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      Revelation 1:1

      “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants; things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.”

      “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”: The ancient Greek word translated Revelation is apokalupsis (apocalypse). The word simply means “a revealing, an unveiling.”

      What does the Book of Revelation reveal?

      It REVEALS Jesus Christ. This book is Jesus’ Revelation in the sense that it belongs TO Him, He IS the one doing the revealing. It is also Jesus’ Revelation in the sense that HE IS the object revealed; Jesus is the person revealed by the book.

      From the outset, we are given the most important truth about the Book of Revelation.
      This book DOES show us the Antichrist.
      It DOES show us God’s judgment.
      It DOES show us calamity on the earth.
      It DOES show us Mystery Babylon in vivid detail.

      But MOST OF ALL, it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ TO us. If we catch everything else, but MISS Jesus in the book, we have missed the Book of Revelation.

      “Which God gave Him to show His servants”: This is an important reason why God gave this Revelation of Jesus Christ. He gave it to show His servants (Christians/the Church/the Bride). God gave this revelation that it might be SHOWN, not hidden.

      “Things which must shortly take place”: This describes when the events of this book will take place --- they WILL happen shortly, and they MUST happen shortly. This means that the Book of Revelation is a book of PREDICTIVE prophecy. It speaks of things that WILL happen in the future --- at least future from the time of John’s writing.

      Remember….not ALL prophecy IS predictive. But this prophetic book clearly IS predictive. It describes things that must shortly take place. The time is near (Revelation 1:3) for the fulfillment of these things, but the time was NOT present at the time of John’s writing.

      “Shortly take place”: When John says these things must shortly take place, what does he mean? How short is short? How near is near? Short and near are relative terms, and this is God’s timetable, not man’s. Yet for 2000+ years, history has been on the brink of the consummation of all things, running parallel to the edge, not running towards a distant brink. The idea is not that the event may occur soon, but that when it does, it will be SUDDENLY.

      I have been asked MANY times, “Why does God use so many signs in the Book of Revelation? After all, they have been the main cause of difficulty with understanding THIS book.”

      So, is JESUS CHRIST playing a game of “guess this mystery?”

      Not at all.

      The signs are necessary because John expresses things of heaven, which Paul said he heard with inexpressible words (2 Corinthians 12:4). John describes things he has seen IN HEAVEN, but NEVER saw or heard ON/IN earth, so he can only use symbolic images to explain the unexplainable.

      Think about it! Say you are sent back in time, and being expected to EXPLAIN a NASA Shuttle, or a Satellite TV or a Helicopter to a cave man or to George Washington?
      Pretty impossible for them to UNDERSTAND and for us to EXPLAIN. To us, this book is prophecy. We today EASILY understand being able to see things as they happen all over the world in an instant, thanks to satellites, but to John, he simply recorded history unfolding before him, as he saw it or what he COULD compare it to.

      Also remember that THE SIGNS are also necessary because there is tremendous power in symbolic language. It is one thing to call someone or something “evil” or “bad.” But it is far more vivid to describe “real evil” by using the image of a woman drunk with the blood of the saints as in (Revelation 17:6).

      “By His angel to His servant John”: This tells us who wrote the Book of Revelation. It was His servant John, this being the Apostle John, the same writer of the Gospel of John and the books of 1, 2, and 3 John.

      “By His angel”: Many of the signs and visions of the Book of Revelation came to John through the supervision of an angel (Revelation 5:2; 7:2; 10:8 to 11:1; 17:7 are some examples).

      “Who bore witness to the word of God”: In this we see that John knew this book was Holy Scripture, the word of God. We often wonder if the apostles KNEW they were writing Holy Scripture that would be read thousands of years later. John is TELLING us that HE knew.

      Verse 3 tells us of A SPECIAL blessing to the reader and “keeper” of this book.

      VERSE 3 has caused more teachers, preachers, & students to WRONGLY fear & misinterpret & avoid this book than ANY other in the Bible.

      “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

      “Blessed is he who reads . . . and keep those things which are written in it”: The Book of Revelation offers a SPECIAL blessing to those who read & keep the message of this book. This is the FIRST OF 7 BEATITUDES of Revelation (Revelation 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, and 22:14).

      Because they FEAR & NEGLECT the book Revelation, many people MISS this blessing. Some denominations/religious groups even OMIT Revelation from its Bibles & from EVER reading from it for both public worship & private devotions. Jesus IS telling us, this IS a book for anyone who WANTS to be blessed.

