September 16th 2018: Mike Viccary

Mike Viccary - Sept 16th 2018Revelation 1:9-20

Who is this Jesus, part 2.

Following on from last week’s sermon on the opening verses of Revelation 1, this message focuses on the voice of the Lord (verses 9-10) and the vision of the Son of Man (verses 10-16). John is on the island of Patmos because he loves Christ and has confessed Christ. He is in exile, in prison. One Sunday he was in the Spirit, putting aside the things of this world, to worship Jesus. He has focused his heart and mind. All of a sudden he heard a loud voice, like a megaphone. This is not the first time in Scripture we have the Lord speaking behind someone (Isaiah 30:19-22 – a very pregnant prophecy, Ezekiel 3:12). People are learning from teachers. As we share one another’s lives and share the scripture, we are teaching one another. One who witnesses or testifies to Christ is a martyr. Their testimony of Jesus Christ is the word of God in person. Talk to one another about it, it becomes part of who you are. John heard the loud voice of the Lord Jesus, a megaphone. Sometimes we need a megaphone because we’ve become lethargic. Hebrews 2:1. We have to find time to eat the word of God.

The loud voice here is a declaration stating truth. It is also instructive. The Bible is full of calls to wake, to stand up for your faith. The revelation came to John and then he is told to write it down for you and I, the entire church. This is God’s love letter to you. It alone is the objective truth (Revelation 1:5, Hebrews 1). Each and every one of you ought to have a personal revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s very easy to come to Bible study and say, ‘That was good.’ But we need to know Him. You may not hear a voice but have a deep conviction. John could only pass on what he received because he witnessed it (Revelation 1:2). You and I must be concerned to witness what you and I have witnessed.

2 Peter 1. God is so powerful. He gives us everything we need to live a godly life through the knowledge of His Son. When you want to seek God, get into scripture and each other. 1 Timothy 1:5. What do I need to change about the way I am living? Be ready to witness for Christ.

The vision of the Son of Man. This is Christ, the risen, conquering King. This is holiness – the whole of Him is holy. We are called to holiness. His eyes see right into our hearts. His feet are on fire, white and hot. The brass symbolises stability. It is an awesome picture of the Lord. The voice is like a trumpet, but also the sound of many waters. God’s Word may be disobeyed now but when the Lord comes we will be speechless. The seven stars are the pastors, leaders of the church. The two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) cuts right to the chase. It goes forth. Christ’s countenance, His whole being, was radiant in glorious beautiful array.

September 9th 2018: Mike Viccary

Mike Viccary -9thSept18Revelation 1:1-8: Who is this Jesus?

What does the future hold? What will happen to the world in the next decade? What new technologies will change and challenge us? Such questions are being asked continually. What does the future hold?

The Lamb that was slain is on the throne. There’s an appeal to all of us to come to Christ. We need to know Him more today than yesterday. Revelation is also a book of warning to those who choose not to love Christ.

This is the revelation of Jesus Christ. It came from the Father, about the Son. This is different to the book of Genesis. Genesis is a book of history, Revelation is a book of prophecy. It bears a close relationship with the book of Daniel. John was brought into heaven and witnessed these things. This books is a blessing to all those who read it, to those who heed this prophecy.

After the general introduction in verses 1-3 we are then given John’s greeting in verse 4. The greeting is not just from John but comes from the Trinity. How wonderful! The Trinity say to you this morning, ‘Grace, Peace.’

In verses 5-6 we hear a doxology. Every time we read the Word of God we should praise His name. Then, in verse 7 we are given a declarative warning. We look forward to the coming of Jesus Christ, but there’s a warning of judgement.

The opening is about the statement and revelation of God.

Christ Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. The Father is represented first. The seven spirits refers to perfection, completion, the action of the Spirit of God in all He does. The seven churches are representative of the churches in all the world. The order of the Trinity here is not the usual Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but Father, Holy Spirit and Son. The focus is on Jesus Christ.

In verse 5 we see three title given to Jesus Christ:
the faithful witness;
the firstborn of the dead;
the ruler over the kings of the earth.

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness. This is so comforting. We also read this in Revelation 3:14, 19:1, so it is not just a passing reference. He is the Amen. Why? He has given us this revelation. He is before all things. He alone has come from outside creation into creation and He spoke. He is the objective. He is also Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. He encompasses the entire span of history. He stood amongst the seven lampstands. He is here, at the lampstand of Penuel Baptist Chapel. He is walking amongst us. He knows our situation. He can see deep into the heart. He speaks truth. He instructed John to write down what he said so that we might benefit. When God speaks it is written down and preserved.

Christ is the only person to die voluntarily, to rise again and come back to new life in a new spiritual body. No-one has seen God at any time. When we see Jesus we see the Father – that’s how we see God. Only Jesus has seen God in all eternity.

Christ is the firstborn of the dead. He died in our place to pay for all our sins, to provide to us with the righteousness that comes by faith. He is the Lamb slain. He is the firstborn, the one who has the Father’s inheritance. He was prophesied in Psalm 89. In Colossians 1:15 we read He is the heir to all things. Will you share in His inheritance? The meek will (Matthew 19) inherit the earth, life forever (Matthew 25). We read of our inheritance in Ephesians 1:18. In 1 Peter 1:4 Peter writes we come ‘to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.’ Earthly inheritance doesn’t last but the inheritance we have will never be spoiled – and it’s eternal! We, as joint heirs, will inherit too.

He is from the dead, born into this world of dead (valley of dry bones – Ezekiel).Christ came into that and He lived amongst them. Nothing could harm Him. He had to submit to death but is risen (Revelation 1:18). He alone is the source of life, the author of creation and the new creation. Do we live to God or do we get caught up in the world?

He is the ruler over the kings of the earth. There are two kingdoms – the kingdom of this world (1 John 5:19) and then there are those of the kingdom of the ‘Son of His love.’ (Colossians 1:13) Nothing happens in this world unless God allows it. He always brings good out of things. For our comfort we need to remember He is the ruler of the kingdoms. The responsibility of believers is to demonstrate what it means to ‘Kiss the Son.’ Christ loved us, He actually washes us. As you read the Word of God, know His cleansing experience. He makes us kings and priests in the new kingdom.

In verse 8 we are given a self-revelation of Christ. There is a problem here if you are reading the NIV as there is an omission. The text is pointing us to Christ, Christ is the Alpha and Omega. Jesus is the beginning and end. Don’t worry! Before time began, after time has finished, Jesus is God. The Lord Christ is our faithful witness to salvation, to who God is, to who we are. He is the one who has told us how it is. Are we faithful? When we hear His word, do we say ‘yes?’