THE REVELATION OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

1A.   “THE THINGS WHICH THOU HAS SEEN” - Christ in Glory, (1)

 

1B.          Title Of The Book (1.1)

 

(1.1)           The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

 

1. I want you to notice six words in this verse, before we step back and look at this verse as a whole.

 

Revelation” – This word comes from the Greek word “apokaluyis,” and means “unveiling, revealing, revelation.”[1] Standing as the first word in this last book of the Bible, the apocalyptic nature of John’s Revelation is hereby declared.

 

servants” - The things that are to be revealed are to be revealed to His servants, or bond slaves, douloi. In a world in which people do not want to be told what to do by anyone, the Lord’s people loudly proclaim themselves to be His bond slaves. And remember, slaves are obedient.

 

must” - We are about to examine things which must happen.  The Greek here, dei, refers to things that are “binding,” things which are “necessary.”[2] Why? Because God said so, that is why. Everything that God purposes to happen happens.

 

shortly” - This indicates a brief time span, tacos, “quickly, suddenly, soon.”[3] This is the Greek word our word tachometer is derived from, which is a device that measures an engine’s rpms, or the number of revolutions that it turns per minute. But remember, what is brief to God is not necessarily brief to man (Second Peter 3.8: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

 

signified” - This word, deiknumi, means to exhibit something that can be apprehended by one or more of the senses, point out, show, make known.[4]  It refers to indicating or showing something by a sign. It translates the particular word the Greeks used to refer to communication from the gods to men. It was this same word that John used when he wrote First John 4.1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” However it was done, you can be sure that it had to be proven to John that the message he received was from God. He was not about to naively or eagerly walk into some trap set by Satan, as do so many today who say that they have received a special message from God.

 

angel” - Does anyone know what the word “angel” means, aggelos? Very simply, the word “angel” means “messenger.” The word can either refer to a supernatural being from heaven or a human errand boy. In this verse, I take it to refer to a supernatural being from heaven. In other verses we must carefully determine whether a human or a supernatural messenger is in view. It should be noted that “no other book in the New Testament speaks more often of angels than the book of Revelation. They are the principle vehicle of communication to John of the truth which he is recording.”[5]

 

2. But who is this John who describes himself as “his servant John”? “There is no question that the John mentioned in the Revelation is the son of Zebedee and Salome and the brother of James (Mark 1:19-20; 15:40). His occupation was that of a fisherman (Matthew 4:21). He heard John the Baptist preach and became a follower of Jesus Christ (John 1:35, 40). He was one of the three whom Jesus took with Him on several special occasions (Matthew 17:1; 26:37; Mark 5:37). John also was one of the two sent by Christ to prepare the Passover (Luke 22:8). He is referred to as “that disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20), and is mentioned three times in the Acts (Acts 3:1; 4:13; 8:14). He wrote five books of the New Testament, and only he uses Christ’s title of “the Word” (Logos). (See John 1:1, 14; 1 John 1:1; 5:7; Revelation 19:13).”[6]

 

2B.          Method Of Revelation (1.1-2)

 

3. Now that we have examined various important words, let us step back and see the broad view of what this verse says. We are here told that this is an unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ that came to John via a messenger angel from God, and that it concerns things in the future which absolutely must come to pass in a relatively brief span of time, by God’s standards.  We are about to see history written in advance.

 

4. This book of the Revelation brings to light things which have never before been clearly seen. Our subject matter are things which the Lord Jesus Christ had earlier been asked about. Some things He was unwilling to reveal during His earthly ministry will be revealed in this book. Read Mark 13.4, 32: “4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? . . . 32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Perhaps 50 or 55 years have passed since the Lord Jesus made the statements we have just read. So apparently, He is now ready to speak on some of these subjects to His beloved John.

 

(1.2)       Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

 

1.              A brief look at some individual words in this verse.

 

Who” - Let us remember, from what we considered in the first verse, that we are reading the words penned by John the Beloved. This is the apostle who leaned on the Savior’s breast in the upper room during the last supper.[7] Reference is made in John 13.23, in John’s own peculiar way of noting his presence at an event: “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” How John did humbly refer to himself in this fashion.

 

bare record” - This phrase comes from a single Greek verb, an epistolary aorist, meaning that John is placing himself with the readers who consider the writing as taking place in the past.[8] It is the word we get “martyr” from, marturew, and it means to give witness to something you have seen.[9] The word has undergone a transition in its use over the centuries, so that the word has come into English usage referring to suffering death rather than renouncing your religion.[10] In the Bible, however, and especially here in John’s Revelation, the word means to tell what you saw, or to pass on what you were given without distortion or introducing inaccuracies.

 

testimony” - This word is also translated from the word for “martyr.”  Therefore, the phrase “bare record” and the word “testimony” are from exactly the same word and they both mean to give witness to something or someone.

 

2. Now we turn our attention to the phrase “the word of God.” This phrase appears 45 times in our Authorized Version, including three times in the Old Testament. But it is the Greek phrase that should drive our inquiry, ton logon tou qeou. An example of this phrase is found in Mark 7.13, where the Lord Jesus Christ said, “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition,” using this exact Greek phrase. By my count, 38 of the 42 places that the English phrase “the word of God” appears in the New Testament it translates this Greek phrase. And by my estimation, this phrase always refers to “the word given by God.”[11] Thus, John is claiming to be agent by which God’s Word was transmitted. But no one should ever sever the intimate relationship between God’s Word and God’s Son, Who is described by this same John as o logos, “the Word,” in John 1.1, which “was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” John 1.14. This connection is commented on by that old English Baptist, John Gill, who wrote, “Of the essential and eternal Word of God, his only begotten Son.”[12]

 

3. Let us now consider the phrase “the testimony of Jesus Christ.” About this phrase, John Gill writes, “And of the testimony of Jesus Christ; that is, the Gospel, which testifies of the person of Christ, of the truth of his divinity, and reality of his human nature; of the union of the two natures, divine and human, his person: of his several offices, of prophet, priest and King; of what he did and suffered for his people; and of the blessings of grace which they receive by him.”[13] This exact phrase appears two other times in the Revelation, 1.9 and 12.17. As well, the phrase “the testimony of Jesus” appears twice in 19.10: “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

 

4.   The last phrase reads “of all things that he saw.” John was particularly well suited to be an eyewitness. Not only was he the beloved disciple, and the last surviving apostle of Jesus Christ, but his personal character and reputation were unimpeachable, as we see attested to in three passages: John 19.35: “And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.”; John 21.24: “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.”; Third John 12: “Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.

 

5. Do you remember, from verse 1, that John was given a message? To make sure that John knew that it was a message from God, the Lord “signified” it, verse 1 indicates. That is, He gave John some kind of irrefutable proof of the message’s authenticity. How did He accomplish that? He allowed John to actually “see” the message he was to record. What John has written is what he actually saw, as a most credible witness.

 

6. As we journey through the book of the Revelation, you will notice that John is actually an on-sight observer of the things he has written about. Thus, he is qualified to use the word “martyr” because he really is a witness. He simply and in straightforward fashion writes down the things of the prophetic future that he actually saw with his own eyes.

 

7. Now, let us gather some information together from verse 1 and 2 regarding the communication of this message to John. 

 

Notice: God gave the message unto Jesus Christ . . . and He sent and signified it by an angel unto John.

 

Therefore, it happens this way: God to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ to an angel, that angel to John, with proof of the message’s authenticity.

 

Looking back over verses 1 and 2, then, who is the primary Author of this book? It is God, the Father, is it not? It is His unveiling of His Son.

 

8. Since Scripture admonishes us to look “unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith,” Hebrews 12.2, we might at this point anticipate that this book of the Bible can be profoundly beneficial to the Christian, if it is properly used.

 

3B.          Beatitude Of Studying This Book (1.3)

 

(1.3)                       Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

 

1.   “Andrew Fuller has said concerning this mysterious book:--‘It is that to the New Testament church which the pillar of the cloud was to the church in the wilderness, guiding it through the labyrinth of anti-Christian errors and corruptions. It must not be neglected under a notion of its being hard to be understood. As well might the mariner, amidst the rocks, neglect his friendly chart, under an idea of its being difficult to understand it.’

 

Ver. 1-3  ‘To induce us to give the most serious attention to the subject, a blessing is pronounced on those who ‘read, and hear, and keep,’ the words of this prophecy, especially as the time of its fulfillment was at hand. There does not appear to be any other part of Scripture that is prefaced with such an inducement to read, and understand, and practically regard it.’”[14]

 

2. Let us focus our attention on five words in this verse, before looking at the last phrase of the verse:

 

Blessed” - This is the same word, makarios, that was used by the Lord Jesus Christ in His beatitudes in the sermon on the mount, in Matthew 5.1-11:

 

1          And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

2          And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

3          Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4          Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5          Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6          Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7          Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8          Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9          Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10          Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11          Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

 

This is the only place in God’s Word where a blessing is pronounced on he who reads and they who hear read a book of the Bible. Yet this is only the first of seven beatitudes in the Revelation. The other six are 14.13, 16.15, 19.9, 20.6, 22.7 and 22.14.

 

readeth” - This word comes from a Greek compound word, “anaginwskw.” The basic word simply means to read. The prefix attached to the word, “ana,” means “in a position in the middle.”[15] So, the word refers to reading something in the midst of an audience, or reading something out loud so people can hear you.[16] This is what Paul was referring to when he wrote, in First Timothy 4.13, “Till I come, give attendance to reading.”

 

hear” - The Greek root word is akouw, the typical Greek word for hearing.  Perhaps it would be good, here, to point out that the word “readeth,” this word “hear,” and the word “keep,” are all present participles. Thus, John is pronouncing a blessing upon the one who continually reads this book aloud, and they who continually hear and keep what is written herein. Blessings, then, are directly tied to staying in this book of the Bible.

 

prophecy” - There is a great dispute over the proper interpretation of this book of the Revelation, as I pointed out earlier. Some people believe that all of this book is history which has already occurred, while others believe that John is writing of the future which has not yet happened. This single word, “profhteias,” when taken at face value, goes a long way toward settling that dispute. Prophecy, by definition, concerns the future. Virtually everything in this book, when pen was put to paper, was in the future.

