This is the beginning of a series I am going to do on Revelation. This summer I am going in depth on the book of Revelation. Verse by verse, and hopefully I will get through the book this summer. But only if I go at a much faster pace than my current speed. I don’t have an outlet for my thoughts, so you, the blogging audience, will be getting a few tastes and tid-bits every now and then about what strikes me and stirs me.
Rev. 1:4-5 “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 and from Jesus Christ”
This verse is the beginning of a short doxology in v. 4 – 6. John gives greeting to the seven churches by saying ‘grace and peace’. And these come from God. Stated in terms of the trinity, John gives a glorious declaration of God.
God the Father “Him who is and who was and who is coming”
God the Holy Spirit “The seven Spirits who are before His throne”
God the Son “Jesus Christ” (Stated last, so that John can elaborate on Jesus in the succeeding verses)
In this post, I want to focus on the name that John gives God the Father. It is stunning. Personally, in reading this passage I had always thought that it was describing Jesus, specifically because it states ‘who is coming’ or ‘who is to come’. In reality John is giving his readers (and hearers) a fore-taste of the great news the book of Revelation declares.
Rev. 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them”.
This verse is after Jesus has returned to the earth and reigned for 1,000 years, and in context it is very clear that it is speaking of God the Father. The implications are staggering! Of course, there are many other verses in the New Testament, Paul’s epistles and so on that briefly speak of this, but none so clear and descriptive as in the book of Revelation. My heart soars at this reality! That God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who told Moses in the book of Exodus to build a tabernacle, that He might dwell among the children of Israel, is literally coming to dwell on the earth. Not only the indwelling Holy Spirit, not only the man Christ Jesus, but the Father! As Isaiah says, His glory will cover the earth, like the waters cover the sea.
And so the name that John gives God the Father in Rev. 1 speaks of more than God’s eternity, or God’s nature. It is an unfolding of the dramatic plan of the ages! God, who is. Always is, always present. From him and to him we have our being. The God who was, in ages past, who created all and knew me before I was in my mother’s womb. The God who is coming. Who longs to dwell among men, in our midst. Who has pursued each of us, unto love – a jealous love – that we would be fully and only His. This same God is going to dwell on the earth! It is staggering.
Just as staggering that God the Son became flesh, dwelt on the earth for 33 years, and was crucified. The humility of the act. The utter humble restraint of glory and beauty. Such that men did not know who he was. And he did not despise the shame of death.
This same God of the universe. Creator, Father, is going to come and dwell on this insignificant little planet that we call ‘earth’. Of the billions of planets in the universe, of the great immensity of who God is, desiring to dwell among men.