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Revelation 1:1-3 : Prologue

1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants – things which must shortly take place.  And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the Word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Why The Revelation of Jesus Christ?

Revelation is the unveiling of Jesus Christ – who He is and how He will return.

Here, Jesus is no longer meek and mild.        

Our current faith in Jesus Christ will now be seen by the WHOLE WORLD – Every eye will see!

**Jesus Christ will be returning with His full authority over everything and where He will have His final victory over evil!

**Jesus is not returning as a sacrifice, or the Lamb of God – He is returning in full glory, as the Creator, the eternal King, the Savior, the Alpha and the Omega and the Lion of Judah.

**There will be no denying that He is real.  Everyone will have to accept His existence and our faith in Him will be validated.  He is unveiling Himself as to where EVERY EYE will see Him.  Those that chose not to believe will still have a brief time left to repent and accept Jesus as their savior.

God the Father gave God the Son what will take place as Jesus’ future glory!

Then God the Son gave a detailed vision of exactly how Jesus’ exaltation will happen to His servants.

** Just as all prophecies in the Bible have shown – they provide exactly how things will go, down to small details.  Revelation is no different – it is a prophetic book.

Shortly?

Shortly used in this context is tachei in Greek. 

This means “quickly or suddenly coming to pass”.

This indicates swiftness of execution AFTER it starts. 

It does NOT mean that the event will occur soon rather when it does, it will be sudden.

** There are two words that are used to say quickly, soon or shortly.  However, they have different meanings.

** First example is from John 20:4 – “The two were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first.” this verse uses the word faster or tachion in Greek.  This means currently running faster – no delay.

** However, in Luke 18:8 – “I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Here quickly uses the same word as in Revelation - tachei.  In this verse, Jesus is referring to God providing His chosen ones with justice.  They will get justice and when that time comes it will happen quickly. 

Signified definition:

The meaning of a word or expression; the way in which a word or expression or situation can be interpreted.

The angel is the interpreter about what God wanted him to see.

** Similar to the “Angels of the Church” were interpreters (the teachers/pastors)

** Interpreters were in the synagogues of that day throughout the Roman world where the interpreter stood by the reader and interpreted in their mother tongue what was read from the Hebrew text.

** I am not sure if Jesus was there or not – however, throughout Revelation it shows that Jesus’ angel was the one to talk to John. 

Examples are:

** Revelation 22:6 – “The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place."

** Revelation 22:8-9 – “I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, "Don't do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!“

** Revelation 19:10 confirms that it isn’t Jesus – “At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.”

** Revelation 22:16 – “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

Revelation offers a unique blessing to those that read, hear and keep its message.

Regardless of whether you read it NOW or DURING the Tribulation.

Why?

Revelation 1:4-8 : Greetings and Doxology

1:4 John: To the seven churches in Asia.  Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. 7 “Look, He is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of Him.” So shall it be! 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.”

The Seven Literal Churches 

These churches are in order in which the trade route would have been.

The images are showing the churches in modern day Turkey.

Ephesus.jpg
Pergamum.jpg
Sardis.jpg
Smyrna.jpg
Thyatira.jpg
Philadelphia.jpg
Laodicea.jpg

The Seven Spirits 

The Holy Spirit occupies a place before the throne of God.

He has a sevenfold nature which are also called the seven Spirits.

Seven Spirits, are the qualities of a perfect ruler.

Spirit of the Lord

Wisdom and Understanding = intellectual virtues

Cousel and Might = practical virtues

Knowledge and Fear of the Lord = religious virtues

** Number 7 = meaning completeness, fullness of the Spirit.

** There are a total of 54 "sevens" all together in Revelation.

** The Seven Spirits are NOT individuals - they are seven descriptions of the ONE Spirit.

** The Holy Spirit has the Spirit of the Lord - the nature of Jesus.

** The Holy Spirit has Wisdom and Understanding which is the ability to make the right decisions and the ability to understand everything.  The ability to perceive moral and abstract truth.

