Summary: Was it worth suffering and maybe dying for this Jewish rabbi called Jesus Christ whom they had never seen? Who was really more powerful: the Caesar in Rome or the Christ in heaven? We have similar decisions to make. Are we going to look to peo
Meeting the Exalted Christ
Purpose: To describe Christ’s awesome glory.
Aim: I want the listener to deepen their adoration for Christ.
INTRODUCTION: The Christians who received this letter from John were something like us. They had never seen the Lord Jesus Christ. They had heard about Him through the preaching of the gospel and as a result had committed themselves to follow Christ. But, their conversion to Christ not only didn’t bring them better health and more prosperity, it brought them intense persecution. Imperial Rome was in the midst of brutally torturing and killing those who claimed to be followers of Christ.
These were frightening times. Was it worth suffering and maybe dying for this Jewish rabbi called Jesus Christ whom they had never seen? Who was really more powerful: the Caesar in Rome or the Christ in heaven?
We have similar decisions to make. Are we going to look to people or governments to provide for our needs or are we going to look to Christ?
1:1-20 I. John’s Vision of the Past “the things which you have seen”
Vs.1-3 A. The importance of this book “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”
Vs.4-5a B. The character of God
Vs.4-5a 1. The Father is eternal “Him who is…was…is to come”
Vs.4b 2. The Spirit is all-knowing “the seven Spirits”
Vs.5a 3. The Son is exalted “the firstborn of the dead”
Vs.5b-6 C. The change Jesus makes
Vs.5b 1. Jesus cares for His own “Him who loves us”
Vs.5c 2. Jesus forgives His own “released us from our sins”
Vs.6a 3. Jesus empowers His own “made us to be a kingdom, priests”
Vs.6b 4. Jesus uses His own to glorify God “to Him be the glory”
Vs.7 D. The coming of King Jesus “He is coming with the clouds”
Vs.8 E. The superiority of King Jesus
Vs.8a 1. Jesus is altogether sufficient “Alpha and Omega”
Vs.8b 2. Jesus is absolute ruler “Lord God who is…was…is to come”
Vs.8c 3. Jesus is all powerful “the Almighty”
Vs.7-8 F. The certainty of the return of King Jesus “it is to be”
➽Vs.9-12 G. The setting for this book
➽Vs.9a 1. The person writing “John”
John was the last living Apostle. He was probably about 90 years old at this time. When he died there was no one left to talk to who had actually seen Jesus Christ. John, though, did not refer to himself as an Apostle. Rather, he saw himself as a brother and a fellow partaker of persecution with those who were reading this book.
➽Vs.9b 2. The place “island called Patmos”
John himself received the message of this book while he was a prisoner of Rome on a small island called Patmos. [ picture] Patmos was 70 miles SW of Ephesus. It is one of the smallest of hundreds of islands that dot the Greek coastline. It is only 10 miles long and 6 miles wide.
“One might describe the physical features of the island as a treeless area rising abruptly from a massive stone wall encompassing the whole region. Against this volcanic heap the waves of the Aegean dash themselves continually.” [“Bibllical Backgrounds” P.190 ]
John must have wondered why the Lord put him in such a barren place. But, the Bible is full of stories of God’s people in exile who were blessed by the Lord.
• When Jacob was in exile running for his life from his brother Esau he saw a vision of God in a place he called Bethel.
• When Moses was in exile running from the Pharaoh of Egypt God appeared to him in the burning bush.
• It was while Elijah was in exile hiding from Jezebel that he heard the “still small voice.”
• In exile Ezekiel saw, “the likeness of the glory of God.”
• Daniel was in exile in Babylon when he saw a vision of “the Ancient of days.”
• It was while Paul was in a Roman prison that he wrote the books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. [“From Suffering to Singing” by Bob Marcaurelle P.1 ]
You may be in a type of physical or emotional exile from your friends of loved ones, but there is no reason why you can’t see Jesus Christ. Circumstances do not hinder God.
➽Vs.9c 3. The persecution “tribulation”
Notice that “in Jesus” John found “tribulation and kingdom and perseverance.” As Job put it “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?”(Job 2:10 NAU)
Pain is as much a gift from God as is health. Do we really believe Romans 8:28? And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NAU)
"In one word, they lived in an age of intense persecution. Domitian [the emperor who followed Nero] was a devil. In 29 B.C., with the death of Julius Caesar, the people of Rome began to worship the Roman Empire and later the Roman Emperors as divine. They kept other gods but looked upon the Emperor as a sort of god. Most of the Emperors simply tolerated this practice but Domitian took it seriously. He called himself a god and began all official documents with these words: ’our Lord and God Domitian commands...’ Everyone who addressed him was commanded to say, ’Lord and God." Anyone who refused to pay this homage was labeled ’atheistic’ and became the object of persecution or execution. His rage fell especially heavy on the Christian Church. Many Christians were beheaded, some were exiled, and others had all their property confiscated and were thus reduced to poverty.