Introduction and Benediction
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, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 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.
Greeting the Seven Churches
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, 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, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 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.
"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."
Vision of the Son of Man
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. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 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." Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 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. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 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. 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.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. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.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. (NKJV)
The Book of Revelation reveals all of the great events that will bring history as we know it to a close. Included in those things that will be revealed in the future is the “revelation” of Jesus Christ, that is, in His physical return to the earth. Every eye shall see Him; both Jews and Gentiles (other races) who rejected Him as their Messiah will come face to face with the fact that Jesus was the promised seed prophesied in Genesis 3:15, and revealed in the 4 Gospels as the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14, that is, the "conceived Son" born of a virgin and given the name “Emanuel” which when interpreted meant "God with us".
The “purpose of this book is to provide the setting for the “revealing” of Jesus Christ as it pertains to the time of Great Tribulation, His Second Coming (the Revelation Stage) and the Millennial kingdom. (Chapters 4 through 19)
These 3 prophetic events coincide with the same events that were prophesied to incur in Daniel’s 70th week prophecy. (Daniel 9:24-27) In actuality, we are currently living in the present time, between the “69th and 70th weeks” of Daniel’s 70 week prophecy. Since the 69th week of this prophecy concluded, God, in the “Time of the Gentiles” paused the prophetic clock; temporarily stopping the fulfillment of “end time judgments” contained in the 62nd verse thru the 67th verse.”
During this pause, (this time of grace) God unveiled a “great mystery” that had been hidden. The unveiling of the Church was the mystery event none of the prophets of old foretold. The Old Testament prophets saw all future events from a “straight line” perspective and believed that every prophetic event would be fulfilled in “Messiah’s” (Jesus Christ’s) first coming. (Isaiah 61: 1-2) The “formation” of the Church, and the Coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost were 2 events they didn’t see coming . Neither did they see in the time suspension needed in order that both the “Dispensation of Grace” (The Church Age) and the formation of the Church could come about.
The formation of the Church sits between Jesus first coming and God’s judgment of the nations. God during this “time out” is gathering out from among the Jews and Gentiles a people for His name. (US) Any Jew who accepts Jesus Christ during this dispensation is part of the body of Christ (church) and is a saved Jew individually and not part of the Jews nationally.(as a nation) In contrast to His first coming when He was humiliated and ridiculed by the His chosen people, Romans and the Sanhedrin and others, Jesus in the Book of Revelation is seen…..
A. In relationship to “time” as He “which was” and “which is to come”. (Chapter 1:4)
B. As He related to the Church. (Chapters 1:9 to 3:22)
C. As He relates to the Great Tribulation. (Chapters 4:1 to 19:21)
D. As he returns the second time and sets up and rule in the Millennial Kingdom for 1,000 years. (Chapter 20:1-10)
E. And in reference to the eternal state of life (the Ages of Ages) (Chapters 20:11 to 22:21)
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus is presented as…
A. Ruler of the kings of the earth. (Chapter 1:5)
B. Both the “Bridegroom” and “Head” of the Church. (Chapters 2:1to 3:22 and Chapter 19:7-9)
C. The “Lion” of the tribe of Judah. ( Chapter 5:5)
D. The Lamb that was slain. (Chapter 5:6 vs. 12 etc…)
E. The High Priest. (Chapter 8:3-6)
F. The King and Judge. (Chapters 19:11 to 20:15)
There are 3 major divisions in the Book of Revelation: The Apostle John wrote…
A. Concerning past history (things past) those things which thou hast seen “The Patmos Vision” (Chapter 1:1-20)
B. Concerning present history (things that are) the existing churches (Chapters 2:1 to 3:22)
C. Concerning history in the future (those things that shall be hereafter) after the church Age ends (Chapters 4:1 to 22:5)
Notes: The “future events” begin at Chapter 4 and is characterized by a series of “prophetic 7’s”:
A. 7 seals (Chapters 4:1to 8:1)
B. 7 trumpets (judgments) (Chapter 8:2 to 11:19)
C. 7 bowls or vials (judgments) (Chapters 15:1 to 16:21)
D. 7 dooms (Chapters 17:1 to 20:15)
E. 7 “new” things (Chapters 21:1to 22:21)
There are 5 important passages embedded in this Book:
A. Chapter 7:1-17: the Jewish Remnant and the “Tribulation Saints”
B. Chapters 10:11- to 11:14: The Angel, the “Little” book and the 2 “Witnesses”
C. Chapter 14:1-13: The Lamb, the “Remnant” and the “Proclamation of the “Everlasting gospel”.
D. Chapter 16:13-16: Gathering the Kings of the earth-preparing for Armageddon
E. Chapter 19:1-6: The 4 “Hallelujahs” from Heaven
I. Introduction: "The "Revelation" (Messages) of the "Ascended Lord" (Apocalypse) (Verses 1-3)
Note: Apocalypse means: “ the "disclosure" of that which was previously hidden or unknown”.
