THE BOOK OF REVELATION
~ The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Revelation Chapter 1

 

The Visions of John on the Lord's Day

Verse 1:  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Verse 2: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

The Book of Revelation begins with a clear declaration — “the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him”. It was the revelation of Jesus Christ and not the revelation of John. It was the revelation which the Almighty God gave to His Son. Why?  (Undoubtedly, there is a special relationship between the Almighty God and the Lord Jesus Christ.)  The Revelation was given to Jesus Christ to show to His servants concerning things and events which must soon take place — from the time of John. And the year was 96 A.D..

Our Lord Jesus sent and communicated His Revelation through an angel to John who recorded all that he saw in his visions. John was the beloved of the Lord Jesus Christ (Jhn.13:23; 20:2). He is a type of the Beloved (Bride) of Christ. Whatever things that were shown to John would have to be revealed to His Bride. Because we are living at the final stretch of the closing period of the whole dispensation of the Seven Church Ages, we are privileged to see a clearer picture than those members of the Bride in each of the past six Church Ages could see. Yes, this is the very hour of the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Bride. This is the hour, not only for the Word but also for “the oil and the wine” — the anointing and the stimulation of revelation — of the Holy Spirit upon the Word. And this is the LIFE that cannot be hurt (cf. Rev.6:6).

Verse 3:  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

The unfolding of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is for us to understand and to obey the words of prophecy that we may be a light in this world of spiritual darkness and always be ready and prepared for the return of the Lord. Many Christians are actually spiritually blinded by Satan who has entered the realm of religious Christianity since the 4th Century, and who has actually been worshipped in the organized churches! Satan is the god of this evil age.

Verse 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;
Verse 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. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Verse 6: And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Notice that there are three greetings from the throne area of Heaven. The first is from “him which is, and which was, and which is to come”. The second is from “the seven Spirits which are before his throne”. The third is from “Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth”.

The One “which is, and which was, and which is to come” is the Eternal Invisible Spirit — Elohim, the Almighty One. He does not have, and never had a beginning; He will never have an end. He always is because He always was, and He always will be — the I AM. He is the Creator and the Father of all creations. But “Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth” is Elohim's Only Begotten Son Who is vested with all His authority (Matt.28:18). The Son of God had a beginning. He was virgin born, nearly 2000 years ago, as a mortal person with a mission to conquer death and hell. Through God's Work of Redemption, Jesus Christ has made it possible for us to be born again sons and daughters of God, and to be a royal race and priests to serve His God and Father, Who is also our God and Father — “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (Jhn.20:17b). The only way we can truly be born again sons and daughters is to repent of our sins, be water baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, according to the revelation declared by the Apostles in the Early Church, and then we shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Whereas the Blood of Christ takes care of the inherited 'original sin' nature in us, water baptism remits the sins in our lives. We will then walk in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and go on to perfection in His Word and the Blood of Christ will cleanse us from all our sins (cf. 1 Jhn.1:4-10).

As the Son of God, Jesus Christ has faithfully declared to us all that he had received from the Father and testified always to the truth concerning Himself before all men and even in the hour of His death. So, as “the faithful witness” He attests that we should and could believe the apocalyptic truth that He was about to reveal to John. Amen. His faithfulness endures to all generations!

Now, Jesus is the first begotten from the dead, which obviously means there will be others, after Him, who will be begotten from the dead. There will be a people who, upon their translation, will also have the same glorified body that Jesus has. They are the true members of the Bride (Body) of Christ. They are priests and subjects in His Kingdom for they all have direct access to Him. As He overcame and sat down on His Father's throne, so will His saints overcome and sit down with Him in His throne (cf. Rev.3:21). The King and His Bride will then rule the earth for a thousand years after the close of the Great Tribulation. The millennial reign of Christ with His Bride is called the Age of Regeneration (cf. Matt.19:28).

Concerning the Seven Spirits which are before the Throne of God, this is the first time that we read about their presence before the throne of God. However, Prophet Zechariah did make mention of them as the “eyes of the Lord” (Zech.4:10 cf. 3:9). This is a mystery. It must therefore tell us something. Remember that the Book of Revelation is the last of the 66 books of the Bible and was written around the year 96 A.D.

