Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Salutation: Revelation 1:5b, 6

Verses four to eight of Revelation chapter one are the Apostle John's salutation to his readers. John's greeting contains four elements: a prayer for blessing from the Trinity, an expression of Christ's work, a promise of Jesus' return and a declaration of God's greatness. My previous blog dealt with the prayer for blessing. This one will look at John's expression of Christ's work.

". . . Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen" (Revelation 1:5b, 6 - New King James Version)

John mentioned Jesus Christ, God the Son, last in His prayer because he wished to expand upon the nature and work of Jesus. Verses five and six present six truths about the Lord Jesus Christ. These are not just theological ideas, they each have a huge impact upon our Christian hope.

First, Jesus is the faithful witness. He is a trustworthy Prophet of truth. We can depend upon every word that He said. We can build our lives, our hopes and our dreams upon what Jesus taught and never be disappointed.

Second, Jesus is the first begotten of the dead. Although there have been others whom God raised from the dead, such as Lazarus. These others were brought back to life in their old sinful bodies to die again. Jesus was raised in His new glorified body never to die again. One day we will receive our own glorified, sinless and eternal bodies. The fact that Jesus has His is the foundation for our hope in our own future resurrection.

Third, Jesus is the prince or ruler of the kings of the earth. The King James Version uses Prince. However, ruler is the better translation. The word in this passage does not carry the idea of one waiting to inherit authority. Rather it is one who is already ruling. Jesus rules over all the kingdoms of the world. He sits on the throne of the universe. Although many are in rebellion against Him, although He allows many to act contrary to His wishes, He has not lost control. One day, all people and powers will bow to Him. Revelation tells us how He brings an end to the rebellion.

Fourth, Jesus loves us. Love is this verse is in the present not the past tense. He loves us now. We should sing with joy, “Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so!”

Fifth, Jesus has washed us from our sins by His blood. Paul expands upon this in Romans. He wrote, "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts." (Romans 6:11,12 - New American Standard Version)

Jesus has freed us from the penalty of sin, from the power of sin and one day He will free us from the presence of sin! We need not fear being judged for our sin. We need not let sin rule our lives. One day, we will receive new sinless bodies.

Sixth, Jesus has made us a kingdom of priests to His God and Father. This is the idea rather that kings and priests. Israel was to be a nation of priests. God said through Moses to the people of Israel, “Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” (Exodus 19:6a - King James Version)

Israel was to represent God before the other nations. They were to draw people into a relationship with God. They failed to live up to their responsibility.

All who are born again Christians, children of God, are in the Kingdom of God. All the citizens of this kingdom are priests. A priest is person who can approach God personally. He is also God's representative.

All Christians can freely come before God's throne in prayer; we need no other mediator except Jesus. We also are to be God's representatives before lost men and women. We have a duty to tell them about Jesus Christ, that they too might become citizens of heaven.

John ends this discussion of Christ's marvelous work with an expression of praise. “To Him be glory (praise, honor) and dominion (strength, power) forever and ever. Amen."


Anonymous Karen said...

Thanks for sending me your blog page. I'm thoroughly enjoying it! Don't stop writing! :)

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bunch of nonsense, this book of the bible is written in code to complain and offer hope for early christian as they were being persecuted by Rome. It has nothing to do with the return of Christ - a misunderstanding in the early church.

12:56 PM  

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