Revelation Chapter 1 Study

 

CHAPTER ONE


THE SOURCE OF THE REVELATION


1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ The first few verses of chapter one can be looked at as a benediction. A benediction is the invocation of a blessing in which public worship is concluded; something that promotes goodness or well-being.

In Greek the word revelation comes from apokalupsis (ap-ok-al’-oops-sis / αποκαλυψις) which means appearing, coming, or lighten. The book of Revelation is often called the Book of Apocalypse or simply the Apocalypse. Also, in the English dictionary, the word revelation is defined as an act of revealing or communicating divine truth, something that is revealed by God to humans, an act of revealing to view or make known, or an astonishing disclosure.

To Shew Unto His Servants Some may ask about the word “shew,” which is similar and also pronounced the same to that of the word “show”. In Hebrew, “shew” is har or ra’ah (raw-aw) that means to see, look at, inspect, perceive, or consider. In Greek, “shew” is deiknuw or deiknuo (dike-noo’-o / δεικνυω), which means to show, expose to the eyes, to give evidence or proof of something, or to show by words or teach by comparison. Futhermore, this Revelation is clearly meant for His (Jesus Christ’s) servants; the Christians.

Must Shortly Come to Pass These few words are a key indication that what God revealed to Jesus is a prophecy of events that soon MUST happen.

A Signified Revelation Jesus sent His revelation to John by His angel; however, the revelation was also signified by His angel. Defining “signify” means to be a sign of meaning or to show especially by a conventional token such as a word, signal, or gesture.

Knowing the previous stated definitions, we can relate to several things. First, God revealed to Jesus this prophecy, which in return Jesus revealed to John through an angel (that communicated divine truth) and established this prophecy as a sign of meaning.

Looking Closer At: Angles Angels are mysterious, yet holy beings of God, however, Satan also has his own angels as well. From the Greek word aggelos (ang’-el-os / αγγελος), angels are referred to as messengers. Aggelos could have possibly derived from the Greek word ago (ag-o) which means properly, to lead, to bring. Throughout, they are spoken to have many different ranks of dignity and power.

2. Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Who Bare Record of the Word of God The word of God is His living breathing words which contain much power. The word of God is the Bible, however, it would have to be the true word that was unaltered or unchanged. There are many different “versions” of the Bible in stores today but which would be the “one” to choose? This, for many, creates a very heated debate and/or bashing against one another for the topic. It should or will become obvious to the readers of this study that my belief is that the KJV Bible is the one.  To keep it simple for this study, one should do their own history of the KJV bible and, if one is unclear, pray on the situation to allow God to direct you in the way He sees fit.

Baring “record” of the word of God is not saying if one carries a bible then they are in that category. One who bares the record of the word of God can be compared to as like a witness. Record is defined as a body of known facts (not theories) about someone or something and also can be defined as the best or most remarkable among other similar things. Thus one who bares “record” knows facts about the word of God and would obviously have a good relationship with Him. In order to get to know the word of God one must study the word.

Who Bare the Testimony of Jesus Christ A testimony can be defined as a firsthand authentication of a fact (evidence), or outward sign, which is an open acknowledgment of a religious experience. Once again, ‘fact’ occurs in the definition to show there is no loopholes in God’s word. Relating with the previous section on the word of God, that being able to bare the testimony of Jesus is another privileged position to be in. To go even further, being able to bare this testimony probably is a more privileged position, however, let’s look at something. Baring the record of the word of God and baring the testimony of Jesus Christ goes hand in hand. To smooth out the rough edges, the testimony of Jesus is simple the book of Revelation which is full of warnings and prophecies; one of the hardest books in the bible to completely understand. To complete this thought, in order to bare record of the word of God one must also bare the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Who Bares Record of All the Things He Saw The last account made toward John’s comitment is towards everything he saw. It is possible there is more than one meaning behind this phrase of things he saw. The first possiblity being that of what John seen in his past then progressing up to the thing of what he was fixing to see in the near coming visions.

3. 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.

What Is “prophecy”? A prophecy is a prediction of something to come in the future that is beyond the human power to foresee.

Three Blessings Within this verse there are three blessings stated:

  • Blessed is he that readeth
  • Blessed are they that hear the words of this prophecy
  • Blessed are they that keep those things which are written therein

Looking Closer Looking closer at the three blessings, we may be able to understand more. First, none of these blessings is just handed out. They all require a certain action to be taken. In addition, as each blessing is stated, they seem to progress in level of what is achieved.

The first blessing is for one who reads the Book of Revelation. Reading this book of prophecy, alone, can bless a person with the knowledge of events that will happen or even possibly already happened. Revelation, for the true believers, is a beautiful book that mentions glorious things awaiting them which can also be considered a blessing. All the things mentioned that is waiting for those who get to heaven are promised to them by God. However, on the other side, Revelation does have scary and even horrific events being told as well. People who can receive a conviction through reading these events, and thus lead to salvation (another blessing).

