Sunday, September 24, 2023

A Journey through Revelation, Part 3: The Patmos Vision. Chapter 1:9-20

 As we continue our study of Revelation, this time we’ll begin to look at John’s vision while on the island of Patmos, which was a small island in the Aegean Sea.  It was southwest of Ephesus and between Asia Minor and Greece.  According to several early church fathers (Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Eusebius), John was sent to this island as a prisoner following his effective pastorate at Ephesus. Victorinus, the first commentator on the Book of Revelation, stated that John worked as a prisoner in the mines on this small island.  When the Emperor Domitian died in A.D. 96, his successor, Nerva, let John return to Ephesus. During John’s bleak days on Patmos, God gave him this tremendous revelation, which is the final book of the Bible.

“Patmos was a small rocky island to which the apostle John was banished and where he wrote the Book of Revelation (Rev. 1:9). The island, about 16 kilometers (ten miles) long and ten kilometers (six miles) wide, lies off the southwest coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Because of its desolate and barren nature, Patmos was used by the Romans as a place to banish criminals, who were forced to work at hard labor in the mines and quarries of the island. Because Christians were regarded as criminals by the Roman emperor Domitian (ruled A.D. 81–96), the apostle John probably suffered from harsh treatment during his exile on Patmos. An early Christian tradition said John was in exile for 18 months.” (Ronald F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, and R. K. Harrison, Thomas Nelson Publishers, eds., Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1995).


Let’s pick up our study at verse 9.


v.9, “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

  • This section begins with the expression “I, John.”  This is the third reference to John as the human author in this chapter.


  • v.9b, He describes himself as their “brother” in Christ because he and the persecuted believers were partners in suffering:

o   He was a “fellow partaker in the tribulation” that the seven churches were experiencing under the Roman rulers.

o   He was bound to them through the ties of spiritual life and kinship, and therefore was a companion of theirs.


  • He partnered not only in their trouble, but also in the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ.


  • And in the “perseverance,” or patient endurance, that they too were suffering because of their dedication to Christ:

o   This “perseverance,” or patience, is the idea of the hope that their faith produces.


  • v.9c, He says he “was on the isle of Patmos”:

o   The Romans used Patmos to banish political prisoners.


  • John was there “because of the Word of God and testimony of Jesus”:

o   So, we know that it was because of his faithfulness to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, that John was exiled or banished.

o   According to the early church fathers, John was forced to labor in the mines on the island.


v.10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,”

  • v.10a, “in the Spirit”:  What does that mean?

o   This phrase indicates a condition into which God placed John for the purpose of giving him the revelations that we read about in this book.

o   It was a state in which his ordinary senses of the flesh were suspended and somehow his spiritual senses were opened, or heightened.

o   God brought John’s spirit into direct contact with the invisible spiritual world and with the things in God’s own mind.

o   His experience transcended the bounds of normal human understanding.

o   Under the Holy Spirit’s control, John was transported to an experience and perception beyond that of the human senses.

o   While in that state, God supernaturally revealed things to him.

o   Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Peter and Paul all had similar experiences.



v.10b, John received this vision “on the Lord’s day”:

  • Some argue that this is refers to a period of time known as the “Day of the Lord” spoken of by the prophets:

o   However, “the Day of the Lord” is a phrase used to as a description of the judgments that will come upon the world during the Great Tribulation,

o   But, due to the Greek construction of the words, it is best understood as a reference to Sunday.


  • Also, the vision that John received had nothing to do with the “Day of the Lord”:

o   It was a vision of Christ’s present ministry in the Church and what the future coming of the Day of the Lord will look like, as God sends forth His wrath upon the earth and those who reject Him and His Son, Jesus.


  • In the second century, the phrase “the Lord’s Day” was widely used to refer to Sunday. In western culture, it used to be known as “the Lord’s Day,” meaning Sunday:

o   This was because Christ’s resurrection happened on a Sunday.



v.10c, “and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet.”

  • John hears a loud voice “like the sound of a trumpet.”  You know what a trumpet sounds like!
  • Throughout the Scriptures we see trumpets being used to announce, or signal, very important events: 

o   A trumpet sounds and the dead will be raised imperishable.

o   A trumpet signals the catching away (Rapture) of the church.

o   Six trumpet blasts trigger six judgments upon the earth.

o   You can’t miss it when a trumpet sounds!!!

o   This voice that John hears is unmistakable; it’s as clear as the blast of a trumpet.



v.11, “saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

  • The word “write” is in the imperative form, which means that it is a command:

o   The voice commands John to record what he sees and he is to “send it to the seven churches.”


