Today it’s on my heart to encourage you that God wants to give YOU a divine visitation. Please carefully read what I’m going to share with you today because I really felt impressed that I was to share this timely word with you.
But first, I want to say thank you for being among our faithful family of partners. When we call you a partner, we use that word very sincerely, because we can only do what we’re doing because of what our partners are so faithfully doing to help us. Together — as a God-called team, each doing our part — God is using us to touch people’s lives. For this, I am so thankful, and I want to tell you today how very thankful Denise and I are for you!
Right now we are still in the middle of Phase 3 of our Ministry Expansion Project, and we are also continuing to provide TONS OF RELIEF to displaced people in our part of the world. We have received thousands of prayer requests and testimonies from the people that WE — this ministry and our precious giving team — are helping together. As the conflict persists, the need for even basic necessities for the growing number of hurting people remains. If you are led to give to either of these crucial assignments, please go to renner.org/emergency-situation. Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do. You are a real partner with us, but remember that as your partner, we are here to pray for you! Please let us know how to pray, and we’ll pray very seriously and in faith for God to move in your life.
But now let me get to what is on my heart for you today…
When the apostle John received the book of Revelation, he was living as an exiled prisoner on the remote and secluded island prison of Patmos, where the Roman government sent those deemed to be its most dangerous political offenders. John had been arrested for his faith, judged by the Roman legal system, and sent with a shipload of other criminals to languish and die on that forsaken island.
But it was during John’s horrible time on Patmos that he encountered the risen Lord as no one had ever seen Him before. In one split second, the spirit realm suddenly opened, and John found himself standing in another dimension, where he heard and saw things almost beyond description — a panoramic vision both of things present and of things yet to come, all of which John later recorded in the book of Revelation.
Imagine it. While John was living in a cave on this hostile, forsaken island, the elderly apostle’s isolation was unexpectedly invaded, and he was “caught up” into the realm of the spirit to behold the exalted Christ in all His glorious splendor. In this vision, Jesus delivered to John seven messages to seven churches — messages that still apply to His Church today.
Right in the midst of that horrific island, Jesus Christ Himself paid a visit to the lonely cave where John had made his temporary home. On that day, the One who calls Himself the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16) stepped into that hole in the earth to reveal Himself to John as no one had ever seen Him before.
In Revelation 1:10, John gives us insight into how this divine visitation took place when he said, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.”
The word “was” in this verse is the Greek word ginomai — in this case, a word that describes something that happens unexpectedly or something that catches one off guard. This tells us that John was not expecting this divine encounter. When it occurred, it took him completely by surprise and caught him off guard. In a way he never could have predicted, he suddenly found himself “in the spirit.”
The phrase “in the Spirit” is a translation of the Greek words en pneumatic. The first part of this verse would be better translated, “In a way I never could have planned, predicted, or anticipated, I suddenly found myself IN SPIRIT on the Lord’s day.” This phrase “in spirit” is a term to describe another realm, another dimension, or a spiritual realm far different from the natural world that surrounded John.
When the phrase “in spirit” is combined with the preceding usage of the word ginomai, which depicts an element of surprise, the new phrase gives a clear picture of what John experienced and how he felt when it occurred. When John experienced this divine encounter, he did not know it was about to happen. The apostle was going about his business, when suddenly — out of nowhere, taking him completely off guard and by surprise — he abruptly found himself no longer in the same physical place, but in another dimension. He had somehow passed from the natural realm into the realm of the spirit and was now “in spirit” or in a totally different realm. Thus, John’s words in this verse convey the following idea: “In a way I never could have planned, predicted, or anticipated, I suddenly found myself in the spirit realm….”
Then all of a sudden, John “heard” a great voice, “as of a trumpet,” coming from behind him in the spirit realm (see Revelation 1:10). The word “heard” is the Greek word akouo, which simply means to hear. This is the same word from which the word “acoustics” is derived. John wrote that it was a “great voice.” The word “great” is the word mega, meaning huge, and the word “voice” is phone, simply the word for a voice. When the two words are used together, the phrase describes not merely a voice, but a great, huge, gigantic voice.
The voice John heard was so loud that he said it was like a “trumpet.” The word “trumpet” is the Greek word salpignos, and the tense used indicates that the sound of the voice was as loud and clear as the blast of a trumpet. Just as a trumpet blast gets the attention of those who hear it, the sound of Jesus’ voice rang forth so loudly and clearly that John was captured by its force and knew immediately he was to submit to the authority of the One speaking.
John then tells us in Revelation 1:12, “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me….” The voice came from behind John, so he turned to see the source of the sound. The word “turned” is from the Greek word epistrepho, which means to completely turn around. The use of this word tells us that John’s vision was experienced both in the realm of the spirit and in the natural realm. John had to physically turn completely around “to see the voice” that was speaking to him.
