Revelation Chapter One
The exposition of this prophetic book by John and JESUS
V 1."The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John."
Note, things which shortly must come to pass. The Church in general and the Christian in particular must always be ready and in a state of expectancy while the wicked say that the Lord is delaying His coming and the things that are coming upon us. GOD gave it, therefore it is the truth.
John, like the rest of the disciples, thought that Jesus would return in their life-time. Since Revelation can only be interpreted by the Old Testament book of Daniel, John must have been familiar with the the prophecies of Daniel. Reading the rest of Revelation, clearly shows that the complete New Testament dispensation is revealed.
V 2."Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and all things that he saw."
Note: "the Testimony of JESUS is the spirit of prophecy, seen in Rev. 12:17 as those who have it, and seen in Revelation 19:10 again. This is a prophetic book and those who can decipher it, rightly dividing the word of truth, have the right spirit." The spirit of prophecy is the word of GOD revealed through a prophet. [see our link on prophets].
V 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."
A blessing is promised to those who read, hear and keep the words of this prophecy. Again, for the time is at hand. According to Hebrews 1:2 the last days started with the coming of JESUS to this earth and it is not to be confused with the end-time and the time of the end explained in later chapters.
V 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;"
These seven churches in Asia are symbolic of the 7 church ages. Names in the Bible are full of meanings and symbols are also represented by the 7 candlesticks which are in the heavenly sanctuary temple. Ephesus meaning desirable. It was the first church which received the doctrines in its purity.
It should read: from Him which is, and which [always] was and He [JESUS] is coming again to this earth to reign in glory.
V 5. "And from Jesus Christ, who is the Faithful witness, and the first begotten from 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."
Note, JESUS is not the first risen from the dead but has the pre-eminence over all those who have risen. Just as Satan is the prince of this world and all evil, our Lord is the prince of the Christians whom He calls priests and kings.
V 6. "And He has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Here the Protestant principle of the common priesthood of all believers is confirmed. As we see elsewhere in the book of Revelation, the Nicolaten heresy separates the laity from an elevated clergy and sainthood.
V 7. "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and also which pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so. Amen."
Note, it does not say that every eye shall see Him [JESUS] all at once, but as He encircles the earth, we all shall see Him. Jesus is coming with clouds of Angels also called Saints. (Matthew 16:27; 25:31; Daniel 7:10). Do not allow adherents of the rapture tell you that Jesus is coming with earthly saints.
V 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."
Alpha and Omega is the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet in which the New Testament is written. It represents the total sum of our majesty JESUS CHRIST our GOD Almighty [see Isaiah 9:6; 44:6].
V 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 the testimony of Jesus Christ."
John was the last of the Apostles and all suffered persecution or tribulation and that is why the aged John stresses it.
V 10. "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice , as of a trumpet."
The only Lord's day in the Bible is the seventh day Sabbath of which JESUS is Lord [see Matthew 12:8] which is Saturday and Christians that observe Sunday follow early Rome and not the biblical Sabbath day.
V 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 Pergamus, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodecea."
Alpha and Omega are the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet and correspond with the first and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet which are Aleph and Tau. The book of Revelation is based on the Old Testament and the two letters Aleph and Tau were associated with the high priest of the Old Testament sanctuary. In the first chapter of Revelation JESUS is also presented as a priest in the heavenly sanctuary temple and the Aleph and Tau are connected with Him. On the breastplate of the high priest are two stones called the Urim and the Thummin. The Urim commenced with the letter Aleph and the Thummin with the letter Tau. The purpose of these two stones was to reveal the will of GOD, and the high priest consulted GOD. When GOD responded, a bright light would appear for yes on Aleph. If the answer was no, a cloud would appear on the stone named Tau. JESUS today is our mediator between GOD and us. This is why He is called the Alpha and Omega.
Something here is being repeated for special emphasis: "for the time is at hand" "must shortly come to pass" The Christian believer here is being urged to be at the 'ready' at all times. Our probation closes at point of death. Do you know JESUS as your personal Saviour from sin?
Apocalypse means Revelation. It is to be revealed. It comes from GOD the Father to JESUS CHRIST the Son, to the angel [probably Gabriel] and finally to John and to us. Unfortunately, Revelation does not follow a sequence. Why only given to seven churches when they were many others in the same area? It has to do with the seven names of these churches and their meaning to show a 2000 years or more history and in each generation it can be said that the time is at hand and these things must shortly come to pass.
According to verse 3 A blessing is pronounced on those who not only read or study this prophecy but keep and treasure those writings. They contain many present truth's and instructions.
Our Lord JESUS is the beginning and the end, the Great "I AM" the self-existing One who with the Father has always existed and therefore claims to be the Lord of the Seventh Day Sabbath [Mark 2:28] the day on which John received this Revelation. It is the only biblical Lord's day.
John also said that on the Lord's day, he heard behind him a great voice like a trumpet [v.10]. Trumpets announce an important message. The feast of trumpets in the O.T. lasted ten days and announced the coming judgment. The Seventh Day Sabbath [Saturday] is also mentioned in Revelation 14:7 in connection with the judgment of GOD.
Revelation 17 shows us the judgment of the great Prostitute and her daughters who adulterate the truth to make it more acceptable to politics and the world.
V. 12 "And I turned to see the voice that spake with me.And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
V. 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."
V. 14 His head and hairs were whit like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire."
V.15 " And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters."
V. 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."
V. 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:."
V. 18 " I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Note, this is obviously speaking of our great Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He holds the keys to hell ( or Hades, meaning the grave) and of death. He is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. He is also seen as our great and high priest in the sanctuary and in the middle of those seven candlesticks. This means Jesus is always with us throughout the seven time periods of history in this Christian era.
V. 19 "Write these things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;"
Notice the thing which are at present when John wrote it, and what things will be hereafter. Over more than 2000 years to come.
V. 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."
You will notice in the later chapters that those letters were not written directly to those seven churches, Ephesus (to AD 100), Smyrna (AD 100-323 meaning Myrrh), Pergamos (A.D. 323-538 meaning Height, Elevation), Thyatira (A.D. 538-1798 meaning Contrition/Song of labour), Sardis (A.D. 1798-1833 meaning That which remains), Philadelphia (A.D. 183344 meaning brotherly love) and Laodecea (A.D. 1844-the end meaning Judging the People), written but to the angels of those churches. The mystery in verse 20 are not to remain a mystery but is being revealed to us here in the book of Revelation!