When He Returns

Though not exhaustive- here’s some straightforward thoughts on Revelation Chapter 1:

Christ Victorious

Even in the first chapter you see this “strength” come out in the picture of Jesus. Even as he came humble, as the suffering servant, our substitution and atonement, being born to a virgin in His first coming- at His second coming we see “Christ Victorious” the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the king of all kings on earth (v 5)

C. Missler says of Revelation “It’s the only book in the bible that has the audacity to say ‘Read me-I’m special’ “. And indeed, as John opens the writing he says ” Blessed is he who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are they who hear and keep these words, because the time is near.

John salutes Jesus in verses 5-7, again showing this strong vision of Christ Victorious as he says:

“Look- He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be.” In addition to the celestial “coming in the clouds” you also have the image of warriors and chariots from the Roman world. when a commander and his army would ride into battle they would kick up the dust so they literally would come “in the clouds” of dust as they rode into battle.

Another allusion to the Roman world was the two-edged sword. In addition to Paul’s reference of the word of God being sharper than a two-edged sword, and John in verse 16 describing Christ as having a “double-edged sword coming out of his mouth”- the double edged blade was a Roman invention. Beforehand people only had a one-edged blade with which they hacked their enemies to death with like chopping firewood, the double edged sword cut both ways and was a much more lethal weapon, hence the dominance of Rome.

John, seeing this vision of Christ, fell down before the one walking among the lamp stands. The one with snow white hair, in stately robes, eyes like blazing fire, and a voice like a waterfall, it all overwhelmed John and he fell down…

Then the one revealed in all this power and glory, the one the kings of this earth fear, gently places His right hand on John & says “Do not be afraid”. Why? Because this was Jesus speaking to John the beloved…

John who’d stood at the foot of the cross with Mary and the other women (all the other disciples had run off)-John had stood there unable to help his friend, only able to watch as he died- now encounters the risen Christ powerful and victorious and overwhelming yet Jesus, his dear friend says to John “Do not be afraid…”.

“I am the First and the Last…I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades…” There is nothing more powerful than this.

Not to jest, but thoughts of John Wayne or Clint Eastwood riding into town come to mind. Look out!

When He returns-

Nothing can stand before Christ Victorious. As the Christmas carol O Holy Night says “All oppression shall cease”. Those who have the most to fear are those who wrongly wield their authority over others, who abuse their position or power on this earth for they will be answerable to This Christ- the one coming in clouds.

The Book of Revelation is very much an unveiling of the battle between good and evil, and as Bob Dylan says in his song When He Returns “The strongest wall will crumble and fall to a Mighty God”.

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