Knowing Jesus as He Desires to Be Known
by Daniel Lim
Do we really know our Lord Jesus Christ? Does our relationship with Christ, which often began with vibrant first love, eventually plateau into over-familiarity, traditions, and transactional and functional necessity? How do we continue to mature and grow in the knowledge of Christ through our day-to-day living and obedience?
During the Apostle Paul’s encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), as a trained theologian and zealous observer of the law, he asked two pertinent questions: Who are You, Lord? and What can I do for You? He asked these two questions in the right sequence—knowing Christ first and then partnering with Christ in His glorious works. We must never forget that all Christ’s commandments and commissions are designed to increase our understanding of who He is so we can walk more intimately with Him, knowing His mind and His heart. In fact, there is a third pertinent question (which is found in Isaiah 6:1–9) beside the above two questions—that is, Who am I in You? With these three questions as the fundamental basis of our communion with Christ, we can continually grow in the knowledge of God in Christ, the knowledge of our identity in Christ, and our works in Christ. Each one will have positive feedback looping on another, anchoring us deeper and deeper into His eternal love.
The book of Revelation is one of the most precious canonical books in our Holy Scripture, which reveals to us the manifold beauty of Jesus Christ. Contrary to popular perceptions, the book of Revelation is not primarily about the revelation of judgments of humanity in the last days but rather the revelation of the beauty of Jesus Christ and His glorious works in the last days. We must know the person of Jesus and His heart before we can understand His glorious works. Many Christians are still unsure about the nature and the purpose of Christ’s works in the last days. In fact, many Christians find the scriptural revelation of His works in the end times enigmatic and offensive. Our growth in knowing the Jesus who is to come empowers us to engage in wholehearted participation in Christ’s glorious works in the last days.
The revelation of the last things (apocalypse eschaton) essentially involves the revelation of the unhinged glory of Jesus Christ, the revelation of the throne of God, the revelation of the full glory of Christ’s redemption, the unveiling of the mystery of lawlessness and the lawless one, the judgment of Satan and the wicked, and the realization of the everlasting kingdom as the inheritance of the saints.
The book of Revelation begins with a highlight of the glorious One as the one who is, who was, and who is to come (o` w’n kai. o` h=n kai. o` h=n kai. o` evrco,menoj, ho-oón-kaí-ho-eén-kaí- ho-erchómenos). This title of supreme regency also lays the framework for us to know the Jesus who is (our mystical eternal contemporary), who was (historical), and who is to come (eschatological). It is interesting that throughout church history, various streams within the Body of Christ have either emphasized the mystical, the historical, or the eschatological Jesus. In these last days, with the wealth of the revelation accumulated by various biblical scholars and saints throughout church history, we have the privilege to know Jesus as He desires to be known—that is, with all of our heart, our soul, our mind, and our strength.
With the firm foundation of understanding the historical Jesus Christ of Nazareth and a vibrant relationship with Jesus (mystical communion), we must now embark with confidence to grow in our understanding of the Jesus who is to come (the eschatological Jesus). Very few believers have met the Jesus in the “day of vengeance,” the Judge of the living and the dead, and the Lion of tribe of Judah. He is going to shake the heavens and earth far beyond His verbal rebuke of the religious hypocrites, causing the fig tree to wither, and overturning tables in the temple. He is going to bring speedy justice and deliverance to remove anything that stands in the way of His love. Just as the Jews who did not discern the “day of their visitation” during Jesus’ first coming, many Christians are ill-prepared to face Jesus’ second coming. The eschatological Jesus is just too foreign to many who profess to love Him. The Holy Spirit will help His end-time church to get ready, mature, and prepare to be a spotless Bride and to preach the gospel of the kingdom to the ends of the earth.
I write this blog with the intent to remind lovers of Jesus to grow in their confidence of knowing Jesus in the book of Revelation. This book unveils some of the most fascinating revelations of the glory of Jesus Christ. Within the prayer-saturated environment of a 24/7 prayer room in Kansas City, I was shown 144 description of the beauty of Jesus Christ in the book of Revelation. I pray that through such prayer meditation there will be growing discipleship centered around knowing the Jesus who is to come, that we will no longer be fearful of Him, of His works in the last days, and of His impending return. For perfect (completely mature) love casts out all fear. On the contrary, Jesus will find a Church on the earth which is passionately waiting through active partnership with Him for His glorious return.
Such a weekly prayer meditation of Jesus Christ in the book of Revelation through the three questions of Who are You, Lord?, Who am I in You, Lord?, and What shall I do for You in light of who I am in You, Lord? may take over two years, even three years, but it will be rewarding. And yet this is only the beginning. There are another 120 descriptions of the beauty of Jesus in the gospel of John and another 120 in the Old Testament. It is my prayer that we will never turn our gaze away from Jesus into even the most noble religious matter. After all, our destiny is not a creed, a faith, a place, or even a state of enlightenment or consciousness. Our eternal destiny is a person. His name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The same Jesus who was taken up from Mount Olive in Acts 1 will return for you and me.
Therefore, on this side of eternity, we must know in the grace of God and by His Holy Spirit the historical Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the mystical Jesus who dwells within us, and the eschatological Jesus who is coming in power and great glory. To settle for anything less is to deprive ourselves of the greatest fascination and wholehearted relationship meant for us individually and collectively.
What can you do to increase your knowledge of Jesus in the end times?
For more from Daniel Lim, we recommend Bible 360: Total Engagement with the Word of God. Experience profound heart change as you discover ten dynamic and highly practical ways to engage with God in the Bible. Get your copy here>>
- Senior Leader, IHOPKC
- Facilitator, Onething Global Leadership Summit
Daniel Lim served as the Chief Executive Officer of the International House of Prayer of Kansas City (2008-2020). He was trained at a Baptist seminary (MA in World Missions) and served as a Baptist pastor in Southeast Asia. With a passion for the gospel of the kingdom of God and the glory of Jesus Christ, Daniel teaches at conferences, churches, universities, and seminaries throughout the nations.
Daniel is the author of Bible 360°: Total Engagement with the Word of God. Daniel is married with two children. One of his children went home to be with the Lord in 2008 during a crisis relief effort.