Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
Then he said to me, 'See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.'
Revelation chapter 22 is a mighty conclusion to the Bible. It carries Jesus' last written words. I fervently pray that each of you will read the Book of Revelation, including its final chapter, for yourselves. Because when you do, God will speak to you personally.
He will reveal key scriptures for your very own life: a life that He cherishes, a life that He jealously desires to be in eternity with Him, a life that He intends for good work--to glorify Him and to help His other children.
I sincerely appreciate Pastor George Dillard (a well-read doctor of divinity) telling me to pass on 'study guides' to the Book of Revelation, to forego other teachers, and to allow the Holy Spirit of God to teach me Himself. What profoundly good advice!
In His final printed words, Jesus warns us not to worship anyone but God. When John falls at the feet of a mighty angel, note the angel's response: 'See that you do not do that.'
Here's the thing: I believe many 21st century Christians are doing just that. What? Falling down at the feet of 'mighty' men and women of God. You know the ones I mean: mega-preachers and television preachers who have written dozens and dozens of books. Instead of studying the Bible, we study someone else's study.
Remember Jesus: When He was in His earthly ministry, He refused to be crowned king. 'Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone' (John 6:15).
Remember Peter: 'As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, 'Stand up; I myself am also a man' ' (Acts 10:25-26).
Remember Paul and Barnabas when the people of Lystra saw Paul's power to heal: 'The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men' (Acts 14:11). Paul's response? 'We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God' (Acts 14:15).
Fan-like devotion to popular preachers is misdirected worship. 'Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?' (1 Corinthians 3:5). Jesus says, 'Worship God.' Without doubt, our best two Teachers are the Word of God and His Holy Spirit.
'But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you' (John 14:26).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Revelation series.