Lighting Up the Apocalypse 13: The Lamb in Two Places

Revelation 5, Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 43 One of the glories of a God-given vision is that, by it, we can be shown matters that seem logically contradictory, but remain true in their paradox, and demand to be kept together.  Chapter 5 of Jesus’ Apocalypse to John is famous for the picture of a slaughtered-standing Lion-Lamb.  In this visionary description of our Lord, we see two double mysteries. First, Jesus’ resurrection does not…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 12: Sitting, Flying, and Falling Down

Revelation 4, Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1, Daniel 7 Chapters two and three of the Apocalypse concentrate upon the words of the Word of God, though we have seen glimpses also of how He “looks” in John’s vision of him prior to the seven messages, when he turns to “see” the Voice.  The exalted Jesus then proceeded to direct various words of admonition and encouragement to the churches, and to the Church, coupled…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 11: From the Amen to the Apathetic

Revelation 3:14-22; Isaiah 65:16-19; Ezekiel 36-37; Jeremiah 31 Finally, we reach the end of the glorified Jesus’ messages to the seven Churches, and to us.  The final word is a sober one, which nevertheless retains hopefulness for the people of God.  The hope that is offered lies in the character and plans of the One who is reproving them (and us!).  Here are the words that He addresses both to Laodicea, and…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 9: Strengthen the Things that Remain!

Rev 3:1-6, Amos 2:4-12, 5:16-20, 6:1; Isaiah 42:3 And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of the One possessing the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. ‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain and are about to die, for I have not found your works fulfilled in the sight…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 8: Rewarding Works with the Morning Star

Rev 2:18-29; Daniel 7:9-14; Daniel 10:1-9; 2 Kings (4 Kingdoms) 9:30-37 Each of the words to the churches comes with a self-given title by Jesus, and emphasizes one or more of the features of the vision that John has seen just before Jesus speaks. The Thyatiran Church hears from “the Son of God,” who has eyes like a flame of fire, and feet like burnished bronze.  He searches their hearts.  Here is…

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…