Friday, August 1, 2008

These are the Words of Him who...

One winter we spent several weeks in a small apartment in southern California. During those weeks I read through and studied the book of Revelation. I don't claim to understand everything in that book, but the letters to the churches in Chapters 2 and 3 struck me and I read them again and again.

The letters each follow a similar outline...first, an introduction of "The words of him who...". And each letter ends by stating a reward for "him who conquers" or as some versions say, "overcomes". In the body of the letters are comments on the past and present condition of the churches as well as praise and/or admonition.

I took the letters apart and read all the introductions together as one. I did the same with the endings. It was fascinating.

Here's how the introductions picture Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is God (John 1:1-5, 14).

The words of him who...
Revelation 2:1...holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
Verse 8...the first and the last, who died and came to life.
Verse 12...has the sharp two-edged sword.
Verse 18...who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
Rev 3:1...has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
Verse 7...the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.
Verse 14...the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.

What a picture of the risen Christ, the One who sits at the right hand of the Father, the One who has triumphed over evil and death and Who gives life eternal to those who are His!

Here, then, are the descriptions of those who are His.

To the one who conquers...
Revelation 2:7...I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Verse 11...will not be hurt by the second death.

Verse 17...I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.

Verse 26...and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star.
Revelation 3:5...will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
Verse 12...I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
Verse 21...I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Each of the letters includes, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

There are parts of Revelation that are complex and difficult. There are multiple interpretations out there, some of which are spurious at best. But these verses give a marvelous picture of the triumphant Christ and are an equally marvelous encouragement to those who belong to Him.

And as the very last verse of Revelation (and the Bible itself), I will add, "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen."
.

1 comment:

Jenn Myzia said...

That is really cool! I love when the Holy Spirit gives insight and gems from Scripture. Thanks for sharing!

Jenn Myzia
The Cinnamon Contessa