Saturday, 26 March 2016 18:01

6. You just can't miss it! * Revelation 1:7-8

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7 Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

 

*** He is coming in the clouds ***: the way this sentence is written, it gives the idea that Jesus' coming will happen in the future, but that the actions involved in his coming have already started. The phrase does not read, He will come, but rather He IS coming, from the Greek word erchetai. He is telling us we can be sure that He is on His way here. Both in the Old and New Testaments, we find references to a very visible, loud, and powerful coming of Christ. He is coming in the clouds the same way He ascended, and there will be lightening through the sky, "loud trumpet", "great power and glory" (Daniel 7:13-14, Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 24:27-31; Mark 13:26-27). The word 'cloud', in Greek nephelē, and Hebrew he‘ānān, is frequently associated with God's presence. In the Old Testament we see:

- Pillar of cloud leading the Israelites out of Egypt towards the Red Sea (Exodus 13:21-22);
- The Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud protecting Israel against the Egyptians (Exodus 14:24);
- God is coming in a thick cloud to speak to Moses on Mount Sinai, and the cloud is accompanied by lightning, thunder, and loud trumpet that made people tremble (Exodus 19:8, Exodus 19:16);
- The cloud of the Lord in or over the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-38, Numbers 9:15-23);
- The cloud of the Lord fills the temple (1 Kings 8:10-12, Ezekiel 10:4);
- One like a Son of man comes with the clouds of heaven, and was led to God (Daniel 7:13);

In the New Testament we see:

- Jesus says He is coming in the clouds with great power and glory (Matthew 24:27-31, Mark 13:26-27, Luke 21:27);
- Jesus is covered with the cloud during His Transfiguration and God speaks from the cloud (Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:34-35);
- Jesus will return the same way He ascended to Heaven (Acts 1:9-11);
- The one like the Son of Man is seated on the cloud (Revelation 14:14-16);


*** And every eye will see him ***: this is a very clear text that describes how visible the second coming will be. It will not be a secret event known to only a few. "Every eye will see". In Matthew 24:27-31 Jesus says that immediately prior to His coming the sky will be changed all around the world in a very obvious way. No sun to rule the day, no moon and stars to rule the night. No matter where in the globe we are at that particular time, we will be able to notice this change. At this time, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations in the earth will see Him coming on the clouds. And then angels with a loud trumpet will go around the earth gathering God's chosen people. So, in like manner, every ear will also hear Him.

*** Even those who pierced him ***: who pierced Jesus? The Roman soldiers who nailed him at the cross, and pierced His side with the sword? Or the Roman governor who authorized Christ's death? Or the Jewish leaders who requested Jesus's death? Or the Jewish people as a nation, because they rejected Jesus? We read in Matthew 27:24-25 that after Pilate washed his hands, '... all the people said, "His blood shall be on us and on our children!"'. John 1:10-13 tells us that He came to the world, the world did not know Him. He came to His own people, they rejected Him. But we read that Jesus gives the right of becoming God's children to ANYONE who does receive and accept His name. In light of these verses, we can conclude that anyone who "receives and accepts" Jesus as Savior is part of the kingdom of God; and that anyone who DOES NOT "receive and accept" Him, is part of the group of "the ones who pierced Him".

*** And all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him ***: Zechariah 12:10-11 talks about how deeply and desperately the people who rejected Christ will mourn for "the one who they have pierced". In this portion of Revelation 1:7, the "people of the earth" refers to the ones who rejected Jesus (as opposed to the citizens of Heaven, who accepted Him). The Greek word kopsontai means "to mourn, to wail". It was often associated with death, funeral, or great loss. In Isaiah 13:6-13 we see a prophecy about ancient Babylon, that can also apply to the end-time Babylon. It describes the excruciating mourning the wicked will suffer on the Day of the Lord, when He comes to destroy the sinners. Revelation 16:9-11 shows that even with all the mourning and suffering, they do not repent from their sins.

*** The Alpha and the Omega ***: verse 8 starts with a statement from God. He is further explaining the meaning of His name by using the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and omega. He is the first and the last (Isaiah 44:6). He is the beginning the middle, and the end. His presence is felt in the past, present, and future. His control of the universe is not limited by time. He is Almighty. He simply IS, in any given point in space and time. This is a very comforting notion, because as we hear (or read) Him say His name, we are reassured that He will guide and protect His end-time children just as He protected His chosen people in the beginning. Our God is "Who IS, and Who WAS, and Who IS TO COME".

*** Overview ***: the process of Jesus's coming has already started. As He promised, it will be a very powerful, visible, and audible event. No one will miss it. Not even those who rejected His truth. His presence will be felt by all, and the ones who rejected Him will realize their mistake, but will not have a change of heart. God's chosen people will be able to enjoy His presence, because they personally know the One who has just arrived. It is their God and King, who was present with them all along. They have no reason to fear Him, or mourn over Him. They had already received and accepted Jesus even before seeing Him face to face.

   
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