(photo of Reva Story)
THE VISION OF JOHN
“And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them…” (Rev. 9:17)
INTRO.: A song which is based on the visions which the apostle John received on the Isle of Patmos and recorded in the book of Revelation is “The Vision of John.” The text was written and the tune was composed both by Reva Story, who was born on Feb. 1, 1921, at Datto, AR, the middle of eleven children. She was interested in music all her life. In her early childhood, their only entertainment was singing, and they did it almost every night.
When Reva was in her teens, the family moved to Anderson, IN. There, she, two of her brothers, and a friend formed a quartet. They sang each evening on a local radio program sponsored by the Church of Christ. The speaking was done by a gospel preacher named J. T. Marlin (1914-1993). A native of Tennessee, Marlin received his Bible training at Freed-Hardeman College (now University) at Henderson, TN, and his first local work was in Anderson.
Reva has written several songs. “Jesus Suffered Agony” was composed during the night while she was recuperating from an extended illness. “The Vision of John,” copyrighted in 1978, was produced one Sunday afternoon during a study of Revelation and used in the 1980 Our Garden of Song compiled by Gene C. Finley. The last information that I could find about Reva Story is that she was living at Leesburg, FL, in 1980.
“The Vision of John” draws its language from the Apocalypse of John.
I. Stanza 1 mentions the new heaven and new earth
I saw a new heaven, and I saw a new earth;
For the old had passed away.
And I saw a holy city coming down from above,
And I heard a loud voice say.”
A. In his final vision, John saw a new heaven and a new earth: Rev. 21:1
B. In this new heaven and earth, he saw the holy city coming down from above: Rev. 21:2
C. And he not only saw these things but also heard a loud voice: Rev. 21:3
II. Stanza 2 talks about the river of life
Then He showed me a river so crystal clear
From the throne of God and the Lamb.
On each bank of the river stood the tree of life
Bearing fruit for everyone.
A. As this vision continued, John saw a river with the water of life: Rev. 22:1
B. This river proceeded from the throne of God and the Lamb: Rev. 22:3
C. On either side of the river grew the tree of life: Rev. 22:2
III. Stanza 3 refers to the Lord’s coming
Do not seal up the words that you read in the book,
For behold I’m coming soon.
My reward I am bringing, and I’ll give to thee
According to what I’ve done.
A. The words of the book were not to be sealed because the time, i.e. for Christ’s execution of judgment on the persecutors, was at hand: Rev. 22:10
B. However, today we look forward to Christ’s literal second coming, as those persecuted saints looked forward to Christ’s figurative coming judgment on their enemies: Rev. 22:12
C. And when He comes again, He’ll bring His final reward with Him: Rev. 22:14
CONCL.: The chorus identifies the blessings awaiting the faithful
I will wipe away every tear from your eye;
There will be no crying or pain.
For you who are thirsty, I will give a drink
From the everlasting spring.
The message of Revelation is unfortunately misunderstood by some in the religious world, and others shy away from studying it because of the highly symbolic language. However, when it is properly applied, God’s people can find great comfort in “The Vision of John.”