Living the book of Revelation in a practical daily sense.
The Book of Revelation by all our obsessive physical interpretation and doctrinal camps has become too distant and too future tense, too divisive even to be said; something of very little practical daily sense. Yet, it once was the main daily diet of the reformers back in the day, a book of hope, of promise, of support and direction in their daily struggles. They did not see it I am told as preterit or futurist rather as something revealing things as they are, as they will continue to be, as they will be near the final judgment. It was something much more edifying and revealing today and those who could see through these symbols and types so as to see the Lord as He is/His Church as it is/and the oppositions and works of the Devil formed all around them set to pollute if not destroy the very hope and purer image so as to know these things and to do them; well then there is something more and vital to Christian living here to be had.
It is not to say that this is simply spiritual and that the events and persons depicted bare no resemblance to anything eventual or past historical/physical time. It is to say that indeed the coming and judgment are to come in exact form the time of which no one can rightly know but the Father, that this is what we know to do until that time. Perhaps there is rapture pre or post or mid. Perhaps these symbols form into precise and identifiable men and world leaders. Perhaps in more vague form these men and events have have always existed or continue to progress towards one final and complete fulfillment. Ours is not to get hung up on the who and when, at least not at first, but to know our place and active necessities today in such pivotal considerations.
I heard Martyn Lloyd Jones once divide the book into seven distinct sections (vantage points). I do not pretend to speak for the much esteemed Doctor of much sharper doctrine than I, but that his words sparked my hunger towards seeing this book in a much more practical and spiritual daily manner. I soon pictured these divisions as transparent overlays that could be observed individually or in combination or even composite. Instead of just a serial chronological matter (which they still could be), as a present and current developing thing as a whole from seven different (surrounding) perhaps concurrent angles.
Thus, the Revelation is first and foremost a revelation of the present and future person of Jesus Christ in complete control with all righteousness:
- kjv@Revelation:1-3 - The Lord Christ ever amongst and discerning of His church's heart/character and actions.
- kjv@Revelation:4-7 - The Lord Christ before His Father's throne accompanied by Heavenly Host, He alone worthy to open the sealed Book.
- kjv@Revelation:8-11 - The Worthy Christ's opening of the seals to the Book, the immediate response of the heavenly agents to actualize details of Book.
- kjv@Revelation:12-14 - Christ as child caught up to His throne, Satan and army cast from heaven to earth wroth with Woman (remnant of seed/keeping command+testimony) (overcoming by blood of Lamb Child) (heavenly host moved to defend Woman) troubles earth as beast.
- kjv@Revelation:15-16 - Christ the King of all victorious saints praised as judgments are made manifest.
- kjv@Revelation:17-19 - Christ Faithful and True appears with His angelic armies, great whore and adjoined nations condemned, one hour great riches of whore come to naught, heavens rejoice, mind of wisdom explained to prophet.
- kjv@Revelation:20-22 - Christ dwelling with his redeemed in New Jerusalem, Satan having been cast to bottomless pit, white throne judgment of all, death and hell and any not written in Book of Life cast into lake of fire, concluding testimony of prophecy.
It is a tremendous vision of the fullness of who Christ is now and future and what He has and always will mean to us.
Sure we know Jesus Christ as He formerly was in the flesh that short time and that certainly affects our daily walk and nature in positive ways. That is not all that there is to know about Jesus however (by this measure it is half of one seventh), and that effect is multiplied all the more by understanding who that He now is and what He finally becomes at the coming and final judgment. Our day could not help but be tremendously affected in the light of such essential revelation. Even if to separate ourselves temporarily from the natural tendency to grab at dates and possible names to be associated with such prophecy just long enough to see Him Jesus as He needs to be seen and revered.
This is not to add to nor subtract a word from the great prophecy, but to clear aside the human tendency and possible corruptions enough to see first things first and the reason behind all reason. It is to say that one can know the certainty of that future time because the practical and living hope of it being evidenced practically in our lives this and every living day; I am most wonderfully quickened/animated by such wonder along with those brethren called out and congregated around it. The oil of my lamp as time approaches and now is (if in part) does not run out nor is it put on hold waiting for it, rather it burns brightly affecting not only this late dark hour, but onward uninterruptedly through to the grooms arrival. It is to say that we "do well to take heed to it as light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn..."
Next to this whole overlay of revelation add the vantage point of church history and you'll sense just how deeply many of these things have already effected us. How the true gospel has always been so costly personally to defend and always attacked from without but mostly from within. From the time surrounding David even it has magnetically drawn certain unscrupulous and opposing men to positions of it's power and influence. Is it because we have yet to try every so called apostle? because we've gone about our good works having forgotten our first love? because we have kept a Jezebel or Nicolitians in our midst? is it that it all has just become lukewarm and half-hearted?
"The time is at hand" it is declared in this book, not that the time will someday be. If so then how so? at what rate? to what effect? These are the questions we must consider long before attempt to conclude who else so. To know Jesus fully, we have also to know what He stands for and what He stands against and where we believers stand presently in view of that. We need the broader picture and therefore the Revelation. What is it in the churches that He finds at fault? Where are we being short-sighted about heavens and earth and the course everything/everyone is on and our mission within that?
There is much to consider in the Revelation and much thereby to be transformed in.... if we so allow it!