講員： 金道元 John Jin
啟3:4撒狄教會， 「然而在撒狄，你還有幾名是未曾污穢自己衣服的；他們要穿白衣與我同行，因為他們是配得過的。」 和合本啟3:5 「凡得勝的，必這樣穿白衣，我也必不從生命冊上塗抹他的名，且要在我父面前和我父眾使者面前認他的名。」
非拉鐵非教會是在啟示錄3:8-12，「我知道你的行為，你略有一點力量，也曾遵守我的道，沒有棄絕我的名。你既遵守我忍耐的道，我必在普天下人受試煉的時候，保守你免去你的試煉。」在12節這樣說：「得勝的我要讓他在我神殿中做柱子」。倪柝聲弟兄提到這個的時候是和啟示錄12:5節聯繫到一起的，因為他是指著路加21:17-19來說的，「你們要為我的名被眾人恨惡， 然而，你們連一根頭髮也必不損壞。 你們常存忍耐，就必保全靈魂（或作必得生命）。」
最後我們來說一下老底嘉教會，啓3: 20-21，「看哪，我站在門外叩門，若有聽見我聲音就開門的，我要進到他那裡去，我與他，他與我一同坐席。 得勝的，我要賜他在我寶座上與我同坐，就如我得了勝，在我父的寶座上與他同坐一般。」 所以這又和啟示錄12:5節是吻合的，來統管，牧養列國。
- 你不會被第二次的死所傷到 （啟2:11）；
- 我們要成為神未來國度的國民，所有的事情都要成為新的，聖潔的，並極其安全的 （啟3:12）；
關於男孩子的這一個責任，你可以在啟示錄8:3-5節找到，「另有一位天使拿著金香爐，來站在祭壇旁邊。有許多香賜給他，要和眾聖徒的祈禱一同獻在寶座前的金壇上。 那香的煙和眾聖徒的祈禱，從天使的手中一同升到神面前。 天使拿著香爐，盛滿了壇上的火，倒在地上，隨有雷轟、大聲、閃電、地震。」
Before we start, I have to say it is a challenging process to convict myself of the vision of Omega Ministry. The challenges fall on two aspects. First, is there any biblical evidence? Is it true? Secondly, my dream of cleaning the toilet ball in heaven can no longer become true. If the vision of Omega Ministry is true, then I either become an overcomer or I will face the danger of losing my reward in heaven. Our Lord Jesus will come much sooner then I ever imagined. And I am hardly ready for it. Scary thought, isn’t it?
And today I want to share my research and exploration that I have done to convict myself. I still have struggles to completely accept the vision of Omega Ministry. And I know to some of you sitting here or listening online, it may be a little bit boring or even sounds like a Sunday school teaching. But I still want to do it. Because we have to be convicted by the word of God in His Spirit and defend it. Only the conviction of his word can help us stand firmly when facing challenges and persecution in every way in this hour of history.
After I joined the ministry, one thing I have been trying to figure out is why God called me out of the traditional church to join a ministry like this? Put it simply, why I am here? Have you ever asked yourself why you come to this Ministry?
As we were finishing off our fellowship on our regular Saturday night we asked our fellowship members what is the vision or the mission of Omega ministry, because my wife and I were struggling to get a grasp of it and a better understanding. To our surprise, we found the responses were most like these.“Healing” and “Spiritual warfare” and prepare for the end times. Well, they were neither wrong nor right because the healing and spiritual warfare do play a major part of the whole vision/mission of this ministry.
Then we realized that most of the people came to this ministry because they need healing. This was also the reason that we came to know this ministry because of the physical healing, the psychological healing, the spiritual deliverance and spiritual warfare. Most traditional churches believe God is sovereign, and God chooses to heal or not to heal, and you can not make Him to heal because of his sovereignty. This gives this ministry an opportunity to offer help to those who are in desperate need.
