The Vision of Christ
To behold Christ is the deepest longing of every redeemed soul. Prior to salvation every soul is under
bondage, blindness and spiritual death. The god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe
not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2
Cor.4: 4). How different is the state of one saved by grace! David expresses the longing of the converted
soul. "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the
LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in "his temple"(Psa.27:
Beholding Christ brings in atleast three wonderful blessings. Firstly, it brings us into a realisation of who
we are. When the self-righteous Job saw God face to face, all his self-defense crumbled." I have heard of
thee by the hearing of! The ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in
dust and ashes" (Job 42:5,6). Simon of Galilee, after a night of fruitless toil threw his nets again at the
command of Christ! and had a miraculous catch. This incident opened his eyes to the Peron of Christ and
also to himself. Struck by the wretchedness of his own heart he cried, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful
man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8). Isaiah, the anointed prophet of God, saw the Lord in all His glory. Instantly his
heart was filled with grief for he said, "Woe is me! for I am undone: because I am a man of unclean lips,
and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of
hosts" (Isa. 6:5). Moses the man of God prayed thus: II Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret
sins in the light of thy countenance" (Psa.90:8). Knowing God is knowing ourselves. Outside His
revealing presence we will never know who we are.
Secondly, beholding Christ brings in transformation. John the apostle wrote: "...we know that, when he
shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1John 3:2). To see Him is to become
like Him. This is futuristic. Yet, in the present, the Lord is working in us towards that blessed goal. Paul
describes this ongoing transforming work in the life of a believer. "But we all, with open face beholding
as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the
Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3: 18) .T o behold Him is to be changed into His likeness.
Thirdly, beholding Christ brings hope, comfort and strength in our present trials and temptations. This is
exactly what happened to John the beloved apostle in the isle of Patmos. Exiled by the cruel emperor
Domitian, John must have been discouraged and depressed. The Roman emperor could banish him from
the presence of churches and believers. Yet he could not banish him from the most prized possession of
John-the presence of Christ. Christ was revealed in all His glory and John penned down that
indescribable Image as far as the limited human expression could capture.
Christ spoke that He was the Alpha and Omega. These two Greek words stand for the first and the last
alphabets. It was like saying, "I am the beginning and the ending". This in no way suggests that God has a
beginning and an ending. Using the limitations of language of the mortal man, Christ states His
eternality. Roman emperors come and go. Tormentors live today and disappear tomorrow. God however,
is the eternal "I am." He is the One who knows no succession of time. Such a God is our God. He has the
final say of every matter. John's very life was in the hands of the eternal "I am", and not in the hands of
Gentile rulers. As God's children we are already on the winning side. Aren't we? How about you? Are
you in Christ on the winning side? Our sins were laid on Him, the sinless One. He died as our Substitute,
our Sin-bearer. Have you accepted Him as your personal Saviour?
Today with the completion of the New Testament, we have the whole Bible in our hands. We are indeed
blessed to have the Scriptures in our language. Many language groups are still waiting! The written Word
of God leads us to the living Word of God, Christ. The Lord Jesus said, "Search the scriptures; for in
them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39).
The image and beauty of Christ is now seen through the pages of the Bible, specially the New Testament.
The Bible tells us of God's great love for every lost sinner. It was love that led Christ to the cross where
all our guilt and sins were laid on Him. He was wounded for our transgressions. Sins unforgiven,
uncleansed and uncovered would take us to the judgment. Eternal hell is the destination of those who
have spurned the good news. Christ died to bring us forgiveness, fellowship and freedom. Have you, dear
reader, received these blessings? Why not turn to Christ today?
YE ARE MY WITNESSES—3
The believers at Corinth had many gifts. They had much knowledge and they saw many miracles. Paul
said, "... ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Cor. 1: 7). But
they knew very little about the Spirit of power. God's word was brought to them with great power, and
yet they remained babes spiritually. They were full of strife and sin because they failed to understand the
secret of the power of resurrection (1 Cor. 2:2). They were talking about miracles, numbers, knowledge
and other things. But Paul was saying, "Tell me, what is your experience of the cross of the Lord Jesus
Christ. Then I will know whether you are spiritually grown or not. " Thus we find that our spiritual
growth depends upon the understanding and the experience of the power of resurrection. That power is
the highest power. May the Lord teach you to enjoy that power.
"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree" (v.30). We see how the
same message of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ was brought by the apostles in all their
preaching and teaching. All messages were based on the fact that Christ rose again and is highly exalted.
By the power of resurrection and by exalting the Lord Jesus Christ in our testimony, we will see God's
power. The Holy Spirit is the witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and His exaltation. So
were the apostles and believers in those days.
By appropriating in us constantly by faith, the power of resurrection and exaltation of the Lord Jesus
Christ in our testimony and preaching, we too will receive into us the power of resurrection. We should
ask for it. This is possible only when we die to our thoughts, desires and feelings. We claim by faith the
power of resurrection of the Lord Who died for our sins. Then we receive that power and we can glorify
and magnify the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ again and again by our testimony, and ministry,
"Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this Life"(v .20). These words were
spoken by the angel who brought the apostles out from the prison. They had to preach fully what they
themselves were taught.
"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, we ought to obey God rather than men! (v.29).
There is a great secret in these words. By obeying God with all our hearts in spite of much opposition we
will enjoy divine favour.
Our Christian life is a warfare, individually and collectively. The more we try to live victoriously the
more we are attacked by the enemy. The more we want to grow spiritually, the more we are opposed. As
the work was increasing in the early church, the enemy brought this great weapon into the church. We
saw in chapters 4 and 5 of the Acts of the Apostles that the apostles were opposed by those who did not
believe in the Gospel. But now the trouble started among themselves...."there arose a murmuring of the
Grecians" (v.1). They began to complain that their widows were not given the same attention as the
Hebrew widows. Partiality is one of the weapons of the enemy. The spirit of partiality is in every man, in
every state, and in every country. Man makes distinctions because of wealth, nationality, education etc.
To be an overcomer, all these distinctions have to be put away by God's grace. This is a constant battle,
not only for a few days but there will be the same trouble always. We have to search our hearts constantly
so that we may be free from the spirit of partiality.
At the same time we see how God's servants were being hindered from giving the word of God with
power and boldness. In verse two, there is a solemn warning given to God's servants. "... It is not reason
that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables" We, servants of God are called to be His
mouthpieces. We have to devote sufficient time in prayer and then give God's word with authority, power
and boldness. The enemy was trying to draw the apostles into a service, which was not meant for them.
At that time they had the heavy responsibility of expounding the Word of God with power, instructing the
believers, warning them, encouraging them, strengthening them and teaching them. Such ministry is
necessary all the time. Then only we can see real growth in the believers in every place. But we find these
days, that many God's servants are slowly drawn away from real ministry and are occupied with other
things. Gradually they cut short their time of prayer and God's Word. The enemy can enter in through
many ways. One can be drawn away into many worldly affairs by fellow-believers. Others are drawn
away through their children. All the time they are looking after their children. First of all, the wives
Secondly, the husbands become slaves. We find many God's servants attending on their
children all the time. Wherever they go, even in a prayer meeting they are occupied with them. Some say,
they need more money for their large families. They say, if they have two or three children it does not
matter, but now their number is increasing. So they want more money. They start keeping fowls to get
more money. Then they spend all the time looking after their fowls. The time they should spend on God's
people and the assembly is being spent in feeding the fowls. They say," How can I manage with so many
children?" If you believe in God and His Word, and if you fully trust and obey Him, He will never fail
you. You will never find a single case in the history of mankind where God has failed His people and His