On the Plains of Moab Blog
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June 24, 2012, 11:34 AM

Sermon Text for Sunday June 24, 2012: The Millennium


The sermon was not recorded today; so, we revert to the old fashioned way of making sermons available -- A Transcript from today.

June 24, 2012.  Text:  Revelation 20:1-15  The Millennium  (Sermon #9 of 10) by Cameron Smith.

We are talking about the millennium today.  Now, I know, when you hear that word, you think back twelve years ago to the hysteria of Y2K.  We all remember the build up to the 21st millennium.  It was a science fiction fantasy.  Computers would crash.  Government and commerce would come to a grinding halt.  The world would stop spinning.  One well-known Christian ministry was even advising the faithful to stock up on non-perishable foods and head for the bomb shelter!

But today, we are talking about another kind of millennium.  We are talking about the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.  Then I saw [John's way of introducing the next vision] an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain.  And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. (Rev 20:1-3 ESV) ...and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands.  They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (Rev 20:4 ESV).

Lots of details packed in here; far more than I can ever hope to cover in a twenty minute sermon -- so let me give you the big idea of what's going on here.

  • Rev. 20:1-6 (that I just read from) speaks of this incredible thousand year millennial reign of Jesus Christ here on earth.  Satan is defeated, Jesus reigns, God's people receive deep and lasting life!
  • Rev. 20:7-10 then speaks of a certain, definitive, final judgment of Satan, the beast and the false prophet -- evil.
  • Rev. 20:11-15 announces a certain, definitive, final judgment on humanity -- sin.

Let me begin with Rev 20:1-6.  The Millennial Kingdom.  The big question here is when?  When will this thousand years happen?  Is the thousand years literal or figurative?  Two major answers have been generally given among Christians.  Either the Kingdom is now, presently since Jesus announced its inauguration during his earthly ministry -- or sometime in the future when Jesus comes back again.  If the Kingdom has already come, then the thousand years can't really be a literal thousand years since Jesus has been gone for nearly two thousand years.  The thousand years must then be a symbolic representation of a long and meaningful period of time.  If indeed the Millennium is yet in the future, those who see it that way usually agree that it means a literal thousand year reign here on earth, probably in Jerusalem.

Let's be honest here.  Revelation is loaded from start to finish with symbolic language.  From the description of Jesus as a seven-horned-seven-eyed lamb to the devil as the great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns to the terrible, measured judgments presented in the seal, trumpet and bowl cycles of seven.

This book is rich, metaphorical and symbolic -- a highly visual description of who God is and what he is going to do.  The indescribable being described in a literary way that incorporates and draws together Old Testament themes and imagery and that includes the use of numbers like 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12 and multiples of those numbers.

It is my firm conviction that the Millennial Kingdom is a present reality.  This is what the book of Revelation teaches.  Jesus, over and over, announces that the Kingdom had come  -- of course with the understanding that it is partial, growing with more to come later!  But, the Kingdom has indeed come.

Revelation 20:1-6 announces that Satan has been bound--now-- and that the Saints of God are reigning with Christ--now.  A present reality!

Perhaps this is hard to swallow?  Sin and evil seem to be so omnipresent and omnipotent in the world and our own lives today!  Well, let me bring to mind a few well known verses in the New Testament -- and I want you to bear in mind what John is announcing here as you hear these verses:

How can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man?  Then indeed he may plunder his house. (Mt. 12:29 ESV).

The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!"  And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." (Lk. 10:17-18 ESV).

Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out....[When the Comforter comes, will convict the world]...concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (Jn. 12:31, 16:11 ESV).

And you, who were dead in your trespasses...God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses...This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.  He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (Col. 2:13-15 ESV).

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Heb. 2:14-15 ESV).

And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.  And [then] I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God." (Rev. 12:9-10 ESV).

When you put all of these words together, you realize that what we have is a picture of the Kingdom of God reigning here and now.  In his life, death and resurrection, Jesus has, to use Matthew's language, "Bound the strong man."  He is now "plundering his house," which is to say that he is rescuing and pulling men and women out from the dangers of this fallen world.

