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JANUARY 10  AUDIO-VIDEO  Revelation 1: 1-20 Introduction 

 

OPEN: The Book of Revelation was written toward the end of the first century when the emperor Domitian [Do-Mi-Sion] began a Period of Severe Persecution of the Church. 

  • Under the intense persecution, knowing that many will be tortured and die, this group of believers knows that Jesus will come again. IT IS THEIR HOPE. 
  • BUT…As time Passes under Persecution, Hope of His Return is Beginning to Wane

 

At This Point…The Beleaguered Church needed a Reminder about what is going on in the world. This Pastoral letter was written to this 1ST Century Church to Remind them that:

  • All History is Under God’s Control. {Unmistakable Emphasis of Revelation.}  You Live in an Evil World. This was Nothing New, But it was a Good Reminder that as People Living in a Fallen World…YOU WILL BE PERSECUTED!  Christ is “Central” to All God’s Plans. Christ will Return, But right Now He is in the place of All Authority, and He is the Focal Point of the Grand Purposes of God. Evil Will Finally be Judged. It will not be allowed to continue to run rampant in this world. The time will come when God will have a confrontation with Evil and He will Win. Heaven is the Ultimate Reality: Stand Firm. Be Faithful. Endure. God’s On Your Side
  • I Believe with Every Part of My Being that this Message That Was Given to the 1ST Century Church is Extremely Relevant and Important for the Church…For Us to Hear Today!
  • We Must Keep Our Eyes Focused on Eternity and Stand Firm…As we Anticipate Christ’s Return and Our Eternity with Him!    We need to Remember that NO Matter what’s Going On In the World…That God IS Working Out His Purpose for Each of Us!  Romans 8:28

 

Do You have a Passion and Anticipation of What God Wants to Do In and Through Your Life? OR…Do YOU Feel Discouraged, Tired, Disillusioned with Your life?  The Message of Revelation is this…God Wants YOU to See His Glory, His Plan, His Protection and Provision…As He Reveals to YOU His Son, Jesus Christ! 

 

Verse 1-3 “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John.  who testifies to everything he saw-that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.    Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near”.

  • Vs 1: Introduces the “Central Theme” of the book of Revelation namely…Jesus Christ!  The Focus is On Christ, the Son of God, and Our “Hope” in the Days Ahead!
  • VS 3: We are Given a 3-Fold Blessing! Blessed is the one who “reads aloud the words of this Prophecy”. (Evangelize) Blessed are those who “Hear it”.  (Receive Grace) Blessed are those who “take it to heart” (Obey) 
  • All 3 Blessings are “Present Participles” Implying with Continued Reading, Hearing and Observing the book of Revelation We Receive a Direct Promise of Blessing!
  • KEY:  Fulfillment of These Promises Requires WE Take Revelation Literally…The End Result of Reading, Hearing & Obeying this Prophesy Is the Blessing of HOPE!  
  • Because Christ Lives, All Our Sin is Forgiven and We Can Face Tomorrow…HOPE!   

Vs 4-8 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,  and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,  and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father, to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.  “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

VS 4: Begins with the Words, “Grace and Peace”  Grace Equals Our Standing IN Jesus Christ! We Stand Righteous Before God because of What Jesus Christ did for Us on the Cross and Through His Resurrection!  Peace Equals Our Experience IN Jesus Christ!  When You have Peace “With” God…You will have the Peace “Of” God!  From Him… (The Eternal Omni “Everywhere” Present God!) Alpha-Omega!   Christ who has been with the Father since Creation…Is Coming Back for Us!  Seven Spirits: These are the 7 angels in Place of High Privilege Before the Throne of God. 

 

Vs 5-6: speak of What Jesus Has Done and is Doing for UsFaithful Witness: Fulfilled the role of Prophet (Past) and Priest (Today)  First Begotten of the dead: First born of the dead (Past) Because He Lives We Will Too.

Prince of the Kings of the Earth: (Future)  Came as a Servant…Next Time He Comes as King! Unto Him who Loved Us: (Past-Present & Future) From Creation to Glory! To Him who Washed Us: (Past-Done Forever!) Him who made Us Kings and Priests: (Future Glorified State Millennial Kingdom) Jesus Christ alone is due Glory: 

 

VS 7 Gives an Announcement of Christ’s Second Coming! (John 14 Jesus said, I Will Come Again!)