 

keep” - From a word that means to “watch over, to preserve, to keep,” “thrountes” refers to more than a mere acknowledgment of the truth. John is here talking about people being moved to action and ordering their lives after the things he writes about here, which is not how most people ordinarily approach a study of prophetical Scriptures. It has been my experience that prophecy is attractive to many people precisely because they can study prophetical portions of the Bible without addressing challenges to how they live and their personal consecration. That is not, however, how this book of the Bible should be studied.

 

3.            Now the phrase “for the time is at hand.”

 

It is obvious, since almost 2,000 years have passed since this book was penned, that this phrase does not suggest that the prophecies of this book will be fulfilled quickly. That’s not what this phrase means. Rather, this phrase means that the next time period in God’s chronology will be the time period in which these prophecies will be fulfilled. But since it has been almost 2,000 years since this was written, and since Romans 13.11 reads, “now is our salvation nearer than when we believed,” we are obviously nearing the end. What this means, people, is that we are right up against it.

 

4. So, what John says in verse 3 is this: Blessing is pronounced on three activities related to this book of Revelation. Blessing will fall upon the person who reads this book in the midst of others, blessing will fall upon those that hear the words of this prophecy, and blessing will fall upon those who keep or respond to the things written herein . . . for the time is at hand.

 

5. Verses 1 through 3 form an introduction to this last book of the Bible, this capstone of Scripture. John tells us that the things referred to here are at hand. Not that the predictions contained herein will necessarily happen soon, but that the next chapter of events that will happen will be the chapter of events described by this book.

 

6. Folks, the world is getting ready to unravel. I think you can already sense that we are approaching the end of something, the culmination of something, the climax of something. It is entirely possible for someone get so wrapped up in the turmoil of the world’s events that you lose your perspective. But with the book of Revelation we are blessed. We see chaos in the world, but we see order in this book.

 

7. As events unfold in the Middle East, in the Far East, in the European Union countries, here in the United States, and around the world, a person can become profoundly discouraged. Then we look at the Revelation again and we are reminded that “It’s happening just like God said it would happen.” In addition, when you really get concerned, you can skip to Revelation chapter 22 and see that our side won.

 

1C.      Grace and peace from the Triune God (1.4-5)

 

(1.4)       John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne

 

1.      John to the seven churches which are in Asia.

 

a.       John--the apostle. For none but he (supposing the writer an honest man) would thus sign himself nakedly without addition. As sole survivor and representative of the apostles and eyewitnesses of the Lord, he needed no designation save his name, to be recognized by his readers.[17]

 

b.      Let me read a portion of the remarks of the old Texas Baptist, B. H. Carroll, from his classic An Interpretation of the English Bible: “From verses 4-6 we have John’s greeting to the seven churches of Asia to whom the entire book is addressed. Not only all of chapters 2-3 are specifically devoted to special messages for the churches named, but at the end of the book, 22:16, we have these words referring back to the whole book, ‘I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things for the churches.’

 

“It is important to note in this connection our Lord’s use of the word ecclesia. In Matthew 16, he says: ‘I will build my church,’ using the term to signify the institution. In Matthew 18, he says, ‘tell it to the church,’ referring to whatever particular congregation the decision of the case of discipline belongs. Many times in the book of Revelation he uses the word ‘church,’ and in every case the reference is to particular churches. Our Lord’s usage of the word knows nothing of a now existing universal church, whether visible or invisible. He does not say to the church of Asia, but the seven churches of Asia. There is nothing in his use of the word to indicate the existence of church in any provincial, national, worldwide, or denominational sense. On the contrary, he seems to guard very carefully against such a use of the term.”[18]

 

Note: B. H. Carroll’s view of the church is a view that I wholeheartedly agree with as reflecting what the Bible says about the church. When a person comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, he does not become, thereby, a part of the church of Jesus Christ. He does, by the new birth, become a part of the family of God. However, it is only by means of the church ordinance of believer’s baptism that a convert becomes part of the body of Christ. This view of the church is a view held only by Baptists, and distinguishes Baptists from Protestants in this respect. To the degree some Baptists depart from this view of the church those Baptists have become Protestants.

 

c. We need to understand that Asia in John’s time did not mean the great continent to the north and east, where the eastern portion of the Russian Republic and the whole of China and Mongolia are located. In John’s day Asia was a Roman province on the peninsula that we now refer to as Asia Minor.[19] Look at your map in the back of your Bible to locate Asia. You will find Asia on the map that traces out the missionary journeys of the apostle Paul.

 

d. It is clear that John is making reference to seven distinct local assemblies located in this Roman province of Asia. This reality helps to clear up the notion that some religious groups have who believe that there are supposed to be denominational hierarchies over Churches, in which some regional bishop exercises authority over a local congregation. You will not find evidence in the New Testament to support such practices as commonly exist among the Protestants and Catholics. The reason John speaks directly to these seven Churches is because there was no hierarchy over them. They were autonomous congregations, which is the pattern throughout the New Testament, and is the conviction of this congregation.

 

e. “This is the first of fifty-four uses of the word ‘seven’ in the book of Revelation. While these are symbolic of ‘completion,’ they are also literal references to various series of sevens that transpire in this prophecy.”[20]

 

2. Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was and which is to come,”

 

a. What is grace? Turn to Ephesians 2.5 and read: “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).” The word “grace” comes from a Greek word meaning “favor.”[21] By the way it is used in the New Testament, always being a gift, we can readily see that the word “grace” is intimately associated with salvation. Salvation is a gift given by God, since no man can earn or merit God’s favor. God’s grace, then, is what you want, what you need, what you have to have.

 

b. What is peace? Peace certainly includes the idea of the absence of hostility, but it is actually more than that. Peace has to do with the idea of prevailing goodwill. We know, from Romans 5.1, that peace with God is the result of being justified by faith in Christ. Romans 5.10 shows us that before someone is reconciled to God he was definitely His enemy. But once a person has experienced the grace of God, once a person has been justified by faith and he is saved from his sins, he can then enjoy the peace of God in his life and can enjoy peace with God for the first time.

 

c. Notice from where this grace and peace comes. “From Him which is, and which was, and which is to come.” This refers to God, the Father, the first person of the trinity. Turn to Exodus 3.14: “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” In this verse, God speaks to Moses from a burning bush and describes Himself as the “I AM,” which means “He Who always is.” Grace and peace, then, comes from this One Who always is.

 

Note: Before we continue, let me make mention of the one habit every Bible student needs to get into to understand the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Did you note how we found out who was referred to by the last phrase we examined? We looked for the answer in the Old Testament. If you will remember to look to the Old Testament for the interpretation of difficult to understand symbols, pictures, and phrases, this book will come alive for you. Notice how this works in the last phrase of verse 4. 

 

3.      And from the seven Spirits which are before His throne. 

 

Here we have a second source of grace and peace described to us. So far, we know that grace and peace comes from God. Here we are told that grace and peace comes from “the seven spirits” before God’s throne. If you want to know what “the seven spirits” means turn back to the Old Testament. In Isaiah 11.2 we find the answer: “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” Notice the listing given:

 

#1      The Spirit of Jehovah, which is what “LORD means.

 

#2       The Spirit of wisdom.

 

#3       The Spirit of understanding.

 

#4       The Spirit of counsel.

 

#5       The Spirit of might.

 

#6       The Spirit of knowledge.

 

#7       The Spirit of the fear of Jehovah.

 

Because the book of the Revelation shows God superintending the affairs of mankind, and because Isaiah’s description of the Holy Spirit shows His sevenfold attributes, it is usually held that John’s is a description of the Holy Spirit. Now, if you are not willing to accept this explanation, then you can go out and start your own religion with the Divine Godhead being the Father, the Son, and the seven Holy Spirits. I am convinced, however, that John is referring to Isaiah’s description of the Holy Spirit of God. I am also convinced that he is telling us, in as impressive a manner as is possible, that grace and peace come from God the Father and the Holy Spirit of God, Who is before the Father’s throne.

 

(1.5)           And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

 

1. And from Jesus Christ  

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is also the source of grace and peace. John 14.27 records the words of the Lord just before His crucifixion: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

 

2. If God, the Father, is the source of grace and peace, and if the Holy Spirit is the source of grace and peace, and if the Lord Jesus Christ is the source of grace and peace . . . is not that a piece of evidence to support the tri-unity of God? Of course it is. The source of grace and peace is God, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

 

2C.      Description of Christ as prophet, king, and priest (1.5)

 

3.            Who is the faithful witness  

 

Jesus is the faithful witness Who always spoke those things which are true. He never once compromised or slighted the truth in any way. Is not this the function of a prophet, to give forth truth from God to man? And did not our Lord Jesus do just that? Who would step forward and truthfully accuse Him of compromising or slighting the truth in any way? No one. Well, if that be so, why do not people believe that He is Who He says He is? The problem, you see, lies not with the One Who speaks the truth, but with those who hear the truth and who refuse to believe it or act upon it.

 

4. And the first begotten from the dead  

 

This phrase tells us that there will be others who will follow the Lord Jesus in the resurrection, though being first He will always be preeminent. In addition, do you know what will happen when those who are Christ’s are resurrected? In part, we will get new bodies, suited for heaven and eternity.

 

5.             And the prince of the kings of the earth

 

Jesus Christ is the ruler over all the kings of the earth. This word “prince” translates the Greek word for “ruler.” He has not yet come back to earth to exercise that rule, but it is His right to do so. And someday He will come back to rule. Oh, what an interesting event that will be.

 

6.            Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His Own blood 

 

a. This book of the Revelation has much to say about God’s wrath falling down upon a wicked and gainsaying world. Because of that, the reader of the Revelation might lose track of a great and comforting truth . . . “Him that loved us.” In English, it appears that the verb “loved” is past tense, but in Greek, it is in the present tense. This means He does continually and ever-presently love us. And how does our Lord demonstrate His ever-present love? By washing our sins away in His precious blood, which was shed for the remission of our sins. Let me ask you a question. Who is it that offers sacrifices unto God for the remission of sins? Is it a priest? Jesus Christ is our Great High priest Who cleanses our sins away in His Own blood. So, we see the glorified Christ here as our prophet, as our king, and as our great high priest.

