I Want to See Jesus
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
This book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ at the highest level. He, in all of His redemptive person, is the mountain peak of the book. While He and His Father are equal in all matters of the Godhead in this book, He is the revelation of redemption for the entire universe. In the end the Father will be all in all because Christ will deliver the kingdom to Him. There are many created beings that have a place in this book with the Son, His Father, and the Holy Spirit, but, second to the glory of our God is the glory of His saints. The four beasts are certainly glorious as His Cherubim that are always present when the Father is directing judgment and special activities on His earth. I will call them living creatures or Cherubim as this article progresses. There are other angels that participate and literally multitudes that ring the entire proceedings with their presence, but His saints are the reason for the book.
“Christ unveiled” has often been the first description of the Book of Revelation. It is indeed “a taking off of the cover” of the glories of the Son of God, but it is more. It is the removing of the veil from Him and from His stupendous plans and prophecies of His works of redemption and judgments and the glory to follow. His total plan for His saints is almost as glorious as He is because it is His glory shares with His Bride. The first chapter reveals His personal glory as the foundation to reveal all the glories of His coming revelation. Never in any one chapter of the entire Word of God has any one person been described with so many adjectives and titles.
Name Above All Names
The Father has given His victorious Son a “name above every name” and this chapter of God’s masterpiece begins with a divine description. Forty-three adjectives and nouns are used to present Him to His chosen saints and His church. Every one of those descriptions was meant for His revelation to us. All the majesty that fills this book must have a divine foundation, and He is that foundation. In these titles and descriptions, He builds a super structure of a holy house of literature that the words that create that house might carry us to the New Jerusalem of perfect existence and fulfillment. There is nothing about this house of words that is not divine and literal. It is all intended to be His story. Truth must flow out of Him because He is the Word of God. This foundational chapter, chapter one, represents the greatest display of His character, His triumph, and His glories ever revealed to humankind. It is breathtaking!
Let’s read them without comment. “… from Jesus Christ … Who is the faithful witness … the first begotten of the dead … the prince of the kings of the earth … that loved us … washed us from our sins … in His own blood … He cometh with clouds … every eye shall see Him … they also which pierced Him … all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him … I am … Alpha… Omega … the beginning… the ending … saith the Lord, … which is … which was … which is to come … the Almighty … I am Alpha … Omega … the first … the last … the Son of man … clothed with a garment down to the foot … girt about the paps with a golden girdle … His head and His hairs were white like wool … His eyes were as a flame of fire … His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace … His voice as the sound of many waters … in His right hand seven stars … out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword … His countenance was as the sun shineth in His strength … I am the first and the last … I am He that liveth, and was dead … behold, I am alive for evermore … Amen … and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:5-18) “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” (Revelation 1:19) and send them to the churches.
No such comprehensive description of Christ is found elsewhere in the Bible. He intended that we take this Book as our battle cry and fill our world with the hope of both Him and the pattern to our future. To even consider the church filled with joy and the Holy Ghost without Him and His plans for our future is mindless. Those are the two things this great work of literary beauty is all about. The first verse sets the purpose in stone. “The Revelation (unveiling) of Jesus Christ, which God (Father) gave unto him, to shew unto his servants (church) things (events) which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:” (Revelation 1:1).
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
The Lord in the Midst of His Church
While chapter one lifts our Lord Jesus Christ to the pinnacle of His glory, chapters two and three establish that His heart is His church and He is constantly in their midst. He is seated on the Father’s right hand, but by His Spirit – the omnipresent person of Him and His Father – He walks in the midst of His church. He beholds us; He intercedes for us; He defends us against every enemy; He hears our prayers with the Father; He directs His Spirit and all His gifts; He calls and sends, and then goes before us in all matters of His church and His saints.
He begins the first letter to His churches by stating clearly His awesome presence. “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;” (Revelation 2:1). It is only to Ephesus that He clarifies the unity of this seven and made the seven letters a united message. He takes His very introduction unto Ephesus and then closes all seven letters with an equally uniting phrase, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). These seven letters will be made a united whole in Revelation chapters two and three.
Let me introduce a chart to help you see the progression of His titles that set the order of the book. Everything about the Book of Revelation is chronological; it is a story and cannot be misunderstood unless the chronology is broken. The first chart sets the overall pattern and the progression Him end times events from the church age to His Golden City and helps to keep the pattern strong and clear. Then, comes the Master Himself and His revelations. This is the foundation and establishes His purpose. He is the centrality of the book.
The Lord As The Lamb of God
From Revelation chapter four (Revelation 4:1), the Lord Jesus Christ is pictured as the Lamb of God and is called “Lamb” or “Lamb of God” twenty-one times between that point and Revelation chapter nineteen, verse nine (Revelation 19:9). This becomes His title (The Lamb) because His position suddenly progresses to the Great Judicial Kinsman Redeemer. The right to take possession of this earth and to return it to its rightful owners is a redemptive matter and that right was won by the sacrifices of the cross and His broken body. The first rendering of this Lamb before the raptured multitude and the Heavenly Host that will participate in the great seven years of righteous judgment was as a “Lamb as it had been slain” (Revelation 5:6).
That rendering also included this Lamb having seven horns and seven eyes, which shows the Lamb in His redemptive visit to the earth, where He was filled with the Spirit without measure. This same anointing by the Spirit is again mightily active during this great period of cleansing the earth. Everytime you see the term “Lamb” from chapter five to chapter nineteen, verse nine, the presence of the Lamb includes the presence of the Holy Spirit as seven horns and seven eyes. Every act of the Lamb is possessed by the omnipotent power (seven horns) and the omniscient wisdom (seven eyes) manifest by the Holy Spirit.
