The Revelation of Jesus Christ
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:
The book of Revelation is a book that contains the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him for one specific purpose. What is that? To show unto his servant John things “which must shortly come to pass.” Revelation, despite what many people believe or say, is not the revelation of John. The Word tells us point blank that the book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ. John was only the vessel that Jesus used to write the warning to the churches and to the saints of what the future holds for the world. To those who disbelieve Revelation, and there are many, I turn your attention to 2 Timothy 3:16-17. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Many people in our churches today pick and choose what scriptures they want to believe. But the Word plainly states that all scripture is given by the inspiration of God. There can be no picking and choosing; we must accept the whole Word of God. Another scripture to look at is 2 Timothy 4:1-2. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” Sadly to say, this shows us a picture of our modern-day churches, turning from scripture and changing scripture to say what they want it to say. They teach that under grace no one will miss heaven, that Jesus died for the whole world. Sin and sinners are welcomed into their churches. They ordain homosexuals as priest and pastors, something God’s Word strictly forbids and condemns. I touch on these subjects to get them out of the way, so that we can keep our minds on Revelation. It’s Jesus’ Revelation, which God, His Father, gave to Him. Jesus then sent and signified it, by his angel, unto His servant John. Nowhere is John called the revelator.
2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
The testimony of John is that he remained true to his calling in Christ Jesus. The scripture states of John, “Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” This Revelation tells us of the things that will be taking place on the earth as well as things taking place in heaven before, during and after the rapture of the saints or the church.
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.
Blessed are they – who? The people who read and hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things – what things? The things that are written in this book, because the time is at hand – what time is at hand? The soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ to take us, the saints, home to glory. This book is a warning to the child of God and to the churches, to get as many saved as possible before Jesus comes back. As we look at those around us who claim to be saved, we find that many of them had rather believe a lie than the truth. But it is only the truth that will set us free.
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;
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,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
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.
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.
John begins to write to the seven churches which are in Asia. He begins with a greeting from our Lord and the seven Spirits which are before the throne. John must have been well known to the churches, because he simply states, “John to the seven churches.” The seven Spirits denote the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Ghost. “There is one Holy Ghost, but as the one candle holder has seven branches for seven candles, the Holy Ghost as the executive person of the Holy Trinity has seven ministry names, namely the Spirit of Adoption, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Supplication, the Spirit of Glory, the Spirit of Holiness, the Spirit of Life, and the Spirit of Wisdom.” (Which denotes a seven-fold ministry with the emphasis being placed on the completeness of the Holy Ghost’s ministry.) But Jesus is the theme of Revelation. He is given three titles, and they are: Faithful Witness, First Begotten of the Dead and Ruler of the King of the Earth. Then we see what Jesus has done for the church. Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. We are made kings and priests unto God. Be glory forever and ever.
Jesus is coming back. The scripture says that He is coming with clouds, every eye shall see Him, and all the people of the earth shall wail. Jesus tells us who He is: the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the Almighty.
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.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
In Prevision of History, by Rev. Elizabeth Williams, D. D., John identifies himself without titles of honor or rank; he simply calls himself brother and companion in tribulation, waiting in Christ Jesus. He names the place where he was the isle called Patmos, a small, barren island off the west coast of Asia Minor. He states that he is there for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. According to Eusebius, an early church historian, John was banished or exiled to Patmos by the Roman Emperor Domitian in the year A.D. 95.
John further tells us that he was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day. It simply should be accepted that John means that it was the first day of the week, what we call Sunday, the day of our Lord’s resurrection.
7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
1 Corinthians 16:2
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.
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
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.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
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.
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
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.
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:
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.
19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
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.
The great voice that John heard in Verse 10 is identified in Verse 11 of this chapter. Jesus tells us who He is by saying, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.” Then John is instructed that everything he is shown, he is to write in a book. Once it is written, John is to send a copy to each of the seven churches which are in Asia. Again, these seven churches are: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. In Verse 12, John turned to see the voice that spoke to him. John states that he saw seven golden candlesticks, and in the midst of these candlesticks, John saw one like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to His feet, having on a golden girdle. His head and His hair are white like wool, as white as snow. In the Word of God, white denotes purity, without spot or stain, undefiled. It also speaks of wisdom and maturity, denoting the wisdom of the ages.
His eyes are like as a flame of fire. Here we see a simile describing the all-seeing, all-penetrating, all-knowing power of Jesus Christ. This flame can burn out the dross in a life and at the same time warm the heart of the believer. His feet are compared to fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace. This symbolizes the power that enables Jesus to tread upon the enemy of our souls; nothing can bar or block His path. His voice is as the sound of many waters. Have you ever stood next to a large waterfall? The sound is deafening. This is like Jesus as He shows forth His power and glory. He commands and is obeyed. In His right hand, He holds seven stars. Out of His mouth goes a sharp, two-edged sword. The sword can be said to be the Word of God, and as Jesus speaks, His word is final. As John sees this, he is overwhelmed and falls as one dead before the Lord.
The Lord reaches down, lays His right hand on John and tells him not to be afraid or fearful. Jesus reassures John of who He is by saying, “I am the first and the last. I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore.” Jesus is telling John to remember when He walked with him, when He was crucified and when He rose from the dead. He wants John to remember how they talked and preached God’s Word.
Again, Jesus tells John to write the things which he has seen, and the things that are and that are coming, for these things are warnings to the world and to His church to prepare for His return. The church is going to face trials and tribulations. For a long time, the church has been at ease, but things are changing. Jesus tells us to fear not, for He is in control. These things must happen, but we are not to fear, for our trust is in Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Jesus tells John that the seven stars which he saw in Jesus’ right hand are the angels of the seven churches. As we look at this mystery, John wasn’t writing to angels from heaven, but to the pastors of the seven churches, those who were responsible for the preaching of the gospel and keeping the churches in line with God’s Word. The seven golden candlesticks are represented as the seven churches in Asia. We can truly say that these seven churches were the most influential churches of that time. They were larger and more active in the ministry of the gospel than any others.
There’s a problem when studying the book of Revelation. Many people look at these scriptures and say they don’t understand what they are reading. How do we know what’s what? Some have said, “I don’t read it because it scares me.” The book of Revelation must be studied with much prayer. Some scriptures are written as fact, to be taken just as they are written, and some as symbolism, such as the angels of the churches, who are the pastors. Other scriptures are parenthetical. As a rule, most people want everything laid out for them. However, when it comes to God’s Word, there are times when we must dig out what God wants us to know. The book of Revelation is a picture of the near future; the coming future of mankind. We cannot be like many people and hide our heads in the sand. Jesus loves us enough to give us warning. Use it, and let it make you a better person.
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