“ I, John, your brother and companion in the [m]tribulation and Kingdom and patient endurance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, [exiled there] because of [my preaching of] the Word of God [regarding eternal salvation] and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the [n]Spirit [in special communication with the Holy Spirit and empowered to receive and record the revelation from Jesus Christ] on the [o]LORD’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud Voice like the sound of a trumpet, 11 saying, “Write on a scroll what you see [in this revelation], and send it to the [p]seven churches—to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the Voice that was speaking with me. And after turning I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the midst of the lampstands I saw someone [q]like the Son of Man, dressed in a robe reaching to His feet, and with a golden sash wrapped around His chest. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, [glistening white] like snow; and His [all-seeing] eyes were [flashing] like a flame of fire [piercing into my being]. 15 His feet were like burnished [white-hot] bronze, refined in a furnace, and His voice was [powerful] like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and from His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword [of judgment]; and His face [reflecting His majesty and the [r]Shekinah glory] was like the sun shining in [all] its power [at midday].
17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. And He placed His right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last [absolute Deity, the Son of God], 18 and the Ever-living One [living in and beyond all time and space]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of [absolute control and victory over] death and of Hades (the realm of the dead). 19 So write the things [s]which you have seen [in the vision], and the things [t]which are [now happening], and the things [u]which will take place after these things. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels ([v]divine messengers) of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches” (Revelation 1:9-20 Amplified Bible).
This was John, the beloved disciple, who walked the earth for three plus years with the man, Jesus, his rabbi, his teacher. His vision on Patmos, though the same person, was not the vision he daily encountered in the land. This was the ascended, enthroned, empowered, glorified King of kings and LORD of lords!
I have had the extreme privilege to worship with several underground churches in countries under the control of communism. These believers, I conclude, have had either a vision of the Victor Jesus, or a Spirit given understanding of what John was trying to, with limited words, express what he was encountering on Patmos. Either way, they have a much deeper motivation and desire for the LORD than what I see in western churches, which drives them in their commitment to risk worship of the King in the face of severe punishments. These Christians have a deeper understanding of the words, obedience, trust, and even sacrifice than what I have experienced in my homeland.
America must capture the realities of just Who Jesus is in His resurrected, ascended position at the right hand of the Father. Yes, He is Love, but being Love also requires that He be Judge, Ruler, LORD of All!
The great hope for America rests in the obedient, trusting, sacrificing effects from the promised word in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Note: “. . . and seek (crave, require as a necessity) My face . . .” from the Amplified Bible.
The result of seeking and discovering the reality of His face; understanding the power and authority of just Who He is:
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. (Isaiah 6:1-7)
Beloved believer, this is the way of revival and Spiritual awakening. My Christmas Prayer for all American believers and churches is to somehow see with spiritual eyes the image of Jesus, the Victor, as John saw on the island of Patmos.