Revelation 1:4-20 – October 14

God, please give us a fresh revelation of Jesus Christ as we study the book of Revelation!

We’ll be studying Revelation through the end of November. Please feel free to read and journal with us as often as you can, with the goal of getting to daily time at the feet of Jesus. For this study, we are using Beth Moore’s “Here and Now…There and Then” lecture series and study guide on Revelation as a resource, so you may see it referenced occasionally, or if you want to know what Ms. Moore has to say about a specific verse, just ask in the comments section on our website.

You can read the NIV version of today’s reading below or your favorite Bible version then spend some time meditating and journaling on the reading, letting God speak to you through it. We encourage use of the SOAP method of Bible study as you grow in your relationship with God. Check out the What’s SOAP tab above for more info. Also, below today’s reading is a SOAP journal entry from our team to help dive into God’s Word. And we encourage you to share your SOAP journal entry, prayer requests, or questions in the Comments section on our website.

The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

Revelation 1:4-20 – Greetings and Doxology

John,

To the seven churches in the province of Asia:

Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 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, 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.

“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.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

John’s Vision of Christ

I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 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 as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 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 Hades.

19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20 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.

 

Symbolism | Rebecca Hoyt

Scripture

Revelation 1:12-17, 20

Observation

I don’t know about you but I love to picture in my mind what exactly John saw. At first I thought he was describing Jesus “like the son of man”, but in the Beth Moore video she talks about how this revelation comes to us. She said it is first from God to Jesus, then Jesus gives it to his personal angel to bring to John and then John to the 7 churches. For us to understand these revelations, God uses symbolic language so we can comprehend and picture in our minds what would be unfathomable to us. When picturing what this awesome angel looked like, I love how much detail is given. No wonder the angels have to say “do not be afraid” when showing themselves to people. Verse 17 – “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.”

Application

Beth Moore also talks about the significance of the number 7 throughout the Bible. In verse 20, he makes his symbols clear: the seven stars are angels or messengers of the seven churches, and seven lampstands are the seven churches. I think this is also addressed to the people of the churches today, us!

Prayer

Dear God, thank You for revealing to us what will happen. Please help us to understand what You are teaching and what You want us to learn from this Revelation study.   Amen.

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Posted on October 14, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Beth Moore considers the intimacy of John’s relationship with Jesus while he walked the earth. He was one of the first apostles to drop everything and follow Jesus, he referred to himself as the one Jesus loved, he and his brother argued over who was going to sit next to Jesus in heaven, Jesus gave him a nickname with his brother — the sons of thunder, he sat next to him at the Last Supper, he was brave enough to stand at the foot of the cross; he was so close to Jesus that he knew if he snored when he slept. He was the youngest of the apostles and at the time of receiving this revelation, he was the last one left, exiled to an island for his faith, alone yet still with a sense of belonging to the Christian church (vs. 9). John experienced all of that in this world, but here’s his first experience of the glory of Jesus Christ in vs. 9-20.

    Many of us used the word “fear” in describing Revelation or entering into this study, and it’s important to have a healthy fear of God. Healthy meaning we are reverent to God and set Him apart because we know He has more power than we could ever understand but that this doesn’t stop us from reading His Word or stepping out in faith. Despite knowing Jesus intimately, John fell at Jesus’ feet though he were dead! Seeing this glory, he probably thought he was dead, that his body could not withstand this experience.

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  2. I must admit I liked my softer mental image more than what is described here in Revelations at first. My bible went on to inform me that his white hair indicates his wisdom and defined nature; his blazing eyes symbolize judgment over all evil; the golden sash around his chest reveals him as the high priest who goes into God’s presence to obtain forgiveness of the sin for those who have believed in him. Thank you God for revealing more of yourself to me through today’s reading. I often forget that you are so much more complex and amazing than my small mind can comprehend. I thank you for giving us your Word so we can understand you and your desires for us that much more.

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    • I left out that the sword in Jesus’s mouth symbolizes the power and force of this message. His words of judgment are as sharp as swords. And why wouldn’t his face be like the sun shining in all its brilliance 🙂

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  3. Ah, good morning!! Good stuff today – I can’t wait to see what everyone has to add today! Ashley, I am with you, I like the gentler picture – when we see Him that day, we’ll know he means business!

    Here are all my observations, so bear with me…Let me start with God is so awesome!

    Many view this book as cryptic, hard, complicated and mysterious. Rebecca said it best, “symbolic”. Look at verse 12 – some would say “yikes” and shy away from studying it. Pastors do not want to preach on it either, saying it is just too hard to understand. But look in verse 20, He took the cryptic mystery out of it and told us exactly what the symbols means. See it’s not hard to understand, especially if you’re saved, YAY JESUS!

    So a few more things for me stood out for me today. First look at verse 7 – ha Rebecca, there is His “7” (wink). This is what I noticed verse 6 ends with “Amen”, but so does verse 7. I started diving a little deeper and you know what? It is very significant (and it’s all in verse 7). Before I dive in to that though, did anyone notice His power in verse 4 and 8, “who is, and who was, and who is”, He mentioned it twice, so I thought I would too!

