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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: I… have the keys of hell and of death.

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:18 KJV – I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

 

In this verse, “death” (thanatos) refers to the condition of the physical body when a soul no longer dwells within it.  Likewise “hell” (hades) does not refer to a place, but it refers to the condition of a soul that no longer is encased by a body.

When we are told that Christ possesses the keys of hell and death, we are being taught that Christ has absolute authority (control) over physical death.  He controls when a spirit departs from the body (death) and He is in control of when the spirit reenters the body (resurrection)

What a blessed thought this is for God’s people.  Our spirit will not depart from our body  until it is the Lord’s time to take us to be with Him. Likewise, we can rest assured, our spirit will then, someday, be reunited with our body at our resurrection!   The Lord controls both our death and resurrection.  No one can undue His plans for our homecoming, nor can anyone stop Him from keeping His promise of a future resurrection.

Job understood this truth and declared it for all of us to understand…

1.  The Lord is in control of our physical life on earth…

Job 12:10 KJV – In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

 

2.   Death is not a cessation of existence but, simply a “change” in one’s condition…

Job 14:14 KJV – If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

 

3. There is a certain time allotted for each of us to live…

Job 7:1 KJV – Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?

 

4. No one can lengthen, nor shorten his allotted time on earth…

Job 14:5 KJV – Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

 

5.  Following the death of the saint, a resurrection will follow someday…

Job 19:25-27 KJV –  For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

Yes even Job in the beginning days of the Old Testament, understood our Lord held the keys of death and hell.

May we all have encouraged hearts today knowing He controls our life, death and resurrection.   We have nothing to fear!…

1Co 15:51-57 KJV

(51)  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

(52)  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

(53)  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

(54)  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

(55)  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

(56)  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

(57)  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3KX

Do We Fear Or Do We Trust In Our Lord?

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 1:17b KJV – And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3M3

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: He laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:17b KJV – And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

 

What wonderful words to hear from the Almighty Sovereign of the Universe…  “Fear thou not”.   Keep in mind, John has just experienced a tremendous blessing when he received a vision of Christ in the midst of His churches.  But along with that blessing came a renewed realization of his Lord’s greatness causing him to fall at His feet in humility, sorrow, reverence and fear.

In this last part of the verse, we see the Lord placing his hand upon John and comforting him.  What a wonderful blessing for John to know that, although he was a sinful man undeserving of any blessing from the Lord, there was no need for him to fear.  He did not need to fear the Lord, nor any man, nor any event that might take place in his life.  He was safe and secure in the hands of His Lord.

These same comforting words can be applied to each and every one of His people… folks, although we deserve nothing but an eternity in the Lake of Fire, we have nothing to fear.  Just like the OT saints, we can go forward in service to the Lord knowing He is with us…

“… Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward.  (Genesis 15:1)

Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up [and] possess [it], as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.”   (Deuteronomy 1:21)

And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;  For the LORD your God [is] he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”  (Deuteronomy 20:3-4)

And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do [it]: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, [even] my God, [will be] with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.”   (1 Chronicles 28:20)

Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.   Say to them [that are] of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come [with] vengeance, [even] God [with] a recompence; he will come and save you.  (Isaiah 35:3-4)

But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called [thee] by thy name; thou [art] mine.  When thou passest through the waters, I [will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
For I [am] the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt [for] thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.  Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
Fear not: for I [am] with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;  I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;  [Even] every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.  (Isaiah 43:1-7)

 

As we set our minds upon the wonderful promises given to OT believers, let’s also keep in mind these same promises apply to NT saints as well.  As God’s people, we have nothing to fear … He is and will be with us, strengthening, protecting, enabling, and rewarding us.

As we enter our day today, may we all remember we have nothing to fear… the Sovereign Lord of the Universe is with us!

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3KX

Have We Ever Fallen At His Feet?

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 1:17 KJV – And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3LJ

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:17 KJV

(17)  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

 

When John sees Christ in His greatness, he responds by falling at Christ’s feet as if he were dead.  This was very similar to Ezekiel’s response when he saw the Lord (Ezekiel 1:28) and the disciples reaction at the Mount of Transfiguration when they saw the glorified Lord (Matthew 17:2-6).

 

We can all understand why seeing the Lord in all His glory would bring about such a response.  When we see Him in His greatness we are reminded of our shameful sinful condition, our impotence, our frailty, and our mortality.     Isaiah described it best when he described fallen mankind as “a drop in the bucket”, “the small dust of a balance”, “as nothing”, “less than nothing and vanity”, and “grasshoppers” (Isa 40:15,17,22) in comparison to the greatness of Jehovah, our Creator, Sustainer, Savior and Lord.

