The Message to the Lord’s Churches
Book of the Revelation Chapter 1 verses 1 through 11
The Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ was written by John the Apostle close to the end of the first century according to the Roman Calendar.
The Book of Revelation is the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ!
It is not about John the revelator!
Many call this book the Book of the Apocalypse, but we have just studied the Books of Ezekiel, and Daniel, and Zechariah which books give us much information about the apocalypse.
The Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is written to the Church, and is about the future and not about the past!
In particular, this book was written to seven churches in Asia which are the church in Ephesus, the church in Pergamos, the church in Smyrna, the church in Sardis, the church in Thyatira, the church in Philadelphia, and the church in Laodicea.
These churches represent not only seven type of churches, but also seven periods, or seven ages of the Church of Christ.
The Number seven will also be a key number as we study this great book of the Bible.
The number seven represents the number of completeness.
Though many people refuse to read the Book of Revelation, this book is intended to be an encouragement to the Church.
We must remember God has a purpose for every piece of Scripture in the Bible!
God has some things to say about our future and the future of the Church, and He wants us to know them!
God wants us to keep our focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, Our Savior, and our Redeemer, and the soon coming King of the Jews.
King to the Jews and Redeemer to the Church. The Church has never needed a King, we have always needed a Savior!
It is God’s purpose to lead “whosoever will” to repentance and salvation, and on to a glorious inheritance and redemption given to all the true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we will see, the Book of Revelation is a book of interpretation of the Old Testament.
The Book of Revelation is a book of final things. We could say a book of destiny.
The Book of Revelation is also God’s last words to this world!
Jehovah and His Son now speak to us through a preacher, by the Holy Spirit, and by His written words!
There are no lost books of the Bible, and there will never be a new book added to the Bible!
The Book of Revelation is not just a book of prophecy.
It is a not just a book history.
The Book of Revelation is not just a tiny look into our future, because only Jehovah God knows all our future!
The fact remains that the Book of Revelation can only be understood if we can take the words of the Old Testament Prophets, and the Book of Psalms, and the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the truth.
The Book of the Revelation is to be studied!
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
So this what we will attempt to do on certain portions of this Blessed Book of the Revealing of Christ Jesus.
*****Rev 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:
Rev 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Immediately we see again that God the Holy Spirit has given these words to the Apostle John, with most of these words coming from Jesus Christ Himself.
We should know that this great Book is given to the Church for a special blessing and certain things that God the Father wants the Church to know!
What is the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ? He spoke only the words that His Father gave to Him to say!
Joh 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Joh 12:50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
All of us would be much better off if we would just speak the Words that He has given to us in the Scriptures!
We should keep in mind that the Apostle John got a view of all the things that happened in the Book of Revelation, but he saw things that he did not understand, and he described them as best he could.
Besides being with Jesus and spending a lifetime preaching the Word of God, John was still just a fisherman saved by the power of God’s Grace.
We have already seen verse three, but let’s talk more about it.
*****Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
People are always talking about how to get a blessing from God and here we see how to get some of those blessings.
That word read means a little more than just reading, it means to know which means to study also.
We have it in our power to make our lives better, if we will just read the Word of God and study those Scriptures and then apply them to our lives daily!
We do not need some great institution of learning to teach us, but we do need the Holy Spirit to teach us!
In John’s time, the Church was in its beginning stages and the Lord wants us to know the same things that had their beginning in John’s day, are still going on today and are much worse, so much of God’s wisdom will teach us that the Lord could return at any moment.
Many things had to come to past.
The Church had begun to have a firm foot in the world of that day.
These seven churches were established and are models, good and bad how the Church had begun to influence the entire world.
The Age of the Church was beginning to move around the world, everywhere where people gathered.
These seven churches that will be mentioned, gives all churches the opportunity to change to be a better church and those guidelines come from the Lord Jesus Christ who is the foundation of all the Church.
1Co_3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
It is really without understanding how there can be so many denominations and so many differences between Bible believing Churches.
I understand the many churches that will not accept all the truth of God, but I do not understand all those who say they believe all the Bible.
We can narrow all the Bible believing Churches down to these seven churches mentioned in these Scriptures.
We can also see that every church member has this time to decide just which church group they want to be in, after they hear what Jesus has to say.
*****Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
We begin to see the number seven and this is the number for completeness.
The number seven is also a symbol of blessedness.
A symbol of Holiness.
A symbol of Rest and a symbol of perfection!
What does the Lord wish for every church? He wants them all to remember they are all established by His “Grace”.
We sometimes forget just what “Grace” means!
Grace is the undeserved favor of God!
Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
What comes with the “Grace” of God? Peace
Our salvation originates by the “Grace of God”!
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The very first benefit of God’s Grace is “peace”!
What does that word “peace”, as written in the Scriptures, really mean?
It does mean quietness and tranquility, but it also means happiness in life and prosperity.
These are the things God wishes for each one of us, if we lay our heart to the truth of the Scriptures.