  • Note: It says, “Every Eye Shall Behold Him” (This is Not indicated in the Rapture)
  • Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”  
  • Matthew 24: 30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.”  
  • Those who pierced Christ will behold Him…One Day…Every Knee Will Bow and Every Tongue Will Confess that Jesus Christ Is Lord!   

 

VS 8 tells Us that Christ is God…The Alpha & Omega ETERNALLY…Christ Is Central!  Vs-1: Jesus is the Channel, the Word and the Testimony of God. Vs 3 Jesus’ Blessings through His Revealed Word are Promised.  Vs-5: Jesus is a Faithful Witness! First born of the dead and ruler of the Kings of the Earth. He is the Source of Grace and “He Loves Us From Our Sins” through His Shed Blood!  Jesus is the Source of Our Royal Priesthood.  Jesus is Promised to come and Every Eye Shall See Him.  Jesus Christ is Our HOPE and HOPE is the Central focus of Revelation!

 

This Morning is Jesus Christ Your HOPE?! Even Born-again Christians Can Lose HOPE…When We Lose Heart then Fear, Disappointment, and for some Angers flair because they Have Lost Hope! 

  • God sent His Son that You Might have Life and Have it to the Fullest!  John 10:10 Christ says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly!”

 

We’ve Discussed that this pastoral letter was written to this first century church amidst great tribulation to remind them that:  All history is under God’s control. {Major Emphasis of the Book of Revelation.}

  • We Live in an Evil World…People living in a Fallen World, will Endure Persecution. 
  • Christ is “Central” to All God’s Plans. Christ will return, but now He’s in the place of all authority, and He is the focal point of the grand purposes of God.
  • Evil will finally be Judged! It will Not be allowed to continue to run rampant in this world. One day God will have a confrontation with evil and He will win.  Heaven is the Ultimate Reality…SO, Stand firm, Endure, God Is On Your Side!  And in the Midst of LIFE…Keep Your Eyes on Jesus and You Will Have HOPE!

 

We’re going to take a Close Look at the Glorified Christ…And His Sovereign Relationship to the Church!

I believe that Many Christians do Not Follow Christ Completely because they do Not have a Clear Vision of 

 

Who Christ is: His Power, His Position, His Deity!  When You Think of Jesus Christ What image Comes to Mind?

Verses 9-18  I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” 12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

 

In VS 9 John tells us that he is exiled on the Island of Patmos and describes himself as a “Brother and Companion of the Seven Churches in their Trouble and Suffering!”  The phrase, “Kingdom and Patience in Jesus” uses the Greek Word {hypomore} which connotes the “HOPE” of Faith” which Yields Patient Endurance.

 

In the Midst of Gods Revelation…We Learn Some Important Things About God!  Many times God allows suffering and separation in our lives, to get our attention, so that He can speak to Us about important things! David wrote many Psalms while being pursued by Saul seeking to Kill him.  Ezekiel wrote his two letters before being Martyred.  Here…John Received the Revelation while Suffering for Christ and the Gospel.

 

PRINCIPLE: God Uses Adversity to Get Our Attention so that He can Grow Us and Use Us for His Kingdom Plan!

John Makes Several Meaningful Statements in Verses 10 & 11:

When John says, “I was in the Spirit” he’s saying he was Carried Beyond a Normal Sense into a State where God Supernaturally Revealed His Message.  Appl: We Need to Slow down Our Busyness and Prepare for God to Speak to Us!  Practice: After Praying or reading Scripture remain Quiet & Let God Speak to You!

  •  “I Heard a Loud Voice as of a Trumpet” This is a Reference to The Glorified Christ.
  • THOT: John used to lay his head on Jesus Chest…Now John is seeing Christ as He Really has been since before time began and will be forevermore!

 

Vs 12 John turns to see Seven Golden Lampstands (some versions use candlesticks) In the Temple there were 7-branched candle stands. Here we have 7 Candle Stands…Vs 20 clarifies the Seven Candle Stands Represent the Seven Churches. Application: The “Function of the Church” is to give forth Light to the World!

  • The “Implied” Olive Oil is Symbolic of the Power/Witness of God the Holy Spirit!

 

Vs 13 “Among the LampstandsChrist is Portrayed as being in the Midst of the 7 Churches.  I Love the Promise that Comes with this Phrase, Jesus is In Our Midst. He Never Leaves or Forsakes Us. He’s A Friend that Sticks Closer than a Brother!   The Title “Son of Man” emphasizes Christ’s Humanity and His Messianic Character!

