Chapter 1 – part 1
Have you ever wondered why the fuss over the tiny piece of land called Israel? The Jews say that God gave them that land through His promise to Abraham. The Arabs say God promised it to them through Abraham as well. Obviously, they both can’t be right. So how do you determine the truth? Remember this…..
Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. Ishmael was the first born, heir to the birthright, so, technically, they are right. They believe, and rightly so, that the birthright was stolen from Ishmael, therefore the Jews are not entitled to it. However, we know that God promised the land to Isaac’s son, Jacob, and God blessed Isaac. Ishmael became the father of the Arab nations.
But it doesn’t stop there, Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. Esau’s descendants are the Turks, and the present- day Muslims. They also claim that the Holy Land is theirs. They believe that Jacob tricked Esau into signing over his firstborn rights to the land for a bowl of soup, so it rightfully belongs to them. Mecca is their holy place however they have a mosque in Israel, called the “Dome of the Rock”. It sits on the site where the Jewish Temple once sat. They believe that it is their holy land, God gave it to them, they deserve it because Esau was Isaac’s first born.
But that is not what God said. He blessed Jacob instead of Esau, Jacob got the birthright, as a gift from God and Jacob was the father of the Jews. The Arabs and Muslims have a good point. They have occupied the land for 2000 years, they feel like it is theirs, they want it. But it won’t happen.
In studying chapter 1, there are some word studies that we need to do first, to understand the true meaning of these scriptures. So, humor me for a moment. We WILL get to chapter 1 soon, I promise.
There are two Greek words for the word “lamb”. One word is amnos, and the other is arnion. Look at John 1:29 and 36. In these verses the word is amnos, the lamb for sacrifice.
However, in Revelation 1:9 he is the arnion, the Lamb which lives and is not marked for sacrifice. Nowhere in Revelation is He called the amnos.
Following Jesus can bring on added pressures and problems. In what ways have you found being a Christian difficult?
Do you ever ask yourself “Why me?” when problems pile up? The question we should ask is “Why not me?” Why should we be exempt from trials? John had every right to ask Why me, but he didn’t. Instead, we are told in verse 9 that he was “in the Spirit”.
Yielding himself to the Lord’s direction, it was then that he saw Him, a vision so awesome that he passed out!!
Let’s go back now to chapter 1 and start with verse 1. This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, NOT of John, NOT of Heaven, and NOT of any other person, place or thing. Only Jesus Christ.
Now, how did this revelation of Jesus come to John? From God the Father, through His angel. It was that angel being that told John everything about the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
There is a blessing that cones with this book for everyone who reads the words of this prophecy, both those who read it aloud to others, and those who listen to and believe it in their heart. And do you know why this blessing is given? Because the time is near for all of it to happen. In fact, we may not get through with this study before the skies open up and the Lord Jesus comes riding through the clouds on His white horse with all the saints and angels with Him. So, we have a lot of ground to cover, let’s get with it.
Look at verse 4. John has been given a message for 7 churches in the province of Asia. This just happens to be the province where John spent most of his time witnessing and helping to build churches. First he given a greeting to them, “Grace and peace to you….” But the greeting is not from himself, it is from the one who “is, and who was, and who is to come”. He lives today (in John’s day just like in our day) He was,(on earth from the beginning of time and who is to come. This is God, the Father who will return to earth in the form of God the Son,. Remember when Jesus said, “The Father and I are one?” Well, His coming back will prove that statement.
Then also in this verse, we see the last description of the sender of the greeting. Yes, it is Jesus Christ, but look who else is in on the message. “the seven spirits before His throne”. Now, whose throne? It must be the throne of God, because no one else is mentioned here. Now, just who are these spirits and why 7 of them. The 7 is easier to decipher because most of us know that 7 is the number for completeness and perfection in bible numerology. So this would be the complete and perfect spirit. The spirit of “what or who” we are not told. We can assume that it is perfect and complete Holy Spirit but remember we are not interpreting scripture here but are to believe all that we are told. If God doesn’t tell us something, it is either something that He doesn’t want us to know at this point, or it is something that is not significant to our understand.
Verse 5 concludes the salutation of the message, as this most important message includes words from Jesus Christ. John includes a few of the attributes of Jesus. He is the faithful witness. He has given them the truth about God the Father, about heaven and about salvation. He is the first to rise from the dead and remained alive and ascended into heaven. There have been others whom Jesus raised from the dead but they had to die again before entering heaven. There was Jesus’ friend Lazarus, and also the young girl who was “sick” and died before Jesus got there. And lastly, he calls Jesus ruler of the kings of the earth.
Then he seems to add a greeting to Jesus. “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood.” I don’t think that line needs explanation, do you?
We will stop here for today but next time, we will have some more word studies. I do hope you like the word studies because it makes some things so much clearer and easier to understand. Sometimes words can be misleading unless you know the underlying meaning of the word being used.
Study the rest of chapter one for next time.
See you then, beloved friends.