This message is something the Lord spoke plainly into my spirit a long time ago:
Take My hand, and don’t look back.
Write the things which thou hast seen, things which are and shall hereafter be.
I have been writing ever since. Perhaps not perfectly, but God has made me a lifelong writer. I had this message written on a whiteboard in my office, signed “~ Jesus”. When I packed up and moved across the country to attend divinity school, it arrived intact without a single letter of the dry erase marker smudged. Moreover, I did not know it was a Scripture until I found it much later, written in a similar enough way that I immediately recognized the words…
Then I turned to see [whose was] the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, And in the midst of the lampstands [One] like a Son of Man, clothed with a robe which reached to His feet and with a girdle of gold about His breast. His head and His hair were white like white wool, [as white] as snow, and His eyes [flashed] like a flame of fire. His feet glowed like burnished (bright) bronze as it is refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.
In His right hand He held seven stars, and from His mouth there came forth a sharp two-edged sword, and His face was like the sun shining in full power at midday. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead. But He laid His right hand on me and said, Do not be afraid! I am the First and the Last, And the Ever-living One [I am living in the eternity of the eternities]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore; and I possess the keys of death and Hades (the realm of the dead).
Write therefore the things you see, what they are [and signify] and what is to take place hereafter.
As to the hidden meaning (the mystery) of the seven stars which you saw on My right hand and the seven lampstands of gold: the seven stars are the seven angels (messengers) of the seven assemblies (churches) and the seven lampstands are the seven churches (Revelation 1:12-20, AMPC).
Another translation says: Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter (Revelation 1:19, KJ21).
…Pretty similar; nearly exact to the spoken message. It was a timely, spoken word of God to me, personally calling me to a bracket of service He had ordained for me long ago. God has been kind to show me similar things, maybe hundreds or thousands by now, of how my life or stories mimic what was already written in the Word of God centuries ago. The Bible covers all time—including now.
What has God spoken to you?
Where are His personal messages found in the Bible?
What have they to do with Christmastime?
There are many semblances of Light at Christmastime. Firstly, this light should penetrate the dark corners of our heart, soul and mind. We are to completely embrace the Lord, accept His forgiveness and decidedly move forward, following Him, into a new year. We do not need to look back in shame, regret or confusion. We get to step into something new (Rev. 21:5, NLT).
I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward (Philippians 3:13-14, AMPC).
Secondly, we are to operate on His love to fulfill His call on our lives. Christianity requires faith, trust and discipline which are all good for our lives, and this lifestyle comes to us by God’s grace, first allowing God to expose lies, grant us truth, and to communicate with, and charge, us directly.
You have a God-given purpose.
The light of Christmas allows us to concentrate on the Lord, check our relationship with Him, and to pray for Him to rejuvenate and reactivate our gifts in thankfulness of all He has given to us.
There are many symbols of Light in our opening passage—"His head and His hair were white like white wool, [as white] as snow, and His eyes [flashed] like a flame of fire” (v. 14, AMPC). He has given Light to His Churches—a gift we celebrate each Christmas: God coming to the earth as a Child. God with us (Matthew 1:23, AMPC).
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6, KJ21).
In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it] (John 1:1-5, AMPC).
…Behold, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29, KJ21)!
As long as I am in the world, I am the world’s Light (John 9:5, AMPC).
In our opening passage, Christ passes portions of His light to the Churches:
As to the hidden meaning (the mystery) of the seven stars which you saw on My right hand and the seven lampstands of gold: the seven stars are the seven angels (messengers) of the seven assemblies (churches) and the seven lampstands are the seven churches (Revelation 1:20, AMPC).
In several Revelation passages, letters are written to the angels of the Churches—a message recorded in the Word of God forever. Likewise, Apostle Paul, wrote letters to the first century churches to correct, encourage, and guide them in the Way they should go. It might sound humorous, but a social media post I read recently stated that if today’s church were a first century church, “we’d be getting a letter” from Paul. I am here to say we have already been sent all the letters we need (which are found in the Bible), but we need to read them and listen to the Spirit of God coming through them to speak to us today.
A commonality in the Revelation letters is the recurring request of the Lord that the churches “repent”:
To Ephesus: I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]. Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent (Rev. 2:3-5, AMPC).
To Thyatira: But I have this against you: that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess [claiming to be inspired], and who is teaching and leading astray my servants and beguiling them into practicing sexual vice and eating food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she has no desire to repent of her immorality [symbolic of idolatry] and refuses to do so. Take note: I will throw her on a bed [of anguish], and those who commit adultery with her [her paramours] I will bring down to pressing distress and severe affliction, unless they turn away their minds from conduct [such as] hers and repent of their doings. And I will strike her children (her proper followers) dead [thoroughly exterminating them]. And all the assemblies (churches) shall recognize and understand that I am He Who searches minds (the thoughts, feelings, and purposes) and the [inmost] hearts, and I will give to each of you [the reward for what you have done] as your work deserves (Rev. 2:20-23, AMPC).
