V. 9- The island of Patmos was a like an Alcatraz Island (a former island prison in California) in the Roman Empire. It was used as a prison island and functioned as a jail without bars. The island was rich in marble, and most of the prisoners were forced laborers in marble quarries. Patmos was a rocky, desolate island about 10 miles long and 6 miles wide.
V. 10- Walvoord-in the Spirit: “Carried beyond normal sense into a state where God could reveal supernaturally…”
V. 11- Alpha and Omega- Jesus identified Himself in this way in 1:8
The trumpet voice was Jesus speaking.
First and Last- Jesus also identified Himself as the First and Last.
In the Old Testament, God the Father used this title of Himself. (Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, and 48:12)
Jesus is claiming to be God, one with the Father in divinity, and yet separate.
“What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches- John was commanded to see, write, and share these visions with the churches.
Vs. 12, 13- John had heard Jesus’ voice many times during Jesus’ incarnation.
He knew that it was Jesus speaking, but he had never heard Jesus’ voice like this.
Lampstands- not candles, not menorahs, but lampstands that each contained an oil lamp on top.
Rev. 1:20 tells us that the lampstands represent seven churches. Jesus in the midst of the churches.
Lampstands- they display light, and make it easier to reach people, but the lampstands are not the source of the light; the oil lamp is the source of the light.
The Church corporately and individually is lampstands- making spiritual light more visible and accessible. We are not the source of the light; we merely display the light of Jesus who dwells within.
Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Philippians 2:15 …that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…
Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
Son of Man- An Old Testament title of the Messiah. An exalted title.
Daniel 7:13, 14 “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.
garment down to the feet- Possibly representing a priestly office.
girded about the chest with a golden band- emblem of high rank in the ancient world.
V. 14- His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow- speaks of old age, wisdom, timelessness. White as snow- purity and holiness.
and His eyes like a flame of fire; in the N.T, fire is often correlated with judgment, and God’s evaluation of an action or a life.
1 Corinthians 3:12-14 12Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Eyes like a flame-a piercing vision that sees things how they really are.
V. 15- brass represents judgment. (Rev. 14:17-20)
V. 16- He had in His right hand seven stars- explained in verse 20
out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword- represents the Word of God.
Hebrews 4:12-13 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
Matthew 17:1-2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
Vs. 17, 18- John was overwhelmed at this vision of Jesus, and lost his strength, but was restored by Jesus’ touch.
He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive- speaks of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
keys of Hades and of Death- speaks of Jesus’ power regarding the resurrection of the dead.
NOTE- humanly speaking, death is inescapable and so final.
It is the great power that mankind cannot defeat, yet Jesus has the keys (authority) over death.
Jesus gives his credentials to John and to the readers of this letter.
He is God, he is supreme, he sees all, knows all, and will judge all, and has power over death.
He is found in the midst of His churches.
When he speaks, it is awesome in its sound, like many waters or waterfalls.
V. 19- refers to the vision of chapter 1.
and the things which are– refers to the 7 letters to the 7 churches which existed in that day.
Futuristic views also see the 7 churches being a panorama of church history up to the point of the Rapture of the church. There are interesting parallels to be found, but I think this is a stretch.
and the things which will take place after this- refers to chapter 4 to the end, and some believe starts with the Rapture of the church in Revelation 4:1
V. 20 Angels- angelos, messengers.
Technically, could mean or angel or pastor, but angels were able to receive messages directly from God, and didn’t need physical letters written to them, given to John, and then read back to them. This probably speaks of the local pastor of each church.