January 15 2022
Today, Saturday January 15
“Jesus Christ, the Faithful Witness…” Revelation 1:4-6 “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, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
John is writing this letter to the seven churches in Asia which were undergoing tremendous persecution. But before he specifically addresses each one of them, he reminds them of our awesome Triune God who is in charge of all things. God the Father is described as the Eternal One (Rev. 1:8; 4:8). God is, God was and He is to come! God has always been.
In Genesis 21:33, God revealed Himself to Abraham as El Olam. This name of God is used at least 439 times in the Bible. El is likely related to the word Elohim and is used in conjunction with other descriptive words to specifically reference a particular characteristic of God. Olam means forever, always, continuous existence, perpetual, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, indefinite or unending future, eternity. Used together El Olam means The Everlasting God. God exists beyond time and space.
We can take comfort today in the fact that God always was, and always will be God. Nothing we can ever face will change that because God is unchangeable.
Next, the Holy Spirit is seen in His fullness, for there are not seven spirits, but one. The reference here is probably to Isaiah 11:2, “The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” Jesus told His disciples it was necessary for Him to go away but that He would not leave them orphans. He promised them that He would send the Holy Spirit who would live in them. (John 14-16)
In the midst of our pain and suffering, we need to remember that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter! The Holy Spirit will reveal the presence of Jesus Christ to us!
Finally, Jesus Christ is seen in His threefold office as Prophet, Priest and King! As Prophet He is the “faithful Witness”. As the Great High Priest He the “First-begotten from the dead”. As King He is the “Prince and Ruler of the kings of the earth”. First-begotten does not mean "the first one raised from the dead," but "the highest of those raised from the dead." Firstborn is a title of honor (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15, 18).
The Apostle John knew first-hand about suffering. He was literally put into a large vat of boiling oil by the Romans to suffer an excruciating death. But miraculously he survived and so they then exiled him to a prison island to get rid of him and his witness to the church! How did he endured the suffering? He never forgot Who he was serving! He kept his eyes on Jesus!
For some reason as I read these verses, I’m reminded of the introduction John wrote in both the Gospel of John and in the Epistle of 1 John. John personally and literally experienced the Everlasting and Eternal God in the Person of Jesus Christ! He saw His glory! He touched Him, he heard Him, he handled Him and John believed Jesus was the “Faithful Witness”! (Please read John 1 and 1 John 1 and see the similarities with Revelation 1.)
Today, may the Lord help us to see Jesus! May God open our eyes to experience His Presence through the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit! And we will find grace and peace in the midst of our afflictions!