 

Although none of us have ever personally seen the risen Christ in all His glory, we certainly can “see” Him with our spiritual eyes.  By looking to the Scriptures and coming to an understanding of His greatness, we too can come to a realistic understanding of our needy condition before God.

 

Why is it so important that we all come to a moment where we fall on our faces before Him?  It is only when we see our true needy condition before Him that will lead to our salvation and will be a constant reminder of our need to rely totally upon Him as we live our lives on earth.

 

The Lord, Himself, reminded us of this same principle in John 15:5, when He said… “…without me ye can do nothing”.

 

Folks, as we go about our day do we ALWAYS have in our minds that we are in constant need of our Lord to intervene in our lives?  The continuing forgiveness of our many sins, our decision making, our physical strength, health and life, our opportunities of service,  and so many more areas of our lives depend entirely on the Lord’s merciful intervention.

 

May we all, as John see the greatness of our Lord anew, recognize our weakness and desperate need of Him every minute of our day, and learn to rely upon Him as our sole source for all our daily needs.    Just as the Apostle Paul had learned during the course of his life…

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3KX

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:16 KJV

(16)  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

 

In John’s vision, we can see that a two-edged sword proceeded out of the mouth of our Lord.  What does this represent for us?    It shows us the powerful Word of God that is spoken by Christ.  This is clearly explained for us in Hebrews:

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:12-13 KJV )

 

This same powerful Word can be used by God’s people to successfully enter into spiritual warfare against the powers of the darkness:

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”   (Eph 6:17 KJV)

“Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.   And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;  And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”  (Isa 49:1-3 KJV)

 

Folks, may we never forget the power of God’s Word when it is put into effect in our service to Christ.  To be a successful servant of Christ, His Word must be proclaimed either with our mouths or in our actions or a combination of both (based upon the individual opportunity of service we are given).

As we minister to others, if Christ (as revealed in His Word) is not presented, we have failed in our service to Him.  Period.

It does not matter what outward results of our ministry we may see take place, what good words others might say about us, or what exalted position may be given to us as the result of our ministry… If the Word’s revelation of Christ is not given to others, we have failed miserably.   Those we have ministered to have received no spiritual benefit, but are now simply two-fold more the children of hell…

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of  heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves”.   (Mat 23:13-15 KJV)

 

As we go about our day, seeking areas of opportunity to serve Him, let’s all keep in the forefront of our mind the importance of speaking and living out the Word’s testimony of Christ.  By doing this, we can be assured of great spiritual success in our ministry and can know that we are pleasing to the Lord and helping those who come our way.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3KX

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:13 KJV –  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

 

In John’s vision of Christ, John sees that Christ is standing “in the midst of the seven candlesticks”.  Later in John’s vision, we learn that the candlesticks represent the seven local churches to which Revelation is addressed.

 

If we could picture John’s vision in our mind, it would be something like this.  We would have the seven candlesticks (churches) forming a circle with Christ standing in the center of that circle.  This simple understanding of the vision teaches us that He enjoys a close relationship to His churches and has direct access to each church and vice-versa.

Nothing stands between Christ and His local church.  He can directly intervene and work within them.  Likewise, each church can directly approach Christ and enjoy fellowship with Him.  This very principle is presented to us when the Bible says…

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”    (Matthew 18:20)

 

Anytime we meet together in His name (meet together under His authority) He promises to be present in our midst.    Think about it, every time we meet as a local assembly, the Lord meets with us and we enjoy a unique level of communion with Him.  This is just one of many reasons why we should never take membership in the Lord’s local church for granted or forsake it.   Although all Christians enjoy fellowship with the Lord, those who are members of His assemblies can enjoy an enhanced type of fellowship with Him.

