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Divine Authority

Revelation 22:16
'I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.' (NIVUK)

This is a remarkable conclusion of a vision. Nowhere else in the Bible does the Son of God identify Himself as 'I Jesus', although He did reassure His disciples in the boat, "It is I do not be afraid" (John 6:20); and after the resurrection, "… it is I myself, touch me and see…" (Luke 24:39). After seeing such dramatic scenes, John might have wondered if this was really from God. If the angelic commentary (Revelation 1:1) needed to be authenticated, Jesus provided reassuring affirmation that the messenger was personally authorised by Him. The testimony was the angel's witness statement of all the Lord had showed him. In his turn John was a witness of all that he saw and heard, which he wrote down (Revelation 1:11). Jesus wanted him to pass it on to the churches, including today’s church, in the same way that the apostles testified to all they had seen and heard about Jesus (Acts 1:8; 4:20).

Jesus took the title of the Root and Offspring of David. Although David was the greatest king in Israel's history, he was only an expression of his divine root, Jesus Christ. Isaiah 11:10 says, "In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting-place will be glorious." (Romans 15:12; Revelation 5:5). Jesus was the foundation upon which David's reign was built. Physically, Jesus was also a descendent of David (Matthew 1:1-16; Luke 3:23-38; Romans 1:3). Jesus did not make the logical difficulty any easier for people in Luke 20:41-44, "Then Jesus said to them, 'Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: '"The Lord said to my Lord: 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'" David calls him "Lord." How then can he be his son?'" Now, at the end of Revelation, Jesus confirms He is both the Son of God from whom David came, and the Son of Man descended from David.

Jesus is the bright Morning Star. In Numbers 24:17, the pagan prophet Balaam was God's reluctant messenger when he said, "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a sceptre will rise out of Israel." And yet many oppressors of Israel like Sennacherib assumed deity, as does Satan whose character is identified in Isaiah 14:12-15. That is why Jesus is the ever-bright Morning Star, the breaker of darkness; the true God who will totally defeat every false god and their Satanic mentor.

Jesus is the light at the end of every tunnel. He was before all things and in Him all things exist (Colossians 1:17). He is the final authority for everything, the King of kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16). Revelation is His revelation; the angels and John are just messengers. We are the intended recipients, along with every believer in every church. The letter calls us to wake up, repent, set our course by an eternal horizon and eagerly anticipate the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ who loves us and has given Himself for us (2 Thessalonians 2:16). Let us pray for a fresh heart to praise and pray, to rejoice as we suffer and to work and witness with all His energy (Colossians 1:29). "May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones." (1 Thessalonians 3:13).

Lord God. Thank You for Jesus Christ's assurance that all of Revelation is authorised by Him and intended for us, to help us prepare for the future until He comes again. Forgive my careless attitude to His coming. Please give me a new heart to praise and pray, to work and witness until He comes. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams