shown something in a vision, or in the natural, it is likely that the purpose of the revelation is for intercession. That intercession can also take on the form of helping to resolve the matter, pulling others out of the sinful traps they have fallen into, or keeping them from falling into them.
In my experience, I seem to have failed in helping some out of sin, or keeping them out of it, more than I have succeeded. However, when I was discouraged about this, the Lord directed me to look at His record. Though He died for all, it seems that many do not partake of His salvation—many remain in their sin. Even though this may look like a failure, many things will be resolved in the age to come that we cannot now understand. Therefore, He is looking for obedience, and He alone really knows the degree to which we are successful.
I consider Heidi Baker to be one of the great missionaries of these times. She was converted during a crusade at the Choctaw Indian Reservation, and she was the only convert. No doubt the evangelist felt like that crusade was a miserable failure, with just one fifteen-year-old girl being the only one to meet the Lord. However, because of that one convert, countless multitudes have come to Him and been inspired by Heidi’s life.
Think of the Apostle Paul. He prayed to be conformed to the image of the Lord’s death, and he died much like the Lord. Almost all of his friends had left him alone, and virtually all of the churches he had given his life to raise up had gone into apostasy. He may have wondered on the day of his execution if he had accomplished anything for the Lord. However, through the few letters he wrote, he is likely still gathering more fruit for eternal life than all of the subsequent ministries.
We can rarely judge the fruit of something in this life. Our goal must simply be to be obedient.
next week 13