The second blessing if for those who hear the word of this prophecy. For those who may not be able to read, the same could be applied from the first blessing. One thing that can also be pointed out is that a person may read Revelation but never actually “hear” what it is really trying to say to them. For those who are able to “hear” these things, they would be blessed for actually understanding the Revelation.

The third blessing is for those who keep the things that they read, understand, and keep Jesus Christ’s revelation in their heart. To “keep” refers to take notice of the appropriate conduct and preserve. In some way it also makes sense that these three blessings are smaller “parts” of a bigger blessing.


THE SALUTATION


4. 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;

The Number 7 The number seven has always been called the symbol, or number, of perfection. In Greek, the prefix is hepta (hep-tah’ / επτα). The number also symbolizes rest, which we can get from where God rested on the 7th day of creation according to Genesis 2:2

“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.”

Additionally, seven can indicate the senses of a change after an accomplished cycle and of a positive renewal.

John Blesses the Seven Churches From this verse, John blesses the churches with grace and peace. This blessing comes from Jesus and the seven Spirits before His throne as previously stated.

What Do the Seven Spirits Represent? In Greek, the words “seven Spirits” are translated into hepta pneuma (hep-tah’ pnyoo’-mah / επτα πνευμα), pneuma representing spirit, wind, or breathe. Many commentaries suggest different possibilities as to what the seven Spirits may actually be. However, with how the verse is stated where the blessing comes from Jesus and the seven Spirits, it seems logical that they are the Holy Ghost. There is evidence to where this can be concluded in the bible such as first Corinthians 12:4

“Now there are diversities of gifts but of the same Spirit.”

The seven Spirits are mentioned here in Isaiah 11:2

“And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;”

The previous verse is the only reference outside of the verses that clearly state “seven Spirits” which is found in the following:

  • Revelation 3:1
  • Revelation 4:5
  • Revelation 5:6

Two other verses mention “seven other spirits” in these verses:

  • Matthew 12:45
  • Luke 11:26

Here these spirits are not of God, but rather of Satan. These seem to be in place of Satan’s trinity trying to copy God’s trinity. The Satanic trinity will be covered later in Revelation. In a brief explanation here is God’s trinity:

  • God the Father
  • God the Son
  • God the Holy Ghost

The opposite trinity is:

  • Satan
  • The Antichrist
  • The False Prophet

5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

The Faithful Witness A witness is one who gives evidence or provides a testimony of a fact or event. From eternity, Jesus has witnessed God’s will and all of His works. From Greek, the word martus (mar’-toos / μαρτυς) is used for witness, which also describes one who is a spectator of anything or a martyr. Faithful is described as a strong assurance and true to the facts, standard, or original. The Greek word pistos (pis-tos’ / πιστος) is defined as one who trusts in God’s promise, true, or a believer.

First Begotten of the Dead Here this title may seem totally opposite of being full of life and holy. When it is broken down and studied closer, it is very much full of life and holiness. In fact, this title contains a lot of power within it.

Begotten refers to something that was produced as an effect or outgrowth. Death is the absence of life and no life can come from death in the normal circumstances. However, Jesus was the first to be begotten from death or in a more common term He was resurrected from the dead.

The first begotten of the dead is a Jewish Messianic title that establishes the resurrection must be followed others. Any believer in Him who is alive must be resurrected. Those in the bible who were brought into heaven before death must still face death and be resurrected back into heaven. These are believed to be the two witnesses that are mentioned later in Revelation.

Prince of the Kings of the Earth The Greek word for prince, archon (ar’-khone / αρχων) is defined as a prince and as a ruler, commander, chief, or leader. Kings are male monarchs of a major piece of territory and that position is hereditary being held in possession for their lifespan. Though the kings are at the top of their “rule”, Jesus is the prince that rules over all these kings and all other high authorities ever to exist on earth.

His Own Blood Haima (hah’-ee-mah / αιμα) is the Greek word for blood which also refers to the seat of life. The day of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, He shed every drop of blood that He physically had. The last of His blood shed is mention in John 19:34

“But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.”

His crucifixion was the process that granted all humanity the choice of eternal life and, through His blood, wash away sin.

6. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Us Made as Kings and Priests The true believers unto God are made kings and priests. According to the Greek language it is basilesu (bas-il-yooce’ / βασιλευς) and hiereus (hee-er-yooce’ / ιερευς). As stated before, kings rule and command a major piece of territory passed down the generations. One could say that the soul is a “major piece of territory” and as true believers unto God, which are made kings and priests, can rule the territory. When the enemy (Satan) tries to attack within the territory (one’s soul) they have the ability and strength to fight him off and rebuke him. Given that true believers are made kings still establishes that Jesus is still the commander and higher in rank.