  • As we said last time, these seven churches were in the area known as Asia Minor, what is now modern day Turkey.


  • These churches were probably chosen because they were located in the key cities of the seven postal districts into which Asia was divided:

o   They were the central points for the distribution of information.


  • We’ll take a closer look at these individual churches in chapters 2 - 3.



v.12, “And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;”

  • It appears that his back was to the voice that was speaking to him so he “turned to see the voice that was speaking.”


  • When he turned he saw “seven golden lampstands.”  These lampstands are later explained, in v.20, to represent the seven churches.


  • The lampstands symbolize the churches as great lights in a world filled with darkness:

o   Paul writes in Philippians 2:15, “that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,”


  • Notice that these lampstands are described as “golden”:

o   Gold was the most precious of metals in John’s day.

o   The golden metal, as in the days of the tabernacle and the temple, also represents the Deity and glory of Christ.

o   It’s also important to note that the church is to God the most beautiful and valuable entity on earth.

o   So valuable, that Jesus was willing to purchase it with His own blood.

o   These were real churches in real places, but they also represent all kinds of churches that exist throughout all of church history.



v.13, “and in the middle of the lampstands One like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle.”

  • In the middle of the lampstands”:

o   Meaning In and amongst the lampstands.


  • The glorified Christ, the Lord of the Church, is moving among His churches:

o   He said, “I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).


  • one like a son of man” :

o   This is a frequent title found in the gospels. The title emphasizes Christ’s humanity and Messianic position.


  • John now begins to describe what he saw Jesus wearing:

o   It’s not an accident that He is wearing these articles of clothing.


  • “… clothed in a robe that reaches to his feet” :

o   This type of robe was worn by royalty, kings and prophets.

o   The word translated “robe” in the Greek text was a robe worn by the high priest of the Old Testament.

o   While Christ is presented as a prophet and a king, His majesty and dignity are emphasized.

o   The robe here, pictures Christ in His role as the great high priest for His people.


  • “… and girded across his breast with a golden girdle”:

o   This phrase serves to reinforce what we just said:  the high priest in the Old Testament wore just such a sash.



Now John begins to try his best to describe what Jesus looks like. 


In an attempt to describe this amazing vision that he is having, John is searching for words to help the churches understand what he saw.


He uses the word “like” frequently, which indicates that he may have been unable to truly describe what he was seeing.



v.14, “And His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire;”

  • v.14a, “his head and hair were white, like wool or snow” :
  • This description is similar to the description we read in Daniel 7:9, “I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool.”

o   This parallel description helps affirm Christ’s Deity; He is God.

o   He possesses the same attributes of holiness and wisdom as the Ancient of Days, that is, God the Father.

o   white” is the Greek word, leukos, which means bright or blazing or brilliant.

o   It symbolizes Christ’s eternal, glorious, holy truthfulness.

o   White,” here, has the idea of complete purity rather than that of age.


  • v.14b, “and His eyes were like a flame of fire”:

o   This phrase speaks of the searching righteousness and divine judgment upon all that is impure.

o   His searching, revealing, infallible gaze penetrates to the very depths of His Church, revealing to Him, with absolute clarity, everything there is to know about His Church.


v.15, “and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.”

  • v.15a, The metal described here as “burnished bronze” symbolizes Divine judgment as seen in the Old Testament types of the brazen altar and other items of brass used in connection with sacrifice for sin.


  • In ancient times, kings sat on elevated thrones, so those being judged would always be beneath the king’s feet:

o   The feet of a king came to symbolize his authority.


  • The red-hot, glowing feet of the Jesus picture Him moving through His Church to exercise His authority, to correct or discipline His Church as needed.


  • v.15b, “and His voice was like the sound of many waters.”

o   Perhaps like the familiar sound of the surf crashing on the Isle of Patmos during a storm.  His thundering voice was also revealing the majesty and power of the Son of Man.

o   And when that majesty and power is made fully known, then, every human authority must bow before Him.



v.16, “And in His right hand He held seven stars; and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.”