      “Keep those things which are written in it”: The Book of Revelation gives us much more than information for prophetic speculation. It gives us things to KEEP. If we understand the Book of Revelation, it will CHANGE the way we live.

      Since so much controversy has risen over the the Book of Revelation, it is helpful to understand the four basic beliefs out there. Through the centuries, people have approached Revelation in basically one of four ways:

      *The Preterist View: They believe that Revelation deals ONLY with the church in John’s day. They believe the Book of Revelation doesn’t predict anything. John simply describes events of his current day.
      *The Historicist View: They believe that Revelation is a sweeping, disordered panorama of ALL church history. Revelation predicts the future, but the future of the “church age” --- not the future of end-time events.
      *The Poetic View: They believe that Revelation is a book full of pictures/symbols intended to encourage/comfort persecuted Christians in John’s day. In the Poetic or allegorical view, the Book of Revelation isn’t literal or historic.

      *The Futurist View: They believe that beginning with chapter four, Revelation deals with the end times, the period directly preceding Jesus’ FINAL return. In the Futurist view, Revelation is a book that mainly describes the end times.

      Which VIEW is correct?
      Each one is true in some regard, but we can’t deny the place of the futurist view. It is the ONLY VIEW that meets/fulfills ALL purposes & we DO know the Book of Revelation speaks with CLARITY about the end times because of two central principles drawn from Revelation 1:1-3.

      FIRST, we believe that the Book of Revelation MEANS something. This is a book that Jesus GAVE to SHOW His servants/Christians something.
      It ISN’T meaningless nonsense.
      It HAS a promise of BLESSING, NOT a promise of confusion.

      SECONDLY, John made it clear: John writes about events that were STILL FUTURE in HIS day.

      Verses 4-5 says,

      “John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.”

      “To the seven churches which are in Asia”: This letter was originally addressed to these seven selected churches of Asia. This was the Roman province of Asia, which is NOW the western part of modern day Turkey.

      “From Him who is and who was and who is to come”: John brings a greeting from God the Father, who is described with this title. Him who is and who was and who is to come speaks to the eternal nature of God. It has the idea of a timeless Being, and is connected with the name Yahweh found in the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14).

      It is NEVER enough to just say that God IS, or to just say that He WAS, or to just say that He is TO COME. As Lord over eternity, He rules the past, the present, and the future. And the title Yahweh describes the Triune God, the One God in Three Persons.

      “From the seven Spirits who are before His throne”:
      John brings a greeting from God the Holy Spirit, who is described with this title. The seven Spirits who are before His throne speaks to the perfection and completion of the Holy Spirit. John uses an Old Testament description of the Holy Spirit. (Isaiah 11:2) which describes seven aspects of the Holy Spirit.

      “From Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth”: John brings a greeting from God the Son, who is described by who He is and by what He has done.

      “Jesus is the faithful witness”: This speaks to Jesus’ utter reliability and faithfulness to His Father and to His people, even unto death. The ancient Greek word translated witness is also the word for a MARTYR.

      “Jesus is the firstborn from the dead”: This speaks to Jesus’ standing as HEAD ABOVE & AMONG ALL beings, that He is first in priority. Firstborn from the dead means much more than that Jesus was the first person resurrected. It also means that He is pre-eminent among all those who are or will be resurrected. Jesus is the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).


      “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

      “To Him who loved us”: What a beautiful title for Jesus! When loved is used, in the past tense, it points back to a particular time and place where Jesus loved us. Did you know that many Bible translations have LOVES US, but there is just something beautiful about loved us. It looks ALL THE WAY BACK to the cross. Every believer should be secure in God’s love, not based on their PRESENT circumstances, but based on the ultimate demonstration of love at the cross BEFORE we were ever even conceived. Jesus is TELLING you and I and ANY who READ Revelation...that when He was on the cross... He SAW your face, my face, and their face in His heart and mind...and THAT vision ENCOURAGED/STRENGTHENED/COMFORTED Him as He suffered unspeakably.

      There are those who read this and do NOT yet KNOW Jesus....Jesus is TELLING you, the lost, the unsaved...HE KNEW you then... He LOVED you then. He believed in you.

      Paul put it like this in Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The work of Jesus on the cross for us is God’s ULTIMATE proof of His love for US. No wonder many believers are NOT secure in knowing the love of Jesus towards them! They look to their PRESENT circumstances to measure His love. Instead, they need to look BACK to the cross, settle the issue once for all, and give praise to Jesus, to Him who loved us!

