Revelation 1:1-20 - Christ in Glory

 1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.  4 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia:   Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne , 5and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father - to him be glory and power for ever and ever!  Amen.

Revelation 1:1-6

 

Revelation begins with God as the author of the story.  He reveals it to Jesus who reveals it to His angel.  The angel delivers the story to John who faithfully delivers it to the seven churches in Asia.  Thus describes the birth of the gentile Christian faith and represents the universal church designed to remind all mankind of his roots. We know that the foundation for the Christian faith is the New Testament writings resting firmly on the Hebraic writings.  However, the message is to all mankind taking us back to the birth of the nations. 

The geographical location of the seven churches is very close to the landing of the ark.  This area is a place of rebirth and renewal.  God wants to deliver us through a new birth experience and encourages us to become new men and women in Christ.  The churches are to take this message to heart, be restored by it and then faithfully deliver it to the world.  This good news is not just for a people of a particular nation or notion.  It expresses God's love for all the nations.  Before it can be delivered, the messengers must be prepared.

These passages clearly tell us who Jesus is and what He means to the inhabitants of earth.  He is the faithful witness that will testify in Heaven of those that will testify of Him on earth.  Matthew 10:32-33   He is resurrected from the dead and is the only one with power to deliver us from death--the resurrection of the body is assured.  We have a blood disease called sin and Jesus is the transfusion.  Adam lost dominion in the garden, but it has been restored to humanity through Jesus.  Those that forsake their place in this world receive a place in God's kingdom.  The priestly role is that of servant to the people of the world.  It is through the position of servitude that our dominion on earth will be restored.

God has in the past looked for a man to deliver His divine message to the world.  Among many, He used Noah, Abraham and Moses.  During the time of the Davidic Kingdom and after, He demonstrated His benevolence to the world through a woman, Jerusalem.  She was and is His beloved whom He chose to deliver His children.  God loves the whole world and desires that they enter a spiritual awareness through rebirth by the woman of His choice.  Of course, just like Mary had a choice, the woman chosen by God also has a say about the children she delivers. 

With the assurance of the words in the first chapter of Revelation 1, God has chosen the church to deliver His children during the last age.  It will be our grand privilege to do so, but what will be our choice?  Many in the church will hear the voice of God and through the suffering of child bearing, will agree to deliver all believers from various geographical locations within the world preparing them to meet Him at His coming.  Many others within the church will not heed the voice of God.  Their choice will be a loss to the world, but the one that fails to deliver the message will also lose their personal reward.  Ezekiel 3:16-21

I have studied Revelation since I was a teenager.  I would read the mysterious passages and long for understanding as it continued to escape me.  Many others, much greater than myself, have also longed for understanding.  However, the first three verses make it clear to us that the understanding will be delivered to those of the last generation.  Revelation 1:1-3  The full understanding of the message will be delivered and received by believers because the time is near.  God is not idle with His words.  He has spoken to all generations since the birth of the church through Revelation, but it is the generation that sees all these things that will not pass away until everything happens.  Matthew 24:33-34 

When the time of the end arrives, God will prepare His own to receive Him.  There are multitudes in the world that have lost their spiritual ears and can no longer hear the voice of God; however, God will speak to them through the restored church.  Will they hear?  Some will, some will not.  Delivering the message is our only command.  God's faithful ones will hold to that and not sway back and forth by the receptiveness of the world to the message.  Ezekiel 2:3-8

We must not make light of God's invitation to the church.  It is a calling with the option to resist; however, the reward for hearing the voice of God surpasses the limitations of all language making it indescribable.  Also, where there is reward expect penalty.  The penalty for ignoring God's calling will make void all the entitlement an individual ever had.  Your vessel, like the womb of a barren woman, will be empty and useless for bearing fruit.  

It is made abundantly clear in Revelation that this calling belongs to the church because the letters are addressed to the churches in Asia where Christianity has its earliest beginning.  Revelation 1:4, 11, 20; 2:1-29; 3:1-22   Are we the only messengers?  Pray to God that we are not, and thank Him for sending us the angelic hosts to assist us.  We can rest in the assurance that what has been provided will be sufficient. 

This mission has been delivered from Heaven to Earth.  In Heaven there is abundance for all, but on earth there is abundance for some and great need for all others.  It is the desire of all true believers that things will be on earth as they are in Heaven.  God is eager to bless us from Heaven's coffers.  The opportunity is for all of humanity.  It has been signed and sealed by the Father, the Spirit and the Son.  Revelation 1:4-5a   This mission has the insignia of Heaven's dignitaries witnessing the significance of the delivery.  This is a mission of cosmic importance.

