God Revealed

You will notice that in question 25 of the Catechism, when asked about the Trinity, the answer begins with the language of “because God revealed…” At first, that might seem like a simple enough phrase and one that is not that important, yet, from the perspective of the Christian faith, it is of significant value.… Read More

Reigning with Christ! (New Song, part 10)

“We will reign with Christ”               One of the major themes of Revelation is that the prize to those who overcome is not only eternal life with Christ, but a co-reign with Christ as well (see Revelation 2:26-27, 3:21).  As the Messiah is given authority over the nations (see Psalm 2:8), here we see… Read More

Our Great High Priest! (New Song, part 9)

“Our Great High Priest”               Though not specifically mentioned here in this particular hymn, where there is a nation of priests, there also must be a high priest.  And, of course, that high priest is Jesus.  He is the one who makes constant intercession for us before the father, and it is he who… Read More

A Kingdom of Priests! (New Song, part 8)

“ Kingdom of Priests”               Just as the Levites (the Old Testament priesthood) were not given an allotment of land when the Israelites entered into Canaan, but rather lived amongst the rest of the tribes of the nation, we as Christians are a priesthood without a land here on this earth.  We are called,… Read More

The Scope of the Atonement! (New Song, part 7)

“The Limited Scope of the Atonement”               At the same time that Jesus’ ransom was for people from every tribe and nation, do note that it is not performed for all people or tribes without exception; rather, it is for all people and tribes without distinction.  Christ’s atoning work was fully effective for the… Read More

A Mission to the World! (New Song, part 6)

“A Mission to the World”               The Jews assumed that the Messiah, when he would come, would be a political ruler who would restore the Jewish nation state to independence, as in the time of David.  Yet, this is neither how the Old Testament prophets anticipated the Messiah to be, nor was it how… Read More

The Ransom Paid! (New Song, part 5)

“The Ransom Paid”               We must be careful when we talk about the ransom to be paid, or the debit owed, because we must be absolutely clear as to whom that ransom was paid to.  Through the history of the church, some have argued that Jesus’ death was a ransom paid to the Devil… Read More

Jesus Was Slain! (New Song, part 4)

“Jesus Was Slain”               To those who would deny the crucifixion, this song affirms even this gruesome detail of Jesus’ ministry.  Without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22); each year, the priest, on the day of atonement, would slay a lamb for the forgiveness of the people’s… Read More

The Scroll! (New Song, part 3)

“The Scroll”   Though there is some debate as to just what the scroll that is depicted here in Revelation represents, in context, it seems that the scroll represents God’s redemptive plan for history, namely as is unfolded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  For that book to be opened, God’s righteous judgments against mankind… Read More

Jesus is Worthy! (New Song, part 2)

“Jesus is Worthy”   Jesus is worthy of our praise and no one else is.  Mohammed was not worthy, Buddha was not worthy, Krishna was not worthy, our governments are not worthy, humanistic teachers are not worthy—no one but Jesus is worthy of our praise and adoration.  Jesus is worthy first because of his perfect… Read More

A New Song!: Introduction

Introduction:   While we often think of the book of Revelation in terms of God’s judgment being brought upon his enemies, one of the major themes of Revelation is that of worship.  In fact, nearly half (24 of 60 uses) of the New Testament uses of the verb proskunew (proskuneo), which means “to worship,” are… Read More

God was Speaking Long Ago: Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 3)

“God was speaking long ago to the Fathers through the prophets…”   We spoke above about how God is a communicating God.  This is one of the things that separates the One True God from all of the false gods of this world—our God speaks to his people.  Buddha does not speak and has never… Read More

In Many Parts and in Many Ways: Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 2)

“In many parts and in many ways…”   While many of our Bibles read something to the extent of “in many times and ways…” the word that the Greek text uses is polumerw:V (polumeros), which refers not to chronological divisions but to material divisions.  Thus, as the author of Hebrews begins speaking of God’s revelation,… Read More

A Theophany on Patmos, part 4: Revelation 1:17-20

“And when I saw him, I fell toward his feet like a corpse, and he put his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not!  I am the first and the last, and I am the life.  I became dead, and behold, I am living into eternity.  And I hold the keys to death and hell. … Read More

A Theophany on Patmos, part 3: Revelation 1:12-16

“And I turned back to see the voice that was speaking with me, and turning, I saw seven golden lampstands.  In the midst of the lampstands was one like the son of man, dressed in a long robe and with a golden belt wrapped around his chest.  As for his head, the hair was white… Read More

A Theophany on Patmos, part 2: Revelation 1:11

“It said: ‘Write what you see into a book and send it to the seven churches; to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicia.’” (Revelation 1:11)   Here we have John’s specific task.  One thing of interest is the contrast between the specific call of John and that… Read More

A Theophany on Patmos, part 1: Revelation 1:9-10

“I John, your brother and participant in the suffering, the kingdom, and the perseverance in Jesus: I was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  I was in the spirit in the day that belongs to the Lord and I heard behind me a voice as… Read More

The Time is Coming Soon

One of the themes that you cannot get away from when you read the book of Revelation is the theme of the “soon-ness” of Christ’s glorious return.  Yet, for many, this has been a stumbling block.  They say that if John expected that Jesus’ return would be soon, and if Jesus himself said that his… Read More