Summary: Introduces the series of appearances of Jesus in Revelation with his first Titles given in Revelation 1.
You might be surprised to know that for every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first coming, there are 8 that look forward to His second! One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ’s second coming in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses talks about the Second Coming of Christ. The book of Revelation gives full attention to this great event. Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 27.
We’re going to be studying the book of Revelation for the next 8 Sundays. Revelation is the last-written of the New Testament books. It was written by John, who was the last-living Apostle. I’ll let him tell you about it…
DRAMA: John the Revelator
In the next verse, Revelation 1:4, John continues his letter by describing God in all His fullness. Grace and peace to you from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before His throne, and from Jesus Christ… Revelation 1:4-5
Until Jesus came to earth, we did not have a full understanding of God. It was Jesus who explained that God is a unity of THREE IN ONE. The Apostle John refers to God the Father as the one who is and who was and who is to come. He describes the Holy Spirit as the seven spirits before His throne. Then he introduces the testimony of Jesus Christ.
I’ve preached from the book of Revelation two times before. There is so much to this book, that we’ll never exhaust it!
The first time I preached from Revelation, we focused on the Second Coming. Another time we focused on the Rewards given to the Overcomers. This time we’re going to focus on the appearances of Jesus Christ in the book of Revelation. In these verses, John gives Jesus 3 TITLES.
1. HIS TITLES
These 3 titles show the Divinity of Jesus Christ. Just like His Father Jesus is the One who is and who was and who is to come. The first title shows Jesus as the One WHO IS the Faithful Witness.
· Faithful Witness
Right now, Jesus sits on the Throne of Heaven as the Faithful Witness. The word for “witness” could be translated “martyr.” Jesus rules eternally as a faithful witness of the grace of God … a witness who gave his life as a martyr on the cross. Jesus is eternally associated with the cross on which he died.
The next TITLE shows Jesus as the One WHO WAS the firstborn from the dead.
· Firstborn from the Dead
Jesus was the first to experience the Resurrection, which God will give to everyone who believes in His Son. Jesus was the initial seed, planted for the purpose of reaping a great harvest. Like a seed is buried in the soil and dies in germination, Jesus was buried and rose again as the forerunner of a great harvest of souls. Just as He was the one who suffered death, He was the one who Conquered Death!
The 3rd TITLE John give to Jesus, shows Him as the Ruler WHO IS TO COME: The Ruler of the Kings of the Earth.
· Ruler of the Kings of the Earth
In Revelation Chapter 11 we read about the moment in time when Jesus will set up his earthly Kingdom. The 7th Angel blows his trumpet, and loud voices in heaven shout, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 11:15 From that moment on Jesus takes charge of the rebellious world.
That day has not yet come. Right now, Jesus rules the Church on earth. (We’ll talk more about that in the next couple of weeks.) But make no mistake about it; at the assigned time Jesus will simply take charge. He will rule every nation on earth. When that Day comes, no King, no President, no Prime Minister, no Dictator … no political power of any kind will prevail against Him. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!
Let’s look further in Chapter 1 as John describes the way Jesus looked when he appeared to John in Heaven.
2. HIS APPEARANCE
A Son of Man
I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lamp stands, and among the lamp stands was someone “like a son of man” … Revelation 1:12-13
The title “son of man” doesn’t sound like much to boast about. But it is the most incredible and unique appearance Deity could take. It’s wonderful enough that Jesus lowered himself to become a man for the 33 years that he walked on earth. But it is absolutely astounding to know that Jesus has chosen to permanently retain the look of a human being. In Heaven, of course, Jesus can take any form He chooses … and he chooses to look like us. God the Son will identify with us as a Son of Man for all eternity!