 

The Rest of Vs 13 Concludes with 2 Symbolic Attributes of Jesus Christ: “Clothed to His Feet”:  The clothing of a Priest or Judge (Like Aaron’s robe)“Golden Sash around His Chest” Like Priests, binds Garments higher on the body.

  • Earthly priests had a “gold thread” in the sash. Christ’s sash is 100% Gold which Signifies God’s Pure Nature
  • This “Somber Picture” of Christ as Judge & Priest amidst the 7 Churches is a “Significant Introduction” to the Sobering Message He Will Give to the 7 Churches.

 

Vs 14-16 portrays Various Aspects of Christ’s Deity. [ SEE Daniel 7: 9,10,13,14]   VS 14-16 “The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”

 

Head of Hair was White as Wool: (Speaks of Purity…Not Age.)  Eyes as Flame of Fire: (Searching Divine Judgment upon “All” that is Impure!  Feet as Burnished Brass/Bronze glowing in a Fire:  In the Old Testament The brazen alter & brass items were used in connection with sacrifice for sin…Here…It symbolizes Divine Judgment: 

  • The Burning Brass,(highly refined brass), Represents Christ Standing in the Midst of the 7 Churches on the Basis of Divine and Righteous Judgment portrayed both in Fire and in the Metal Mentioned!
  • “Voice like the sound of Rushing Waters”: The Majesty & Power before which “All” Human Authority Must Bow!

 

Vs 16 Gives Us 3 Additional Aspects of the Glorified Eternal Christ.

  • “Right Hand Held 7 Stars” {Defined in verse 20 as the 7 angels of the 7 churches.}
  • It is believed universally that these are the leaders of the seven churches.
  • These are those responsible for the spiritual welfare of their respective churches.
  • Being in the Hand of God denotesPossession, Protection and Sovereign Control.
  • As the Churches were to emit light as a lamp stand…The leaders of the churches are to Project Light as Stars! {A Tremendous Pastoral Responsibility}

 

  • “Sharp Double Edged Sword Coming out of Christ’s Mouth!”
  • Represents Divine Judgment (Rev 19:15) “Out of His Mouth will go a sword that will smite the nations”  
  • This Greek word is different than the word used in Hebrews 4:12 “Quick and Powerful as a two-edged sword”.  The Greek word used here is “romphaia” The connotation is that of “a sword of Devastating Judgment” rather that uncovering unbelief as the sword in Hebrews.
  • This indicates the Omnipotence and Sovereignty of the Son of Man!

 

  • “Face like the Sun” God’s Glory!  In our Sinful state we would die if we saw His Glory…However, 1 John 3: 2 Guarantees someday we will see Christ in all His Glory!  “But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

 

VS 17-20 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. 19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Vs 17a we read, “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.”   In the Gospels we see John laying his head on Christ’s bosom…But here John Falls at Christ’s feet as a Dead Man!   The Difference is-John See’s the Glorified Christ!  Christ’s Power and Majesty are “no longer veiled” and His Righteousness is Revealed as Consuming Fire!

 

How do YOU See Christ today?   Fearful?  Christ says, “Fear Not!”   The very Sovereignty of “God Revealed” Brings Terror to the Wicked…But…Comfort to the Saint!   {Key in Evangelism}

 

Vs 17b Christ says He is the, “First and Last” Alpha and Omega! No Beginning or Ending!

 

Vs 18 says, “I Am the Living One”

  • Christ was Dead (3 Days) Behold I am Alive FOREVER!   
  • Christ Holds the Keys of Life and Death!
  • In Christ’s death and resurrection He wrested from Satan Any Authority the devil may have had over death!  (Wrested: He took power & control from Satan! 

 

Hebrews 2: 14-15, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

 

CHRIST ALONE Possesses the Key (Authority) Over Death!

  • God is Sovereign!  No Person can die apart from His Divine Permission!

 

Read Verses 19-20: “WRITE”  John is commanded to “write what he sees”.

 

POINT:  HOW YOU SEE JESUS…WILL DETERMINE HOW YOU LIVE!

 

The Question in this Series is, “How do You See Christ?”

 

As we Move through Christ’s messages to the 7 churches of Asia and Asia Minor, You Will See Christ as a Supreme Authority and that His Words Must be Obeyed.

 

My Prayer for each of us at LifePoint Church is that We Will Listen Carefully to Christ’s Last 7 Messages to the Church and then Choose to Apply it To Our Lives!

 

Prayer