EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM
By Dan Luehrs
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Revelation 1:3 (nas)
Most evangelical believers know this verse quite well because they have heard much preaching on the book of Revelation and how it pertains to the end times. Yet we never seem to tie verse 3 and 4 together so that we might receive more of a blessing from God on understanding this book. Verse 4 reads, “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne.” Yes, there is a great blessing to those that read and understand this book because they have been given the mysteries of the unveiling of Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 13:11, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.” The book of Revelation opens the way of our understanding on how Jesus is to manifest Himself through us. This book is not about the destruction of the nations but the destruction of the man of sin that abides in us. Then Jesus can fully abide in us through the death of self. To the degree that we die to self, He will be fully manifested in us. If we choose not to go through or complete the death process, we will end up being the loser.
The great blessing of verse 4 is “Grace to you and peace, from Him.” With God’s grace, we have His strength and peace so that we can go through anything God requires of us in this death process. This whole thing that we call life is a setup by God so we will die to self; then He can fill us with all His fullness. “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9, nas). It is in our weakness that His grace begins to kick in to help us. Much like how adrenaline works in the body, it kicks in when we’re under great pressure to help keep us going. If we are going on into the fullness of God, we will have a great need for the grace of God to keep us on the right path to Him.
The Patience of Jesus Christ
I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 1:9, nkjv
Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
Revelation 14:12, nkjv
The sign of great tribulation in your life is not a sign of God’s displeasure with you but is possibly a sign of God’s approval on your life because you are worthy to suffer for His name. (See 2 Thessalonians 1:5.) The man named Christian in The Pilgrim’s Progress said, “For their [our] present deliverance, they do not much expect it: but, they stay for their glory, and they shall have it, when their Prince comes in His, and the glory of the angels.” Our tribulations are only preparing us for His glory to fill us so that Jesus will be manifested through us.
John said that he was their companion in the tribulation. He didn’t say in the tribulation that is coming but that is. We also will have tribulation in our life, and we should be thankful for it because it is preparing us to receive the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22 says, “Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.’” I ask you, if it takes tribulation for us to enter into the fullness of God, why are we always complaining about it then? Perhaps we might be thinking that we did something wrong and God is mad at us; or that we have missed Him in something, so we are being punished, even as our parents punished us for doing something wrong. This is why John called it the patience of Jesus Christ because we have to patiently suffer through many trials with perseverance without knowing why. The word patience means for us to stay under our tribulation until God brings us the deliverance that we want in His timing.
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
1 Peter 5:10, nas
God has called us to eternal glory? This is not about us simply going to heaven, but that we are sharers of His glory, which is the essence of who He is. It is after we have suffered a little while that He will bring our deliverance according to the will of God.
Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
1 Peter 4:19 (nas)
Yes, it is God’s will for us to suffer in this lifetime so that we might be emptied of self and filled with God. Every true Christian who has ever served Christ went through great trials, and it will not be any different for us if we too want to gain the prize of His high calling. In fact, it was only the two churches in the book of Revelation who were suffering that were pleasing God.
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Revelation 2:10 (nas)
So it is in our trials that we too can be pleasing to God by staying faithful to what He has already shown us. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, and faith is what we must contend for when we are in the fires of life because true faith is more precious than gold to God.
To See the Voice
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet.
Revelation 1:10, nas
John heard a voice when he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, but this was not just any given Sunday on the calendar as some would have us suppose. John was spiritually and prophetically seeing the terrible day of the Lord when Jesus comes with the saints to judge the man of sin through His church. (See Jude 14, 15.)
The loud voice said:
Saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
Revelation 1:11 (nkjv)
Four times in the first chapter of the book of Revelation God gives His credentials by saying who and what He is. (See verses 4, 8, 11, 17–18.) Now why would the almighty God have to give His credentials to us four times in such a small book? God is trying to drive home a point that we should not miss. The point is this: He is God, and we had better take heed to what He is saying to the church through this book if we want to receive the reward of the overcomer. Through this book, we will be blessed and prepared for the high calling of God. Revelation starts with the directive to the church, not to the world, and then it ends with the church in Revelation 22:16. The whole theme of this book is about Jesus receiving His bride in His likeness so that He might be revealed through her. Notice in the verse above that God is partially speaking to the seven churches, which are in Asia, but He is also speaking to the church throughout the whole span of time on earth. He is speaking to us loud and clear.
John now turns to see the voice, but there’s a problem. We cannot see a voice, but can only hear one. However, we can see where a voice is coming from. Take notice from what John sees first and where the voice is coming from: “And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands” (Revelation 1:12, nas). But wait—who and what are the lampstands? They are the seven churches that represent the matured church, made and fashioned into the likeness of Jesus through their tribulations. (See verse 20.) Ephesians 4:13 says, “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” We must know that the church is called to be like Jesus. He took the time in this book to rebuke or praise the seven churches (us) on where they were in their walk with Him. To each one of these churches, He gave great promises of eternal rewards to those who would overcome in this life. This is why our lives are so difficult. We have been given such a high calling to overcome all that God allows in our lifetime.