This phrase “see the voice” is unusual because it is impossible to “see” a voice. But the word “voice” comes from the Greek word phone — again, a word that simply describes a voice. But there was something about this voice that caused John to quickly turn to “see” it. The word “see” is the Greek word blepo, which means to see, to watch, to look at, to give attention to, to pay heed to, or to perceive. When John heard this voice, he perceived something so special and familiar about the sound of it that he eagerly turned to see who was speaking.
John hadn’t physically heard Jesus speak for approximately 60 years, but he had never forgotten the sound of his Master’s voice. As a younger man, John had listened to that voice for three and a half years as one of Jesus’ disciples. Throughout the years since he had last seen Jesus, John had carried the sound of that beloved voice in his heart.
When John turned around to follow the sound of that voice, the barrier between the natural world and the realm of the spirit was suddenly removed, like window curtains that are pulled apart to reveal the view outside. At that moment, John did indeed see Jesus — but the Person he saw was nothing like the memories he had carried in his heart for those 60 years. The voice was the same tender, compassionate one John remembered so well, but the physical appearance of Jesus was dramatically transformed.
John beheld Jesus not as he had known Him during His earthly walk, but in His exalted and present-day role as King and Priest. As the apostle focused his eyes on the dazzling countenance of the One who stood before him, this Person looked “like unto the Son of man” (see Revelation 1:13).
The Greek text actually has no definite article before the words “Son of man.” This means that the phrase doesn’t necessarily refer to Jesus in His role as the Son of Man; rather, it portrays the humanity of Jesus that John so clearly remembered from nearly 60 years earlier. Scholar Albert Barnes wrote, “Indeed, the costume in which he [Jesus] appeared was so unlike that in which John had been accustomed to see the Lord Jesus in the days of his flesh….” Thus, John beheld Jesus in His full glory, both as God and glorified Man united eternally — our great King and High Priest.
In the phrase, “like unto the Son of man,” the words “like unto” are a translation of the Greek word homoios, which describes a resemblance, similarity, or likeness. Jesus’ physical appearance had been transformed from the way John remembered Jesus in His humanity. The Person who stood before the apostle was a vision of the glorified Christ in His kingly and priestly attire. The One standing “in the midst of the seven candlesticks” had a likeness, resemblance, or similarity to the way John remembered Jesus, yet He was also very different.
The manner of likeness John was referring to in this verse isn’t stated. He may have been referring to a physical attribute such as Jesus’ facial features, height, or weight. But the word homoios is sufficient to convey that something about the image John beheld was similar to his memory of the Master — enough for him to immediately recognize that the One he was seeing was Jesus Himself.
The appearance of Jesus in John’s vision as the risen and exalted Christ signaled a powerful message to him and to other early believers who were suffering so much agony, tribulation, and unabating persecution. Jesus’ glorified appearance shouted that Jesus is the King of kings; He holds the highest seat of power; He possesses dominion over all; and His Kingdom will never cease. Other kings and governments will come and go throughout the ages, but Jesus’ Kingdom is everlasting and supersedes all others. A time will come when opposition will cease and all people, tribes, and nations will bow before Christ the King.
Then in this divine visitation, Jesus began to give John messages to the leading seven churches in Asia — seven powerful messages that still speak to us today. (I have written on this subject in A Light in Darkness: Seven Messages to the Seven Churches and No Room for Compromise: Christ’s Message to Today’s Church that are available at renner.org. Both are powerful books that you will devour!
But all this happened in a cave, on a forsaken island, where John was in a horribly tight, life-threatening squeeze. BUT JESUS STEPPED INTO THAT SITUATION AND GAVE JOHN A VISITATION LIKE HE NEVER HAD BEFORE.
The reason I am telling you this today is this:
Jesus knows exactly what you are facing — and He wants to give you a divine visitation regardless of where you are or what you are experiencing. The cave was a natural limitation for John, but in that horrible place, God enabled him to move into a supernatural dimension that empowered him.
Today if you’ll open your heart and ask the Father for it, He will likewise visit you in whatever place or whatever situation you are in right now. God is NOT limited by your situation, environment, or your challenges — and if your heart is open to it, He will give you the exact divine visitation you need to empower you to keep going. It happened for John, and it can happen for you too!
That is powerful!!!
I remind you again, please let us know how we can pray with you for whatever it is that you are facing or dealing with in your life right now. Partnership goes two ways — and we are very serious about praying with you either by phone, by email, or by letter. But please, let us know how to pray for you. We will release our faith for Jesus to supernaturally empower you right where you are!
We love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner