Friday, March 14, 2014

Pastoral Pings ~ The Confidence of the Conquerors

          While there are images and symbols within the book of Revelation that leave a person uncertain about making a precise interpretation, there are so many other Scriptures that give strong confidence in what we should think, and how we should apply God’s word.

          For example, in Revelation 6, the breaking of the first seal is accompanied by a rider on a white horse riding out “conquering, and to conquer.”[1] The rider also “had a bow, and a crown was given to him”. As you can imagine, the symbolism of the horse being white, the rider having a bow and a crown, and the characteristic of conquering associated with this seal, all leave much to discuss and debate.

          However, something amazing happens when we search the Scriptures to see how the word “conquer” is used. We discover that the word can be used of God’s people conquering their enemies, and God’s enemies conquering his people.[2] There is good reason to believe that the white horse, bow and crown give us clues as to which way the first seal is directing our attention.

          What stands out very clearly, even if the interpretation of the first of the seven seals does not, is the way God wants his children thinking of the concept or idea of conquering. Here is a summary of the way we should be thinking about this, at least up to this point in the Revelation.

·         “To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”[3]
·         “The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.”[4]
·         “To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.”[5]
·         The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations.”[6]
·         “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.”[7]
·         “The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.”[8]
·         “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.”[9]
·         “And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’”[10]

          Now, in conclusion (temporarily speaking, of course), my favorite summary of these things is this verse in the book of Romans, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.[11]At the very least we can say that, in all “these things” described in the book of Revelation, it is the church that is “more than conquerors” no matter how many beasts, antichrists, prostitutes, false prophets, deceivers, bablyons, red dragons, and any other synonyms for the enemies of God, appear to be victorious in any temporal kind of way.

          And so, we give our amen to such wonderful expressions as this:

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.[12] 

© 2014 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] Revelation 6:1-2
[2] In the Old Testament, when God’s people were trusting in God they were the conquerors, and when they were trusting in idols they were the conquerees.
[3] Revelation 2:7
[4] Revelation 2:11
[5] Revelation 2:17
[6] Revelation 2:26
[7] Revelation 3:5
[8] Revelation 3:12
[9] Revelation 3:21
[10] Revelation 5:5
[11] Romans 8:37
[12] Jude 1:24-25

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