Trying to encapsulate what I’ve learned from a book of the Bible into a concise post has pretty difficult so far, but Revelation is especially daunting. It’s my favorite book of the Bible. In my review (one chapter from Revelation daily, so I go over it on a three week cycle) I recite from it first because He always uses it to lift my eyes to Christ and His perfect Kingdom. Because of this, I’m planning to just take as many posts as needed to really delve into truths mined from each chapter. This post will cover chapters 1-4!
What does Revelation reveal? Who reveals it? Why? Chapter one verse one tells us:
“The revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave Him to show His slaves what must quickly take place.” (HCSB)
The purpose of this letter, written to God’s slaves, is to show them what is going to happen soon. God is such a good Father. He communicates perfectly. Hebrews 1:1 tells us that in these last days God has spoken to us by His Son, the perfect Prophet. In keeping with His flawless testimony and perfect work during His earthly life, Jesus makes the Father’s will known to us through this letter. And lest we forget that we worship a triune God, the Spirit is clearly at work in this act of revelation. John’s salutation in 1:4 includes “the seven spirits Who are before His throne” and John describes himself as being “in the Spirit” when he sees Christ in His splendor and receives the command to write down what Jesus shows him.
Practically, I continue to be so convicted and mega blessed by the second and third chapters. These are individual letters from Jesus to real people in real churches. Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
As I review these chapters, I thank Jesus for how He loves me by rebuking and disciplining me. I ask Him to reform me and keep me faithful to His Word, to truly love Him, to remain steadfast under persecution, and to make and keep the church I belong to solid and safe from the very real threats of false teaching and idolatry. I know He can.
I rejoice in all of the promises given to God’s true sons and daughters. In this letter, our Victorious King Jesus encourages us to strive to live as victors in Him. There are rewards waiting for us, and He tells us about them! Genuine believers who hold on to His Word will have the right to eat from the tree of life, we’ll get a stone with a name written on it that no one knows except the one who receives it, and He promises the right to sit with Him on His throne…I mean, wow!
John then describes the incredible throne room of God in chapter four. Where I am when I review is varied, but it’s usually doing something kind of boring or repetitive, like emptying the dishwasher or driving to pick up groceries. And amidst those routines I get to dwell on what John describes. What kind of King is this that He makes known such great mysteries to such lowly people? One far above us, but One Who wants us to know Him!
“Immediately I was in the Spirit, and a throne was set there in heaven. One was seated on the throne, and the One seated looked like jasper and carnelian stone. A rainbow that looked like an emerald surrounded the throne.” (4:2-3)
It’s mind-blowing to think about how His throne is established forever, about how beautiful He is, and about how I have been brought into His kingdom to worship this glorious God forever. All because He’s reconciled me by His own blood. Spending time meditating on that puts any frustration I’m dealing with into perspective.
So, Christian, if you’re struggling with some paper cut problems- annoying, perhaps, but not life-threatening: look up to the One Who has revealed Himself to you in Christ. Keep persevering.
If you’re barely enduring a gaping wound, grieving and isolated: keep enduring. Lift your gaze to the One Who laid down His life to redeem you and Who enables you to be victorious, even over death. Amidst potentially feeling as if you can’t see Him at all, know that He truly has revealed Himself. May You see Him and may you love Him all the more.