The beginning of the mission assigned to the last generation of believers will not be delivered with great pomp and circumstance because the world will resist; therefore, it is a mission of stealth.   The plans to deliver the ones imprisoned by the dark one currently reigning on earth have been in place since the foundation of the world.  These plans are quietly being initiated to the called ones of the last age.  Yet, through the mystery of God, all will hear; but many will pass on this opportunity themselves while also prohibiting others. 

No expense has been spared and the cost of a single soul can never be considered too high.  This mission will cost all of us.  It should since it is our battle and only the love of God would move Him to fight on our behalf.  Hold to the promises found in Job that all will be restored with a double portion in full measure.  Do not be afraid to invest your resources in the kingdom of God because great is your reward.

 7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
   and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
   and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”             

So shall it be! Amen.

 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 1:7-8

 

These passages introduce the purpose of the entire book of Revelation.  It is to reveal Jesus to us.  We must see Him spiritually and know Him intimately today in order to look upon Him at His coming.  The following chapters were written to help us know Jesus.  It is my great hope that the following studies will reveal Him to you.  Jesus is coming again.  The world has long waited for this day.  Many have come to doubt the certainty of His coming; however, His delay is only because He is long-suffering, not willing that any should perish.  2 Peter 3:9  He will come.  His appearance will be the most glorious thing that has ever happened to you, or it will be the worst experience of your life.  Your position in this matter will determine your fate.  Choose carefully.

During the time of duress, Satan will appear claiming to be the Messiah.  Many will see him as God, but he comes as an usurper and does not have any authority.    During this time, many frightful things will occur, and we will be tempted to fear Satan.  Jesus is the one with all authority and is more fearful at His coming than Satan will be when he comes.  We will hold to the right of authority.  Jesus extends His authority to us during this mission.  He is the Almighty, and His mission will not fail.  The battle is hard, but the war is won and those that love God are on the winning side.

  9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

Revelation 1:9-11

Just as John was in prison on the isle of Patmos, the kingdom that Jesus offers us is currently in the bondage of this world.  The subjects of this kingdom suffer in this world requiring a lot of patience and endurance from the saints.  Satan is a deceiver and a destroyer by nature; however, Jesus never deceives.  He will tell you right up front the cost of entering His kingdom.  Jesus paid the entrance fee; but Satan has put a taxation on the toll road.  It is a small amount to pay when you consider the vast reward.  Matthew 13:44-45   

In this world the saints will endure great hardships because of the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus.  Their suffering is a recurring theme throughout the book of Revelation.  Believers are bestowed in abundance with the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus.  It is by these two witnesses that the world is reconciled to God.  Satan is aware of the power of these two witnesses and will do all that he can to prevent the body of Christ from partaking of them because one acts like a catalyst to the other within the body of Christ.  Therefore, if we are void of the word, we have no knowledge to share, and if we are void of the testimony we are not sharing.  In the beginning of this chapter we read that John had these two witnesses and  was held captive on the island of Patmos because Satan fears the two witnesses--the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus.  In comparing him to flesh, Satan is mighty, but God is greater and He will prevail.  If you do not speak out, others will.  However, if you do not speak, the darkness wins that small battle and you lose your place.

God expresses his commands through the word which testifies of Jesus.  John 5:39  The clay vessel (human body) containing the Word of God and Testimony of Jesus is a powerful force against the darkness of this world and will cause the darkness to rise up against God and us.  However, if you have the word and fail to testify, then you are null and void because you have no witness and can not participate in the mission.  Jesus will testify on your behalf in the presence of the Heavenly Father and all the angels when you need it most.  Do not deny others this opportunity by denying Jesus when the world needs Him the most.

The seven churches in Asia were selected to represent the universal church because of their spiritual conditions.  They reflect the seven potential spiritual conditions that a church of any era and/or area might be in.  The story of the churches in Revelation chapters 2-3 represents the need for restoration within the church.  Israel was always falling away from God, and He was always restoring her.  The same is true of the church.  Before the church can be effective in the mission, she must be restored in her relationship with God.  She must return to the way she was when she first loved God to participate in the mission of reconciling the world to God. 

It is my opinion that while the book of Revelation describes the end of our world as we know it, some of the seven steps are dedicated to the recreation of the heavens and earth.  I believe the other apocalyptic writings in the bible also support this understanding. 