John received a wonderful revelation from the Lord in typology on what the church is called to be: light, even as God is. A lampstand lights the way for others to see the truth.
And in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle.
Revelation 1:13 (nas)
John sees one like the Son of man standing in the middle of the church. Even as Jesus lives in the middle of each one of us, so He’s in the middle of His true church when He speaks. The church is called to be His prophet that He speaks through. Notice how John says that He is “like” the Son of man. When we use the word like, we are comparing something that looks similar to something else. For instance, the Holy Spirit is like rain, water, oil, etc., but He is not them. I believe what John is saying is: “I see what seems to resemble Jesus standing in the midst of the church.” John said that He was like the Son of man because His body was covered with a garment down to His feet. John couldn’t see His face to identify Him for certain. I am sure that this is just how God wants His true body to be—incognito—so that no one can receive the glory other than Jesus alone because the church is called to be like the Son of man.
Shoulder to Shoulder
And the sons of the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders, with the poles thereon as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.
1 Chronicles 15:15 (nas)
Not one single person makes up the body of Christ. We are all individual members of it so that we might work together as one identity in Jesus. One person alone could not have carried the ark of God, for it represents the glory and authority of God. It took a prepared group of people to move it. Likewise, this is saying to our generation that His body will be in oneness to carry the glory of God on their shoulders, just how God gave Moses the pattern for it to be carried thousands of years ago. The name Levi means “unity,” and that is what the body Christ will have one day on this earth so that they can carry the glory of the Lord into the entire world. “And the glory which Thou hast given me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as we are one” (John 17:22, nas). Some years ago, I saw a vision of people marching in rank shoulder to shoulder to do the work of God in unity. Even though I had a limited understanding of what it meant, I now see that it is a corporate body ministry that He will return in, to fulfill the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. After this vision, God gave me Zephaniah 3:9 to confirm what I saw: “For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder” (nas). The government and authority of God will rest upon the shoulders of His sons (Isaiah 9:6, nas). You might say that this is Jesus alone, and it is; but when we begin to understand that He will be appearing through His body, which is His son and bride, then we can understand who He will rule through.
A Purified People
And His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.
Revelation 1:15 (nas)
The body of Jesus has lips and feet that are purified even as Zephaniah 3:9 prophesied them to be: “For then I will give to the peoples purified lips.” Their lips represent their speech. Their feet represent their walk and how God has brought them through the judgment of carrying their cross daily to kill the self-nature in each one of them. The body will be a pure and spotless bride that will be ready for Him to come through. (See Revelation 19:7–8.) And it is through the furnace of affliction that we are being prepared for His calling. Malachi 3:2–3 says:
But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. And He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi [those you will carry the glory] and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.
Because these people have been prepared through the fires of God, they now have purified lips so they can speak for Him even as Isaiah had his lips purified in Isaiah 6 as a sign that he was cleansed. Our destiny is to be clean and holy.
And His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.
Revelation 1:14 (nas)
John was trying to drive a point home here that His hair was pure white, like snow. White in the Scriptures represents purity and holiness. This is the representative of what covers the mind of the body of Christ—purity. They are a people that are freed from the sinful carnal nature of man.
When the church has been purified in spirit, soul, and body, they will then have the authority to speak as the voice of many waters (Revelation 1:15, nasv). Once again we see the voice that spoke with John like a trumpet. But this time, it sounded like many waters. The voice of many waters is the many membered body of Christ speaking in unity the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit. Then the gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all nations.
And in His right hand He held seven stars; and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
Revelation 1:16 (nas)
Notice how His face was not seen, but somehow John knew that it was the Lord. The nations will know that it is Jesus in this faceless body because He said in Matthew 13:43, “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
The Nations Will See and Mourn
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last.”
Revelation 1:17 (nas)
When John saw Jesus in the midst of His people with such glory, he fell at His feet as a dead man. Even though John saw Jesus several times after His resurrection and even had lunch with Him on the beach, he never fell at His feet as a dead man that we know of. How much more will the nations mourn and fall at His feet in repentance for their lives lived in sin, ignorance, and idolatry when they see Jesus coming in His people with great power and glory: “Behold, He is coming with the clouds [His cloud of witnesses], and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen” (Revelation 1:7, nas). They will see Him when He comes in His tens of thousands of believers that have lived with the patience of Jesus Christ and have come through with His likeness and glory. Our bodies are made for the glory of God, and we were created in His likeness to manifest Him through our bodies. Even at this time, we are carrying about the life and dying of Jesus in our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:10, nas). You, my friend, have a part in the body of Christ’s, so do not be overly concerned about the fiery trials that try you, for they are preparing you for His glory.