    I want to preface this with, we serve a big God – Jess had mentioned that the “Left Behind” series had ruined it for her. I do not believe in the pre-tribulation rapture as the church speaks of. When God revealed that to me, many, many years ago – I was so sad and confused. It lit a fire though, I wanted to know what was going to happen to me and what I was going to see. Now I do believe that God could not take many from this earth prior to His return, but not in a “coming of Jesus”, if the Bible said that He is to come three (3) times for all to see, then I would believe. From our reading yesterday, in verse 1 this is why He has written the whole, book to show us “what must soon take place.”

    So let’s see what is going to happen and see what to expect, going in to the end times. How exciting, okay, not so much the “persecution” part, but that is for another day…We will not be here for God’s wrath, Jesus tells us in the gospels that our those will be cut short for the believers. Not going to be a fun time for the unbelievers – Crystal my heart is so saddened for those people too. “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. (vs. 7). Now read, Mark 13, Luke 5-38 and Matthew 24 – this is how it is He has revealed himself to me.

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  4. I had several thoughts as I read this morning.

    The picture of power in verses 4 and 5 is amazing and comforting when I think about the chaos of this world. Here sit God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus and they send grace and peace to the churches.

    Verse 7 is a prophecy from Zechariah 12:10 and matches up with what Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:27-30, Luke 21:25-28, and Mark 13:24-27. I don’t think there will be any mistaking when Jesus shows back up. The text is clear that all will recognize him.

    In verse 17, the fact that John says specifically that God placed His right hand on him to comfort him jogged in my memory a teaching from long ago about the significance of God’s right hand. I looked it up this morning and here are a couple of sites that talk about it: http://www.compellingtruth.org/right-hand-of-God.html (I cannot vouch for other material on the site but this teaching is consistent with what I have learned in the past) and https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionary-of-bible-themes/1270-right-hand-God . This must have been assuring for John.

    And in verse 20, I read a piece of commentary about the lampstands. A lampstand, in itself, is not a source of light but holds light supplied to it. As a symbol of the churches then, God is the source of our light as the Church. We, ourselves, are not the light but simply the mechanism through which His light shines out to the world. A reference in my study Bible points to the creation of the lampstand for the Tabernacle, as directed by God, that was to hold 7 lamps in Exodus 25:31-40.

    Kind of disjointed points but I find it so comforting and reassuring, as I follow all of the references to other text throughout the BIble, that there is so much consistency among so many writers over such a long period of time when it comes to knowledge about who Jesus is, his appearance as recounted by those who saw him in all his glory, and the picture of what is to come.

    What blessing comes from knowing that no matter what comes from now until the end, God holds the keys of death and Hades. He’s got this. 🙂

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  5. S.  Verse 14b: and his eyes were like blazing fire.

    O.  study notes: “like two lasers, the eyes of the exalted Lord look with penetrating gaze into the depths of his church”. This follows an explanation of the word “white” in the beginning of the verse. It says that white “does not refer to flat white color but a blazing, glowing, white light. Like the glory cloud (or Shekinah), it is a picture of his holiness.”  So I had to look up Shekinah,  and it says that origin is from the word in Hebrew that means dwell or rest. So this blazing white light is dwelling within the hair and head and his eyes are also blazing, gazing with the focus of a laser into our hearts. The thought of the silversmith refining his silver came to mind… and off on another bunny trail we go: Malachi 3:3 NASB: “He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.” Matthew Henry’s commentary (available at biblegateway.com) reassures us that we are the sons of Levi, “all those that are devoted to his praise and employed in his service, as the tribe of Levi was” and that Jesus ” will purge them as gold and silver, that is he will sanctify them inwardly; he will not only wash away the spots they have contracted from without, but will take away the dross that is found in them;  he will separate from them their indwelling corruptions, which rendered their faculties worthless and useless, and so make them like gold refined, both valuable and serviceable.”

    A.  So now our holy and exalted Lord is looking for those who He has made valuable and serviceable. Will He find me? Or will I be condemned and judged?  John 3:18  reminds me that “whoever believes in him is not condemned”,  and of course, there is a study link. It says that “This phrase, (lit., “to believe into the name”) , means more than a mere intellectual assent to the claims of the gospel. It includes trust and commitment to Christ as Lord and Savior, which results in receiving a new nature (v.  7) that produces a change in heart and obedience to the Lord…“

    This belief calls for a wholehearted commitment of one’s life as Jesus’ disciple. Maybe that’s why we’re afraid to study this book… Are we more afraid of the answers to the questions that will be asked? Have I really made that whole-hearted commitment?  During the restoration seminar, I learned that Lord means director. Is Jesus my Lord and Director?  Have I answered His question,  “Do you believe Me?” oh, You know that I want to…

    P.  Jesus, my friend,  my Savior, reveal to me how to accept this position as one of Your disciples, and how to go from being an adopted heir to the throne, a spoiled princess none the less, to a true servant of Yours, with You ~and Your will~ directing each step along the way. Let me call you my Lord and Savior. Let me call on You as my Lord, my Director. Forgive my Sarah and Martha qualities, making decisions because of the tasks needing to be done instead of relishing in the relationship with You and the people around me. Allow me to remember my heart’s ultimate desire each moment,  to hear You say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” on my first day with You in paradise. In Your precious name,  amen.

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