Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Day the Revelation Came to Man

It was Sunday morning, 95 AD, somewhere on the small island in the Aegean Sea called Patmos where the Apostle John—having been banished there by Rome for his testimony of Jesus Christ—was in some remote corner of that island worshiping God.

Though other days were undoubtedly consumed in the company of other prisoners doing hard labor inside the mines of the volcanic island, Sundays apparently allowed the old Apostle time to be alone and to rest. For "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day", the Apostle said.

Little did he know, however, that on this given Sunday, as he knelt in prayer, he would come face to face with Jesus Christ and then taken into heaven to eyewitness the Revelation, a vision of the future never before revealed to any man.

We know it as The Revelation, the last book in our Bible. It is John’s written account of the Revelation exactly as he experienced it. All that he saw and heard he arduously recorded in compliance with the will of God so that the Vision might be shown to the Church, and thereby the Church would know it.

Moreover, the fact that the Apostle John was chosen to record the Revelation speaks volumes about God’s ability to accomplish His purposes despite even the most adverse of circumstances, whether from natural causes, or the cunning devices of devil and man.

After all, John was about ninety years old and therefore long past what might be considered a practical age for such an arduous task. Furthermore, it was the sole intention of Rome to silence John’s work and ministry when it banished him to the remote island of Patmos.

In other words, God was making what you and I might regard as an untenable choice and to our enemy an altogether improbable one when He selected John. Nonetheless, He knew all along the time, the place, and the man by which, and to whom He would reveal the Revelation, therefore nothing did (or ever will) prevent Him from accomplishing His own wise and holy ends.

"For I know that the Lord is great, and our Lord is above all Gods," the Psalmist wrote. "Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places" (Ps.135:5, 6).

The Revelation was not John's vision. It was the vision of Jesus, shown to Him by the Father with instructions that it be revealed to man. Why the aged Apostle was chosen, we don't know. But those of us who are elderly should find encouragement in it, for we can be of service to God despite the odds, if He so graciously grants it.

Would you like to learn the Revelation?

Please read our commentary and study questions, preview our resources, links, and videos. It has never been as important for Christians to find assurance in the future.

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