      “And washed us from our sins in His own blood”: This is what happened when Jesus loved us at the cross. He washed us --- cleansed us from the deep stain of sin, so that we really ARE clean before Him. This is worth praising Jesus about!

      If we understand our own deep sinfulness, this seems almost too good to be true. We can stand clean before God --- clean from the deepest of stains. No wonder the same Apostle John would write, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).

      Notice the order: FIRST loved, then washed. It wasn’t that God washed us out of some sense of duty, and then loved us because we were then clean. He loved us while we WERE dirty, but then He washed us.

      “And has made us kings and priests to His God and Father”: This is status Jesus GIVES to those whom He loved at the cross and who are washed . . . in His own blood. It would have been enough just to love them and cleanse them. But He goes far beyond, and makes us kings and priests to His God and Father.

      This is more than Adam EVER was. Even in the innocence of Eden we NEVER read of Adam among the kings and priests of God. This is worth praising Jesus about.
      “We are kings, so we are God’s royalty. This speaks of privilege, of status, of authority. We are priests, so we are God’s special servants.”

      We represent God to man and man to God. We offer sacrifice unto Him (Hebrews 13:15). We have privileged access to the presence of God (Romans 5:1-2).

      “Kings and priests”: In the Old Testament, it was forbidden to combine the offices of king and priest. King Uzziah of Judah is an example of a man who tried to combine the two offices, and paid the penalty for it (2 Chronicles 26:16-23). But under the New Covenant, we can be like Jesus in the sense that He is both King and High Priest (Luke 1:31-33; Hebrews 4:14).

      “To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever”: In light of all that Jesus has done for us, shouldn’t we praise Him? Shouldn’t we honor Him will all glory and dominion forever and ever? When we say this, we aren’t giving Jesus glory and dominion. We are simply recognizing that He has it, and honoring Him for it.

      “Amen”: This word - in the ancient Greek language, brought over from the Hebrew of the Old Testament --- simply means “Yes.” It isn’t a wish that it may be so, but it is an affirmation that, through God, it WILL be so. Jesus will be praised.

      (v.7) An opening description of the return of Jesus.

      “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”

      “Behold, He is coming”: This IS a command to look --- to check it out. John moves from praising Jesus to describing His return. He wants us to behold the coming of Jesus. Jesus said that we should watch and wait for His coming (Matthew 24:42). It is something to keep before the eye of our mind, to behold.

      This wasn’t a supernatural vision of Jesus’ return. That supernatural vision will come later. This description is based from John’s understanding of Jesus’ own words about His return. For example, John knew that Jesus was coming because Jesus said He was coming. Jesus said, “I will come again and receive you to Myself.” (John 14:3).

      “He is coming with clouds”: When Jesus comes, He will be surrounded by clouds. This will be true literally, because when Jesus left this earth, He was taken up into a cloud, and God said that He would return in the same manner (Acts 1:9-11).

      It will also be true figuratively, because multitudes of believers are called clouds in a figurative manner (Hebrews 12:1). Clouds are commonly associated with God’s presence and glory (Exodus 13:21-22; 16:10: 19:9, and 24:15-18), relating to the Old Testament cloud of glory called the Shekinah.

      Understanding this connection with the glory of God, is wonderful - that the multitude of believers is called A CLOUD. God’s people are His glory. They are His “cloud,” His Shekinah.

      John didn’t need a special vision to know He is coming with clouds. He knew this from the Old Testament (Daniel 7:13-14) and from Jesus’ own words: “I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64).

      “And every eye will see Him”: When Jesus comes, it won’t be a “secret” coming. Everyone will know. At His first coming, Jesus was somewhat obscure as a tiny baby. During His earthly ministry, He never made front-page news in Rome. But when Jesus comes back & touchs earth again for the FINAL time, to rescue Israel from the AntiChrist EVERY eye will see Him. The whole world WILL see it happen & WILL know.

      John didn’t need a special vision to know every eye will see Him. John heard Jesus Himself say, Therefore if they say to you, “Look, He is in the desert!” do not go out; or “Look, He is in the inner rooms!” do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matthew 24:26-27)

      “Even they who pierced Him”: When Jesus comes, it will be a particularly meaningful revelation for the Jewish people. Of course, it was not the Jews alone who pierced Him. But we know John has in mind the Main revelation in this book is of Jesus to His own people because this is an allusion to (Zechariah 12:10).

