Blessed is he that Watcheth!
"Behold, I have set before thee an open door."
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
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"And to the angel of the ecclesia in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name." The door is open. This is David Billington with you for the Bible in the News; this week we will take an intermission from the troubled world around us, to pause and reflect as another year has past us by. The world is indeed troubled. At the beginning of 2008 there is violence in Kenya, Pakistan and in the West there is fear of a recession in the UK and the United States. However, the door is open.
Jesus, in the passage we quoted at the beginning from Revelation 3:8 said "Behold, I have set before thee an open door." This is a door of opportunity. This is a door that will not always remain open. As the Master told the parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25 he said: "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut." Today the door is open. However, soon the door will be closed. Jesus closed the parable with these words: "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."
In the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, watching is associated with lamps, wicks that need trimming, oil and therefore light. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" declares the Psalmist. The oil is that golden oil from the crushed olive, its golden color echoing faith which comes from hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). Peter in his Second Epistle takes up the motif and writes: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts". Watch therefore.
The master who walks amongst the candlesticks introduces the idea of watching in connection with the signs exhibited in Revelation 16 and his coming when he says in verse 15: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." So watching has to do with keeping our garments or covering we receive when baptized into Christ. Watching has to do with the prophecies he has shown us, the signs of the times, the Bible in the news.
Blessed is he that watcheth! There is a blessing associated with watching. To keep our garments is to walk in the light of the truth, in other words to do his commandments. So the Master says: "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Those that watch and keep their garments may enter the door. "Watch ye therefore, and pray always."
"These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David" A door requires a key and the key in his possession is the "key of David". This associates the door with King David. The key of David is an idea from the Hebrew scriptures, in Isaiah 22:20 to 22 the prophet was moved by the spirit to pen these words: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open." Here a parallel is made between the government being committed into his hand and the key of the house of David being laid on his shoulder. To have the key of David is to have the authority to govern the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Israel. The one with this authority is the Lord Jesus Christ as the angel Gabriel prophesied concerning him in Luke 1:32, 33: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
Isaiah termed the key, "the key of the house of David". The house of David was the rightful dynasty of the house of Jacob--Israel. To belong to the house of David is to belong to the royal aristocracy of the kingdom. In this way the open door set before us is an opportunity of tremendous privilege, for to enter the door is to belong to the royal house of David and to live and reign with Christ for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4). Blessed is he that watcheth!
King David himself was amazed when the prophet Nathan came to him and delivered precious promises from the Almighty concerning his throne. At the end of Nathan's speech recorded in 2 Samuel 7 the prophet said: "And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever." This covenant caused King David to say: "O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come." This covenant has been extended to the Gentiles for a limited period of time, as the Lord Jesus Christ himself says in Revelation 3:21 "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Today the door is open.
The Lord Jesus Christ is not always to sit with his Father in his throne, but is to return to the land of Israel in like manner as he was taken up (Acts 1:11). As we finish reading Revelation 3 and move right into Revelation 4 we are introduced to "things which must be hereafter". Things after the time of the candlesticks, after the time of Christ walking in the midst of the candlesticks. These are symbols concerning the new heavens and new earth. The heavens symbolize the rulership and the earth the people of a kingdom, compare Isaiah 1 verses 2 and 10. There is a rainbow about the throne. Now a rainbow is a symbol of a covenant--compare Genesis 9:11-14. So this throne in heaven is the covenant throne. The covenant throne is the throne of David. The house of David is to be established in the political heavens and rule over Israel.
"After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter." (Revelation 4:1) After the resurrection trumpet, those judged worthy will be invited into the marriage supper of the Lamb and through a door into the royal house of David. "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 12:2,3) After they enter the door will be shut. "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." The time is short. Today the door is open.
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Watch with us God willing, at www.bibleinthenews.com, as we endeavor to discern the signs of the times this year or until the Son of Man should come.
Printed: Wednesday, January 02, 2008
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