** The Holy Spirit has Counsel and Might which is the ability to give sound advice and the power to do what God wants.

** The Holy Spirit has Knowledge and Fear of the Lord which is the ability to know beyond human comprehension & the ability to respect God's will.  Knowing the TRUE WILL of God with the determination to carry out that will.

His Throne

His throne is the central image in Revelation - God's throne room.

His heavenly throne is mentioned 40 times!*

** His throne being the central image signifying God's sovereign rule as the centerpiece in which everything else revolves.

** His heavenly  throne is mentioned 40 times in the KJV - mainly connected to God but also with Christ.

** 40 is symbolic because it represents:

** A period of preparing for something new and fundamentally different.

** It also is a period of testing man’s heart.  (With that being said there is always an end to the test & God is always in the midst of the test)

Examples are:

** After Moses killed an Egyptian he fled where he would spend the next 40 years.  Here he had to learn a different lifestyle that would prepare him for the next 40 years.  The spies had 40 days to see what was waiting for them in the promised land.  They were tested but God always provided.

** The Ninevites had 40 days to repent – in which there was a drastic change.

** Goliath challenged to find someone to fight him for 40 days and nights.

** Elijah fled from Jezebel for 40 days and 40 nights where he was taken care of on his journey.

** The number 40 also indicated a generation (not lifespan) in which indicates a time period after which changes are made – Solomon & David both reigned for 40 years.

Jesus is:

Faithful Witness

Firstborn from the Dead

Ruler of the Kings

Who Freed Us

** Jesus Christ is the witness to everything that will be and what will be after He has reclaimed the new heaven and earth.

** Jesus is the faithful witness to everything that God is – everyone else failed because we have sin in our lives.  Although this was expected (as God does not have a plan B, C or Z) – these failures would foreshadow the coming of the one true faithful witness – Jesus Christ.

** Jesus was the first to die and be raised from the dead WITH a glorified body – He never died again.  Others who were raised from the dead – died again.

** Colossians 1:18 – “And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.”

** Although many do not recognize Jesus as their Savior, Jesus IS (currently) the ruler of the kings of the earth – Remember He is always in charge.

** We are released completely from sin BECAUSE of His love for us and what He did on the cross.

** The One who is STILL freeing people!

** 1 John 5:5-8 – “Who then overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ—not by water alone, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies to this, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and these three are in agreement.”

** The Spirit – His receiving of the Spirit / Water – Baptism / Blood – Crucifixion = These three makes Him the perfect faithful witness!

Kingdom and Priests

This is going all the way back to Exodus and God's promise.

John, however, is writing this to the seven churches - meaning ALL who believe are to be a kingdom and priests.

** Exodus 19:5-6 – “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

Coming with the Clouds

Clouds are mentioned many times throughout the Bible.

Coming full circle.

Clouds act as a chariot for Jesus.

** Clouds are very important here because in Exodus 13:21 - God used the pillar of cloud to symbolize His presence – the people could not see through the pillar of cloud – they had to believe and trust the Lord to lead them.  In Revelation everyone will be able to see Him this time with the clouds. 

** Daniel 7:13 – “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.”

** A cloud took Him away and He will be coming back with the clouds - both act as a chariot.

** Acts 1:9 – “And when He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.”

** Psalms 104:3 – “ . . . . He makes the clouds His chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.”

Every Eye Will See

EVERYONE will see!!

** This means EVERYONE will literally see Him!

** In Matthew 26:64, Jesus is speaking to the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin (who, unless the repented before their death), they will also see Him.

** Matthew 26:64 – “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Those Who Pierced Him Will Mourn

A prophecy specifically for the Jewish people as well.

ALL the people on earth!

** A prophecy, however, does specifically explain how the Jewish people will be impacted:

Mourning for the One They Pierced

Zechariah 12:10-14 - “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. (After they have fully and truly repented and converted to Christian faith) They (the future generation of their ancestors who killed Jesus) will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.  The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives,  the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, and all the rest of the clans and their wives."

