Imprimatur- The authority or approval for something to be printed
V. 1- The Father gave the Son a revelation to show His servants.
George Eldon Ladd- God the Father is the ultimate source and fountainhead of all revelation; God the Son is the agent through whom this revelation is imparted to men. This is true even of the exalted Christ.
Jesus further delegated the giving of the vision to John through the intermediary of an angel.
Revelation 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
Shortly- quickly, speedily, but yet future. When these begin to happen, they will happen quickly.
Guzik- “…for 2000 years, history has been on the brink of the consummation of all things, running parallel to the edge, not running towards a distant brink”.
God’s “timetable”- 2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Signified- “Signs” used to describe things of heaven. Paul spoke of words “inexpressible”.
V. 2- the word of God- John understood that what he was writing was from God: Holy Scripture.
John was a faithful witness of all that he heard and saw. He recounted his experience; told his story.
V. 3- Blessed- makarios– happy, fortunate, well off.
he who reads and those who hear- The first audience of this letter was the seven churches mentioned
and keep those things- The truths presented were to be obeyed by those believers and by us.
the time is near- likely to occur at any moment.
V. 4- Seven churches- Real churches that existed in the 1st century.
Grace to you and peace- Undeserved favor and tranquility (of body and soul)
from Him who is and who was and who is to come- speaks of the eternality of God.
God dwells outside of time. He sees the end from the beginning, & the beginning from the end.
An allusion to-Exodus 3:14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
from the seven Spirits- 7 often refers to the # of completeness, fullness. (Zech. 4:10; Isaiah 11:2)
before His throne- The Holy Spirit before the throne of the Father. Complete, watching, active.
V. 5- from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness- Jesus was/is always faithful to the Father and to us.
These 1st century Christians were being faithful unto death under the Roman persecution.
the firstborn from the dead- Speaks of resurrection and of prototype, first-fruits. We will follow…
ruler over the kings of the earth- Revelation shows Jesus’ lordship over all history and creation.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood-Jesus’ death spiritually cleanses believers and imputes to them a righteous standing before God.
RSV- To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood- Present tense “loves us”.
NOTE- We know He loves us because we know He loved us…shown at the cross. (Romans 5:8)
Significant for those under persecution who might question God’s love. (Compare to Rev. 5:9, 10)
Washed us/freed us- subject to translators’ interpretations, but both truths are Biblically supported.
V. 6- has made us kings and priests to His God and Father- Wonderful news to the 1st century Christians suffering under Emperor Domitian who demanded to be worshipped as Lord and God.
Fox’s Book Of Martyrs- Among the numerous martyrs that suffered during this persecution was Simeon, bishop of Jerusalem, who was crucified; and St. John, who was boiled in oil, and afterward banished to Patmos… and a law was made, “That no Christian, once brought before the tribunal, should be exempted from punishment without renouncing his religion.” A variety of fabricated tales were, during this reign, composed in order to injure the Christians. Such was the infatuation of the pagans, that, if famine, pestilence, or earthquakes afflicted any of the Roman provinces, it was laid upon the Christians. These persecutions among the Christians increased the number of informers and many, for the sake of gain, swore away the lives of the innocent.
RSV- To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests…
NOTE- Whether we are “kings”, or a “kingdom” we shall clearly reign with Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:12 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
Priests- 1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (See also Romans 12:1)
to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Not to Domitian, but to Jesus.
NOTE- The theology of the Triune God has been presented. Not announced as such but presented.
V. 7-Mark 13:26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
How this will happen is unclear, but it will happen. Jesus will be clearly revealed to all humanity.
In His humanity, the Messiahship of Jesus was questioned.
When Jesus returns to Earth, there will be no confusion about His return or who He is.
Matthew 26:62-64 And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” 64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Mourn because of Him- The nation of Israel will mourn in a particular way-
Zechariah 12:9-10 It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
And all the tribes of the earth will mourn- Either in regret or in dread of His coming judgment.
V. 8- I am the Alpha and the Omega- The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
Beginning and the End- Jesus has authority over all of human history.
John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
“who is and who was and who is to come-
G.E. Ladd- As the one who is to come, he will yet visit men to bring history to its divinely decreed consummation.
the Almighty- pantokrator- The “All Ruling” God; He who holds sway over all things; “the one who has his hand on everything.”