A priest is one who is authorized to perform sacred rites of a religion such as sacrifices. Sacrifices were performed in the Most Holy Place or Holy of Holies which references an inner sanctuary of a temple such as that of Solomon’s Temple or the Tabernacle. In first Corinthians 6:19 we can find some powerful information:

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

This verse explains that our bodies are temples designed for the Holy Ghost to dwell in and that we should respect our bodies and keep the temple clean. We do not have full ownership of our bodies. Looking at the physical design of Solomon’s temple we can see the form of a human body. The location of the Holy of Holies is found as the head of the body and Christians being made as priests, are able to have access at any time to the Holy of Holies. In simpler terms, we are able to communicate with God at any time with prayer, thanksgiving, and praise.

Temple Layout

Temple Layout 2

The Word “Amen” The word amen (am-mane’ / αμην) is of Hebrew origin which means firm or verily. This word is one of few that has been adopted and been unchanged. Amen also derives from another Hebrew word aman (aw-man’) that is used for the word believe, to confirm, or support. Some suggest the word “amen” originated from the Egyptian god Amun that is also spelled at times “Amen.” Many Egyptologists describe Amun as the main creator and a symbol of creative force. However, all of this is just a coincidence and has no relation at all.

7. Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.

Clouds Symbolism The representation of clouds signifies several meanings such as that of unearthly heights of heaven and the quality of higher truth or simply God’s glory and presence. Clouds are white objects from heaven where the color white stands for purity, cleanliness, and innocence. Another aspect of clouds is that they are in a pure form of water that is in constant motion. This aspect is just like God where He is the purest form and constantly in motion throughout. A related symbol to the cloud is incense, which symbolizes prayer and was also used in the temples. Many should know that prayer is the way of communication between a person and God and like the motion of incense, prayer has an upward motion.

Bible Wheel Connections Here, introducing the Bible Wheel, is a “diagram” that contains spokes and rows that includes all the books of the bible and shows some unique connections between the books. However there is a lot more to the Bible Wheel. Below is a picture of the Bible Wheel.

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Looking at the Bible Wheel, at spoke 22 which contains the books Song of Solomon, Acts, and Revelation, there is a thematic link called The Ascension and Return of Christ with Clouds. This thematic link has a connection formed between the books Acts and Revelation which can be seen below:

Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” Rev. 1:7

“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9

The whole thematic link is Rev. 1:5-7 and Acts 1:9-11

Looking Closer So what are clouds? They are visible accumulations of water droplets or solid ice crystals that float into the earth’s lowest part of the atmosphere (troposphere) moving with the wind. They form when water vapor turns into liquid water or solid ice on tiny particles that float in the air. The cloud formation happens when warm and cold air meet, when warm air cools while rising, or when warm air passes over colder areas.

Water has three formations of liquid, solid, and gas. Note that there are also three “forms” of God; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. All of these forms are part of the Trinity, all that are one, and at the same time are all individual. In a symbolic comparison, the process of clouds consists of all three formations just as the Trinity consists of three “formations” of God.

Throughout the Bible, there are symbolic references of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost that could relate with forms of water. The first reference is very open and clear. The reference of the Holy Ghost symbolized as water can be found many places in the Bible. One reference can be found in John 7:37-39:

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying,If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

The second reference does not mention anything of ice but does so of rock. Ice can be considered a rock and is actually a mineral because of the crystal formations created inside when the water freezes. There are many different types of rock; each is capable of representing Jesus Christ to us. It is mentioned about Jesus being a “rock” in first Corinthians 10:4

“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

The third reference is that of water vapour. For this symbolic reference, several aspects need to be connected. To start with, John 4:24 states:

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

Here, Jesus is talking to the woman at the well about the living water and says to her that God is a Spirit. According to a thesaurus, one synonym for “spirit” (when used to define a soul or attitude) is air. Next, when the formation and the contents of the earth’s atmosphere is looked at, water vapour is found to make the air. A very interesting piece of information related is the typical concentration ranges of water vapour in air is between 0 to 7 percent. I find this interesting for the fact that as mention previously, the number 7 is the number of perfection.

…And They Also Which Pierced Him Here, in this part of the verse, those “which pierced” refers several meanings such as to cut or make way through, move or affect, sound sharply or shrill, penetrate, or to puncture. From here it is more evident of whom pierced Him. Firstly, those literally on the day of His crucifixion, then those who commit sin daily that do not seek forgiveness, and those who have, are, or will blaspheme against Him and the Holy Ghost.

…And All Kindreds of the Earth Who are the kindreds of the earth? The word kindred, is defined as of one’s family or relation, relationship by blood, or similar in kind. If one were to stop here, they could say that biblically that would conclude every human being on the earth because we are all descendants of Adam and Eve. This is true in one sense, however symbolically speaking at this particular verse the kindreds of earth represents the people who are “worldly” or to be better understood as simply not of God. Take a look here at James 3:15

“This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.”

From the verse above, earthly is clearly compared to as devilish. In conclusion, all the kindreds of the earth simply refer to all those who choose to reject Jesus Christ our Lord. There is no middle ground for this choice, either you chose to serve God or you are a sinner and reject him. Revelations 3:16 proves this:

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

…Shall Wail Because of Him Here, this section of the verse including the last two sections previously discussed go together as a bigger section. The word “wail” is used to describe a prolonged high-pitched cry of pain, grief, anger, self-pity, or sorrow. The Greek word for “wail” is kopto (kop’-to / κοπτω) which is defined as lament, cut down, mourn, to cut, strike, smite, to cut from, cut off, or to beat one’s breast for grief. All of these people will be in such terror upon His return and understand then that He is the truth and the Lord of Lords.