  • v.16a, We don’t know what these seven stars are just yet.  We’ll find out in verse 20.


  • We do know that, because these stars are in His right hand, He is in total control of these stars.


  • v.16b, “and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword”:

o   This sword represents divine judgment.

o   In chapter 19, the sharp two-edged sword will defend the Church against external threats.

o   But there is a sense, here at least, that this is speaking of divine judgment against enemies from within the Church:

§  Those who attack Christ’s Church, those who would sow seeds of discord or strife.

§  Those who would do harm to His people, whether from within or from without, will be personally dealt with by the Lord of the Church.

§  This should be quite a warning for those who grumble; for those who stir up trouble; those who gossip and slander; those who sit in judgment of others, those with a hidden agenda or are seeking power within a local church.

§  This is Jesus’ church, not ours!!!


o   John saw a sharp double-edged sword coming out of His mouth.  This type of sword was used by the Romans in a stabbing action designed to kill.


o   Jesus Christ is no longer a baby in Bethlehem, or a man of sorrows crowned with thorns.  He was now the Lord of glory!!



  • v.16c, “and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.”

o   John’s vision culminates in a description of the radiant glory that he saw on the face of Jesus.

o   He could only describe it as “like the sun shining in its strength.

o   The bright light that is often manifest by the glory of God was seen by John.

o   Just as it was seen by Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration; just as it was seen by Paul on the road to Damascus.

o   That bright shining light, which is terrifying to the sinner, gives assurance to the believer.

o   The glory of God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, should shine in and through any Christian church.  The church should be a reflection of His glory to the world.  And that, then, results in Him being glorified by us.

o   In our glorified body, we will be able to see the Lord in all His glory.

o   That assurance is given in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.”



That was a lot of information to take in!  Stay with me and we’ll continue with verse 17.


v.17, “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last”:

  • v.17a, “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man.” :

o   Fear was the normal reaction for those who had experienced such heavenly visions:

§  Daniel had no strength left in him when the angel appeared to him.

§  Isaiah cried out, “Woe is me, for I am ruined!”

§  Ezekiel’s response was the same; he fell on his face.


o   Paul was struck to the ground in a similar way when he saw Christ in His glory.

o   About 60 years earlier, John had put his head on Jesus’ chest and ate with Him.  But now, John could not be quite so informal with the Lord of glory.



  • v.17b-18a, “And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One;”

o   Jesus’ touch was one of comfort and assurance. “Do not be afraid” is literally, “stop being afraid.”  He was compassionate and reassuring in His words.

o   The comfort Jesus offered was based on who He is and the authority He possesses.


  • v.18b, “I am the first and the last, and the living One;”

o   Jesus identifies Himself as “the first and the last.”  That’s a title used of God in the Old Testament.

o   When all the false gods are gone, only He remains.  He existed before them and He will continue to exist eternally, long after all of mans’ gods have disappeared.


  • v.18c, He is also “the living one”:

o   Here is a third title used to express His Deity.

o   Throughout the Scriptures we see this title used of God.

o   God is the eternal, uncaused, self-existent one.


  • The One who’s presence struck fear into John’s heart, the “I Am,” the first and the last, the Living One, the One whose death freed John from his sins is the very One who comforted and reassured John in this moment of fear.



v.18c, “and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore,”

  • The Living One, the eternally existing One, the One with no beginning and no end, the Alpha and the Omega.


  • He took up residence in a human body and, literally, from the Greek, “became dead.”


  • In His humanness He died, without ceasing to live as God.


  • 1 Peter 3:18 tells us that He was “put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit.”


  • He became dead, but now, after His resurrection, He is alive forevermore:

o   Never to die again!

o   He defeated death and the grave.

o   And that’s what leads us to the next part of the verse.



v.18d, “and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”

  • keys” means control or access:

o   He controls life and death:

§  Eternal life and eternal death.

§  All the redeemed, all those who by faith have believed and received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, need not fear.

§  He has already conquered death and the grave and promises us imperishable bodies.


  • In John 11:25, He has declared that “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live, even if he dies”

o   Because he lives, we too will live.



v.19, “Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall take place after these things.”

  • Jesus commands John to record or write:

o   The things that He has already seen.

o   The things that are right now.

o   And the things that will take place in the future.



v.20, “As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands:  the seven stars are the angels [or messengers] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.”

