Outline of Chapter 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:
To an angel...
For Christ's servants.
The word "signified" simply
means that it was delivered with signs.
That which was to be written was
the "things which must shortly come to pass."
The vast majority of all that is recorded in Revelation happened right around
that time period.
There are a few portions that deal with "final" things to come such
as the resurrection and the judgment but the majority was to shortly come to
This refutes the view that all the signs in Revelation are referring to events
unfolding throughout history.
2 Who bare
record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all
things that he saw.
assures us that his account is accurate. A look at John from Chapter 1:
He is the Lord's servant (1:1)
is one who bore witness of all that he saw:
As an eyewitness of the life of
As a recipient of the visions recorded in the book of Revelation.
He is a brother to the seven churches.
In the kingdom (1:9)
In tribulation (1:9)
He is on Patmos:
For the Word of God.
For the Testimony of Jesus Christ.
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.
blessing is pronounced on those who read or hear, and keep the things which are
written in this book.
that you have to KEEP the things written.
1:22; Be doers and not hearers only.
2:15-26; Faith without works is dead.
It is so important to keep the things written because the time is at hand.
Those who say that Revelation is
strictly a foretelling of future events have a problem with this view. How
do you "keep" historical events.
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;
specific recipients were the seven churches of Asia. They are:
Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum,
Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea
Why these seven? There were
other congregations in Asia.
Seven represents fullness or
The problems that these church had completely or fully represent qualities of
the Lord's church today. Combinations of these characteristics are
present in all congregations of the Lord's church today. The
characteristics are therefore timeless.
"Grace" = God's unmerited
favor on the churches (Eph
"Peace" = The peace
that comes from being a Christian (Phil
This grace and peace comes from all
three persons of the Godhead.
"From him which is, and which
was, and which is to come"
God is the eternally existing
one. The great I AM of Exodus. He is eternal in the direction of
the past as well as the direction of the future. I believe that this is
talking specifically about the father. However, the Son is also eternal
and the Holy Spirit is eternal (Hebrews
"And from the seven spirits
which are before His throne" (4:5;
Seven denotes perfection, nothing
lacking. I believe this is talking about the Holy Spirit, the second
Person of the Godhead. Notice that the Father is mentioned before and
the Son is mentioned after. Grace and peace comes from all three persons
of the Godhead. The spirits being before God's throne most likely means
that the Spirit is ready to do the Father's bidding. Jesus told us that
the Spirit is subject to the Father (John
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.
is indeed a faithful witness.
He came to bear witness of the
He never lacked
courage or compromised.
was no guile (lying) found in His mouth (I
Christ is also the first begotten of
This is not referring to chronology
but to His preeminence.
people had risen to the dead but He is the preeminent.
attributes this to him in Colossians
Christ was the first
one to rise to never die again.
By dying and rising from the dead,
Christ became the ruler of those who had killed Him.
He has all power in heaven and in
He is the King of
kings and Lord of lords (I
But how is Christ the prince of the
kings of the earth? How does he rule the nations?
2:20-21; He removes kings and sets up kings.
4:25b; The Most High rules in the kingdoms of men.
50:-5-7; Assyria is described as God's destroying rod.
Babylon was to be destroyed by God's battle axe, the Medes.
God would raise up the Chaldeans to do His will.
A city has never fallen that God has not destroyed it.
In the New Testament:
24:27; The destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans was a work of God.
19:10-11; Pilate only had power because God gave it to him.
There is no power but that is ordained of God.
Next there is a doxology to
He loved us and washed us from our
sins in His own blood.
God demonstrated His love for us in Christ's death (Romans
We contact that blood through baptism (Acts
Christ has made us kings and priests
unto the Father.
Christians are a royal priesthood (I
"Dominion" = rule or
Christ received his kingdom when He
ascended to the Father (Daniel
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.
was taken up in a cloud and would return in a cloud (Acts
will see Him. It will not be in secret as some teach. Even those who
crucified Him will see Him (Phil.
who have rejected Him will wail when he comes back.
