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Revelation 1

Chapter 1

1:1  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:

angel (See Scofield "Hebrews 1:4")

1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

sins

Sin. (See Scofield "Romans 3:23") .

1:9  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.

isle

1:1 ; 1:20 the Seer is on the earth, looking at the vision of Christ. ; 2:1 ; 3:22 he is on the earth looking forward through the church-age. ; 4:1 ; 11:1 he is "in the Spirit" ( Revelation 4:2 ; cf Ezekiel 3:12-14 ) observing things in heaven and on earth. ; 11:1 ; 11:12 he is in Jerusalem with the two witnesses. 11:13 to the end he is in heaven observing and recording things in heaven and upon the earth.

1:10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

voice The theophanies. Revelation 1:9-20 ; Genesis 12:7

1:18  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.

hell

Hades, (See Scofield "Luke 16:23") .

1:19  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

hereafter

things that are to be after these, i.e. after the churches.

1:20  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.

angels

The natural explanation of the "messengers" is that they were men sent by the seven churches to ascertain the state of the aged apostle, now an exile in Patmos (cf) Philippians 4:18 but they figure any who bear God's messages to a church.

churches

The messages to the seven churches have a fourfold application:

(1) Local, to the churches actually addressed;

(2) admonitory, to all churches in all time as tests by which they may discern their true spiritual state in the sight of God;

(3) personal, in the exhortations to him "that hath an ear," and in the promise "to him that overcometh";

(4) prophetic, as disclosing seven phases of the spiritual history of the church from, say, A.D. 96 to the end. It is incredible that in a prophecy covering the church period, there should be no such foreview. These messages must contain that foreview if it is in the book at all, for the church does not appear after Revelation 3:22 . Again, these messages by their very terms go beyond the local assemblies mentioned. Most conclusively of all, these messages do present an exact foreview of the spiritual history of the church, and in this precise order. Ephesus gives the general state at the date of the writing; Smyrna, the period of the great persecutions; Pergamos, the church settled down in the world, "where Satan's throne is," after the conversion of Constantine, say A.D. 316. Thyatira is the Papacy, developed out of the Pergamos state: Balaamism (worldliness) and Nicolaitanism (priestly assumption) having conquered. As Jezebel brought idolatry into Israel, so Romanism weds Christian doctrine to pagan ceremonies. Sardis is the Protestant Reformation, whose works were not "fulfilled." Philadelphia is whatever bears clear testimony to the Word and the Name in the time of self-satisfied profession represented by Laodicea.

mystery (See Scofield "Matthew 13:11") .

Read Revelation 1