7 Behold, 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.
- We spoke earlier of the kingdom that is already here – now we have language of the kingdom to come.
- He has come when? At his birth and he was reigning even from then. Jesus’ first sermon in Mark is “My kingdom is at hand.” Mark 1:15
- And this will be climaxed at Calvary – and one day we will see him with our eyes – but today we do not see him, but we hear him with our ears in his word…
- Jesus is not absent – just hidden. Today he is hidden in the bread & the wine.
- On the last day we will again see his reign.
- Matthew 24 uses this same thought of everyone will see Jesus.
- Every eye will see him – is this law or gospel? It depends solely if you are a believer or not.
- Every knee will bow – whether you believe or not. For the believer, the knee will bow in honor.
- For the one who has spent their whole life saying ‘no’, saying this Jesus stuff is a bunch of bull, on this day it will be too late – once Judgment Day has come – too late, game over (the law enacted.)
- And what about the “coming with the clouds”? This is the glory cloud, the one that came down and enveloped the temple (1Kings 8) – the same one that took Jesus up to the right hand of the Father.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
- Now Jesus speaks – Alpha = 1st letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega the last. What is it we say today? “From A to Z”
- You can stretch this to be no beginning, no end.
- Look back at v 4 – the same language as the Father – Jesus claims to be God Almighty.
- These past several verses are Trinity language verses. Do a follow up on your own – Read and meditate on the Athanasian Creed.
Vision of the Son of Man
9 I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
- There is no question that the author’s name is John. If there is any question it would be which John. I say surely the author of the gospel – the apostle.
- John is in a prison – much like Alcatraz. ‘Welcome to the Rock!’
- Jesus is not part of a pantheon of gods – but he is God alone – the only way to salvation and this kind of talk in John’s age, and even in our age, will bring you grief – like beatings, prison and perhaps execution.
- Bonheoffer said ‘if you are a Christian, be prepared to die.’
- John apparently was not a PC kind of guy. He did not bow to the culture and he did not soften the gospel to gain the seekers into his church.
- In his gospel, he is the apostle of love – but how does love manifest itself in your witness? Look what love got John.
- By the testimony of Jesus – it is like giving testimony in court – You swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.
- The fight for the Christian today is to not proclaim culture as king. In the 1st century it was to not proclaim the emperor as god. In the OT, although Pharaoh claimed to be god on earth, the Israelites could not proclaim this.
- How well do you hold up?
- So many times we can be swayed by attraction. The attraction of the religion of Oprah, Shirley McLain, the Beatles.
- The attraction of the times – Hinduism – the spark of the divine can be yours in you.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet
- In the Spirit = John will now see all of this from God’s perspective – not man’s – not by what is happening in the newspapers.
- On the Lord’s day = Sunday, the 8th day of the week – the day of our Lord’s resurrection – the day of the new creation – this is the everlasting day.
- Even though he is in prison, the Lord’s day is John’s reminder of the resurrected Christ (and it should be ours also as we assemble each week.)
- The 8th day = new life – The resurrection = new life.
- The voice like a trumpet = who is this preaching for? The Church.
- The Lord’s Day = worship – Voice like a trumpet = the sermon – God’s word is being declared.
11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
- The “in the Spirit” has brought John to this point – he is receiving and is assigned as a prophet to foretell what is and what is to be.
- He is to write it down and pass it around.
- To the 7 churches – a literal 7 churches or all churches?
- 7 = completeness. This is for every church of every time… and to 7 individual church bodies.