Chapter 1 serves to introduce the rest of Revelation.
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to John toshow to His servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. (Revelation 1:1-2, ESV)
In this we understand that the primary speaker to John was Jesus Christ. This introduction goes on in Trinitarian fashion:
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6, ESV)
Then we arrive at the portion I want to discuss in this article:
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” (Revelation 1: 9-11, ESV, emphasis added)
The Trinitarian language is purposeful and up front in this book. This tells us that what follows is revelation from the God of true Christianity. It also informs us that even though, the word “trinity” is not utilized, it is the correct, Biblical, view of the godhead. It tells us that John was completely sane when he was given the visions that follow. He maintained his orthodoxy from the beginning. In other words, Chapter 1 confirms to readers like you and me that this really happened; John actually saw these things.
Which brings us to today’s main point. John states, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day…”. He doesn’t explain what that means. He merely says it matter of factly as if all of his readers (again, like you and me) would understand what he was talking about. He expected that we would know what he meant by being in the Spirit. In light of this it’s difficult to understand why some Christians maintain that Spiritual Gifts have been discontinued.
This isn’t to say that every Christian will see visions or prophesy or speak in tongues, or interpret tongues or heal others with a touch, but it does mean that these gifts (and others) are available to the Church and that means you and me. The Holy Spirit is alive and well and, I believe, wants to work with every believer to walk with Jesus and perform the will of our Father on earth. In fact, I encourage you to rely on this reality as we move forward in out look at Revelation and every time you read your Bible, for that matter.
I invite you to read along and study with me. Comment. Question. Listen and pray. Let God be your guide in revealing His Word.
- Revelation 1-3: The Introduction (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 3: Hope in Jesus (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 4 and 5: An Image of Father and Son (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 1: Spiritual Gifts (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 6: The First Six Seals (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)