I am not sure what your “take-home” on this will be today but mine is the Greatness of Jesus. I think my vision of him is as a “human or in his carnate” state. Jesus is not a man, He is Lord. Our vision of Him must not be what we see from movies on Easter but of the Mighty Warrior He is up in Heaven. John writes this “unveiling” of who Jesus our Christ really is.
A reminder of His love and our Purpose are stated in 1:5
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father
John is told in verse 19 to write: what you have seen, what is now, and what will take place later. John writes of his vision of Jesus starting in vs 13, Jesus is dressed in High Priest garments, holding the angels in his hand. His hair is as white as snow, and His eyes blaze with Holiness and the only thing Jesus speaks is the Word of God (sword).
We could spend 5 months on these 5 chapters, but sometimes the less I say the better. Here are the 5 churches (which one describes your church or YOU)
- Ephesus: (Loveless), you are a hard worker, reject evil, persevere but have fallen out of love for Faith. Jesus tells them to repent and do what you used to do for God.
- Smyrna: (Suffering for good) Jesus comforts them with encouragement and for them to remain faithful for they will be given the crown!
- Pergamum (loves the world) You may love Christ and don’t deny him but tolerate other false religions “to each his own” mentality, and immorality in the world does not bother you. He warns us to repent!
- Thytira (False Doctrine), Jesus warns them that they are a “deed based” faith (MANY are) and you also tolerate other religions and worship idols and can be immoral. He warns Judgement is coming, so repent.
- Sardis (a restaurant in NY, how ironic) ( Spiritually dead) a group or church that is spiritually dead and Jesus warns to wake up to the few that remain so they will not be blotted from the book of life.
- Philadelphia (Spiritually Alive) they have kept God’s word! And they will be rewarded in Heaven.
- Laodicea (lukewarm, complacent). You are neither hot nor cold for Jesus and your Faith, and Jesus would rather you be one or the other! He warns, turn from your indifference or you may never see eternity.
Please know that there are soooo many views on the end of times but in 1 Thessalonians the Greek word for Rapture was used so, I believe in a Rapture of the Church. I believe in a literal Revelation and ALL of this book will come true Word for Word. (But I am truly ok if you take a different view( as many do) I believe that God first revealed himself to Israel, then to the Gentiles (Church) and then the Rapture will occur when CHrist will come and take believers before the tribulation occurs (Chapter 4). The Great Tribulation is a time when severe calamities will occur and people who come to know Christ then will still suffer greatly. Then the second coming of Christ will occur on earth and He will reign for what is called the Millenium here on earth and then finally there is a Final Judgment when the earth will cease to exist.
Chapter 4 speaks in vision and if you remember Ezekiel this lines up exact! What all of it means I really don’t know and I think it is dangerous to think we can “figure” it all out. Some scholars have represented the 24 elders and the uniting of the Old Testament and the New Testament with the 12 Tribes and the 12 chosen Disciples.
The four creatures may represent the four attributes of Jesus
- Lion is Power
- Ox is faithfulness
- Man is intelligent
- Eagle is Sovereignty.
But I also think it might me
- Lion is KING!
- Ox as a SACRIFICE
- Man as The Christ (Perfect) Man
- Eagle as Sovereign and Supreme
So now we begin to read of the End Times and what it will be like. There is a scroll with seven seals that only Jesus is worthy of opening. Note the constant comparison between Lion and Lamb. He is The King of Kings yet He was willing to take our place against sin as a Sacrifice to overcome satan’s grip on us. So tomorrow we will jump into the 7 years of tribulation, the seven seals broken…
If you want to prepare for what you about to read so that none of this comes as a shock take a few Minutes to read Matthew 24 again. Jesus has already told us the story and warning of his unveiling.