In traditional churches we call them hooks. How do traditional/evangelical churches grow their congregations? Two ways: evangelism or some form of Social Justice. Evangelism in the most simplest term is to use the Bible/word of God to convict people to accept/come to Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. While Social Justice has many different forms. For example: A church can use activities through the children/youth/young adults to bring their non-christians friends to church and in turn their parents. And a church can even go out to serve the community and be a part of it.
Once the church start to have people come through theirs doors, they need to be fed besides the Sunday sermons. Generally, discipleship starts and ministries are created. The children’s ministry, the youth ministry, the women and men’s ministry and depending on how big or small the church is. The list can be endless. So we can see in the churches that there can be many ministries based on many different needs of many different people groups. They are need based. The purpose is to care and help the people of God to grow spiritually. And all ministries have two things in common. First, you have a specific target group. And the second, you have a very specific vision/mission. For example, a youth ministry and a men’s ministry target at different groups. And they have different needs and the issues are also very different.
We can see there is a big difference between a church and a ministry in this sense. A church can have many different ministries under it because of the needs of different people groups, young or old, male or female, married and unmarried and so on. But a ministry is much narrower. It has its specific target group and mission. For example a food bank. Their target is the poor and the homeless people who need food. Their mission is to provide food. Simple and straight.
This brings me to ask “what is the mission and vision of Omega Ministry?” What kind of people does God call and gather here? What is the specific vision given to them?
The traditional churches does not usually preach from Revelation compared to the Gospels and the Pastoral Epistles because generally there are only two opposing views on any doctrines. But when it comes to the Book of Revelation, there are five opposing views in most traditional churches. It becomes quite difficult and challenging. Those five traditional ways are neither right or wrong. It all depends on how what is taken literally and what is taken symbolically and also what does it represent symbolically.
Also another area of difficulty is that it has no actual quotation but far more allusion to the Old Testament. That is why people believe Daniel and some other prophets are the key to understanding the Book of Revelation. But only an end time church or an end time Ministry like Omega Ministry will unpack it and dive more deeply into the Book of Revelation.
This brings me to emphasize the importance of understanding the vision/mission of Omega Ministry. We need to have a biblical understanding so you can explain your position and why you believe in what you believe to be true.
If we do not have a firm grasp of these points you will in some sense and in part like “The Wise and Foolish Builders” in Mathew 7, “ not building its foundation on the rock”. If all of us here are not built on this common vision, we could go anywhere according to our own desires and ambitions. One thing so special about our ministry is that God has given a lot of spiritual gifts to each one of us because of the special calling of Omega Ministry. If we don’t use our gifts to fulfill this specific calling, we can’t flow in the power of this anointing to fulfill God’s purpose. That is dangerous.
Or we will miscalculate “The Cost of being a Disciple” in Luke 14 verse 27-30. “For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who see it will ridicule you saying this person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.”
We know this ministry is a military bootcamp. Without knowing the price you have to pay, it is detrimental for us to persevere and be the overcomers in the last days.
I still remember when my wife told me that Teacher Ming believes we are the male child in Revelation 12. My jaw dropped, “uh?” “Oh my God. Who dare to proclaim that? I don’t want to be martyred.” And my wife later said, “Do you know who are on the top of the list to be thrown into the lake of fire in Revelation 21:8? “The cowardly!”.
Revelation is a challenging book. If we would apply it to our modern day Christians, it chastise those Christians who want to reach an accommodation or compromise with our idol-worshipping culture. We will suffer for our faith, yet Revelation offers victory over this reality by offering an apocalyptic hope. And this hope will sustain and encourage us to hold on to our faith even to death. This book is for the victors, not for the cowardly.
As we enter Revelation 12, “the call of the church to proclamation and suffering” in previous chapters, now is shown to be part of the larger conflict. The conflict between the people of God and the forces of evil , namely Satan and the world. And who will come to confront the Devil and world? All the Christians? Apparently not. It is the boy, the male child.
1. WHO IS THE BOY
First he is not the Israelites.
Why? According to Watchman Nee: The woman represents Jerusalem of the nation of Israel in Revelation 12:1. She doesn’t represent the church.