God is a Spirit. He is One, not Seven or Three Spirits (Trinity). What then are these Seven Spirits?  They are actually God's attributes which are manifested throughout the periods of the Seven Church Ages and the 70th Week of Daniel's prophecy. These attributes are manifested through Seven Spiritual Angels soon after the Church fell away from her purity in about the year 53 A.D. In the Book of Revelation, we find that these Seven Spirits (ascribed or assigned to Seven Angels) have seven tasks to perform, seven different roles to play, so to speak. In their assignments, they have been identified as: i) SEVEN STARS in the right hand of the HIGH PRIEST and JUDGE Who walks in the midst of the Seven Golden Candlesticks, ii) SEVEN LAMPS BURNING on the CANDLESTICKS, iii) SEVEN SEALS on the backside of the SEALED-BOOK in the right hand of the Almighty, iv) SEVEN HORNS and SEVEN EYES on the LAMB, v) SEVEN THUNDERS with the MIGHTY ANGEL, vi) SEVEN TRUMPETS which will sound after the Rapture of the Bride, and vii) SEVEN VIALS of God's Wrath which will be poured out upon the earth between the closing of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. And in two of their seven jobs, as the SEVEN STARS and the SEVEN THUNDERS, their (audible) VOICES are heard by the True Worshippers of God.

Verse 7: 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.

This is not the coming of Christ for His Bride in the Rapture. The Rapture is a secret event to the world. This is the Lord Jesus Christ coming back physically with His saints after they have supped at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven (cf. Matt.24:29-30; Rev.19: 11-21). They will come riding on white horses and the eyes of Israel (who pierced Him) and of all the nations of the earth shall see Him. They shall be in great anguish because He has come to judge the world. This will take place at the close of the Great Tribulation in the Battle of Armageddon. Read Zechariah chapter 14.

Verse 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.

Do pay close attention to verse 8 that you may understand two terms in the verse which clearly show us the Oneness of the Godhead — all that God is, is in Christ Jesus. It will show you Who God is and Who Jesus is; they are One God. Notice the first statement. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending” — the Lord is speaking of His being in TIME. Eternity has no time; it has no beginning and no ending. Hence, when Elohim uses this term, He speaks of the REVELATION of Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ (read John 1). The Apostle Paul used a near equivalent statement when he wrote: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever” (Heb.13:8). The Word of God, Who is God Himself, came forth in the beginning as Alpha to bring forth Creations. This same Word Who is also Omega will bring to an end all things created through His Redemption Work (cf. Jhn.1:1-3; Rev.3:14). Christ Jesus, Who is the Word of God incarnate, is therefore the firstborn of God (Col.1:15). The second statement, “which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (or “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty”) is used emphatically of the Almighty Himself as the only source ('circle') of life. Hence, He is YAHWEH, “THE ETERNAL WITHIN HIMSELF EXISTING ONE”.

Remember Jesus Christ had a beginning. He was born of a virgin, raised as a child and grew up as a man (cf. Luk.2:40,52). But God is Spirit and will always be Spirit. He is invisible (1 Tim.1:17; 6:16). The only way we can see God is to see His works (cf. Jhn.6: 28-29; 10:25,36-38; 14:10-13). At the appointed time, Jesus was empowered by the Word of God. This happened at His water baptism in Jordan River. The Spirit of God came down from Heaven to dwell in Him. This was the incarnation of God — God 'en morphe' in flesh; God clothed in flesh. But the Almighty God was still Spirit, and though Jesus Christ was still a man, He was a God-Man. The body of Jesus is not God; it is only God's abode, His temple. It was the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Who died at Calvary and not God Himself for God, being a Spirit, cannot die. After His death and resurrection, Jesus ascended into Heaven. On His ascension He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt.28:18b). Prior to His ascension, Jesus did not have “all power” for He said that He could not do anything until His Father showed Him what to do (cf. Jhn.5:19). It is not difficult to see how the Eternal Invisible Spirit (One Spirit) has revealed Himself in the Man called Jesus Christ — “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Cor.5:19a). Therefore, this fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah (9:6): “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Tim.3:16). Hence, when Jesus said, “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”, He was declaring the Divinity in Himself. Though He was the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Col.2:9) God was still the Eternal Invisible Holy Spirit above, about and around Him for God is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent.

