3* ¶ Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
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,
Notice the promise in verse three to those who read & hear & head the things written in Revelation.
Now notice the things said in verse four.
John writes to the seven churches in Asia. Some would have us to believe that these are the only churches that should be interested in applying these lessons.
7 spirits means the Holy Spirit, we know from Rev. 4:5, and then look again at Isaiah 11:1:
11:1 ¶ Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
2 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.
Here are 7 characteristics of the “Spirit of the Lord” which will rest on the “stem of Jesse” the Messiah.
This is God’s perfect and complete message to the church of all ages, planned and purposed in the teaching of the prophets.
Look at verse six:
6* 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.
John is not talking about something in the distant future when he uses the term “Kingdom”. He’s talking about the present reality.
13* For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
1 Pet. 2:9
9* But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
John is talking about a reality that exists in the Spiritual realm right now. He’s talking about the “church-kingdom” which the book of Revelation calls the “Holy City-The Bride of Christ.”
Look at the following diagram:
We will see the Holy City described in more detail as we study Revelation, but it is important to note at this point that this is the state of the “Church-Kingdom-Holy City-Bride of Christ” right now in the spiritual realm. It is only in the church that we have access to the water of life, and to the throne of God, and to the tree of life.
These things will become clear as we progress in our study.
Now we cannot look at every verse in our study together, but we will look at the “highlights.” Read with me a few verses here.
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 trumpet,
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.”
12* Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;
13* and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.
14* His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.
15* 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 waters.
16* 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.
Take a look at this beautiful artists’ rendering of this scene in Revelation by Pat Smith:
Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit: “Revelation Illustrated”
This section of Revelation is relatively easy to interpret, John was told to write to the seven churches, the number 7 symbolizes the church through the centuries. These 7 physical churches represent the spiritual church through the centuries. The characteristics of these 7 physical churches represent the kinds of problems that all churches must be on guard to avoid through the centuries. Notice these characteristics:
1) The seven gold lampstands are representative of the church through the centuries. They are gold because the church is of great value and should be pure in its doctrine. It is a lampstandbecause it is the purpose of the church to provide the platform for the light of God’s Word in this world.
Those who knew God’s Word, (i.e. Psalm 8; Daniel 7) and whose hearts were open to Him would immediately identify this title with the Messiah. But those who were smug in their self-righteousness would not be aware of the significance of the title, and would fail to recognize him.
4* What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?
6* But one has testified somewhere, saying, “WHAT IS MAN, THAT YOU REMEMBER HIM? OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM?
13* “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.
Daniel chapter 7 is a Messianic Prophecy pointing to the time when Jesus returned to heaven after his death, burial, and resurrection.
This robe reaches his feet because He is Righteousness.
1 Cor 1:30
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
2 Cor 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Eph 4:24* and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.