Another great blessing of church membership also involves fellowship with the people of God.  Certainly we can enjoy Christian friendships and acquaintances apart from church membership, but nothing can be compared to be a part of a group of Christians that meet together to worship the Lord and are unified in a desire to glorify and honor Him.  It is when we serve side by side for His glory, unified in our desires and ministries, that we enjoy a  very special sharing relationship with our fellow laborers.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.   
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.   And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common;   And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favour with all the people.
 And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
 (Acts 2:41-47)

 

May we always take local church membership very seriously, enjoying its many benefits and being faithful in its many responsibilities.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3KX

Revelation 1: Summary

SIH STSTA ICONSUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

 

 

 

 

In our previous studies we have seen that Revelation chapter 1:, the introductory chapter of the book of Revelation, contains 4 main divisions:

 

 

  1. Revelation 1:1-6 – John’s introduction to this book
  2. Revelation 1:7-8 – John describes Christ’s second coming in wrath against sinners
  3. Revelation 1:9-11 – John’s commission (calling) to write the book of Revelation
  4. Revelation 1:12-20 – John’s vision of Christ in the midst of His local churches

 

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:

 

1.  Revelation 1:1-6 – John’s introduction to this book 

In this section of Revelation, we saw the book’s author was God and was written to seven local assemblies of believers in existence in John’s day.

We also saw how the book was handed down from God to Jesus Christ, to His angel, to the Apostle John.  John was then to deliver this message to seven specific local churches of Asia.

Also, we had the true nature of the book revealed to us.  It was a book that’s purpose was to reveal Christ through the use of symbolism.

Finally we saw John’s greetings to these churches.  His greeting centered on the great blessings the members of the churches had received through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the sacrificial death of Jesus.  He closed his greeting by describing many different blessings that come to man through the death of Christ through faith in Him.

For a much more in-depth look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3If

 

 

 2.  Revelation 1:7-8 – John describes Christ’s second coming in wrath against sinners 

In this section of Revelation, we are given a warning about the second coming of Christ, and His great wrath that will fall upon sinful mankind.

Also, we saw a reminder of Christ postion as Creator, Originator and Perpetuator of all creation.

All of these truths of Christ reveal Him as the Almighty God.

For a much more in-depth look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Ju

 

 

3.  Revelation 1:9-11 – John’s commission (calling) to write the book of Revelation

In this section of Revelation, we are told of John’s current condition, being a prisoner held on the isle of Patmos.

Also, John explains to us that he received a vision from God that directly called Him to deliver this message to the seven local churches of Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

For a much more in-depth look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3K6

 

 

 4.  Revelation 1:12-20 – John’s vision of Christ in the midst of His local churches

In this section of Revelation, John receives a vision of Christ which emphasizes His close relationship and communion with His assemblies.

In this vision, we saw Christ standing in the middle of a circle of candlesticks, each representing local assemblies.  The pastors of these assemblies are symbolized by seven stars that are being held in the hand of Christ.

Much can be learned about Christ through the symbolic description we are given.  In this vision, we see Christ as perfectly righteous; our great High Priest; pure and without blemish of any kind; possessing perfect truth, understanding, and wisdom; flawless in rendering and executing judgment upon mankind.

And, finally, in this vision we see the great authority, power and importance of the Word of God being symbolized through the sharp, two-edged sword that is seen coming out of the mouth of Christ.

 

This section is a perfect introduction to the individual messages to the church that will be given to John in chapters 2: and 3:

 

For a much more in-depth look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3KX

 

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In our next lesson, we will begin looking at Revelation 2:.  In Revelation 2: and 3: we will be reading the personalized letters written to each of the seven local churches of Asia.  A very basic table of the contents of these letters follows:

 

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.

 

We will see that each message contains four basic parts:

  1. Description of Christ
  2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences
  3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences
  4. Promise to Overcomers

 

May the Lord continue to bless us as we continue in our study of The Revelation Of Jesus Christ!

 

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Revelation 1:12-20:“Christ In The Midst Of His Churches”

SIH STSTA ICON

THE TEXT:

The Vision Of Christ, the Candlesticks, and the Stars…

 

 

 

 

Rev 1:12-20 KJV

(12)  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
(13)  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
(14)  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
(15)  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
(16)  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
(17)  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
(18)  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
(19)  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
(20)  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

 

 

 THE INTRODUCTION:

 John’s Vision of Christ and His Churches…

  1. The Vision Of Christ (v 12-16)
  2. John’s Reaction To The Vision (v 17a)
  3. Christ Comforting Words (v 17b-18)
  4. The Vision Explained (v 19-20)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 1: – 

 (12)  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

John now turns his attention to the voice that sounded like a trumpet.  As he turned, he saw seven lampstands made of gold.