The Word (Grk: Logos) of God which came forth in the beginning (see John 1:1-4) was actually His creative self-revelation, “the side of God turned towards the world”. It was not another Spirit being Who was also God. There is but ONE SPIRIT, ONE TRUE GOD. The Trinity of God is a pagan concept. It has its root in the mystery religion spawned at Babel by Nimrod and his mother, Semiramis. The concept of multiple gods, by different names and titles, was greatly accepted throughout the time of the Greek and Roman world. The people practiced sex orgies, idolatry, mutilation and even human sacrifices in the names of their gods. When the first Church of Rome fell from grace, she too embraced many of the pagan practices. Mystery Babylon, the Great Harlot of Revelation chapter 17, is none other than the first Church of Rome — the Roman Catholic Church. She overrode the Word of God with her dogmas and changed the doctrine of Oneness of God into a Trinity of God in the year 325 A.D. Needless to say, even today, all her harlot daughters (organized churches) still embrace the same paganish dogma.

The mystery of the doctrine of Trinity is a mystery created by theologians. Their presentation (which they call interpretation) is apparently quite persuasive, but their understanding and reasoning are appalling to the extent that they not only deceive others, but they also deceive themselves. They almost always qualify their teaching with such words, “We can never understand the mystery of the Trinity. Because we are finite we cannot fully comprehend God”. Certainly, with such foolish teaching, how do we expect the common Christian people to understand anything about God in the scriptural sense that God wants them to understand Him. However, the opposite is true. The words of the Apostle Paul, in 1 Timothy 3:16, do not make the doctrine of the Godhead mysterious in any way than its simple truth. The New International Version renders the verse a little better: “Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory”. Furthermore, concerning our need to comprehend our God, he wrote: “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Eph.1:15-18).

Truly, we certainly need to know what we believe lest we receive a harsh rebuke from the Lord just as He had rebuked the Samaritan woman at the well: “Ye worship ye know not what”. The majority of the Christian people have been deceived into accepting the doctrine of the Trinity for their salvation. Some tenets of faith of denominational churches specifically state that a person is not a Christian unless he/she believes in the Trinity. But the Bible shows otherwise.

Verse 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.

Patmos was a small island off the coast of Asia Minor. It was about 60 to 120 kilometres from those seven churches to which John addressed his letters. The Romans put condemned criminals there (just like the Americans used to put theirs on the island of Alcatraz, off the city of San Francisco). There was no escape from the island which was infested with poisonous snakes and scorpions.

St. John was probably about 90 years old when he was exiled to the Isle of Patmos. Well, whether you are 90 or 9 years old, God can always use you provided you are willing to serve Him. Here we see that John was persecuted for his faith. He knew that the true worshippers of God must invariably go through trials and tribulations one way or another for their faith. Though he was in dire circumstance John even comforted those in tribulation by identifying with them — “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. Although he was exiled to isolation on an island, John knew that God had a purpose in it and that God was with him. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” (Psa.37:23).

In solitude John had plenty of time. His physical body was in bondage but his spirit was not. Having nothing physical to do, he spent his time in the presence of the Almighty God, worshipping Him. And he was in such an attitude one day, on the first day of the week, the Lord's day, that he became the instrument of blessings to the saints of God. He was so immersed in the Spirit of the Lord that the natural realm began to move away and he began to enter into another realm — the spiritual realm of God. He began to hear and see things that no man had heard or seen before, and he “bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw” (vv.2).

Verse 10:  I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Verse 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 term “Lord's Day” is not the same as the “Day of the Lord” which is found in many passages throughout the Old and New Testaments. The term is used only once in the Holy Scriptures and is understood to signify the “first day of the week” when the saints would gather together to worship God. [Note: The word “Lord's” (Grk: kuriakos) is an adjective, meaning something belonging solely to the Lord. It has no exact English equivalent. Another occurrence is in 1 Corinthians 11:20 — “Lord's Supper”, an ordinance set down by the Lord in which the saints would come together to commemorate His death till He returns. “Lord's Supper” is never called the “Supper of the Lord”. For obvious reasons, read Revelation 19:9,17.]

