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Revelation 1:9-11:“John’s Commission”

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SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

The Lord’s Instructions That He Gives To John…

Rev 1:9-11 KJV

(9) I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle 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 heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

(11) Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

John’s Commission includes…

1. John’s Identity – (v 9a)

2. John’s Condition – (v 9b)

3. John’s Communion w the Lord (v 10)

4. John’s Instructions – (v 11)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 1: – 

(9) I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, 

As John continues the introduction to this letter, he identifies himself to his readers. He describes himself as their spiritual brother, sharing in membership in the family of God. But He goes further. He then tells his readers that he is sharing in their troubles, as well as in the promised eternal kingdom that awaits them. Finally, he reminds them that He shares in the exercise of patience as they continue living under persecution and troubles, patiently waiting for their promised kingdom.

John is following the wonderful examples set for us by the faithful saints of the Old Testament…

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:13-16)

 

 

was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

John’s suffering includes his banishment to the isle of Patmos, a Roman prison island. He was sent to Patmos because of his proclamation of God’s Word and for his personal witness of Christ and the events of His first coming.

 

 

(10) I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,

John describes his communion with the Lord as being “in the Spirit”. In other words, John was under the influence of the Holy Spirit, allowing him to receive the vision of Christ in the midst of His churches (v 12-20).

The receipt of this vision took place on Sunday, the Lord’s day, the day set aside for the assembly of the saints and the worship of the Lord (Acts 20:7). Why Sunday? It is the day the Lord arose from the dead! (John 20:10)

 

 

and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

While John is under the influence of the Spirit, he hears behind him a strong, loud, very clear voice. John likens the voice to the sound of a trumpet. Trumpets throughout the Bible were used to gain the attention of the hearer, normally followed by a predetermined action (call for an assembly, entrance into a battle, or a call to worship, etc etc).   In this case, the voice John hears grabs his attention as a very important message is to be given to him.

 

 

(11) Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:

The speaker now identifies Himself as “Alpha and Omega” “the first and the last”.   In 1:8, we saw that these titles described our Lord. He is the beginning and the ending of all things. With this identification of the speaker, John now understands the importance of what is to come. He is about to receive instructions from His Lord concerning His ministry and the origin of the Revelation he is about to receive.

 

 

and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

The Lord gives John the responsibility to receive a series of visions from Him and then to accurately record them on a scroll. This scroll was to be sent to the seven churches that existed in Asia.

 

These churches include:

Church Location Name Meaning Areas of Faithfulness Areas of Unfaithfulness Possible Punishment Reward To Overcomers (proof of genuine salvation)
Ephesus Desired or Allowed Many areas of faithful outward service.   Hate doctrine of Nicolaitanes. Left first love (Christ)Service not motivated by love for Christ. Removal of candlestick (church no longer enjoying fellowship w God) Eat of Tree of Life in Paradise
Smyrna Myrrh Spiritually rich N/A N/A Not hurt by second death
Pergamos Fortified Tower Faithfulness in face of persecution Allowing doctrine of Balaam and Nicolaitans(physical and spiritual fornication) Will war against those who hold false teaching Be given hidden manna and white stone with new name
Thyatira Sacrifice, Offering, Corpse Works of love, service, faith, patience False Prophetess in midst. (sexual immorality and idol worship) Sickness, tribulation and death upon her and her followers. Be given power over the nations
Sardis Depart, Escape, Exit A few faithful areas of service remain. A few faithful members remain. Testimony that they are spiritually alive but really dead. Their works not “perfect” before God. Will come upon them as a thief (implied removing anything of value leaving spiritually destitute) White garments. Name not blotted out of book, confess his name before the Father
Philadelphia Love Of The Brethren Kept Word not denied name of Christ. Persevered in trials N/A N/A Permanent pillar in temple of God. Name of God and New Jerusalem upon them. New name given to them
Laodicea Judgment Of The People N/A Lukewarm service. Blinded to their spiritual destitution. Spew out of Lord’s mouth. Rebuking and chastening from Lord. Sit with Christ in throne.

 

As you can see from this quick listing, the spiritual conditions of these churches varied greatly. Some had no areas of faithfulness, others no area of unfaithfulness. The unfaithful were warned of impending judgment, the faithful told of impending blessings.

 

This helps us to understand that the message of the Book of Revelation is needed by all… the faithful, the unfaithful; those who love the Lord and those whose love has grown cold; those who are doctrinally strong, and those who are doctrinally weak.   This message will be beneficial to all of us no matter what spiritual condition a church, or individual Christian may find ourselves.

 

Much more on the condition, blessings and judgments of these assemblies will be covered in detail later in our study.

 

 

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

 

In this text, we can very easily see that Christ as the ultimate authority behind this book that is of benefit to us all. It is Christ that authorizes John to receive, record and send forth the message of the Book of Revelation.   John has Christ Himself standing behind its contents, recording and sending out.

 

 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY):

 

These verses should encourage us to take the message of this book very seriously. Christ, Himself, spoke to John giving him the commission to write and distribute this message to His churches and the individual members in those churches. As we continue in this series, let’s never think of this book as simply written by John. Let’s always remember this is the message from God Himself, meant for all of His people, given to us through the ministry of His faithful servant John.

 

May we all with thankful, reverent hearts open its pages and come to a greater understanding of its teachings.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. This maybe a dumb question on my behalf. Who found the writings of John and did they find them on the island or elsewhere?

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Sheila,

      No, its not a dumb question at all. I should have mentioned this in the introduction part of the study.

      The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened to the writings after they were penned by John. But most historians seem to indicate the writing was taken to the seven churches (probably by a Christian friend of John). Once they got to each church they were read aloud, and, in some cases, copied before they were passed on to the next church. From these copies, even more copies were made until you had many copies in existence.

      The original writing by John was never found, but there were many copies of the Revelation (or portions of it) found at different times throughout history by archaeologists and others.

      Hope that helps. I hope all is well with you and your family. Lord bless you.

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    I think you made a good point about John being someone who loves the Saints that writes to us family member in the Faith.
    Good table too by the way!

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