Jesus received complete authority from his Father to reign over the Cosmos. Only his kingdom will endure.
At the height of his power, the absolute monarch of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, boasted before heaven and earth, “Is not this Babylon the great and exceptional kingdom that I built by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” His boast was not an idle one. Babylon was one of the great powers of the ancient world.
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Disciples reign with Jesus as “priests” who render service in his Tabernacle by mediating his light in the world.
In Revelation, the present sovereignty of Jesus is based on his past death and resurrection, and because of his sacrificial death, his disciples now reign with him. But like him, their elevation to rule over the earth is paradoxical – it is characterized by self-sacrificial service, for the outpouring of his lifeblood has consecrated them as “priests” for God.
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The political order inaugurated by Jesus is the “Kingdom of God,” and it bears little resemblance to the political systems of this world.
When Jesus first appeared in Galilee, he began to proclaim the “Kingdom of God” – “Repent, for the kingdom is at hand.” In his ministry, the reign of God began to invade the earth. However, his realm was of an entirely different nature than the political systems of the present age, and on more than one occasion, Christ refused that kind of political power, especially when it was offered by Satan.
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SYNOPSIS – Peter explained what God had accomplished in Jesus to a confused crowd in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost – Acts 2:16-36.
When the Day of Pentecost had “fully come,” the Spirit of God descended onto the assembly of disciples accompanied by audible and visual manifestations. As the disciples were “filled with the Spirit,” they began to “speak in other tongues as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” This caused a great commotion among many Jewish pilgrims who witnessed the event. Some were confused; others accused the disciples of drunkenness. It was to this crowd that Peter addressed the first “sermon” of the new age of the Spirit.
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SYNOPSIS – Jesus is the promised Messiah, the King who reigns on David’s throne, and the anointed Son of God – Psalm 2:1-9.
The second Psalm is a messianic prophecy about the ideal king of Israel who is destined to sit on the throne of David. The Psalmist identified him as “Yahweh’s anointed.” He is also called, “My king upon holy Zion,” and, “my son.” His enthronement marks “the day Yahweh has begotten you.” This “anointed one” is the appointed ruler and son of Yahweh.
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The salutations from the throne to the churches highlight key themes of the book, especially the present reign of Jesus – Revelation 1:4-8.
Next, the book presents greetings to the “churches” from the “throne,” from God, Jesus, and the “Seven Spirits.” It stresses Christ’s present over the political powers of the earth, and his sovereignty is based on his Death and Resurrection. The recipients of the book are identified, the “seven churches” in Asia .
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