In verse 20, we are told these candlesticks symbolize the seven local churches…

  1. Gold is a symbol of great value and a symbol of the divine. The Lord’s local assemblies are valuable possessions of God. They are divine instruments of service.  Their existence and continuance are through God’s grace and intervention.
  2. Seven is the number of completion, perfection and fullness. Each local church is to strive for perfection and will reach their goal in eternity (Eph 5:27).  The characteristics of these churches, when taken together, represent a complete representation of the churches that exist on earth.  Every church on earth can be likened to one or a combination of these local assemblies.
  3. Candlesticks (Lampstands) uphold and send forth light into the world around us. The first and greatest responsibility is to fulfill the Great Commission (upholding and sending forth the gospel message and all doctrinal truth into the sin darkened world).   How do they do this? They are put into service by Christ (as a lamp being lit) and then continue in the power of the Holy Spirit (as the oil that is burned in the lamp)

These symbols teach us that local assemblies are God’s institutions in which He intervenes and enjoys fellowship with His people.  They were established to hold forth the light of His Word into the sin darkened world.  They are to strive for perfection which will be finally achieved at their entrance into eternity.

 

(13)  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man,

John sees Christ standing among the seven candlesticks.  Christ is described as “One like unto the Son of Man”.  This is an OT description of Christ found in Daniel 7:13.

We know that Christ is called “the Son of Man” in reference to His human nature (John 8:28), but why would He be said to be “like unto the Son of Man”?  Christ, as God Himself, was sinless… He was not a fallen sinful man, in that sense, He was only “like a man” (Romans 8:3).

This title helps us to see Christ’s deity, sinlessness and humanity.

 

clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

In this vision, Christ is symbolized as wearing a garment down to His feet and a golden girdle around His loins. This comes from Daniel 10:5.

  1. The garment that extends down to His feet – robes symbolize righteousness and priestly garments. Christ is the perfectly righteous One.  He is our Priest, the One who stands between sinful man and a Holy God making peace.
  2. Gold is a symbol of great value and a symbol of the divine. – Christ is the priest accepted and sanctioned by God
  3. The girdle is a symbol of the Priesthood and strength – Christ is the strong priest who was successful in doing the work necessary to bring fallen mankind into communion with a Holy God.

These symbols help us to see Christ as our great divine Priest, who stands in the presence of His churches, intervening on their behalf and bringing about communion and fellowship with Almighty God.

 

(14)  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

Christ’s appearance continues to be described…

  1. Snow white hair – The color snow white is a picture of purity, perfection, completion. White hair is symbolic of old age and the wisdom that comes from it.  Christ is not only sinless, but also He possesses all knowledge and wisdom that are perfect and complete.  They are error free.
  2. Eyes as a flame of fire – Eyes are symbolic of perception, knowledge. Fire is a symbol of judgment, revealing, and purity.  Christ’s perception is perfect.  He can see clearly the true nature of all things.  He can see where no man can see (our hearts, minds, unknowable truths etc etc).

These symbols reveal to us Christ as the possessor and source of all perfect and complete knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

 

(15)  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; John now describes the vision’s representation of Christ’s feet …

1. The feet are representative of Christ’s walk of life (His works that He has and will perform)

2. Fine brass burned in a furnace is a picture of perfect judgment bringing about perfection. Christ, as supreme judge tramples down His enemies taking perfect vengeance against them.

In this vision, we can see that Christ’s works are always just, fair and lawful. We can also see a glimpse of His coming judgment against lost mankind which will result in the renovation (purification) of this world in preparation for eternity.

 

and his voice as the sound of many waters.

and His voice…

1. the voice is representative of His revealed Word

2. sound of many waters (very loud that drowns out all other sounds) pictures demanding attention and possessing great authority

Here, we have the authority, power and importance of Christ’s Word being symbolized.

 

(16)  And he had in his right hand seven stars: 

Christ’s hand held seven stars.  In verse 20, we find the stars are the “angels” or “messengers” of the churches. These refer to the pastors of the churches.

  1. seven stars – put forth a much smaller light than the sun. This is the role of the pastor to share whatever truths they are given from the Lord.  Any one pastor only knows a small amount of the entire set of truths of God.  It is his responsibility to shine as a light in the midst of the assembly declaring these truths to the members.  There are seven pastors which represents one for each of the seven assemblies.

2. right hand – this is the powerful hand, the one with which work is done.  Pastors are one of the most important tools that the Lord uses within the assembly to feed, protect and lead His assemblies.

The Pastors of Christ’s assemblies lead, feed and protect the assembly by proclaiming God’s Word in their midst.

