A DECISIVE PERSON Revelation 1:1-3
A Sovereign Encounter V.1
The Subject His Unveiling
The Source His Undertaking
The Show His Utterance
The Specifics He’s Unshakable
The Sign His Unassuming
The Servant His Unction
A SOVEREIGN ENCOUNTER V.1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things, which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by His angel unto his servant John:
THE SUBJECT HIS UNVEILING The Revelation of Jesus Christ
It’s suspenseful to uncover something new, especially when it’s so gripping and dynamic. I don’t know where I came up with the impression that Jesus is slow. Maybe it’s my impatience and intolerance. I feel immature and edgy about what is around the next bend in life. Real faith is to step ahead in the confidence of the love and the reality of God’s presence. It is a relying recognition that Jesus is really in charge of everything. This is what we have uncovered so masterfully in Revelation and it is an incredible unveiling.
John has a sovereign encounter with Christ enthroned and ruling. He gathers all the loose threads of the Bible together and in the power of the Spirit lifts us in Revelation to have the same sovereign confrontation.
To see Christ on the Throne exalted and dictating every event appears difficult when we look around at the present condition of things. We hear nothing but a stir of the constant media. They describe everything in ugly implications and tinged insinuations. All appears as unharnessed confusion. We want to demand quick results and clear solutions for our immediate perception.
Christ is mentioned on the throne 45 times in Revelation. MSN, Fox and local news don’t inform us that Jesus is walking among the Churches and even knocking on their doors, attempting to get in our company to share His heart with us.
CNN doesn’t mention that the Lord Jesus is on the move behind the scenes of all occurrences with a purpose and plan in every happening. We can only see Him in His expanding agenda in each current event through the blessing of Revelation.
Here is a Revelation of Jesus, exalted and in control of all incidents. We know the Bible is about Jesus Christ, but when He came in His First Coming, as a man, it was in humility. He was self-effacing and non-demanding. He was mocked, rejected by most, and killed as a criminal and fraud to religion.
But now in Revelation we see Jesus raised, ascended and exalted. He is relevant as the Head of His Church and involved in the scrutiny of every detail. He’s going to return in a Second Coming. Every vision and description of Him in Revelation is significant of His majesty, power, and glory.
Has Jesus been unveiled and uncovered to us? Do we see Him more clearly and are we exposing our self to Him. Maybe that is what really discloses Christ to us is for us not to hide our selves. He is seeking us out in Revelation and asking us to step into His light.
THE SOURCE HIS UNDERTAKING which God gave unto him,
God is the great giver, but all that He provides is not always recognized. He shows us in Revelation. He gives His tactics and a strategy to His own and clarifies warnings for those that reject Him.
When Daniel wrote, he was to “shut up the words, and seal the book” Dan. 12:4; John was given opposite instructions: “Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book” Rev. 22:10. This vision will be unsealed as we let His hands open the book to us and we release our hearts to Him? John says “if we walk in the light as He is in the light” or live with our lives open to let Christ reveal Him self to us. This will cause us to be closer to each other as we are living in the intimate presence of Jesus. If we hide from Christ we become ambiguous in our relationships, living in an illusion of artificial misconceptions.
THE SHOW HIS UTTERANCE to show unto his servants things
We’re inclined to want our own things and those things are not especially the things of Jesus Christ. Isaiah writes there are things no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and the heart of man hasn’t imagined, and it’s what God has prepared for those who love him.
1 Cor. 2:10 magnifies, these things, God has revealed (his things) to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the deep things of God.
The only things that satisfy we hear described in what the men sought when they came to the disciples in John 12:21 and said, “we would see Jesus” There is no greater passion then to see Christ and have a deep bonding with Him. Jesus says that the hour is coming when the Son of Man is to be glorified. That hour is now for Christ to be glorified and magnified in our lives. He says that it’s by a seed being buried in the dirt in death that meaningful fruit is produced. That sounds drastic, desperate and severe and it is. Being self-protective is destructive. The person that loves his life in this world is rejecting of Jesus and will end up destroyed. The person who forgets and literally hates His life in this world finds real life in Jesus.
J.I. Packer writes “weakness is a state of inadequacy, or insufficiency…There is physical weakness, which keeps us from excelling in sports; there is weak health, which makes us vulnerable to all sorts of diseases; weak capacity limits us as employees, business people, and entrepreneurs; weakness of memory keeps us from becoming top-notch teachers or managers; weakness of character unfits us to be leaders, parents, trainers, team captains, and perhaps team members too; and so on.
But weakness is the way to life with Christ as our strength.”
To see Jesus we open our inadequacy and weakness as sinners to Him and He pours in His grace that allows us to be all He wants us to become in Him.
