Once John was finished taking down the seven letters—after these things—the scene changes dramatically. John looks up as a portal opens in the sky, and the sound of a trumpet-like voice invites him to come up into heaven.
I think, for me, this story means determining to see adversity and ordeals as opportunities to see the spiritual realm more clearly, and to expect God’s glory to be revealed in the moment, even in me. Growth is not the goal, it’s simply the side-effect. The goal is to incarnate Jesus, reveal Jesus, and to become ever closer to Jesus.
There can be no mistaking the public nature of God’s indictment and discipline. The final piece was being removed from office.
After the prophet had delivered God’s message of love, he now took the priests to task who were polluting God’s altar and God’s table with blemished sacrifices.
Faith is the language of our souls, it is the native tongue of our new life in Christ, the culture of heaven saturating our earthly existence.
This sprinkling of blood refers to a different action than having had propitiation made, or being cleansed by. Sprinkling was symbolic of cutting a solemn and sacred covenant, just as the first covenant had been cut between God and humanity, through the people of Israel.
We all grow up with traditions and worldviews that go so deep you and I often do not even realize they are there. We also grow up with ways of processing and coping with what we experience that seem so true and right it goes without being said. These things can be so rooted within our hearts and minds that to consider turning from them and taking up a new way is in itself unsettling and distressing.
Having now established Jesus as God the Son, truly God and truly the Savior of all creation, the writer of Hebrews turned his attention to what he saw as a drifting away from faith in his audience.
To experience the exhilaration of true freedom, you and I will first need to learn and master restraint, self-control. True freedom is found—quixotically, counterintuitively—in full surrender to the sovereignty of God.
Peter gave his own eyewitness account of having seen Jesus’ transfiguration, resurrection, and ascension, and of actually having heard the voice of Almighty God, rolling down as thunder from heaven, approving God’s Son at Jesus’ baptism, and at Jesus’ transfiguration.