who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood
 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
It is God the Creator who knows about us best.
Our heart, our personality, our talents, our vessel; God knows every detail.
So it is also God who can lead us to the best and the most proper way in our life.
Since God knows what task we are best at and most capable of in Christ Jesus, He assigns the best task to us.
From a man’s point of view, the task may not seem suitable for a certain man. But God sees differently.
For example, people would never have imagined the way in which John would do his ministry for the Lord, if they had remembered John when he was called as a disciple by Jesus.
In Mark 3:17, Jesus gave James, and John the brother of James the name Boanerges, which means, “Sons of Thunder.”
If you look into Luke 9:52 and onward, you can see why they were given such names.
Disciples of Jesus entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangement for Jesus who was about to enter Jerusalem. But the people of the village didn’t receive them
Then in the verse 54, it says, “When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?””
It explains the short-temper and fierce personality of John, who was called ‘a son of thunder’.
The John that was like that later changed and became ‘the Apostle of Love’ who evangelized countless souls. He piled up immeasurable prayers to the Lord and received the words of the prophecy.
You would not have been able to easily imagine it if you thought about John before he was changed.
But God knew John better than anyone else. He refined John and changed him, and worked on him so that he could become a precious instrument.
There were many disciples and apostles of Jesus. But God chose the Apostle John who would become the most proper for this task.
Dear brothers and sisters.
Receiving the words of the prophecy like in this Book of Revelation is never an easy job.
While kneeling down before God for years, he had to make himself obedient and self-controlled. He had to endure many things.
Since God knew that John would become a proper vessel once he’s changed, God gave him such an important task; recording this Book of Revelation.
By the same token, God knows about you and me better than any one else, and He has plans and providence for us which are most proper and just.
God gives the most proper task to each of us, and guides us as the way He wants to use us.
Therefore, I hope that You will be proud of your given tasks, and have passion for them so that you can accomplish God’s will.
When God gives tasks to people according to their vessel, it’s not whether a certain task is more important than another, the value of the given task may vary depending on how precious the individual considers their given task to be.
Dear brothers and sisters.
Even among the believers of today, there are some who have negative feelings when they hear the word ‘revelation.’
If a person says that he received a revelation from God, they criticize him saying “In these days and times how is it possible for anyone to receive revelations from God!” They say that it is something absolutely wrong and not normal.
These can be found also in the days of Jesus, and the days of the early churches.
The priests, scribes, and Pharisees were Jews who thought of themselves true to the law, and they were proud that they lived by the law.
Then, they saw the disciples and apostles of the Lord experience the spiritual realm that they had never experienced.
So, the priests, scribes, and Pharisees came to envy them and became jealous of them because they did not understand. They thought their positions were threatened by the disciples and apostles so they falsely accused them of being mistaken (in what they believed).
But we can see that Apostle Paul especially, who was even called ‘a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes’ by his Jewish brethren, received many revelations.
And he proved all the revelations by the works of power thatfollowed.
Apostle Paul confessed in 1 Corinthians 14:6, “But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching?’ and in 2 Corinthians 12:1, he said, ‘Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.”
Also in 2 Corinthians 12:7, he said, “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,” and in Galatians 1:11-12, he said, “For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Both in Old Testament times and New Testament times, God communicated with those who were qualified through cast out every form of evil, who were holy and sanctified, and who resembled the heart of the Lord. God revealed His will and providence through them by giving them revelations.
Since Apostle John was qualified as such a man, he could receive the words of the prophecy which contains the deep secrets of the last days.
Now in the verse 2, he said, “(John) testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.”
He is saying that he testified to the word of God that he received in communication with God, to the vision that he saw, and to all that Jesus did during His public ministry.
Apostle John didn’t add into or leave out anything by his own idea, knowledge, or feelings. He recorded exactly what he received by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in God’s will.
Likewise, as he began to write this Book of Revelation, he clearly mentioned where the words were from.
In other words, all the words in the Book of Revelation were from the will of God so that a man shall not interpret them as per his own knowledge or theory, nor shall he doubt them.
All the words were from God, therefore they are all true and they will surely take place.
You must believe this fact and read it.
The verse 3 says, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
Here, ‘the words of the prophecy’ refers to this Book of Revelation, but in a broad sense, it means all the words of the 66 books of the bible.
That’s because we cannot fully understand the Book of Revelation only by the words in it.
Since every word or expressed idea of the Bible always is paired or coupled with another, you can understand the whole meaning when you find the counterpart of the pairs and read them.
Therefore in order to fully understand the will and providence of God in this Book, you have to read the 66 books of the Bible finding proper pairs.
By the way, tonight’s scripture says, ‘Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it.’
First, it says, ‘he who reads.’ Reading can be done by an individual.
Each individual can read the words of the prophecy.
That’s why it used the singular form.
Here in the scripture, ‘read’ doesn’t refer to ‘reading the word of God’ itself.
God doesn’t want you and me to read the words only to get some kind of knowledge. Instead, God wants us to read the words with the longing heart because we love God; because we want to learn His word; and we want to understand His will.
Only then can we put the words in our heart, then we can make bread out of them.
Next, it says, ‘those who hear.’ It now uses plural form.
It is like you listen to the message that I deliver from this podium.
Since I deliver the message to many people instead of to an individual, it is natural that many listen to the words.
And also, ‘hear’ doesn’t refer to listening to the message that is delivered from the podium.
No matter how good the message is, if you interpret the message in your own thought, or not-so-good heart, you may commit a sin of doubting or judging the word of God.
Therefore, when you listen to the word of God, you have to open your heart and listen to the word in goodness; you must not do it within your own theory or knowledge.
Also, only when the word of God comes from the lips of those who are truly loved and guaranteed by God, can the message become life and strength to the listeners.
Lastly, it says, ‘those who heed the things.’ When you read and listen to the words of this prophecy, many of you try to keep them.
That’s why it uses a plural form ‘those’ instead of ‘he’, and the blessing comes upon those who try to keep them.
The blessing doesn’t come upon those who only read or only listen to the words. When they read them, listen to them, and heed them, then the blessing will come upon them.
If they don’t read or listen, they will not understand the will of God. Then, they cannot keep the words and they cannot receive the blessing.
But even if they read and listen, if they don’t keep them, they will be useless.
That’s why the Bible keeps repeating that you must meditate on the word of God and abide by it so that you can receive the promised blessing.
Psalm 103:17-18 says, “But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep His covenant And remember His precepts to do them.”
Also Psalm 119:1 says, “How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.”
And Psalm 101:6 says, “He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me (God).” What a word of great hope!
In the New Testaments, Matthew 7:24 says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
And James 1:22 says, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves,” and the verse 25 says, “But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”
Likewise, the Bible clearly says that you must heed the Word of God that you read and hear and, by doing so the blessings will come upon you.
Even though you read and listen to such an important words as those of Revelation, if you just let them go in one ear and out the other, the Word won’t be of any benefit to you at all.
Please bear in mind that reading and hearing the Word of God is important, but keeping the word and bearing fruit based upon it is more important.
Furthermore, just as it says ‘the time is near,’ the words in Revelation are related to the signs of the last days that are around the corner.
Those who are living in the last days of the end time will have completely different attitudes, depending on how well they read, hear, and keep the words they hear and their preparation to welcome the Lord.
Even though it says, ‘the time is near,’ if they don’t pay attention to it, and befriend the world, they are not those who are preparing themselves to meet with the Lord.
That’s why they cannot even receive the blessing of salvation when the Lord come back to take us.
On the contrary, even though a person hasn’t managed to keep a good believing life up until now, if you keep the word, and live a proper believing life starting today, just as promised in the bible, the most important blessing, thatof salvation, and other the other blessings will come upon you.
By the way, there are some people who just make excuses, and will not live the life of a believer even though they heard that the time is near, and that the things that they heard will surely be done quickly and soon.
For example, a student forgets or ignores his responsibilities as a student and he thinks, “What is the use of studying now, since the Lord will surely come shortly?”
He neglects study, and shows an attitude of deviating from his position as a student.
Then, does he behave because he truly believes the time when the Lord comes back is near?
No. It’s not so.
If he truly believes that the time for the Lord to come back is near, he will rather try harder as a student.
Then he will become a God’s child who will glorify God, and he will be recognized by others.
Of course, he will be awakened to pray to God and he will try hard to pile up rewards in heaven.