** Jews will know WHO they crucified!  They will mourn publicly and privately. 

** Matthew 24:30 – “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.”

** This is how the Jewish people expected to see Him the first time.

** However, those who pierced Him are referring to EVERYONE during this time – piercing isn’t necessarily the literal piercing of Jesus received to His side by the Roman soldier, this is anyone who didn’t believe.

Revelation 1:9-20 : John's Vision of Christ

1:9 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. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet11 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.” 12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of mandressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. 17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. But He placed His right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Partaker in the Tribulation

John is in this with us!

John is also a partaker in the Kingdom!

John has also needed to persevere as we need too.

** John is letting us know that he is in equal standing with us in God’s family.

** He is also CURRENTLY the partaker in tribulations, but still has the Kingdom through his perseverance!

** In this instance, tribulation is generalized as John has been through his own afflictions, trials, distress and sufferings, as we all have and will have to in the future.

** Timothy here being very black and white says:  2 Timothy 3:12 – “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,”

** Although there are tribulations – John does not want us to forget that we also have the Kingdom!  The Kingdom is for EVERYONE who has said – “I cannot do this alone” – those who have asked HIM to take the reins – those who we have asked to direct us in this life – and understand that HIS will is supreme.

** The Kingdom is ours even through our tribulations – you haven’t lost it because there are trials.  John is reminding us that trials will happen – TO ALL OF US!!  While the Kingdom is present – the perfect form is in the future.

** I LOVE Hebrews 11 – please read to understand that they did not get what was promised while on earth – but they persevered and will receive all in heaven!

**John is stating here that he is patiently enduring the tribulation through perseverance and through the example of Jesus Christ.

** Hebrews 12:1-3 "“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

The Spirit & The Lord's Day

When John was IN the Spirit - the unveiling began.

The Lord's day is Sunday NOT the Sabbath.

** The Lord’s day is referring to Sunday. 

** By the time John was in prison, Christians had already adopted the practice of worshiping on Sunday because Jesus arose on Sunday and Pentecost falls on Sunday. 

** Jesus rising from the dead on Sunday forever separated Christianity from any other religion.  Everyone he was going to write to would understand this expression.

** This is not the Sabbath since this was a special sign to the Israelites that they had been set apart as followers of God.  This was a distinguishing factor from other nations.  Also, the Sabbath was never referred to as the Lord’s day in Scripture.  The Sabbath was still in use within the Jewish community in the New Testament times and is referred to as such by Jesus and the apostles.

** Even though the Sabbath day was designated by God as a Holy day, Jesus demonstrated that He was Lord over the Sabbath – Matthew 12:8 – “For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

Sound of a Trumpet

Jesus will send His angels with the sound of a trumpet.

** This trumpet is the call of God – 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”

** Matthew 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.

Write

"Write" is written 11 times in Revelation.

** Probably because John was so overwhelmed while seeing and trying to understand everything.  There were probably things he was seeing that he had never seen before.

The Seven Churches

These seven Churches are discussed in two types of order:

In which one might travel to visit them.

In prophetical order.

** The seven churches are written in order in which one might travel to visit them but also in prophetical order – this will be discussed more later.

The Seven Golden Lampstands

The Lord talks about restoring His relationship with His people.

Steps toward that restoration included:

Reinstating the priesthood.

Rebuilding the Temple.

Cleansing the land of wickedness.

** In Revelation 1:20 plainly states what the lampstands are – “The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

** The lampstand has taken on many different looks over time.

** Each time, the lampstand(s) changed with its time and people but never with its promise that it stands for. 

** The lampstands are always talked about when talking about the temple. The temple where the Lord resides alongside His people.  Both are together.

** They are ALL similar - ALL these lampstands shine a light in a dark world!

** Both are in Zechariah and Revelation.

** Just as it says in Revelation 1:6 – “and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen”

** The temple will be the final temple – Revelation 11:19 – “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.”

** Cleansing the land of wickedness is the whole book of Revelation!

The Seven Golden Lampstands in Zechariah 4

Zechariah 4 talks about rebuilding the Temple.

