Rev 1.4-8 66-11
OUR INCOMPARABLE JESUS
REVELATION 1:4-8 [66-11]
IF GOD BECAME MAN, THEN WE WOULD EXPECT HIM TO HAVE A CASTING AND UNIVERSAL INFLUENCE 1
To be sure, the personality of Jesus Christ has made such an impact on humanity that even after 2000 years, the impact has not worn off. Each day, there are persons who have revolutionary experiences with Jesus. The great historian, Kenneth Scott Latourette (American Historical Review, 1949) said:
“The Christian understanding of history does not necessarily deny progress…. As the centuries pass the evidence is accumulating that, measured by his effect on history, Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet. That influence appears to be mounting.” 19/272
Philip Schaff (1913) adds that:
“This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined without the eloquence of schools, He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since and produced effects which lie beyond the Teach Of Orator or poet; without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise, than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.” 41/33 2
The famous essay, “One Solitary Life,” states:
“Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty, and then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself …. While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While he was dying his executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth-his coat. When he was dead, he was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
1 McDowell, Evidence, p. 137. 2 McDowell, Evidence, p. 137.
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“Nineteen long centuries have come and gone and today he is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, Put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully 3
‘The Incomparable Christ,” another vivid essay:
“More than nineteen hundred years ago there was a Man born contrary to the laws of life. This Man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He did not travel extensively. Only once did He cross the boundary of the country in which He lived; that was during His exile in childhood.
“He possessed neither wealth nor influence. His relatives were inconspicuous, and had neither training nor formal education. In infancy He startled a king; in childhood He puzzled doctors; in manhood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the billows as if pavements, and hushed the sea to sleep. He the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His service.
“He never wrote a book, and yet all the libraries of the country could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, and yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all the songwriters combined.
“He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students.
“He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun; and yet no leader ever had more volunteers who have, under His orders, made more rebels stack arms and surrender without a shot fired.
“He never practiced psychiatry, and yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near. Once each week the wheels of commerce cease their turning and multitudes wend their way to worshipping assemblies to pay homage and respect to Him.
“The names of the past proud statesmen of Greece and Rome have come and gone. The names of the past scientists, philosophers, and theologians have come and gone; but the name of this Man abounds more and more. Though time has spread nineteen hundred years between the people of this generation and the scene of His crucifixion, yet He still lives. Herod could not destroy Him, and the grave could not hold Him.
“He stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by devils, as the living, personal Christ, our Lord and Saviour.” 55/ 4
3 McDowell, Evidence, p. 137. 4 McDowell, Evidence, p. 137.
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Open to Rev. 1:4-8. As you do so, let me remind you what we learned 3 weeks ago. The theme of this book is captured in the first 3 words: Revelation of Jesus Christ – unveiling, revealing, disclosing of Jesus Christ.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is revealed in 3 ways:
1. HE INVITES OUR WORSHIP AS HE UNVEILS HIS DEITY by no less than 67 names and titles used in 404 verses/22 chapters. Find them as you read.
1. HE DEMANDS OUR REVERENCE AS HE TAKES HIS POSITION AS JUDGE OF THE UNIVERSE • Ch. 1 = He is Eternal One holding keys to death and hell [1:18]. • Ch. 2-3 = He is the Refiner of His Body, the Church [3:18]. • Ch. 4-20 = He is the judge of the universe as He restores His Kingdom. • Ch. 21-22= He is Lord of eternity as He invites His own to join Him forever. 2. Revealing Jesus as to His Purpose: HE WILL RULE • 1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. • 1 Timothy 6:15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, • Revelation 15:3 3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: 1 “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! • Revelation 17:14 “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” • Revelation 19:16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
John reveals in 5 verses: We are introduced to: 1. Our inexhaustible peace v. 4 2. Christ’s incomparable Person v. 5,6 3. Spirit’s inescapable prophecy v. 7 4. God’s infinite presence v. 8
1) First, note with me verse 4, and see our inexhaustible peace and grace that open and close this Book. The force of this truth can be seen in its contrast to the book.