THE SPECIFICS HE’S UNSHAKABLE which must shortly
come to pass;
The word “must” refers to the certainty of what’s happening and soon to happen, but “shortly come to pass” is a phrase of perspective.
There’s our perception of “shortly” and God’s angle on “shortly.” We may feel that “shortly” means soon and abruptly but with God “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” 2 Peter 3:8
The reference of “shortly” scheduled is not a suggestion of when it will happen, but how it will happen. The “how” is the events will happen rapidly with increasing catastrophe and tragic disaster.
We all would like to see certain things expedited. To be able to climb up a steep hill without having to drop down to the lowest gear is a good feeling. We want things accelerated and rushed. We want to be on the fast track.
THE SIGN HIS UNASSUMING and he sent and signified
it by his angel
THE SERVANT HIS UNCTION unto his servant John:
To signify means to declare, to make known and to make clear to show by signs. His Angel is referred to here in the first verse and His Angel is mentioned the last chapter Rev. 22:16 I Jesus have sent my Angel.
Jesus Angel or messenger is His intermediary. W.W. Wiersbe writes: Sometimes Christ Himself conveyed information to John Rev. 1:10; sometimes it was an elder Rev. 7:13; and often it was an angel Rev. 17:1; 19:9–10.
Sometimes a “voice from heaven” told John what to say and do Rev. 10:4. The book came from God to John, no matter what the various means of communication were; God’s Spirit inspired it all.
The message of Revelation is made clear through the use of signs and symbols. Revelation is a book of 348 symbols. These aren’t random symbols with fanciful and novel explanations. These are traceable images from the Old Testament.
A.G. Fruchtenbaum in his book The Footsteps of the Messiah writes: “While the Bible does use many symbols, it is consistent in its usage of symbols. A specific symbol will mean the same thing throughout the Old and New Testaments in the vast majority of cases”
The Book of Revelation has no direct quotations from the Old Testament, but it has about 550 references back to the Old Testament.
David Jeremiah writes: of these symbols, “some represent people. In the first chapter, Jesus is seen as a judge with a two-edged sword coming out of his mouth. Later, the Antichrist is presented as a beast; the great religious system is described as Babylon the Great.
Why is there so much symbolism in the Book of Revelation? To begin with, symbolism is not weakened by time. John was able to draw the great images in God’s revelation and write them into an exciting drama; symbols can stand the test of the years, without relating to one particular era or culture.
Symbols also impart values and arouse emotions. How much more graphic it is to speak of “beasts,” instead of “dictators.” There is more color in referring to “Babylon the Great” than the “world system.”
Symbols can be used as a secret code. Just as secret projects are given code names, so the prisoner of Patmos had a spiritual code, which was circulated to the churches.
The political climate of this period was not unlike that of the forties in Nazi Germany. A diabolically wicked leader, Domitian, believed in his own ability to rule his empire and establish himself with god-like powers. He realized that these people who called themselves Christians had an allegiance to another God. Whereas Hitler annihilated the Jews, the emperor Domitian set out to abolish the influence of the followers of a man called Jesus. Thousand’s of Christians were killed; others, like John, were imprisoned for their faith.
John wanted to encourage those believers, so he wrote letters to the churches, urging them to stand firm, not to waver in their faith. However, he had to disguise this message in such a way that the Roman authorities would not understand it. The Christians could decipher this secret code, but Domitian and his henchmen would be puzzled by it. It would be similar to POWs in our century tapping out codes on cell walls to encourage their fellow prisoners.
The first-century believers understood this symbolism, so it is equally vivid to Christians of every age. We can understand the symbolism in Revelation because each symbol is accompanied by its own interpretation. Throughout Scripture symbols occur as a vehicle for divine revelation, but Revelation contains more symbols than any other book in the Bible”, compiling from the entirety of the 65 books of God’s Word.
Symbols and figures of speech are not literal. Psalms 23 informs us the Lord makes us to lie down in green pastures but not in a literal sense? Literary figures of speech are styles of writing used to reveal a literal truth. David wrote of God riding on the wings of the wind coming in thick clouds of darkness in wrath Against David’s enemies. This is poetic prophecy.
John didn’t make up the images. And we can’t interpret them using our own ingenuity. They’re carefully taken from the rest of the Bible.
Sensationalizing these symbols with strange associations is not anything but speculative fiction. I’ve read a variety of speculative theories, which are a step above fortune telling craziness. One writer predicted that lasers will be created that will melt modern weapons so that future warfare will be fought with stone age weapons with the only vehicles being horses. Another wrote that when the calculator was devised that to own such a hand held devise was equal to taking the mark of the beast. Another said the flying creature of Revelation with stings in their tails were a helicopter with intensely destructive weapons. This makes for bazaar drama but lacks credible proofs.