THE FIRST AND THE LAST
The Revelation Of Jesus Christ
Revelation sets forth of what God has made known by Jesus Christ who sent his angel. John is not using his imagination to explain the circumstances of his day; he is receiving what was given to him Jesus from the Father to show his servants the things that would soon take place.
Scripture always benefits those who receive it as God's word and John assures the reader that those who read and keep this revelation will receive great benefit. The message is to be delivered to the seven churches in Asia. John summarizes the gospel reminding the people that salvation is by grace and the redeemed enjoy peace because of what Christ has done. Jesus is the faithful witness that is the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Jesus has liberated Christians from the tyranny of sin and made a kingdom of priests. King Jesus rules and reigns and one day his victory will be acknowledged by all when he comes with the clouds, and every eye sees him. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Jesus is the beginning and the end because he is eternal. The Almighty will return in glory and receive the glory that he is due.
One Like A Son Of Man
John pens this book while in exile on the island of Patmos. He connects his condition to the tribulation being experienced by the believers in the seven churches. John kept the Lord’s Day even during his isolation. Every Lord’s Day is special, but this day is unique in all of history. John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day when he heard a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet. John turns to see the voice that was speaking, and he was not prepared for the glory he witnessed. John had not seen Jesus since he ascended back to heaven and what he beheld was etched in his heart and mind forever. The voice declared that John should write down what he would see and send it to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Having seen the seven golden lampstands, John saw Jesus as a remarkable human figure. He saw Jesus clothed in a robe reaching to His feet, having a golden sash. Like the Ancient of Days, we read about in Daniel, this glorious figure with brilliant white hair. His eyes were like a flame of fire. His voice was like the roar of many waters, and in his right hand, he held seven stars. Proceeding from the mouth and his face was like the sun. Overwhelmed with this vision of the Son of man, John fell down as a dead man, but the Lord comforted him and encouraged him to take courage. Jesus tells John not to be afraid because he is the living one who was once dead but now is alive and it will never change. Jesus has conquered death and Hades; every enemy is under his feet. He instructs John to write an account of the things he both had seen and would see. The mystery of the seven stars is explained as the angels of the seven churches. The word angels should probably be taken in its general use as messengers, perhaps the pastors of these seven churches. The lamp stands are representative of the seven churches themselves, and Christ stands in their midst.
Things To Consider:
- How do we benefit from reading scripture?
- How is Jesus the faithful witness?
- What is the relationship between Father, Son, and Spirit when it comes to the way they bear witness to one another?
- How does Jesus free us from our sins by his blood?
- How is John a partner in tribulation?
- Why is it important to remember the Lord's Day?
- Why did God have men write down his word?
- How did they know what to write?
- What does the description of Jesus remind you of?
- Why do you think John fell down?
- Why is it important for Jesus to have the keys of death and Hades?
- What do you think it was like for John to see Jesus again and in this way?
- How does Jesus speak to churches today?