Hello! So glad you are joining us for our series from the book of Revelation. We are calling it The End! because it is all about what will take place in ‘the end’. I have created a private Facebook group where we can continue our conversation on this study. Members of the Facebook group get some extras that are not offered here, so if you would like to be added to that group, please email me at [email protected]
In case you missed our previous lessons, you can find them here:
Today we continue our study in the first chapter of Revelation. I hope that you have already learned at least one thing that is either new to you, or a confirmation of something you had previously learned.
In today’s highlighted passage, John issues a greeting to the recipients of The Revelation. This greeting, however, is different than you might think. If I were writing a letter to you I might say, “Dear Sue, how are you? I hope this letter finds you well.”
Not John. In fact, the greeting is not from John at all. John is simply acting as a mouthpiece or spokesman for the author of the letter. Let’s take a look at Revelation 1:4-8 (ESV):
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,
5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Recall that this is the revelation of Jesus Christ, given to Him by God. So, this greeting is from the Trinity, and we see each member of the Trinity mentioned in verses 4 and 5:
- Him who is and who was and who is to come ~ God the Father
- The Seven Spirits who are before his throne ~ God the Holy Spirit
- Jesus Christ
Some believe that the ‘seven spirits who are before his throne’ are angels. It does not make sense to me that angels would be tossed in the middle of God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ. Consequently, I believe the Holy Spirit is being referred to in this wording.
In Isaiah 11:2 the prophet speaks of the Spirit of the Lord resting on the coming Messiah, and references 7 attributes of the Spirit:
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
The seven attributes of the Spirit present the Holy Spirit in His completeness and perfection.
Make no mistake, however, this greeting is all about Jesus: who He was, who is He, what He did for us, and what will take place when He returns. Consider the things that are said about Him in these verses:
- Faithful witness
- Firstborn of the dead
- Ruler of kings on earth
- Loved us
- Freed us from our sins by his blood
- Made us a kingdom
- Made us priests to God
- He deserves glory
- He will have dominion forever
- Coming with the clouds
- Every eye will see Him
- All tribes will wail because of Him
Quite a description of Jesus, huh? Any one of those is reason enough to praise Him, but all of them together might just cause me break out in hallelujahs!!
The greeting closes with God, through John, establishing the eternality and Kingship of the Godhead. Jesus took part in creation, and He will bring creation to a close. He is the Alpha and Omega. He will rule and reign in the New Jerusalem and everyone will worship Him. Can I get an ‘Amen!’?
Whew! That is a lot to chew on, and it is where we will close for today. Now, let’s engage.
- Which of the descriptors of Jesus spoke to your heart most clearly?
- Do you see the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) referenced in this passage? If so, what does that mean to you?
- Was there anything in today’s lesson that will strengthen your faith for The End and for today? If so, please share it in the comments.