This Temple was much smaller than the first Temple.

Zechariah's message was to:

Stress the presence of the Lord with His people.

Obey the Lord - in justice, mercy, compassion and truthfulness.

Not to repeat the mistakes of their ancestors. (Zechariah 1:1-6)

** Comparing between Zechariah and Revelation.  They both do the same thing but look different:

** Both are in Zechariah and Revelation.

** The lampstands are always talked about when talking about the temple. The temple where the Lord resides alongside His people.  Both are together.

** The temple was rebuilt with the help of Joshua, the high priest, and Zerubbabel, the appointed governor.  This temple is sometimes referred to as “Zerubbabel’s temple” or the “second temple”.

** It may have been much smaller, but this temple would, 500 years later, outshine the first when the Messiah Himself walked the courts of Zerubbabel’s temple.  This temple had its own importance.

** Zechariah 4:10 warns about not appreciating the small things – “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” 

** God uses the small and grandiose to get things done!  Everything still gets accomplished through His temple and those lampstands! 

** Zechariah was told, just as John was told, to give the seven churches a message.

** Each of the seven letters written to the seven churches (which are the seven lampstands) in Revelation talks about the Lord being a part of their lives.  He explains to each church what He knows about them because He spends time with them.  He walks among them.

** Each of the seven letters written to the seven churches (which are the seven lampstands) in Revelation talks about how well each church is obeying the Lord.  He explains what they will receive if they obey.

** Each of the seven letters written to the seven churches (which are the seven lampstands) in Revelation provides an example of how they are potentially following in their ancestor’s ways.

Two Olive Trees and One Lampstand.jpg

One Lampstand - One Church

This lampstand was to go into the Temple once it was rebuilt.

The olive trees represent Joshua, the first High Priest and Zerubbabel, the leader of the people.

Primary Purpose:  for the lampstand to shed light in the Holy Place.

Its Look:  6 branches (representing man) with a middle shaft that equals 7 - meaning it's complete.

Purpose of Gold:  gold is often talked about in terms of being "tested by fire".

Purpose of the Olive Oil:  olive oil is burned and converted to light (also known as the Word of God).

** I bring up Zechariah because it explains a lot about the details of the lampstand that Revelation does not go into.

** Let’s go back to Zechariah Chapter 4 where a second lampstand was not present.  This lampstand was Zechariah’s vision for what was to go into the Temple once it was rebuilt.

** This was a vision that would show that God is in charge of everything but that the olive trees are still being represented by the Law and Prophets.  These olive trees represent Joshua (the first person chosen to be the High Priest for the reconstruction of the Jewish Temple after the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity) and Zerubbabel (the leader of the people).  These two would lead the people out of Babylonian captivity.

** Just like in Revelation, God uses the two witnesses (olive trees) to do God’s work that feeds the lampstands (God’s people (the SINGLE) church) to bring light to the world.

** Zechariah (means “Branch”) 4:1-14 - A Lampstand and Two Olive Trees

1Then the angel who had been talking with me returned and woke me, as though I had been asleep. 2“What do you see now?” he asked. I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl of oil on top of it. Around the bowl are seven lamps, each having seven spouts with wicks. 3And I see two olive trees, one on each side of the bowl.” 4Then I asked the angel, “What are these, my lord? What do they mean?” 5“Don’t you know?” the angel asked. “No, my lord,” I replied. 6Then he said to me, “This is what the LORD says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 7Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: ‘May God bless it! May God bless it!’” 8Then another message came to me from the LORD: 9“Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. 10Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (The seven lamps represent the eyes of the LORD that search all around the world.) (Others may say it is a small feat but God sees otherwise.) 11Then I asked the angel, “What are these two olive trees on each side of the lampstand, 12and what are the two olive branches that pour out golden oil through two gold tubes?” 13“Don’t you know?” he asked. “No, my lord,” I replied. 14Then he said to me, “They represent the two anointed ones who stand in the court of the Lord of all the earth.”

