Summary: 7 letters to the churches

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The Revelation - Part 5

September 10, 2003 Wed. - Danny L. Williams

Rev. 1:9-20

What John heard (vv. 9–11 ). On the Lord’s Day, John heard a trumpet-like voice behind him.

It was Jesus Christ speaking!

Every name or title that Jesus wears is a blessing that he shares.

The better we know him, the better he’s able to bless us and make us what he wants us to be.

One of the best ways to get to know him is to study his names

and titles in Scripture.

Our Lord said, "And behold, I am coming quickly, and

My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his

work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and

the End, the First and the Last" (Rev. 22:12-13).

"Alpha and Omega" are the first and last letters of the

Greek alphabet. In fact, the English word "alphabet" comes

from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet,

"alpha" and "beta."

When he calls himself "Alpha and Omega,"

Jesus declares that he is the first and the last, the beginning and

the ending.

What truths do we learn about the Lord Jesus

Christ from this name "Alpha and Omega"?

1. Jesus Christ Is Eternal God

Jesus Christ is the beginning and Jesus Christ is the ending;

he is the first and he is the last.

In Isaiah 41:4,

Jehovah God declares, "I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last I am He."

This same declaration is repeated in Isaiah 44:6 and Isaiah 48:12.

Our Lord Himself said in John 8:58,

"Before Abraham was, I Am."

In Colossians 1:17 we are told, "He is before all things."

Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

As far as we know, the apostle had not heard his Lord’s voice since Christ had returned to heaven more than sixty years before.

The Lord commissioned John to write this book and to send it to the seven churches He had selected. Later John would hear another trumpetlike voice, summoning him to heaven ( Rev. 4:1 ).

“rapture 1 Thes. 4:13–18 a picture of the rapture of the church.)

What John saw (vv. 12–16 ). He saw a vision of the glorified Christ.

Revelation 1:20 makes clear that we must not interpret this vision literally, for it is made up of symbols.

The seven lampstands represent the seven churches that would receive the book. Each local church is the bearer of God’s light in this dark world.

Compare this vision with Daniel’s

( Dan. 7:9–14 ).

1. Christ’s garments are those of a Judge-King, One with honor and authority.

2. The white hair symbolizes His eternality,the Ancient of Days ( Dan. 7:9 -13,22).

3. His eyes see all ( Rev. 19:12 ; Heb. 4:12 ), enabling Him to judge righteously.

4. His feet of burning brass also suggest judgment, since the brazen altar was the place where the fire consumed the sin offering.

The Lord had come to judge the churches, and He would also judge the evil world system.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

The “sound of many waters” ( Rev. 1:15 ) makes me think of Niagara Falls!

Perhaps two ideas are suggested here:

(1) Christ gathers together all the “streams of revelation” and is the Father’s “last Word” to man ( Heb. 1:1–3 );

(2) (2) He speaks with power and authority and must be heard. The sword from His mouth certainly represents the living Word of God ( Heb. 4:12 ; Eph. 6:17 ). He fights His enemies by using His Word ( Rev. 2:16 ; 19:19–21 ).

Revelation 1:20 informs us that the seven stars in His hand represent the angels ( messengers, see Luke 7:24 where the Greek word is so translated), or perhaps pastors, of the seven churches.

God holds His servants and places them where He wants them to “shine” for Him. In Daniel 12:3 , wise soul winners are compared to shining stars.

The Lord’s shining countenance reminds us of His transfiguration

( Matt. 17:2 ) and also the prophecy of Malachi 4:2 (“the Sun of righteousness [shall] arise”). The sun is a familiar image of God in the Old Testament ( Ps. 84:11 ), reminding us not only of blessing, but of judgment. The sun can burn as well as bless!

This vision of Christ was totally different in appearance from the Saviour that John knew “in the flesh” when He was ministering on earth. He was not the “gentle Jewish carpenter” that sentimentalists like to sing about. He is the risen, glorified, exalted Son of God, the Priest-King who has the authority to judge all men, beginning with His own people ( 1 Peter 4:17 ).

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