Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Role of Jesus Christ's Servant, John, in the Book of Revelation: Revelation 1:2

John’s role is in Revelation is to bear witness or testify concerning “the message of God– the testimony of Jesus Christ.” As in John’s Gospel account (John 19:35; 21:24) and as in John’s first epistle (1 John 1:1), in Revelation, John sees himself primarily as an eyewitness to an historical event. John encounters the glorified Christ in a specific location on a specific day (Rev 1:9-10) and receives a specific word from Him, which he is charged with delivering. That John is providing eyewitness testimony is further indicated by the last phrase in Revelation 1:2, $osa ^eiden (hosa eiden) “as many [things] as he saw.”

John’s primary testimony is concerning to;n lovgon tou: qeou: (ton logon tou theou), translated above as “the message of God” to avoid confusion. This phrase is often translated “the Word of God;” in this case, however, the phrase is not (at least primarily) intended to indicate “the Word of God” as Christians usually understand it today (i.e., “the Bible” in general), rather, in keeping with the introductory nature of these verses, tou: qeou (tou theou) should be taken as a phrase in the subjective category of the genitive case. In other words, this is a “word” or “message” from God. Again, as Robert L. Thomas notes: in keeping with the introductory character of the opening verses of this book, to;n lovgon tou: qeou: (ton logon tou theou), “the message of God” is a “further characterization of the contents of [Revelation]… [this phrase] is the common idiomatic phrase for a direct prophetic communication, exactly what this book purports to be.”[1] The specific “message of God” John about which John testifies in Revelation is further defined as th;n marturiavn =Ihsou: Cristou: (ten marturian Iesou Christou) “the testimony of Jesus Christ.”[2]

[1]Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 1-7 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1992), 59.

[2]The kai is taken as epexegetical.

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