**Primary Purpose:  Primary purpose as Exodus stated, was that the lampstand was to shed light in the Holy Place, but also represented the life and light God gives to His people.  The lampstand was placed on the south side (outside the veil) in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, opposite the table of showbread facing north (outside the veil as well) where the chamber had no windows.  The lampstand was its only source of light.  Later it would be used in the temple of Jerusalem and in synagogues.  Gold was only used inside the tent – everything outside was made of bronze. 

** The showbread (Also called “Bread of the Presence”) (12 total - one for each of the Israelites Tribes and 6 on each side) is here to represent the “spiritual food” and the two witnesses in Zecharia’s time. 

** Its Look:  In Exodus 25:31-40 – The Lampstand

31 “Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. 32 Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. 33 Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. 34 And on the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. 35 One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair—six branches in all. 36 The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold. 37 “Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. 38 Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. 39 A talent of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories. 40 See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.

** Six branches (representing the number of man) with the middle shaft equals 7 which is completeness and perfection.  Meaning man is only complete with Christ.  (John 15:5 says “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”)

** Each of the flower-shaped cups held a measure of olive oil.  God chose the lampstand to resemble almond branches.  Its Hebrew root word for almond (tree) is “shaqed” or shaked meaning “to hasten” telling the Israelites that God is quick to fulfill His promises.  Much like Aaron’s staff, as in Numbers, states a piece of almond wood which would “miraculously” bud, bloom and produce almonds indicating that God chose Himself a high priest. This rod was later placed inside the Ark of the Covenant which was kept in the Holy of Holies as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to His people.

** (Numbers 17:8-” The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds.”)

** Purpose of Gold:  Gold is often talked about in terms of being “tested by fire”. 1 Peter 1:7 – “so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  Those who withstand the “fire” will be purified.

** Purpose of the Olive Oil:  The olive trees are the source of the olive oil which feeds the church(es).  This olive oil is burned and converted to light (light for His people).  Thus meaning the olive oil is also the Word of God. 

** Constant Attention:  Lampstands were made to hold oil which had to be CONSTANTLY tended to in the Temple.   The lampstands were fueled by pure and specially prepared olive oil.  However, purity (by people) was not enough to accomplish the work of God.  The work of God needs unlimited resources which are not powered by human might or power.  We should NOT take credit for God’s grace – for His might and His power.

** The Holy Spirit not being on earth yet, but these individuals (Zerubbabel as the Law and Joshua as the High Priest) were empowered by the Holy Spirit, is symbolized by olive oil that shows the olive trees to be one of the Law and one of a Prophet that represent God’s will.  However, the current situation is futile for the Jews because it isn’t CONSTANT or CONSISTENT. 

7 Lampstands 7 Lamps.jpg
7 Individual Lampstands.jpg

Seven Lamps Represent the Seven Spirits

Spirt of the Lord

Spirit of Wisdom

Spirit of Understanding

Spirit of Counsel

Spirit of Power

Spirit of Knowledge

Spirit of the Fear of the Lord

The seven lampstands are the seven literal churches.

Some see these Churches as predictive of the church in different stages throughout history.

** Not sure in which way it would be represented but scholars think it either looks like one of these.

** Either way – they represent the same thing.

** These seven lamps on the lampstands represent the seven Spirits looking over the seven churches:

** Here the 7 golden lampstands represent the 7 churches:  They bear God’s light in a dark world.  The Holy Spirt heals, lights the way, provides warmth and comfort, it polishes our rough edges, adorns us (to make us pleasant to be around) and it invigorates His people.  

** The Answer is Given:  Revelation 1:20 - “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 of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

** Others see them as predictive of the church in different stages throughout history, with the first, Ephesus, symbolic of the apostolic church and the last, Laodicea, symbolic of the present-day, postmodern church.

Among the Lampstands

He stands among the lampstands (even in John's future vision).

Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

** Notice how it says that He is among the lampstands (even in the future vision John is having) the churches are still around – but now not as original literal churches.

** He is always among us – He never abandoned us.

Like a Son of Man

"Son of Man" is a messianic title derived from Daniel 7:13.

** Daniel 7:13 – “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.”

Jesus Dressed in a Robe and Golden Sash

Clothing is similar to what the high priest would wear.

One of the high priest's role was to act as a mediator between God and man.

He offered sacrifices to God.

Made atonement for sin.

Brought God's message to the people.

** The High Priest would also to tend to the lampstand in the tabernacle.  Every day they had to fill the oil, clean it and trim the wicks. 

** Anyone we know that did ALL of this for us?  Jesus is our High Priest & King – His original plan.

** Hebrews 4:14-15 – “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”

Jesus' Head and Hair Is White Like Wool and Snow

Provides symbolism and more symbolism.

White represents:

Spiritual Purity

Experience

Dignity

Authority

** Daniel 7:9 – “As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.

** White – most mentioned color and always symbolizes spiritual purity. Also, age as it was seen as having experience, dignity, and authority. 

Jesus' Eyes Were Like a Flame of Fire

More symbolism.

Eyes represents: A lamp.

Fire represents: 

Jesus' anger

Judgment

Purification

Sinless

** Eyes – Matthew 6:22 – “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”

** Flame of Fire – Jesus sees the good and the bad and the fire is representative of either Jesus’ anger, judgment or that Jesus sees through purified and sinless eyes.

Jesus' Feet are Bronze and Glowing

Burnished bronze (brass) in relation to His feet represents:

Judgment

Sacrifice - This is indicative of Jesus having been through the fires.

This kind of brass can only be attained in a furnace through the glow of white heat.

** Burnished Bronze (Brass)– ministering priests of Israel had bare feet and appeared like fine brass (a metal connected with judgment and sacrifice – Israel’s altar of sacrifice was made of brass).

** This is indicative of Jesus having been through the fires by being tested and came through sinless.  He’s been through the “Refiner’s Fire”.

** Burnished Bronze (Brass)– Only time in the Bible this is mentioned.  

Sounds of Many Waters

Loud and distinct.

It's the Word of God.

** Many Waters – loud and distinct – like the Word of God.  Like water hitting the rocks. 

Right Hand

Significance of the right hand in which God put Jesus:

To show the importance of firstborn.

For cleansing.

For healing.

For power and authority.

**  Mark 16:19 – “So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.”

** Romans 8:34 – “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”

** Hebrews 8:1 – “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,”

** Firstborn - Genesis 48:13-14 – “And Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near him. Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn.”

** Cleansing - Matthew 8:3 – “Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

** Healing - Acts 3:7 – “And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.”

** Power and Authority - 1 Peter 3:22 – “who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.”

** Mark 14:62 – “Jesus said, "I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.“”

** Jeremiah 22:24 – “"As I live," says the Lord, "though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off;”

** Psalms 110:1 – “A Psalm of David. The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.“”

** Habakkuk 3:4 – “His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, And there His power was hidden.”

** Jesus has the ENTIRE church in His hands with Him holding the 7 stars and the 7 lampstands and 7 representing completion! 

Seven Stars

As Revelation 1:20 simply says:

The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches.

Translations in both Greek and Hebrew mean "messenger".

The seven stars in His right hand means Jesus is protecting them.

** Angels in Hebrew is “mal’ak” meaning “a messenger” / Angels in Greek is “angelos” meaning “messenger”

** Real people delivered the message to the churches.  Why would John write letters to “guardian angels” to deliver to the churches?

** Jesus is talking about John the Baptist - Matthew 11:7-10 - “As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’

** Jesus holding the stars in His right hand suggests that they belong to Him and are protected by Him.

Out of His Mouth was a Sharp, Double-Edged Sword

Initially placed physically in the hands of His people.

The sword is a piece of our spiritual armor - sword of the Spirit.

