Cross Day 15 John The Exiled: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out John The Exiled!

The Questions

1) What is the purpose of this letter?

2) Who is the “one like a Son of Man” in verse 13?

3) Why is the “therefore” in verse 19 so powerful?

Revelation 1

The revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, whatever he saw. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it, because the time is near.

4 John: To the seven churches in Asia. Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and has set us free from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Look, he is coming with the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him.
And all the tribes of the earth
will mourn over him.
So it is to be. Amen.

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

9 I, John, your brother and partner in the affliction, kingdom, and endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard a loud voice behind me like a trumpet saying, “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

12 Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me. When I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was one like the Son of Man, dressed in a robe and with a golden sash wrapped around his chest. 14 The hair of his head was white as wool—white as snow—and his eyes like a fiery flame. 15 His feet were like fine bronze as it is fired in a furnace, and his voice like the sound of cascading waters. 16 He had seven stars in his right hand; a sharp double-edged sword came from his mouth, and his face was shining like the sun at full strength.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid. I am the First and the Last, 18 and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades. 19 Therefore write what you have seen, what is, and what will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Original Intent

1) What is the purpose of this letter?
The revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.
(Revelation 1:1) The purpose of this book, these letters, is seated deep in the heart of God the Father. The Father gave it to the Son, with the final destination meant for the servants of Christ. Before moving farther, we must hold that thought close, letting it sink in. No other book opens quite like this. A revelation from God the Father, passed to the Son, for the purpose of delivering to believers, His servants, the saints! The mysteries of the Son coming to die, rise again, and rescue mankind have now been opened, taught, and preached. Now, the Father gives one final word, the return of His Son to call His servants HOME. The church was enduring persecution at the time Revelation was written. God’s message? He is Victor! He sees, knows, and is intimately involved in every detail. What’s more, the Lord’s return is absolutely certain. The purpose of this book is not mysterious, it’s encouraging and emboldening! Hold firm to the gospel entrusted to you, O Church, the Lord is indeed returning!

 2) Who is the “one like a Son of Man” in verse 13?
The title “Son of Man” was used by the Old Testament prophet Daniel as he referenced the One who would come as the promised Messiah. The Son of Man would hold all authority as an equal with the Ancient of Days, another title for God the Father. His dominion would never end, His rule would be eternal, and His reign would extend to all peoples, all nations, and all tongues. His kingdom would never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14) The Son of Man title was also the one Jesus used for Himself most commonly in the gospel narratives. Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of Man because He was the one and only who could fulfill this ancient prophecy of the coming Messiah. Now, in Revelation, Jesus, as the Son of Man, the one who died and rose again, conquering Sin and Death forever, is the Coming King who will reign Forever. All authority is held in His hand.

 3) Why is the “therefore” in verse 19 so powerful?
The image of John’s familiar Jesus, now completely glorified and radiating with holy authority, holding all dominion in His hand, causes John to fall at the feet of the Lord as though dead.  (Revelation 1:17) Christ does not respond with burning anger or a display of His might to further emphasize how powerful He is, rather, the King of all Kings extends His right hand to touch John and speak over Him this deeply powerful phrase, “Fear Not…”. (Revelation 1:17) Remember, the purpose of the revelation? To make the Lord’s purposes known to His servants from the heart of God. The book of Revelation is a grand conclusion to an epic love story of God redeeming His people, and it ends with indelible hope. Because Jesus Is the first and the last, the eternal one, the living one for eternity, the One who conquered Death, and the ultimate righteous Judge over the living and the dead therefore, what He says to write down and be delivered is completely trustworthy. (Revelation 1:17-18) Everything that was going to be shown to John in the vision could be trusted. Jesus is exactly who He says He is, and His return is absolutely certain! The little word “therefore” links all of Christ’s qualifications to our present reality. Because of who Jesus is, the future of every believer is solid and sure.

Everyday Application

1) What is the purpose of this letter?
The very first sentence holds general introductory words we tend to easily gloss over and speed through. After all, this is Revelation, right? The book that holds all the end time information? All those prophecies of beasts, dragons, the mark of 666, and a tangled web of intrigue are held here, what impact could one opening line have on all of that? Much! Miss this sentence, and the foundation of Revelation is misplaced, not to mention your theology.
The revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. (Revelation 1:1)
There is much in this book of Revelation, but its purpose is not to turn us away from reading it, keeping it arms’ length, or become terrified. The heart of God is to let us know, personally and intimately, that things will happen preceding Christ’s return, and these things are not unknown to Him. He sees the suffering we endure for following Him. He sees the pain of this world caused by sin. He knows the groaning of creation itself. (Romans 8:21) He knows the injustices done against us. He doesn’t want us to be unaware that an end will come; a final victory is on the horizon! He is a trustworthy God and His message for us to keep on trusting Him, knowing He is a Returning King to rescue His people once and for all! “Blessed are those who hear these words,… for the time is near!” (Revelation 1:3)

 2) Who is the “one like a Son of Man” in verse 13?
We don’t know what will happen in the next 5 minutes, but God knows all things past, present, and future and holds all power and authority over every moment. Nothing is beyond His control. We often think of Jesus as the tender Shepherd gathering that lost lamb in His arms, or speaking lovingly as He preaches of grace, but don’t shy away from the glorious image depicted by John the Exile here in Revelation. His robe of priestly righteousness and honor, the High Priest’s sash, the flawless crowning glory of His hair, His flaming eyes the pierce the hearts of men, His steadfast, strong feet that crush enemies and hold Him secure, and the beautiful, flowing, thunderous voice heard by all. This is our King! This is our Victor! And this is His present reality! In the middle of our struggle, our loss, our pain, our hurt, Jesus, the Son of Man, the Ancient of Days, sees it all and is coming again! One day, the consummation of His promise will be fulfilled and all will be made rightfully redeemed in its fullness. You are not alone, dear Sister, the Victorious King is for you!

3) Why is the “therefore” in verse 19 so powerful?
In Daniel’s vision of the glorious Son of Man, Jesus “comes near” to comfort Daniel and touches him. (Daniel 8:17-18, Daniel 10:10) In John 21, the resurrected Christ winsomely invites His disciples to “Come and have breakfast” when He appeared to them. (John 21:12)
He is both a magnificent, glorious King and a tender shepherd with the heart of a loving Father. All authority is His, yet He cares intimately and deeply about each of us on a personal level. He sees the sparrow fall, He knows the location of every hair from your head, He has named the stars, He has died in your place, and He has prepared an eternity for you free from sin, fear, shame, hurt, and loss. This coming King is for you! John could trust the Lord’s “therefore” because He knew His character and heart and had seen His splendor. The same is true for you. Trust Him, with everything. He’s reaching out His hand for you, speaking over you “fear not” and assuring you with His firm, “therefore”!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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