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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

WORSHIP GOD

Rev 22:7-9 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

In the verse preceding the lesson text, God, through His angelic messengers, confirmed the revelation seen, and recorded, by the apostle John, as being faithful and true, and must shortly be done. The prophetic symbolism used in this letter, foretold of events that would begin shortly after the recording of this book, that would directly and indirectly affect the church of Christ, God's kingdom on earth, over whom His Son Christ Jesus was appointed to reign. These historic, biblical events began to occur almost immediately after these truths were written, and continued to reveal future events that lead practically to the current age of Christianity.

The lesson text begins with the angel, introduced in verse 1 of this chapter, saying, Behold, I come quickly. Certainly the angel wasn't speaking of himself, but of Jesus Christ. In other words, Jesus, through this angel, was telling the world that He would soon make His final appearance on earth, His second coming, to gather His faithful followers, and transport them into heaven, where they would forever remain as their reward for obedience to God's New Testament commandments, which were recorded by the chosen disciples of Christ. Exactly when His appearing will be is not given. However, this we know: it will be soon according to the measure of time that only God, Christ Jesus, and others of divine nature truly comprehend. It certainly will nolt be according to the human reckoning of time. As this verse continues, the faithful followers of Christ Jesus are being referred in this manner: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. It can be said regarding the inspired words of the entire New Testament, that only those that hear the gospel message of eternal salvation, with open and receptive hearts, believe it to be that of God and His Son, Jesus, repent of their past sinful life, turn to serve God through His promised Messiah, confess Jesus to be the Christ, the promised Savior, and the Son of God, are cleansed of their sins through baptism into the body of Christ, and remain faithful to God thereafter: these will be blessed through the inheritance of eternal salvation.

No doubt John was shown visions from heaven, and heard inspired messages, all of which symbolized what was to take place in the future of the church of Christ. When John saw these things, and heard them, he said that he fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things, much like he did, as recorded in Revelation 19:10. John was experiencing something unique to him. No other being had ever been privileged to receive such spiritual visions and instructions as John did on this occasion. It must have been so awe-inspiring that John, being caught up in the extraordinary nature of this moment, felt as if he should pay homage to the angel through whom he received this revelation from God. Therefore, he thought it appropriate to express his gratitude by bowing down before the angel as an act of worshipful adoration.

From biblical history we know that angel worship, as well as the worship of the human leaders of apostate churches, was a common error of the early church. However, this passage alone is sufficient scriptural reason to prove the worship of any being other than God, either from earth or from heaven, is strictly forbidden. Mankind was created by God in His image; therefore our worship must be only toward Him. How can anyone justify bowing down and worshipping any being other than our Creator? The angel, himself, condemns John's actions, saying to him: See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book. The angel tells John that he was not to be worshipped. The reason he gave was because he, like John, was a fellow-servant, just as thy brethren the prophets were also servants of God. This admonition would also preclude the worship of the "Virgin Mary" or any of a number of "Saints" by the authority of the apostate church of Rome.

Let it be assuredly known, that we are, according to this inspired text, and by many other Holy Spirit-inspired scriptures, to worship God,and to worship Him only!