The morning broke when I lifted the cover on my book and began reading the words of the Holy One of the universe. My room filled with brilliant light and I darkened the lamp I’d turned on to see. The text before me was a letter and in it was all that was revealed to the apostle John by our Lord, Jesus Christ. I’d tried many times before to comprehend the messages these words contained — the symbolism and poetry he uses to reveal his soul to us — but I always come away disappointed for losing my way, and not coming to know him deeper.
I began to read again, first the letters to seven church congregations, and I saw for the first time Christ’s nature of gift giving to all with what he calls “open hearts”:
— Ephesus, a feast on the Tree of Life in God’s great garden.
— Smyrna, a victor’s crown of life.
— Pergamum, a meal of hidden manna and a shining white stone emblazoned with the secret names of those who receive them.
— Thyatira, a royal scepter and authority over all the nations.
— Sardis, a walk in fellowship with the Savior, dressed in white robes, and their names forever written in the Book of Life.
— Philadelphia, being made pillars in the sanctuary of god with the name of New Jerusalem written on them.
— Laodicea, sitting on Christ‘s throne.
The victorious in him receive the most astounding gifts in the universe, and they are attained by repentance, unwavering faith and commitment to his word.
Then John was lifted up into the throne room of God to record his best explanation of the visions he saw there. What must have felt like a dream or hallucination was also a word-struggle to match the beauty of the scene:
— Christ, on the throne and shimmering like a stone.
— The “beginning and end” surrounded by angels and elders and other creatures in worship.
— Flashes of lightning and clapping thunder from his seat.
All worshipped Jesus as the lamb whose sacrifice brought us all to God.
Christ then opens the seal that reveals to us what must happen before we join him in his kingdom.
The words sink into me. My heart floods with deep knowledge of him. The Christ of my heart, rejoices. The angels who protect me sit and listen to me read.
I take up my pen to try as the last living apostle did to use language to express the marvelous feelings of these visions.
What if all the love in the world — all that we can imagine possible — was suddenly drown out by even more love? Oceans and oceans of it, lakes and brooks … cascading, steaming and even stagnant in places for us to enter and wade? The Lord Jesus is coming to all of us with gifts that last an eternity.
I put my pen down momentarily, fully knowing I couldn’t capture what I was feeling. He is too resplendent for art, and that is how I know his revelation is truth. Only our Lord can reveal to us gifts our mind can’t possibly fathom — with love that can’t possibly seem true.