  • Here Jesus explains the symbolism behind the seven stars and the seven golden lampstands.


  • The “seven stars,” – Are they “angels” or “messengers?”

o   In the Greek text, angellos can mean angels or messengers.

o   More than likely these are not angels, because the seven letters in Revelation 2-3 contain reprimands against the messengers, its doubtful that these “messengers” are heavenly messengers.

o   Also, angels are never considered to be heads of churches.

o   More than likely, these are earthly leaders, or earthly messengers, that John is writing to and they are accountable to God for the churches that they represent.


  • the seven lampstands are the seven churches”:

o   The seven golden lampstands, among which Christ had been standing in v.13, represent the seven churches to which this letter would be circulated.

o   The churches may have been facing difficulties and persecution, but they must never forget that Christ is standing among them, totally in control.

o   We, as modern-day believers must remember the same thing.  Remember who’s in charge.



Whew!!  That was a lot to digest.  Thanks for staying with me as we continue to learn more about future events, events that have not yet happened but will, most assuredly takes place as God moves us towards the culmination of human history at some time, yet future.


May the Lord bless you as you study and learn from His Word.



By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.

Monday, August 14, 2023

A Journey through Revelation, Part 2: Chapter 1:4-8

 Let’s pick up our study of Revelation at chapter 1, verses 4-8.


v.4, “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven spirits who are before His throne.”

  • Here John identifies himself more clearly. 


Who is he writing to? “to the seven churches in Asia”:

  • Seven churches which were geographically situated in Asia Minor:

o   Today that would be modern-day Turkey.

o   These were not the only churches in Asia at the time: the cities of Troas, Colossae and Hieropolis also had churches.


  • Why did the Lord direct John to write to these seven churches in particular?

o   It is possible that the number seven, as with the other sevens in the book, signifies completeness.

o   But its more likely that He chose them because they were typical assemblies of believers with regard to their histories and their spiritual health, or lack of it.


v.4b, Notice the greeting: “grace to you and peace”:

  • The words “grace and peace” speak of the Christian’s standing before God:

o   Grace” speaks of God’s attitude toward believers.

o   Peace” speaks both of their standing with God and their experience of Divine peace.

o   Grace” is unmerited favor: blessings, kindness, favor, mercy, and forgiveness all from God.

o   Peace” means no more wrath from God for the believer. There is now a healthy relationship with God, a quietness of soul and spirit before Him.


v.4c, Who’s the grace and peace from?  “… from Him who is and who was and who is to come;”

  • Who is this describing? At first we might think this is Jesus. But He’s mentioned in verse 5.

o   Him who is and who was and who is to come.  This is talking about God the Father.  Jesus is mentioned later.


  • Notice the order:

o   Him who is.” This is in the present tense stressing that the God of the Old Testament and the God of the future is still in control of the present.

o   “… and who was,” He’s also the God of the past.


  • “… and who is to come”:

o   He is the God of the future.

o   God is, was and will be the God of eternity present, past and future.

o   All of time is encompassed in God the Father, but He’s not limited by time.

o   Because God is eternally present, He is, therefore, able to help His people in any age and in any situation.


Grace and peace also comes from:

v.4d, “… and from the seven spirits who are before His throne;”

  • What’s this all about? There are lots of ideas or theories. It would take a lot of time to go through them all. So I’ll briefly cover the two main ideas.


Let’s start by examining the Greek word for Spirit:

  • John uses the Greek word pneuma, which means spirit or wind:

o   Sometimes the word pneuma is used in the New Testament for angels, both fallen and unfallen.

o   There are some who believe this is referring to seven angels.


  • First argument: These are seven literal angels before God’s throne:

o   1.  pneuma is used for angels in the New Testament.

o   2.  They are “before God’s throne.”

o   3.  They are created beings in a subordinate position:

§  This is a regular position for created creatures, but not for a divine being; so it couldn’t be the Holy Spirit.

o    4.  There is a similarity of language in Luke 9:26, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

o    5.  1 Tim. 5:21, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels,”

o   6.  There is a prominence of angels throughout the book of Revelation, as seen in:

§  Carrying out the Tribulation judgments.

§  Holding back the four winds of the earth.

§  And many other examples which we’ll see later in our study.