      When Jesus reveals Himself to His own people, the Jews, it will not be in anger. By the end of the Great Tribulation, the Jewish nation WILL have turned to Jesus, trusting in Him as their Messiah (Matthew 23:39, Romans 11:25-26). When they see Jesus, and His pierced hands and feet, it will be a painful reminder of their previous rejection of Him. It will fulfill the scene of Zechariah 12:10: “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”

      John didn’t need a special vision to know “even they who pierced Him”. He could read it in Zechariah 12:10.

      “All the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him”: When Jesus comes, it won’t be only the Jewish people who mourn because of their previous rejection of Jesus. Since there will be people saved from all the tribes of the earth during the Tribulation (Revelation 7:9), everyone will have a part in this mourning. We will all look at the scars on Jesus and say “We did this to Him.”

      John didn’t need a special revelation to know all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. He just needed to remember what Jesus said at Matthew 24:30: “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

      (v.8) An introduction from Jesus Himself.

      “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

      “I am the Alpha and the Omega”: In many translations, and in “Red-Letter” editions, these words are in red. This shows that the translators believed that these were the words of Jesus. John is finished with his introduction, and now Jesus introduces Himself. After all, it is His revelation (the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Revelation 1:1), so it isn’t strange that He introduces it.

      Some have wondered if it is God the Father or God the Son speaking here. I believe it IS God the Son, Jesus Christ, and I believe this for many reasons.

      First, since it is Jesus’ Revelation, it seems appropriate that He introduces it.

      Second, the titles Alpha and Omega and the Beginning and the End are titles expressly claimed by Jesus (Revelation 22:13).

      Third, though the title who is and who was and who is to come is used of God the Father in Revelation 1:4, it is also true of God the Son, and seems to be directed to Jesus in Revelation 11:17 and 16:5.

      “The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End”: The idea behind these titles for Jesus is that He is BEFORE all things and will remain BEYOND all things. Alpha was the first letter of the ancient Greek alphabet, and Omega was the last letter. Jesus says, “I am the ‘A to Z,’ the Beginning and the End.”

      “Who is and was and who is to come”: As I mentioned in Revelation 1:4, this phrase communicates the idea behind the great Old Testament name for the Triune God, Yahweh. It reflects His ETERNAL nature, and His UNCHANGING presence. Jesus has this eternal nature just as much as God the Father does. (Micah 5:2) prophetically expressed it this way: “Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” (Hebrews 13:8) expressed it this way: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

      “The Almighty”: This word Almighty translates the ancient Greek word pantokrater, which literally means “the one who has his hand on everything.” It speaks of the great sovereign control of Jesus over everything --- past, present, and future.

      This great word Almighty is used ten times in the New Testament, and nine of the ten times are in the Book of Revelation. This book has a striking on God’s sovereignty, the understanding that He has His hand on everything.

      (v.9) John on the Island of Patmos.

      "I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."

      John clearly tells us WHERE he was when this revelation occurred. The island of Patmos was like our modern day Alcatraz Island in the Roman Empire. It was used as a prison island, and functioned as a prison without walls.

      (v.10-11) John is commanded to write.

      "I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

      “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” : What does John mean by saying he was in the Spirit? This seems to have more meaning than simply saying he was walking “in the Spirit” as opposed to being “in the flesh” in the sense Paul means in Galatians 5:16. The idea isn’t simply that John was walking in the Spirit, but that he received SPECIAL revelation from the Holy Spirit.

      There are FOUR references to John being “in the Spirit” in the Book of Revelation. First at Patmos (Revelation 1:10), then in heaven (Revelation 4:2), than in the wilderness (Revelation 17:3), and finally on the mountain of God (Revelation 21:10).

      “I heard behind me a loud voice”: The loud voice John heard was clear and striking as the sound of a trumpet. The loud voice belongs to the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, who is the beginning and the end of all things. Since Jesus introduced Himself with these titles in Revelation 1:8, we know this was the loud voice of Jesus.

      The First and the Last is a title that belongs to the Lord, Yahweh, the covenant God of Israel (Isaiah 41:4; 44:6, and 48:12). The title Alpha and the Omega has the same idea as First and the Last. This is one of the New Testament passages where Jesus clearly claims to be God.

      “What you see, write in a book”: Here, John is commanded to write what he sees. He will be commanded to write ELEVEN more times in the Book of Revelation.

      “Send it to the seven churches which are in Asia”: John is commanded to write to seven churches in seven cities. Each of these churches is in the region of the Roman province of Asia. Why were these specific seven churches chosen?

