The Revelation of Jesus Christ

//The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Thursday, August 11

Into these very things, angels are desiring to peer.1 Pet. 1:12.

Jehovah could have had the angels do the writing of the Scriptures. After all, they have a keen interest in us and our activities. No doubt, the angels could have written down God’s message to mankind. But would they have seen things from a human perspective? Would they have been able to relate to our needs, our weaknesses, and our aspirations? No, Jehovah knew their limitations in this regard. By having humans write the Bible, Jehovah made it more personal for us. We can understand the thinking and emotions of Bible writers and others mentioned in the Scriptures. We can empathize with their disappointments, doubts, fears, and imperfections as well as rejoice in their joys and successes. Like the prophet Elijah, all the Bible writers had “feelings like ours.”

COMMENTARY

It is true, God’s holy angels did not physically write down the original words on vellum, leather or papyrus. But they were intimately involved in conveying messages, visions and dreams, to the prophets and scribes who then recorded those messages for us. After all, the Hebrew word for angel literally means messenger.

In some instances the spirit messengers interacted with the prophets, as in the case of Daniel. Here is what is recorded in the eighth chapter of Daniel: “While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and seeking to understand it, suddenly I saw standing in front of me someone who appeared to be a man. Then I heard the voice of a man in the midst of the Ulai, and he called out: ‘Gabriel, make that one understand what he saw.’ So he came near to where I was standing, but when he came I was so terrified that I fell facedown. He said to me: ‘Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end.’ But while he was speaking with me, I fell fast asleep with my face to the ground. So he touched me and made me stand up where I had been standing. Then he said: ‘Here I am causing you to know what will happen in the final part of the denunciation, because it is for the appointed time of the end.’”

At the time Gabriel approached Daniel, causing him to collapse into a heap on the ground before him, the angel revived the terrified prophet with a reassuring touch and explained to him that the vision pertained to the time of the end. Daniel was later made to understand that he himself would not live to see the outworking of the marvelous and terrifying things he envisioned, as the angel said to him: “But as for you, go on to the end. You will rest, but you will stand up for your lot at the end of the days.”

No, Daniel must rest in the Grave until such time as the resurrection takes place and those asleep in the dust of the ground arise.

This is no doubt what the apostle Peter had in mind when he wrote concerning the prophets such as Daniel: “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the undeserved kindness meant for you made a diligent inquiry and a careful search. They kept on investigating what particular time or what season the spirit within them was indicating concerning Christ as it testified beforehand about the sufferings meant for Christ and about the glory that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were ministering, not to themselves, but to you, regarding what has now been announced to you by those who declared the good news to you with holy spirit sent from heaven. Into these very things, angels are desiring to peer.”

Seeing that Gabriel explained to Daniel that the vision would take place during the final part of the denunciation, why are the angels said to still be desiring to peer into these things? Because evidently they have not been allowed to understand completely. For example, Jesus said that no one, not even the angels, know the day or hour when the time of the end will begin.

But more than that, although the angels were intimately involved in supporting the earthly ministry of Christ —ministering to him directly on more than one occasion —evidently they do not understand all that is involved in “the glory that would follow.” What glory is that?

The apostle Peter wrote in the very next verse: “So brace up your minds for activity; keep your senses completely; set your hope on the undeserved kindness that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

What is the revelation of Christ? Jehovah’s Witnesses might be surprised to know that in all of the Watchtower’s writings Bethel has never attached any importance to the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is completely glossed over. Obviously, it has been hidden from them. Appropriately, though, according to the context it is the revelation of Jesus Christ that the angels are seeking to peer into.