Because the sun, the moon and the stars represent the nation of Israel. Do you remember young Joseph’s dream that the sun, the moon and the stars bowed before him? That is the house of Israel. So if the woman clothed with the sun, step on the moon with 12 stars as her crown, she is not Israel. And all the time in the Bible, a woman represents a city. For example: the woman of Babylon and in Revelation Babylon is represented as a prostitute. The Bible only uses a virgin to represent the church. Only a virgin can become a bride.
Another reason the boy does not represent Israelites is the male child is caught up, but the nation of Israel never says they will be caught up. This does not match the prophecy concerning Israel.
Also, the child believes in the blood of Lamb in Revelation 12:11 but Israelites never have. People will also say and indicate that the Israelites will believe in the Lord during the tribulation, but the Bible never indicates this. The Bible does say when Jesus ‘s feet stand upon the Mount of Olives, and then they will be saved in the Book of Zechariah.
Second the male child is not Jesus Christ:
If the woman represents Jerusalem then Jesus was born in the wrong place. He was born in Bethlehem
The male child represents a corporate entity in Revelation 12.“…for the accusers of our brothers and sisters…”
If the male child is Jesus than the Dragon must be Herod but we are told specially in Revelation 12:9 “the great dragon…that ancient serpent called the Devil, or Satan…”
After the male child is borne he is immediately “caught up, snatched, or seized.”
Third the male child is not the church.
If the whole church is “caught up” then it does not follow the prophecy that some will go first and some will go later.
If it is all the church, it would go against revelation 2:26-27 “…to the one who is victorious and does my will to the end….(NIV)”. In KJV, it says, “ and he [the one] the overcomth, and keepeth my works unto the end…(KJV)”, which means not all are overcomers.
Only those who overcomes will reign with Jesus, therefore it cannot be the whole church. In 2 Timothy 2:12 says “ if we suffer, we shall also reign with: if we deny him, he also will deny us (KJV)” and in NIV it says, “if we endure….if we disown him, he will disown us”. I think “disown” convey a better meaning. It means to refuse to acknowledge or maintain any connection with. Deny means rejection.
Therefore the male child refers to overcoming Christians.
2. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MALE CHILD
That leads to our second question concerning the boy. Who belong to the corporate entity of the boy? What are their characteristics?
This brings us to the seven churches which the letters were intended for. Overall the letters indicate not all Christians were standing firm in their faith. When they were faced with even the possibility of suffering, some were tempted to compromise or have already compromised. The letters are filled with warnings for those who are comprising. Ephesus had forsaken her first love (Rev. 2:4), Pergamum(別迦摩） and Thyatira （推雅推喇） are following false teachers (Rev 2:14-15, 20), Sardis（撒狄） has a reputation of being alive but it is dead (Rev 3:1) and Laodicea （老底加）who is lukewarm and God is about to spit it out of his mouth (Rev. 3:16).
Let’s take a look at all the churches:
Ephesus in Revelation 2:3 “you have persevered and endured hardships for my name and have not grown weary (NIV) and “And hast borne, and hast patience(patient waiting for), and hast not fainted (grown weary) (KJV).”
Smyrna in revelation 2:10 “ do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer…..Be faithful even to the point of death…” The phrase to be faithful even the point of death or faithful upon death ties in with Revelation 12:11 “even unto death.”
Thyatira in revelation 2:26-27 “to the one who is victorious (to conquer or prevail, nikao (Greek) and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations that one will rule them with an iron sceptre…(NIV) and “ and he that overcometh and keepth my works unto the end, to him I will give power over the nations (KJV).” It ties well to Revelation 12:5 “ who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron”
Pergamum in revelation 2:13 “…not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city…(NIV) and “even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful Martyr, who was slain among you..(KJV).
