THE ONE AND ONLY ONE
Lord, You are an overpowering presence.
Read REVELATION 1
1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
Greetings and Doxology
To the seven churches in the province of Asia:
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits[a] before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”[b]
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”[c]
So shall it be! Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
John’s Vision of Christ
9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,[d] dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels[e] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
a Revelation 1:4 That is, the sevenfold Spirit
b Revelation 1:7 Daniel 7:13
c Revelation 1:7 Zech. 12:10
d Revelation 1:13 See Daniel 7:13.
e Revelation 1:20 Or messengers
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25,26). Do you believe this?
Are you fed up with emails/adverts telling you what fortunes could be yours if only you would reply? Jesus is a faithful witness. What he reveals is not elusive or questionable, but constitutive of a certainty involving “what must soon take place” (1). Jesus is our example on earth, never failing and always pointing us to God. He speaks fearlessly of the wonders of the kingdom, regardless of the cost. Whether as churches or individual disciples, he calls us to be faithful witnesses. What is our testimony as a church? To what have we been witness?
We can take comfort in the fact that Jesus often states that he would die and rise again (cf. Matt. 27:63; Mark 8:31), making him the firstborn from the dead and ruler over all. We read that Jesus is not just the first and the last, but also the one who is and was and is to come—and he is above all things (17,18). No one else can make such a statement and speak truthfully. What a comfort, then, as the prostrated John feels Jesus’ hand of reassurance upon his shoulder. This hand, with such powerful capabilities, gently touches the frightened: his thunderous voice says, “Do not be afraid” (17). Jesus was dead but now lives forever. He holds the keys to death and to Hades; even our adversaries are under his control. This wonderful greeting and vision of Jesus gives churches the revelation of victory for every believer. We must not lose sight of the grace and peace that this awesome Jesus sends to his churches, straight from the one who loves us and has freed us from sin (5). He has made us “to be a kingdom and priests” (6). He is the faithful witness, and so we know it has—and will—come to pass.
We have been made “a kingdom and priests.” Why? Jesus says, “to serve his God and Father” (6). Is that our understanding as his disciple and church, to serve?
Lord, Your people can scarcely comprehend the majesty and overpowering brightness of Your countenance. Thank You for making us Yours.