As people come to Jesus Christ in faith, they are given new life -- eternal life -- they literally come to life -- the first resurrection, to use the words of John.  They reign with Christ by being his ambassadors.  heralding the Good News of the Gospel in word and deed.

It is a thousand year kingdom.  It is a period of time as long as God's patience and longsuffering.  As Peter reminds us, God is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9 ESV).

Rev. 20:7-10 make it plain that the devil will be judged.  Evil will not go on and on.  It won't survive to make a sequel.  That gives us encouragement.  It gives us hope.  It is however, that last section, Rev. 20:11-15 that is a little disconcerting:

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.  Then another book was opened, which is the book of life.  And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done....and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done....And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:12, 13,15 ESV).

There's hell.  There's an eternity separated from God.  But, as I am wont to do, I want to point you back to the first six verses of this chapter.  That is where the emphasis is in this chapter -- not on the "lake of fire." The long, joyous, inviting, seemingly unending period of time in which the people of God go about living out the Kingdom of God here on earth -- the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.  The time when the love of God is made manifest and available to every living creature upon the earth.  There is absolutely no reason for any living person to go to hell, certainly not for any person who sits in this sanctuary!

My preaching, and I am sure, many of my colleagues, operates on the working assumption that I am preaching to a room full of Christians, and if I am not, then I hope that the Good News that I am delivering will find its way into the hearts of those who do not believe.

However today.  The text is in your face.  In your face with the Good News, of course.  But, it also cuts to the chase.  In light of the Good News in Jesus, why would you want anything less?

You have heard the Word of God.  Please consider it so very well.   Amen.




June 22, 2012, 3:56 PM

The Millennial Kingdom of Christ


We come, this Sunday, to one of my favorite chapters in all the Bible.  This is the stuff that got me hooked when I was back in my twenties.  I can't tell you how many endless hours I spent in the parking lot of Grace Church back in the 1980s arguing and debating over the right way to do eschatology.

As I look back on those days, and the time I spent at Liberty, the view that was emblazoned upon my heart was what is known as Pre-Tribulation, Pre-Millennialism.  To give you some idea of what that is, let me walk you through the book of Revelation with that lens in hand.

Chapter 1 is of course the introduction.  The vision of God that begins it all.  Chapters 2-3 are letters written to to the churches describing their condition and what they must do to get things where they need to be in light of what is about to be reported. The letter to Philadelphia contains a vital piece of prophecy that will provide immense comfort to the faithful in the subsequent ages to come -- 3:10 says, "Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth."  This hour being understood as the Great Tribulation - that seven year period of extreme persecution upon the earth.  As we move to chapter 4, John hears the angelic voice saying, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this."  This is the Rapture spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 4:13ff.  God's Church is raptured off the scene early in Revelation, and so, doesn't experience all of the horrors that are about to come upon the earth in the cycles of judgment in chapters 6-18 (i.e. The Great Tribulation).  This is where the Pre-Tribulation part fits in to the label.  No tribbing for God's people!

Of course, the poor saps "Left Behind" are the unbelieving Gentiles and Jews.  They will be tried to the utmost.  (Though I have not read one page of the Left Behind series, my understanding is that it describes the travails of that seven year period of time through the eyes of the protagonists in the story.)

BUT, according to chapter 19, Jesus comes back with his Church and the Beast and the False Prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire.  Evil is defeated there -- but not definitively!  Opening up in chapter 20, we see that Satan is bound and the Church goes into a golden age -- a literal thousand year reign of Christ from Jerusalem.  The Temple is rebuilt and I suppose the sacrificial system is re-instituted -- and I am not sure if those sacrifices are real or symbolic -- the stuff that Jesus did on the cross kind of blows some fog on the Temple rebuilding project.  God's people will reign because, afterall, there will still be unbelieving folks yet around. As one minister back in the day told me, "Well, somebody's got to rule over the sinners!" (And he was dead serious!)  That means glorified, perfect humanity interacting with fallen, sinful, unglorified humanity.  Boy, you think we have racial and socio-economic tensions today -- wait until the Millennial Kingdom to see a whopper of human angst and prejudice!  The saints of God will be fine -- they will be in their glorified state, perfect.  But, those envious, unregenerate unbelievers?  I can just hear it now:  Non-believer says, "Oh, so you think you're perfect?"  Glorified saint responds, "Well, yes, quite actually, I am."