G. M. Lamsa translated the first part of verse 10 as “The Spirit of prophecy came upon me on the Lord's day…”  Contrary to what is being taught by some theologians, John's spirit was not projected or teleported into a span of time in the 21st Century when Jesus would return to earth and set up His Millennial Reign. Some even teach that the “Day of the Lord” is the period of a thousand years during which Christ will reign over the earth. But the “Day of the Lord” is truly the time of Christ's return to the earth, at the close of the 3 years of Great Tribulation, to fight in the Battle of Armageddon (Zech.14:4; Matt.24:29-30; Rev.19:11-21). Then after the battle, the Most Holy Place of the Millennial Temple will be anointed (Dan.9:24) and Christ will judge the nations of the world (Matt.25:31-46). Following that will be the Age of Regeneration (cf. Matt.19:28). Hence, the “Day of the Lord” is the 75-day period (cf. Dan.12:11-12) between the closing of the 3 years of Great Tribulation and the beginning of the 1000-year reign of Christ and His Saints.

When John was in the Spirit of the Lord, he heard a great voice, which sounded like a trumpet, right behind him. That “great voice” identified Himself as Diety. He was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Time began with Him and time will end with Him — the “Alpha and Omega, the first and the last”.

The seven churches to which John was commanded to address his writings consisted of mostly Gentile converts. These seven churches were located in Asia Minor (the area which is today's Western Turkey). Remember this was the year 96 A.D., about 45 years after the Gospel had began to affect the Gentile people as fewer Jews were accepting it. God was turning to the Gentile people to take out a Spiritual Bride for His Son. This Book of Revelation was written for the benefit of the Bride that she might understand what the Lord was going to do in His Church and what events would transpire throughout the Grace Age.

Now, the Grace Age is divided into seven periods. Each period, being represented by one of the seven churches, is revealed and assessed by Christ as recorded by John in chapters 2 and 3. They are commonly called the Seven Church Ages.

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

When John turned to see who was speaking to him he saw Seven Golden Candlesticks (i.e. Lampstands).. These Seven Golden Lamp-stands are the Seven Churches as interpreted in verse 20. Prophet Zechariah wrote: “I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof” (Zech.4:2). The oil in the bowl flows through the pipes into the lamps. The oil speaks of the Spirit of God always flowing afresh into the Church of Christ throughout the Seven Church Ages. The Spirit of Christ is the Light of the world; the church is just the carrier of the Light. In the midst of these lampstands John saw “one like unto the Son of man”. That was the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man. And He was wearing a High Priest robe. (Notice that He did not have a Breastplate of Judgement, the Urim and the Thummim, on His breast because He Himself was the Urim and the Thummim.)  This means that He was in the position of a High Priest showing that He was an Intercessor or a Mediator. He still is, but He will not always be in this intermediary position. Some time in the future He will come back to earth as a King and rule the earth for 1000 years. Of course, He will not be dressed as a High Priest; He will be dressed as a King.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has to fulfill what was written of Him in the prophetic writings contained in the books of the Old Testament. He has many roles to fulfill, so to speak. When He came to this earth nearly 2000 years ago, He came as a Prophet-Servant to preach the Word of God and to serve mankind (cf. Mk.10:45). He was no longer the Prophet and Servant after His death and ascension but “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession…” (Heb.3:1). See?  Now He is “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession”. And when this period of time is over He will return to earth to rule and judge (Rev.20:11-15). “Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he 'has put everything under his feet.' Now when it says that 'everything' has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all” (1 Cor.15:24-28 NIV).. Amen. Jesus Christ will then have fulfilled everything that was written of Him. He will then be “the Omega”, “the ending”, as TIME is wrapped up in ETERNITY. Then He will once again subject Himself to the Invisible God, His Father, Who is also our God and Father — the “I AM” “Who is, Who was, and Who is to come”, the Eternal One Who is immutable. But Jesus Christ will be our elder brother in His spiritual body form.

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

This speaks of Jesus Christ as being a Judge. In his days, the prophet Daniel also saw this same Judge in his vision (Dan.7:9). No evil can escape the scrutiny of His eyes of blazing fire — omniscient flame — in judgement.

Verse 15: And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

“And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.”  Jesus Christ, the One with God's own life, stood steadfastly in judgement for you and me so that we might not be condemned. It was a fiery trial all along the way till He ended up as a bleeding Lamb, spilling His Blood at Calvary, thus completing God's atonement for us. But, very soon, He is coming to judge those who reject His offer of salvation.

