John's vision of Christ

1:1- 8

v1: This verse defines the author to definitely be John. However, it is not originated by John. He is merely an instrument by God for giving information to all believers. The "revelation" is FROM God TO Jesus Christ THROUGH the angel TO John. John is the recorder. See the article on "Who is John?" for more information on who John is thought to be. The words of the Revelation come from God to John. The purpose is to inform God's people of the things that will "shortly" come to pass. Information shortly comes to pass infers prophetic thoughts. The word Revelation comes from the Greek apokalupto which means an unveiling or a revealing of something previously hidden. It is the foundation for the word apocalypse. God sent it and "signified" it by His angel to John. To "sign" it literally means to sign of code it in His own through the signes, symbols, and visions. This is one of His mysteries or revelation of heavenly information.

Dan. 9:21-23 [scripture] 9:21-23 [commentary]

v2: Again it is emphasized that the record coming was from God and given through Jesus. It also says that the information about to be received by John was actually seen and experienced by John.

v3: This is the only place in the Bible that decrees a blessing on the reader and listener of this book. "The time is at hand" is not known. Remember, God's time is not chronological time as we have. God can see the beginning and the end, at the same time. So what is "close" for Him may be 10's, 100's, or 1000's of years. So, we do not know whe; we only know that it is for sure.

v4: This verse says John addresses himself with the task of writing to seven churches in Asia. These are the churches in the ancient times of Asia Minor (Turkey). Why seven? Seven signifies completeness in the Bible, the seven churches means these seven churches totally define everything which Jesus has to say about ALL churches. The seven spirits are referring to the complete perfection, omnipresence of God. As will be seen later, it is also possible the seven spirits are seven angelic personages responsible for the seven Asian churches about which the seven letters are written. Since the seven churches are thought to represent churches in different ages of the church development, this could be an outpouring of spirit from the Holy Spirit on each of the churches when they come about. In the Bible, there is always a significance of the number seven. Seven is used throughout Revelation. This is a simple statement which is the foundation of the book of Revelation. It refers to the information to be recorded about what is (in John's time), what was, and was to be (even through today).

v5: Notice that verse 4 has greetings from God the Father "... from Him which is, and which was, ...." and from the Holy Spirit "... from the seven Spirits ...". Now the greeting continues "..And from Jesus Christ, who....". This is a greeting of the Holy Trinity. He is called "the first begotten of the dead". the begotten refers to procreation or birth. Therefore, Jesus is the first rebirth or creation. To refer to "of the dead" infers a birth or rebirth of the dead. Therefore, this is stating that Jesus was "birthed" again, referring to His resurrection. However, others were resurrected from the dead like Lazarus. However, all other raisings from the dead were raised to eventually die again. Jesus did not ever die again. He was the only to rise from the dead where the shadow of death no longer posed a threat. Jesus was faithful to witness of God. He has power over death. He has Lordship over all earth leaders. He washed our sins away with His blood by His dying on the cross.

v6: We believers have all been given the authority and direction to be kings (a leader or ruler - i.e. we are under bondage of no one) and priests (leaders of churches - we can come into direct contact with God ourselves) for God (Jesus) and His Father (God). To Him (could be a reference to either God the Father or Jesus Christ the son) give glory (highest honor, rejoice proudly) and dominion (power and authority, ) for ever and ever.

v7: Jesus will come from the clouds with all people viewing Him. Remember, we now have the technology for every single pair of eyes in the world to see anything in the entire world. With the satallites, cameras, transmitters, and receivers, nothing could be more simple today. The reference to "even those which killed Him" states that the persons who killed Jesus would also see. This, of course, infers that they will be raised. This timing is probably referring to the end of the Tribulation when Jesus comes again. The wailers will be the persons who turned their backs on the Lord. Therefore, all kindreds (all nations of the earth) shall wail. The believers will wail sympathetically (cry) because of Jesus' wounds on the believers behalf. The words in this vers may be figurative, although it could be literal. There are many scriptures that are more obviously figurative, refering to Jesus' second coming.

  • seated on a white horse (Rev. 15:14)
  • seated on a white cloud (Rev. 19:11)
  • seated as a refiner of silver and gold (Mal. 3:3)
  • seated on the right hand of power (Matt. 26:64)
  • standing at the door, knocking (Rev. 3:20)
  • having a chain in his hand (Rev. 20:1)
  • having a sharp sickle in his hand (Rev. 14:14)
  • having a trumpet (1 Thess. 4:16)
  • having a golden crown on his head (Rev. 14:14)
  • having many crowns on his head (Rev. 19:12)
  • having a sharp sword going out of his mouth (Rev. 19:15)
Dan. 7:13-14 [scripture] 7:9-14 [commentary]

v8: The Lord says that He is the Alpha and the Omega. These two words are the beginning and the ending letters of the Greek alphabet. Therefore, He is the beginning and the end. There was no start and there will be no end. These things could only be said of a deity, therefore, Jesus.

Isa 44:6; 45:5-6; 46:9-10; Zech. 12:8-14
Matt. 24:29-31; 25:3; 2 Peter 1:16-21; 1 John 1:1-3; Rev. 1:18; 3:14; 22:13; 21:6
Heb. 4:14-16; 10:22; Eph. 1:3

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