Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (Revelation 1:3)
Blessed is he that readeth,
As we begin the third verse of scripture, here is where the rubber meets the road for all Christians and leaders of the church. I state it in this manner to point out where many Christians and leaders as well as pastors give away their blessing because the way it is stated in this verse “BLESSED IS HE THAT READETH”. Yet I can also say that there is much discourse in regards over how to we are to interpret this text of scripture. The point which needs to be made is that when any individual Christian says I do not read the book of Revelation because it is so hard to understand, I believe that they turn down their blessing. My reasoning behind this statement is for two reasons one because they do not read the prophecy of this book, and second is they cannot hear the words of prophecy. Furthermore, Paul also wrote this and stated that I have written a few things unto you read. In addition, Paul writes to Timothy and said unto him study to show thy-self approved. Two we are to keep the things that are written within the prophecy of revelation for the time is at hand we will gain the promise of reward.
The first thing that I feel that Christians need to know and understand about this prophecy of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, is to state it over and over that it is a prophecy God gave this to His Son to give to His servants of the things that must shortly come to pass. The Christians, here on earth need to prepare themselves in a spiritual manner by reading, hearing, and keeping the words of this prophecy for receiving the kingdom of heaven which is to come. In addition, going back to verse two I further believe we as Christians are to bare the testimony or record of Christ and the things to come concerning the prophecy of the last days. However, I know that we are not in the same spirit as John was on that day that John received this prophecy.
Again, verse three to my way of thinking is the most important verse here in these three scriptures for they offer a clear understanding of who Jesus will reveal unto His servants, who is to bare this revelation, and the most important is who is to keep this revelation.
Why I have stated this over about this third verse of scripture is because of how that Christ state through how that Christ states it to John, “blessed is he that readeth,” KJV. Christ starts or begins by offering a blessing to anyone who reads the word of this prophecy. Note this: that when we go back and consider what Jesus taught to His disciples in His message or teaching on the Sermon on The Mount He started out with “blessed are those” which we call the beatitudes. Two is where that John state Jesus words “hear the words of this prophecy” KJV. Therefore, what I feel is that Christ truly wants, is for us to understand is that we need to have a spiritual seeing and the spiritual hearing to hear the words of this prophecy. Third and finally that Christ wants each of us to be obedient to the words of this prophecy that we will gain all, of the other blessings promised in the book of Revelation.
Now within the five roles of authentic leadership how does the church learn about who holds the proper role of authentic leadership?
John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; Revelation 1:4 KJV
Note: the key issues or elements of this text of scripture I have underlined will be my focuses on this text of scripture.
From Him which is, and which was, and which is to come
This is to my personal understanding as the whole salutation is given in the name of the Holy Trinity: The Father (Him which is, and was, and is to come), the Spirit (the seven spirits), the Son (Jesus Christ). This portion of this text of scripture is the salutation or greeting and is distinctively characteristic of the author of Revelation which is Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Father is Him which is, and which was, and which is to come. Which is and which was form one clause, to be balanced against which is to come. Compare Revelation 11:17; Revelation 16:5; and “was in the beginning with God” (John 1:2 and Genesis 1:1). Which is to come, the One who is coming.
from him which is, and which was, and which is to come: However, there is so many different ways to interpret this for there are some that understand of the whole Trinity; the Father by Him “which is”, being the I am that I am; the Son by him “which was”, “which was with God the Father”, and was God; and the “Spirit” by Him “which is to come”, who was promised to come from the Father and the Son, as a Comforter, and the Spirit of truth: While others think Christ is here only intended, as he is in Revelation 1:8 and by the same expressions; and is He “which is”, since before Abraham He was the “I am”; and He “which was”, as the eternal Logos or Word; and “is to come”, and as being the Judge of quick and dead. However, to my own understanding this should be understood as the first Person, of God the Father; and the phrases are expressive both of His eternity, He being God from everlasting to everlasting; and of his immutability, He being now what he always was, and will be what he now is, and ever was, without any variableness, or shadow of turning: they are a periphrasis, and an explanation of the word “Jehovah”, which includes all tenses, past, present, and the future to come.
It also is well to note that most teachers and leaders of the church teach here that John is the one making the greeting to the seven churches, however, this is just one way to address this text of scripture. Yet to my own personal understanding that it is not only John, but God and Christ are also greeting the seven churches. Now the apostle John now begins in this greeting unto the seven churches in Asia Minor with grace and peace be unto them, therefore, by addressing the complete Godhead. In addition, this is also addressing the spiritual power in the kingdom of heaven.
