Revelation E2, “He Really Sees Me!!!” 1:4-8 (Theological Thursday)

 

“4John to the seven churches that are in Asia:    

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings of earth.  

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen.  7Behold,, he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.  Even so.  Amen.  

8″I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty (V. 1:4-8).”

“4John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne (v. 1:4),

So, we are still a minority in Rome, so when Christ addresses the Seven churches, you think you know who they are.  There are other bodies of believers being formed, but they are stemming from some earlier established ones.  But, you can’t help but believe that some other churches will read this letter who have been left off the list and will be startled by that.  Seven is also the number of completion, in your mind you just move on.   

Something the others pointed out to you later was that the seven churches of Asia are being addressed.  It doesn’t say Rome.  Christ doesn’t acknowledge Rome in any special way, but the churches are special.  They are His.  Rome will come and go, and God is not impressed, but the church will survive forever and these bodies are to be addressed by name. 

It is always relieving that Jesus will address you with grace and peace first.  The truth that has been instilled from you at your baptism has been, that you belong to Him no matter what.  He will not leave you nor forsake you.  Relax.  Some of you may get a painful rebuke.  There maybe some things that we need to correct, but hold on.  

It is also important to note that you are receiving grace and peace from the angels that represent each church and actually stand in the throne room of God.  These angels are bringing you the grace and peace you need.  These very angels were also mentioned in a letter to Jewish believers, you think brother Luke wrote, but no one is sure.  “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14).”

Think about that for a second.  God’s angels are for our benefit.  What a thought?  You were also fascinated by the thought that each church had an angel.  “So, how does that work,” you pondered?  If we grow, do we get another angel or is one enough?  Are some angels tougher than others?  Interesting, but I must focus.  You were back.  “I got this,” you thought.  “Jesus sees me and the very angel of my church has me.  I got this!”

“and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings of earth (5a).”

“Not only do we have the angels working for us,” you thought.  But, that is nothing compared to Jesus Christ, who was the faithful witness to the end.  He lived perfectly from birth all the way until He breathed His last earthly breath and claimed, “It is Finished!”  He is the first born of the dead.  He brought us the resurrection.  He did it first!  Not only that.  You are sitting in fear of Rome.  The same Rome Jesus didn’t mention by name, but He calls out the individual churches by name.  You hear the term, “ruler of the kings of earth.”  He is the ruler of everyone and everything.  That is who He is.  That is who we serve, no matter how bad things get, Jesus was, is and always will be, “ruler of the kings of earth.”

“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen (5b – 6).”

Not only is He King of everything.  Not only is He in charge and He mentions our church by name.  He loves us.  He freed us by His blood.  He doesn’t mention Rome, but is He really calling us a Kingdom, that we are priests to his God and Father, while announcing His Kingship forever. 

It is kind of funny that we are a Kingdom and this term priest comes up.  The Levite Priest in the Old Testament were the ones in charge of the priestly duties of sacrificing animals, and ceremony.  The High Priest was the one who had to enter the Holy of Holies and perform the highest sacrificial duties.  They were special Jewish people.  Most of us here are gentiles, which made these words especially powerful.

While this part is being read, you look to your left and see Markus and his perfect looking children and young wife.  They have experienced persecution from family, and they haven’t always felt accepted by their Jewish Christian peers, especially when they were  in Jerusalem.  In Ephesus they are more of the norm.  When Markus heard he was part of the Kingdom of Priests he began to weep.  It just hit you, that all this time he doesn’t feel as valuable as the Jewish believers.  His family really hurt him in Jerusalem.  You promise to always be nice to Markus from now on, at that you confessed to God that you are jealous of Markus.  He is really is faithful and full of faith.  

You heard the next part about God getting the glory, and having dominion forever.  But, you really heard the Amen.  The reader paused at the Amen.  “We really do serve the one who is in charge,” you thought.  “Wow!”

 7Behold,, he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.  Even so.  Amen.  

So, the promise continues.  We have been told before that He would return on the clouds and every eye will see Him.  Even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.  You thought, “He must be talking about another time.  Some of the ones who killed him are dead already.”  People from every tribe, every family will have someone grieving because they do not know God.  

The reader hit another strong, Amen.  You thought it, but didn’t say it.  Some others shouted, “Amen.”  Yes, there was a feeling that it was time for Rome to get theirs.    

8″I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty (V. 1:4-8).”

After the word, “Almighty,” there was a pause.  He didn’t have the word Amen to read, but their was a sense of relief.  There was a sense that the questions would begin to be answered.  “Maybe God didn’t forget about us,” you thought.  “Is it bad that I want Him to kill my enemies?”  “Maybe.”  

He starts the alphabet and ends it.  He is the Word and makes up every word.  God sees us.  The room went silent during the pause and no one knew what would be said next.  It seems that no one gets away with anything after all in this life.  It seems that Jesus is coming for us soon.  What does it all mean for us?  Why is God paying special attention to us my church in Ephesus, right now?

Just then you are startled by a thought.

(To Be Continued)  

Thanks for Reading! 

Continued from: Revelation E1 Why Us? 1:1-3 (Theological Thursday)

Next Episodes:

 Revelation E3, “Faithful Together” (Theological Thursday)

Revelation E4, “Ephesus” 2:1-7

Revelation E5 “The Great Cult” 2:1-7

Revelation E6, “God, Help My Sister” 2:8-11

Revelation E7, “The Throne of Satan” 2:12-17

Revelation E8, “Nicolaitans” 2:12-17 Continued

Revelation E9, “Sexual Attack” 2:18-29

Revelation E10, “Dead or Alive!” 3:1-6

Revelation E11, “Brotherly Love” 3:7-13

 

Cover Front and Back Final

There are 260 chapters in the New Testament.  You go to work 5 days a week.  There are 52 weeks in a year.  52 X 5 = 260.  This year, Take the Challenge!  Change your life!

 

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