How do we learn to see Jesus in all His fullness? Over the last few weeks of the study of the Churches of Revelation we have seen our picture of the deity and humanity of Jesus developed before our very eyes. John’s vision of the Risen Christ as He walked among the seven lampstands reveal Jesus in all His fullness. What does it mean to see Jesus in all His fullness? For that we can turn to Revelation Chapters Two and Three and see how Jesus revealed Himself to each church, and see what He promised to those who would follow Him through persecution, suffering, as well as victory and triumph. Jesus loves and molds His church while shaping her for fruitful service in the midst of spiritual trials and victories.
To the Ephesians Jesus revealed Himself with the” words of Him who holds the seven stars in His right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands.” Clearly, Jesus is present in the lives of His people and His church. As believers in Him we are victorious because Jesus promises not only His presence, but He has promised the restoration of everything . All His creation will be restored and here He has offered the right to eat again from the tree of life, which remains in the paradise of God. Our daily strength comes from His presence today and forever. Jesus knows and shapes his people to know and teach Truth and to live it out in love.
In Smyrna, Jesus reminded these persecuted and suffering believers of the promise of eternal life, they would not experience the second death. He revealed His words as being from “him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.” Jesus has given the promise of resurrection, even though His followers may experience physical death they will live eternally in His presence, because He is alive. Jesus knows the sufferings of His people and encourages faithfulness and perseverance.
The church at Pergamum was experiencing division through false teacher and practicing sexual immorality. Jesus’ words reminded the believers that His words are sharp and double-edged. He is a Warrior and His Words are His weapon. Yet those who will be victorious are fed supernaturally through their trial, they are nourished spiritually and are declared “not guilty” because they have repented and believed God. They live with a new character, one they cannot generate in themselves. A character that comes to them through the power of the Holy Spirit. Believers must remain faithful to the words of Truth.
To the church at Thyatira Jesus revealed Himself as the “words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.” Jesus is pure and holy His gaze purifies all who see Him and His judgment is swift and sure. This church had allowed false teaching and sexual immortality to infiltrate its people. Jesus is patient and waits for repentance yet He does not tolerate sin. To those who believe and repent Jesus promises true discernment with an awareness of Truth so that they can stand faithful to Him. His Truth is Authority. His Word is Truth. His promise to the one who obeys to the end is authority over the nations. These who are victorious find comfort in the Truth of God’s Word. Believers must be able to discern, recognize, and obey God’s Truth.
The church in Sardis, only 35 miles from Thyatira, had great wealth. This was part of their complacency and their sleepiness. Jesus revealed Himself, as the “words of Him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.” This church needed the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit, even so Jesus rebuked the church and offered them a life-changing command to Wake Up and Repent! He reminded the few people that had “not soiled their clothes” and had continued to walk with Him the promise of eternity. They would be dressed in white and never have their names removed from the book of life, God’s book for His people. The victorious believers would be acknowledged before the Father by Jesus Himself. Believers must recognize they are accepted and approved by God to receive eternity.
The church of Philadelphia had little strength, but Jesus reminded them who He was and told them to align their thinking with His. The church needed to persevere through the struggle. Jesus revealed Himself as the “words of him who is holy, and true, who holds the key of David. Because Jesus is holy, He is pure; because Jesus is true, He is authentic; and because He holds the key of David, Jesus unlocks eternity for those who would “hold on to what they have.” What they have is Jesus, and He alone holds the keys to eternity. To the ones that find their strength in Him, they will be victorious. Jesus will give His people the strength and stability that they must have to endure. He promises that they will be left standing as a “pillar in the temple of my God,” and that He would write on them God’s name, God’s city and His new name. With this strength they would be able to stand for Him in a broken world. Jesus does not delete the struggle, but he empowers the endurance.
The Laodiceans were also a wealthy church and had come to depend on their wealth, and as a result they had become lukewarm and superficial. Jesus revealed Himself as the Amen, which means “let if be so” and to ‘agree” with the truth. Jesus is the Amen because He fulfills every promise of God. He is the faithful and true witness. He is Truth. Jesus faithfully lived for His Father. He does rightly every time and speaks rightly every time. He is ruler of God’s creation. He made everything. All of creation was for Him and He rules over it. He is in sovereign control of all He has made. Even though the church repulsed Jesus, he loved them. They thought they had everything, but they didn’t have Jesus. They left Him out of their church. Even so, after discipline, Jesus comforted them and promised the victorious believers the right to sacrificially serve and rule with Him. Jesus calls His people out of being superficial into being like Him, sacrificial.
Jesus has the right to rule in the world. Those who are victorious will rule and reign with Him. The way to belong to Him is to believe Him. God’s people have always been people of faith, united by the Truth of who Jesus is and what He had done. Jesus lived and taught, He died on the Cross and was buried with my sin, then He came to life and offered me the promise of life. He lives in heaven now and rules his kingdom. He is coming back for the victorious.
Are you willing to look at the fullness of Jesus Christ as He walks into your life and into the life of your church? How will you find yourself being shaped and molded by Him? Will you rid your life of immoral behavior through repentance and turn your focus to Him out of your love for Him? Will you discover Truth as you read the Bible each day and as you ponder through its application to your life? Then will you learn to stand on the Truths so that you can engage the culture with the goal of transforming it? How will you look at discipline in your life? Will you ask God to show you Himself so that you can endure pain? Who will you serve in a broken world today? How will you align or realign your thinking with God’s thinking?