Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pastoral Pings ~ The Now and Then of Knowing God

          This morning I was considering where Jesus was positioned in the heavenly throne room as revealed in Revelation 5. It suddenly became clear to me that there was a connection between where Jesus was in relation to the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders, and what these twenty-eight persons testified, declared, and praised about him.

          It also stood out to me that their view of Jesus, and their praise of Jesus, was a gift to us down here who cannot presently see him in the same way. In essence, their place in the divine revelation constantly declares to us that they see the Triune without any worldly, earthly, or devilish interference, so we should pay attention to what they say about him rather than what we hear from the world, the flesh, and the devil.

          I was then drawn to consider this through Paul’s expression: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”[1]

          Paul described his present experience as seeing “in a mirror dimly,” and knowing “in part”. He spoke of the future as a time when he would see “face to face”, and “know fully”. In fact, the future “knowing fully” would be to the measure of how fully Paul had already been known.

          Since we are living in an earthly experience that limits how much we can see and know of heavenly realities, and yet there is coming a time when we will see and know the heavenly realities in that face-to-face-fully-known kind of way, God connects the two timeframes with divinely inspired revelations.

          In other words, even in this time of limited sight and understanding, we are given beautiful pictures of what things are like in heaven in order to give us faith that there are much better days ahead when we are forever with the Lord. While we are waiting for that day, the four living creatures, and the twenty-four elders, along with others soon to be introduced, tell us the truth about what the Triune God is like as witnessed by those who presently see him face to face, and presently know him fully.

          The encouragement to me today is to accept the limitations of living in the here-and-now, but with my eyes fixed on what is happening in the there-and-then. I must accept the humility of living every day in the knowledge that I don’t know as much as there is to know, and I do not know personally as deeply as knowing personally can be experienced. I do see in a mirror, but dimly. Things seem far off. The mirror seems crinkled and dusty. It is to be expected that Scripture both confounds me and delights me each time I look into it.

          At the same time, I am encouraged to look to what things are in the present time for all those who are in God’s presence without any filters restricting how well they can see him and know him. I can read the divinely inspired record of their praises to the one who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, and realize that their testimonies are completely trustworthy in contrast to the claims and prideful boasts of those who do not see him or know him at all.

          On those days, and during those times, when I struggle to see anything in the word of God clearly, and meditating on Scripture seems to raise more questions than answers, I can still turn to the visions of the way the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders speak of the Triune God. One day, I will see him and know him just like that. Or, as Paul said, “even as I have been fully known”.

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”[2]

          From my heart,



© 2013 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)


[1] I Corinthians 13:12
[2] I Thessalonians 4:17-18

No comments:

Post a Comment