But he doesn’t do so, and it means that he doesn’t believe it. He actually doesn’t want to study but just play. Then he makes an excuse, saying ‘the time is near for the Lord to come back,’ and does as he pleases.
The same applies to a office worker, or a business man as well.
The better they understand the time is near, the more faithful they will be and the more they will work. They will work even harder, and earn more to use for the souls of God and His kingdom.
They will be faithful to God-given tasks in order to pile up heavenly rewards. And they will try harder to adorn themselves for the Lord.
But the more important thing is that, just as I mentioned in the last lecture, you must be ready to meet with the Lord.
That’s because you have no idea when your time will be; the time that you will meet with the Lord.
Dear brothers and sisters.
Those who truly love Father God and have hope for heaven will be so excited and happy when they hear, ‘the Lord is coming back soon.’
When people are in love, they become excited when they are about to go out with their partners. How much more will we be excited when we know that we will meet with the Lord, who is our bridegroom, and with Father God?
In order to have this exciting and fantastic moment in joy and happiness, what should we do then?
The method is in the words that God gave to the seven churches in Asia through Apostle John.
Before Apostle John introduces the contents of the letter to the seven churches, he explains the background of the letters.
The verses 4 – 6 says, “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
God chose seven churches and sent the letters through Apostle John.
Here, the seven churches were the churches located in Asia Minor. Asia Minor was the first place that Apostle Paul started his ministry.
Therefore, in those days, they were the churches that were standing on the strongest rock.
God chose such churches which stood on the rock believing in the message of the Cross, the Resurrection of the Lord, and the second advent, and sent them His will.
But the message was not only for those seven churches.
The seven churches represented all the churches in those days, and transcending space and time, they represent all the churches that existed before and the churches that exist now.
God sent His message to seven churches; since the number 7 means ‘perfect’ and ‘complete,’ God sent His messages to all the churches on the earth until the Lord comes back in the air.
The praise and rebuke that were given to the seven churches not only applied to those seven churches. The message talks about the story that any church of these days can experience.
If you listen to the upcoming messages given to the seven churches, you will be surprised how accurately the messages can apply to the churches in these days we are in, and how precisely the messages have been accomplished.
Dear brothers and sisters.
The scripture says, “Him who is and who was and who is to come.” Whom does it refer to?
‘(Him) who is to come’ refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. But ‘Him who is and who was’ refers to Father God.
Of course, the Lord and the Holy Spirit exist and did exist, but it was only Father God who had existed from the very beginning.
But, God the Trinity was originally one. Therefore, ‘Him who is and who was and who is to come’ refers to God the Trinity.
And it says, there are the seven Spirits before God’s throne.
Revelation 4:5 says, “Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”
I will explain about the seven Spirits again later on, but I will give a short explanation. The seven Spirits are the Spirits separated from God.
God who is Spirit can separate out many Spirits from Himself who precisely resemble His heart through division of the Spirit. These seven Spirits measure everything on behalf of God.
It’s like a king of a country sends his messengers who have the authority of a king to a place where the king cannot go.
But no matter how closely they may look around, the messenger of the king cannot see things from the exactly same point of view of the king.
Depending on who the messenger is, even in the same situation, a difference of the point of view may exist.
But this situation doesn’t apply to the seven Spirits.
The Spirits which have the heart of God are separated from God, and search and measure everything with the heart and will of God, make a determination that is precisely congruent with that of God .
The seven Spirits can go anywhere on behalf of God, and search and discern precisely the things about all men.
And depending on the measure of the seven Spirits, the answer, blessing, and solution to problems are determined.
Dear brothers and sisters.
God the Trinity is always beside us.
Father God searches the earth through the division of the Spirit like the seven Spirits.
He protects His children with His fiery eyes, and also at the same time, He searches everything with the fiery eyes.
Also, the Spirit of the Lord is always there where the children of the Lord gather. It always gives grace and strength, and searches everything you do.
And the Holy Spirit who resides in our heart searches our thought and heart, and tries to lead us to the truth no matter where we are now.
Likewise, God the Trinity keeps and protects His children, and gives them strength to overcome this world.
And He also knows about the levels of each one’s faith precisely.
And He leads to a way in accordance with their level of faith.
Please bear in mind the fact that such God the Trinity is always with you, and walk the way that pleases God.
May the grace and blessing of God the Trinity be overflowing upon you who are pleasing to God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray!