John’s Epiphany

Study Guide, December 27, 2015 – Pastor Clay Olsen

‘Epiphany’ remembers the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to the Christ-child, and in so doing, or in this epiphany, they ‘reveal’ Jesus to the world as Lord and King.

‘Epiphany’ also describes a ‘manifestation’ or even a sudden insight into the reality or into the essential meaning of something significant.

The epiphany of Jesus as the Messiah of the world was certainly a revelation, a manifestation of eternal significance.

We also need to look into the Apostle John’s Epiphany about Jesus.

Rev 5:1-10- “And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” NKJV

This scroll was nothing less than the title deed to Earth itself!

 

What was also lost in the Fall was man’s inheritance of the Earth, because to be given an inheritance you have to first be a rightful heir. And since sin separated man’s relationship with God, mankind forfeited his inheritance.

 

Acts 2:22-25- “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know — this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” NASU

 

As John looks on this scene he is reminded of just how critical that promise of

Gen 3:15 would be: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” NIV

 

Whereas the ‘First Adam’ lost the inheritance of the Earth, the ‘Second Adam’ would regain it, or rather ‘redeem’ it.

This inheritance was lost to mankind at mankind’s very beginning. Rom 5:12- “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…” NASU

 

Not one human of Earth or even one Angelic being of Heaven was worthy…except One… “…the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”

 

“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. “ John 1:29 NASU

 

It’s very possible that the one elder who identified Jesus as the Lion from the tribe of Judah may have been Judah himself, since he’s putting the puzzle together for John here. Remember that prophecy of Gen 49:10? “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” NASU

Daniel’s vision was like a preview of this event that John witnessed of the Son of Man being presented everlasting dominion rights over the whole world and new kingdom.

 

Dan 7:13-14- “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.” NASU

John says that he saw these golden bowls in Heaven, and what was in them were the prayers of God’s people that God had kept and collected and were all represented still, still there in Heaven.

 

It’s clear that God wants us to know how much our prayers mean to Him.

 

“And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

We’re supposed to be practicing ‘servant leadership’ now in our character and conduct and in our service to God because part of God’s plan is to grant us special service assignments as ‘kings and priests’ to our God in His coming Kingdom.