8. 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.

Alpha and Omega, The Beginning and The Ending Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the 24th (last) letter in the Greek alphabet. These two Greek letters are used in conjunction to describe that God is the beginning and the end, the creator and the finisher of all things.

Looking Closer

Alpha

In the Greek number system, Alpha contains the numerical value of one and is used to describe the dominant individual like the expression of an “alpha male.” The symbol was also used in many technical and scientific systems as well. Another interesting fact is that British lawyers often used the symbol to mark their folders indicating “cased closed.” If one was to look closer at the lower-case Greek letter of Alpha in italic form, it has a great resemblance to the Christian fish symbol ichthus (ikh-thoos’ / ιχθυς). Ichthus, in Greek, simply means fish. Below you can see the symbol for ichthus.

Ichthus

Another perspective on the alpha character, if rotating it (or the ichthus) counter-clockwise 90 degrees, it then looks like the Egyptian hieroglyph that represents thread or yarn. The symbolical meaning, according to the Egyptian hieroglyph, represents the human destiny as controlled by a divine power or it also represents that for life. In addition, in Hinduism, thread is symbolically the connector of this world and the afterlife. All of these are absolutely in truth to who God is; the Alpha. Below is the hieroglyph of thread/yarn.

 photo hiero_rope_zps800e721f.png

Another symbol the alpha character can be found in is the holy trinity symbol. The holy trinity is made up of three alpha characters in an italic form (or ichthus) that are interconnected forming one complete symbol. With this, it makes it easier to understand the Trinity. There are three yet one. Below is the holy trinity symbol.

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Omega

Next, Omega in the Greek number system contains the numerical value of 800 and used in astronomy to describe the density of the universe. If one looks at the capitalized letter for Omega, rotate it clockwise 90 degrees, it then becomes the symbol of a very old ideogram (a written symbol that represents an idea or object directly) for cave, farm, village, or fortress. The symbolism for a cave means that of a place of safety, a sanctuary or a refuge. This is reinstated from Psalms 18:2

“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”

Also reinstated in 2 Samuel 22:3

“The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

Below is the ideogram for a cave.

Cave Ideogram

…Which Is, and Which Was, and Which Is To Come The word “is” represents the period of time now presently occurring. The word “was” represents the period of time in the past or what has already happened. Last, the words “is to come,” together represents the period of time in the future which at the same time is also signifying that the Lord is actually to return. Likewise, this verse as a whole, lists three different descriptive phrases. The first phrase was established when the Lord said, “I am Alpha and Omega.” The second phrase was when He said, “…the beginning and the ending.” The last phrase was where He said, “…which is, and which was, and which is to come.” All three of these phrases refer to the Lord our God. Taking note of having three different phrases and at the same time are very similar. Each phrase, I feel, is describing one of the three from the Trinity (the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost).

The Almighty When one looks at the word “almighty” and defines it, words that commonly appear are those such as omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Omnipotent is defined as almighty, all-powerful, invincible and obviously god-like. Then omniscient relates to being all-knowing, all-seeing, and well-informed. Omnipresent, in simple terms means God exists in the past, present, and future; time does not exist or apply to Him but rather time is a human created tool to measure with.


THE VOICE AND THE VISION


9. 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.

Your Brother and Companion in Tribulation Looking at this verse, the first thing that can be noticed when John addresses himself is that he does so by saying “…am your brother.” The Greek word used for “brother,” adelphos (ad-el-fos’ / αδελφος) can imply to a fellow believer, united by the bond of affection, brethren in Christ, or apostle. John then states as being a companion, or participant, in tribulation. So what does this really mean? Christians, those who try to be Christ-like, are brothers or sisters in Christ. In all honesty, true Christians will experience tribulations of afflictions at some point in their walk with God. This is plainly stated in John 16:33

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the word ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

In the Kingdom and Patience of Jesus Christ In the next part of what John mentioned, he said that he was in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ. The word “kingdom” here, is obviously not referring to some physical piece of territory. The kingdom that John is associating with is that of Jesus Christ’s royal power, rule, and dominion. This could also be interpreted as being “in His will.”

As for patience, this can be described as a characteristic of one who is determined to not be drawn away from one’s purpose and loyalty in faith by any measure of trials that should arise. Looking at the Greek word hupomone (hoop-om-on-ay’ / υπομονη), can also be classified as endurance. Both patience and endurance in faith is a very strong foundation. A great verse that shows this is Matthew 10:22

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”

In the Isle Called Patmos Patmos is an island that is only 25 miles in circumference that is off the coast of the Asia Minor in the Dodecanese Greek islands. The island is considered mostly a bare, mountainous terrain that served as a place of banishment during the Roman period. It is believed that John was later in his years during the time of his exile. This also was around the time that the Emperor Domitian’s rule.