 

b. This portion of verse 5 is very timely in light of the assertion that has been made by John Mac Arthur that when the Lord Jesus Christ was on the cross His blood ran down into the dirt and decayed. Please turn to Hebrews 9.12: “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

 

1)      In The Mac Arthur Study Bible, we find this statement in the notes for Hebrews 9.12: “Nothing is said which would indicate that Christ carried His actual physical blood with Him into the heavenly sanctuary.”[22]

 

2)      Mac Arthur’s note is consistent with his belief that while He was on the cross the blood of Jesus Christ ran down into the dirt and was corrupted. It is also consistent with Mac Arthur’s frequently stated position that the blood of Christ is a metonymy for the death of Christ. That is, what Christ wrought He wrought by His death rather than with His blood.  Why do I bring these points out in our study of Revelation 1.5? Look at Revelation 1.5 again and you will see that John here makes a declaration about the blood of Jesus Christ approximately 60 years after the crucifixion. How are we to understand this verse if the blood of Jesus Christ ran into the ground as He hung between heaven and earth and then dried and rotted?

 

3)      Let us carefully look at the word “washed” and then proceed from there. The Greek word is louw, which literally refers to using water to cleanse a body from a physical impurity.[23] Therefore, we can see that the word is used in this verse to refer to the blood of Jesus Christ cleansing sinners from their sins.

 

4)      If the blood of Jesus Christ ran into the ground while He hung on the cross, and if it later dried up and disintegrated, how are my sins cleansed some 2000 years later? In addition, how are sins continually cleansed, as First John 1.7 declares, if there is no more blood of Jesus Christ? These are questions that cannot be satisfactorily answered if the blood of Christ ran into the ground and is no more.

 

5)      But if John Mac Arthur is wrong about the blood of Christ, if the blood of Christ and the death of Christ are not precisely the same thing, and if the blood of Christ is in heaven as I speak, then there are no tough questions which cannot be answered. I believe the blood of Jesus Christ was resurrected along with the rest of His physical body, and that both His glorified body and His precious blood are now in heaven.

 

6)      What is the basis for my asserting this? There are several bases: First, I assert that the death of Christ and the blood of Christ are not the same, that the blood of Christ is not a symbolic representation of the death of Christ, based upon the fact that the communion of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated with two elements, not one. We serve both wine and bread, wine commemorating His shed blood, and bread commemorating His sacrificed body. If blood was supposed to represent Christ’s body, why are there two elements in the communion of the Lord’s Supper? Clearly, the blood and the body of Christ are not the same thing and should not be understood to be the same thing.

 

7)      Second, I believe the Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead without His body seeing corruption. This requirement is stated in Psalm 16.10, and was referred to by Simon Peter in his Pentecostal sermon in Acts 2.27: “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” But if Christ’s blood ran into the ground and rotted was this prediction fulfilled? In addition, would anyone assert that Christ’s blood was not a vital and integral part of His physical body? Therefore, you see, if Christ’s blood was not raised incorruptible with the rest of His body then the prediction of Psalm 16.10 was not fully realized.

 

8)      For the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse away sins, for the blood of Christ to wash us, there must be blood. Its existence must continue. And the only possible way the blood of Christ continues in its existence and continues in its efficacy is if it was raised up after three days and three nights with the rest of our Savior’s human body, glorified.

 

7.            Let’s sum up what this verse tells us:

 

a) With the word “and” at the beginning of the verse, John connects the Lord Jesus Christ with God the Father and the Holy Spirit as the source of grace and peace. That is evidence which supports the Biblical doctrine of the tri-unity of God.

 

b) The verse goes on to illustrate the Lord Jesus Christ functioning in His prophetic office, His kingly office, and His priestly office. Being the One Who is at the same time prophet, priest and king, this same Jesus must be, of necessity, the Messiah of Israel.

 

c) Oh, how glorious it is that the eternal Son of the living God has loved us and has washed us from our sins in His Own blood. What advantage does the believer in Jesus Christ have. What deliverance the believer in Jesus Christ has. What blessings the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has.

 

d) But it does not stop here. The next verse continues in its elucidation of Christ’s blessings for the believer.

 

                  3C.          Exalted believers (1.6)

 

(1.6)           And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

1.  We have been introduced by John to the triune God as the source of grace and peace. John did this in verses 4 and 5. Beginning in the last half of verse 5, John begins to focus our attention on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is probably why he mentions the persons of the Godhead in the sequence of the Father, the Spirit, and then the Son instead of the more usual Father, Son and Spirit.

 

2.  Notice, if you will, that verse 6 is, properly, a continuation of the sentence that was begun in verse 5. Let us read the entire sentence that spans these two verses: And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

3. To review, we know that Christ “loves” us and that He “washed” our sins away in His Own blood. Now we turn to additional proof of His love for us and more proof of our cleansing.

 

4.  And hath made us kings and priests . . . .” There are numerous passages I could refer to which show our future reign in the millennial kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. A few observations are in order at this point:

 

a. The phrase “hath made us kings” appears to be past tense in English, but the phrase “hath made” is an aorist tense verb in Greek. This means that time is not a consideration in John’s mind, since the aorist tense was the normal tense used by the Greeks to indicate some kind of action without being specific as to when or how.[24] Why is this important to note? We are not yet kings are we? Though believers shall certainly be kings some day. This phrase reveals that John is looking into the distant future to see something “which must shortly come to pass.

 

b. Look at First Peter 2.9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” Here we see that a future priesthood is planned for Jewish Christians in the Diaspora, based upon Peter’s choice of words in First Peter 1.1: “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,” where the word “strangers” translates the Greek word diaspora, and which refers to Jewish Christians.[25]

 

c. But what about reigning as kings? And what about Gentile Christians? Turn to Revelation 5.10: “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” We will see in chapters 2 and 3 that the Revelation is addressed to 7 Churches, which included both Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians as members. So, it is clear that both Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians have a future as kings and priests.

 

d. Quite literally, we will rule alongside Him as He rules this world. This is a part of our great salvation. We who were once slaves to sin and under the domination of the devil will preside over whole populations. Consider the possibility that there are unfallen and unsinful inhabitants who populate other planets in God’s vast creation. If that is so, and I have absolutely no proof that it is so, I imagine us someday ruling over them.

 

5. And hath made us kings and priests  

 

Unbelievably, Christians are priests! By the way, what group of Christians throughout history have been the only ones to believe and strongly affirm the priesthood of the believer? Not Roman Catholics with their frocked priesthood. Not Protestantism, with their sometimes-frocked clergy and their refusal to espouse and stand by the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer. Friends, only Baptists have historically affirmed the priesthood of the believer, while only infrequently practicing the doctrine.

 

6. In the Word of God, a priest performs varied functions as a representative of the people to God.

 

#1       The priest offers up sacrifices for sins

 

#2       The priest offers up prayers on behalf of others

 

#3       The priest approaches God when others cannot

 

Now, since our Lord Jesus has offered Himself up for our sins, there is no need for a priesthood to offer sacrifices for sins:

 

Hebrews 9.24-28:            24            For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

25           Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

26           For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

27           And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

28           So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

 

Hebrews 10.11-18:         11         And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

12         But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

13         From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

14         For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

15         Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

16         This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

17         And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

18         Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

 

So you see, one priestly function is no longer required, the function of offering a sacrifice for sins. However, we can approach God. We can also pray on behalf of others and ourselves as priests. What a great High priest we have in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who has made us priests. Amen?

 

7. So, what do you say about a Savior Who gives you grace and peace? What do you say about a Savior Who is shown to be a coequal member of the triune Godhead? What do you say about a Savior Who has not only loved us and washed our sins away, but Who has also elevated us to the position of kings and priests?

 

8. Notice that He “made us kings and priests unto God and His Father.

 

What does this mean? Why did not John say that Jesus made us kings and priests unto God and our Father? Because the Lord Jesus Christ’s relationship to God the Father is unlike our relationship to God can ever be, and is unlike our relationship to the Father can ever be. God is my God by creation.  The Father is my heavenly Father by adoption. However, the Lord Jesus Christ’s relationship to God and His Father is a peer-to-peer relationship, since they two with the Holy Spirit are one God. So, the Lord Jesus Christ has exercised His divine prerogative by elevating believers to kingly and priestly status. It has not yet happened in time, but it will certainly happen at the right time because these things “must shortly come to pass,” Revelation 1.1.

 

9. So, what do you say about such a Savior as this? John said it for us, did he not? “to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

a.       Glory” is a frequently used word in the Bible. The lexicon describes the word in this context as referring to “fame, honor, recognition, or prestige.”[26] Thus, John reckons that the Lord Jesus Christ’s fame, honor, and prestige should be acknowledged by His servants.

 

b.      dominion,” translating the Greek word kratos, simply refers to the exercise of ruling ability, power, sovereignty.[27] John does not fear the lordship of Jesus Christ. He is unconcerned about the omnipotent exercise of Jesus Christ’s rule or the demonstration of His sovereignty. He rejoices in it. He delights in it. He is thrilled by it.

 

c.       for ever and ever” is a phrase that is used 21 times in the Greek New Testament, 14 times in the book of the Revelation alone, as the particular designation of eternity.[28] It should then be asked, For how long will the Lord Jesus Christ’s fame, honor, prestige and sovereign rule be acknowledged, be praised?

 

1)      The LORD shall reign for ever and ever,” Exodus 15.18, so it will be for as long as God reigns.

 

2)      The LORD is King for ever and ever,” Psalm 10.16, so it will be for as long as God is king.

 

3)      I could go on, but I think you get my point. John speaks of eternal things here, things that are timeless, things that are beyond the scope of our understanding, which have to do with our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. But throughout all eternity the Lord Jesus Christ will be praised, will be adored, will be worshiped, and His sovereignty will be celebrated.

 

d. The verse ends with the word “Amen.” Fritz Rienecker tells us “The word is acknowledgement of that which is valid.”[29] This word is more important than most people think it is.

 

10.  My friends, it is now a good time to pause and spend some time in self-examination and reflection. All of what John has written about the elevation of the believer to the status of king and priest is based upon the Lord Jesus Christ, the second person of the trinity, having washed your sins away in His Own precious blood. But has He washed your sins away? Have you come to Christ and trusted Him to do that for you? For you see, unless you have personally trusted Him His sacrifice does you no good and you are not saved, much less are you a king or a priest.