However, at the end of the thousand years, Satan will be unleashed once again, and sinful flesh will rebel against King Jesus.  Jesus, of course, will win again -- 3 for 3, if you're keeping count:  Calvary, Armageddon and this Great White Throne Judgment!  All the devil's stuff is dealt with finally and definitively this time around.  The Book of Life is opened, and THE Judgment begins.  To those who embraced Christ - heaven; to those who did not -- hell.

The New Jerusalem comes down out of the sky.  The Earth is destroyed, and Rev. 21-22 describes eternity in heaven.

This is what I learned as a young man.  I confess, that I did not look favorably upon anyone who deviated in the slightest detail from this model.  I also confess that I did not understand my own view very well because I couldn't quite figure out how ethnic Israel fit into the picture.  I knew they did -- just was a bit fuzzy on the 144,000 thing.

However, as the years passed, I found that this view wasn't doing justice to the great stuff I was finding in the Scriptures.  There was already a mind-blowing picture of God's great Redemption being displayed, and it did not need the imaginative stuff that was being projected onto the text.  The Left Behind view certainly sold alot of books for Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins -- but, when examined closely, it just couldn't pass historical, theological or biblical muster.

However, having said all of that, here is what I still retain from my Pre-Trib, Pre-Mill days:  Jesus IS coming back again, physically.  God will be all in all.  The earth will be restored as it was in the beginning.  The dead will rise from the grave, bodily.  Some to everlasting bliss; some to everlasting shame.  I have just found the details in my old view to be a potpourri of taped together scriptures powered by a fertile imagination!  We can do much better!




June 16, 2012, 11:51 AM

Wrestling with Judgment


It is, I suppose, a hallmark of Mainline Christianity to cast a critical eye upon anything in the Bible that might suggest that there might actually be anyone who might not make the final cut on Judgment Day.  We have seen for years, a creeping Universalism within our churches, lead by ministers who have figured it all out, and have learned that there are some portions of Scripture that must be taken with a grain of salt becuase afterall, it represents an ancient mindset.  God is love!  God loves everybody!  God would never send anyone to hell.  A loving God would not do that!

Now, I must agree that God is love.  And, I would, on the basis of John 3:16 affirm that he loves everyone; and on the basis of John 3:17, affirm that he doesn't "send" anyone to hell.  However, I would also say that God would not be loving unless he judged evil and sin in the world!  Tis an uneasy tension that we must live with, being unable to grasp the mind of God fully.  I have always latched onto Abraham's incisive exclamation in in Genesis 18:25  "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" (ESV).  Of course he will!

I do, on some level, understand why some of my "progressive" colleagues express horror at God's judgment of sin and evil.  Their denial that many people will continue, in spite of heartfelt pleading, in coldness and unbelief, never desiring the goodness of God and receiving in the end exactly what their hearts desired - an eternity seperated from God.  That is sad stuff.  And, I wish it were not so.  Well, for the really evil people....Maybe....  But, for the average, know-it-all, so-called atheist -- No, I don't want anything bad to fall.  But then again, you're reading a blog by a guy who demonstrates grace and kindness to stinkbugs!  I kindly put them out of the house in a courteous manner!

Yes, I know, it's silly to have mercy upon a stinky, no good, disgusting stink bug...Come to think of it.  There has to be a sermon there somewhere!

God's judgment is a cause for grief on a major level.  However, as we see in Rev. 19, it is also a cause for joy to the Saints.  God has dealt with sin and evil.  He has answered his promises of a new creation.  As N.T. Wright likes to say, he will put the world to rights.  This is something that we all long for!  Further, it is a call for embodying the life that God desires to give to everyone.  As Peter says, The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9 ESV).  And so, the certainty of judgment should prompt us to be about the business of proclaiming the Good News in word and deed.  Never glorying in the downfall of even the most wicked of humanity.