Looking Closer On the symbolical side of things, islands represents organizations of people in supreme power (republics) or governments. To break it down more, an island is just a bit higher than the sea level. Thus the sea represents an unorganized mass of people. The mountains are like kingdoms giving a place for the republics to stay. As the result, in a matter of time, the islands shall disappear. In the end, the act of liberty will rise up against the order and end in anarchy.

To make the connections, the Isle of Patmos was under control by the Roman government and used as a place of imprisonment. During the time that John was placed here, Domitian was under rule and he was also the twelfth Caesar to reign. Him being the twelfth, is somewhat of an interesting aspect whereas that number symbolically represents what is completed or what forms a whole. With that, one can have the perspective that (so-to-speak) Domitian took part in God’s plan to get the book of Revelation wrote and completing the bible.

Domitian was a very ruthless emperor and, in fact, he insisted on being called “master and god.” Were it relates, the island can be represented as the emperor in which in 96 A.D. Domitian was murdered. The symbolic connection of the island can go even farther from the event in 476 A.D. This event is known none other than as the fall of the Roman empire. Nonetheless, anything that comes against God may prosper for a season, however it will eventually face calamity.

For the Word of God and for the Testimony of Jesus Christ The first reason of why John was put on the isle of Patmos was because he was preaching the word of God. He was exiled to this island for the fact that Domitian banished any Christians that were spreading God’s word. This also was applied even for those who would not surrender to calling him “mater and/or god.” The word of God, is His own message, in which can come in different forms. Here are some of the forms:

  • Law – Written word and prophecies contained in the laws
  • Prophets – Spoken word given to the prophets
  • Holy Ghost – Interprets the message
  • Jesus – His life was used as God’s simplest message fulfilling all laws

A great verse that speaks of His word is found from Psalms 119:105

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

The verse above mentions that His word is a lamp and a light. Symbolically looking, light refers back to Jesus or the Word. Other things that are symbolically associated with light are shown here in the table below.

Symbolism of Light photo table1_zpsa4a018ca.jpg

The testimony of Jesus Christ was the other reason why John was put onto the island. This phrase can have two different perspectives to it. One being that of spreading the light as a message from God. The other perspective was for the revelation that was soon going to be opened up to John from Jesus Christ.

10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

In the Spirit on the Lord’s Day John, being in the Spirit, leads to being in a serious, spiritual frame by the Holy Ghost. Looking at the time occurrence, this was the first event that took place in order for John to receive the revelation. Being put into this spiritual frame, John was being prepared for an uncommon manifestation of the Lord. Being in the Spirit allows for one to be taken away from the fleshly boundaries and can be set into complete concentration of God. Another example of a similar event can be found from Ezekiel 1:3-4, right before Ezekiel sees the whirlwind.

“The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him. And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.”

A Great Voice as a Trumpet With this part of the verse, John hears the voice of Jesus and compares it as like a trumpet. Digging into the symbolical perspective of trumpets, they represent a warning. They can also point towards things that were hidden and now being revealed, the clamor for the rights of the oppressed. Also noted with this is speaking in a “trumpet-like tone.” To provide a more meaningful perspective on this, a dive in history can help.

The musical instrument’s name came from the 14th century and also was a variation from the word “triumph.” Through historical events, the trumpet has been associated along with three different purposes:

  • To signal armies
  • Music for royalty
  • Religious events

On a side note, during the 14th century, the trumpet was used to conduct orders to soldiers during battle to triumph over the enemy.

11. 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.

Alpha and Omega, The First and The Last As previously referenced from verse eight.

What Thou Seest, Write in a Book In this era, around 90 A.D., the “paper” for books and scrolls were made from parchment or papyrus. Papyrus was the main material and export good in Egypt at that time, however, the papyrus plant, which became extinct in Egypt, was reintroduced around the 1960’s.

The sheets were made first by cutting the stem of the plant into strips. Next the strips of the stem were soaked several times in baths to try to remove as much of the sugar and starch from plant as possible. After this, the strips were laid in horizontal and vertical rows then beaten together creating a natural “glue” reaction. Several sheets were sewn together to make a roll then put on a spindle.

Symbolically, a book is the written language of God. These usually can be related by examples such as a prophecy or the Ten Commandments. In Greek the word biblion (bib-lee-on / βιβλιον) is used to represent a book, a bill, scroll or writing.

“What thou seest…” is yet another solid piece of evidence that John is fixing to see a vision.

Send it to the Seven Churches of Asia Here again, the number seven is brought up. Previously the number was mentioned in verse four also referring to the churches. This is interesting to note that a revelation is being sent to seven churches, thus the numerical value is seven which relates back to a revelation.