 

11.  I would like you to now reflect on whether you really are washed from your sins in His blood. Consider your standing before God. Rehearse in your own mind and heart whether you know Him Who to know is life everlasting.

 

4C.       The second coming glimpsed (1.7)

 

(1.7)       Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

 

1.              Behold, He cometh with clouds . . . . 

 

a. John gets the reader’s attention. “Behold!” Then he makes an announcement. “This guarantee that Jesus is coming again literally and physically accords with 317 other promises of His coming again. The second coming of Jesus is mentioned more frequently than any other subject, except salvation itself. It was mentioned by the prophets, apostles, angels, and even Jesus Himself (see John 14:1-4; Matt. 24:27-30).”[30]

 

b. Do you remember the scene when Jesus ascended? Does not Acts 1.9 mention clouds associated with His ascension into heaven? It reads, “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” As well, in the Old Testament, are not clouds associated with the Shekinah glory of God? Sure. Turn to Leviticus 16.2: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.” Job 22.14 tells us that “Thick clouds are a covering to him.

 

c. You see, John is here referring to the glorious second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in all of His majestic glory and regal splendor. The phrase, “cometh with clouds,” “. . . echoes the promise of Daniel: The Son of Man will come with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7:13) – not ordinary clouds, but clouds of glory.”[31]

 

d. Let me give you folks a handout (Handout #3) at this time, copied from The Remarkable Revelation, an old book written in 1930 by L. Sale-Harrison:[32]

 

Clouds (v. 7) - Sign of Jehovah’s Presence. A Symbol of His Majesty and Glory.

The cloud went before the Israelites to lead them (Exod. 13.21).

When the cloud abode on the Tabernacle Israel journeyed not (Exod. 40.36).

The Lord descended in the cloud (Exod. 34.5).

The Lord said, “I will appear in the cloud on the Mercy Seat” (Lev. 16.2).

On the Mount of Transfiguration the cloud overshadowed Him (Luke 9.36; Matt. 17.5).

Our Lord at His ascension, a cloud received Him (Acts 1.9)

We are going to be caught up in the clouds (1 Thess. 4.17).

When the Lord comes to judge He will come with clouds (Chap. 1.7).

 

The cloud left Palestine and did not return until the Lord appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration. It again left Palestine when the Lord ascended and will not return until the Lord stands on the Mount of Olives.

 

2.             What will happen when Jesus comes again? “and every eye shall see Him  

 

a. There used to be a day when no one could imagine how everyone could see Christ’s second coming at once. But now, in the age of live satellite relays of television broadcasts, with on the scene minicam reports, this prediction is quite easy to imagine fulfilled. My friend, when my Lord comes back people will definitely know about it. Amen? This is not the Rapture. This is the second coming, seven years after the Rapture, that John shows here.

 

b. Yet, I do not think it will be technology that will enable every eye to see Him when He comes again. Instead, I think it will be a great miracle of God, Jesus in His glory, coming in a way that those on earth cannot help but see. It will be glorious for some, terrible for others.

 

3.            and they also which pierced Him  

 

a. “John is the only one of the Evangelists who records the piercing of Christ’s side. This allusion identifies him as the author of the Apocalypse.”[33]

 

b. I am convinced that John put this additional phrase in for a particular effect. He has already stated that everyone will see the Lord at the time of His glorious second coming, but he seems to want to point out that a particularly guilty group will see Him return. Who are they which pierced Him? Is John referring to lost people, in general, or is he referring to Jewish people? 

 

c. Zechariah 12.9-11 gives us a powerful clue, keeping in mind that the reference to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem can only refer to the Jewish people:

 

9             And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10            And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

11             In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

 

d. Though the sins of all mankind sent Jesus Christ to Calvary’s cross, the Jewish people are a particularly culpable group. Why? Because to them were committed the oracles of God. To them were sent the prophets. To them was sent God’s Presence. To whom much is given, much is required.[34] This prophecy, given 6 centuries before Christ’s first coming, predicts the response of the Jewish people to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.[35]

 

e. The words recorded by Zechariah were spoken by the Lord God Jehovah. Again, John leads his readers to a passage which strongly evidences the deity of his Lord Jesus Christ. This is a pattern that will hold true throughout the Revelation.

 

4.            and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.  Even so, Amen. 

 

Why will all people wail when Jesus comes again? To “wail,” koptw, is literally to beat upon your breast as an act of mourning.[36] Why will men do that? Because Jesus returns not to bless and reward the inhabitants of the earth, but to punish and smite them, to subdue them, and to banish them to everlasting Hellfire. This is not the wailing of the repentant, as you will see during the course of our study, but the wailing of those who are guilty for their sins and who fear punishment.

 

5. What a contrast there is between verses 6 and 7. Those who have trusted Christ are exalted by being made kings and priests. Those who do not trust Christ will wail because of Him. How much better a fate awaits those who have trusted Christ. Amen?

 

6. And John’s response to these two divergent fates? “Even so, Amen.” “Amen” is Hebrew for “so be it.” It is a term of agreement, of finality. John is siding up, once again, on the Lord’s side. How about you? Does your life and your testimony say “Amen” to the impending reward of the saint and the impending retribution of the damned?

 

5B.         Greetings From Jesus Christ (1.8)

 

(1.8)           I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

 

This is a very interesting verse. It is a verse which the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not like, and try very hard to distort. You will see how they try to distort this verse as we proceed.

 

1. First, we have the phrase “I am.  

 

egw eimi  Who is speaking here? Who has shown us in the Gospels that He likes to use this phrase? In John 6.48, John 6.51, John 8.58, John 11.25, and John 14.6 the Lord Jesus Christ uses this phrase. We need to read each of these verses:

 

John 6.48: “I am that bread of life.

John 6.51:      I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.

John 8.58:      Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 11.25-26:         Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

John 14.6:      Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 

Obviously, then, it is our Lord Jesus Christ Who is speaking in Revelation 1.8. But why should you consider this short phrase important?  For two reasons:

 

a. First, because this short phrase, egw eimi, is the Greek counterpart to the phrase found in the Hebrew Scriptures, Exodus 3.14, that is translated “I AM.”

b. Second, look at John 8.59, to see how the Lord Jesus Christ’s enemies interpreted His use of this phrase: “Then took they up stones to cast at him.” Why did they take up stones to cast at Him? They correctly understood His words to be a claim of divinity. Albert Barnes wrote, “The fact that the Jews understood him in this sense is strong proof that his words naturally conveyed the idea that he was divine.”[37]

 

2.            I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending

 

a.       Again, Albert Barnes: “Among the Jewish Rabbins, it was common to use the first and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet to denote the whole of anything, from beginning to end. . . The language here is that which would properly denote eternity in the being to whom it is applied, and could be used in reference to no one but the true God. It means that he is the beginning and the end of all things; that he was at the commencement, and will be at the close; and it is thus equivalent to saying that he has always existed, and that he will always exist.”[38]

 

b.      Now, having established that the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking here, let us read Isaiah 48.12: “Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

 

c.       Pretty strong statement of His deity. Amen? Do you begin to understand why the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are predisposed to object to Christ’s claims of deity no matter what the Bible declares, object to the plain teaching of Scripture?

 

3.      saith the Lord, which is and which was and which is to come

 

But who is this phrase referring to? Look back to verse 4. This is the Father. He is the One Who is, Who was, and Who is to come. But is it not Christ Who is speaking?  Is not He the one the word “Lord” refers to in verse 8?

 

4.            The verse finishes with the phrase “the Almighty  

 

Let me give you some verses to examine:

 

Second Corinthians 6.18:      And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

 

Revelation 4.8:           And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

 

Revelation 11.17:      Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

 

Revelation 15.3:         And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

 

Revelation 16.7:        And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

 

Revelation 16.14:      For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

 

Revelation 19.15:      And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

 

a. Friends, the word that is translated “the Almighty” in Revelation 1.8 and in these verses we have just read is the word “pantokrapwr.” It means having all power. But in each of the verses we have just read it is God the Father to Whom all power is ascribed with the very same word.

 

b. So, in this verse we have all power ascribed to the Lord Jesus Christ, using the same word used to ascribe to God the Father all power.

 

5. Folks this verse contains irrefutable evidence of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He that has the eyes to see can see. Those who deny the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ are simply the victims of satanic delusion. He is God!

 

6B.          What John Saw (1.9-18)

 

(1.9)           I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

1. “Here begins the narrative of the visions and prophecies of this book.”[39] “This vision of Christ is equaled in grandeur only by the vision of His final return as King of kings and Lord of lords (19:11-16).”[40]

 

2.  I John

 

a. This is the third time that John has identified himself. It must be important for us to know who the man was that this Revelation of Jesus Christ was given to so that he might pass it on to the seven Churches. Let us have no doubt that this is the apostle.

 

b. With this opening statement in the vision that John saw he stands with Daniel as the only other Scripture writer who refers to himself in this way. In Daniel 7.28, 9.2, and 10.2, the prophet writes in similar fashion.

 

3. I John, who am also your brother

 

a. I want you to notice something in this verse which is quite important, but which is usually overlooked. When the Revelation was penned John was the only surviving apostle of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, notice that he refers to himself, despite his high office and calling, as “your brother.” Why does he not refer to himself as a prince of the church? Because there is no such thing, that is why. You see, in God’s plan for His family we are all peers. This does not at all deny the obvious leadership roles that some have been called to, but it does deny any so-called spiritual hierarchy, such as is found in Roman Catholicism.

 

b. The fact that John emphasizes his spiritual kinship with his readers rather than emphasizing his apostolic office serves to show that his role in receiving and passing on this Revelation is not at one who is an apostle of Jesus Christ, but as one who is a seer, faithfully recording what he has seen.

 

4.  and companion in tribulation

 

a. Do you see the word “companion”? sugkoinwnos. That word is a form of the word for the Greek word “communion,” and means partners, co-sharers. John is a brother in Christ who has shared in three things which are mentioned here:

 

#1 Tribulation. From qliyei, a word which refers to affliction or pressing. “John is not referring to the Great Tribulation, but to the persecution that was already befalling the believers.”[41] As his brothers and sisters in Christ were being persecuted, so he was being persecuted. For as Second Timothy 3.12 declares, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

 

#2 The kingdom. This might be a reference to the fact that even in the midst of great trials and persecutions Jesus Christ rules supreme as Lord of all.

