“The Risen King” – Revelation 1:9-20
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The next passage (vs. 9-20) is the second half of the complete introduction to the unveiled Christ.
In the first half (vs. 1-8) John in his own words, inspired by the Spirit, writes an introduction to the apocalypse, or unveiling of Christ.
Now John will turn in narrative form to what the King has personally shown him.
Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
In this passage, Jesus is not portrayed as the humble Nazarene of the Gospel, but as the risen and glorified King of kings, and Lord of lords.
He is not shown as "the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world." (Jn. 1:49)
But as the exalted "Son of Man" (Dan. 7:13), whose eyes are "like torches of fire," (Dan. 10:6) and His voice "like many waters," (Eze. 1:24) and from His mouth "a sharp two-edged sword," with which He will judge and rule the nations. (Rev. 19:15)
And who is better to teach us this truth than John the Apostle?
* The Apostle
"...both your brother..."
* Fellow believer in Christ Jesus.
"...and companion in tribulation..."
* John has shared in "tribulation" with all believers.
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
"...and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ..."
* John was with Jesus from the beginning and to the completion of His ministry. (Matt. 4:23)
"...tribulation, kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ."
* In times of suffering, trouble or triumph, we can endure and overcome, as John did, because God is sovereign, and He is establishing His kingdom for us and through us.
"...was on the island that was called Patmos..."
* The physical location where he received the revelation.
"...for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."
* Simply, John was exiled for teaching and preaching the Gospel.
* This outcome is not specific to John, but for all believers:
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
(2 Tim. 3:12)
"I was in the Spirit..."
* Another way of saying, "I was led by the Spirit, or received from the Spirit." (Eze. 2:2, 3:12-14)
* In this state he was moved upward to heaven and forward in time.
"...on the Lord's Day..."
* The first day of the week when the early church gathered together for worship. (Acts 20:7)
"...and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet."
* The voice of God. (Rev. 4:1-2)
"...'I Am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last..."
* Not translated into later versions.
"...which are in Asia..."
* Also, not in later translations.
The verse is more accurately translated:
...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.” (Rev. 1:11) NIV
"...I saw seven golden lampstands."
* The seven branched lampstand (Menorah) is the most recognized symbol of Judaism. This also symbolized the Jewish Messiah (Ex. 25:37, 40:24-25) and His followers, the Church.
The seven lampstands represent all Christian churches, not only those of Revelation.
The lampstand is not the Light, only the bearer of it.
When Christ was first with us, He was the "Light of the World." (Jn. 8:12)
But now that Jesus is in heaven, seated at "the right hand of God" (Mk. 16:19) we, as the church, are responsible to shine His light in this dark world. (Matt. 5:14-16, Jn. 9:4-5)
"...in the midst of the seven lampstands, One like the Son of Man..."
* Christ should always be in the "midst," the center of the church. Without a "Christ centered church" there is no true church.
* "One like the Son of Man"
"...girded about the chest with a golden band."
"His head and hair like white wool..."
* A symbol of absolute wisdom and holiness, like a judge.
The Judge, "The Ancient of Days"
"...His eyes a flame of fire..."
* Fiery eyes to pierce the souls of men, nations and their motives.
His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.
All things will be seen and judged by Him who sits on this throne.
"Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil."
"...His voice as the sound of many waters..."
* Job heard (Job 37:1-5), Ezekiel also (Eze. 1:24).
A loud, thundering sound, like Niagara Falls.
"...out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword..."
* This sword is the Word of God that judges the world:
And rules the world:
Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
"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."
* Deja vu, John?
* "I Am, that I Am..." (Ex. 3:14)
"...He who lives and was dead..."
* Jesus Christ during His first coming.
"...and behold I live forevermore..."
...knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
"...and I have the keys of Hades and death."
* "Hades" - The unseen realm.
* Judaism taught that only the one true God possessed "the keys of Hades and death."
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
"Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this."
* Here we are given the outline for the book of Revelation:
- "The things which you have seen." - Chp. 1
- "The things which are." - Chp. 2-3
- "The things which will take place after this." - Chp. 4-22
Only God could reveal these truths. (Isa. 42:9, 48:5-7)
* Or hidden truth.
"...the seven stars are the angels..."
* "Angels" - Messengers, guardians, pastors.
"...of the seven churches..."
* In Asia minor.
So, Christ commands John to write "these things" in a letter to the churches and their pastors.
"Do not be afraid; I Am the First and the Last."
"The Alpha and Omega"
"The Beginning and the End"
He commands us to not be afraid, He tells us that He is God
"I Am the First and the Last"
"I Am, that I Am"
This is precisely the phrase that proves Christ's deity and title:
"Who has performed and done it, Calling the generations from the beginning? 'I, the LORD, am the first; and with the last I am He.'"
"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I Am the First and I Am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.'"
"Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, My called: I Am He, I Am the First, I Am also the Last."
Isaiah, the prophet of Messiah, got it.