DAN-9-VISITATION-OF-GABRIELLikely Gabriel realized that his interacting with Daniel had some prophetic significance. That is made all the more certain due to the fact that the prophet had a similar experience with an angel that is recorded in the 10th chapter. Daniel wrote concerning it: “I looked up and saw a man clothed in linen, and around his waist was a belt of gold from Uphaz. His body was like chrysolite, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like fiery torches, his arms and his feet looked like burnished copper, and the sound of his words was like the sound of a multitude. Only I, Daniel, saw the vision; the men with me did not see the vision. However, a great trembling seized them, and they ran away and hid. Then I was left by myself, and when I saw this great vision, there was no power left in me and my dignified appearance left me and I lost all strength. Then I heard the sound of him speaking; but when I heard him speaking, I fell fast asleep with my face to the ground. But then a hand touched me, and it stirred me to get up on my hands and knees. Then he said to me: ‘O Daniel, you very precious man, give attention to the words that I am about to speak to you. Now stand up in your place, for I have been sent to you.”’

As we know, the angels are capable of conveying information to humans in less dramatic fashion. For example, the prophecy recorded in the seventh chapter was conveyed by means of a dream. Why, then, did the angel appear to Daniel as a glorious, superman? To fully appreciate the significance of the encounter consider the virtually identical experience the apostle John had in his vision. John wrote: “I turned to see who was speaking with me, and when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands someone like a son of man, clothed in a garment that reached down to the feet and wearing a golden sash around his chest. Moreover, his head and his hair were white as white wool, as snow, and his eyes were like a fiery flame, and his feet were like fine copper when glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars, and out of his mouth a sharp, long, two-edged sword was protruding, and his countenance was like the sun when it shines at its brightest. When I saw him, I fell as dead at his feet. And he laid his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the living one, and I became dead, but look! I am living forever and ever, and I have the keys of death and of the Grave.”’

John was in no doubt who it was before him. He knew it was the glorious Lord Jesus, whom he had seen ascend into the heavens, into a cloud, some 60 years prior to his vision on the island of Patmos.

The similarities to Daniel’s encounter are not coincidental. This means that Daniel, described as a very precious man by the angel, played the role of the holy ones who will personally experience the revelation of Jesus Christ during the time of the end. The fact that Daniel had the experience as he walked along the banks of the river, and that his companions became terrified but could not see the vision, is a portrayal of the reality that the revelation of Christ will only be beheld by the precious chosen ones.

It is these things the angels are desiring to peer into.

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2017-03-18T11:43:35+00:00 August 11th, 2016|Commentary|16 Comments
  • Cate

    Perhaps you didn’t catch it, but in the Watchtower Oct 15 2015 study edition on page 9, under “Give Us More Faith” in paragraph 2 it says:

    “Since the great tribulation is fast approaching, do we not want to make sure that we have the type of faith that puts us among those whose faith will be praised by our glorious King when he is revealed?”

    But that’s the only instance I remember, and it stood out to me.

    • ewatchman

      I doubt if any of Jehovah’s Witnesses caught it either, since there is no hint of an explanation of what is involved with the revealing of Jesus Christ.

      • Burt Reynolds

        Quite right Robert. It is a sad fact but true, that the watchtower skates over issues that they are unable to explain and yet, when written here, it is plain to any reasoning person. I had a similar example the other day when trying to explain a bible text to someone and they refused to engage. Maybe I explained it poorly, but even so, their avoidance of scripture sets them apart. To have a watchtower explanation is evidently all they seek. It seems that witnesses do not want to discuss the scriptures, but now seek agreement only to what the watchtower promulgates. No argument, no challenge, the enquirer must submit to the organisation. Blind guides is what they are and all the more murderous of the flock, because one cannot have faith in something they do not understand. They can only be deceived and skate upon the surface of the scripture. Also the watchtower quote that Cate kindly brings up is an anomaly. One has faith, or one does not. If it is half hearted, it is not faith, but a hope based on a wish. And for the watchtower not to elaborate on the scripture and define its meaning, is no more than a vacuum of thought, a few words to fill up a page. That’s what’s wrong with the watchtower, all wind and no substance so that all that is said, can be interpreted any which way and at each junction, comes ‘new light’. I wish I was one of the precious holy ones so that I could behold the Christ, but I’m not, so I will make do with what Jehovah has made through him and see him that way.

        • Leonard k

          and maybe you explained it correctly and they just refuse to listen to the truth.

