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Summary: Jesus loves you. & He is really good. He knows who to love. & because He loves you, you are, automatically, worthy.

John, to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from the One who is and was and is coming, and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness (martyr), the firstborn from the dead, and the leader of the kings of the earth, the One who loved us, and releases us from our sins through His blood, and has made us a kingdom of priests to God our Father,

to him be glory and dominion forever and ever, amen. Revelation 1:4-6

v 4 Seven is the number of completion, or maturity (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 12:15-16). There were more than seven churches in the Roman province of Asia. These seven are a representative sampling. Grace and Peace is a combination of the common greeting in Greek (grace) and Hebrew (peace, or shalom). Him who is, was, and is to come is God, spoken of in the OT as YHVH, or YeHoVaH, or YaHVeH. The ancient Hebrew name is made of fragments from all three forms of the verb “to be”, and means the one who is and was and is to come—the ‘I am that I am” (Exodus 3). Seven spirits is usually identified with the “sevenfold manifestation of the Holy Spirit” of Is. 11:1-2. A few commentators think of it as the seven angels before the throne (the term ‘spirits’ is used for angels in Heb. 1:7; Psa 104:4; Rev. 1:20; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6; 8:2; 8:6; 15:1, 6-8; 16:1; 17:1; 21:9).

v 5 Witness is martus --(see v.2.) from which we get the word martyr. First Begotten is prototokos, or preeminent child. It usually refers to the child who is to inherit the blessings of the firstborn. Prince is arche, or preeminent one. Unto him that loved us should be the beginning of verse

v 6 Kings and Priests That’s us (Ex. 19:6; Rev. 5:10).

This is a letter from John, and Jesus. John addresses the letter to the Seven Churches of Asia, but we can think of the Seven as our church-each one representing elements we find in every large group, and distinctions that seem to set apart one group from another. He is writing to us. But John’s greeting isn’t merely his own. The grace he proclaims is from Him who is and was and is to come. All of the blessings-the true benedictions-are from Jesus. And Jesus is the central figure of the Revelation from the greeting on.

Grace & Peace

Grace is getting the gift we don't deserve. Peace is, well, peace. Some very wise pastor has said you can't have peace with God till you've recieved the grace of God. I don't know who said it first. There's at least some wisom in this.

Jesus

Martyr

Jesus is the Faithful Witness. The word for Witness is Martyr. It is was a term commonly used in Greek literature for a witness in a court of law. After the death of Stephen, and the multitude of Christians who gave their lives in the first few centuries of the Church because they gave testimony concerning Jesus, the word took on the meaning we think of today. Jesus was both, the One who gave faithful witness concerning God and His Word, and gave His life as a testimony to that Word. But Jesus' atoning death on the cross was not the end of that story.

First born from the dead

Jesus did not merely die. Many great people have died for a good cause. Socrates voluntarily drank hemlock as a part of the sentence against him, supporting the rule of Law, even though he knew he was not guilty. He told his companions he was not afraid of death. Abraham Lincoln was assasinated because he stood for freedom in a time that slavery was more popular to some people; Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi died for similar reasons. But They are all still dead. Jesus, however, was not prone to stay prone.

As Larry Norman so eloquently stated

Jesus is the Rock

And Jesus is the Way

There's one more think I'd like to say

They nailed Him to the cross

And they laid him in the ground

But they should have known you can't keep a good man down.

Ruler of the kings of the earth

When we read some of the news we might doubt if Jesus has anything to do with any political process in the world. But i think politics isn't what John describes here. Jesus is above all the most powerful and influential, wealthy and manipulative, famous and imfamous of this world. If you actively worship Him, you will find it much easier to stand before any judge or Minister, Congressman, Senator, king, president or prime minister. He is their Lord, even if they don't believe He lives.

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