The Seven Churches of Asia Asia is the largest continent on the earth and interestingly it approximately consists of 30% of the land. Mentally take a note here on this very interesting aspect that thirty percent is very close to one-third. The country consists of an estimate of 4.3 billion in population (2013) and approximately 17.21 million square miles of land. Here is a list of the countries within Asia:

  • Afghanistan
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Cambodia
  • China (PRC)
  • Cyprus
  • East Timor
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • North Korea
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • South Korea
  • Syria
  • Taiwan (ROC)
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

Asia is said to come from at least two possible words: first is the Assyrian word ‘asu’ which means ‘to rise,’ or the other possibility from the Sanskrit word ‘usa’ which means ‘dawn.’ Both of these words relate that the continent as the “Land of the Rising Sun.” This is also the same name dubbed to Japan.

12. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

The Seven Golden Candlesticks These seven candlesticks are clearly defined in Revelation 1:20 as that they represent the seven churches; Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Again in this verse, we have the number seven which, as a reminder is the number of perfection, representation of rest, or a sense of change.

Now lets look at the fact that these candlesticks are golden. On the aspect of color, gold (or yellow) represents character. Here are two verses to look at:

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishith, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” 1 Peter 1:7 KJV

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Revelation 3:18 KJV

As we, in our life time, go through trials and tribulations we are tried through the fire resulting in a more pure state in our spirit. Looking at the gold metal, it is the most malleable (able to be hammered or pressed permanently out of shape without breaking or cracking) of any metals in existence. One ounce of gold can be beaten to the extreme of a 300 square foot sheet and gold leafs can be beaten thin enough to become transparent. The process that purifies the gold (being tried by the fire) is called gold smelting. Smelting the gold consists of several steps starting by first mining the gold (gold ore). Once gold ore is extracted from the earth it needs to be separated from dirt and other binding matter. This separation is achieved by crushing the gold ore then placing in a furnace exceeding the temperatures of 1064 Celsius / 1947.2 Fahrenheit. After this other metals can still remain so a cyanide solution or mercury is added to the molten gold triggering it to coagulate into nuggets. Once the gold is into nuggets it is remelted and poured into molds forming the gold ingots awaiting for its final use.

Symbolically, gold represents justice, power, strength, and perfection. As the gold passes through the fire it achieves its perfection just as Christians pass through tribulations achieve a closer relationship with God and once in heaven achieves perfection as well. People’s insight on gold is that of sacredness, that of treasure; or even more valuable up to priceless is that of lost treasure. It is also considered to people to be durable and physically the gold metal does not have any chemical reactions to water or oxygen making it the most durable of metals.

Moving on to the next word being “candlestick(s),” which represent light-bearers; those who bear light bear the truth and banish away all darkness. A candle can also consists of a symbol within itself which is fire. Fire represents the nature of God or even the physical evidence of Him. Fire consumes, produces warmth, and light just as God will destroy sin, gives us warmth, and lights our pathways for direction and truth. When a candle is lit, a faint smoke is that ascends upwards (to heaven). Smoke represents God’s glory and can also be similar with incense symbolizing prayer.

Looking Closer Another more in-depth perspective on these seven golden candlesticks can be gathered when one looks at a candle a bit different. When candles burn, over a long time, we all know they eventually melt away. This could be seen as a measurement of time, say even an age? The symbolical reference from a candle relating with time is not something that could always be paired together but it is very well plausible in this situation. What makes this connection more stable is something called the Seven Church Ages. As it is stated in Revelation 1:20 the candlesticks do represent the seven churches thus each candle is a church. Below is a chart that provides more detail about these seven church ages.

Seven Church Ages Chart

13. 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.

The Son of Man and His Appearance John, seeing the seven golden candlesticks then notices in the middle of them, that it is Jesus Christ. Jesus’ appearance is then described first with that of a garment down to the foot or in other words a robe. According with symbolism, robes often denote righteousness and honour while historically they can be associated as the attire for rulers in great power. Following that, the girt is an alternate form of gird which describes the action of something being fastened around someone. About the paps is simply referring to the breast or nipple line on where the item was fastened. Then the last description within this verse is with the golden girdle. The golden girdle (which is primarily the same as a belt) is what is being used to fasten Jesus’ garment here. According to the Greek word and definition, it is also described that since the girdle is hollow that it can be used to carry money.

14. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

His Head and His Hairs The next verse here goes on with the description of Jesus continuing with that of his head and his hairs being white like wool. The color white denotes purity which is also associated with a bride’s dress; a bride should be pure unto the groom. Also, just as robes often represent righteousness, white does as well. Another aspect that the color white represents is love. Digging a bit deeper into the study of color, the three primary colors red, yellow, and blue when mixed together create the color of white.

First looking at the color blue, the bible seems to point out the representation as God’s law; the Ten Commandments. The two verses of this aspect can be looked at further from Exodus chapter 24 and Numbers 15:37-40. Looking at these references together, it very well seems to point out a possibility that the stone the Ten Commandments came from was maybe sapphire. It is a very interesting study nonetheless but the more important thing is God’s law. His law must exist when free will and sin are in the same picture otherwise there would be chaos and no structure.