  • The arguments against it being angels are as follows:

o   1. Though seven angels are mentioned in Rev. 8:2, “And I saw the seven angels who stand before God; and seven trumpets were given to them”:

§  These angels are not referred to using the word pneuma.

§  The word John uses here is the Greek word angelos, which means messenger.

o   2. Another reason: Angels are always seen in Revelation in a literal angelic form, not in “spirit” form.

o   3. The “seven spirits” are always represented in a symbolic form.

o   4. Both the singular and plural form of the word pneuma, in Revelation, only refers to the Spirit of God or to demons.

o   5. We know that these are not demons that John is talking about.

o   6. Another very valid argument against these being angels is the impossibility of created creatures being a source of “grace and peace”:

§  This would put them on an equal level with God the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ.

§  And there are strict prohibitions against worshipping demons found throughout the entire Bible.


 The “seven spirits,” or the “seven-fold spirit” is a reference to the Holy Spirit. But why did John use the words "seven spirits"?

  • Some understand John to mean the "sevenfold spirit" in His fullness.


  • Isaiah 11:2-3, “And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord”:

o   Problem:  some see only 6 attributes listed.

o   Unless you include the “Spirit of the Lord resting” on Him:  “wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, and fear of the Lord.”


  • Others point to the number “seven” as:

o   The term “seven” denoting perfection or completeness.

o   This is the Holy Spirit in the completeness of His office and powers, as sent forth for the illumination, comfort and edification of all the people of God’s redeeming grace.

o   The term “seven spirits” does not mean seven Holy Spirits.


  • Most, however, believe John, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as he was writing, was borrowing from the imagery of Zechariah 4:1-6, 10, which says, “Then the angel who was speaking with me returned, and roused me as a man who is awakened from his sleep. 2 And he said to me, ‘What do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see, and behold, a lamp-stand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it; 3 also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side.’  4 Then I answered and said to the angel who was speaking with me saying, ‘What are these, my lord?’ 5 So the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ And I said, ‘No, my lord.’ 6 Then he answered and said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.’” 


  • Zechariah 4:10, “For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth.”


  • So, where the ancient prophet, Zechariah, sees a lampstand with seven bowls supplied with oil from two nearby olive trees, John seems to connect the churches, “lampstands,” in Rev. 1:20, “As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lamp-stands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp-stands are the seven churches to the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Rev. 3:1; 4:5; 5:6).


  • The words the "seven spirits" represent the activity of the risen Christ through the Holy Spirit in, and to, the seven churches.


  • This symbolism should bring great encouragement to the churches, because it’s "'not by might nor by power, but by my spirit,' says the Lord Almighty" (Zechariah 4:6), that the churches serve the living God.


  • This is also a sobering statement because the history of each church (found in chapters 2-3) is a recounting of that church's response to the Holy Spirit.


  • It’s also a warning for the Church today, as we will see later in our study, "He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."


 Grace and peace are still the subjects here, and we see it in verse 5:

 v.5 , “… and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood,”

  • v.5a, Its here that we see Jesus’ name.


  • How is He described?

o   v.5b, “the faithful witness” :

§  He is the faithful witness of the truth of God.

o   Witness” is the Greek word, martos, which means witness and martyr.

o   He is, therefore, a faithful “witness,” or a faithful “martyr,” in that He was the first to die for the gospel message.

o   Those who would die for their faith in Christ, the martyrs, would be witnesses through their deaths.

o   Jesus is the preeminent “faithful witness” because He died and because He was the first to rise from the dead.


  • v.5c, “the first-born of the dead”:

o   Referring to His historic resurrection.

o   Christ’s resurrection assures all believers of their resurrection.

o   He shows us how to stand firm for the faith even when faced with persecution.

o   Others had risen from the dead only to die again.

o   Jesus was the first to resurrect with an imperishable body, never to die again.

o   He is the “first-born” from the dead.


  • v.5d, “the ruler of the kings of the earth”:

o   He is the all-powerful king:

§  Victorious in battle.

§  Glorious in peace.


o   Satan tried to tempt Jesus by offering Him all the kingdoms of the earth if He would bow and worship him.

o   Jesus refused, and through obedience to the Father, death on the cross and resurrection, He gained ultimate kingship.

o   Jesus was not just a humble earthly teacher.

o   He is the glorious Son of God, the Savior, the Redeemer, the hope of all humanity.

o   When He returns He will be recognized for who He really is.

o   Then, “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-11).