Revelation 1:4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, (NKJV)
In the prophet Isaiah we find that The OT Promise of Peace is Jesus. In Him Peace is:
1. EXCLUSIVE Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor,
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Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NKJV) 2. PROMISED Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. (NKJV) 3. SELECTIVE Isaiah 32:17 The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. (NKJV) 4. CONTINUOUS Isaiah 48:18 Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea. (NKJV) 5. SHARABLE Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (NKJV) 6. COSTLY Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (NKJV) 7. ENDURING Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the LORD, who has mercy on you. (NKJV)
In the NT we find that The NT Portrait of Peace is Jesus. Jesus:
1. Through Jesus God’s peace ENCOURAGES CHRISTIANS Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NKJV) 2. Through Jesus God’s peace GUARDS CHRISTIANS Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV) 3. Through Jesus God’s peace RECONCILES CHRISTIANS Colossians 1:20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (NKJV) 4. Through Jesus God’s peace RULES CHRISTIANS Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (NKJV) 5. Through Jesus God’s peace SANCTIFIES CHRISTIANS 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV) 6. Through Jesus God’s peace IDENTIFIES CHRISTIANS Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: (NKJV) 7. Through Jesus God’s peace ADORNS CHRISTIANS James 3:18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (NKJV)
2) Now secondly, verse 5 – Christ’s Incomparable Person. John describes Him by 3 titles and 3 truths. First the titles… 1) “Faithful Witness” – Jesus Christ is the One who has: -revealed God (John 1:18). He explained Him. -Christ also has told us plainly: we are sinful people – so He died for us we are in spiritual poverty – so He gives to us we face severest penalties – so He paid for us
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Matthew 11:27-29 2) “First Born” – Jesus Christ is the one who restored life. ‘ so death passed on all for all sinned’ but ‘in Christ made alive’. He broke the power of canceled sin. He sets the prisoner free. His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for you! Note Psalm 89:27 First in rank Colossians 1:15-18
3) “Ruler” – Jesus Christ is going to reassert His reign. Psalm 2:2-9; Psalm 89:27
1. OUR KING WHO LISTENS 5.2 2. OUR GLORIOUS KING 24.1-10 3. OUR ETERNAL KING 29.10 4. OUR PERSONAL KING 44.4 5. OUR VICTORIOUS KING 47.2 6. OUR UNIVERSAL KING 48.2 7. OUR KING TO BE WORSHIPPED 68.24 8. OUR CREATOR KING 74.12 9. OUR TENDER KING 84.3 10. OUR HOLY KING 89.18 11. OUR SUPREME KING 95.3 12. OUR JOYFUL KING 98.6
And who is He? Psalm 2 says He is our Lord Jesus Christ. His first time the world gave Him: a barn to be born in a street to live in a tree to die on
When He comes back it’s to rule. Let me share what Carl F.H. Henry preached in the Fall of 1969 at a convocation service: 1. Jesus Christ the Lord is coming: the Lord of Truth, to overwhelm all doubts. What hiding place then, when the God who-is-there, rewarder of all that diligently seek Him, acts to judge the secrets of men (Rom. 2:15)? What hiding place then for the big lie that dialectical materialism fully explains the whole of reality, for those who say the supernatural is but a myth? What hiding place then for God-is-dead buffoons, when the living God who declares man to be dead in trespasses and sins calls these dead to judgment? What hiding place then for God-may-be-alive theorists, when the self-revealing God asks what men have done with the truth of revelation? What hiding place then for God-is-only-love religionists, when the Lord who desires truth in the inward parts asks whether men have obeyed the truth? Jesus Christ, the Lord of Truth, is coming: we know it by His Word. 2. Jesus Christ the Lord is coming: the King of kings to overpower all reluctant powers. What hiding place then for totalitarian tyrants when “at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow … and ever tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:11)? What hiding place then for the nations East or West who trust in atomic stockpiles? What hiding place then for Israel or Arab powers
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spilling their blood for holy land and holy city while the Holy One of Israel still hangs crucified outside the gates? What hiding place then for heathen nations still mired in darkness, and for Gentile nations whose scorn of God is scandal to the pagan world? Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, is coming: we know it by His Word. 3. Jesus Christ the Lord is coming: the Man of Righteousness, to overflow the grace of God, but to override all scorners. He returns and overturns: in the final resurrection of the dead He overturns the whole human race: those who reject Him He turns to rout and everlasting separation: those who love Him He turns fully into the holy image of God. He comes to vindicate the righteousness of God and to crown the grace of God. Jesus Christ, the Lord of life and Lord of all, is coming – of creation life, of redemption life, of resurrection life. Jesus Christ our Lord is coming; we know it by His Word.
Well, WHATS NEXT?
We’ve seen Christ Our inexhaustible peace v. 4 Next time, Christ’s incomparable Person v. 5,6 Then, the Spirit’s inescapable prophecy v. 7 And finally, God’s infinite presence v. 8.
So – our inexhaustible peace – it’s forever Christ’s incomparable Person – He’s forever Holy Spirit’s inescapable prophecy – We’re headed to eternity Our infinite God – from everlasting to everlasting God
Have you followed His call? He has indispensible conditions for true disciples. Christ is and must be: The unrivaled focus of our affections — we love Him most! The unceasing example of our conduct – we bear His cross at all times. The unreserved owner of our possessions – we surrender all our stuff to Him.
#96 all hail the power Is Jesus your inexaustible peace? Are you resting in Him right now? Lets sing #500 “Peace, Peace Wonderful Peace