 

#3 Patience. This is the same word James uses in 1.3-4: “3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” It comes from upomonh, a word which means “to hold out or bear up in the face of difficulty.”[42] It refers to a difficult situation that you might be able to avoid, but you do not because you know it’s God’s will for your life. We usually think of this as endurance or perseverance. John could have knuckled under to the Romans, burned just a pinch of incense to worship Caesar, and been freed. After all, others who professed to be Christians compromised in that way.

 

b. Why did John not knuckle under? Why did he not give in to the intense pressure and persecution? Because all of the hardship he endured came as a direct result of his relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. To avoid the hardship he would have had to deny his relationship with his Lord and Master. He would have had to compromise himself. That he would not do, by God’s grace.

 

c. You see, as a Christian leader, because of his stand for the Word of God and his testimony (the witness, if you will) concerning Jesus Christ, he was sent to the isle of Patmos. He was not only willing to die for Christ . . . he was willing to live for Christ.

 

d. You need to ask yourself from time to time, “What pressures will I resist to stand for Christ?”

 

5. and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ

 

a. As John shared with his readers the afflictions they endured for Christ’s sake, so will he share with them life in Christ. This does not refer to the coming millennial kingdom here on earth, but to that aspect of the kingdom which exists presently when the believer is born again.[43]

 

b. But not to be forgotten with present suffering and future blessing is John’s companionship in grace. This word “patience” refers to what we usually describe as endurance, as I just mentioned.

 

6. was in the isle that is called Patmos

 

The exile of John to the Isle of Patmos is in itself a moving story of devotion to Christ crowned with suffering. This small island, rocky and forbidding in its terrain, about ten miles long and six miles wide, is located in the Aegean Sea southwest of Ephesus just beyond the Island of Samos. Early church fathers such as Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Eusebius state that John was sent to this island as an exile under the ruler Domitian. According to Victorinus, John, though aged, was forced to labor in the mines located at Patmos. Early sources also indicate that about A.D. 96, at Domitian’s death, John was allowed to return to Ephesus when the Emperor Nerva was in power.

It was in these bleak circumstances, shut off from friends and human fellowship, that John was given the most extensive revelation of future things shown to any writer of the New Testament. Though men could circumscribe his human activities, they could not bind the Spirit of God or the testimony of Jesus Christ. John’s experiences paralleled those of the Old Testament prophets. Moses wrote the Pentateuch in the wilderness. David wrote many psalms while being pursued by Saul. Isaiah lived in difficult days and died a martyr’s death. Ezekiel wrote in exile. Jeremiah’s life was one of trial and persecution. Peter wrote his two letters shortly before martyrdom. Thus in the will of God the final written revelation was given to John while suffering for Christ and the gospel.[44]

 

7. for the word of God

 

Has anything ever happened to you “for the word of God”? Have you ever taken a stand “for the word of God”? Have you ever wondered why you have not if you have not? A person should not have to be a Christian for very long before something happens in his life “for the word of God.” Would you not agree?

 

8. and for the testimony of Jesus Christ

 

This is somewhat different than for the word of God.” It is one thing, and quite commendable I might add, to suffer the consequences of taking a stand for the Word of God. But it is quite another thing to suffer the consequences “for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Have you noticed how groups get together and are willing to pray to God, but get very upset when someone prays “in Jesus’ name”? When John refers to suffering “for the testimony of Jesus Christ”, he has gone to higher spiritual ground than when suffering, and I say this respectfully, “for the word of God.” It is commendable to suffer “for the word of God.” Do not think I am denigrating the Word of God. Yet, it is better yet to suffer “for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

(1.10)         I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

 

1.  What is “in the Spirit?” The Greek phrase here is en pneumati. Although “in the Spirit” is frequently used by Christians and even pastors as a way of categorizing someone who is in a particularly spiritual frame of mind or heart, the phrase as John uses it here properly seems to have been a special spiritual condition that certain apostles and Old Testament prophets were in when God revealed truths to them. Since the revelation of God’s Word is now complete such trances are no longer occurring; at least not the genuine ones.

 

2. So, when someone talks about being “in the Spirit,” be careful to make sure he knows what he is talking about. In one sense, every child of God is “in the Spirit” (see Romans 8.9). When someone is attempting to convince you that he has received extra-biblical revelation, mark it down that he is in error (see First John 4.1).

 

3. Here are some examples of being “in the Spirit” in the sense of being prepared by God to receive supernatural revelation:

 

Ezekiel 3.11-27:    11    And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

12    Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.

13    I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.

14    So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.

15    Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.

16    And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

17    Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

18    When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

19    Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

20    Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

21    Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

22    And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.

23    Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face.

24    Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house.

25    But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them:

26    And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house.

27    But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.

 

Acts 10.1-20:        1          There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,

2         A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

3          He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.

4          And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.

5          And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:

6          He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.

7          And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;

8          And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.

9          On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:

10        And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

11        And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

12        Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

13        And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

14        But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

15        And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

16        This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

17          Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate,

18        And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.

19          While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

20        Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

 

Acts 22.17-21:      17        And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;

18        And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

19        And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:

20        And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.

21        And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.

 

4. So, the Spirit of God is here described as doing his office work.[45] It was back in John 16.13-14 that the Lord Jesus Christ told His apostles of the kind of work John now describes: “13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

 

5. Now that we have a better idea of what “in the Spirit” was in that special sense, what does John mean by the phrase “the Lord's day?” Some explanation is called for here. The most common interpretation of “the Lord’s day” is that it refers to Sunday, the first day of the week, and is so called by Christians in the first century because they refused to call Sunday what some in the Roman Empire called it, “imperial day.”[46] Opinions are divided.[47] My own belief is not strong enough to argue with anyone on this issue, but I am of the opinion the phrase “the Lord’s day” should not be interpreted as referring to a Sunday, for three reasons:

 

a. First, because there is no indication anywhere in the Bible that the phrase “the Lord’s day” refers to Sunday. Sunday is referred to as “the first day of the week” in First Corinthians 16.1-2: “1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” But “the first day of the week” is not the same thing as “the Lord’s day.”

 

b. Second, because the Greek word for “Lord” is an adjective here, not a possessive noun. If John were referring to a day of the week which was the Lord’s, the word for “Lord” would have to be a possessive noun. So, what I think we have here is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament “the day of the LORD.” My understanding is that John is telling us that “in the Spirit” he was transported to that future time the Old Testament prophets referred to as “the day of the LORD.”[48] It is from that future perspective that most of John’s Revelation is given, which fits with his statement of being “in the Spirit.”

 

c. Third, because I do not think these visions revealed to John could have been given to him within a 24 hour period of time, which the “Lord’s day” is if it refers to a Sunday.

 

6.            In that setting, John heard behind him “a great voice, as of a trumpet.” 

 

Remembering that John was a Jewish believer, what significance would you attach to John’s description of the great voice that he heard behind him, remembering that “throughout Revelation, a loud voice indicates the solemnity of what God is about to reveal”?[49] Consider several passages with me:

 

a. First, Exodus 19.13, 16, 19, where we see that the sound of trumpets is associated with God’s presence among His people:

 

13  There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.

 

16  And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

 

19   And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

 

b. Next, Numbers 10.1-10, where the sounding of trumpets signifies gladness, or alarm, or the issuance of marching orders:

 

1  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2   Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.

3   And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

4   And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.

5   When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.

6   When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.

7   But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.

8   And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.

9   And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

10   Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.

 

c. Finally, Zechariah 9.14-17, where trumpets signal the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ:

 

14  And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.

15  The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar.

16  And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.

17 For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.

 

7. When John used the symbolism of trumpets, he rightly knew that Jewish minds, and Gentile Christians who had been taught the Hebrew Scriptures, would run wild with possibilities of what might be occurring. Whatever was actually occurring in the reader’s own imagination, he was sure to know from what John has written that some stupendous event is about to transpire.

 

(1.11)       Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

 

1.  From verse 10, we expect significant things to be mentioned in verse 11.  This is because John was “in the Spirit” and because of his mention of the voice described as like a trumpet. Does something significant happen, as we expect? It sure does. Up until this verse John has related to us things about the Lord that he knew. Now he begins to describe things that he experienced . . . things that he both heard and saw in this vision.

 

2. What exactly did John hear behind him? Remember, verse 10 says he heard the voice behind him saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last” and, “What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia, unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.”

 

3. Now folks, all of this is said while John’s back was turned to the speaker. It is not until verse 12 that John actually gets turned around. But before he even turns around we can discover from what he heard Who was speaking.

 

4.            I am the Alpha and the Omega  

 

Who said that back in verse 8? Was it not the Lord Jesus Christ? Of course it was.

 

5.            The first and the last  

 

This closely parallels what the Lord Jesus said in verse 8. But remember, in that verse John is relating what the Lord said. In this verse John actually hears Him speak. But is there not a passage in the Bible where these words seem to be mirrored? Yes, there is. Turn to Isaiah 48.12 and read:

 

Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

 

Would anyone hazard a guess concerning the identity of the speaker in Isaiah 48.12? Correct. This is the God of Israel speaking. This is yet another instance in which the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is established.

 

6. What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

 

a. So this speaker, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord God of Israel, commands John to write his observations down and send them to seven congregations, seven Churches, in the Roman province of Asia.

 

b. Not denominational headquarters, mind you. Nor were these letters to be dispatched to a synod or a diocese. As a matter of fact, these letters were not even sent to the head office of a parachurch ministry. Why not? Because none of these types of organizations existed in those days.  They are an invention.

 

c. Jesus founded His church, a congregation that established other congregations. Moreover, it is my understanding of the Bible that the only organizations on earth that are Scripturally authorized to conduct God’s business are congregations like ours. Call me narrow, but that is what I find in the Bible.