The last part of verse 5 goes together with verse 6 as a doxology, or praise to God.

v.5e - 6, “To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood, and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen

  • to Him who loves us” –

o   loves” is in the present active tense.

o   John reminds his readers that Jesus continues to love us.

o   It wasn’t a past event, it is ongoing; it’s continuous.


  • “… and released us from our sins by [or through] his blood

o   released” is the Greek word meaning, having loosed us or set us free from.

o   This is the message of the gospel! Jesus, through His death and resurrection, has released all true believers from the penalty of their sin, which is death, both physical and spiritual. Physical death is still a reality this side of heaven. But eternal death, separation from God forever, has been removed for all those who believe and receive Christ as their Savior. Praise God!!


  • What was the means, or vehicle of that release?

o   By, or in, or through “His blood.” The precious blood of the spotless Lamb of God.

o   Heb. 9:22, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”

o   Christ is the One who keeps on loving us (present tense) and who “loosed” or “released” (past tense) us, once for all, from our sin, in or by His blood sacrifice on our behalf, the just for the unjust the righteous in the place of the unrighteous.


  • v.6a, The result of Christ’s work on our behalf is that “He has made us to be a kingdom, and priests to His God and Father”:

o   This does not mean that the Church has become the Millennial Kingdom.

o   We belong to Jesus’ kingdom, presently not of this world.

o   Our responsibility as priests in Jesus kingdom, is to serve God the Father:

§  Loving Him.

§  Loving one another.

§  Using our spiritual gifts.

§  Bearing one another’s burdens.

§  Sharing the good news of the gospel with others.


John closes this doxology by ascribing glory and dominion to Jesus.


v.6b, “to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

  • glory” means praise.
  • dominion” means authority and power.
  • forever and ever” in the Greek, literally means “into the ages of the ages.”
  • amen” means, so be it or let it be so.


v.7, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so, Amen.”

  • Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him”:

o   Behold” exhorts the readers and hearers of this book to “look; be aware; be ready, He is coming in the clouds.

o   John is referring back to Daniel 7:13-14, “I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. 14 And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.”

o   And Zechariah 12:10, “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.”


  • These are both messianic passages that testify of Christ’s return.


  • The entire world will witness His return, especially the Jews who were the chief agents in His death:

o   “… the tribes of the earth will mourn,” which literally means to beat one’s chest in humility.

o   They will all realize who He is and what they forfeited in not receiving Him as their Savior.

o   This is at His second coming, at the end of the Tribulation.

o   There is no indication that the entire world will see Jesus at the Rapture of the Church.

o   At His second coming, to establish His kingdom, all will see Him.


v.8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

  • “… the Alpha and the Omega”:

o   These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

o   They are symbolic of the fact that He is the beginning and the ending of all things.


  • “… who is and who was and who is to come”:

o   He exists in the present.

o   He existed in the past.

o   He will be in the future.

o   This is the eternality of Jesus Christ.


  • the Almighty”:

o   The Greek word is pantocrator. It’s a compound word from pan which means all, and kratos which means power, strength, might, or force.

o   Almighty is the idea of omnipotent, that is, the all-powerful One.

o   It is used 10 times in the New Testament, 9 of them in Revelation.



Jesus Christ is the central figure of the opening eight verses of Revelation:

  • He is the source of Revelation, v.1.
  • He is the channel of the Word and testimony of God, v.2.
  • His blessings are promised in v.3.
  • He is the Faithful witness, the first-born from among the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth, v.5.
  • He is the source of all grace, who loves us and cleanses us from our sins through His shed blood, v.5.
  • He is the source of our royal priesthood, v.6.
  • He has the right to gather all glory and dominion to Himself forever and ever, v.6.
  • Every eye will see Him coming in the clouds and they will mourn, v.7.
  • He is the beginning and the ending, the Almighty One, v.8.


Wow! There’s a lot to think about in these opening verses of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It is my hope and prayer that this study will help you to see the Lord Jesus for who He really is and the fact that He is coming again, in the Rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and to judge the world for it’s sin (Revelation).


May the Lord bless you as you continue to study His Word.


By His Grace,

Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.