Antipas was the bishop of the Church of Pergamum, and according to tradition he refused and began to turn the people of Pergamum from offering sacrifices to idols. While defending his faith and criticizing the pagan priests, he managed to enrage the priest who in turn dragged him to the Temple of Artemis and throw him in a red hot copper bull “where they put sacrifice to the idols”. While Anitpas was in the copper bull he prayed loudly to God to receive his soul and to strengthen the faith of Christians. Also according to tradition his body was untouched by the fire like he was asleep.
Sardis Revelation 3:4-5 “yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled (stained) their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white for they are worthy….I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life.”
The Church of Philadelphia (非拉鐵非）in Revelation 3:8-12. In verse 8: “I know you have little strength, yet you have kept my words and have not denied my name..
In verse 10 “since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will keep(to watch over, to guard (Greek)) you from the hour of trial ….to test the inhabitants of the earth.”
Inverse 12, it says, “The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.
Watchman Nee interprets this as being “caught up”， which ties in Revelation 12:5.
He could be referring to Luke 21:17-19 “…But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life.”
Finally the Church of Laodicea （老底加） in Revelation 3: 20-21 “If anyone hears my voice and open the door. I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.” “To the one who is victorious(NIV) or overcome (KJV) I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious or overcome and sat down with my father on his throne.” Again this matches up with 12:5 “ to rule (to act as a Shepherd, poimaino) the nations.
So the male child are the Christians who are overcomers. What we find just now through the seven churches indicate the characters of the overcomers. And you can see all the overcomers come from all the churches. But do you remember what we talked what the woman represent as Jerusalem. You can see now why both positions are valid. Omega Ministry takes this position. Also this ministry takes a futuristic view which is one of the 5 interpretation on the Book of Revelation and a post-tribulational premillennialism (後苦難前千禧年論) stand about the Great Tribulation which has three views.
If we believe Great tribulation has not happened yet, If we believe Christians have to go through the great tribulation, then we will have to get ready for it so that we can become the overcomers. According to what we just went through the letters to the seven churches, we can be confident to say that God wants His church to be strong in suffering and persecution. So we have to be refined by tribulation and overcome it. In summary,
1. You have to persevere hardship for His name.
In our part of the world, it may not be that phenomenal. But we know in a lot of countries, Christians are persecuted. They can’t find jobs. And that is happening in China now.
2. Do not fear of what you are about to suffer…Be faithful even to the point of death. Suffer even to the point of death. Some sufferings in our lives are allowed by God to fulfill his higher purpose. Many of us suffered, some of us are suffering, if God allows that happen to you, would you still love Him and hold on to your faith?
3. Keep my works until the end.
Though it becomes more and more difficult to evangelize, we still need to keep the great commission no matter what.
4. Do not renounce your faith in Him, be a faithful witness until death.
I asked several people this question. Imagine if one day someone points a gun against your head or your loved ones and ask you to renounce Jesus? What would you do? Some people told me, “I need to wait for that day to know how would I react?” But let me tell you, you have to make that decision now and hold on to that decision till the end. There is no second choice if you want to be the overcomers.
5. Do not soil or defile you clothes.
This is an ongoing process. It is a daily endeavour. Everyday we need to come before God and ask Him to transform us, to keep us from loving the world, to renew our minds.
6. Keep his words and do not deny his name.
His word is the truth. We know the last days are also the time of big deceptions. Without knowing and keeping God’s words, many Christians will be deceived.
7. Leave the door of your heart open. Constantly open to God, and you will not need to worry about hearing his knock.
Our Lord longs to dwell in our hearts. But a lot of times, we don’t open ourselves due to fear and misconception caused by past hurt. Believing comes from hearing the word of God. We need the rhema word of God daily in our life. That requires a close personal relationship. And our strength, our authority and our discernment depend on how close we are to our Lord.
Here I want to say, in the last few weeks, we preached following the line of humility, fruit of the Spirit. It is not coincident. Without humility, without the fruit of the Spirit, we can not become overcomers as our Lord instructed us through his letters to the seven churches.
