John must now confess to a terrible error that he made. The angels are Godís special servants. They are impressive and powerful, as such passages as Joshua 5:13-15 and Luke 2:9 show. However, as a little child John would have learned only to give to God the honour that is due to him. Now John was a mature man and an important Christian leader. For three years, he had lived and studied with Christ. We would not expect a man like John to fall down in front of an angel, in order to give honour to that angel.
Godís angels, however, are very holy and they are completely loyal to God. So this angel stopped John before he carried out this evil act. The angel would not accept the honour that John should give to God.
Perhaps John made his mistake because of the astonishing things that the angel had shown him. John had seen into heaven itself. He had heard and seen the most wonderful things there (compare 2 Corinthians 12:2-4). During all these wonderful experiences, this angel had been his guide. Perhaps John imagined that he was merely expressing his sincere thanks to the angel. However, the angel insisted that only God deserves honour for such things.
The angel had to remind John that he (the angel), like John himself and all Godís people, was just a servant of God. The angel had shown John all these things in order to help John and other Christians to speak about Christ (Hebrews 1:14).
John was a prophet (a person who speaks a message from God) and his book, Revelation, is a prophecy (a message from God). The true nature of prophecy is to speak about Christ. That was why God wanted John to write this book. John had to record, as a witness, all these things that God had shown him about Christ (1:2).
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© 2016, Keith Simons.