        • Peter Zuccerberg

          I agree. They have been taught this by watchtower. One would do best to look at everything the watchtower does, notwithstanding if it seems good or bad or irrelevant etc. as towards its end goals, all of which are anti truth and intentionally anti-Jehovah. I cite one of the “Son of Thunder’s” YouTube that shows in one example how the watchtower can be seen to appear to be mimicking the Pharisees in stealth/cunning/chacannerry, in trying to prohibit people getting access to the Kingdom of Heaven…Now in that, the watchtower mimics them as in for just one example, they for decades kept saying “the 144,000 are already choosen” etc. If you use your spiritual eye, one can see they are at war with Christs Brother’s, trying to limit there number, and general spirituality of the ones that have overcome their tricks and lies. One has to be taught how to be this stealthy and thus they know “exactly what they are doing”. Once exposed, they went into yet another one of their now infamous (and easily predictable to an awake person) cover-up mode. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.

  • LW

    And just as we can learn from the angels, who are mighty and dare not speak against Jehovah in abusive terms, so they can learn from us puny little humans.

  • Rob

    At Colossians 3:3 when it says “For you died” is it referring to dying with “respect to the elementary things of the world” or is it referring to Colossians 2:13 “though you were dead in your trespasses”?

    “For you died, (dead in your trespasses?) and your life has been hidden with the Christ” (In what sense is their life hidden? Do not the anointed eat the emblems in public? Are they hidden in the sense that they are outside of the hall?) “When the Christ, our life, has been made manifest, (the Parousia) then you also will be made manifest with him in glory” (the revealing of the sons of God)

    If Christ’s brothers, the chosen ones, are not sinning, and are not “dead” in sin prior to the parousia, then why would the very next verse (5) command those chosen ones to deaden their body members etc.? It lists here some serious sins.

    Is this a case of, “many who are “last” will be first”, God choosing the weak and foolish ones? Is it the case that just prior to the Parousia, the last who are to be first, are maybe some of those who are captive to sin?Are these ones, called by God and blessed by grace to receive the Undeserved Kindness from Jehovah through Christ so as to humble the haughty ones? If it were only those anointed from the hall that visibly take of the emblems then why would the angels be peering into this?

    • Burt Reynolds

      I’m not exactly certain, but my understanding of the scripture you cite is that yes, the chosen ones are still sinful but are hidden due to their faith, though sinners. You cannot be a man or woman without sin as we come under Adam. I am not sure about the literal meaning of being dead in sin, but the advice to ‘deaden the body members’ gives me the clue that the chosen ones are still subject to sin, as we all are, but maybe refers to the continual struggle to prove oneself worthy a that time against what will be a severe testing. The bible does call for a public demonstration of faith but whether in or out of the hall…? I would imagine it will be public for all to see. Dying to ones tresspasses would be the same, I assume, for all of us in that we strive to shake off the old ways. There was a recent article on the parousia which will answer your question, but someone else will need to point you to that as I do not recall the title, but it was recent days. Worth the search. I expect others will have a brighter insight into your question than I do,….watch this space…

      • Rob

        Hey Burt,
        Thanks for responding. I found this article below very interesting, wanted to share it. It conveys what I was trying to understand/sensed, very nicely. I found it both encouraging and motivating!

        Hidden in Christ

        The loyalty of the saints is an inner, even hidden trait. If the true identity of Christ our Lord, his inner Person begotten of the Father, remains a mystery concealed from the world (John 14:22), something similar is also said rightly of those who put their hope in Christ, because they too are defined by their communion with the Father in Christ. They are known by God (John 10:14; 1 Corinthians 8:3; 13:12). To be sure, the world is able to look at Christians and label them for social and demographic purposes (Acts 11:26), but it does not really know them.

        “You died,” wrote Paul to the Colossians, “and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (3:3). These Christians, whom the world can outwardly distinguish by remarking on peculiar cultural and social patterns, carry about in their lives, amid circumstances however humble, the only force available to mankind for the redemption and transformation of its history. On this earth, the treasure of God is veiled and borne about in earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7). Like the clay pitchers of Gideon, the disciples of Christ convey the secret flame that must, in the end, force flight upon the Midianite.

