The last book of the Bible is the Book of Revelation. Revelation begins with letters written to seven churches. It’s a little bit like the rest of the New Testament, where letters are written to churches—real people in real places. Their problems are explored, their challenges are faced. That same thing happens in this book. John, who writes this book, is a bishop of Ephesus. He’s been in prison now in Patmos, where he writes to that church and other churches that surround Ephesus; he knows them well. He writes on behalf of Christ to these seven churches.
Revelation begins with an amazing personal encounter that John has with Jesus Christ. He turned and he saw Christ and Christ put his hand on his shoulder and said, “Don't be afraid, I'm the living one, the beginning, the middle, the end, alpha and omega” (Rev. 1:17). And then our Lord gives John this message to write to the seven churches. Now we’re at Revelation 4, the beginning of the rest of the book, which will be a vision that John experiences. This vision will dominate the rest of this book as John shares this amazing encounter. It’s going to take your breath away.
(Read Revelation 4:1–6)
This is amazing imagery, and let me offer a word of advice as we look at the imagery in the Book of Revelation. A great deal of it will not be interpreted to us. For instance, it’s not interpreted to us who are the 24 elders that are seated with crowns. Some have wondered if this is an allusion to the 24 ranks of Levitical priests. Who knows? It’s not mentioned. Words are used that say “like a trumpet, like carnelian, like jasper, like a sea of glass.” The best thing for us to do is to stand ...
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