[Having heard the preliminaries of the book a salutation is now
offered. In this
salutation we notice the presentation of the text, the
authentication of the text, and the glorious manifestation in the
Its Presentation (vs 4) [- 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;
- In these verse we find
the formal salutation of the letter.
In this salutation we are given the singular focus of the
text, the special favor recognized in the text, and the spiritual
fullness represented in the text.]
Focus (vs 4; 1 Cor 2.9-16) [-
John to the seven churches
which are in Asia: . . . -
The prophecy and the book
are focused upon the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The seven Churches of Asia are specifically mentioned yet are
thought to represent the Church as a whole.
These seven Churches are the strict focus of Chapters two and
three of the book and will be studied in greater detail at that
[This message is directed to the Church of
our Lord directly and more specifically to the seven Churches where
the apostle John was intimately involved, as their pastor and
leader? Because, as in
the case of all scripture, just anyone, just any ordinary mind, just
any mortal intellect would fail to decipher and understand the full
meaning of the text.
The need for illumination in the text is not new to the genre of
scripture. The Bible
[1 Corinthians 2:9-16
9 But as it is written, Eye
hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of
man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath
revealed them unto
us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all
things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the
things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?
even so the
things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have
received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of
God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of
God. 13 Which things
also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth,
the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things
with spiritual. 14
natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:
for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know
they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he that is spiritual
judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16 For who hath known the
mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of
[As is the case with all scripture,
spiritual illumination is absolutely essential for a proper
understanding of this apocalyptic revelation.]
[Even though this message is directed to
the Church of our Lord there are still those within the
congregations of these Churches, who in fulfillment of our Lord’s
revelation in the parables about the condition of these churches,
will be incapable of spiritually interpreting the context of the
books message. Within
these Churches there are wheat and tares, leaven has permeated each
congregation and will inevitably hinder the unfolding of its
message. Still there
will be those who are spiritually filled and spiritually enlightened
who will be able to carry this glorious revelation to all believers
and even to the lost who hearing it will come to repentance and
[So the books focus is toward those born
again believers who being filled with the Holy Spirit of God will be
capable of understand the true message of the text.
Many will read this text, but few will be capable of truly
discerning its message.]
The Favor (vs 4; Exo 3.14) [- . . .
be unto you, and
peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; . . .
– Two glorious endowments accompany the Revelation and its
message, which are two gifts so incredible and precious that while
they are simple they are almost too simple to understand and
receive. Notice here
[Grace - This Book deals primarily with judgment, yet God begins
it with grace.
Demonstrating to all who read this book, yet living in this
dispensation of Grace, that it is not to late to escape the wrath to
come. God does not
desire to give us what we deserve, which is justice.
Nor does God desire to merely not give us what we deserve,
which is mercy. Our
Heavenly Father desires to give us that which we do not deserve,
which is grace.]
[Peace - Here is a book which deals with the very opposite of
peace, again demonstrating that the terror of the Lord will only be
experience by those who refuse to be raptured to a place of
[The Benefactor - . . .
from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; . . . –
There are generally two views about who this refers to,]
the Father - The "I am that I am" (Ex 3.14).
It is certainly within our
Heavenly Fathers nature to be gracious since He is the source of
every good gift (James 1.17).
Hence, it is possible that this statement refers to God the
Lord Jesus Christ - Eternally present, crucified, yet risen to
glory forever more. It seems more likely that our Lord Jesus Christ
fits this description better.
He certainly always has been and always will be, yet He came
and died for our sins thus making the phrase
. . . which was . . . fit
Him better than any other person of the godhead.]
The Fullness (vs 4; Heb 4.16; Isa 11.2) [- . . .
and from the seven Spirits
which are before his throne; - Again there are
two possible views about these seven spirits before the throne,]
Spirits of Churches – Thus representing the true believers, a
remnant in the midst of apostate Churches. It is not unheard of in
Scripture for born again believers to stand before the throne of
God. The Word of God
calls God’s people to this very place,]
16 Let us therefore come
boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find
grace to help in time of need. ]
[For the children of God, born again
believers, to be standing before the throne of God is to place them
right where God desires that they be.]