“And his voice as the sound of many waters. Like mighty running streams of water, babbling brooks, or great showers of rain, the words of Christ have always been soothing, bringing joy, comfort, peace and faith to the hearers. Throughout the ages the sound of His voice, speaking through His ministers, would revive His people in the Spirit and Word of God. The voice is the revelation of Christ Himself.

Verse 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.

“The seven stars are the seven angels (or messengers) of the seven churches” (see verse 20). Apparently the Apostle John was acquainted with these seven churches and their presiding bishops or pastors. Hence, the letters were addressed to these seven outstanding servants of God as “messengers” so that they would be aware of Christ's assessment of their respective church and its condition. And knowing the conditions of these churches God set a type that would reflect the Church Age in seven epochs of time. Also, these seven stars (or messengers) testify of a greater ministry to the Body of Christ in each of the Seven Church Ages than just these local churches in the seven selected cities of Asia Minor. Each of these stars was a special gift of God to its respective Church Age.

Gifts are given with the right hand. And the stars being held in the right hand of Jesus Christ shows us that God deals with the churches according to His grace and mercy. Through these specially anointed messengers the sharp and powerful message of God, which proceeded from the mouth of Christ, was wielded by them in their days for the steadfastness of Christ Jesus was brilliant and mighty.

Verse 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:
Verse 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.

If the countenance of Christ in all His glory proved too much for John, what about us?  So, let us be holy as God is holy.

Jesus Christ once again identified Himself as “the first and the last”. In fact He is “the first and the last” person ever to be born into this world to die for mankind and yet live again. He is the only one. Nobody else has ever done what He did. There is no other person through whom mankind can have salvation. God turned His back upon Christ, figuratively speaking, as He hung on that cross at Mount Calvary, spilling His blood for you and me. And because He lives again, we will also live with Him. Amen.

Our Lord Jesus has “the keys of hell and of death”. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” (1 Pet.3:18-22).

While our Lord's body laid in the tomb, His spirit went down to “sheol”, the place and “prison” of the departed dead, and preached to those spirits held captive there. Satan was the 'warden' of “sheol” and he had the keys, so to speak, for he was the author of death. He held all the dead in his “prison”. However, Jesus Christ, overcame death and became the author of our salvation. He is the author of life to all who would believe in Him. He is the Lord of hosts, the King of glory Who is mighty in battle (cf. Psa.24:7-10). Christ went right through the fortress of Satan's prison and snatched the keys of death and hell from him and opened up the gates of the prison that held His saints captive. All the saints of God who died since the time of Adam until the atonement was paid by Christ were released from Satan's prison bars of hell. They became Christ's prisoners, so to speak. (Read Matthew 27:52-53; Ephesians 4:8-10.)

Verse 19: Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

John was commanded to write down i) what he had seen, “the things which thou hast seen” — what we read in chapter 1; ii) what is, “the things which are” — that is, the conditions of the seven local churches in Asia Minor (which prophetically reflect the whole Body of Christ throughout the grace period of the Church Age); and iii) what is to happen after these things, “the things which shall be hereafter” — pointing to events which shall happen in the future ahead of John's time. Consequently, we have this Book of Revelation.

Verse 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.

This last verse is self-explanatory. In fact this is one of several 'key' verses to the interpretation of the Book of Revelation. Right away we are told that the Seven Stars are the Angels of the Seven Churches and the Seven Candlesticks are Seven Churches. Hence, the “mystery” is unfolded to show us that there would be seven “earthly” angels, or messengers, of the Seven Church Ages and not just seven local ministers of seven churches in Asia Minor. (This will be better understood when we look into Revelation chapters 2 and 3.)  Moreover, the Seven Spirits which stood before the throne of God would minister to these Seven Messengers of the Seven Church Ages. These Spirits would minister to their respective messengers in their proclamation of the message of Christ for their particular Church Ages. They are also responsible to keep the light on their lampstand burning throughout the age. These are the first two roles of the Seven Spirits — ministering to the Seven Stars with the Message of Christ (the two-edged sword from the mouth of Christ) and keeping the Light of Truth burning in the Body of Christ for and throughout their respective Church Ages.

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