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.
is probably speaking about Christ but some think the Father is speaking here.
and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Therefore,
God is saying that He is the beginning and end. He is all inclusive.
served as encouragement to those who were undergoing persecution and should also
encourage us today also.
John's Charge to Write
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.
actual meaning of the verses is that the kingdom, tribulation and patience are
all in Christ and that they all share these things.
says that he is in the kingdom with them.
The kingdom was already in
The kingdom is the
He tells the seven churches that he
is their brother and fellow partaker in their tribulation (John
the kingdom and tribulation come patience.
The steadfast endurance to overcome
John then tells us where he was when
he received his vision.
He was on the isle called
Patmos. (see introduction).
was on the island for two reasons:
the word of God.
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
had the Holy Spirit in a greater measure than we do today. Acts
Lord's day is referring to the first day of the week. No Old Testament
writer ever referred to the Sabbath as the Lord's day.
at the prominence of the first day of the week to Christians.
Jesus was raised from the dead on
the first day of the week (Mark
When the day is
identified, every appearance of Christ to His disciples after His resurrection
was on the first day of the week.
church of Christ was established on the first day of the week (Acts
The first century church
assembled for worship on the first day of the week (Acts
The Lord's supper was
eaten on the first day of the week (Acts
Saints are commanded
to give on the first day of the week (I
John hears a great voice behind him
that sounds like a trumpet.
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.
identifies Himself as the first and the last (see v.8).
is told to write the things he SEES and send it to the seven churches of Asia.
John's Vision of Christ
And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven
turns to see the speaker (a voice is invisible).
sees seven golden lampstands or candlesticks.
20 tells us that the seven candlesticks are the seven churches.
Lampstands serve to support and
provide light. If they do not use this, they are worthless. Matthew
Each lampstand was
separate from the others, unlike the one in the tabernacle of the Old
Testament. This could represent the independence of each church.
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.
churches are inseparable from their head (Colossians
moves around among His churches and knows everything about them.
clothing suggests an high office. Someone of great importance.
His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were
as a flame of fire;
hair is described as being as white as white wool. See Daniel
White signifies purity and
Could also signify His
Eyes were like a flame of fire:
They peer deep inside (John
As our judge and
Were filled with wrath and
Were filled with
Were filled with
pity and compassion (Luke
15 And his
feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the
sound of many waters.
like fine brass....as if they burned in a furnace.
When the Lord comes in judgment He
will tread under feet and turn to ashes all that His feet touch.
enemies will be placed under Christ's feet (1
Cor 15:25; Acts
His voice was as the sound of many
His voice is powerful,
strong, resolute. Focusing on what it will be like at the Judgment.
voice can be comfortable (Zech
1:13), like a mother comforting her children (Isaiah
66:17). He will speak peace unto His children (Psalm
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.
seven stars in His right hand...
The right hand represents power and
The stars represent
the angels of the seven churches (1:20).
The word "angel" means
Thus, Christ upholds the messengers
of the church with His powerful hand. What a comfort!
Out of His mouth went a sharp
The word of God is the two edged
This is emphasizing
it being used in judgment (John
Notice its other
uses in Revelation (2:12,
Countenance was as the sun shining in
Charge to Write Restated
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:
was as dead. See Isaiah
6:5; Ezekiel 1:28;
Seeing the glory of Christ should have this effect on us as well.
reassures John. Only His enemies need to fear His appearance.
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.
fact the Christ is alive forevermore should comfort us.
key symbolizes power or authority over something (Matt
says that He has power over death and Hades.
"Hell" should be
translated "Hades." Hades = unseen.
Christ's coming, He will empty Hades (John
19 Write the
things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which
shall be hereafter;
charge to write is restated.
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.
discussion of verses 12 and 16.
a glorious image of Christ we see in this chapter. It should serve to
encourage all Christians who read to know that the one they serve is alive