A. The Revelation is of Jehovah God given to Jesus, and concerns Jesus as King of Kings and Judge as God gave to Jesus…(Based on John 5:19-20; 7:16; 8:28; 12:49; 14:10;17:7-8; Matthew 11:27; and Mark 13:32) ).Jesus gave to the angel that was instructed to give it to the Apostle John who in term gave that “Revelation” to the Churches concerning events that are to occur in the near future. (nearing the end of the Dispensation of Grace or the “Church” Age.) (vs.1)
B. John bore record of the Word of God both in his personal life as he lived during the timed of Jesus’ earthly ministry and was “the beloved disciple John Chapter 1 and was given the record of all the future events upcoming concerning those things that were to occur shortly. (vs. 2)
C. Jesus declares anyone is blessed if they do the following: (vs.3)
Blessed is everyone who reads, hear the word of this prophecy and what’s written within them : “The” time is at hand. (drawing nearer day by day) They must keep, obey, remember, and prepare themselves for the coming events written to come in the very near future.
II. John’s Greeting: “To the 7 Churches” (Verses 4-8)
A. Grace unto you and Peace from HIM (God the Father- YAHWEH) (“Who Was”… “Who Is”…Who Is to come”!) Taken from “YHWH” (the expression is called a “tetragrammation”) God- Yahweh (Jehovah) represents eternity to eternity and time in between and because the higher and lower regions, heaven, earth, the fullness thereof, and all that dwells and exist within was perfected by HIM. Jesus said: Grace and Peace: which meant “Be a partaker of Divine favor”
B. And from the “7 Spirits” before His throne: This either means 7 angels that are sent into all the earth to do God’s bidding of the Holy Spirit at the throne of God the Father in full power as the number 7 means complete! (vs.4)
C. And from Jesus Christ- the “Faithful Witness”, the First begotten of the dead, the “Prince” of the kings of the earth, who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.
1. Jesus, like Jehovah God cannot lie. Therefore His testimony is completely true and you can rely and depend on Him in all things.
2. He’s the first begotten of the dead. Colossians 1:17-20 explains this fully:
a. Jesus is before all things and He holds all things together.
b. Jesus is the “Head” of the Church and we are His body.
c. Jesus is the “firstborn of the dead that He might have supremacy in all things.
d. God the Father was pleased to have all of HIS fullness dwell in Jesus Christ.
e. God the Father reconciled everything through Jesus by the shedding of His blood on the cross and making peace of all things in the process.
3. Jesus has pre-eminence and is King of kings over all earthly rulers (absolute soverighty)
4. Jesus loves us and washed us (purified) from our sins in His blood.(vs.5)
D. Jesus made us kings and priests before God the Father. (1 Peter 2:9) (vs.6)
1. We are a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a Holy Nation.
2. To Him we owe “adoration”: Praise, honor and strength to Him
III. Jesus Christ Return: Look For His Return” (Verse 7-8)
A. Behold (LOOK!) He’s coming through the clouds (vs.7)
1. Every eye shall see Him (Matthew 24:30)(Acts 1:9) The angels said: “in the same manner He left, Jesus shall return”! (PHYSICALLY VISIBLE)
2. Those who “pierced” (crucified) Him will see Him and all kindred on the earth will “wail” (dread) His coming because He’s coming back as the “Righteous Judge” and not as a “Savior”. ( fulfilling Zechariah 12:10)
3. Even so, AMEN! So be it or more truthfully, It will be so!
B. God’s Declaration: “I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA” (vs.8)
I AM the Lord, Which Is….Which Was… Which Is to come…
IV. John’s Testimony: “Seeing the Son of Man” (Verses 9-12)
A. I’m a Christian, suffering the same persecutions and tribulation just like you, bearing all the same indignities, for the sake of the Gospel and after the same manner that Jesus suffered.
B. Exiled on the Isle of Patmos for preaching the Word of God and the Testimony (testifying my allegiance to Jesus Christ and the belief that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and through the preaching of the Word others were converted to Christianity and confessed Jesus Christ.) (vs.9)
C. I was in the “Spirit” on the Lord’s Day (vs. 10)
1. I was under the influence of the Holy Spirit and received the Spirit of Prophecy that day. (The Lord’s Day- on a Sunday)
2. I heard a great voice “behind me”- “suddenly and unexpected” this voice sounded like a trumpet.
D. The Voice: “I AM Alpha and Omega”- the First and the Last” (vs.11)
“Write what you see in a book and send it to the 7 Churches in Asia Minor”
E. I turned around to see who’s voice I heard and saw 7 golden candle sticks (vs. 12-14) (vs.12)
The 7 golden lamps represent the Church where the “light” (Illumination of God’s love) of God is ever present and constantly shining. Jesus said we are the light of the world ‘candlesticks that are not hidden but openly exposed to give off the light of HIS countenance in the Word of God and our testimony of Jesus Christ.