 

d. By the way, the “book” that our glorified Lord directed John to write would not be a book as we see today. It was not a book like the construction of our Bibles or the hymnals we sing from, for such a thing had not been invented at that time, and would not be developed for centuries. “The Greek word refers to a scroll made of parchment formed from papyrus, a reed that grows plentifully along the Nile [River].”[50]

 

(1.12)         And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

 

1. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me.

 

a. John now turns to see the voice, which spoke to him. Obviously, John does not turn to see a voice. John is using a figure of speech, a metonymy. That is, he is using a word to represent another word. The word “voice” represents the one whose voice is heard.

 

b. It is like a newspaper that reads, “The White House commented on the Iraq affair.” Obviously, the White House cannot talk, but those represented by the designation “White House” can talk. So, this is a legitimate figure of speech. And it serves to illustrate that when we interpret the Word of God we need to be on our toes.

 

2. John’s description takes several verses, so what he is doing is describing the details first so he can focus on the main feature of his observation.

 

3. What detail does he go on to describe in verse 12? “Golden candlesticks,” which are, by the way, large lampstands. During John’s day candles such as we normally think of them had not been developed. So, a candlestick would be a stand that had oil lamps on it or being an integral part of it.

 

4. If you have ever seen a Jewish menorah then you have an idea what is meant by this term “candlestick.” The difference being, a menorah is a single lampstand with seven branches, and what is spoken of here are seven lampstands.[51]

 

5. John uses these “seven golden candlesticks” to represent the seven congregations in Asia to whom the seven letters will be sent. This will be brought out in verse 20, but several comments are warranted at this point:

 

a. First, a comment on the number of the “golden candlesticks.” “Throughout Scripture, 7 is the number of completeness, so these 7 lampstands are representative of all the churches.”[52]

 

b. Next, though a lampstand is meant by this word “candlestick,” witness bearing is the main thought. The lampstand in the Tabernacle was to give light and was never to go out, according to Exodus 27.20 and 35.14. Its source of light was the oil which is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. Churches are the light-bearers to the world. The source of a congregation’s shining is the Holy Spirit. Their testimonies were to never go out. Christ said: “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5.14). This word is used seven times in Revelation. Six times in the plural (Chap. 1.12, 13, 20, twice; 2.1; 11.4), and once in the singular (Chap. 2.5), where the Lord tells Ephesus that unless she repents He will remove her candlestick (testimony), or her right to stand as a church, out of its place.[53]

 

(1.13)         And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

 

1. In this verse, John begins to concentrate on the most important of the details that he observed, the Son of Man in the midst of the candlesticks. If you were Jewish, schooled in the Hebrew Scriptures, you would now turn to Daniel 7.13-14, where reference is made to the Son of Man.

 

13        I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14        And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

 

Verses 13 and 14 make good background reading, do they not? Hang on to what Daniel says here.

 

2. Though the color of Christ’s garment is not mentioned by John, it seems to resemble a description of the garments worn by the high priest of Israel. The girdle, which is golden, gives an even stronger clue that these are priestly garments. Let me explain.

 

a) Most garments worn by Jewish men included a girdle about the loins. However, this one is higher up, around the paps or the breasts. This permitted greater ease of movement that ordinary clothes would not offer and signified a higher office by the wearer. A kingly, priestly type robe is suggested.[54]

 

b) The golden girdle is different than the one worn by the Aaronic priests of Israel in this respect. Where the high priest of the Aaronic priesthood wore a girdle that was made with golden thread, Christ’s is simply described as golden . . . apparently solid gold or embroidered with many golden strands.

 

These clothes show us, or at least suggest to us, that John sees Christ as our great High Priest whose presence in heaven means a great deal to believers here on earth. Notice what Hebrews 4.12-16 says:

 

12       For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

13       Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

14       Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15       For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16       Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

 

Because of our High Priest, we who are saved have standing before God to pray and have access to get the mercy and grace we need.

 

3. John goes on to describe our great High Priest more fully in the next verse.  Let us now consider the verse before us more closely. The phrase begins with the words, “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks  

 

Because we recognize that “the seven candlesticks” are not literally the 7 churches of Asia, but symbolically represent the 7 churches of Asia, let us also recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ is not literally in the midst of the churches, but is represented as being “in the midst of the seven candlesticks” in an obviously symbolic way. This use of symbolic language is for the purpose of reminding John’s readers of the continual interest and involvement of the Lord Jesus Christ in His church’s affairs and well-being.

 

4. one like unto the Son of man

 

As we have already seen, this phrase reminds us of Daniel 7.13. According to the gospels, “Son of man” is the title Christ used most often of Himself during His earthly ministry (81 times in the gospels). Taken from the heavenly vision in Daniel 7.13, it is an implied claim to deity.[55]

 

To see the contrast between Christ’s two titles, “Son of God” and “Son of man,” turn to John 5.25 and 27:

 

25       Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

 

27       And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

 

5. clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle

 

This description is a symbolic representation of the attributes of Christ in special relationship to the events which are portrayed in the book of Revelation. His being clothed with a garment to His feet is best explained by the clothing of a priest and judge, like Aaron’s robe being designed “for glory and beauty” (Exodus 28:2). The golden girdle corresponds to that used by the high priest to bind his garments higher on the body than at the loins. Josephus, a first century Jewish general and historian,[56] explains this as being in keeping with the dignity and majesty of the high priest and as being designed to allow greater freedom in movement. The golden girdle corresponds to the girdle of the high priest, which has golden thread in it, but here it is made entirely of gold. The somber presence of Christ in His role as judge and priest in the midst of the churches is a significant introduction to chapters 2 and 3.[57]

 

(1.14)         His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire

 

1.  The color of our Lord’s hair is very important for us to notice. If you will turn, again, to Daniel 7.9 and read, you will see Daniel’s description of the Ancient of Days, Who is the Lord God Almighty:

 

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

 

Notice anything here? The descriptions found here and in Revelation 1.14 seem to be identical. What does that mean? It means we have still another proof of Christ’s deity. The Ancient of days is God, but Jesus is the Ancient of days.

 

2. Back to Revelation 1.14. “And His eyes were as a flame of fire.” In the Word of God, fire speaks of judgment. So, this might be symbolic of Christ being that priestly judge of sin, since we do know that He is the Righteous Judge.

 

3. In Revelation 19.12 His eyes are seen as flames of fire. But in that chapter His eyes are the eyes of wrath for those who have rejected Him. In this chapter He has eyes of judgment. But instead of them being the fiery eyes of wrath against unbelievers, they are the fiery eyes of holiness that seek out sin in the lives of His Own. We shall see this as we continue, but Psalm 11.4 corresponds to what I have just said:

 

The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.”

 

4. Let me give you a handout (#4) that I have copied from Sale-Harrison’s book[58] addressing the symbolism of this verse.

 

(1.15)         And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

 

1.  Brass speaks of judgment in God’s Word. This adds to the picture of the Lord Jesus Christ being the judge, for you may remember that the altar in front of the tabernacle in the wilderness, which contained the Ark of the Covenant, was a brass altar. The laver that the priests cleaned themselves with before they entered the tabernacle was also brass. This speaks of recognizing, judging, and dealing with sin in the believer’s daily life.

 

2.            and His voice as the sound of many waters  

 

a. How many of you have ever been down on a gray, windswept beach just as a storm was brewing? Or, how many of you have ever been in a hurricane or close enough to a tornado to hear it? Or, how many of you have listened to the sound of a giant waterfall? What impression is given in each of those situations? Do you not you get the feeling of raw power being demonstrated? That is the image John conveys here. Great power. Infinite power. It is this infinite power, which is God’s through His Word.

 

b. Turn to Psalm 29 and read along silently while I read aloud:

 

1                Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.

2             Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

3                The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.

4             The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

5             The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.

6             He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

7             The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.

8             The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

9             The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

10             The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.

11             The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

 

Can you not imagine John’s readers remembering this psalm? So, when John describes the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, his reader’s minds would naturally go to this psalm and its six verses describing the voice of the LORD. Another allusion of Christ’s deity.

 

c. When professional strong men do feats of strength they are usually accompanied by a lot of grunting and groaning. I am quite sure, from having once been a weight lifter and a discus thrower myself, that when someone begins to approach the limits of his strength he groans as he lifts. Or, when charlatan faith healers do their thing before large crowds they usually put on a display of great effort. Ever notice that?

 

d. But God works by merely speaking. God speaks and worlds come into being. When God speaks all creation, except mankind, listens. But in time, even man will attend unto the words of the Son of Man. We will learn of that time in our study of Revelation, when the following passages will be fulfilled: Isaiah 45.23; Romans 14.10-12; Philippians 2.9-11.

 

(1.16)         And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

 

1.            And he had in His right hand seven stars  

 

In Scripture, the right hand is the hand of power, the hand of favor, the hand of honor and prestige. So, whatever the seven stars are, they are in a special place, indeed. We will come back to this phrase as we see the significance of the seven stars.

 

2. and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword

 

a. What is this sword? I believe it to be the Word of God. Turn to Hebrews 4.12 and read:

 

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

b. In Hebrews 4.12 the word for sword implies a sword for doing fine work. It is like a small, very sharp, blade that discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. But the sword in Revelation 1.16 is a completely different Greek word, telling us that a different kind of sword is referred to, though I believe the Word of God is still in mind. In the verse which we are examining John uses a word that describes an instrument of death, romfaia, a long and heavy broad sword such as was used by barbarians and symbolizes the irresistible power of divine judgment.[59]

 

c. In the Roman world there were two ways of using a sword. You can use it the wrong way or the Roman way. The wrong way to use a sword, according to the Romans, was to slash and hack with the sword, which can only wound an adversary most of the time. The Roman way, which proved to be the most lethal way, was to thrust, thrust, thrust, always thrust.

 

d. Used in such a way the sword would do its job quickly and efficiently. So will the Word of God, coming from the mouth of the Son of God, do its job quickly, precisely, and efficiently. We will see it in John’s Revelation, executing judgment upon all unbelievers.

 

3.            And his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength 

 

a. Countenance speaks of facial appearance. It is not beauty or looks, but the outward glow of an inner fire. For Christians, it is supposed to be the countenance that is the important thing, not beauty. An ugly person can have a radiantly beautiful countenance, just as a beautiful person can have a fallen and sullen countenance.

 

b. Let us consider some of the significant countenances in the Bible.