 

and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: 

The sword coming out of Christ’s mouth…

  1. out of His mouth – is indicating His word is being spoken of
  2. two-edged sharp sword – is describing the power of the Word (Hebs 4:12)… it can both take life or give life (much like a weapon or a scalpel) This sword is said to be used by the Holy Spirit to do God’s bidding in the lives of the hearers (Eph 6:17)

As the Word is proclaimed, God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, applies His Word to the lives of the hearers.

 

and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Christ’s face shown like the sun…

  1. countenance (face) – pictures for us the person of Christ. We recognize people by looking at their face, likewise we can recognize Christ by seeing His face.
  2. sun shining brightly – bright light pictures His greatness (glory), holiness, and truth

This teaches us that, when we see the true Christ, we are looking at God Himself in all His glory, the sinless One, the Truth.

 

 

(17)  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. 

John’s response to this glorious vision of Christ is fearful reverence, humility and awe.  As he falls at His feet we can see a reverent and humble response.  To fall “as dead” seems to imply a time of silence and non-movement which helps us see a humble and awe-filled response.

He is shocked, speechless, and guilt-ridden as He recognizes the greatness of His Lord and his own sinful, unworthy, condition.

 

And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; 

Christ’s hand of comfort, acceptance and power comes upon John.  Christ continues to comfort John by telling him that there is nothing to fear.

Christ is not only the Sovereign, Glorious God and King over all, but He is also the compassionate Lord who cares and reassures His servants.

 

I am the first and the last:  (18)  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Christ now begins to describe Himself.  This is meant to remind John of His Lordship.  Christ begins this threefold description of Himself:

  1. I am the first and the last – He is the beginning and the ending of all things including all events in history.
  1. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen;  – He is the One that was alive, died on the cross for sinners, was resurrected and is now living and will live throughout eternity.
  1. and have the keys of hell and of death.

He is the one that is in control of the afterlife.  He is in control of the condition and location of the spirit and physical body of those who have died.   He will, someday, resurrect both lost and saved, He will preside over their final judgment and consign them to their eternal destiny.

In all of these descriptions, we see Jesus as the living absolute Sovereign over all mankind throughout history and the eternity that is to come.

 

(19)  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Jesus has already personally given John the commission to write down the visions that make up the Book of the Revelation (v 11- “what thou seest, write in a book”).  Christ now, more fully explains to John the content of the visions that he is receiving…

  1. the things which thou hast seen –  Some of the visions describe events that HAVE ALREADY TAKEN PLACE before the Revelation was penned.   They are events, that John had perceived through personal experience, the verbal accounts of others, or through the historical records that existed in John’s day.

This includes events throughout history between creation of the world to just prior to the writing of Revelation (approx. 92 AD).

 2. The things which are –  Some of these visions describe events that were CURRENTLY TAKING PLACE, as John penned the Book of Revelation.

This includes events that took place approx. in 92-95 AD.  This is the approx. time period in which Revelation was written by John.    

3. the things which shall be hereafter –  Some of the visions describe events that WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE FUTURE (after the penning of Revelation is completed.)

In other words, these events include events that have taken place in history from approx. 96 AD into eternity future.

In the book of Revelation we will see many events in the history of mankind being recorded in the form of visionary symbols.  These include events that span all time and reach into eternity future.

 

(20)  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Christ now helps John to more fully understand the vision he has just seen (v 10-16).  The seven stars that were seen in the right hand of Christ were representative of the “angels” (messengers) of the seven churches.   Also, the seven golden candlesticks represent seven local assemblies of the Lord, with Christ standing in their midst communing with them.

Please note: by using the term “mystery” the Lord is simply saying that the interpretation of the candlesticks and stars is not understood by all men, but only those who are taught these things.  To the lost and the untaught saved, it is a mystery, but not to all mankind.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this vision, we see Christ presented as God Himself, interceding on behalf His people as their Great High Priest.  As such, He is standing in the midst of His people and His local assemblies on earth enjoying communion and fellowship with them.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

May we all recognize Jesus, the True God over all, who has so graciously worked to grant us communion and fellowship with Him.  He did this by taking upon Himself the office of Great High Priest, sacrificing Himself on the cross for our sins, arising the third day in victory and constantly intervening on behalf of those for whom He died.

Also, may we all see the importance of local church membership to our enjoyment of a full, close relationship with the Lord.  Through this vision we can see that the Lord meets with His local assemblies in a very special way as they worship and honor Him.  This truth is also seen in Matthew 18:20… For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

 

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

 

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: John, … for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:9 KJV  – 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.