The second primary color we look at is red. Everyone can instantly associate the color to blood; as for Christians more ultimately the blood of Jesus Christ that he shed for all of humanity’s sin. It is the blood of Jesus that washes away our sins and is the only way into heaven. Since red is foremost recognized as the symbolism of blood, the symbolism of blood is life. Without blood the human body cannot function. Blood is what transports the nutrients and oxygen throughout the body to the appropriate areas while at the same time takes waste away from the same cells. This is exactly how Jesus’ blood works through the spiritual body providing the nutrients for the soul while cleansing away the sin.

The third and last primary color is yellow. Yellow often reflects the meaning of the sun, character, and faith. Starting with the sun in our solar system, there are some very amazing facts about it alone and life. Humans and plants need the sun in order to live for multiple reasons. I chose to use these two “lifeforms” on earth for a similarity they both have in common; both absorb the energy that the sun produces. With plants a cell called chlorophyll allows the plants to grow and receive the nourishment it needs; a process called photosynthesis. With the human body the penetration of the skin, with specific ultraviolet light rays, starts a process that then includes the kidneys and liver to produce the Vitamin D. The point from this is that without the sun, life would not exist. Obviously this could be extensively more in-depth however, keeping to the topic, Jesus’ role will be like the sun in heaven as stated in Revelation 21:23 from the KJV Bible:

And the city had no need of the sun, neither the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

His Eyes Lastly in this verse, His eyes are compared to a flame of fire; but not directly the fire. In the English language the word flame is defined as: a state of burning brightly, a strongly felt emotion, burning zeal or passion, or even anger. As for the parts of a fire flame is characterized as the visible, gaseous part of the fire. The three components of a fire consist of oxygen, heat, and fuel that creates a chain reaction. This formation can closely relate to the Trinity; if one component does not exist there is no fire.

15. And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

His Feet Here the third verse that describes Jesus’ description continues with his feet being like fine brass as if they burned in a furnace. The feet of Christ represents the last members of His Church before they are all united together. A reference from Isaiah 52:7 can also be seen talking about His feet again:

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publish salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

These last members of His church are then described as brass, an alloy made from copper and zinc, as if they burned in a furnace. The concept of burning in a furnace, when referring to a metal of some sort, is the process of smelting or purifying. Earlier, on the metal gold was discussed on how to remove imperfections it would have to be put through the fire; a trial or test in other words. Since the feet is used to describe the last members of His Church, it is possibly describing where Christians will have to face “fiery” trials.

Looking Closer The alloy brass is made from copper and zinc. Also it is referenced that brass is sometimes used for its gold-like appearance for decorations, used in applications where low friction is needed, in musical instruments like horns and bells, and in situations where it is important where sparks will not occur such as fittings and tools used around explosive gases.

Another form of brass is the so-called dezincification resistant brass. This form of brass is used where there is an above average risk of corrosion such as high water temperatures, presence of chloride, or soft water. This form of brass must be produced with great care and special attention of being balanced with composition and proper parameters to avoid long-term failures.

Looking at the first metal that makes brass, copper, is known to be essential to all living organisms as a dietary mineral that helps the respiratory system. Also it is found in these main areas of the human body: liver, muscle, and bone. Copper is found in the same group as gold and silver in the periodic table and is one out of the four metals that are not naturally colored grey or silver; other metals are caesium, gold and osmium.

Now looking at the last part of brass is zinc. Zinc is said to be a needed trace element necessary for plants, animals, and micro organisms and is also stated to be the second most abundant transition metal in organisms. Within the human body there is between two and four grams of zinc throughout; mostly in the brain, muscle, bones, kidney, liver, prostate and parts of the eye. In dietary supplements, zinc helps speed up the healing process after an injury and builds the immune system.

His Voice If one has ever been around a large waterfall you can have a good idea to what this description is talking about when God’s voice is said to sound of many waters. The sound is powerful, thunderous, and can be heard from a long ways off yet even when close it is at the same time peaceful. Another possible sound is from a very heavy rain which still is still powerful, thunderous, and yet peaceful.

The greek word for water, υδωρ hudor {hoo’-dore} refers to water in rivers, fountains and pools. Symbolically water can also represent many people, multitudes, nations, or tongues if you think about the sound. This is reference in Revelation 17:15 KJV, however for a different concept but the point to be made is that the sound of many people can be similar to the sound of many waters; many languages. God has many voices and can also speak any language.

16. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

His Right Hand The right hand always denotes and is generally represents rationality, consciousness, and logical. This can be accounted for with the term “right-hand man” who refers to someone most valuable and well capable. On the opposite the left hand generally represents weakness, decay, and death. Throughout history left-handed people have been thought to have been marked by the devil or forced to use the right hand. Looking at the meaning of just a hand alone represents strength, power, and protection. Also the hand are claimed from Aristotle that they are the “tool of tools” where hands are capable of doing work and providing gifts.

For the seven stars in His right hand, they simply represent seven angels. This is clearly explained in Revelation 1:20 KJV. Similarly stars express something that emits light and in today’s society it can also used to identify a lead role in something.