      Most agree these seven churches were chosen because in the Bible, the number SEVEN represents completeness, and these letters --- and all of the Book of Revelation --- are written to the complete church, not only these seven churches.

      ALSO because these 7 churches represent the difference in the churches of Jesus & their successes/failings throughout the ages & especially the end-times.
      Interestingly, the Apostle Paul also wrote to seven churches: Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Colosse, Philippi, and Thessalonika.

      John’s vision of Jesus.

      (v.12-13) Jesus in the midst of the lampstands.

      “Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.”

      “I turned to see the voice”: We can only imagine what went through John’s mind as he turned. The voice he heard was probably not exactly the same sound as he remembered Jesus’ voice to be (John described it as of a trumpet, Revelation 1:10). Yet he knew from the voice’s self-description (Alpha and Omega) that it was Jesus. This was John’s opportunity to SEE Jesus again, after knowing Him so well during the years of His earthly ministry.

      But at first, John didn’t see Jesus. He saw seven golden lampstands. These were not candlesticks, they were not menorahs, but they were free standing oil lamp stands. The lamps set on these lampstands.

      There were seven separate lampstands. This is an image that reminds us of the golden lampstand that stood in the tabernacle and the temple (Exodus 25:31-37).

      Yet this is different. The Old Covenant lampstand was ONE lampstand with SEVEN lamps on it. Here in the New Covenant, we see seven SEPARATE lampstands.

      The light doesn’t come from the lampstands. The light comes from the oil lamps themselves. The stands merely make the light more visible. Therefore, the lampstands are a good picture of the church. We don’t produce the light, we simply display it.

      “And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man”: Jesus is there in the midst of these lampstands, as the Son of Man, a figure of glory looking back to Daniel 7:13-14. Though the title Son of Man sounds like a humble title, in light of the Daniel passage, it is not a “humble” title at all.

      “Clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band”: The clothing of Jesus indicates that He is a person of great dignity and authority. Long garments were only worn by those who didn’t have to work much, so they were a picture of great status and authority. The golden band around the chest reminds us that Jesus ALSO wears garments of the high priest (Exodus 29:5).

      Exodus 39:1-5 says that there were golden threads in the band that went around the chest of the high priest of Israel. Jesus’ band has more than a few golden threads. It is ALL gold! How much greater is the eternal, heavenly priesthood of Jesus!

      (v.14-16) John describes Jesus.

      “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.”

      “His head and hair were white like wool”: The white hair symbolizes great wisdom and timelessness. The phrase “white as snow” also emphasizes the idea of purity (Isaiah 1:18).

      The white hair and head also connect Jesus with the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:9. “The term of Ancient of Days belongs to God the Father, yet it also agree to Christ, who IS equal with the Father as to his Divine nature.

      “His eyes like a flame of fire”: Fire is often associated with judgment in the Scriptures (Matthew 5:22; 2 Peter 3:7). Jesus’ eyes display the fire of searching, penetrating judgment.

      “His feet were like fine brass”: Since fire is connected with judgment, these feet like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace speak of someone who has been through the fires of judgment and has come forth with a refined purity/strength/endurance through all time. Jesus WENT through the “Refiner’s Fire” for each of us.

      Brass is a metal connected with judgment and sacrifice. Israel’s altar of sacrifice was made of brass (Exodus 27:1-6), and it was called the “brazen altar.”

      “His voice as the sound of many waters”: This means that Jesus’ voice had the power and majesty of a mighty waterfall.

      “He had in His right hand seven stars”: The seven stars speak of the leaders or representatives of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation 1:11 (Revelation 1:20). The stars are securely in the hand of Jesus. Since seven is the number of completion, we can say that “He’s got the whole church in His hands.”

      “Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword”: This is a heavy sword (rhomphaia), used to kill and destroy. Sometimes the New Testament speaks of a smaller, more tactical sword known in the ancient Greek language as the machaira. Hebrews 4:12 uses the term for this smaller, more precise sword.

      The idea of it coming out of His mouth is not that Jesus carries a sword in His teeth. This means this lethal sword is HIS Word. His weapon is the Word of God, and OUR weapon is Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

      “His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength”: The glory of Jesus is so great, so shining, that it is hard to even look upon Him. Jesus has the same glory as in His transfiguration, when His face shone like the sun (Matthew 17:2).