For sure!

  




May 28, 2012, 10:52 AM

The Hardest Thing To Do


ON PREACHING & TEACHING:

“Yet further, do not repeat the same idea over and over again in other words.  Let there be something fresh in each sentence.  Be not forever hammering away at the same nail: yours is a large Bible; permit people to enjoy its length and breadth!”- Charles Spurgeon

Oh, that sounds so good!  Don't be a broken record.  Don't even get creative by saying the same thing with different words.  Don't beat that same pet peeve into oblivion.  My, my.  Such a large and endless Bible to teach from.  How on earth can preachers never get beyond saying the same thing over and over?  How can we really encourage people to enjoy the "length and breadth" of the Word when we can't seem to do it ourselves?

Someone came up to me after yesterday's sermon and smiled at me and said, "We've heard that one before" in a "I caught ya" tone of voice.  (Want to get under a preacher's skin and see him sin?  Use that line!)  Well, no, as a matter of fact, you have NOT heard that one before!  First time I ever preached that sermon here.  I did a variation of it back at the previous church where I did some time; and originally when I was a student preacher at Woodbury, I preached another form of it over a decade ago.  But, here?  No way!

Truth is, even on the rare occasion when I preach from "the barrel" -- they always change.

Ah, but then, as Sunday afternoon wears on, I realize, maybe I am saying the same things over and over under the pretext of different texts of Scripture?  Perhaps.  Ouch!  Here is the realization that dawned on me:  Preaching and teaching is easy.  Preaching and teaching that is interesting, DIVERSE, thought provoking, life changing and faithful to the ENTIRE Word -- now that is just flat out hard!

My commitment to New Hope is to live into Spurgeon's advice.  My prayer is that the Word would take root and grow more fervent in your heart as you become more and more like Jesus everyday.  And, just maybe, this preacher's words would help you to that end.

 




May 27, 2012, 12:16 PM

Post-Sermon Thoughts



I do not usually post so soon after a sermon, but I wanted to get these thoughts down quickly.  I preached a sermon today -- at least the frame of what I presented today - on two previous occasions.  Once in my prior church and the other at Woodbury Presbyterian in Orlando when I was still in seminary.  I do not recall laboring so much during those previous messages.  Many things were askew today.  The sermon media presentation went out of whack, and I was unable to use it.  When I began to preach, my voice was giving out and I was trying not to cough.  The heat was oppressive.  Our attendance was way down -- worst we've had this year.  And, there was no joy or wind in my sails.

Yes, it is Memorial Day weekend.  Yes, it is a hot day.  Yes, glitches do happen from time to time when technology is being used.  But, still.  I do wonder sometimes.  Perhaps the devil doesn't want you to know the truth?

That brings me to another thought from today.  Preaching such un-Presbyterian fare.  Preaching like some tent revival, hell-fire damnation, naive preacher!  And yet, I think anyone who reads their Bible for all its worth is confronted with a spiritual universe that is just beyond our sensory grasp.  Seen only through the eyes of Faith.

But, the real reality is that God is still working his purposes out; and will continue until he has finished and is all in all.

Anyway, just some thoughts from today.  Have a great day and enjoy the day off tomorrow.




May 23, 2012, 10:14 AM

Read Before Sunday!


A few thoughts before the sermon on Sunday.  When you start talking about Satan and evil personified, one either gets real interested, or roles their eyes and mutters, "Psst, one of THOSE kind of Christians."  And so, recognizing what I am going to be saying Sunday, I offer a few prefatory remarks in advance:

  • I am preaching this sermon Sunday on the reality of spiritual warfare and a very real devil.
  • I am preaching this sermon Sunday because far too many Presbyterians tend to write off the supernatural as "pre-modern thought."
  • I am preaching this sermon Sunday because far too many Presbyterians tend to think of our Faith in political/ethical categories.
  • I am preaching this sermon Sunday because far too many Presbyterians gravitate towards education and political action as the answer to all of life’s ills and woes.
  • I am preaching this sermon Sunday because sometimes, we need to peel back temporal reality and see the world as God sees it.



