Last Sunday night we went to Janet’s old church in another town. There were about thirty speakers! Now before you pass out, here’s the deal – each person had memorized either a chapter, or a large portion of the book of Revelation. Each quoted their portion sequentially until the entire book was quoted from memory!
The pastor quoted Revelation 1 and applause broke out as he returned to his seat. A teenage girl, about 13 years old, stood and quoted chapter 2 as smooth as silk on a glass table.
Next her twin, autistic brother began quoting the words he knew so well. About the 6th verse he faltered, and in frustration, rocked back and forth. He quickly regained his composure and continued quoting what he had worked so hard to learn. He hit another roadblock and began rocking again, but the train returned to the tracks and he hit his rhythm.
He stumbled once more, and looking up, began moving his hands in a grabbing motion, as if to grasp individual words floating in his brain to get them back in logical sequence.
There was complete silence. Every person leaned forward silently cheering him on. He grabbed them, and from then on, crushed it! When he finished, he looked both relieved and satisfied as thunderous applause broke out. Everyone was so proud!
Next, a man quoting Revelation 4 welled up in tears as he was moved with emotion from the words he quoted. Chapter 5 was memorized by a dignified, retired lady speaking as if she was telling a first-hand story to her grandchildren. Her memorization was mesmerizing!
A former missionary, recently widowed after years of marriage, quoted next. It was like sitting at the feet of a grand story teller! She used her hands expressively quoting the text with a quiet, powerful confidence of what was to be.
Two girls, about 8 and 10 years old, stood to quote part of a chapter together. After a few verses, their mother took the microphone and quoted, then handed it to her husband. After he quoted, he handed the microphone back to the girls and when they finished, their teenage sister took over sharing the words she had memorized. It was beautiful!
Men, women, young, old, married, single, white-collar, blue-collar, all took turns standing as equals on the authority of what they had hidden in their heart. Each spoke memorized words that will endure forever.
It took one hour and twenty minutes for the entire book to be quoted, but it seemed like just a few! Simply listening, the book of Revelation didn’t seem so difficult to understand anymore. And although it is, it didn’t even seem so prophetic. It seemed, comprehensible, understandable….real.
Chapter 20 was quoted by a sincere lady with a tender heart. She was smooth and consistent in her delivery… until the last verses of the chapter.
Halfway through verse 14 her voice quivered … “and the lake of fire is the second death.” She was crying. She stammered the last verse with a heart full of emotion at the reality of what is to come, “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life” — more, deep, tears — “was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Chapter 21 was comforting, peaceful, hopeful. Heaven was described from memory, word by word, verse by verse.
On the final chapter, a man quoting the remainder of Revelation 22 stopped at the next to last verse and stared at the podium.
He looked up and across the auditorium.
The words rolled. The meaning rumbled.
“HE who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”
Everyone applauded in a standing ovation. You could not help but feel the complex, yet simple message, uttered from the mouth and memory of people, spoken from the power and heart of the living God.
The words will not return void. They will not falter nor fail. They will happen. They will take place. They will endure, forever!
May those who have ears to hear, hear the last verse of the Bible…
“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” Revelation 22:21
May it be. May it always, be!