F. The “Risen” Christ stood in the middle of the golden candlesticks (clothed in HIS priestly garments) In His second role as “Great High Priest” (His current position)(vs. 13)
G. Christ in His splendor (glory) eyes like flame of fire…shone in all directions…representing Jesus in His “omniscience”…head and hair like lamb’s wool (vs. 14)
H. The “Feet”: like fine brass burned in a furnace and a voice that sounded like many waters. (vs. 15)
The description of His feet represents that the Lord is stable and is and always will exist. brass being considered the most durable of all metallic substances or compounds. The description of His voice is representative of His divine authority. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is shown as God interacting with man in human flesh for the purpose of reconciliation. As Jesus speaks, His deity and connection with the Father comes forth, so much so that the guards who failed to arrest Him on one occasion declared: “Never has a man spoke like this man”! Truly the Glory of the Lord shined upon the whole earth at the sound of His voice.
I. His “Right” Hand: 7 “stars” represents the Pastors of the churches and the fact that they are in His right hand means that they are under His protection and under His authority.
His mouth: A sharp 2-edged sword goes forth represents the power of the Word of God that covers both the saved and the lost, the good and the evil, and cuts sin from left and from the right.
His countenance: Like the sun shining in His strength. This represents God in all of his omnipotence and splendor. (vs. 16)
V. John’s Reaction to seeing the Risen Christ (Verses 17-18)
1. John feel at His feet as dead (fainted) (vs.17)
2. Jesus’ Response to John: (vs.18)
a. He laid His right hand upon John and said: “Fear not: I Am the first and the last.
b. I am HE that live and was dead and behold (look) I am alive forevermore
c. I have the keys of hell and of death.
d. Jesus told John to write the things He’s seen, the things which are and the things that will occur in the future.
I am Jesus the Savior, who, though the fountain of life, have died for mankind; and being raised from the dead I shall die no more, the great sacrifice being consummated. And have the keys of death and the grave, so that I can destroy the living and raise the dead. The key here signifies the power and authority over life, death, and the grave. This is also a rabbinical form of speech. In the Jerusalem Targum, on Gen: 30:22 , are these words:
"There are four KEYS in the hand of God which he never trusts to angel or seraph.
1. The key of the rain;
2. The key of provision;
3. The key of the grave; and
4. The key of the barren womb."
VI. Explanation of the 7 Stars (Verses 19-20)
A. The 7 Stars are the angels (pastors)
The ministers of the Gospel are signets or seals of Jesus Christ; he uses them to stamp his truth, to accredit it, and give it currency. But as a seal can mark nothing of itself unless applied by a proper hand, so the ministers of Christ can do no good, seal no truth, impress no soul, unless the great owner Christ) condescend to use them.
B. The 7 candlesticks are the churches:
The churches are represented by these lamps; they hold the oil and the fire, and dispense the light. A lamp is not light in itself, it is only the instrument of dispensing light, and it must receive both oil and fire before it can dispense any; so no church has in itself either grace or glory, it must receive all from Christ its head, else it can dispense neither light nor life.
Conclusion: We should make very sure that our churches resemble the 5 “wise virgins” who kept a surplus of oil and thus was able to sustain the light, and continued to burn and send forth divine knowledge from the Word of God and our testimony of Jesus Christ. It’s vanity and outright foolish for any church to make the claim to be a church of Jesus Christ and because of lack of oil (Holy Spirit anointing) cannot dispense any light. If the church fails to enlighten souls, quickened people’s spirits by spreading the Word of God, and bring sinners to repentance, then it’s highly possible that Jesus Christ does not dwell fully there. If Jesus is present in a church and “walks” in it, the church’s light will shine both clearly and strongly, and sinners will be converted unto Christ and the members of that church will be children of the light, and walk as children of the light and of the day, and there will be no occasion of stumbling in them. The ministers of Christ must make certain that they proclaim nothing as truth, and accredit nothing as truth, but what comes from their Jesus Christ as directed by the Holy Spirit and from the Word of God. Ministers, take heed that we live the same word we have preached to others, lest we should find ourselves ‘cast-a-ways.
Dr. William Edward Boddie