“To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 1:6b).
One of the themes of the book of Revelation is worship. We see this over and over again in this book of the Bible. When you read through Revelation chapters 4-5, you see some glimpses of the pure and perfect worship of Heaven. Our highest calling as Christians is to worship God – to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, minds, souls and strength. Here is just a sample of some of Heaven’s worship songs:
- “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” (Rev. 4:8).
- “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (Rev. 4:11).
- “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev. 5:12).
- “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13).
THE SECOND COMING:
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:7-8).
Another one of the themes of the book of Revelation is the second coming of Jesus. Just as certainly as Jesus came the first time 2,000 years ago as a baby in a manger, Jesus is coming back to the Earth a second time. This time He’s not coming back as the Lamb of God; this time He’s coming back as a lion – the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the mighty warrior. The first time Jesus came to die on the Cross to pay the price for our sins to be forgiven. The second time Jesus will return to execute His judgment and pour out His wrath on His enemies.
The Prince of Preachers wrote: “What a difference between the first and second comings. When He shall come a second time, it will be to be glorified and admired, but when He came the first time, it was to be despised and rejected of men.” (Charles Spurgeon).
Here’s another Scripture in the New Testament that teaches us what will happen when Jesus returns to the Earth:
“I can tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not rise to meet him ahead of those who are in their graves. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever. So comfort and encourage each other with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:15-18, nlt).
John has done a great job so far of laying out for us what the book of Revelation is going to be all about. It is going to teach us about who Jesus us, who we are, the call to worship, and the second coming of Jesus.
“I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is calledPatmosfor the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 1:9).
The book of Revelation was written by the beloved disciple, John, while he was in exile on the Island of Patmos. Here we see the first great revelation that John received of the Lord Jesus:
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” (Rev. 1:10-16).
In this prophetic and symbolic picture of the Lord Jesus, each of the different parts of the picture teaches us something about the nature of Jesus.
UNDERSTANDING THE SYMBOLS:
- He was girded with a golden band – ROYALTY
- His head and hair were white like wool – AUTHORITY
- His eyes like a flame of fire – WISDOM
- His feet were like fine brass – JUDGMENT
- His voice as the sound of many waters – POWER
- He had in His right hand seven stars – (see v. 20)
- Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword – THE WORD
- His countenance was like the sun – GLORY
This powerful picture of Jesus reminds me of this Old Testament Scripture: “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all.” (1 Chron. 29:11). Hebrews 1:3 tells us about Jesus that He is “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” (Rev. 1:17-18).
What an amazing revelation John receives about Jesus here. After seeing the great vision of Jesus walking in the midst of the seven lampstands and holding the seven stars in his hands, John falls down at His feet in reverential fear. Then Jesus lays His hand on John and says, “Do not be afraid.” Here is another confirmation that the book of Revelation is not designed to cause believers to be full of fear and confusion. What Jesus said to John, He says to us today: “Fear not!” Then Jesus spoke to John and gave Him another revelation of who He is:
Jesus said, “I’m the one who died on the Cross, and was raised from the dead, and I have power over death.” He’s preaching the Gospel here! In another one of his writings, John recorded Jesus as saying, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). Then Jesus encourages us with the truth that He has power over death – the grave is not the end. This life is not all there is. I heard one Bible teacher describe the book of Revelation as “God’s Grand Finale,” and in a sense it is the end of this age, but in another sense, it is the beginning, the commencement, where real life begins.
THE FIRST INTERPRETATION:
“Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.” (Rev. 1:19-20).
Here is one of the many places in Revelation where the Lord actually gives us the interpretation of some of the symbols. The seven stars that Jesus was holding in His right hand represent the angels of the seven churches inAsia. The lampstands represent the churches themselves.
The fact that churches are called lampstands is significant. Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” As the church, Jesus wants us to shine brightly in the world. Jesus standing in the midst of the lampstands is significant as well, because it speaks to us of the presence of Jesus in the midst of His churches. He said, “I will build my church.”
Some people might wonder who the angels of the churches are. I agree with William Hendriksen who says that the angels describe the pastors of the churches. He writes, “The Lord holds (his pastors) in his right hand. He exercises absolute authority over them; they are His ambassadors.” (More Than Conquerors). This makes sense because the Greek word angelos simply means a messenger, or one sent from God.
In conclusion, I want to challenge you to read through the rest of the Book of Revelation, so you can be blessed. If you want to learn more about Revelation, we have an entire series that goes verse by verse through this book of the Bible that you can download from our church’s website at http://www.beausejourchurch.ca.
- Hayford, Jack. The Spirit Filled Life Bible.
- Hendriksen, William. More Than Conquerors.
- Fee & Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.
- Spurgeon, Charles. 12 Sermons on the Second Coming of Christ.
Pastor Chris Jordan
This is a sample chapter from The Beausejour Pulpit.
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