Most everyone of us will settle on the word prosperity and associate it with money, but this just takes away from what God means.
When God uses the word prosperity, He means to patiently wait on the riches that come to all those who make the Lord first in our lives.
If not, then prosperity becomes no more than an idol!
Who is that which is, which was, and which is to come?
Isa 41:4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.
He is the Great “I AM”!
Exo 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
And His Son is exactly like Him!
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
1) In the past, the Lord Jesus is the one person who led a perfect life. He was the only One who could pay our sin debt.
He is the One who conquered sin and death!
2) In the present, our Lord and Savior is the spiritual leader of the Church. He sits at the right hand of God because God the Father has given to Him all power. He rules in Heaven and He controls all of nature here on earth. He walks in the midst of seven golden candlesticks holding the seven stars in His right hand.
3) In the future, as true Christians we must never doubt our future because it is Christ Jesus who holds our future in His hands. He promises that we will meet Him face to face and live with Him forever and it is He whose will for us is to be His family.
Jesus likes it up close and personal!
What are those seven Spirits before the throne of God? Let’s just look at what God says.
1) Rev 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
There are seven Spirits before the throne.
2) Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
It is the Lord Jesus Christ who has those seven Spirits.
3) Rev 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Those seven Spirits are seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.
4) Rev 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
Those seven Spirits are seven horns and seven eyes.
So these are the things we know about those seven Spirits. The only thing we can say is, these are seven Spirits God uses in the work of His church on this earth.
And Jesus Himself is the “faithful witness”!
*****Rev 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,
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Jesus Christ is our Savior, our only Savior, and the only Savior for this entire world!
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
I know that this causes many in the world problems, but it does not change the truth!
There will never be another Savior in any age!
1) Jesus Christ is that “faithful witness” sent by our Heavenly Father! He is the one person we can all depend upon! We can trust everything that Jesus tells us and that He teaches us. He will never lead us astray! He came down from Heaven!
Joh 8:14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
Joh 8:15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
2) Jesus Christ is the only person who arose from the dead and will never ever die again. The Bible speaks of others who were risen from the dead, but they also died again. Only the Church will be like our Lord and will one day rise from the dead so that those bodies can be glorified as that one of the Lord!
1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
3) Jesus Christ is the Prince that is over all the rulers of this earth! When Jesus arose and went back to Heaven, He was exalted to be the right hand of God. He is the prince who holds all the power of God in His hands!
Psa 89:27 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
We must not fear what any man says, it is Jesus Christ who has Supreme Power over this earth, and He will return when He is ready!
Psa 24:1 The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Jesus is delaying His return to give everyone at least one opportunity to be saved by faith!
4) Jesus Christ is our Redeemer! He loves us! He washed away our sins with His own blood! We have been washed in the sinless, perfect, blood of our Savior!
We cannot make Jesus love us any less than He loves us now!
We cannot make Jesus love us any more than He loves us now because His love is a perfect love!
We have been “loosed” from sin!
The chains and bondage of sin have been broken and we can never be trapped by our sin ever again!
We will one day stand before God in sinless perfection because of what His Son has done for us!
1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
5) He hath made us to be kings and priests to our God! During the Millennial Reign of Christ, some in the Church will be kings. Some will be priests. All of us will be used in some manner and it will be a wonderful time to serve the Lord!
In fact we may do these things with Christ throughout eternity!
1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
We will have open access to our Heavenly Father not only now, but forever!
*****Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
What is the theme of the Book of Revelation? The return of Jesus Christ! The entire Bible is about the first and the second coming of our Lord and Savior!
1) The Lord Jesus will first come with the clouds to “Redeem” those that He has purchased with His blood.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
2) Next, every eye will see Him. It will not matter where you are located upon this earth, you will see the Lord Jesus when He returns!
The glory of the Lord is so bright that even the sun will be as a candle to His brightness! His glory will surround this earth and His Church will be with Him also in glorified bodies but not as bright as our Savior and, we will never be as bright as our Savior!
All the angels of Heaven will also be with Him and the Angels will be in their full glory!
Every eye that remains upon this earth will witness the glory of our Savior!
All those who have rebelled against the Lord Jesus will wail at His coming!
They will then know that all the things said about Jesus in the Scriptures, by His witnesses, by His true preachers, will all have been the truth!
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Who is this regal Redeemer and Judge?
*****Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
It is the “Almighty God” who returns to this little speck of dust called earth, just before foolish humans attempt to destroy the Jews and in doing so would have destroyed the entire earth.
It is a fact that, all the major powers upon this planet have weapons aimed at each other just waiting on someone to be the first to fire weapons of mass destruction! How foolish!
It just takes one accident and the world would be at war and destroy this planet we call earth.
Just recently the Air Force found certain men who smoke marijuana who also were in control of missile silos containing nuclear warheads.
It takes one accident by any one person and these weapons could be fired and war would begin!
Jesus Christ is the “Alpha”. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet.
