"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (Revelation 3:22)
Beloved, in the above Scripture the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking to the churches, to the redeemed of each and every age. In each age and generation, these words have challenged the churches' spiritual ear to give ear to the Voice of the Spirit of God. And because of the spiritual warfare and the intense pressures "In the Spirit" that so many of the Lord's people are experiencing, we believe that these words of the Resurrected, Ascended Lord have a special significance for us right now. Seven times in Revelation, chapters two and three, the Resurrection Lord Jesus Christ solemnly charges each one of us who belong to Him: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29: 3:6, 13, 22.)
Seven times: "These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks... " The "seven candlesticks" are the seven churches, which represent the churches of each age and generation. The "seven stars" are the true messengers of the churches. They are those whose message proceeds out from the Throne. Thus the messenger and the message must be becoming the same (Revelation 2:1; 1:20).
Seven times: "These things saith the First and the Last, which was dead, and is alive ..." (Revelation 2:8).
Seven times: "These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges ..." (Revelation 2:12).
Seven times: "These things saith the Son of God, Who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass ..." (Revelation 2:18).
Seven times: "These things saith He that hath seven Spirits of God [the sevenfoldness of the Holy Spirit], and the seven stars ..." (Revelation 3:1).
Seven times: "These things saith He that is Holy,He that is True, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth, and shutteth, and no man openeth ..." (Revelation 3:7).
Seven times: "These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God ..." (Revelation 3:14).
Yes! Seven times "these things saith He," Who is the Resurrected, Ascended Lord: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. It is our Triumphant Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Who gives His own this very serious directive, and with these words we are taught how absolute and complete Is the Oneness between the workings of the Son and the working of the Holy Spirit. For without explanation, the Lord Jesus declares that what He speaks is what the Spirit speaks. The Word of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of the Holy Spirit are the same: "These things saith He ... he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
The at-oneness of Christ and the Holy Spirit becomes even clearer as we realize that this serious command of the Lord Jesus Christ is used in the closing of each of these seven letters to the churches. Revelation 1:4 tells us that these letters, as well as the whole Book of Revelation, are from the Godhead - they are "from Him [God the Father] which is, and which was, and which is to come" - they are "from the seven Spirits of God which are before His Throne" [the sevenfoldness of the Holy Spirit] - they are "from Jesus Christ, Who is the Faithful Witness, and the First Begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth." Therefore, beloved, the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ is the voice of the Holy Spirit, and the voice of the Holy Spirit is the voice of God: "These things saith He ... he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
In the beginning words of the Book of Revelation, the redeemed are called upon to "read" and to "hear" and to "keep" those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand (Revelation 1:3). In the Expanded Translation of the New Testament, by Kenneth S. Wuest, the force and clarity of these words come to light as the Resurrection Lord begins to show His own that which must shortly come to pass:
"Spiritually prosperous is he who reads in the worship assembly of the local church and spiritually prosperous are those who hear the words of this prophecy and observe the things which in it have been written and are on record, for the strategic, epochal season is imminent."
"For the time is at hand." The strategic, epochal season is imminent. There is great gravity behind these words because a great season of peril is at hand, a time of great tribulation is threatening - a time of pressures from evils, a time of pressures from afflictions, a time of pressures from distresses. And, beloved, it is a "time" that all the redeemed must face and endure because the Book of Revelation is a book of that "which is, and of that which was, and of that which is to come" (Revelation 1:8). So whether it was in the "time" when John was commissioned to write these words, or whether it is now in our "time," or whether it is in the "time" which is to come, the strategic, epochal season is imminent.
Hence, the Lord instructs those whom He loves of the time of peril that is at hand. This is why there is such a great sense of urgency behind the charge He issues unto the churches, for the strategic, epochal season is imminent, and the Lord's orders are clear: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." The Amplified Bible is even stronger: "He who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the (Holy) Spirit says to the assemblies (the churches)".
(continued with # 2)