“My people have abandoned My love,” God says. “I gave her time to repent…” The clear message is:
Love Me again and turn away from your vices and your idols.
I’m giving you just a little more time.
Vices are sins and idols can be anything that distracts us from full, clean and sincere devotion to God. (Our guidance on these things is found in the Word.) For those individuals among the churches who repent (change their hearts and minds and distinctly turn toward God), there are beautiful, everlasting promises, such as, “I will give you the Morning Star.” Which this promise is followed by the oft repeated, “He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the [Holy] Spirit says to the assemblies (churches)” (Rev. 2:28-29, AMPC). God is speaking. But are we able to hear?
Today’s church must turn and listen to God.
Part of the silence of Christmas is reserved for this.
God calls us one by one. One by one we open our heart, put down sin and distraction, and keep our flame lit even if—especially if, we are the only one.
Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life (John 8:12, AMPC).
Once more Jesus addressed… It is as if God has pleaded, written, spoken, encouraged, sent Jesus, raised Jesus, written again, asked and empowered the churches, sent the Holy Spirit, and yet the darkness seems overwhelming—this is much in part due to erroneous choice.
Repentance is a term that requires “mind-heart-soul-spirit” concentration (Matthew 22:37, NLT). It teaches us that God respects us enough to let us make an individual choice:
I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live (Deuteronomy 30:19, AMPC).
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) (John 10:10, AMPC).
Repentance is a form of wholly choosing God, and realigning our mind, heart, soul, and spirit to Him (as often as necessary) until we stand before Him and give an account of every one of
these choices. In Revelation, Jesus puts it like this: “Would that you would be cold or hot! Because you are neither, I will spew you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16, paraphrased). He gives us time to choose, and then reacts to us based on our decision. The latter is the far more serious test. In Matthew 12:30 (NLT), He plainly states, “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.”
Light | Dark
Life | Death
The odds of faith are astronomical, yet it is the only thing that eternally works. God has written sacred letters to His churches to ensure they stay fully in the Light and communicate the Light of the World to others—just as it was written. Every individual within these churches must choose the Light and accept Christ completely into their own heart. To be hot and cold, to be lukewarm, to be of two-souls, to be double-minded, to fluctuate between faith and unbelief is problematic (James 1:8, Mark 9:24). It wears out the saints and these are often signs of a lack of true repentance and a lack of a clear-cut decision to choose Christ, or to fully recommit. The church, and the modern residents of the world, are not exempt from this foreordained test.
To put it practically, churches, businesses and law—all three, are moving away from the solid foundations God has provided in His Word. Some businesses have more capital than sovereign nations and stand to influence policy and norms across the world. Laws that are not centered on God’s Ten Commandments represent societies going severely off course, and these types of “manmade” laws erode law, order and authority. God has already warned His churches that He will diminish their light if they do not keep to the whole council and Spirit of the Word of God, vis-à-vis, if they do not repent.
The church needs to repent and regain its Light.
Then and only then will it regain its strength and influence in society.
Our Advent, leading up to Christmastime, is a season to concentrate on Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, which are gifts granted to us through Christ. It is also about personally appropriating the Light of the World and communicating His truth to others, no matter how dark the surrounding circumstances seem. It is a season to focus on the future, on eternity, and to check this vision—so beautifully described in Revelation—against the decisions we are making on the earth. Do they align? If not, I encourage you to make a decided turn back toward God. “Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord]” (Rev. 2:5, AMPC). The Morning Star, the Bethlehem Star, the Light of Christ, all do show that ONE can SHINE. Should God keep the flame lit in us, we will shine forever, too. Though you may be surrounded by darkness, decide today to be fully on fire for God. Appropriate the Anointing of the King of all Kings and be wholly committed to follow Him. Rekindle that flame, profess your belief, fight the good fight of faith, and above all that you do this season, I pray you reconnect and reawaken your beautiful relationship with God, Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Take His hand and don’t look back. Rather, move on in confidence in Him, the confidence wherein Christ has called you (see 1 Peter 5:10, AMPC). If you are consecrated (set apart for His holy use), serve the Lord with gladness. Keep in mind Eternity is forever; this world is temporary. However, “…God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJ21). We need to shine the Light.
Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance [have held fast the lesson of My patience with the expectant endurance that I give you], I also will keep you [safe] from the hour of trial (testing) which is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell upon the earth. I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your crown.
He who overcomes (is victorious), I will make him a pillar in the sanctuary of My God; he shall never be put out of it or go out of it, and I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which descends from My God out of heaven, and My own new name.
He who can hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches) (Rev. 3:10-13).
This season, I hope you are encouraged that stars shine brighter when they are surrounded by darkness. The Name Emmanuel has been given to you, for this exact time in history: God with us.
Have a Merry Christmas.
Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible (AMPC), Copyright © 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. lockman.org
Scripture quotations marked “KJ21” are taken from the 21st Century King James Version®, copyright © 1994. Used by permission of Deuel Enterprises, Inc., Gary, SD 57237. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.