Jesus is the beginning because He is the very One who caused the beginning of all creation!
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
All things find their purpose, their meaning, and their significance in Him, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Jesus Christ is the “Omega”. Omega is the very last letter of the Greek alphabet.
Jesus Christ began all things and He is the only One who can end all things!
No matter how chaotic our world seems to be, all things are still under the control of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is not the cause of our problems, but He is certainly the answer to all our problems!
We are a foolish people to not place all our trust in the Lord!
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Jesus Christ is the glue that binds all His creation together to Him!
Jesus Christ is the Lord of all creation!
He is the Lord who is, and came to die.
He is the Lord who was, and He died and then He arose.
He is the Lord, who will return and to restore all things.
He is God eternal!
He is God unchangeable!
If Jesus came today, He would be the same person He has always been!
He will always be that person described to us in the Holy Ghost inspired Word of Jehovah God!
Isa 41:4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.
Isa 41:5 The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came.
Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isa 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
Isa 43:12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.
Isa 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
Isa 44:7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.
Isa 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
The Apostle John, A Christian, a “Born Again” child of God, a man chosen by Jesus Christ to be an Apostle, and also chosen to be a live witness of all the things in the Book of the Reveling of the Lord Jesus Christ.
*****Rev 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.
The first vision of the Apostle John is a vision of Christ Jesus.
It is this first vision that proclaims that that this message is for the Church, beginning with those seven churches in Asia.
Jesus the Christ wants all the Church to know that this message comes directly from Him!
John was on the Isle of Patmos.
It is said that it was the Emperor Domitian that banned John to this tiny island where there would be no one to preach the Gospel.
This Island is only about 40 miles from the City of Ephesus but an old man like John would never have made that distance alone.
Patmos is just a rocky, barren, isolated island about 10 miles long and six miles wide.
John was banished simply because he would not quit being a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ!
It is said that John was liberated only when Domitian died.
The truth is that, in our darkest hours, it is then that we realize that we are not alone at all.
John was the last of the Apostles and the only one who God called home only after he had lived to a ripe old age.
All the other Apostles were murdered and all for the same reason, they would never reject the Lord Jesus Christ!
John says he was our brother in Christ and our companion to all believers.
The Apostle John was a believer just we are believers today, but he was a far better witness than all of us are.
John was a witness seven days of the week. The only time he was not speaking of Jesus was when he was eating and sleeping, and he asked the Lord always to bless His food!
We are brothers to each other, and we are brothers and sisters to the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are no in-betweens. There can be no true queer nor any lesbian Christians!
Of what tribulation does John speak?
The Apostle Paul writes that this tribulation, is the things that cause us trouble as we live for the Lord. Not the seven years of tribulation!
Act 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
It was while John was upon the Isle of Patmos that John witnessed and wrote the Book of Revelation.
We might say that John would not slow down enough to write this Great book of the Bible, so John needed a place of solitude.
John was never alone, but it was a special day that Sunday when Jesus came calling in the Spirit.
*****Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Rev 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
Many still question why we worship on Sunday rather that Saturday. The Apostle Paul and the Apostle John make it very clear that we observe and gather on the Lord’s Day and it was on Sunday when the Lord walk out of the tomb risen from the dead.
We would be wrong to assemble on any other day, but the truth is we are to worship the Lord every day!
What was John to write? The things that he saw.
We must remember, John lived in the First Century. The things John saw would be from our time or on into the future, and he could only describe them from his historical point of view.
What did John hear on this day? A voice but a voice as of a great speaker. A speaker that spoke with authority.
In fact it was the Lord Jesus Christ. The Alpha and the Omega and the First and the Last!
We have today our English translation of everything that John saw on this vision into the future and into our future.
We should understand that these seven churches in the First Century give us a picture of entire group of churches in that period.
We should understand that this is the same picture we have of the Church today. There are still those seven images of the Church.
Another thing we can understand is that there are seven Church Periods or Church Ages and it is easy to see we are in that Laodicean Age today.
The Church Age is coming to an end!
The Church must continuously discipline itself, to remain a Church built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ!
Some say there are two Bibles.
One is the Bible that is written on paper and the other is the Bible written upon our heart and these two must match!
But the truth is Christianity in human life is far better than cold ink!
Heb 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
This is the beginning of lute-warmness, when we do not walk the language of God in our hearts!
When we walk in our own thoughts and ways and not according to the Word of God, we begin to place ourselves into one of these church groups and we then need to hear what the Lord has to say here in the Book of Revelation, the Revealing of the Lord Jesus Christ!
It is not in our lesson plan but verse 12 says the Church is like a candle stick and a bright and shining candlestick is worthy of the Lord but one that is dim, or is flickering, or is partially out, or is out, is not worthy of the Lord!
Mat_5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Your light will not shine unless you are in a steady walk with the Lord according to His Word and His Ways!
Let’s remember these things as we get started in this great Book of the Bible.
It is in this Book where we find those wonderful words of our Savior, It Is Done!