Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Disciple,

The world can be a confusing place. You love and adore the Father. You recognize the sacrifice I made for you. I know that you believe that I rose from the dead to give you victory. I know you trust that the Holy Spirit is at work in you. But, there are real problems in your world that are hard to reconcile with your glorious idea of Who I AM and how We — Father, Son, and Spirit — work in your world.

During times of severe persecution, as some of your Christian brothers and sisters are facing right now, the persecuted can wonder where We are and if We are going to do anything to help them. They long for us to say something substantive to give them hope. I gave John a vision of Me. He was caught up in the Spirit so that he could see what lies ahead for My churches and for his dear family of faith in Asia Minor.

However, before I revealed to John what lay ahead for My church, I reminded him of the Father’s glory. I showed him the place of all creation in the Father’s presence. All created beings bowed in reverence, prostrate before the throne of the One Who is worthy of all glory and honor. In the vision, the Father was surrounded by amazing beauty and glory beyond description. All present recognized the Father’s holiness. They praised Him for being the one true and living God, the great I AM — the One “Who was, and Who is, and Who is coming.”

In this image I gave to John, the Father held in his hand the full and complete message of what lies ahead for My people. However, this message was sealed. Only the One Who is worthy could open the seals and reveal that message. No one in heaven or earth, no one among the heavenly messengers or heavenly beings or humanity, was found who was worthy.

Then at the moment of great desperation, John saw Me in his vision. I alone was found worthy to reveal the future for My people. I alone am fully One with the Father, yet I offered Myself to be killed as the perfect Lamb of sacrifice for the sins of the people, including you. In a moment of joyous hope, all in heaven erupted in praise to Me. They used almost identical words to praise Me as they did the Father — they recognized that We are One and that We alone are worthy of their adoration and praise.

Just as I did not escape persecution because of My commitment to the Father, you and other disciples may also have to suffer persecution. The vision for John was to tell both My early disciples and you that a glorious future awaits for those who remain faithful to Me no matter what they face. As Paul wrote to the Roman Christians:

If we are God’s children, that means we are His heirs along with the Anointed, set to inherit everything that is His. If we share His sufferings, we know that we will ultimately share in His glory. Now I’m sure of this: the sufferings we endure now are not even worth comparing to the glory that is coming and will be revealed in us.

(Romans 8:17-18)

Verses to Live

As the One Who has borne humanity in Myself, I AM worthy to reveal to My church, My people, what the future holds. This revelation of heaven’s glory — of the Father and His glory and Me in My glory — sets the stage for what unfolds in the rest of the Revelation to John. For today, however, I want you to say out loud the words of praise to the Father. Praise the One Who sits on the throne. Worship the Father with your physical posture as the host of heaven did. Worship Him in your physical posture and actions as illustrated in the following verses. Physically worshiping Him in this way helps you recognize His glory.

Now use the words of praise said to Me in the second part of your readings today. Follow the lead of the host of heaven and worship Me in this way. Open your heart to praise. Too often in your dignified world, you hold back on praise and on demonstrating your worship through your physical posture. But, in times of need, you are willing to do anything to “get God’s attention”; don’t wait for desperation. Praise the Father as he deserves. As you do, realize how much you are loved, known, and valued. As you do, realize that you will never face a day alone. We will never leave or forsake you. We will work in history to preserve the church and deliver our people. I AM both the conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah Who has won the victory for you, and I AM also the Lamb Who was slain to redeem you. Your praise provides Me the dwelling place on the throne of your heart.

After I [John] wrote down these messages, I saw a door standing open in heaven and heard again the first voice that sounded like a trumpet.

A Voice:

Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.

Immediately I was caught up in the Spirit, and I saw a throne that stood in heaven and One seated on the throne. The One enthroned gleamed like jasper and carnelian, and a rainbow encircled the throne with an emerald glow. Encircling that great throne were twenty-four smaller thrones with twenty-four elders clothed in white robes with wreaths fashioned of gold on their heads. Out of the great throne came flashes of lightning, sounds of voices, and peals of thunder. In front of the great throne, seven torches were ablaze, which are the seven Spirits of God. Also in front of the throne was a glassy sea of shimmering crystal.

In the midst of the throne and encircling the throne were four living creatures, covered all over with eyes, front to back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second creature was like an ox, the third creature had a face like the face of a human, and the fourth creature was like an eagle in full flight. These four living creatures, each of which had six wings and was covered with eyes — eyes on the outside and on the inside — did not cease chanting. All day and night they were singing.

Four Living Creatures:

Holy, holy, holy

Is the Lord God Who is the All Powerful,

Who was, and Who is, and Who is coming.

And when the living creatures declared glory and honor and thanksgiving to the One seated on the throne, the One Who lives throughout all the ages, the twenty-four elders fell prostrate before the One seated on the throne, worshiped the One Who lives throughout all the ages, cast their golden wreaths before the throne, and chanted to Him.

24 Elders:

Worthy are You, O Lord; worthy are You, O God,

to receive glory and honor and power.

You alone created all things,

and through Your will and by Your design, they exist and were created.

And then I saw a scroll in the right hand of the One seated upon the throne, a scroll written both on the inside and on the outside. It had been sealed with seven seals. Then a mighty heavenly messenger proclaimed with a loud voice,

Mighty Messenger:

Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?

No creature of creation in all heaven, on all the earth, or even under the earth could open the scroll or look into its mysteries. Then I began to mourn and weep bitterly because no creature of creation was found who was worthy to open the scroll or to look into its mysteries. Then one of the elders consoled me.

One of the 24 Elders:

Stop weeping. Look there — the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David. He has conquered and is able to break its seven seals and open the scroll.

I looked, and between the throne and the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders stood a Lamb Who appeared to have been slaughtered. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes (the eyes are the seven Spirits of God sent out over all the earth).

The Lamb came and took the scroll from the right hand of the One seated upon the throne. And when He took it, the four living creatures and twenty-four elders fell prostrate before the Lamb. They worshiped Him, and each one held a harp and golden bowls filled with incense (the prayers of God’s holy people). Then they sang a new song.

Four Living Creatures and 24 Elders:

You are worthy to receive the scroll,

to break its seals,

Because You were slain. With Your blood, You redeemed for God

people from every tribe and language, people from every race and nation.

You have made them a kingdom; You have appointed them priests to serve our God,

and they will rule upon the earth.

When I looked again, I heard the voices of heavenly messengers (numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands). They surrounded the throne, the living creatures, and the elders.

Thousands of Messengers (with a great voice):

Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain.

Worthy is the Lamb to receive authority and wealth and wisdom and greatness

And honor and glory and praise.

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and beneath the earth and in the sea and all things in them echoing the messengers.

Every Creature:

To the One Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb

Be blessing and honor and glory and power

Throughout the ages.

And the four living creatures kept on repeating:

Four Living Creatures:

Amen. Amen.

And the elders fell down and worshiped Him Who lives forever.

(Revelation 4:1-11; Revelation 5:1-14)

Response in Prayer

Holy and righteous Father, I praise You. I praise with my head bowed and on My knees because I am not worthy to be in Your presence. I bow before You, dear Father, because You are worthy of my humble obedience. And I thank You that, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, I know I am welcomed into Your presence not as a servant, but as a beloved child. Even as Your child, dear Father, I bow before You in thanks and adoration for all that You have done to save me. As we look at ominous things in our world, I pray that You comfort my heart with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Use the Revelation to John to encourage me and remind me that Jesus is not only at work in my life and in His church, but He is also involved in shaping history. So until the day He returns, I commit to honoring You, dear Father, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.