If we hold on to the instructions of the Lord, the result will be:
1. I will give the right to eat from the trees of life (Revelation 2:7)
8. You will not be hurt at all by the second death (Rev. 2:11)
9. I will also give… a new name….
10. I will give authority to rule or Shepard over the nations.
11. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life
12. We will have a new citizenship in God’s future kingdom. Everything will be new, pure and secure. (Revelation 3: 12)
13. We will have the right to sit on the right hand of the Father along with Jesus to Shepard the nations. (Revelation 3: 21)
We have to lay down our concerns, our fears, our personal agenda, our personal desires. Be the overcomers.
3. WHAT ARE THE TASKS OF THE BOY?
And we come to our last point of today. What are the specific function of the boy?
We just talked about Revelation 12 which shows us that our calling to be overcomers is part of the conflict between Christ and his people and Satan and his army. We are called to become the overcomers for a purpose.
That is Revelation 12:5, The boy “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” The Lord will give the authority to the overcomers to rule or Shepard over the nations and to resist the kingdom of anti-Christ.
In detail, the male child is called to undertake three major responsibilities.
1. In the last days, they will confront the Antichrist and fight through fierce prayer battle for the Kingdom. This will cause the battle between the Archangel Michael, God angels, and Satan and his angels. By the prayers and the power given to the overcomers, the Red Dragon or Satan will be hurled down from the second heaven to the earth.
We can find this from Revelation 12: 7-9
“ Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.”
So currently, our ministry is preparing for this final battle. All the spiritual war we have fought are pre-engagement and training for this army of God. We are not in it yet, we are preparing for that day.
2. During the Great Tribulation, the boy, the overcomers will co-work with God on the earth. The prayers of the overcomers will release the judgment of the world and the empire of the Antichrist. The judgement is to against the persecution of the Saints by the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation.
This responsibility of the boy can be found in Revelation 8: 3-5.
“ Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”
Praise God that He gives his people to co-work with Him through prayer. We engage the spiritual warfare through prayers. We are not the ones to fight the war. Jesus does. The Angels do. Our job is to pray according to God’s will. This has to be done in the Spirit and through a close relationship with God. Otherwise it is impossible to pray according to God’s will. Prayers out of the flesh never work. Our power and authority come from our relationship with God. And our characters will determine how close we are to the Lord and vice versa.
3. “The boy” they will carry the power of this generation. They will help the church to identify the crisis and where to move during the Great Tribulation. The church are not ready to become the bride. She will be taken to the wilderness to hide and get herself ready during last 3 and half years.
We can find this in Revelation 12: 14
“The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.”
The overcomers will not only fight anti-Christ, they also will assist the Anti-Christ in the Great Tribulation and help the church to get ready for her bridegroom.
But we are not the only people belong to the male child’s group. Teacher Ming received that there will be 12 groups of people in this male child’s call. God will raise up overcomers all over the world at the end of times to finish His great purpose of restoring His creation and coming back to earth to dwell among His people. What a glorious hope! Are you willing to be part of this calling?
The sign of the appearance of the male child is in revelation 12: 1-4. This magnificent astrological sign already happened on September 23, 2017. This group of people will be constantly snatched up to the throne of God, which means to meet up with God from time to time. God will give them revelation and strategy to prepare for the final war at the end times. They are overcomers. Overcomers are the bride, the warriors, even some of them will be martyred. And to get ourselves ready, one critical thing is how close we are to our God? Which means no matter what, the great commandment is always the first priority. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
Though we hear so many times about the relationship with God, how many of us really are willing to pay the price to spend the time with Him?
When you admire Teacher Ming of her anointing and her relationship with God, have you seen the price she has paid? God doesn’t play favouritism. He reward those who seek him wholeheartedly. Only when we are deeply rooted in the love and faith of our God, we can be changed inside out and we can be ready to respond to the call of being one of the overcomers. If we believe we are part of the corporate male child, we have to align every aspect of the ministry, every aspect of our life to this calling so that when that day comes, we may stand before Him, our Saviour and Lord, and hear him telling us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”