Rev 1:4-5 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
The first thing that struck me as I read this just now is that John, though a human being, is in a sense dispensing grace and peace on behalf of the Godhead. We take that responsibility and privilege too lightly! We are in the earth and our physical bodies are strictly temporary, but we can act as agents of the One who created everything and is eternal. That should absolutely blow our minds! Jesus was very specific when He said, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:23) There are countless other examples, including various miracles recorded in Acts, yet we forget this incredible reality all too often – or else we lapse into hubris and think whatever we say is the Word of God. We can indeed act as God’s agents in many ways, but we must never think that we can order God around. Where are many things going on in the world that are not as we would like. Actually, God spoke to me once to say that there are many things that are not as HE would like. However, He knows what will happen because He is outside of time and sees it all at once, and He’s got the final outcome totally under control. That He uses human instruments to do His will as His agents is a glorious mystery. (2 Corinthians 5:20) The second thing that struck me is that Jesus is here specified as “the ruler of the kings of the earth.” In other words, no government, in the US, in China, in Nigeria, in Russia, or anywhere else, is above Him. Totalitarian governments can’t stand that fact, which is why they oppress and persecute people of faith. The Chinese Communist Party saw the impact of believers on the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and they are frantic to keep that from happening in China. However, they don’t have the final say! Likewise, Leftists in the US rightly see people with a Biblical world view as standing in their way, and thus try to “cancel” them, but again, they don’t have the last word. Such believers need to hang onto their faith and act in consistent obedience to the Lord, whatever the immediate consequences.
This is certainly talking to me as much as it is to anyone. I have been aware of acting as Christ’s representative at times, at least ever since I memorized 2 Corinthians 5:20 as a Royal Ambassador when I was still in elementary school. I certainly haven’t always acted as an agent of the Lord, but I have at least known it was possible and desirable. It’s been close to 40 years now since I had a clear revelation in the area of speaking blessing on people. These days I exercise that privilege when Facebook notifies me of people’s birthdays, as well as at other times. I want to live my life appropriately as someone who has that privilege, just as Peter said. (1 Peter 4:11) Like John, I can extend the grace and peace of the Creator, and I must never take that lightly.
Father, thank You for this strong reminder. Today I will be saying farewell to some missionaries who are returning to their home country. Help me speak Your words to them, in encouragement and blessing. I can hardly imagine what it would be like for You to tell me to leave Japan, other than to come Home to You. May I be Your agent always, not because I’m qualified on my own but because You have cleansed and qualified me by the blood of Christ. Thank You. Hallelujah!