        Consequently, the coming of Christ at the end of time will reveal to the world, not only his own glory, but the glory of those who have hoped in him: “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). Until that day when the inner meaning of history is manifest, it stays concealed except to the eyes of faith. “Beloved,” wrote the Apostle John, “now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when he is revealed, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

        For Christians themselves, this truth implies practical applications of piety and a disciplined life. Both in John’s First Epistle and in Paul’s Letter to the Colossians, the Christian hope of the final revelation of the believer leads promptly to the theme of holiness and personal purification. The Apostle John, immediately after the verse just cited, went on to say, “And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure” (3:3). Likewise, the Apostle Paul, right after telling the Colossians that their hidden life in Christ will be revealed at his coming, exhorted those Christians to radical and strenuous moral and ascetical effort: “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (3:5). While they await the final revelation of glory, Christians quietly labor in the inner pursuit of that “holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

        This characteristic of “concealment” that marks the loyal lives of Christians explains why the Church for many centuries has celebrated an annual Feast of All Saints. Quite simply, there are more saints than even the Church can identify, because the inner holiness of most Christians is concealed even from the scrutiny of the Church. For example, we know that there were “many other women” (heterai pollai) who served and provided for Jesus “from their substance,” but only three of those women are named. And even of those three, we know nearly nothing (Luke 8:2–3). Likewise, there were about 120 Christians waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit on the morning of Pentecost (Acts 1:15), but the Church herself preserved hardly more than a tithe of their names (1:13–14). Who were those unnamed believers on whom the Holy Spirit fell in the home of Cornelius (10:24, 44)? And who were those widows who wept around the body of Dorcas (9:39)? The Church remembered Antipas as the first Christian martyr at Pergamos (Revelation 2:13), but who were those other early Christians at Smyrna and Philadelphia who suffered the same fate (2:10; The Martyrdom of Polycarp 19.1)?

        Thus has it always been. The great majority of the saints have lived very hidden lives. Their inner communion with God, their fidelity to his will, was so quiet and concealed that only he knew it. Even those saints recognized by the Church in their own generation were often enough recognized for some trait distinct from personal holiness, such as preaching, pastoral ministry, or theological writings. Although all the saints lived in great loyalty to God, the overwhelming majority of them are beyond our ability to name. No matter. The Good Shepherd knows them by name, and by name he calls them.

        • Beverly kenyon

          Hiya Rob, I know your reply was for Burt but I have to tell you that I really appreciate that article about the many unknown Christians who kept their integrity to God….I’ve always wondered about those unknown ones and it was only recently I was reading some information on how the early Christians lived as I find it fascinating….one thing that stood out from some of what I read about how they lived their lives was that they lived in the community but kept themselves completely separate.

  • Burt Reynolds

    May I just bring to the attention of all brothers and sisters here that Daisy starts her chemotherapy today at 3pm….10 am for you guys on the east side of the USA. Daisy has asked for prayers from us as she continues her fight for health. In what seems to be the only drinking well in the entire globe, let us hope that Jehovah will hear our shout from the pit as we pray for his will to be accomplished.

    • Volcanic

      already sent er an e-mail with my love. I am praying all day for her. She is taking her notepad & pen to make notes on articles here. May Jehovah strengthen our darling Daisy

    • 1914for100Alex

      Praying for you Daisy 🙂 And thanks for the update Burt.

    • Volcanic

      Burt, Daisy says “Plz let Burt know I’m not ignoring him appreciating all his loving support but I’m a bit overwhelmed by everything at the mo”
      Poor Daisy, she is being so strong.

      • Burt Reynolds

        That’s okay. I don’t write to Daisy to get a reply, just to let her know we are thinking of her.

  • The Raven

    So Jehovah has a few safeguards in place. Even the spirit world has a veil over their eyes. The evil influence the WTO are under is evident in their insistance on twisting scripture to suit their own agenda, not Jehovah’s. But…He always has a way for the truth to be told even when his own temple is corrupt. Hence , the Watchman.

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