May 21, 2012, 4:56 PM

So Far



With all that is on my heart, this blog should be over running with Revelation entries!  Perhaps it has just been an overload so that nothing has come out of my "pen"?  Whatever.  For this moment, I want to recap where we've been, in an overview kind of way.  We began by trying to lay some groundwork.  Trying to stay away from the imagination and energy hogs when it comes to this book.  I said to you that there are two extremes that should be avoided:  Seeing the book as a mere political statement against the Roman Empire on the one pole, and on the other, the Left Behind/ "Prophecy Experts" hermeneutic.

Interpreters on the left usually get bogged down, ad nauseum, in the Empire approach.  The Revelation, they pontificate, was just a clever way of sticking the collective finger in the eye of the oppressors.  Everything in the book then becomes a contemporary statement/critique of the poilitics of the day.  I must say, I think that I have arrived at a point in my study of the book where I am throwing all of that stuff in the trash can! It is simply not compelling any longer.  It is irritating, as a pastor, to see the great amount of biblical material that has gone into this last book of the Bible; to see the ways that the themes of the OT have been so purposely woven into the fabric of the book; the way Jesus Christ has been so gloriously revealed in all of Scripture; and the way that the book brings the entire Canon to a logical, definitive and theological conclusion.  No, don't water this book down with politics!

On the other hand, the Left Behind approach doesn't seem to me to do any better in sizing up the terrain.  The left behind approach seems to take isolated verses and throw them together to create a fantastic story that doesn't show any rootedness in The Story.  It doesn't seem to take seriously the task of identifying the genre, and grasping how Scripture fits together.  Building another temple in Jerusalem?  More sacrifices in the Millennial Kingdom?  Jesus failing again after a thousand year literal kingdom on earth is disturbed by one final rebellion?  Glorified and un-glorified humanity co-existing in a future reign of Christ before the big one?  No.  This is not taught in Scripture.  It has been super-imposed on to it by very creative Bible teachers.  (Not questioning salvation here!)

BUT, I must admit, faced with an option of Left Behind or cold liberalism, give me Left Behind.  Rapture practice anyone?

The book of Revelation is a book that speaks to you, here and now.  The book of Revelation ties the whole Bible together.  Without Revelation, you have no ending to the story!  Without Revelation, you have no divinely inspired commentary and exposition (in one place) of the rest of the Bible.  The book speaks to you, now.

I can say that because the letters to the seven churches (Rev. 2-3) make it clear that the Spirit is speaking to the Church, still.  Not saying anything new.  Just reminding and poking and prodding believers to grow deeper and mature up.  What a concept!  Seven churches; seven concrete situations; seven messages representing a message to the entire church of all time.  Great stuff!

Who can forget the Lion & the Lamb (Rev. 4-5).  Wow.  The center of the Faith.  The Lamb of God taking away the sin of the world.  The Lamb of God executing the plan of God.  Bringing to fulfillment all of God's promises.  Enabling the purposes of God to come to fruition -- the New Jerusalem.  The new heavens and the new earth.  The Garden of Eden restored.  All things put aright!

And, of course, the seal judgments (Rev. 6).  How we focus on judgment, missing the point.  All of the bad things; the negativity, etc. etc.  (You say, "weird."  You say, "too violent."  You say, "not my God, no way, mmm, mmm, mmmmm.")

My suggestion to you was to see the judgments as surely from the hand of God -- but judgments that are brought to bear as humanity rejects the goodness of God.  As someone has wisely noted:  There are no punishments; only consequences.

This past Sunday, we looked at the interlude between the 6th and 7th seal judgments (Rev. 7).  What a consolation that God reveals in the midst of history; in the midst of the messiness of life and everything seeming to point to disaster; the protection of God towards those who love him!  We are, indeed, the apple of his eye!

Oh, there is so much more!  This upcoming Sunday, we will be looking at the reality of spiritual warfare (Rev. 12).  The existence of evil in the person of the adversary, the devil.  Satan, as we will see, is the great counterfeiter.  Everything God has done, he, the enemy, tries to duplicate for the purpose of deception.  But, don't worry; this is not a modern day horror movie.  Evil doesn't win!