      Everything in this vision of Jesus speaks of strength, majesty, authority and righteousness. There is an impressive difference between THIS HEAVENLY VISION of Jesus and the many weak, effeminate portrayals of Jesus seen today. But the Jesus that John saw is the REAL Jesus, He is STUNNING, STRONG, ROYAL, LETHAL, & A WARRIOR, & A RIGHTEOUS JUDGE that lives and reigns in heaven today.

      In our modern pictures of Jesus, we like to think of Him as He was, not Jesus as He is.

      (v.17-18) John’s reaction and Jesus’ assurance.

      “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

      “When I saw Him, I feel at His feet as dead”: John was overwhelmed by this awesome vision, even though he was an apostle who knew Jesus on this earth. Even all the years John spent with Jesus on this earth did NOT prepare him to see Jesus in His Heavenly glory. At this moment, John knew what a miracle it was that Jesus could shield His glory and authority while He walked this earth among them.

      “He laid His right hand on me”: First, Jesus comforted John with a compassionate touch. Perhaps the touch of Jesus felt more familiar than the appearance of Jesus. So we SEE that the LOVING GENTLE JESUS is STILL VERY MUCH A PART of WHO HE is too. Then Jesus gave John a command: Do not be afraid. John didn’t need to be afraid because He was in the presence of Jesus.

      Jesus is the ONLY ONE who has the keys of Hades and of Death. Some imagine that the satan is somehow the “lord of Hell.” Some imagine that the satan has authority or power to determine life or death. Clearly, they are wrong, for ONLY Jesus holds the keys of Hades and of Death. We can trust that Jesus WILL NEVER let satan borrow the keys.

      (v.19-20) Another command to write and an explanation.

      “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”

      “Write the things”: This second command to write gives us a structure to understand the Book of Revelation. John is commanded to write regarding the past, present, and future (from John’s perspective).

      “The things which you have seen”: This means that Jesus wanted John to write the things he had just seen in his vision of the glorious, heavenly Jesus.

      “The things which are”: This means that Jesus wanted John to write about the things of his PRESENT day, the things regarding the seven churches which WERE in Asia at that time.

      “The things which will take place after this”: This means that Jesus wanted John to write about the things that WOULD HAPPEN during future, end-times… the things of the LAST DAYS.

      The Book of Revelation is arranged in this three-part structure.

      The things which you have seen: Revelation chapter 1
      The things which are: Revelation chapters 2 and 3
      The things which will take place after The Church is Raptured: Revelation chapters 4 through 22

      “The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches”: Jesus kindly interprets His own images. The stars in His hand represent the angels of the seven churches. The lampstands represent the seven churches themselves.

      Why would each church have its own angel, and why does Jesus hold these angels in His hand?

      Some Bible scholars believe that these angels are the pastors of these seven churches, because the ancient Greek word translated angel, "aggelos". That word literally means “messenger,” and certainly pastors are “messengers” to churches.

      What we DO know without a doubt is these “angels” represent the strengths & the weaknesses of each of the 7 congregations.

      But what IS REALLY important to notice that these 7 angels are IN the RIGHT hand of Jesus. This is a place of safety and strength. Even the “problem churches” ARE still in the right hand of Jesus.

      I felt that THIS wonderful vision of the beginning of Revelation is one we ALL NEED and WISH to have. But we can know the very same Jesus John saw. We can know His purity, His eternal wisdom, His searching judgment, His victory, His authority, His Strength, His gentleness, His kindness, and His majesty. Each of these aspects of His nature are ours to know intimately.

      The message of Revelation 1?

      It IS from Jesus Christ Himself.

      Jesus Christ tells us:
      I DO love you.
      LOOK for ME.
      Get READY for Me.
      I AM coming back for YOU BELOVED...SOON!

    • August 29, 2016 8:55 PM EDT
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      Jesus is coming back again! that's for sure and every believing Christian will and need to believe on this... but somehow I know I think differently than most of you of the cronological arrangement of His coming. I view the book of Revelation differently than most of you perhaps.

      I'm a post-tribber and I'm sorry for saying it here though I understand and have read the statement of faith of this site and that you believe rapture before tribulation like most of the churches I'm attending and even the church I'm currently attending.

      This book was the most mysterious book same as the book of Daniel, Ezekiel, Joel and most minor prophets because they all prophesying of what's in the future but everything has come into sense to me as soon as I started meditating on it and asking God for wisdom. I'm not sure if anyone is open for discussion, a healthy discussion and I'm ok with that. I'm a believer in Jesus Christ who is very interested on prophesies. God bless.


    • August 29, 2016 9:01 PM EDT
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