Lighting Up the Apocalypse 7: The Sword and the Stone

Revelation 2:14-17; Numbers chapters 24-25 and 31; Hebrews 4:12 The third message of the risen Jesus to the churches, and specifically to the church in Pergamum, shows the complexity of human nature, and even the ambiguous character of a worshipping community. The Lord begins by reminding the angel of that church that He is the one who possesses the sharp, two-edged sword. Hebrews 4:12 speaks about a similar sword, sharp on both…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 6: Admitted to God’s Counsel

Rev 2:8-11, Genesis 15:1-19, Daniel 1 And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and took up life again. I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold,…

Lighting up the Apocalypse 5: One for All, and All for One

During Lent, we are reminded day by day and week by week of the importance of endurance—of being in this race for the long haul.  In the prayer of St. Ephraim, we ask for God to give us the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love.  These four characteristics, it seems, were both lacking and demonstrated in the first church whom the risen Lord addresses in Revelation 2 (verses 1 through 7):…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 4: Our Times are in His Hands

Rev. 1:17b-20; Genesis 1-3;Dan 10:7-12a; Isaiah 22:22; Psalm 31:14-17a/LXX 30:15-18a “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen, and those that are, and those that are to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 3: Our Brother Communicant Shows Us the LORD

Rev. 1:9-17; Ex 20; Daniel 7:9-14; 10:16, 19, Ezek 43:2. John, in the first eight verses of the Apocalype, has introduced us thoroughly to the Author and Subject of his vision—the LORD God, as seen in Jesus the Christ, from Whom all beginnings come, and to Whom all of creation hastens, as our goal. Now John goes on to give us a glimpse of the vision as it first came to him:…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 2

Rev 1:4-8; Isaiah 11; Daniel 7:13-27; Zechariah 12-13 This week we tackle Rev 1:4-8, in which John makes his first address to those reading the account of his vision. Here is the passage: John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus…

Lighting up the Apocalypse 1

Rev 1:1-3, Daniel 2-4, Exodus 23-4. The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to His servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and…