One of the important issues that I can see here in verse four is this: First John relates the spiritual power, of God by stating that it comes from the throne of God. Secondly, that this continues in verse five by showing the Lord’s faithful unto His Father, and the third is to go to the cross to save the people of whom God has called, and the fourth is that they may have eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. Before we go any further it is well to note in addition, the number seven and its meaning, seven means complete or perfect number. The apostle John goes on to relate in this greeting the seven Spirits that are before the throne of God.
Spirits which are before his throne
When I began to look at all, of the in-depth meaning of the book of Revelation and in verse four in Revelation one, I, began to have questions regarding the seven Spirits of God. Yes, as everyone else would ask: What are the seven Spirits of God? As I further study on in the book of Revelation 4:5, I read again that these seven Spirits of God. However, what I further found was in Revelation 5:6, where that these seven Spirits of God were sent out into the earth. If these seven Spirits of God were sent out into the earth then the question which came to mind for what purpose was, they sent? Yet today I am still searching the scriptures to find out why they were sent to the earth. Now it is some years later that during the writing of this commentary where that I am further seeking a deeper understanding of the Seven Spirits of God sent to the earth.
From other writers, theologians, scholars who write their spiritual understanding of the scriptures and commentaries where that I found that there is many interpretations or understandings about the seven Spirits of God. Yes, you will find in Revelation where it states the seven Spirits four times, however, you also will find that the prophet Zechariah is given a vision with the lampstand in Revelation 1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is filled with the number seven; we therefore, must remember that this is the number of perfection as well as the concept of perfection of God to fullest degree of speaking unto us through these seven Spirits of God is just one concept of the seven Spirits of God. I will deal more with these seven Spirits of God in Revelation four and five.
(John 18:37 “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice”). In His crucifixion Jesus bore witness to the faithfulness of God’s ways as contrasted with the ways of “religion,” that is inspired by the devil: strength out of weakness; glory out of shame; joy out of suffering; life out of death.
and the prince of the kings of the earth
Now breaking it down in phrases is to point out the authority of Jesus and who does have the power over sin. This phrase is one of the important phrases here in Revelation 1 that truly reveals the superiority of Jesus Christ and His rule of authority to rule over the earthy rulers. Therefore, it is through the efficacious grace of Christ, and of whom He is Prince or King; but literally I strongly believe too rule the kings and princes of this world according to Revelation 17:2. The “kings of the earth” is a phrase that is often used in the Revelation. (other reference to kings Revelation 1:6; 6:15; 17:2; 18:3,9; 19:19; 21:24; 16:14; 18:3,11,23).
first begotten of the dead,
Now in this greeting we see that the apostle John is identifying Jesus as the true and faithful witness, however, one might also consider this as a prayer that the apostle is praying. However, it might also be that the apostle John is pointing out that by praying in this manner you are calling down the blessing of Jesus Christ who was the true and faithful witness for His Father in heaven. What are some of the other facts that we can pull out of these two texts of scriptures? The first thing I can relate to in the phrase “begotten of the dead” is the resurrection of Christ which when we come to Him, we in like manner will be partakers of the first resurrection Revelation 20:6. Secondly, when praying unto the one that loved us enough to go to the cross or lay down His life for us. The third thing I see is that we are made kings and priest unto God the Father to where we will live forever and ever Amen.
Unto him that loved us,
In this verse of scripture I see Jesus, his own people, his own church, his chosen, and the ones who are given him by his Father; these Jesus has loved with an everlasting and unchangeable love, with a love of compassion and delight, or joy, which passes human knowledge, and that it will never end: In addition, that which Jesus has shown in espousing the church made up of Jews and Gentiles, and therefore, undertaking their cause, assuming their nature, and in nothing more than in giving Himself for them as a propitiatory sacrifice, or in dying and shedding His precious blood for us.
and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
To all Christians this phrase the phrase of life for it is that phrase, which shows that we are the individual persons to where that Jesus shows how much He loved us before He washed away our sins. For we cannot not have our sins washed, and then loved, however, we must first love, and accepted and then be washed in the blood. According to other interpreters of the Bible say that the word “washed” is better translated “freed”; for Jesus Christ freed us from our sins. Yes, there can be no mistake in identifying Jesus Christ by this description as the one that washed or freed us from sin. When Jesus Christ shed His blood, He became “the first begotten of the dead.” He defeated death and the devil. That was Jesus Christ’s sole mission for coming to earth; being born of a woman; living in the fleshly body; or human body, and then dying on the cross and shedding His blood. Our Lord Jesus Christ conquered death, and Satan the devil, Hebrews 2:14. Satan’s name is Death.