 

1) First, there is the fallen countenance of Cain (Genesis 4.6)

 

2) Then, there is the glowing countenance of Moses (Exodus 34.29)

 

3) Third, Stephen’s angel-like countenance (Acts 6.15)

 

4) Finally, the Lord’s countenance on the Mount of transfiguration (Matthew 17.1-2)

 

c. In Revelation 1.16 the countenance of the Lord Jesus Christ is as the sun, but more so. The bright blinding light is wonderful to His Own, but those who are of the darkness will try to hide from this radiance of holiness and judgment.

 

(1.17)         And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

 

1. John is a normal Christian man. When he sees the glory of the risen Savior he does what we who read the Bible have come to expect. He falls on his face as a dead man. Have you ever heard of the term “slain in the Spirit?” Or, have you seen folks who are supposed to have been overcome by God falling backwards, only to be caught by folks standing conveniently behind them? Let us look into the Word of God to see what happens in the Bible when someone is overcome in the presence of God. There are several examples I want you to look at:

 

a)       Turn to Genesis 17.1-4 and read with me:

 

1                And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

2                And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

3            And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

4            As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

 

In the presence of Almighty God, Abram falls. Two questions for your consideration: Does Abram fall forward or backward? In order to fall on your face you have to fall forward. Right? Next, is Abram friend of God or foe?

 

b)        Turn to Joshua 5.13-15:

 

13            And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?

14            And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

15            And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

 

Before the captain of the Lord’s host, Who is the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ, Joshua falls. Two questions: Is Joshua God’s friend or foe? Which direction does he fall, forward or backwards?

 

c)       Third passage. Judges 13.20-21:

 

20            For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.

21            But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD.

 

The “angel of the LORD” is yet another appearance of the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ. Again, two questions: Did the future parents of Samson fall on their backs or their faces? And, were they friend or foe of God?

 

d) One final passage before we return to our text. John 18.1-6. Again, let us read this passage and ask questions:

 

1            When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

2            And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

3            Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

4            Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

5            They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

6            As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

 

In the presence of the incarnate Son of God, did these men fall forward on their faces or did they fall backward? Second question. Were they friend or foe?

 

e) Is it not interesting that every single time we see a friend of God overwhelmed in His divine presence the friend of God falls on his face before God, just as we will see them do in heaven as we continue in our study of Revelation? But the single time we see men filling backward, as so many seem to be doing on television when they are supposedly overwhelmed by God, or in Charismatic or Pentecostal Churches, they are not God’s friends, but those who have come to arrest Christ and then crucify Him. Seems to me, there needs to be a little Bible study done by those who participate in these so-called ministries that feature so much falling backward. Amen? Seems to me they show by their behavior that they are no friends of God. Amen?

 

2. Back to our text. Why do you suppose John fell at Christ’s feet as dead? Probably for the same reason Joshua and Abram and Samson’s parents fell on their faces. He was scared to death.

 

a) I do not believe John is here manifesting that proper fear of the LORD that is mentioned so many times in God’s Word in connection with wisdom and knowledge. If he had feared as wisdom, or as knowledge, or as understanding dictated, he would not have been gently admonished to “Fear not.”

 

b) This is the disciple who leaned on the Savior’s breast the night of the Last Supper. This is the man who was more personally intimate with the Lord Jesus Christ than any other. Yet he is so overwhelmed by the glory of the Lord Jesus that he falls on his face in terror.

 

c) Does he get familiar with the Lord Jesus here? No, he does not. He does not run up and say “Hey, Jesus.” No, he is awestruck. John Bunyan remarks that John is here fearful of the Lord Jesus because “His presence is dreadful.” Specifically, “His most comfortable and joyous presence” is dreadful to us.[60] He goes on to comment, regarding the fear of God, “Take note: if the presence of God is not a dreadful and a fearful thing even in his most gracious and merciful appearances, how much more so, then, when He shows Himself to us as one that dislikes our ways, as one that is offended with us for our sins?”[61]

 

d) In other words, if the Lord Jesus Christ is so dreadful to John with such a gracious and merciful appearance, what must His appearing be like to those He disapproves of, to those He will come to judge?

 

3. And He laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last

 

a) Everything in Scripture is significant. Therefore, take note that the Lord Jesus laid His right hand upon the terrified John. This, as I have said before, is the hand of favor and honor. It is also the hand in which He, moments before, held the seven stars, verse 16. I think, with this gesture of comfort and reassurance, we see the affection the Lord Jesus Christ had for His beloved John.

 

b) Have you counted the number of times the Lord Jesus told people to “Fear not” in the Gospel record? Seven times He directed individuals to “Fear not.” You see, if you fear Him in the proper way, you need not fear anyone or anything else. No matter what the worry, whether it is a storm on Galilee, financial worries, or a sick child, He does always say to His Own “Fear not.”

 

c) You might wonder, “Why did He tell John not to fear if the Bible tells us to fear God, and to fear Him?” There are different kinds of fear. One kind of fear drives a man away from God, the way Adam and Eve were motivated by fear to hide from God. Another kind of fear is the cowering fear that a slave has for a brutal master. God does not want these kinds of fear from His Own. He wants the kind of fear that a child has for his loving and tender father who will chastise him for his own good. John had the wrong kind of fear, and the Lord Jesus Christ gently rebuked him for it, so that John would have had an instructed fear, a spiritual fear, and not an ignorant and cowering fear.

 

4.   And again, let us not overlook the fact that when He said, “I am the first and the last” He was reasserting His deity. Isaiah 48.12 confirms this:

 

Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

 

What means this comment about being first and also being last? “Idols will come and go. He was before them, and He will remain after them.”[62] And another little observation. Who told Abram to “Fear not” in Genesis 15.1? Was it not Jehovah? So you see, my friends, the cumulative weight of evidence attesting to the deity of Jesus Christ in this book of the Revelation is crushing.

 

5. Before continuing on to verse 18, I think a comment, an observation, an application is in order. Reflect upon John’s reaction to seeing the majestic Savior, “The terrible splendour of such majesty was more than the apostle could bear, and he fell down deprived of his senses.”[63] “So fallen is man that God’s manifestation of His glorious presence overwhelms him.”[64] Consider, then, my friend. If the godliest man on earth, the last living apostle of Jesus Christ, John the beloved apostle, the one who had leaned on the Savior’s breast in the upper room the night before His crucifixion, could not stand before Him . . . what will you do when you find yourself standing before Him?

 

a) In Psalm 24.3, the psalmist asks, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?”

 

b) In Psalm 130.3, the question is asked, “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?”

 

c) Finally, Malachi 3.2 asks, “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap.”

 

The question you need to ask yourself is, “Will I stand?”  Will you stand in God’s holy place? On the day of His coming, when Christ appears, will you stand? Only if you are converted, only if you know Him in a personal way, only if your sins have been cleansed by His precious blood.

 

(1.18)         I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

 

1.  Can there be any doubt after this verse, that the One to Whom deity is ascribed in the last several verses, is the Lord Jesus Christ? Does this not prove, beyond any shadow of doubt, that the Lord Jesus Christ actually did die a literal and real physical death, and was then literally and physically raised from the dead?

 

2. But He is now alive for ever more. And the keys, symbolizing authority, show that He has authority over Hell and death. Hell is a place, while death is a state. Hell has to do with the souls of men, while death has to do with the bodies of men. Thus, Jesus has authority over your body and your soul. Allow me to explain some things with respect to this subject that may be unclear to you:

 

a) Turn to Luke 23.43: “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” In this verse, Jesus is responding to the thief on the cross next to Him, who said, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” He asked the Savior for a future blessing, but the Lord Jesus Christ promised Him an immediate blessing. Jesus was going to paradise when He gave up the ghost, and He was taking the thief with Him.

 

b) What must be remembered is that paradise is not the same place as heaven. In John 20.17, we read, “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”  Jesus said this after He had risen from the dead. So, we know from Jesus, Himself, that He had not gone to heaven until He had first taken His own shed blood to offer as our great high priest for our sins.

 

c) So, where is this paradise, if it is not heaven? Turn to Acts 2.31: “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” When Jesus died on the cross, this place we call Hell had two compartments. One portion of Hell was reserved for unsaved people who died and is a place in which they suffer great torment. However, the other part of Hell, the other compartment of Hell, if you will, which Jesus referred to as paradise, and which He also referred to as Abraham’s bosom, was the place where saved people went when they died before Jesus ascended to heaven.

 

d) You might think of it as being this way before Jesus ascended into heaven:  Except for two men, Enoch and Elijah, who were translated into heaven by God without ever dying, everyone who died went to Hell. Everyone! Sinners went to Hell and saints went to Hell. Believers went to Hell when they died, and unbelievers went to Hell when they died. But, you have to understand that Hell actually has two parts, two regions, two compartments. The good part is called paradise, or Abraham’s bosom, and is a very nice place. The bad part is a very bad place of pain and torment. Therefore, when Abraham died he went to the paradise part of Hell. When David died and when Daniel died, they went to the paradise part of Hell. But, when Cain, who murdered his brother, died he went to that portion of Hell that is the place of fire and torment.

 

e) When Jesus died, He went to paradise. That is, His soul went to paradise. I think He was in paradise for three days and three nights while His body was in the tomb. Then He came back, was reunited with His body, which was then glorified, and He rose again in His now glorified body and was seen by His disciples on a number of occasions. Then, when He gave to His disciples the great commission, He ascended to heaven to sit at His Father’s right hand.  Mark 16.19: “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.”

 

f) There is something else that Jesus did when He ascended to heaven. He took all those believers who were in paradise to heaven with Him. Ephesians 4.8: “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive. . . .” So, when Jesus ascended to heaven he took Daniel and David and Joshua and Moses and Jacob and Abraham and Rahab and Sarah and Hannah, and all the others who had been in Hell, but who were in the paradise part of Hell.

 

g) So, now that Jesus is in heaven with the Father, everyone who is a Christian who dies goes straight to heaven. The good part of Hell is now empty, with no one there. Only the terrible part of Hell, the place of fiery torment, is still occupied. And whenever sinners die they still go to that bad part of Hell, where they will stay until the last judgment, at which time they will be cast into a far worse place, the lake of fire.

