Summary: There are four announcements that we will look at in these 5 verses.
Next we come to the great announcement to the churches. Actually there are four announcements that we will look at in these 5 verses. There were 7 churches in Asia to which this great announcement was being made but this great announcement that is being proclaimed here is to the churches of the world. The announcement is fourfold—four announcements in one. Let’s look at these.
1. The first announcement is proclaimed in verses 4 - 5. This is the announcement to us that grace and peace are ours. READ verses 4-5.
We need to know that the church CAN experience grace and peace. Grace means the favor and blessings of God. It means that God takes an active role in our lives. He looks after us and takes care of us. He provides the beneficial things of life for us whether they are physical, material, or spiritual. We don’t deserve this grace but God loves us and so He showers us with His grace.
Peace means that we can have peace with God and with men. It means that we no longer have to feel that God is far away from us. But peace also means that God is not hovering over us just waiting for us to make a wrong move. That’s because God is not looking for the chance to condemn and punish us. He is not an evil God. God seeks peace with us.
But peace also means that men no longer have to be divided. It means that they don’t have to be fighting, stealing, and killing each other. According to this portion of Revelation, man can now have peace—peace with God and peace with each other.
So the first great announcement to the churches is that we can have grace and peace, but note where. This grace and peace is not found among men. The grace and peace come from heaven. It comes from God. And notice how God is described. God “who is and who was and who is to come.”
That means that God is eternal and He is unchangeable. He is today as He was, and He shall be the same in the ages to come. This tells us that God knows that we need His grace and His peace and He has the power to give both. All we have to do is go to Him. When we do, “. . . the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)
So, from where do grace and peace come--the Holy Spirit of God. Note that the Holy Spirit is called the “seven spirits.” The number seven is used throughout the Bible and mean completeness, fullness, and perfection. So, “the seven spirits” means the Holy Spirit in all His fullness. It is the Spirit of God who lives within the believer in order to fill the believer with the grace and peace of God. Our duty is to continue to walk in the spirit allowing Him to fill us with the grace and peace of God and it is Jesus Christ who brought the grace and peace of God to earth. Romans 3:24 says “And are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
2. The second announcement started in verse 5 and continues into verse 6. READ. The second announcement is that Jesus Christ is the great Savior, the great Redeemer.
We see five things that are declared about Jesus Christ in these two verses.
a. Jesus is the faithful witness. He is the one Person we CAN depend on. We can trust what Jesus tells us. Jesus is revealing some things to us here in this book and He wants us to remember that what He reveals is the truth. It can be trusted.
b. Jesus is the first to arise from the dead. That is, he is the first to arise who never again had to die. And we too will arise from the dead because He arose. He conquered death. We too will conquer death if we believe that He died and arose for us.
c. Jesus is the ruler of the kings of the earth. Jesus has been raised from the dead and exalted to the right hand of God’s throne. He has been given the seat of Sovereign rule over the earth. Jesus is in control. He is able to handle any and all of the chaotic mess here on earth. Some might ask, “Why doesn’t God go ahead and come and straighten out all this mess?” But God tells us in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” Jesus is delaying His return so that more people can be saved and live eternally with God. But some day Jesus is going to return to earth and take over the rule of the world. He alone is the ruler of the kings of the earth.