 

 12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

Revelation 1:12-16

John heard a voice speaking to him and turned around to see.  We must also attend to the voice of God.  This voice sounded like a trumpet.  Revelation 1:10  The fall festivals celebrated by Israel include the Feast of Trumpets also known as the Days of Awe.  The trumpets announced to the assembly that their king was soon coming on the Day of Atonement.  This served as warning so all of Israel would know to get ready to meet their king.  The voice sounding like a trumpet sets the tone of the message in Revelation.  When the world hears the trumpets, they will wonder about the events surrounding them.  It is the job of the church to tell them to get ready because their king is coming.  However, before we can define the trumpet sound we must first hear and heed the sound ourselves.  Before the trumpets sound alarm to the world, the church must first hear the voice that sounds like a trumpet.

John sees seven lamp stands with Jesus standing in the middle of the lamp stands.  In the holy place within Israel's temple there was a menorah.  The menorah was a very large candle stick with seven lamps.  One of these lamps had to be burning at all time.  As a child, Samuel had the direct duty to keep oil in this vessel so that the candlestick would never go out.  One of the lamps may go out, but at least one lamp must be burning at all times.  Hanukah is a Jewish festival that represents a miracle that occurred during the time between the old and new testament.  There was a shortage of consecrated oil, but God miraculously kept the menorah burning until more oil could be acquired.  The menorah represented to Israel that God ordained her to be the light of the world.  Isaiah 42:5-7 

The passages describing Jesus walking in the midst of the candlesticks demonstrates that the light to the world is now in the possession of the churches.  Matthew 514-16   It also demonstrates to us that the lamps only have oil if they are attached to the lamp stand from which the oil must flow through.  Jesus is the lamp stand and the churches are the lamps; just as Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.  Finally, we know that Jesus will be with us even until the very end.  We are not in this alone.

Jesus is dressed in priestly attire because we are priests to the world and He is our Great High Priest.  How comforting it is to know that Jesus takes the lead role in the reconciliation of the world.  He has and will continue to show us the way and to walk with us right up to the very end.  He has the seven stars, which represent the angelic beings, in his right hand.  The right hand represents his power.  The angelic beings in His right hand have chosen to join Christ and us in the reconciliation of the world.  Jesus is with us, and He has persuaded the Heavenly hosts to join us.  The "seven" angels actually represent the Heavenly host and consists of all the righteous angels in Heaven.  During the dark days of the time of the end, we will be like Elijah and will feel as if we are all alone.  Please remember you are not alone.  Matthew 28:20

The King of Syria was preparing to attack Israel and by all human understanding, Israel was in trouble.  However, Elisha had a greater vision.  He saw the army of God surrounding his people and prayed that his servant's eyes would be opened.  That is my prayer for us today.  I pray that our eyes will be opened and we can see that the hills are full of horses and chariots of fire.  We need to know that we should not be afraid because,  “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”   II Kings 6:8-22

Coming out of the mouth of Jesus is a sharp, double-edged sword.  This sword will be used to slay the unsaved in the last day.  Revelation 19:11-16   However, today, this sword has the power to save you.  It will cut you, but not for destruction.  God will use this sword to cut away the heart of stone revealing the soft, pliable heart of first love.  On the eighth day, a Hebrew son is circumcised in the flesh.  The sword that comes from the mouth of Jesus is the word of God (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17) and if you receive it, it will circumcise your heart cutting away the part that is dark and full of pain so your heart can be healed and whole.  Acts 7:51-53; Romans 2:25-29

It is God's desire that you be healed.  He wants a wholesomeness for His loved ones.  The sun has healing properties.  It is through sunshine that we get vitamin D.  We are learning more daily regarding the necessity of vitamin D to the human body.  When you look upon the face of Jesus, it also has healing properties.  However, the sun is also a destructive force.  In the day of destruction there will be those that never looked upon his face to partake of healing; therefore, they will partake of destruction.  When they see His face, they will cry for the rocks to fall on them and hide them from His face.  Revelation 1:7; 6:12-17  Look upon His face today.  Behold Him and know that He is the source of light in the dark place.  Without Him we have no light, only darkness.  By beholding Him we will be made like Him and become a light unto the world.  Learn more. . .

Posted by BOBBI on 03-19-2013
THIS IS SO HELPFUL. PRAISE GOD FOR THIS SERVANT THAT WILL TAKE TIME TO HELP THE REST OF US TO UNDERSTAND REVELATION BETTER.
Post a Comment