Revelation 1: 5 (from “…to him who loves”)
Our brother has spoken about mercy; Mr Coates said, “the love of God has revealed a fairer and brighter scene than Eden; a more glorious paradise than that of man’s innocence has been opened up by the death of Jesus”, vol 21 p18. It is a remarkable thing. Think about what it cost God that the Lord Jesus had to die, and had to give up His life which was so precious to God, suggested in the coats of skin (Gen 3: 21); that has been the basis to save a lost world from the situation in which it is. He is able to save you and me from our sins. The basis has led to eternity, and may everyone be in the enjoyment and in the gain of wearing this coat of skin. May you have your own valuation of the preciousness of the death of the Lord Jesus, and take Him for your own.
I read these verses because I was impressed as our brother spoke of the glory of the Person and what comes to us here. John was on the island of Patmos, and Mr Lyon said, ’If you would like to know the address of John it would be just, John on Patmos!’ It is as if he was the only one there. He may have lived in a cave, and he was later on in the tribulation, but he lived in the love of Jesus. I wonder whether I could just impress every soul here to take time every day. If you know your sins are forgiven, and you are in the assurance of that fact that your sins are forgiven, it must mean that you have the Spirit. There is some possibility for you then to enjoy the love of Jesus, a glorified Man in heaven who is the object and the goal for the heart of every believer. But, the great point is, may we open our hearts, and have a little time to sit restfully and enjoy His love. That is the power for our way upward. Mr Darby says:
That way is upward still,
Where life and glory are.
I wondered whether this verse could be connected with Hebrews 10 where the writer speaks of the way into the holiest. The Scriptures can be a bit difficult for our minds to understand, but this is not very different from sitting restfully and thinking about the preciousness of the Person of the Lord Jesus.
It is interesting that in Hebrews 9 it speaks of “a golden censer” – “but after the second veil a tabernacle which is called Holy of holies, having a golden censer, and the ark of the covenant”, v 3, 4. In that verse it is the “golden censer”, which is said to be in the same place as the ark. Usually in the Holy of holies it is just the ark in all its glory. Here it seems that there is the “golden censer”. That means that if we are in that place which is called the Holy of holies, where we see the ark, where we enjoy the love of Jesus, there is an answer to the Lord; that is the golden censer. I do not think we can really make a separation between it and the ark, the preciousness of the ark and seeing the ark. There must be an answer to God. It brings out how in life there is something secured in vessels of mercy in relation to the glory of the Person of the Lord Jesus.
I would encourage all of us, older ones, and younger ones, that if you want to have a satisfied heart, you cannot have it without knowing this precious Saviour. Therefore, sit a little and think about His Person. Think of His pathway of devotion, think of His pathway of suffering, and think about the place where He is in glory. What a precious thing that is in relation to all our exercises which we have to go through, our responsibilities, in the ways of God’s sovereignty. This enters into all our lives and the enjoyment may only be very short, but get the real sense of the love of Jesus in your heart. That will help us in going through our pathway down here. It helps us to look ahead to the next gathering of the saints to get another fresh impression, but in between you get something; it is something that to me is very precious to think about. Remember that the Spirit is here and there is a direct link from heaven into your heart and my heart, because there is something substantially worked in our hearts. May the Lord use the possibility of thinking a little about it and giving time to think about the Lord’s love.
John says here, “To him who loves us” - there is no question about that at all - “and has washed us from our sins in his blood”. That is related to every Christian; there is no one excluded, every one who is washed from their sins and who has the Spirit can be in the gain of this. Then he goes on to speak in more detail, “and made us a kingdom”. I think it is interesting that every true believer knows something of the kingdom, knows something of what grace and truth is; so he is able to enjoy something of the rights and mercy of the kingdom of God to work out things in his life in detail as to what is pleasing to God. It says in Timothy, “pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace”, 2 Tim 2: 22. That is the way that things are worked out for the true believer, the one who knows that his sins are forgiven and who knows the precious Saviour on high. Then it says, “priests to his God and Father: to him be the glory and the might to the ages of ages. Amen” – see how God has secured something. Think of John by himself. Think of eternal life; it has often been said that John being by himself had this treasure in his heart and that he fulfilled the enjoyment of it. He was in the full gain of eternal life. In loving the Lord you cannot say ’My way is by myself’; it is the way with the brethren in your heart, and the exercises of your brethren in your heart. You carry these things with you. In one sense you cannot forget them. In Corinthians (2 Cor 11: 28), Paul spoke about his concern for all the assemblies, besides all the exercises he went through,.
May these things be more enjoyed by us and more valued and appreciated.
18th August 2009