Holy Spirit – Gaebelien suggests that these seven spirits
represent the Holy spirit in His seven administrations (Isa 11.2):
2 And the spirit of the LORD
shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the
spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear
of the LORD; ]
It’s Authentication (vs 5-6; 2 Tim 3.16-17) [-
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. – The authority and
authorization of the text is given by our Lord Himself.
The Apostle John is but the scribe penning the revelation
delivered to him by the angel, but even the angel is not the
authority behind the text.
It’s true author and authority is found in the Lord Jesus
Christ Himself, as is the case for all Scripture.
The Bible declares,]
16 All scripture
is given by
inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness: 17
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished
unto all good works.]
[Of our Lord’s authentication for this text we are
Credentials (vs 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 . . . - Three
credentials are given that
authorize the penning and content of the Revelation.]
Lord’s Trustworthiness (Titus 1.2; Rev 3.14; Isa 55.3-4; John
18.37) [- And from Jesus
Christ, who is the
faithful witness, . . . - Our
Lord Jesus Christ is the ultimate faithful witness.
What testimony holds as
high a level of trustworthiness as that of the Lord of all glory?
Our Lord Jesus Christ is wholly God and as God cannot lie
(Titus 1.2). He is “. .
. the Amen, the faithful and
true witness, . . .” (Rev 3.14).
Isaiah wrote of our Lord and His covenant,]
55:3-4 3 Incline
your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I
will make an everlasting covenant with you,
even the sure
mercies of David. 4
I have given
him for a witness
to the people, a leader and commander to the people.]
[Of Pilate and our Lord we read,]
[John 18:37 37
Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus
answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and
for this cause came I into the world,
should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that
is of the truth heareth my voice.]
[The Lord Jesus Christ is trustworthy as a
witness unlike any other.]
Lord’s Testimony [- . . . and
the first begotten of the dead, . . . -
The first begotten of the
dead, denotes supremacy and ability.
The fact that our Lord substantiates the message delivered by
the revelation provides the kind of testimony that none other could
hope to give. The
undeniable fact of the physical resurrection of our Lord gives His
testimony an unfettered authentication.]
[The words “. . .
first begotten of the dead .
. . ”denote that the Lord Jesus Christ is the first man to be
resurrected in an eternal, glorified state.
Others had bee brought back to life before, but none had
experienced the immortal and eternal resurrected state in which our
Lord Jesus Christ now stands.]
(Rev 11.15; Dan 8.25; 4.37; Matt 2.2; John 1.49; 1 Tim 1.17; Rev
15.3; 19.16) [- . . . and
the prince of the kings of the earth
- Now tenure is given to a professor to protect him as he
teaches what might be difficult issues and positions to his
students. Tenure helps
to release the professor to step out in ways that may not always be
comfortable in the current culture.
Clearly, the message of the Revelation is not a comfortable
one and such a message needs the protection of tenure.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the ultimate King. As the Lord of
all kings no one is in a position to challenge the credentials of
our Lord Jesus Christ or the message He provides and proclaims.
References to our Lord as King in the Bible include: ]
[The prince of the kings of the earth. ]
15 And the seventh
angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The
kingdoms of this world are become
the kingdoms of our
Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. ]
[Daniel 8:25 25
And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his
hand; and he shall magnify
himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he
shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be
broken without hand.]
[The King of heaven.]
37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar
praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works
are truth, and his
ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. ]
[The King of the Jews.]
2 Saying, Where is he that
is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and
are come to worship him.]
[The King of Israel.]
49 Nathanael answered and
saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of
[The King eternal]
[1 Timothy 1:17
17 Now unto the King
eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God,
be honour and glory
for ever and ever. Amen.]
[The King of Glory.]
7 Lift up your heads, O ye
gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of
glory shall come in. ]
[The King of the saints.]
3 And they sing the
song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
Great and marvellous are
thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true
are thy ways, thou
King of saints.]
[The King of kings.]
16 And he hath on
his vesture and on
his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.]
Coronation (vs 5-6; John 3.16; Rom 5.8; Rom 6.6; 1 John 3.5;
Heb 9.22; 1 Pet 2.5-10; Rev 4.11; 5.13; 7.12) [- . . .
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. – Our Lord is in a positions
to authorize the text of the revelation not only be cause of His
stately credentials but also because of what He, as our supreme
Prince, has given for those that are His.
Through His benevolent gifts He is worthy of a supreme
coronation in our lives.
What has the King of kings and Lord of lords done for us?]
[He "Loved us" (John 3.16; Rom 5.8)]
[He "Washed us from our sins" (Rom 6.6; 1
["With his own Blood (Heb 9.22)]
[He "hath made us kings and priests unto God
and His Father" (1 Pet 2.5-10)]
[Doxologies of Praise - Because of His benevolent gifts and
worthiness a twofold doxology of praise is proclaimed in our text,
the apostle John writes, “. .
. to him be
dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev 1.6).
Doxologies of praise permeate the text of the Revelation.
There is a threefold doxology of praise in,]
11 Thou art worthy, O
Lord, to receive
honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and
for thy pleasure they are and were created.]
fourfold doxology of praise in,]
13 And every creature
which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such
as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying,
and honour, and glory, and power,
be unto him that
sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.]
sevenfold doxology of praise in, ]
12 Saying, Amen:
and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and
unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. ]
Lord Jesus Christ is worthy, above and beyond any other, to be
worshipped and praised for He truly is the Lord God Almighty.]
It’s Manifestation (vs 7-8) [-
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. 8 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. – Again the
purpose for the book is manifested with a majestic declaration of
what this vision unfolds.
It is the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ and his
manifestation is it declaration.
In this reiteration of His manifestation we discover,]
His Dignity (vs 7; cf. Exodus 13.21-22; 24.15-18; 2 Chron
5.13-14; Ezek 1.4) [-
Behold, he cometh with clouds; . . .- Multitudes upon multitudes
have denied the deityship of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The evidence of His physical resurrection was not enough to
convince many that Jesus Christ truly is God and Lord.
But, when He is revealed he will come with the clouds.
Clouds are a symbols of the presence of divinity in the Bible
(Exodus 13.21-22; 24.15-18; 2 Chron 5.13-14; Ezek 1.4).
Hence, when John describes the Lord Jesus Christ Coming with
clouds it is a description of the undeniable divinity presented in
His revelation. The
scoffers will no longer be able to deny the deity of the Lord Jesus
His Display (vs 7; Philip 2.9-11; Rom 14.11) [- . . .
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. -
Every man, woman and child will see the revelation of the
Lord Jesus Christ, especially those who pierced Him.
Hence, we discover the ultimate fulfillment of the long
awaited hope of all of God’s people throughout the ages.
The New Testament finds its ultimate fulfillment in passages
9 Wherefore God also
hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every
name: 10 That at the
name of Jesus every knee should bow, of
things in heaven,
and things in
earth, and things
under the earth; 11 And
that every tongue
should confess that Jesus Christ
is Lord, to the
glory of God the Father. ]
11 For it is written,
As I live, saith
the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess
to God. ]
[Those rebels who pierced our Lord through and those many rebels
who, if given the chance, would have gladly pierced Him through will
gaze in dismay upon the Lord of all glory.
His manifestation will be undeniable and unbearable for all
of the lost. But for
the saved what a glorious manifestation this will be, the hope of
all the ages unfurled before them.]
[Or text reveals that our Lord will,]
[Come in the clouds. ]
[Be seen by all. ]
[Instill fear in all. ]
[The fact that our Lord will be seen by all
indicates that this is a reference to His second coming, and not the
rapture of the Church (cf. Acts 1.11; Matt 24.30; Dan 7.13; Zech
His Declaration (vs 8, 11) [-
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. – Our Lord is revealed in
His dignity, displayed for every eye to see, and then there is the
great declaration of the ages, the Lord God almighty has been
revealed. The Alpha and
Omega reveals that he is the creator and grand architect of all
things, the beginning and the ending reveals that his authority is
the support and stay of all other authority.
His eternal existence is revealed in the fact that He is, He
was, yet He is to come.
No other being in all of creation can clam these great claims, only
the Lord God almighty.]
[Secondly, the fact that our Lord is
referred to as the Alpha and Omega (Rev 1.8,11) reveals that He is
the source of all possible knowledge and wisdom.
Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet; Omega is the
last letter of the Greek alphabet.
The alphabet is used to pen words, sentences, and to store
all of the accumulated wisdom of humanity.
Therefore our Lord is knowledge, wisdom, and truth.]