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:6
Key Thoughts and Words
God’s grace God’s throne
God’s peace God eternal Revelation 1:5
Christ the faithful witness
King of kings
The blood of Christ Revelation 1:6
Glorifying God Amen
And hath made us kings and priests unto God
This text of scripture reveals one key element regarding being made kings and priests. Now, personally I believe that Jesus is telling the apostle John that in the kingdom of heaven we will have a spiritual kingship or be made into a spiritual kingdom of priest, this is spoken of by God back in Exodus 19:6, where God was speaking unto Moses to speak God’s word unto Israel. One might also interpret this prophecy of Jesus in this manner in my personal thought, if we are made kings and priest unto God then we are being made into holiness unto God. In addition, it is well to note that Peter and Paul spoke of being kings of the Lord 1 Timothy 6:15 and they state that we are kings in Christ.
to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
This scripture phrase I do feel that we need to consider the glory of His deity, and of all His offices; of His being the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth; and of all the benefits and blessings, favours and honours, received from Him by His people: and “dominion”; over all creatures, and over all his saints, and especially in His kingdom, in the last days, which will be an everlasting one; and which is continually to be wished and prayed for, that it would come, and come quickly. “Amen”; so, let it be, and so it shall be.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7
Again, I have underlined the important issues or phrases, which I believe to be understood by the modern-day church that are living in the last days made up of Jews and Gentiles. This text of scripture I also feel that it truly holds many more of the key elements about Christ and His return or His Second Coming and the means of how He will come and what will take place with the inhabitants of the earth who have not accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour. One might also interpret that this text of scripture shows the glory and manifestation of Christ returning and therefore, every eye shall see which is a visible manifestation of Christ glory.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; yes, as we the modern-day church truly looks for this event to take place and the Lord to return. Yet I find that when we study for to make ourselves to make ready for His return, then I believe that it is well for us to know and understand what the word of God states about the clouds in the heavens and the word of prophecy regarding the Lord’s return. In addition, one might consider the clouds that are written about from the pages of the Old Testament in connection, with God’s Divine activities with His creation to the people of Israel first and then with the modern-day church that is living in the last days.
One can look through the scriptures and find many texts of scriptures that refer to the clouds and a cloud, as yes there is indeed the scriptures makes over a, 150 references to the clouds, however, what I find is that few of them makes reference to the natural clouds of which brings rain upon the earth. Moreover, I feel safe in saying that most of these refers to God and the nature of God and His Divine revelation and judgment over His creation. In addition, one might also relate that the clouds make, reference to how God associates with mankind as well as how God made His covenants with Israel and with mankind then and even now God is let us know that His Son is returning in the clouds. Here are just a few references to Christ return: Matthew 24:30, 26:64; Mark 13:26, 14:62; Luke 21:27 these refer to the saints of Christ and the fellowship to them that will be with Him forever.
Every eye shall see him: Yes, I truly believe that all eyes shall see the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns to this earth at His Second Coming. It is well also to consider this reality that here the revelation, could also be the way that the Lord is revealing that this is His final return and every eye shall see it.
They also which pierced him: It is well to note early that you and me will have to begin to use more of the Old Testament prophecy on how to interpret each text of scriptures which refers to the prophecy of Christ. Yes, one could state in addition, that as many scholars, writers, and theologians do, that this phrase is referring to the Jews, however, maybe there is another thing to consider that just maybe that Christ is in addition, referring to the people who do not accept Him as their salvation and that they therefore, in like manner have also pierced Him. However, one might interpret it in this manner that it is referring to our rebellion against God and Christ Jesus. In addition, you will find that this phrase here in Revelation 1:7 goes back to the prophet Zechariah 12:10 that contains these words “When they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first-born.” Now in this phrase alone I further believe there are many things to consider about those who pierced Him, the reason for saying this is because of the many different opinions on this subject.
All kindred’s of the earth shall wail because of him: This can be interpreted as all tribes of the land or all nations of the earth. Yet we find that Jesus while He was still with His disciples and teaching them about the signs of His return in Matthew 24 and what would take place with the inhabitants of the earth. In addition, this phrase to my own understanding refers to the fact that Jesus is speaking about all nations and languages upon this earth.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Revelation 1:8
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending
In the Greek alphabet these are the first and last letters; however, I truly believe that Jesus is referring to Himself as the beginning and the end to described that He has been with us through all ages. Yet one might also interpret it as the Lord Jesus Christ as being eternal and that in all the ages since the beginning through to the end that He is able to execute everything that He said that He would do that would glorifying to His Father in the kingdom of God.
saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come,
Yes, I have written earlier about this phrase in verse 4, and yet it is well to note it repeatly for it truly reminds me that Jesus is making it clear that it is Him speaking. In addition, I believe that it is also speaking of the eternal of God, Son, and Holy Spirit that is unchangeable. However, one might interpret it as that Jesus is the same today as He was yesterday, and will ever be in the future. Yes, you can find it stated many, many times in the Old Testament “Thus saith the Lord” to be exact it is stated 414 times in the King James Version of the Bible. Yet in addition, we must also recognize how that the apostle John is bringing identification to Jesus as the Divine “I AM” where God tells Moses His name.
