The book of Revelation is often seen as a book that is telling us of future events, and it is quite often terrifying in its graphic portrayal of what is to come. So much so that the word Apocalypse has come to be synonymous with all kinds of human and physical ‘end of the world type’ disasters being played out on the earth, including the picture of the four horseman representing, war, famine, plague and death. These are things that most people can identify with, as things that have happened, are happening and will happen on the earth.
The literal meaning of apocalypse is however ‘revelation’ or unveiling. The book is the unveiling, before our eyes, of a triumphant Jesus, and it shows us how things look in, and from, heaven. This revelation was given to John to write down and record for our encouragement. It is, we are told, ‘the testimony of Jesus Christ’, and ‘blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy.’ Revelation 1:3.
So this blog is not about the end times, nor is it any kind of attempt to interpret or explain the book of Revelation, but it is simply an encouragement to spend time on a regular basis reminding ourselves where our Savior is now. We can thank God that He gave John this vision as he was ‘in the spirit on the Lords day’ Revelation 1:10, when the Lord appeared to him and told him to write down what he saw and heard. We can thank Him that there are truths here that He wanted His people to know then, and that those truths are just as relevant for us two thousand years on.
After John was given the letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor, he sees a door standing open and he is invited into the heavenly realm and he goes straight in before the throne of God. It’s an awesome sight, Revelation 4:1-5, and God is worshipped as eternal, and as creator and sustainer of all things, ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being’. Revelation 1:11.
The next chapter takes us to the scene where the Lamb is recognised and honoured, having been found to be the only one worthy to open the scroll, which He takes from the hand of God, who is seated on the throne. Again there is worship and this time from thousands upon thousands of angels worshipping the One on the throne and the Lamb – our Jesus. It must have been the most incredible sight, and the sound just magnificent, as the angels are joined by every creature in heaven and earth as they sing, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power for ever and ever! Revelation 5:6-13.
Today I believe that our thanksgiving is to the Lord for ‘pulling back the curtain’ and allowing John to see and write down what he saw in heaven. We can thank Him too that He first showed John the throne before he saw any of the troubles that were happening on the earth. It’s a simple lesson for us but an important one that sometimes we cannot make sense of what is happening in the world around us, or in our own lives, until we lift our gaze through our praise, thanks and worship to heaven, where the Lord is enthroned.
There are so many difficult, sad and tragic things happening all across the world, and for some people closer to home in their own lives, so we need that daily reminder that the Lord is on the throne, and that He has already, on the cross, won the battle between good and evil. Let us daily, thank Him that He has allowed us to see that Father and Son are enthroned and victorious in heaven. Let us daily join that great company in heaven who are worshipping Him, and thereby encourage ourselves that we are on the winning side.
Tomorrow we will look at how the victory that the Lord has won works out in and through to our lives, but today let us just thank Him for the wonder of that victory. Let us thank Him that He has shown us what is going on in heaven, and let us enjoy the privilege of joining that throng in heaven in their worship of Him.