Keeping Jesus at the Center of Revelation
In my pre-teen years, I heard about end times from a perspective of what was going to happen on the earth. The focus was on the Antichrist rather than Christ.
Then as I did my own study of Revelation, I realized how much it had to say about Jesus! Revelation 19:10 really stood out to me: “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
In fact, the very first words of the book are “The revelation of Jesus Christ.” It doesn’t say the revelation of end time events, but the revelation of Jesus!
Verse 2 mentions the “testimony of Jesus.”
Then take a look at verses 5 through 8:
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Chapters 2 and 3 are about Jesus speaking to churches.
In 4:8, the four creatures are described; “they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”
They don’t rest day or night but are always praising God! Just stop for a moment and realize that when we get to heaven, all the drama will be over. For some, there is sensational feeling surrounding end time events, so much that end-times videos tend to out-perform devotional videos. Yet these creatures in heaven are totally focused on worshipping God. Can we be content to worship God and not get caught up in sensational feelings? Where is our focus? Colossians 3:2 says to set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Next, the 24 elders fall down in worship and cast their crowns, and say “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
In Chapter 5, the question is asked, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?”
Only one was found worthy- Jesus. And the rest of the chapter is all worship.
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”
Chapter 6 is where the judgment begins- and although it is scary, the point is still about God; it is about His righteous judgment.
In chapter 7, there is more praise: “Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.”
Verses 13 through 17 describe the believers (which I believe had suffered persecution) as serving God day and night, and Him wiping away all their tears.
In the midst of the next chapters about judgment on the earth, Rev. 11:16–17 says that the elders fell down (again) and worshipped God, “Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”
After more sin and judgment, chapter 15:3–4 is again about praise: “Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” Verse 8 says, “And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.”
Chapter 16:5–7 is a praise of God’s justice.
Chapter 19 opens with an exclamation of praise: “Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God” and it continues.
Then notice these verses about Jesus:
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.
Chapter 20 is about God giving eternal judgment in the lake of fire.
Then we come to the last two chapters. The Bride of Christ is united with Him. All sin and suffering is ended. Again, Jesus is described in 22:13, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
And the book ends with, “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
When we read Revelation, let’s think about God’s glory and His purpose, through Jesus.