From the recording Revelation

The difference one man can make in adversity and how he can make it!
The right person (v9)
The right place (v9) – Patmos
The right preparation (v9)
Same kin
Same Kingdom
Same kind of conditions
In the right condition (v10)
Then John was a right help to the people of God
It took him until he was about 90 to be:
• That person
• In that place
• In that condition
God was not in any hurry, even if I am
‘I John’
This greatest of biblical prophetic revelations was given to a humble fisherman – John!.
The John who leaned on the breast of Jesus extends that reality of Jesus to these Christians.
• Travelled with Him
• Talked with Him
• Listened to Him
• Watched Him
• Rested on Him
• Wrote the gospel all about Him
John summarises His experience of Jesus in 1 John 1:1-2
The same John so close to Christ now draws close to Christians, that is his priestly ministry.
The same ministry of Christ who:
• Bore our griefs and carried our sorrows
• Who washed the disciples feet
• Who being in the form of God thought not Deity to consist of grasping after (Phil 2)
John’s ministry was a priestly ministry
o All Christian service is priestly service
o The service of Christ was priestly service (Phil 2, John 13)
o The pattern of spiritual service is priestly; Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Daniel
o John’s service isn’t only about preaching to people but is about reaching people.
John doesn’t just appear out of the blue and start preaching to everyone about Jesus.!
John has a history, from history experience, an ongoing experience of Jesus!
That history began with the call of Jesus on his life (Matt 4:21) and the obedience of John to that call may have seem to some a tiny step; let go of his fishing nets and stop mending nets and follow Jesus.
That first small step and series of tiny steps though have Ed us here to the greatest prophetic revelation of the Bible!
Stop mending your net and come with me.
For perhaps the bulk of the gospel narrative an intelligent onlooker may well be forgiven if all of this sacrifice of job, security, family and finance was really going anywhere?
Especially when we see Christ crucified and the 2 on the road to Emmaus despondent and discouraged.
Had John made a colossal error of judgment?
Perhaps he even wondered this himself?
Returning it would seem at one point to the fishing in John chapter 21?
The first book of the NT records where John came from – humble beginnings, unpromising and unqualified, uninspiring?
But listen
It is left for the last book of the Bible for us to learn as to where John went to!
Not just Patmos but somewhere way more glorious than that.
From the sea of Galilee
The crystal sea (Rev 4)
This journey from earth to heaven, to the eternal Glory of God is not uniquely John’s journey, this too is our journey!
Is it not encouraging to see that the glory he gained was infinitely greater than the small steps of faithful obedience John took!
This was a journey of many small steps of faithful obedience, to leave behind the mending of nets, to leave the fishing and boat and father and follow Jesus.
Those many simple steps of obedience and small steps of faithfulness brought John on a journey which concluded here with “I John” (1:9)
I wonder if there will be many looking back from the edge of the crystal sea and wondering seriously did I ever consider any of this passing and fleeting sacrifices of time of any real value and significance, past and now long forgotten for this perspective – on the edge of the crystal sea?
“these light afflictions” – did I ever entertain the thought that such light afflictios, such tiny costs, such trivia might seriously be a hindrance / discouragement to me reaching this destination!
Oh those light afflictions are so out of proportion to a far more eternal Wight of glory!
Did I ever get:
Doubt the purpose
For such trivial gains?
1. Who He is – I John
2. What He was
3. How God used him!
Little did John anticipate where it would lead him!
A life filled with many small steps of obedience can lead somewhere glorious.
God uses / calls a man of experience

From experience comes revelation and exposition
How much of a help can you be John?
How close are you to Jesus?

Kindred Connection:
“your brother” – John bridges the gap
Just as Jesus does – Phil 2, John 13
He is the priestly servant
Christ came as human (Hebrews 2) :
1. To claim the crown of creation by right
2. To fulfill scripture
3. To complete redemption
4. To be our great High Priest
a. Succour
b. Sympathise
c. Suffer
d. Save
John follows the pattern of Jesus – priestly service
It is note sufficient to ‘tell it as it is’ and leave it there
Is it not the:
• ‘entrance of thy works that bringeth life?’
• ‘word of God that is living and powerful’
• ‘spirit that quickens’
• ‘salvation cometh by hearing’
It is indeed
Serving is not saving!

Through the gospels:
I. Serving opens the ear to the saving word
a. Cf John 11 and the table set for Jesus with Lazarus
b. Cf the miracles of helaing
c. Cf Naamans maid
d. John chapter 13 and the washing of the disciples feet
e. John chapters 8 + 9
II. Serving demonstrates sincerity
a. We are not a cult
b. We care
c. We care because God cares
III. We serve because Christ serves
IV. We deal with people as people who have a will to be won over
This is the ‘Kingdom’ (v9)
Not the earthly kingdom of Pilate; ‘art thou a King?’
A kingdom not of this world
Entrance to this kingdom is by much tribulation
This is a kingdom foreign to this world, belonging to another world
To be part of this kingdom is to be foreign to the world.
Right Place:
Off the coast of Turkey
Close to Ephesus
How could being confined to a prison island advance the Word of God or the Testimony of Jesus Christ?
God doesn’t always work the way we would work; consider – Joseph, Moses, Daniel and David!

Right Condition:
‘in the Spirit’
Call :
• To war
• To warning
• To worship
• To wonder
‘brother and companion in tribulation’
John is passing through the same experiences and able to minister in priestly service man ward from heaven ward resources.
Cf the High Priestly ministry of Christ in Hebrews chp 2 + 4
Hebrews 2:18
Where do we turn in times of trial and affliction?
Books of Job, Psalms and Revelation, for here we not only have information, education but understanding and insight.
The great ministers of God to His people were thus authentic in their appreciation of their peoples struggles:
• Joseph
• Moses
• David
• Isaiah
• Disciples
• Daniel
More than intellectual accuracy, this is a ministry of spiritual authenticity!

How God Used Him:
The Isle of Patmos experience was 2 fold:
1. For the Word of God – what we have, content of the book
2. For the Testimony of Jesus Christ – who He is, Character of the man
God does both in our lives
What He does through us, He does in us
A message preached as part of our verse by verse, chapter by chapter, systematic exposition and bible study in the book of Revelation, the New Testament prophetic book of the Apocalypse of John. Listen, watch or download for free this Sermon on Revelation chapter 1.
Yours by Grace in Christ
Dr J Stewart Gillespie