7 Churches of Revelation
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
The revelation which God the Father gave to Jesus Christ who in turn gave to the Apostle John. John is to send this new revelation to the seven churches although perhaps not personally seeing as he is banished to the Isle of Patmos. The things which must shortly take place refers to time is at hand or the time is now.
He signified it, that is, he personally delivered this message to His servant the apostle John.
2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.
John bore witness to the Word of God. Jesus was the Word made flesh and the Apostle John heard what he said and saw what he did while they were together and therefore he is WITNESS to the Word of God.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
A special blessing is in store for those who read, hear, understand, and do the things which are written therein.
He who has ears to hear let him hear
4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
We find the list of seven churches later. Grace is made available to Believers only and is often used as a salutation in the epistles - -
GRACE to you and PEACE from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
Should be noted here that John is not referring to Jesus Christ from eternity past to eternity future. Although that aspect of Him is true, that is not what is in view here. He is referring to the revealed Jesus Christ from the time that Adam and Eve walked with Jehovah (Jesus) until the time He (Jesus) rules the earth from Jerusalem.
The, "Seven spirits who are before His throne" is referring to the fullness and completeness of Jesus Christ who is before the throne of the Father.
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,This verse confirms the idea from verse 4 above and now we see
6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. This verse should read, "and has made us a KINGDOM and priests to His God . . . Our position in the Church or "Mystery" kingdom is that of officiating priests to God the Father by the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
This fact is brought out in Matthew 24 and is referring to His second coming in which we are coming with Him. The Jews at his future coming will see and recognize him and say, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord".
8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
Now Jesus is referring to his Divine quality as being existent from eternity past to eternity future plus the fact that all things will be submitted to the father. The portion "who is and who was and who is to come" confirms the fact that Jesus Christ as we know Him from the pages of scripture IS God. The Almighty refers to himself in the Old Testament.
9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
John is saying here that he too is a Christian, a believer and shares in the same situations that we are a part of - -
Patience is related to endurance and is referring to the fact that we operate on this earth in the flesh, although filled with the Holy Spirit, but with no VISIBLE power from Jesus Christ as Kind of Kings and Lord of Lords. There are no supernatural miracles beyond the born again experience that we as Christians can present to the world to confirm our affirmation that He is indeed King of Kings. The opposite of patience is fornication. This subject is dealt with in another topic study.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,
John has been transformed in some unexplainable way while in the flesh to prepare for his encounter and meeting with the resurrected Savior. It was not necessary for him to be transformed during their last meeting in the upper room when Jesus suddenly appeared. But now it will be necessary because of the Power, Dominion, and Glory of Jesus Christ that is no longer hidden from view.
The Lord's voice is that of a trumpet and is referring to the fact that HIS voice is unique and distinct. John will not have to listen twice to determine that it is the Lord who is speaking to him.
The fact that the voice is behind him refers to the fact that John is accustomed to hear the voice of the Lord at all time even during times of adversity - -
Your ears shall hear a word BEHIND YOU, saying, " This is the way, walk in it," Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.
11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
The reference to Alpha and Omega again refers to his eternity past and eternity future existence. The first and last refers to his completed act of redemption being both the first adam and the last adam.
Now the Lord instructs John to write with pen and ink what he sees and send to the seven churches. Normally, the prophets of old wrote what they heard at the mouth of the Lord, but here, John's temporary transformation in the Spirit allows him to see God's planned events. Recall that Ezekiel was not transformed but transported from Babylon to Jerusalem to view the things happening.
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
The fact that John turned to the Lord is a picture of repentance. We must turn from our way and turn to the lord's way. The seven golden lampstands are explained later as being the seven Churches.
13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
In the midst of the Churches is Jesus Christ, God himself arrayed in his High Priestly garments.
14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;
16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.
18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.
20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.