Agonizomai: Rev 1:1-2 Veiled and Unveiled

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rev 1:1-2 Veiled and Unveiled

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1 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, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.


By the phrase "the revelation of Jesus Christ" John is not speaking of revelation from Christ, but revelation of His Person. Christ was, to one degree or another veiled throughout history and this holds true even during the incarnation. The Eternal Son Who was eternally in the bosom of the Father, having glory with Him before anything was made is not the picture that was available to sinful men. O, He could be seen to some degree - to a sufficient degree - through faith, even when He was veiled in His creation or in His earthly body; but the glorified Jesus Christ was seen only a few times and, even then, not in His fully vested eternal brilliance.

The Bible acknowledges the inability of our fallen flesh to cope with the beatific vision of Emmanu-El. To see God is to die, meaning that to actually behold the brightness of his majesty, the purity of his holiness and the inexpressible glory of his Being is something that fallen flesh simply cannot survive. In our present state, we can see him by faith, which is far better in many ways that to actually have seen him during the incarnation, or even pre ascension after the resurrection.{John 20:28-29}

Thus, the revelation of the glorified and ascended Lord in His ultimate vindication before all of creation is transmitted to the fallen apostle by means of a vision mediated by an angel. But the order of the revelation is this way: God gave it to Jesus Christ; Christ gave it to an angel; the angel gave it to John and John then gave to all the saints. God works through hierarchy and He uses means to effect His ends.

The vision described in the book that follows was of things that "must soon take place." That is that they were events that were future at the time of John’s vision and that these events were ordained of God because they "must" take place. God is the author of history, both past and future. The partially forgotten doctrine of Providence whereby God upholds and guides all things towards the preordained ends that He purposed from eternity is vindicated in these two little words "must" and "soon." The consummation of history lies in the hands of God the Almighty and He has so designed it that Jesus Christ is at the very center of it all. And by means of this vision God reveals to His saints how all things will be resolved.


2 Comments:

Blogger Derek Ashton said...

I'm glad you've opted not to skip chapter 1.

6:41 pm  
Blogger agonizomai said...

Derek,

Well, you know who we've got to blame for that, don't you? [/smile]

Blessings,


Tony

6:55 pm  

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