Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Final Revelation - The Final Triumph


Rev.6: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Rev.19: 11 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.
12 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.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 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.

The Book of the revelation is a literal book filled with symbols and metaphors which represent literal beings and literal events. You have trumpets and vials and bowels. There are thunders and earthquakes and hailstones. There are plagues and pestilence and war. There is a woman clothed with the sun and a whore dressed in scarlet. There are beasts which blaspheme and beasts which worship. There are angels of God and demons and an angel guarding the bottomless pit. There is death and there is the second death and there is hell. And there are all kinds of future events dressed in prophetic imagery which makes those who read it tremble. Yes, there is all that and more.

However the book is about the revelation of the Lord Jesus, and He is the very heart of the entire book. It begins with:

Rev.1: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

And it ends with:

Rev.22: 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Now among all the imagery concerning angels and devils and beasts the revelation of the Lord Jesus drowns them all out with a glory revealed in writings so vivid that one can only imagine what glory must be projected in the reality of His presence. Jesus stands among the candlesticks with His hair as white as wool, his face shining as the Sun, and His entire being emanating a glory only known to the Risen Christ.

He is the Lamb of God and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He is surrounded by seraphim whose creative purpose it to hover around our King and say, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come”. He is the Word of God, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. Out of His mouth goes a sharp, two-edged sword. In the midst of a foreboding, prophetic atmosphere is the Risen Christ. We are given incredible glimpses of Christ throughout the book, but the prophetic narrative still proceeds with all kinds of arresting and even fearful imagery.

And then there is a climactic event described in chapter 19 that brings to a close all the horrific events upon the earth which reveal the wrath of Almighty God. So often we are swept up in the intoxicating atmosphere of a religion called Christianity but we forget that there is approaching a day which will reveal a terrifying vision as the Risen Creator comes from heaven with vengeance on His mind. Who can know such a scene? Man’s vengeance is hollow and pitiful when compared with the wrath of Almighty God. Go ahead and claim that is not your vision of Jesus, but you are bowing to your own imagination and not inspired revelation. “But what about grace,”? you ask. By then that door is now closed.

Many do not want to even discuss such a thing regardless of how it is spoken of in Holy Writ. Even in the churches there is scant mention of it and if there is it is usually presented in a tepid prophetic chronology which has so little power or believability people file out of the Sunday morning just like they did the week before and just like they were leaving a church fellowship. If we can preach about the return of Christ to this earth with so little fear to say nothing of repentance then what exactly are we saying? Listen to the preacher as he reads these words: “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power”. Can he read them with dry eyes and a steady hand? If he has spent much time in deep prayer and meditation, and if the Spirit has given him an increase in faith, then he must beseech; he must beg; he must warn; he must cry aloud and spare not. If his listeners can leave the gathering without having their being disturbed then they have listened to a word from man and not a Word from God.

But this final revelation is the final triumph by the Lord Jesus Christ. It has never been in doubt, and it will be in such breathtaking power that men’s hearts will fail them for fear even as it unfolds. This is no fairy tale or some scary children’s bedtime story. This the final chapter of a triumph won at Calvary and glorified through the resurrection. And here comes the Lion of the Tribe of Judah back to earth to claim that which is His. Go ahead and add up all the metaphors and symbols and imagery and times them to the millionth power and you will fall way short of the glory that will be released upon the earth at His appearing.

The triumphal entry that ushers in the holiness of eternity into the fallenness of the temporal will vanquish all His foes. That will be the ultimate revelation, and all men shall see the foolishness of their ways. But it will be too late for most. I realize it seems like some part of Lord of the Rings or Return of the Jedi, but nothing is even worthy of comparison. Human words can provide a peek, but on that day all human words will be revealed as pitiful attempts to describe the indescribable.

This week they released the 9-11 calls that came from the Newtown elementary school as a disturbed young man was slaughtering innocent children. I have absolutely no desire to listen to those tapes as people and teachers call with unbridled horror in their voices as well as children creaming among shots being fired in the background. I refuse to listen. But I suggest that is the kind of horror which will fill the heart’s of men on that great and terrible day.

For thousands of years the earth has been given a chance to know and worship its Creator. And during that time only a few have found the truth because man loves his sin more than he loves God. Even in the church which calls itself “Christian” Christ has been marginalized and changed beyond recognition. But Jesus will come to claim the final victory, and all these worldly prophets who have put on the cloak of Santa Claus rather than putting on the Lord Jesus will be dealt with swiftly. Although the victory has always been secure, the Messiah has given space for His enemies to surrender and join His kingdom. But that invitation is now over and here He comes with great power to execute the wrath of the Lamb. But notice the last part of the sentence I provided from II Thess. Chapter 1.