His Mouth Through symbolism, the mouth has a lot of representation. A lot of human activity incorporates the use of the mouth, for instance, consumption, speech, breathe, romance, communication, and interaction. Likewise, the mouth of a river it associates a door or gate to another area.

From out of His mouth comes a sharp two-edged sword; not just one edge. Biblically it is commonly described that the Word of God is the sword which can be found below as a few examples.

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” Ephesians 6:17 KJV

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 KJV

The symbolism from just a sword generates power, protection, authority, strength, and courage which can be applied to the Word of God as well.

A two-edged (can also be called double-edged) sword is the most commonly known and a typical sword consists of a blade (when a two-edged sword is formed the blade is always straight), and a hilt. The parts can be explained with more detail below in the image depicted.

A detailed look at the parts of a sword.

A detailed look at the parts of a sword.

The definition for a double-edged sword has an interesting perspective it brings out. The definition is as follows: something that has or can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences. When looking at this definition it can show how Truth can be an opinion through different people. God’s word will always stand and be true. The favorable consequence is that of the choice of accepting Jesus Christ as one’s saviour and, in the end, gaining everlasting life. The unfavorable consequence would be of those who reject Jesus Christ and gain everlasting torment in Hell.

His Countenance The word countenance simply means the appearance. The last part of the verse describes his appearance is like how the sun shines due to his strength. Interestingly, the sun in symbolism is classified as the center of being, that it represents knowledge, warmth, glory, and splendor. This should not be a surprise since this lines right up with one of the aspects of “defining” Jesus.

Looking Closer Since the sun is a star in our galaxy let’s take a look at astrology’s point of view on the sun. They state that the sun is the giver of life, that it represents the conscious mind, and that it represents the will to live and as the creative force. Astrologers also state that the sun is their “ego” and that it directs them as in a sense of something like their “boss.” From just these few aspects the astrological concept can be seen that they worship the sun which is wrong and backed up in the bible. However, taking the corrupted concept and applying their definition with the symbolism of Jesus Christ’s appearance as like the sun, it then all fits soundly and without sin.

17. 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:

When He Saw Him When John heard the trumpet like voice he turned around and seen the image of Christ’s appearance as described by the previous verses. Jesus appeared to him in a very glorious and yet a very powerful manifestation. Relate back to verse ten where John stated he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. Could any human be able to handle the previously described appearance of Jesus Christ in the flesh alone? Probably not. John was in the Spirit and even then his reaction was that he fell at Jesus’ feet as dead. Why did he choose the verbage of being “as dead” instead of just falling at his feet? If we frist look at just the English definition of the word dead we all should know that it means lifeless, however, it is also included as not able to feel, move or very tired. The Greek word νεκρος (nekros / nek-ros’) describes it further into that as a destitute of a life that recognises and is devoted to God, because they have given up to trespasses and sins, inactive as respects doing right, and destitute of force or power, inactive, and/or inoperative. Matthew Henry’s commentary describes this reaction as, “…he was overpowered with the greatness of the lustre and glory in which Christ appeared…

Fear Not Jesus seen the reaction of John and offered unto him comfort and support telling him to not fear. This incident is a perfect example of having the fear of God. The fear of God is not that of one being a coward but of one having respect and understanding exactly who God is and what He is capable of. The verse below is the widom of understanding this concept.

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:28 KJV

Jesus then goes on to first let John know about His omnipresent power stating that He is the first and last. This is one of the most amazing descriptions that He describes to us about himself.

18. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death.

I Am He That Liveth Continueing from verse 17, Jesus then goes to describe himself as he that liveth and was dead. As mentioned early in this study, this is the first resurrection from death needed to be fulfilled before anyone else can be resurrected. The definition of alive is defined as having life; life is defined as the period of time being alive. The event of being alive is a miracle that alot take granted every day, to die and come back to life is a bigger miracle, and finally to live forever is a miracle that shatters the aspects of time. Just this is overwhelming with amazment and it is just one description of Him.

Having The Keys of Hell and Death During the event of the crucifixion, before Jesus ascended into heaven, he took the keys of hell and death. This is the first reference of hell in the book of Revelation. The Greek word for hell is hades (hah’-dace) and as we should all know is the place described of eternal tourment. The interesting thing is that the scripture states Jesus did not get the keys of hell nor of death but from both hell and death. Are these actually two different “places?” This is just a theory only because of how a few scriptures use the wordage with these two words. The words “death” and “hell” appeared together only two other times in the book of Revelation; nine in total occurence of the bible. A deeper study will be put together on this theory at a later time but brought out as something to think about at the moment.

19. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Write The Things Within this verse, Jesus commands John to write everything that he has already seen, what John is currently seeing, and what he will see upcoming. Writing has been an imense part of history and in the importance of keeping communication passing down throughout time.

20. 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.

The Mystery of the Seven Stars and Candlesticks The last verse here contains the understaing of the symbolism of what John first described seeing in verses 12, 13, and 16.

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