The sword is meant for an offensive NOT a defensive attack.

Jesus has the final Word!

** The double-edged sword is placed in hands of the Jewish people as in Psalms 149:6.  (Physical sword – not the sword of the Spirit) - Psalms 149:6 – “May the praise of God be in their mouths and double-edged sword in their hands,”

** Reasons for our Sword of the Spirit: Ephesians 6:17 – “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

** However, in the New Testament it is the sword of the Spirit. Paul, here, tells Christians to put on the spiritual armor so they can “stand against the devil – Ephesians 6:11-13 – “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

** Hebrews 4:12 – “For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

** In the New Testament, it says that the sword of the Spirit is sharper than the physical double-edged sword.  Which is why Jesus uses the Word to defeat satan.

** We use the Spiritual Sword (Word of God) for an Offensive NOT Defensive Attack when we go up against the devil: Offensive behavior stems from confidence and provocation – for making an aggressive attack.  Defensive behavior draws from fear and self-preservation – to defend or protect (Jesus does not need to be defended)

** Jesus has the final Word:  Everything is still judged by God!  We are NEVER to take revenge!  This is left to Jesus which is why He is seen with a double-edged sword in Revelation – this is His time.  Revelation 19:15 – “Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.”

** The Word has two edges one for condemnation and one through restoration (forgiveness).  Revelation 2:12 – “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:  These are the Words of Him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.”  Revelation 2:16 – “Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.”  Revelation 19:15 – “Coming out of His mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.”  Revelation 19:21 – “The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.”

His Face was Like the Sun Shining

John was able to see the full manifestation of Jesus!

Fell at His Feet as Though Dead / Do Not Be Afraid / First and The Last

This verse shows how different Jesus looked to John.

John fell to His feet now and not while He was on earth.

John was also told "not to be afraid" - when he was never afraid of Him on earth.

John had to be reminded that He was the First and the Last.

** Jesus must have looked completely different to have fallen to His feet, told not to be afraid and to remind Him that He is the First and the Last.

** If this happened with John who knew Him on earth – what would have really happened if Jesus came to earth like this the first time?

I Hold the Keys of Death and Hades

Jesus is saying He has full authority - because He conquered death.

Death and Hades:

Both have a physical form.

One cannot be without the other.

Hades and death are different:

Hades is the housing - therefore, even Jesus entered Hades.

Hades aka grave, hell and death's escort.

Death is produced by famine, pestilence, etc. (Pale - NOT red)

Why is this important?

Jesus has full authority over death.

Only Jesus has the ability to keep people in or get people out.

His judgment is righteous.

This allows us a home with Him.

We are comforted.

This allows us to die in peace.

** Death is the result of sin.  Physical death : Separation of the soul and the body / Spiritual death : Separation of the soul from God.

** After Genesis 3:6, Death had entered the scene – it will also be the last enemy to be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26 – “The last enemy to be destroyed is death”).  Death is the last of God’s enemies to be destroyed – meaning there is no death or dying in heaven.

** Hebrews 2:14 – “Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—”

** Philippians 2:8 – “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”

** John 10:18 – “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

** John 19:30 – “When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished,” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”

** Death and Hades have a physical form as it says in Revelation 6:8 – “ I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.” 

** One has to be with the other – they aren’t separate inflictions (Psalms 49:14 – “Like sheep, they are led to the grave, where death will be their shepherd.”)

** Death and Hades are both invasive species like sin which all need to be subdued and destroyed.

** All are under God’s control – God allows for only one death for believers and two for a non-believer.

** Matthew 12:40 – “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

** Hades, also known as the grave, hell and deaths’ escort (Revelation 6:8 – “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse!  Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.”)

** Psalms 49:14 – “Like sheep, they are led (by death) to the grave, where death will be their shepherd.”

** Pale and not red because this is NOT about war – these are natural deaths.

** Colossians 2:13-19 - “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God."

** "Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize" - Through guilt, shame and unworthiness.

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