This is an awesome picture and story of the Son of God. It is impossible not to conclude that the entire scene has changed from His role and title as “Lord of the Church” to the “Lamb of Judicial Redemption.” Nothing is said of Him, nor is any rendering of Him by title or action from this point in this masterpiece, Book of Revelation, to show Him present in His body, the church. While, presently, He walks in the midst of the seven candlesticks, and this continues until the end of Revelation chapter three, the total expression of our Lord is now to prepare for His saints’ future. The Rapture has occurred and from John’s welcome, “Come up hither!” (Revelation 4:1), the Son of God is with the saints and together they are redeeming and cleansing this earth for the glory to come.
The word church is never used after the seven churches were addressed by seven letters in Revelation chapters two and three. The word churches is later used one time as the Lord refers to the churches concerning the total content of this great book. “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (Revelation 22:16). It is clear that this is the Lord’s complete endorsement of the total revelation and a command to take the Book of Revelation seriously, even as infallible truth.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
The Lord as the Mighty Warrior
The Lamb of God becomes the mighty warrior just as soon as the seven years of cleansing and the redemption of the earth are complete. The earth cannot be the eternal kingdom of God until sin is perfectly judged and every vestige of Satan and his false trinity is vanquished. The devil’s Antichrist and his false prophet must be taken by a great and mighty warrior and cast into the Lake of Fire. The Lamb of God has shown that His perfect sacrifice was a finished work, but now He must act as the victorious king. The Son of God quickly changes His role and title. We have not seen any of this great description of Him since the church was caught up at the beginning of chapter four, but now He and His church are returning to this earth to establish His kingdom.
Jesus was called “Alpha and Omega” in Revelation chapter one and He is called “Alpha and Omega” again in Revelation chapter twenty-one, verse six (Revelation 21:6). He was called the “First and the Last” to the church at Smyrna (Revelation 2:8), but not called that again until chapter twenty-two, verse thirteen (Revelation 22:13). The Son of God was called “Faithful” in Revelation chapter three, verse fourteen (Revelation 3:14) to the Church of Laodicea and again called “Faithful” in chapter nineteen, verse eleven (Revelation 19:11). Of course, He was all those great titles and descriptions throughout the seven years of Tribulation from Revelation chapter six to Revelation chapter nineteen, but the titles were roles of His priesthood over His body, the church, but not applicable to His administration of the judgments of the earth. All of these great titles, and where they are used, help us see the beautiful chronology of God’s masterpiece of Revelation. This house of literature is perfect in every detail.
He mounts His white stallion, gives a call of His elders to join Him – they too are provided with white horses – and the time to settle earth’s conflict is come. The Lamb will never cease to be the Lamb, but now the title of the victorious Redeemer must fit the task at hand. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:11-16) In these short verses, He carries fifteen titles and descriptions together. Each of them is applicable to the role He will now fulfill as the earth’s inhabitants are subdued and His kingdom of righteousness is established on this earth. Every possible conflict against a righteous kingdom must be firmly adjudicated so that there will be no doubt of His kingdom success over the entire cosmos.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords
For one thousand years, the Son of God, along with His Jewish family and the blood-washed saints, will rule the earth. “… but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6b). The disciples were absolutely convinced that Jesus Christ was going to set up the kingdom of God on earth when He was training them to be His apostles. They still held to the hope of freedom from Rome even after the resurrection. “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” (Acts 1:6-7). But the time of the earthly kingdom was future and the business of Jesus Christ was to birth His church and then set the promise of the kingdom at the appointed time.
Daniel prophesied of this great future kingdom after the judgments were complete. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (Daniel 2:44) He added to this promise in another interpretation. “Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” (Daniel 7:22,27). The Son of God, Faithful and True, eyes as a flame of fire, clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, the Word of God, out of His mouth a two-edged sword, King of kings, and Lord of lords, along with His saints, is going to rule the world in righteousness.
The Lord As Bridegroom
The eternal roles and titles of the Lord Jesus Christ will be everything He has ever represented, plus he will be the Bridegroom of His chosen jewels, His bride. No name given to Him can be excluded because He is the name above every name. Studying the Book of Revelation shows clearly that this unveiling of Him unites every title He has worn from Genesis, where He was the Word of God in creation, to the Book of Revelation, where He is the eternal Bridegroom. The city of New Jerusalem was His creation of ultimate value and beauty. Nothing in the past of created value can compare to this prize prepared for His bride. The present world knows no value with which to compare. It is the final home for the highest honored of all saints. Men and women that have sacrificed their lives for Jesus Christ and carried their cross to His glory will dwell with Him in this city for eternity. This is the highest reward to be offered at the Marriage Supper.
The last two chapters of this book are the crowning glory of the Holy Scripture. There is no reasonable way for the Bible to end except as it actually ends. Our God never does one thing without perfection and this is a perfect conclusion. This city will adorn the earth like a jewel set in a golden display. The Father and the Son will become the Light of this city and the beauty of it all will light the entire universe so that there is no need of a sun. The city will be a temple of worship. The angels, cherubims, seraphims, and all the saints will find eternal joys together. Heaven and earth will be a united universe, and His creation will find perfect pleasure in righteousness forever.
The Book of Revelation is surely a perfect house of words that finishes the Holy Bible in absolute completion. “In the Beginning was the Word,” (John 1:1) and words have always been God’s choice way to describe His Son. This last book of the Bible is a house of literature, a masterpiece of revelation, and the chronological finality of Holy Scripture. Jesus is the Word, and this is His last word to His church and His saints.