Thursday, March 2, 2023

"The Secret Counsel of the Lord is with him who fear Him" (Psalm 25:14)

Last Sunday I began to teach the book of Revelation in a Bible Study. I taught for more than an hour and took questions for another 40 minutes. We ended at 3.40pm and I returned home past 4pm. It took me about three full days to recover because I also preached a longish message in the morning from 10:45 to 11.40am on three passages Psalms 15; 24 and Rev 14 with the topic, "Who is worthy to stand on Mount Zion? For the bible study took a lot of my energy. It was mainly because it was already in the afternoon since I got up before 5am. After preaching and having drinks at 12 noon, I felt the tiredness already. At least I have another 10 days before doing the same. I plan to preach a shorter message of about 30 minutes or 35 mins maximum.

I need to reserve my energy for the Bible Study on the 7 letters to the 7 churches of Asia Minor. I am reading William Barclay's letters to the 7 churches which is a tiny volume but contains much substance. Why are there so many interpretations on Revelation? No wonder I wrote my thesis on it because I wanted to understand it myself. 

I came to the study of Revelation after 4 years in the mission field. Although I was based in Kota Kinabalu for three years as Treasurer-General,  but I travelled incessantly for a total of 66 times in three years, and about 53 times in the first two years. I preached 300 sermons. Literally before 10,000 of people. And thousands came forward to be prayed for. "I remember the work of Your hands" (Psalm 143:5). 

But because I fear God, God reveals His mysteries to me. I did not choose to study Revelation as a doctoral subject. In fact, I wanted to return home sooner and applied to downgrade my PhD scholarship to a one-year Master of Theology scholarship. But when I was about to hand in my letter of application for downgrade and I was near the Registry Door at Otago University I was stopped in my tracks by a voice. A voice in my heart so clear that I remember today as if it was spoken yesterday: "What I want to teach you will take more than a year." I took that to mean God wanted me to stay on for the full three years of doctoral study and how true that for three years, day after day and night after night I received light of His Word and I learned new things from the Lord from the book of Revelation.

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