Sunday, December 27, 2009

Revelation Chapter One-Greetings to the Seven Churches-Part I

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I cannot explain the excitement I have had in studying the scriptures the last couple days. Yesterday at the breakfast table, I found myself explaining to my mom the symbolism of a lamp stand in chapter one and its correlation to the description of a lamp stand in Exodus. After I got done explaining it. It was kind of funny because I recognized just how excited I was to find that (don't get me wrong, mom was excited too---but lol I was really excited). Whether or not you're even following along in reading in Revelation, that is my heart's prayer for all of God's people: to find joy in reading scripture; that we would find it exciting when symbols, prophetic messages and love letters from God are all discovered. I am not saying you have to get giddy or even emotionally aroused, rather when you read a passage, you at least say to yourself "Ha. That's neat." I also suggest telling someone about it too---explain when you've found; read the passage aloud to your family and friends just like John says in the beginning of the chapter one. Create a ripple effect in the minds of those around you and get them thinking about what is being said in God's word.

Chapter One-Greetings to the Seven Churches

The Key words/phrases that I found in the first portion of chapter one were the following:
"him who was and is and is to come", seven spirits, Jesus Christ and "coming with clouds."

  • These just stood out to me as words and phrases that could have deeper meanings and/or were described consistently throughout the passage.

"Him who was and is and is to come" (verse 4) as well as "'I am the Alpha and Omega, says the Lord God, 'who was and is to come, the Almighty.'" (verse 8)

  • God is eternal and in Christ, He will come to judge and save.

Cross references:

  • Revelation 4:8 "And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and are within, and day and night they never cease saying: ' Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. Who was and is and is to come.'"

  • Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever."

  • Exodus 3:14 "God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM'" or "I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE."

  • John 1:1-"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and the Word was God."

"Seven Spirits"

Verse four also recognizes that there are seven spirits before the throne of ' who was and is to come.' My first reaction was "I thought there was only One Spirit" but as I read this verse, the cross reference passages and commentary provided---it is pretty evident that the Holy Spirit can be expressed as seven spirits.

Cross references:

  • Holy Spirit as one person: vs. 3:6,13 and Ephesians 4:4

-Vs. 3:6, 3:13 (in letters to churches): "He who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches

-Ephesians 4:4-"There is one body and one Spirit-just as you are called to be one..."

  • Appearing as Seven Spirits: vs. 3:1, 4:5--the fact that there are seven, according to the commentary, says that it represents perfection and the seven torches of fire (4:5) and seven eyes (vs 5:6) expresses his omnipresence and omniscience.

  • Holy Spirit expressed as Seven Spirits:

-Vs. 3:1 "....The Words of him who has the seven spirits of God and seven stars."

*Commentary: "A figurative description of the one Holy Spirit who issues an edict (announcement of law) to the seven churches. He will also appear as the Lamb's seven eyes sent throughout the earth (vs. 5:6).

-Vs. 4:5- "...before the throne of God were burning seven torches, which are the seven spirits of God."

- Vs. 5:6- " And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a lamb standing, as though he had been slain with seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth."

"Jesus Christ"-vs. 4

Hehe, I know you know who Jesus Christ is---but here John addresses him as "faithful witness" (giving testimony).

He was faithful unto death--so should his followers (Vs. 2:13, 12:11, 20:3)--commentary and cross references.

"Coming on the clouds"-vs. 7

Cross references:

  • Daniel 7:13- "The son of man given dominion: I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like the son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented to before him."

  • Matthew 16:27- "For the son of man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father and then he will repay each person according for what he has done."

**Side note: "every eye will see him--even those who pierced him." I just wanted to point this scripture out because it could be used in deciding the order of which Christ will return. So even the people who pierced him will see Christ return---so those individuals specifically will be raised from the dead and technically, those alive today contributed to his death so we too shall see him.

-Zechariah 12:10- "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a Spirit of grace and pleas for mercy so that when they look upon me, on him who they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weeps for his firstborn."

-John 19:37-"And again, the Scripture says, 'They will look on him whom they have pierced.' "

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