May 12, 2012, 12:22 PM

The Justice of God


In preparation for tomorrow, I give you a quote from theologian Miroslav Volf.  He addresses our natural repulsion to the idea that there is a God in heaven who might actually judge evil in the world.  Volf is no hell fire and brimstone preacher by any means.  How could he be?  He teaches at Yale!  Yet, he has a perspective on evil that many of us will never, thankfully, know in our lifetime.  He was raised in eastern Europe under the heavy, oppressive thumb of communism.  He saw quite a bit of what can go wrong with the world.  Yes, he witnessed evil firsthand, up close and personal.

Please consider his penetrating insight as we prepare to look at a troubling passage in the book of Revelation.  I wanted to use this quote in the sermon tomorrow, but, alas, there is just not enough time in a sermon to do everything I want to do!

"One could object that it is not worthy of God to wield the sword.  Is God not love, long-suffering and all-powerful love?.... that in a world of violence it would not be worthy of God not to wield the sword; if God were not angry at injustice and deception and did not make the final end to violence God would not be worthy of our worship.... [I]magine that you are delivering a lecture in a war zone....among your listeners are people whose cities and villages have been first plundered, then burned and leveled to the ground, whose daughters and sisters have been raped, whose fathers and brothers have had their throats slit.... [I]t takes the quiet of a suburban home for the birth of the thesis that human nonviolence corresponds to God’s refusal to judge. In a scorched land, soaked in the blood of the innocent, it will invariably die.  And as one watches it die, one will do well to reflect about many other pleasant captivities of the liberal mind."  (Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf pgs. 303-304).

I hope that I can do justice to this part of Revelation tomorrow (no pun intended!)  I guess what I want to say is this:  God will judge the world of its evil and wipe it away.  We must learn to love the world -- and I mean really love it -- and pray for its transformation; pray for its good; and have a passion for being in the same boat-like-prayer in the meantime.

Easy task, huh?




May 11, 2012, 3:07 PM

The Life of a Preacher


Okay, it has been one of those weeks.  I mean, one of those weeks.  I believe you know what I mean.  For fun, but seriously.  Click the link below and see what I mean.

What Sermon Prep Really Looks Like

This kind of reminded me of a cartoon I saw when I was in seminary.  Caption one:  A seminary student languishing in Greek class daydreaming of the day when he will be a great preacher!  Caption two:  A worn out minister sitting at his desk daydreaming of the good old days in seminary, strudying Greek, reading systematic theology, etc. etc.  Oh, my.  Cuts too close for my personal comfort.  The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  Or, godliness with contentment doesn't always come easy!




April 25, 2012, 10:04 AM

The Revelation ABOUT Jesus Christ



I noted at the beginning of my sermon on Sunday that the opening line of the book could be read in two ways:  "The revelation of Jesus Christ...."  Meaning that it could read that this is a revelation from Jesus, or this is a revelation about Jesus.  I think it means both.  But, let's suppose that it's the latter today (about).  The book of Revelation utilizes more titles and descriptions of the second person in the Trintiy than any other Biblical book.  Let's count the ways!

  • Jesus Christ
  • Jesus
  • Lord Jesus
  • Faithful and True
  • Firstborn from the dead
  • Ruler of the kings of the earth
  • Son of Man
  • Him who holds seven stars in his right hand
  • First and last
  • Living One
  • Him who walks among the seven golden lampstands
  • Him who holds the sharp, double-edged sword
  • Son of God
  • Him who holds the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars
  • Holy and true One
  • Him who holds the key of David
  • Amen
  • Beginning of God's creation
  • Lion of the tribe of Judah
  • Root of David
  • Lamb
  • Christ
  • Male child
  • Lord of lords
  • King of kings
  • Word of God
  • Alpha and the Omega (This is the title for God the Father at the beginning (1:8), which Jesus uses for himself at the end! (22:13)
  • Beginning and the end
  • Bright morning star

From Mark Wilson's Charts on the Book of Revelation: Literary, Historical, and Theological Perspectives, pp. 33-34.


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