“…and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” —Revelation 1:1, 2
Taking into consideration what we examined from our last article in this series, particularly in our understanding of the word “signified,” if I might be as bold as to amplify our passage with a paraphrase, we might read our potion like this: “…and He sent and expressed the significance of Christ’s crucifixion by His messenger unto His bond slave John; and that he bare witness of the Word of God, and specifically all the great and wonderful things he saw of the witness of Jesus Christ.” So what is it that we are being told here?
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” —Genesis 1:3-5
John the beloved disciple writes in his first general epistle “that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). God is certainly light, meaning that He is all that is holy; all that is bright; all that is illuminating; all that is of the utmost clarity; all that is the pinnacle of wisdom without a breath of folly; all that is the extent of power without a shred of weakness; all that is the supremacy of equity without a shadow of evil; all that is the excellence of goodness without any hesitation or withholding; and all that is the fullness of truth and knowledge without any mixture of error whatsoever. All that we know that is called “light” are those things that can give us a glimpse, and only a glimpse, of the holiness that God has revealed to us about Himself.
“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” —Psalm 37:5
Too many times in my Christian life I have made plans and executed them, only to pray afterward, “Okay, Lord, you can bless this now.” Where was God when I was planning? Where was He when I was already in action, carrying these plans out? Well, God was there but the problem was that I didn’t acknowledge that He was there until after I did what I wanted to do.
“I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.” —Psalm 101:1
Does the truth of the Cross move you to sing unto the LORD? Does the very revelation of Christ, and Him crucified, stir within you praise in the very courts of God, and thanksgiving through His gates where God’s judgments are rendered and His justice dispensed?
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” —Hebrews 11:6
Too often, our Christian perspective shifts and we begin seeking the blessings from God rather than the blessing of God. Quite often, we take the passage from Hebrews 11 out of context and we begin to seek Him so we can get something from Him. Having been out of bush Alaska for over two years now, surrounded by every modern “convenience” imaginable, I can see how easily one might be tempted to give the mental, emotional, and material blessings more attention than they are due.
“Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.” —Isaiah 52:13
One of the most tragic graces we have lost today in our Christianity is the fear of the LORD, and reverence for Jesus Christ, in particular. As the enemy, the world, or corrupt flesh delight to tear us away from God’s holy Word and the truth at the center of Christ, and Him crucified, and the more we forget, or forsake, the truth of the Cross, the greater the caricature we make of our Lord. Soon, the holy and beloved Son of God becomes our pal, our bro, our home boy, and a host of other common titles, that though the names are not offensive in and of themselves, the mere thought of the irreverence directed toward the holy Redeemer should turn our stomachs and bring forth from our eyes a fountain of tears.
“My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.” —Psalm 38:10
It’s good to laugh with a light heart when our situations seem dim, bleak, or even dark. Tonight, during our family devotional, even while reading Psalm 38 as a family, we laughed during the reading of the passage; although many familiar with it might think we had lost all reverence and dignity for a psalm that clearly speaks of sorrow, repentance, and a desire for God through one’s personal weakness.
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” —Psalm 34:8
Our scheduled “Family” Bible readings today from McCheyne’s Daily Bread came from Leviticus 27 and Psalms 34.
“The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” —Luke 11:31
When contemplating the lives of some of the characters recorded in Scripture our minds can take us into a myriad of directions. Take Solomon for example. He was considered the wisest of all the kings in Israel. Yet, in multiplying wives to himself, particularly idolatrous women from distant lands, it caused his heart to turn from God so that his sin was loathsome. Our minds might tend to wander upon the thought with regard to Solomon’s ultimate salvation. The last mention of Solomon in scripture, in Nehemiah 13:26, publishes the “wise” king’s very grievous sin:
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:” —Revelation 1:1
The most important truth to consider about this book is that it is the revelation of Jesus Christ. That written in the book of Revelation is the apocalypse, the unveiling of Jesus Christ. As the Alpha and Omega, Jesus Christ is the first and the last in all things, and the first and foremost of and among all things. My Bible, a large print Presentation Reference Edition of the King James Version published by Cambridge University Press, renders the title of this book: “THE REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE.” Many Bibles give this book that title. Yet, it is untrue. Every jot and title of the writings of the book of Revelation contains the essence of the Person of Christ and the work of Christ; in other words, the gospel.