“…10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Brothers and sisters, in the final analysis we have no victor but His. We have been blessed just by touching the hem of His garment, but now we rule and reign with Him simply because of what He did and the grace that has been lavished upon us. We can only imagine what our eyes and our very beings will behold when Christ the Victor comes to reign upon this earth. The Creator robed in all His glory takes up His rightful place. Just to look upon Him will be a monumental gift of grace, but we will also be given the privilege of worshiping our Redeemer. No more overheads; no more praise teams; no more rehearsals; no more song preferences; no more manipulating emotions; no more worship leaders; this worship we be pure and powerful and eternal and will need no coaxing since just His all consuming presence empowers and even demands that all who have been changed into eternal saints cannot help but worship Him.
Oh yes, to our finite and temporal minds it seems so ethereal and imaginary, but that reality will be more authentic and real than anything we can ever know. And if you can for just a moment understand, comprehend, and even imagine that this surreal scene, full of majesty and glory beyond words, and captured by the infinite aura of His visible presence, will last forever.
He has triumphed and He now allows us to share in that victory forever.


Cherie c. said...

Pastor Rick,

Please do not post the comment I left a few minutes ago on your previous post to this one. I must have clicked the wrong area. It should be on this post. Thank you. Sorry for the mistake.

michael said...

This understanding is as ancient as the hills! Here is how King David understood it:

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. (1 Chronicles 16:31-33 ESV)

The goal of our instruction is, of course, His Love from a pure heart, good conscience and sincere Faith. Mind you no one is born that way. Now we do not have a spirit of fear, but One of power, love and a sound mind!

Now, by the Grace of the God of ALL Grace, I too have been called to His Eternal Glory in Christ as He, the Heavenly Father, Himself, fulfills His promise to restore, confirm, strengthen and establish me and everyone called by the Name of The Lord!

I recently did a very long and exhaustive study of the book of the Revelation of The Lord Jesus Christ, "again". What I came away with this time was just how stark a contrast there is between the people of The Lord and those who follow/ed the devil either knowingly and consciously, or, through the drunken stupor of Babylon as described in Revelation chapter 18.

The followers of The Lord were always running toward the Thrones and towards Their Glory as they worshipped during the outpourings of Grace and wrath. Those who were not True Believers were always and are always turned away fleeing or hiding from both God's Grace or wrath!

There was and is only hot and cold, the living and the dead! There is no compromising, only the first and second deaths!

Rev. 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reqign with him for a thousand years.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there are the living and the dead. But don't forget the dead have the opportunity to join the living!

Anonymous said...

This is what I believe this sermon to be about is worshiping Jesus our Savior with all are heart, soul and being, prostrating ourselves at His feet in reverence to His Divine Glory.

Luke 18:8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"

Matthew 21:18 Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry.
:19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, "Let no fruit grow on you ever again." Immediately the fig tree withered away.

This tree being alongside the road between Bethany and Jerusalem probably did not belong to any one farmer. It was used by the traveler as a place to rest and a little food to nourish them. Jesus cursed this tree because it had all the outward appearances of having fruit amongst the leaves, but on closer examination there were none. Up to now in Jesus ministry He had showed mercy and grace in all the miracles He performed now He shows us what His wrath can do. I would imagine that the locals in this area cut this tree down and used it for fire wood as it no longer even offered shade to a weary traveler.

Christianity without Christ is nothing. This miracle from the Gospel of Jesus I think is a prophecy of the church today.

John 4:23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

If we are worshiping like it says here maybe we can have a little foretaste of what it will be like when we are face to face worshiping the King of Glory.

For the longest time I was like the fig tree above having all the outward trappings of producing fruit. But on closer examination there was no fruit to be found.


Anonymous said...

Our Jesus, described in the Book of Revelation, sure does not appear like the helpless baby Jesus in a manger who is celebrated this time of year. His Second Coming will not be helpless and looking to His earthly mother and father for care, but will come as the KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS at which every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that "Jesus is LORD." If we celebrated the "Second Coming Jesus" this time of year, would the festivities look the same, or would we be truly, sorrowfully repentant of our own sin before the final judgement?

Great post for sure!