Now you will find this term “the Almighty” stated in 43 scriptures of the Old Testament and one time in the book of Revelation. Yes, this term I believe is one of the names of God and that He is Omnipotent. Yet in all truth and honesty I strongly believe that when Christian refer to this word “the Almighty” they think of an all-powerful God. Jesus is our Savior that was victorious and now reigns beside His Father in the kingdom of heaven.
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 1:9
I John, who also am your brother
Now in this text of scripture I first believe that John is speaking about himself who is a brother to them who walk in a fellowship one with another as a Christian. Now most Christian know from their studying the New Testament that John was an apostle of Jesus Christ who walked with Him in faith and fellowship with Him. Therefore, why cannot John also state that in this fellowship, to say that he is a companion to Christian brothers and sisters in tribulation and that he also goes through the same tribulation.
companion in tribulation
Continuing on with this thought of tribulation one might interpret it in this manner that is an identification of our Christian relationship one with another or that we are co-sharers in Christianity with one another. Yet in all truth I also feel if we are honest with this thought of co-sharing that we now share in a spiritual privilege in are Christian fellowship with God and Jesus Christ. On the other hand, it also relates to this fact that tribulation includes pressure, distress, afflictions, suffering, persecution, slander, threat of death, humiliation, and the list goes on.
In the gospels Jesus told His disciples that there would be tribulation, yet they were to take courage, that He had overcome the world stated in John 16:33. Yes, the apostle Paul states it this way unto Timothy “Yea, and all that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 KJV.
kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ
Now let us turn our thoughts to yet another important issue of why John was in the isle that is called Patmos, word of God the testimony of Jesus Christ
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Revelation 1:10
John also here tells in these three texts of scriptures first John states the Lord’s word that “I am the Alpha and Omega the beginning and the ending” and the Second that “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” then of the third important fact is on the Second Coming of Christ as recorded in the Book of Acts chapter one. For the angel of God ask the disciples why did they stand there watching Christ going up to the kingdom of God? The angel goes on to say that Christ will come in the same manner. John also tells the Christian people that he is there companion in tribulation. However, there is another tribulation coming that will mark the end of time. Also, when I was a young man, I heard it stated that John was in a trans when he heard that voice calling out. After I became a minister of the word of the Lord, I began to see another side to this scripture, which it was spiritual.
Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. Revelation 1:11
And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; Revelation 1:12
Now in these two texts of scriptures then the question that comes to mind: What if John had not turn to see who spoke? I do not know how anyone else feels about this statement of John’s, but I feel that if we would not have these warnings given by Jesus. However, there is another side of this factor that I truly believe and believe strongly that there is no way that God would not let Satan defeat Him. For our Father in heaven would have got another apostle that His Son had chosen to give this prophetic word of the book of Revelation to the believers then and the believers in Christ Jesus today.
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. Revelation 1:13
His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; Revelation 1:14
And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. Revelation 1:15
These three verses of scriptures are also very important for the church to understand for what they state. Why? Because we the church can begin to understand what John is telling us about Christ. First is the purity of the Lord. Second is His eyes which are like a flame of fire tells me that the Lord can see the inter being of each individual person. Another way of stating this is Christ is the searcher of hearts. The third thing is the feet that is burned like they were in a furnace, that tells me that Christ must have went into the deeps of hell to show Satan that He had power over Satan.
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.Revelation 1:16
And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: Revelation 1:17
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:18
Jesus make it clear that we are not to fear for He is the one who holds the keys to hell and of death. In the gospel of Matthew 10:28 however, Jesus tells us the we are to fear the one who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell. Also, these verses of scriptures here truly points out how that Christ is the only one who can conqueror death for us. In addition, you will find in the book of Proverbs where that it states, “that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Proverbs 1:7.
Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; Revelation 1:19
The book of Revelation is full of the prophecy of the things, which must shortly come to pass. Also, the things that the prophet have been show by Almighty God. Furthermore, the things which are here and now. And finally, the things that must be hereafter.
The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. Revelation 1:20
Churches exist as light-bearers
Note: one of the things that Christ wants us to understand is what He is revealing to the people of the world of what is going to happen to them in the last days. I might also go on to point out that these riders are going fourth to pour out the wrath of God upon the earth and the church that is not faithful.