Just as he had often told his disciples (Matthew 14:27; 17:6-7; 28:10), the very first thing Jesus told the church in Smyrna was don’t be afraid of anything they were about to face in his name (Revelation 2:10). There was no need for fear, because Jesus revealed himself as “the first and the last” (Revelation 2:8), so their enemies cannot do anything to them that Jesus doesn’t first allow (Isaiah 41:1-4). Moreover, he intends to show them he is with them and will help them, and, not only so, but even in their tribulation they will be successful in preaching the Gospel (Isaiah 44:1-6). No weapon formed against them will prevail, and in the end, they will judge those who judge them (Isaiah 54:17). Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: Judgment
As we continue in John’s description of the glorified Christ, he tells us that Jesus’ hair was like wool and as white as snow, while his eyes were like flames of fire (Revelation 1:14). Jesus’ white hair is an emblem of wisdom (Job 12:12), and, since Daniel 7:9 describes God with hair as white as wool, and Jesus’ description is similar, it seems John is describing a human who is like God in wisdom. Moreover, John says the eyes of Jesus were as a flame of fire. The eyes are illustrative of the mind which brings light or understanding to the whole body (cf. Matthew 6:22), so John is expressing the mind of Christ in symbolic form. Read the rest of this entry »
John tells us that he saw a human figure in the midst of the seven golden lampstands (G3087; Revelation 1:12). This same Greek word is used for the candelabra that was found in the Holy Place of the Temple (Hebrews 9:2), and is, indeed, the same candelabra described in the Septuagint at Exodus 25:31-35 and other places in the Old Testament. The single candelabra with its seven branches represented Israel, but the seven individual lampstands, which may also be candelabras themselves, represent the seven churches in Asia, to whom John writes (cf. Revelation 1:20). Jesus said the candle or lamp (G3087) was to be placed in an area in the house where its light would benefit all (Matthew 5:15; Mark 4:21; Luke 8:16). Read the rest of this entry »
Many folks have used Revelation 1:7 to say that Jesus’ Second Coming has not yet occurred. After all, if every eye would see the Lord, coming on a lily white, cumulus cloud when he returns, and, given the fact that no one has reported seeing such a news worthy event up to this present day, then surely we must still look for Jesus’ Second Coming in the future. Personally, I think it is high time we stop shooting from the hip with the word of God and take the time to investigate what the text really says. Do you really believe you are able to interpret Jesus’ coming by understanding Biblical language in a 21st century context? We need to consider the fact that the whole Bible, that is, the first and second covenants, were written by Jews and for Jews, using a Jewish manner of speaking. In other words, we need to acquaint ourselves with the Jewish culture of the day, and take advantage of the Greek lexicons and other scholarly writings about the Bible available to us today. Read the rest of this entry »
The Apocalypse never directly quotes a passage from the Old Covenant. However, according to several scholars the book’s 404 verses contain from nearly 300 to nearly 600 allusions and echoes of Old Covenant passages. For example, we are told in Revelation 1:1 that God revealed a secret that would shortly come to pass to Jesus who in turn gave it to his angel who then gave it to Jesus’ disciple, John to disclose to the Church. Under the Old Covenant, we are told that it is God who reveals secrets that would come to pass (Daniel 2:28-29), but the Lord wouldn’t do anything before he revealed his secret to his servants, the prophets (Amos 3:7). So, in the very first verse of the Apocalypse we have an allusion to at least two Old Covenant passages.