 

John describes a life situation he did not share in common with the church members… he was  banished to an island (Patmos) because he proclaimed the word of God and testified of his prior experiences during the first coming of Christ.   What a wonderful example of a living sacrifice!

Folks, there are times that we all need to stop and be honest with ourselves.  We need to be willing to search our hearts and come to an honest evaluation of what lies within us.  For this morning, can we take a moment and HONESTLY answer this question…  How much are we willing to suffer for Christ?

Are we willing to suffer mockery?  How about rejection by our friends or our family?  Are we willing to suffer defamation of our motives and character?  What about loss of a promotion, a raise, or even our job?   What about physical suffering, imprisonment, or torture, as do some missionaries who face persecution every day?    Or, of course, are we willing to make the ultimate sacrifice… physical death of a loved one or ourselves?

Going down through these questions (and many others we could ask) is a very sobering exercise for us all, probably for myself more than for any other.

My desire is not for us to say “Yes, I would be willing to suffer all these things for His name’s sake.”  To do this would be to think much too highly of ourselves and set ourselves up for a great fall…
Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.   (Proverbs 16:18)
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  (1 Corinthians 10:12)

 

Anyone who is brutally honest in this evaluation will come to the conclusion that, it would only be by God’s intervening grace that we would be willing to suffer these things for His name’s sake…
But in all [things] approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 
By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and [yet] true;  As unknown, and [yet] well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;  As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things. (2 Corinthians 6:4-10)

 

Apart from His intervention, NO ONE could stand under these things.  Let us all acknowlege the truth and say, “We are totally deficient, but our Lord is perfectly sufficient to meet our every need” …
And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:   Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God; “    (2 Corinthians 3:4-5)
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
 (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

 

May we all enter our day fully trusting in the Lord… We realize that opposition to our testimony may come our way, our only hope of remaining faithful will be His gracious enabling.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3K6

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: John, … a companion in the patience of Jesus Christ…

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:9 KJV  – 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.

 

John, while under the persecution of the Roman government, was called upon to exercise a tremendous amount of patience.  He knew that the churches of Asia were exercising great patience as well in the midst of the opposition that they faced.   Because of this, John described himself as a “companion in the patience of Christ”.

Folks, when we face opposition to our service to Christ, one of the most important spiritual fruits we are to exercise is the fruit of patience.    The Apostle Paul remembered this truth when he recalled his past sufferings for the cause of Christ…

But in all [things] approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,  In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;   By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,   By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,  By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and [yet] true;  As unknown, and [yet] well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;   As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things.”  (2 Corinthians 6:4-10)

In these verses, Paul explains that the exercise of patience in the midst of hardships results in “approving ourselves as the ministers of God”.  In other words, when others see our patience in the midst of persecution for the faith, it proves to them we are genuine followers of Christ.

When we patiently endure persecution, we are following the example that Christ Himself has set for us…

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:   Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not;…”   (1 Peter 2:21-24)

By being patient in tribulations, we are living representations of what Christ has done for His people.  In other words, through the possession of a patient, calm demeanor, we are displaying to a lost and dying world the tremendous love and grace that Christ has shown towards us as He faced such great pain and suffering without complaint or regret.

There are, basically, two areas of belief allow us to patiently endure suffering, our 1 Peter text continues by giving us the first basis of our patience…

“…but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

First of all, we can be patient in tribulation because we are trusting in our Lord to accompany us, care for us, and allow only what is for our good into our lives.

 

Paul helps us to understand the second basis of our patience during hardships..

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?   But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].”   (Romans 8:24-25)

Secondly, we find that we can be patient in times of trials because we have hope of a wonderful  future.  Someday, these trials will pass away and we will enjoy eternal life in glorified bodies, in the presence of our Lord!

 

May we all seek to live lives of patient enduring during times of hardship, knowing that we are showing Christ to all who are around us.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3K6

Christ Is Our King and We Are In His Kingdom…

SIH HALTAL ICONRev 1:9 KJV  – 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.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3L7

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: John, … a companion in the kingdom of God…

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:9 KJV  – 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.

 

 

 

In our text for this morning, John, as he writes to the members of the seven churches of Asia, describes himself as their “companion in the kingdom”.   Very basically, John was reminding his readers that they are all citizens of the same spiritual kingdom and subjects of the same King, Jesus Christ.  As believers in today’s time, we serve the same King of Kings and Lord of Lords as those of John’s day.  Because of this, we all share the same basic goals, desires, purpose of living and message to share with others.

