Category Archives: Revelation

What do you do in the presence of God?

Rv0411“[T]heologically and biblically speaking the the throne room of God in Revelation 4 represents the heart of the universe, the heart of meaning, the heart of history. Our lives are renewed through worship, through adoring the God who created us and saw fit to redeem us through the blood of the Lamb. Revelation renews us, not so much by telling us about particular future events, as by showing us God, who will bring all events to pass in his own time and his own way.” (Vern S. Poythress, The Returning King, p. 99).

“The Book of Revelation wages war on the reductionism that chokes awe. Among its most pervasive motifs is that those who see only the surface, who explain human history and experience merely in terms of observable (physical, economic, political, societal) forces, are blind to the pattern that explains why things happen as they do. To see that deep pattern is to experience an awe impervious to cynicism because it is to stand in the presence of the God who is worthy of our fear and wonder.” (Dennis E. Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb, pp. 96–97).

(Quotes used in the Reflection this week)

The Church with an Open Door

key_11334c“Just as the master possesses the key to that house, and has complete authority with respect to permitting anyone to enter or leave, and so entire authority over the house, so God will give to Eliakim a key to the house or dynasty of David. This key will be placed upon his shoulder, an expression which means that the responsibility of of the Davidic government is is to rest as a burden on Eliakim’s shoulder. The importance of the position is seen in that this same description is applied to the risen Christ in Revelation 3:7.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 2, p. 114).

“Christ’s authority is a surpassing fulfillment of the ‘key of David’ prophecy in Isaiah 22:20-25. What neither Eliakim nor any other saint of the Old Testament could do, Christ has done. His reliability and strength are such that one can rest on him all the weight of the redeemed people and their destiny.” (Vern S. Poythress, The Returning King, p. 91).

“Though the true church is a spiritually inviolable temple, it suffers presently in its physical form…. [A]t the final consummation no form of physical or spiritual suffering will harm the church because of the full manifestation of God’s presence in its midst.” (G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, p. 294).

Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

A New Name

rv1217“The concluding phrase of v 13 (‘where Satan dwells’) is a contrast with the first clause in the verse (‘I know where you dwell’) in order to accentuate the idea that light and darkness cannot dwell together in peaceful coexistence. Therefore, a witnessing church will be a persecuted church.” (G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, NIGTC, p. 247).

“The name is known only to the recipient, just as the name of the Word of God, who rides a white horse, is known only to himself (Rev. 19:12-13). The name is a shared secret between the Lord and the recipient, blending mystery and disclosure.” (Dennis E. Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb, p. 78).

(Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.)

Eat from the Tree of Life!

tree_7242cp“The tree of life stands in the midst of the garden. The garden is the ‘garden of God,’ not in the first place an abode for man as such, but specifically a place of reception of man into fellowship with God in God’s own dwelling place. . . . The correctness of this is verified by the recurrence of this piece of symbolism in eschatalogical form at the end of history, where theere can be no doubt concerning the principle of paradise being the habitation of God, where He dwells in order to make man dwell with Himself. . . . The tree was associated with the higher, the unchangeable, the eternal life to be secured through the probation.” (Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology, pp. 37-38).

“Paul also had emphasized the balance of truth and love that makes the church grow (e.g., ‘speaking the truth in love,’ Eph. 4:15). Having heeded the apostles’ emphasis on truth, this church had slipped off the balance by neglecting love. Unless corrected, the loss would prove lethal to the church’s light-bearing mission in its city.” (Dennis E. Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb, p. 72).

(Quotes used in the Reflection for next Sunday morning’s sermon based on Revelation 1-7 at Trinity Presbyterian Church)

One Like a Son of Man

keys_2942“Jesus, the holy One of God, is present among them [the churches, represented by lampstands] and knows their situation more truly than they do. The appearance of the churches as golden lampstands also signals their calling to reflect the light of God’s heavenly court into the present darkness on earth.” (Dennis E. Johnson, The Triumph of the Lamb, p. 61).

“Possessing a key means having power and authority. But no one on the face of this earth is able to claim power over Death and Hades. Jesus, who triumphed over death and the grave, possesses the keys to unlock them.” (Simon Kistemaker, Revel­ation, NTC, p. 100).

Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.

I was dead, and behold, I am alive

Rv0118Geerhardus Vos on Matthew 16:18-20: “The underlying idea would be that Jesus through His resurrection will so fill His Church with unconquerable life infusing it into Her by the Spirit, that death will be wholly conquered by the Church (Rev. 1:18).” (Biblical Theology, pp. 427-428).

The Sunday morning message at Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC focuses on the mighty Son of Man who reveals himself in Revelation 1:9-20.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

clouds_13715ac“Our interpretation of Revelation must be driven by the difference God intends it to make in the life of his people. If we could explain every phrase, identify every allusion to Old Testament Scripture or Greco-Roman society, trace every interconnection, and illumine every mystery in this book and yet were silenced by the intimidation of public opinion, terrorized by the prospect of suffering, enticed by affluent Western culture’s promise of ‘security, comfort, and pleasure,’ then we would not have begun to understand the Book of Revelation as God wants us to. The dragon’s assault on the church comes in different forms and from different quarters in different times and places. . . . Our only safety lies in seeing the ugly hostility of the enemy clearly and clinging fast to our Champion and King, Jesus.” (Dennis E. Johnson, The Triumph of the Lamb, pp. 18-19).

“John’s purpose in writing is, therefore, to encourage those not compromising with idolatry to continue in that stance and to jolt those who are compromising out of their spiritual anesthesia so that they will perceive the spiritual danger they are in and repent and become witnesses to the risen Christ as Lord. For those who never respond, only judgment will ensue.” “[T]he focus of the book is exhortation to the church community to witness to Christ in the midst of a compromising, idolatrous church and world.” (G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, NIGTC, p. 33).

Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC. The Sunday morning message begins a series on the Book of Revelation.