Clouds Parting Revealing the Heavens

A daily devotion for July 2nd

From Him Who Is, Who Was, and Who Is To Come

John, 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 before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

Rev 1:4-5a

That is all we are told about the author at this point, his name alone. We know from comparison with other Scriptures and the tradition of the early church, that this was John the Apostle, the brother of James, a son of Zebedee. Some raise the possibility that another John (called John the Presbyter) wrote this, but there is so much evidence linking this writing with the Gospel of John and the three letters of John in our Bibles that it is difficult to view this as coming from any other hand than the apostle's. He wrote this toward the end of his life; probably he was in his eighties when this vision was given to him. It comes to us as a letter written to a series of seven selected churches located in the Roman province of Asia.

John describes God the Father, the Eternal One. His name in Hebrew, Yahweh, means I Am, and this statement is a parsing of that verb. I am he who is, and he who was, and he who is to come, thus he is the eternally Existing One. He also describes this being from the seven spirits before his throne. This is the first of a series of sevens mentioned in this book. When you find seven of anything in Revelation, it is a symbol of completeness and perfection. This is the Spirit of God in the perfection of his being. The seven spirits are the Holy Spirit in his fullness. It is he who gives us this book, and it is from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

Our Lord Jesus is the central figure, but here he is introduced to us for the first time, in a threefold manner. He is the faithful witness, i.e., what he says is true. You can count on it. He utters absolute reality. Nothing means more to me when reading the Bible than to understand that here is the revelation of things as they really are. We live in a confusing world. We are bombarded by conflicting philosophies, and we must often ask ourselves, Which is right? Well, here is the word from the Faithful Witness, the one who tells us the truth. He is also called the firstborn from the dead. That is a reference to his resurrection. He is the first one to rise in glory from having once been dead. All others who were raised from the dead in the Bible returned to the same earthly life they had before, but not Jesus. When he was raised, he was glorified, and it is that glorified life which he gives to those who believe in him. He is the life giver. Finally, he is introduced as the ruler of the kings of the earth. Is that not encouraging? All these powerful leaders we have today claim to be sovereign and able to work their will, and yet here is one who appears as the ruler of the kings of the earth. He sets the limits in which all others must live. Thus he is the great law maker, king over all other kings.

Lord Jesus, I bow before you today and worship you as the Eternal One, the Faithful Witness, and the first born from the dead. Open the eyes of my heart to see more of you and reality only you can unveil. Amen.

Life Application

Are you growing in your knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

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