Dear Readers, Beloved of God,
Note to my readers: I understand that this study is lengthy and is not digested at one sitting. Therefore, I authorize any that desire, to print or copy this study in its entirety. Also, you are free to share it with the world. If you know someone that would be blessed by it, feel free to share it. What God has freely given me, I freely give to you. I only ask that you do not “profit monetarily” from this study. It is free for the edification of all!
I pray that you have thus far been blessed by this teaching! Having laid a small foundation, I will now begin a chapter by chapter analysis of Revelation. As I present each chapter and commentary, I will try to remember to alert you to the location that the particular events are taking place. I will label each chapter with “heaven”, “earth”, or “informational”. Remember that some chapters transition midway in the text between heaven and earth. I wish somehow that I could insert my personal bible in here! I have color schemes and notes written within Revelation that makes this transition much easier. I suppose that technology hasn’t advanced that far yet so I will do the best I can. Some chapters I will detail more than others. This in no way takes away from the significance of the book as a whole.
Again, I ask that you read with an open heart and mind. I ask this of you not for my benefit, as my beliefs are a settled issue, but for your benefit. God loves you so much and wants for us all to know, understand, seek, and have the truth of His Word revealed to us.
He is not an angry God waiting for the right moment to smite any of us. This is one reason for my strong belief in the rapture of the church. I believe that if God intended us harm then Jesus has died in vain. He not only gave His life as payment for our sin, He also secured our future, as displayed in His willingness to share with us the goodness of His Father, including membership in the royal priesthood and His choice of our being His bride.
Furthermore, if we were to face God’s wrath upon the earth then would not that null and void what Jesus has accomplished for us? Would not our “punishment” then be credited toward our works and not His grace? In earthly civil and criminal law, wouldn’t this be considered as “double jeopardy”? God is a just and righteous God and the laws of the land will not out shine the goodness and favor of God. He will not punish us double for the same crime. I thank you for allowing me to share my heart. I believe that it was something I needed to express. Let’s begin in our traditional manner:
Father, I come boldly to Your throne of grace and again ask for Your guidance and Wisdom in presenting this study. Saturate me in Your Holy Spirit as I write the Truth of Your Word. Father, for those that read and study with me, I ask for eyes and ears to be opened, hearts and minds to be filled with Your presence, and a spirit of understanding given. We love you Lord Jesus and with praise and thanksgiving we seek. In Jesus name, ~Amen
”Revelation Chapter 1: Benediction and Cover Letter”
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants —things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. 4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. 8” I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord,” who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” 9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island 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 I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, ” I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, ” What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” 12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two- edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.
(Revelation Chapter 1) NKJV
Chapter one is the “cover letter” of the letters to the seven churches. As commanded, John will send three things to each church: a copy of the prophecy, a cover letter explaining how he received the prophecy and reason for sending it, and a letter of instructions to the churches as dictated by the Lord Jesus.
John knew that this letter would travel throughout all of the churches, so he used the opportunity to remind them of the great truths of God’s Word. His greeting is saturated with the gospel message: grace, peace, God the everlasting Father, The Holy Spirit (seven Spirits of God), Jesus, the Faithful Witness, King, God’s love, The Blood Atonement, Kings and Priests, Christ’s return, and Alpha and Omega.
John greets the churches himself and also on behalf of the Holy Spirit as noted in verse four, “the seven Spirits”. I point this out because when I first started studying Revelation, I wondered what was meant by the “seven Spirits”. I knew God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but what were these “seven Spirits”? Further study revealed an awesome scripture and brought me understanding! The “seven Spirits” are a reference to the very character of Jesus Christ: Lord, Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Knowledge, and Fear (reverence) of the Lord, as found in Isaiah 11:1-2. What beauty, these characteristics are carried all throughout the New Testament concerning Jesus, as manifested through the Holy Spirit!
Our attention is now turned to verse seven, as it portrays the “return” of Jesus to the earth. The “second coming” of Jesus is divided into two separate events, His “appearing” and His “return”. Verse seven is portraying the second part of His coming, His return to earth with the saints to establish His Kingdom on earth and fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6.
The first part of His coming is when He departs the throne of God and “appears” in the heavens above earth, to wait for the Holy Spirit to resurrect the “dead in Christ”, then “those that remain” (us, the Church) are all called together to meet the Lord in the air. For further explanation of this I encourage you to read my article “A Jewish Wedding: “Consecrated and Waiting”.
Only the true church will be aware of His “appearing”. The rest of the world will not know about it until after the saints are gone. When Jesus “returns” to the earth to take over all government, “every eye will see Him, including they who pierced Him, and every tribe will mourn because of Him”. In previous books of the bible, Jesus Himself speaks of his “appearing” and “return” as two separate events.
John continues in verse nine speaking of his exile from the mainland. He tells us that he was exiled to the Island called Patmos because he preached God’s Word and testified of Jesus. The religious leaders of that day wanted to kill him and several attempts were made on his life. I want to point out why this information is significant. Notice in verse ten that John states “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day”. He is saying that although his circumstances are bleak and he no longer has fellowship with the saints, he still has the joy of his salvation and love for God to carry him along! What a beautiful gift of God’s grace!
John did not allow his circumstances and conditions to overshadow his outlook and spiritual well-being. When adversity strikes many Christians allow it to affect their spirituality. Their attitudes, confessions, and testimony become negative, and the problems are portrayed bigger than the solution. Remember, the solution is Jesus and nothing is bigger than him! John’s emphasis remains on Jesus throughout his writing.
John describes Jesus in detail and states that “out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword.” The sword is a reference to, and symbolical of, God’s Word. At the end of this chapter, Jesus introduces the “seven stars” and “seven lampstands” (called candlesticks in the KJV), and explains their meaning. The stars are the angels of the seven churches; and the lampstands are the seven churches. The angel assigned to each church provides angelic assistance to that church in its community.
The lampstand symbolizes representation before the throne of God; and the angel is evidence of assignment in behalf of that church. The lampstands identify the churches and that each is to be a “beacon of light” to its community.
Of the seven churches in Asia, Satan gained a stronghold in six of them. He uses these same tactics to get into our churches today. If members of the churches abandon their first love (Jesus), allow false teachers and doctrines to creep in, and constantly speak negative confessions, the devil can either destroy or divide them. Divisions weaken the influence and ability of the churches.
Beloved this concludes our study of chapter one. Please keep me in your prayers as we continue with the remaining chapters. May God keep us all from the evil one of this world!