At the beginning of 2012, I shared with you some verses that the Lord had laid on my heart for the coming  year.   One of them is John 17closeJohn 17 The High Priestly Prayer 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (ESV) closeJohn 17closeJohn 17 The High Priestly Prayer 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (ESV) The High Priestly Prayer 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (ESV) : 20-23, where Jesus prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one.

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21  that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23  I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (English Standard Version)

I ask you to grab a revelation for yourself that you and the Father are one.  That’s what Jesus’ prayer was – that we would be united and that we would be one.

                  Another significant verse is Revelation 3:20closeRevelation 3:20 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (ESV) closeRevelation 3:20closeRevelation 3:20 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (ESV) 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (ESV) , where Jesus said:

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (ESV)

                  That was not written to sinners.  That was written to the churches.  Jesus was saying, “I’m not in your churches.  I desire to be, and that’s the place I should be.  Now, if you’ll open up, I’ll come in, and eat with you.”

                  The world is waiting to see the sons of God being made manifest.   I came to a realization through this study that we will never fully understand some things until we understand exactly Who He is – who Jesus is and who He is to us.   John is writing here in Revelation 1:1-2closeRevelation 1:1-2 Prologue 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show 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. (ESV) closeRevelation 1:1-2closeRevelation 1:1-2 Prologue 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show 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. (ESV) Prologue 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show 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. (ESV) :

1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show 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. (ESV)

                  The Greek word for “revelation” is “apokalyptus”, which is a compound word: “apo” meaning “apart”, and “kalyptus” meaning “to hide or veil something”.  The example given in the Greek has the meaning that this is what has always been, but it has been veiled.  If the curtains are drawn, what is on the other side of the window is still there; you just can’t see it.  The Lord has opened the curtains for John to be able to see and get a revelation of who Jesus is.

                  So why John?  Why did he write the Book of Revelation?  In Revelation 1:11closeRevelation 1:11 11 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.” (ESV) closeRevelation 1:11closeRevelation 1:11 11 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.” (ESV) 11 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.” (ESV) , why did Jesus command John to: “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.”?

                  John was one of the very youngest disciples.  He may have still been in his teens when he walked with Jesus in Galilee.  He had a different relationship with Jesus than anybody else.  Jesus was John’s rabbi and also his mentor; John remembers a very intimate relationship with Jesus.

                  When Jesus was on the cross, He looked down, saw His mother, saw John, and what did Jesus do?  He gave the care of His mother over to John.  Jesus has two brothers who happened to both be in Jerusalem at the foot of the cross, James and Jude.  They are his natural half-brothers, but He leaves care of His mom to this young guy named John.  John was “the disciple Jesus loved.”

                  Fast forward to A.D. 93 with John banished to the barren island of Patmos as punishment for failing to worship Artemis (Diana) in Ephesus.  Emperor Domitian was unsuccessful in executing John, so he sent him away to the bleakest place he could think of.  John is an old man by now and is the very last person alive who personally knew Jesus.

                  John is in his cave – Patmos is covered with caves (and little else).  Rev. 1:10closeRevelation 1:10 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet (ESV) closeRevelation 1:10closeRevelation 1:10 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet (ESV) 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet (ESV) : “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.”  John was praying and doing what he does on the Lord’s Day in his cave, and suddenly, here’s what the Greek means…he was here one minute, the veil was removed, and he was somewhere else.  He was not having a dream; he was here, and then he was there.

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.

                  John turns around expecting to see Jesus – to see his beloved Jesus, and instead of looking at Jesus, he focuses on these lampstands.  In verse 20, Jesus explains that these lampstands (pottery vessels filled with oil) are the seven churches (to which Revelation was written).

                  What you and I would notice first, I think, is this guy has a sword coming out of his mouth, and his eyes are on fire, and he’s got bronze feet.  But not John.  The first thing he noticed was the church.  A new age and a new thing has happened.  His attention is captured by the church – and one like unto Jesus standing in the midst of them.

                  It’s Jesus all right, but He’s just different.  It’s the same voice, it’s the same shape, it’s the same frame, but He looks different.  This is a Jesus that he hadn’t seen before, because this is the unveiled Jesus.  This is Jesus in His glory; this is Jesus in the Spirit realm.  John has never seen Him like that.  It’s not what he remembers from sixty years ago.  It’s the same Christ that was before, but he is seeing Him differently now.

                  These lampstands, representing the church, were fragile pottery vessels that could easily break.  The church, likewise, is fragile.  This symbol of the church demonstrates that we are fragile -because we’re people.  We’re made of clay.  But we’ve been filled with the Spirit.  He dwells in us; this is what Paul says is the mystery; that God would bless these earthen vessels.

                  Jesus is not a judge at this moment; He’s a priest.   We live in the age of grace.  Thank God for His grace!

                  Next time we will explore some of the symbolism in Revelation Chapter 1 that has mystified and confused readers of the Word for generations.  Jesus is not a mystery, and neither is His Word.  He is Lord; He is High Priest; He is Savior, and He is Love.

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