Knowledge of our spiritual citizenship defines our purpose for living (bringing honor to Him) and motivates us to strive to fulfill that purpose every day of our lives…

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ…But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”   (1 Peter 2:5-9)

 

Another very important aspect of our citizenship in the Israel of God is our guaranteed possession of an eternal, sinless, dwelling place prepared by God Himself.  This truth alone should revolutionize our lives and encourage our hearts when the armies of the darkness of this world wage spiritual warfare against our kingdom.

Notice how this great truth affected the lives of the OT believers…

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)

 

This same set of truths should affect us as well.  We should find them to be a constant source of encouragement and strength knowing that we will, someday, be delivered from this sinful world and enter into eternity in the presence of our King.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3K6

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: John, … a companion in tribulation…

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:9 KJV  – 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.

 

In our text for this morning, John, as he writes to the members of the seven churches of Asia, describes himself as their “companion in tribulation”.  John understood the seven churches were facing opposition and abuse because of their stand for Christ.  This was taking place while, at the same time, John was banished to Patmos, being punished for declaring God’s Word.   The churches were not alone in their sufferings.  This is John’s message to the churches and to us as well in today’s time.    When we find ourselves facing opposition and abuse in service for Christ, remember we are not alone.

 

This same message is given to us by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:16-18…

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” 

 

Paul reminds us that, if we are the children of God:

  1. We are His heirs
  2. We will share in suffering in His service
  3. We will be glorified and enjoy eternity with Him

 

Folks, persecution is to be expected on the part of God’s people, but when compared to the glory that awaits us, it will be worth it all.

As we begin our day of service to the Lord, we may come upon those who will oppose and mistreat us.  When this takes place may we remember the two basic truths we have seen this morning… we are not alone in our suffering for Him and it will be worth it all when we see His face throughout eternity.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3K6

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: John, who also am your brother…

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:9 KJV – 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.

 

 

 

In our text for this morning, John, as he writes to the members of the seven churches of Asia, describes himself as their “brother”.   In other words, they were all adopted members of the same spiritual family…

 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.(Galatians 4:4-7)

Do we count our membership in the family of God as a very precious blessing?  Based upon the wonderful benefits of membership in God’s family, we can clearly see its great value to us all.

In the above passage we can see four benefits of membership:
1. We receive the indwelling Spirit.
2. We enjoy a close personal relationship with God. This allows us to see Him as not only “Father”, but “Daddy” as well.
3. We now willingly, with joy, take upon ourselves the likeness of God in our actions and words.
4. We become eternal heirs of God.

What a blessing it is to be able to know, with assurance, we are members of the divine family of God!

But above all of this, keep in mind, John identified himself as a spiritual brother. In other words, he shared a membership in God’s family.
Folks, when we live our lives day to day, as we come in contact with other believers, we need to keep in mind that we have much in common with them.  Although they may be simply earthly “acquaintances”, they are members of our spiritual family and share many motivations, goals, and blessings with us.

Do we recognize their relationship to us? Do we treat them with love, kindness and a loving self-sacrificial attitude?   Or do we find ourselves, treating them as any other acquaintance we might have?

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:13-15)

As we go about the Lord’s business today, may we recognize the many spiritual siblings around us and treat them with love, kindness, and respect knowing that they are a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and share a blessed eternity with us!
May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of  the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3K6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revelation 1:9-11:“John’s Commission”

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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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: The Almighty …

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:8 KJV – 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 possesses all strength and authority. Because of His overwhelming authority and power, He is in control of all things. Satan cannot thwart His plans; Man’s acts of rebellion cannot overcome Him; All the forces of darkness cannot cause Him to fail. He can, and will, accomplish what He has determined for His people.

A few of His most beloved and well known promises, given to His people include:

Mat 11:28-29 KJV – Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

2Co 4:16-18 KJV – For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Heb 13:5-6 KJV – Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

 

All of these promises, and many others, hinge upon His absolute control of all things. If our Lord was not in total control of all His promises would go something like this…

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and, if Satan allows, I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me as long as your fallen nature doesn’t overcome my Spirit’s work in you; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls, unless the powers of darkness take your rest away.

If our Lord does not control all, He cannot guarantee the fulfillment of  the many promises He has given to us.

