Shared By: Jeff Rowland
John’s writing in the book of the Revelation is an amazing look at the revelation of Jesus Christ and gives us a great look at a God encounter. I believe that we desperately need a God encounter each and every day in order to stay focused in our life on the things of the Spirit.
The definition of an encounter is described as; a meeting, particularly a sudden or accidental meeting of two or more persons or bodies. I have watched through the years people who suddenly have a God encounter. I have also seen those who accidentally walked into the presence of the Holy Spirit and were transformed and changed in an amazing way. I believe the church of today needs a fresh encounter with the person of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
There are four dimensions I want us to consider in this article concerning John’s encounter with Christ recorded in Revelation 1.
1. THE CAUSE OF THE ENCOUNTER. (VS 10)
John says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lords day.” What does it mean to be in the Spirit on the Lords day? I have seen many in the 21 years that I was a pastor come into the church in the spirit. However, some wasn’t in the Holy Spirit, but some other spirit. To be in the Spirit means that you are under the control of the Spirit. This can only happen when you lay down your agenda and perspective of what things are suppose to look like when people are under the control of the Holy Spirit. God does what He does simply because He can and chooses to do so.
A careful study of the history of real revival reveals that it isn’t about getting every line of doctrine correct though doctrine is very important. Revival isn’t about getting everyone clean enough, though walking clean before God is very important. Revival seems to be about people getting desperate enough to lay down every agenda they have and simply allowing God free reign in their life at that very moment. Let’s evaluate how the cause of John’s encounter.
- His sensitivity to the Spirit- We can only develop a sensitivity to the Spirit by allowing Him to control us. This comes through the Word and prayer.
- His sensitivity to the voice of the Spirit- John says he heard a great voice as of a trumpet. Developing sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit must begin with the willingness to stop talking long enough to hear Him speak.
We cannot ignore that it was the preeminence of God that brought John to the Isle of Patmos to begin with. John would have never chosen this for himself. Many times we need the hand of God to put us in place to receive the touch and power of God.
2. THE PERSON OF THE ENCOUNTER (VS 11-16)
In reading these verses we cannot draw but one conclusion, and that is that John was hearing and seeing the Lord Jesus Christ himself. A God encounter brings attention to no one but Christ. It isn’t brought about by a preacher. Normally revival is attended by the most unlikely of preachers. It isn’t brought about by anything other than the will of God and the waiting of the people. The upper room was filled with people who were simply waiting on the promise of God. It is a hungry for Christ and Christ alone that brings about a fresh encounter. Notice what is learned from verse 11.
- Christ declares who is doing the speaking- “I am the alpha and Omega, the first and the last.” Only one can fit this description. In this description many things are implied. He is the A to Z and everything in between. The all sufficient one is implied. The originator and the finisher of all things.
- Christ declares what John must do- Write down what you see. This thought implies that we should capture and preserve the things we receive from the Lord. We often have a tendency to devalue the things that the Lord gives to us. Obedience will always follow an encounter with God.
- Christ reveals himself to John- Anytime there is a God encounter the revelation of Christ to His people captivates their attention and their heart.
It is the person of Christ that we need an encounter with. We have had preaching, singing, teaching but what we need is the person of Christ to be manifest in our lives and among the body.
3. THE EFFECT OF THE ENCOUNTER. (VS 17)
“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” There was a physical manifestation as a result of the encounter. This is what most people find distasteful. Just because there are physical manifestations does not mean that people are really encountering God, neither does a God encounter always include a physical manifestation. We read about things like this and somehow it is alright. But when we see these things happen before us we then have a tendency to pull back.
I’m reminded of what Jonathon Edwards wrote in his diary. He said, “God send us a revival without any flesh.” What a noble thought this is. All wants a move of God without any obstructions or mess to have to deal with. However, time went by and nothing seemed to happen. A later entry in his diary said, “God send us a revival flesh and all.” Jonathon Edwards realized that revival comes upon fleshly people who are going to respond at times in flesh.
4. THE PURPOSE OF THE ENCOUNTER (VS 17)
The removal of fear was what God did for John in this encounter. This I believe is what enabled John to write with boldness the way He did. We have the book of Revelation today because of an encounter John had with Christ.
Conclusion: God has a purpose in reviving His people. God has a purpose in you having a real encounter with Him. There are things deep within your spirit that needs to be pulled out of you for the body of Christ. Without an encounter with Him we may never realize our calling and what God wants to release to the world that is in you and you alone.