 

h) So, Jesus’ soul did not go directly to heaven when He died. His soul went directly to Hell, the good part of Hell, the place called paradise. He remained there with people like David and Abraham and Daniel and Sarah and Joseph for three days and nights. Then He rose from the dead and His soul rejoined His body, which was now glorified. He appeared among His disciples on a number of occasions, and then He went to heaven and took everyone from the good part of Hell with Him. That is where they all are now, in heaven, with Jesus.

 

3. What words of comfort and consolation to a frightened Christian man. “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” But what words of foreboding and pending disaster to a lost man.

 

 

7B.          The Outline Of The Book Of The Revelation (1.19)

 

Chapter 1      The unveiling of His Person      (His glory)

 

Chapters 2 & 3      The utterances of His purpose      (His grace)

 

Chapters 4-22      The unfolding of His power      (His government)

 

(1.19)       Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

 

1. John is now restored to somewhat normal composure, and he is directed to write what he has already seen, what things are, and the things that shall be hereafter.

 

a. It is this verse, my friends, which gives us the general outline of the entire book of the Revelation. This is the only place in the entire Word of God in which such an outline is given. By giving us this outline for the Revelation, the Lord Jesus Christ is revealing to us how extremely important it is that we properly understand and interpret this great portion of Scripture.

 

b. How important is this outline? Well, those who follow this key to interpreting the Revelation invariably believe that the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ for His Own will be both pre-tribulational and pre-millennial, which is to say before the tribulation and before the millennium. Those who deviate from this outline come up with all kinds of deviant prophetical schemes.

 

c. Only when you follow this three-point outline can you have any hope of making sense of the Revelation, can you do justice to this great book.  So, you can see how extremely important to your understanding this outline is.

 

2. The first point is concerned with the things John has seen and with the unveiling of Jesus Christ in His glory in chapter one. So, we have emphasized here once again the fact that John is functioning as a seer, rather than a prophet.

 

3. The second point covers chapters two and three and deals with the things which are; that is, the Churches of this present age.

 

4. The third point, referring to what is, by far, the most lengthy portion of this book, has to do with those things which come after the Churches are gone from the earth. Of course, this will be when the Rapture of the Church Age believer occurs in the imminent future.

 

5. Before we move to verse 20, it is important that I point out to you an important technical phrase that first appears in the Revelation at the end of verse 19. Translated in this verse as “hereafter,” the Greek phrase, meta tauta, is a technical term that appears nine times in the Revelation, each time referring to a significant break between what action happened before and what action comes after the phrase is used.

 

8B.         The Meaning Of The Seven Stars And Seven Lampstands (1.20)

 

(1.20)         The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

 

1. Here we can learn an important lesson about the use of symbols in this great book. As mentioned before, there is a great deal of symbolism in this book, and some of it will be very difficult for us to decipher. Still, we must understand the purpose of John’s use of symbols. Symbols are useful tools to help us understand this book. In this book symbols are used, not to conceal but to reveal truth. Once we succeed in deciphering the meaning of a symbol, great understanding is available to us.

 

2. The seven Churches are the seven Churches of Asia. John tells us that. With the Churches described by the Lord Jesus Christ as golden candlesticks we see the mission and function of a New Testament Church described in a marvelous way. You see, candlesticks do not give off light. Rather, candlesticks hold the light up so all will be illuminated by the glow emanating from the light.

 

3. So, we here at Calvary Road, as a Church, lifting up Christ so that all may see Him, are merely instruments. Since our function is solely to lift up the glorious Savior, all activities that we engage in at this Church should, in some way, aid in getting the Gospel out to others or should aid in preparing our people so that they can get the gospel out.

 

4. What about the seven stars? The stars are angels, from the word “aggelos.” But the word “angel” simply means messenger, and can refer to either human beings or supernatural beings who wait upon the Lord, depending upon the context in which the word is being used.

 

5. In Daniel 12.3, the word “star” is used to describe those who turn many to righteousness. This clue would point toward these angels being men, since heavenly beings do not participate in the Great Commission of winning lost souls to Christ, as First Peter 1.12 suggests, and the entire body of Scriptural truth attests to:

 

Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”

 

6. Also, we might notice, in Daniel 12.1, that Michael the archangel is mentioned. We know that heavenly angels were guardians of the nation of Israel. Further we know that heavenly angels guard little children (Matthew 18.10) and those who will be, but are not yet, believers (Hebrews 1.14). But what about the Church? Who protects Churches?

 

7. Angels, both natural and supernatural, seem to have a twofold ministry as we see their function in the Bible. They give messages (remember, the word “angel” means messenger) and they protect those under their oversight from harm.

 

8. But the question is, do the heavenly beings we normally think of when thinking of angels minister to Churches in the way they ministered to Israelites and in the way they minister to children, and those who shall be the heirs of salvation? From all of my personal studies of God’s Word, I would answer “No.” All evidence overwhelmingly points to men being given the responsibility and the duties of protecting Christ’s Churches not heavenly angels.

 

9. Bible teachers are quite well agreed on the fact that the stars held in the right hand of the Lord Jesus Christ, the angels of the seven churches in Asia, are mortal men. They are the pastors of the seven Churches in Asia. If the pattern from Revelation chapters 1, 2, and 3 holds true to our present era, and I am convinced that it does, then a congregation’s pastor is seen to be in Christ’s right hand, the hand of His favor, and the place where He exercises control over their lives and ministries.

 

10. Why the term “angel?” Apparently, referring to His men as angels is a significant reminder, by our Lord Jesus Christ, that pastors are men who are charged with transmitting messages from Him to His Own, men who are responsible to protect His flock, are given to Churches by Him, and are answerable to Him. This seems to line up with the kind of ministry Paul recognized pastors to have, in Acts 20.17, 27-30:

 

17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

 

27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

 

11. So, as we close out our study of Revelation chapter 1, we have seen a number of things we need to remind ourselves of:

 

a) We have seen numerous indications that the risen and glorified Lord Jesus is God,

 

b) We have seen indication that Christ’s plan is to use pastors (who are themselves shown to be in His right hand) to protect His Churches from spiritual harm, which is termed a mystery,

 

c) We have seen the mission of the Churches as light bearers portrayed in a marvelous way,

 

d)      And we have seen genuine believers described as priests and kings.

 

How these truths ought to affect and influence the way we live and serve God. Amen?

 

[1]   Fritz Reinecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1980), page 811.

[2]  Ibid.

[3]  Ibid.

[4]   Bauer, Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), page 214.

[5]  John Walvoord, The Revelation Of Jesus Christ, (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1966), page 32.

[6]  Lehman Strauss, The Book of the Revelation, (Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1964), page 22.

[7] McBirney, page 109.

[8] A. T. Roberston, Word Pictures In The New Testament, Vol VI, (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1930), page 284.

[9] Reinecker & Rogers, page 811.

[10] Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, (New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1996), page 1180.

[11] A. T. Roberston, Word Pictures In The New Testament, Vol VI, (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1930), page 284.

[12] John Gill, The John Gill Library, (Paris, AK: The Baptist Standard Bearer, Inc., 2000)

[13] Ibid.

[14] Charles H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon Devotional Commentary, (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), [email protected]

[15] Bauer, page 57.

[16]  Ibid., page 60.

[17] Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary, (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), [email protected]

[18] B. H. Carroll, An Interpretation Of The English Bible, Volume VI, (Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, 2001), Revelation, pages 28-29.

[19] Footnote on Revelation 1.4, John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1992.

[20] Footnote on Revelation 1.4, Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, 2000), page 1359.

[21] Bauer, page 1079.

[22] Footnote on Hebrews 9.12, John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1910.

[23] Bauer, page 603.

[24] A. T. Robertson, A Grammar Of The Greek New Testament In The Light Of Historical Research, (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1934), page 831.

[25] Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Israelology: The Missing Link In Systematic Theology, (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries Press, 1994), page 993.

[26] Bauer, page 257.

[27] Ibid., page 565.

[28] William R. Newell, The Book Of The Revelation, (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1935), page 13.

[29] Reinecker & Rogers, page 812.

[30] See footnote for Revelation 1.7, Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, 2000), page 1361.  

[31] See footnote for Revelation 1.7, John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1992.

[32] Sale-Harrison, page 37.

[33] Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary, (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), [email protected]

[34] Luke 12.48

[35] Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, 2000), page 981.

[36] Bauer, page 559.

[37] Albert Barnes, Albert Barnes’ NT Commentary, (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), [email protected]

[38] Ibid.

[39]  John Gill, The John Gill Library, (Paris, AK: The Baptist Standard Bearer, Inc., 2000)

[40]  See footnote for Revelation 1.9-17, John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1992.

[41]  J. Vernon McGee, Reveling Through Revelation, Part 1, (Pasadena, CA: Thru The Bible Books, 1979), page 15.

[42]  Bauer, page 1039.

[43]  McGee, page 15.

[44]  Walvoord, page 41.

[45] McGee, page 15.

[46] Jim Combs, Rainbows From Revelation: How To Understand The Apocalypse, (Springfield, MO: Tribune Publishers, 1994), page 23.

[47] Reinecker & Rogers, page 813.

[48] Walvoord, page 42.

[49]  See footnote for Revelation 1.10, John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1993.

[50] See footnote for Revelation 1.11, John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1993.

[51] McGee, page 15.

[52] See footnote for Revelation 1.12, John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1993.

[53] Sale-Harrison, pages 37-38.

[54]  Gerhard Albert Raske, A Complete Grammatical Blueprint Of The Book Of Revelation, (Simcoe, Ontario: Fundamental Baptist Publishing House Canada, 1996)

[55]  See footnote for Revelation 1.13, John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1993.

[56]  Webster’s, page 1034.

[57]  Walvoord, page 44.

[58]  Sale-Harrison, pages 38-39.

[59] Reinecker & Rogers, page 814.

[60]  John Bunyan, The Fear of God, (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria, 1999), pages 3 and 5.

[61]  Ibid. page 5.

[62]  See footnote for Revelation 1.17, John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1993.

[63]  Adam Clarke, Adam Clarke’s Commentary (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), [email protected]

[64]  Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary, (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), [email protected].

© Copyright 2003 by John S. Waldrip


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