 

As we progress through our day, may we all lovingly cling to the truth …. Our Lord is in control. And knowing this truth, let us face our discouragements, trials, and oppositions boldly knowing that …

1 Jn 4:4 KJV – “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of  the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Ju

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: which is, and which was, and which is to come, …

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:8 KJV – 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 Jesus Christ is the Eternal God… He has existed in eternity past, He exists today, and He will exist throughout eternity future…
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

This truth helps us to understand that our Redeemer lives. It was the cause of great joy and gladness in the heart of Job, a man who faced, perhaps, the greatest suffering of any sinful man on earth. ..

Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
For I know [that] my redeemer liveth, and [that] he shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth: And [though] after my skin [worms] destroy this [body], yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; [though] my reins be consumed within me.”  (Job 19:23-27)

As we begin our day, lets remember that our Lord existed from eternity past. He came to the earth, He died on the cross for us, His spirit went to be with His Heavenly Father, He arose the third day completing His redemptive work, and then ascended to prepare a place for His people to dwell eternally.   He completed the work that secured our salvation in times past. We can know this with certainty.

Next, lets place in our hearts and minds the truth that our Lord is alive today. He knows the burdens of our hearts, He will be with us, He will help us, He is actively controlling the events of our lives allowing what is for our good and His glory. May we be comforted in the midst of our trials as we think on these things.

Then let us also gain assurance and strength, knowing He will continue to live and work on our behalf, He will come back for us, He will grace us with glorified bodies and an eternal, sinless home with Him.

Folks, this is our Lord, Jesus Christ, the eternal God.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of  the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Ju

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending …

SIH TOTT ICONRev 1:8 KJV

(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.

 

Christ calls Himself “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending”.

 

Folks, Christ is the beginning and the ending of all aspects of our lives… creation; history; truth, understanding and wisdom; the languages of the world; the nations of the world; all worldly authorities; and on a more personal basis, our physical lives, our health, our families, our employment… the list seems endless.

But, for this devotional, I would like us to set our minds upon the most important area of our lives that finds its beginning and completion in the Lord, our redemption…

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6 KJV)

 

The ESV translates this verse in this way…

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6 ESV)

 

Although, as believers, we were redeemed in times past, we will not receive all the results of the redemptive work of Christ until His second coming.  When our Lord comes at His second coming, we will receive our glorified bodies… at this point in time the results of the redemptive work of Christ will reach total fulfillment.

What a wonderful truth for us! Our redemption was begun by our Lord and WILL BE COMPLETED by our Lord at His coming, and we can be SURE of this!   We can know with certainty that If He has begun the good work of redemption He will bring it to pass. We are secure in His hands, never to lose our salvation, never to be alienated from Him again, never to face eternal suffering for our sins.  If He has redeemed us, we will receive glorified bodies and dwell with Him eternally…

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us? (Romans 8:29-31)

 

May we all enter our day with joyous, confident hearts knowing that if we have been saved by His grace through faith in Christ, we can know that we will live with Him eternally in our glorified bodies.  Let us serve Him with greater appreciation knowing that we find our eternal security in Him and His redemptive work that He will bring to a completion.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of  the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Ju

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.…

SIH TOTT ICON

 

Rev 1:7 KJV – Behold, 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.

 

 

 

The second coming of Christ is a wonderful day that is eagerly awaited for all those who have trusted in Him. Why is this? It is the day that we will be taken home to be with our Lord and enter into protection from His wrath that is about to fall upon sinful mankind. This event is described in Matthew 24:29-31…

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

However, in both of these texts, we can easily see that this is not the case for all men. We are clearly told that when Christ comes back in the clouds many will mourn (sorrow due to personal loss)…

Mat 24:30 KJV – “and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

Rev 1:7 KJV – “and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.”

For the saved this is a joyous event, but for the lost who are left upon the earth, it is the cause of great mourning because they understand the time for the judgment of their sins is at hand. The wrath of God is about to fall upon them.

Folks, may we all examine our lives and be sure that we are prepared for His second coming… it could take place today! Have we repented of the many sins we have committed and trusted in Christ as our Lord and Savior? This should take first priority in our lives.

Secondly, if we know we are prepared for His coming, let us remember there are many others who are not prepared. They are yet in their sins. May we feel the great need of taking the gospel to the lost around us (through our words and actions) so that they might come to a saving knowledge of Christ and be prepared for His coming in the clouds.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of  the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Ju