If you were to begin watching an episode of TV’s ‘Mission Impossible’ three minutes and thirty seconds in (the tape has already self-destructed), you would have great difficulty understanding everything that was going on from that point forward. (My brother, Jerry, had an annoying habit of sauntering into the room, seeing the TV on, and asking a dozen questions to be brought up to speed).  If you walk into the showing of a movie ten minutes late, likewise. The plot has been set, the characters have been introduced, the story has begun playing itself out. If the story line is a mystery, you may be completely out of the loop, betting on the wrong culprit, until the end. I will confess walking into our living room, seeing some sport or other in progress, and dumbly asking the only reasonable question I could come up with: ‘Who’s winning?’ This, even though I had no idea who that team was, much less real interest in knowing more.

The first chapter of the book of Revelation is like those first crucial minutes of a TV program or the intro scenes of a movie. The remaining 21 chapters are predicated on the first. The entire prophecy of Revelation, contrary to what you may have been led to believe, is not a hideous nightmare of divine retribution for naughty believers who slept through a sermon or two, or who let the giving of their tithe slip to support their Starbuck’s habit. While the imagery throughout the book is to us strange, otherworldly, it would have been easily understandable to its original audience. Not only that, but its hearers who were being rigorously persecuted for their faith, would have been greatly encouraged upon hearing its dynamic message!

Jesus, risen victorious over sin and the grave, now glorified, and reigning forever, is introduced in the opening verses and continues as the main character through to the end. Check out Rev. 22:12,13,20! What this means for us as 21st Century followers of Jesus is that God is True to His Word! In the opening scenes of God’s love story with His people (Genesis 3:15, VOICE), God warns the serpent: “. . .the woman’s child will stomp your head, and you will strike his heel.” (the woman’s child is Jesus, and the Crucifixion was the strike to Jesus’ heel).

From God’s perspective, then, nothing in the world has sidewaysed His plan. His love overcomes all. We are secure, always, in Him (and instantly scared out of our wits should we ever glance away from Him)! His is an unshakeable Kingdom, and we are its glad receivers! “Jesus Christ is the Son of God . . . and he has never been both a “yes” and a “no.” He has always been and always will be for us a resounding “YES!” For all of God’s promises find their “yes” of fulfillment in him.” 2 Corinthians 1:20, TPT. Hoo, boy! This is gonna be good, y’all!  PD

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