Summary: And intro to the book of Revelation examining Revelation chapter 1. Email me and I'd be happy to share powerpoint slides and video clips used in this sermon.
Go ahead and open your bibles to the last book – the book of Revelation. This book scares some folks. Mostly because of the imagery it paints of the End Times. Even when hearing the name of the book, REVELATION – we instantly think of the (TAB) mark of the beast, (TAB) the anti-christ and (TAB) an apocalyptic tribulation. AAAAND this book does reveal information on them. But notice the first words of chapter 1 verse. 1. It says, “The revelation of Jesus Christ” Ahhhhh, so this book, isn’t first and foremost about revealing end times details –it’s a book that further reveals who Jesus is. Now, some say, “But Vern we have the gospels that do that.” You’re right but they are only a partial revelation. The gospels show us Jesus at His first coming wrapped in flesh in humiliation culminating to His atoning for at the cross. Revelation shows us the exalted Christ, Lord of His church, judging this fallen world and it’s sin as well as taking back what is HIS – as a ruling, reigning, warrior King. So, this book isnt’ just a book about the end of time…. it reveals Jesus to us.
(TAB) God wants us to KNOW Jesus more fully.
Before we go any further let’s set the stage for this study. It’s the year 95 AD (TAB) Domitian is Caesar of the Roman Empire. Ephesus is the 3rd largest city in the empire and it’s where Domitian has chosen to build his first temple so people can worship him. That’s right, he’s the first living Ceasar to declare himself a god to be worshipped.
Around the same time there’s someone WE KNOW in Ephesus, the apostle John. That’s right, the writer of the gospel of John, and the only surviving member of the original 12 disciples. By this point He’s an old man BUT he’s still proclaiming Jesus. But due to a crack down by Domitian, John is arrested preaching faith in the One true GOD and we all know it wasn’t Domitian. So, he’s (TAB).exile to the barren island of Patmos located in the Aegean Sea southwest of Ephesus, John is one of many prisoners there, most of which, will never leave the island alive.
While at Patmos John receives an unexpected visitor. He writes in v.10: “On the Lord’s Day, I was in the spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet (pause), which said; ‘Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches; to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.
John receives a vision… as he turns to see who’s speaking he sees an incredible sight. Last half of v. 12 “I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone ‘like the Son of Man,’ dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double edges sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”
Now when I read a passage like this, the first I think is – this is obviously God, after all it refers to Him as“the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last.” But as you look closer - more specifically, this is God the Son. John says in v.13 that it’s someone like, “the Son of Man”. “Son of Man” is an old testament title from Dan. 7:13 that implies deity. It’s also Jesus’ favorite titles he used to refer to himself. 81 different times He calls Himself the “son of man”.
And once I figure that out this is Jesus, the next thing I think is: What happen to Him? Snowy white hair now? Fiery eyes? What’s going? (TAB) This is not the Jesus we’re use too. Well, the book of revelation is filled with symbolism. Some of it, is explained to us, like v. 20 in this chapter. Other symbolism we can figure out thanks to other bible passages. Then there’s we’re just not sure about. But Bible teachers feel confident about Jesus description. We believe His white hair shows us His holiness and unlimited wisdom. His fiery eyes, show us His penetrating gaze that’s able to see into the depths of our soul. (TAB) His feet are glowing bronze. (pause) It’s interesting because the (TAB) alter at the temple, where the sacrifices to the Lord were burned, was covered in bronze, and all of the utensils used at the alter were made of bronze. Add to this that many of the animals sacrificed on this alter were sacrificed to atone for personal sin… they were a substitute so that the divine judgment of God on personal sin THEN all of sudden we see Jesus red hot glowing bronze feet and understand Hes on a mission of divine judgment… and we see this in most of Revelation.