Revelation (Ch 1-2)

Revelation 1

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass. And He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John, — the Revelation of Jesus Christ, not John; John was never the Revelator! This is a revelation of Jesus Christ which the Father gave unto His Son to show unto an earthly servants, John, things which must shortly come to pass.

who bore record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. — who bore record of the word of God…. of the essential and eternal Word of God, his only Son; as John the apostle did in his Gospel, and in his epistles, and also in this book.

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand. — and they that hear the words of this prophecy; that listen attentively to the reading and exposition of this book, and have ears to hear, so as to understand the prophecies contained in it: but some versions read it as either, “blessed is he that readeth, and he that heareth”; or “blessed are they that read, and they that hear.”

John, To the seven churches in Asia: Grace be unto you and peace from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne; — introducing himself similarly as others in the OT: “The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel, the priest, . . ;

— and from the seven spirits which are before his throne; before the throne of God the Father; are meant the angels, and stand before the throne of God, and are ready to do his will: this is also mentioned with reference to the seven angels of the churches;

— very often at other times, the hands of God is also the spirits of God; as in Ezekiel 3:14, “in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me; the spirit is not a person;

— hence the spirit of God could either be (a) an angel of God; or (b) a hand of God; (more at the end).

and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first-begotten of the dead, and the prince over the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, — and the Prince of the kings of the earth: which is to be understood figuratively of the saints, who have power over the world, through Christ, and of whom he is the Prince; under whom there is a King, whom the Prince asked us to address as the Father.

and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. — reference seems to be had to Exodus 19:6: “and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests”; which the Jerusalem Targum renders, “ye shall be unto me”, מלכין וכהנין, “kings and priests”; and so the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it thus, “and ye shall be before me”, מלכין, “kings” crowned with a crown;

— parallel Scriptures:

And they sang a new song, saying, “Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof; for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood, from every kindred and tongue, and people and nation,

10 and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10

Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so. Amen. — every eye shall see him, and they also which (they were who = “whosoever”) pierced him; here again is a reference to the incident of the piercing of Christ’s side (John 19:34), recorded only by John.

— and also a reference to Zechariah 12:10; “and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son.”

“I Am Alpha And Omega, the Beginning and the Ending,” saith the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. — this is most probably the Son, one who was pierced, referenced earlier in verse 7; He is the beginning and the ending; that is, as aleph is the beginning of the alphabet; and cause of all things; as tau is the last letter of the alphabet.

I, John, who also am your brother and companion in tribulation and in the Kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the isle that is called Patmos, for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. — Ignatius, an early Christian writer and Patriarch of Antioch, says John “was banished to Patmos”: by Domitian emperor of Rome; Irenaeus says, at the latter end of his reign.

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet, — I was in the Spirit; this has many parallels in Ezekiel, “And the Spirit entered into me when He spoke unto me, and set me upon my feet, so that I heard Him who spoke unto me,” Ezekiel 2:2;

— also, “Then the Spirit entered into me and set me upon my feet, and spoke with me and said unto me, “Go, shut thyself within thine house,” Ezekiel 3:24;

— any person reading the book of Ezekiel would not say that was another person talking to Ezekiel, but why would the Catholics and Protestants invent that this spirit is a personage in Revelation 1:10?; and if so, there (in verse 4) were seven spirits?

— “on the Lord’s Day” is actually the Day of God’s judgement; “the day of Judgment” (Encyclopedia Biblica, article “Lord’s Day”); in later years, when the Roman Church were getting strong this was reinterpreted to mean the day of Christ’s resurrection, Sunday; hence today, “the Lord’s Day” has become a technical name for Sunday.

11 saying, “I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What thou seest, write in a book and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia: unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” — “I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last,” this has the same expression as in verse 8 earlier: the “I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending.”

12 And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; — and I turned; for he had heard the voice behind him; probably the Father, but it could be read as if it is the Son, too, to see the person from whom the voice came from.

13 and in the midst of the seven candlesticks One like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the breast with a golden girdle. — like unto the Son of man; this is similar to Daniel 7:13;

— John now describes what he saw: And having turned around, I saw seven golden lamp-stands, and in the midst of the lamp-stands one similar to a Son of Man clothed in a long robe and girded across his breast with a golden belt. The prophet saw, not a single candlestick with seven lamps, Exodus 25:37;

14 His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were as a flame of fire; — and his eyes were as a flame of fire: see Daniel 10:6; which is the omniscience of the Son of God; and (a) his love, like flames of fire, melts their souls into a true and genuine repentance for sin: or else, (b) his eyes of wrath and vengeance, as set upon his enemies, are meant: will be fierce and furious and bring swift and sudden destruction on them.

15 and His feet like unto fine brass, as though they burned in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters. — this description “the sound of many waters” is found in Ezekiel 43:2, “the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east; and his voice was like the noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.”

16 And He had in His right hand seven stars, and out of His mouth went a sharp two edged sword, and His countenance shone as the sun shineth in his strength. — in his right hand seven stars; the stars are representing the seven angels, messengers, or the seven churches; their presence in the right hand of Christ shows that they are under his special care and protection.

17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, “Fear not; I am the First and the Last. — I fell at his feet as dead; the appearance of the glory of the Lord had the same effect upon Ezekiel, Ezekiel 1:28.

18 I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen, and have the keys of hell and of death. — I am he that liveth, and was dead; I am Christ the Savior, who had died for mankind; and being raised from the dead, has the keys of life and death; to destroy the living or raise the dead.

19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. — write the things which thou hast seen; these visions are for general instruction, and therefore every circumstance must be faithfully recorded. What he had seen was to be written; and what he was to see afterwards, must also be recorded.

20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. — the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; that is, the seven stars which John saw in Christ’s right hand, represent the angels, or the seven churches of Asia, and in them all their pastors and ministers of the churches in all the periods of time until Christ’s second coming. 

~~~

Sometimes, the “hand of God” verses the “spirit of God” could be read interchangeably; and this is true in the following instance:

The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him. Ezekiel 1:3

So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me. Ezekiel 3:14

And the hand of the Lord was there upon me; and He said unto me, “Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.” Ezekiel 3:22

And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord God fell there upon me. Ezekiel 8:1

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, Ezekiel 37:1

In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was smitten, on the selfsame day the hand of the Lord was upon me, and brought me thither. Ezekiel 40:1

In that day shall Egypt be like unto women; and it shall be afraid and fear, because of the shaking of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which He shaketh over it. Isaiah 19:16

Lord, when Thy hand is lifted up, they will not see; but they shall see and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of Thine enemies shall devour them. Isaiah 26:11

I have made the earth and created man upon it; I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. Isaiah 45:12

And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb; and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward His servants, and His indignation toward His enemies. Isaiah 66:14

The “angel of God” verses the “spirit of God” could be read interchangeably; and spirits, as angels can speak too; this is true in the following instance:

Then the angel of the Lord went out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morning, there were all the dead bodies! Isaiah 37:36.

My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths; and they haven’t harmed me, for I was found innocent before him. And also before you, Your Majesty, I have not done harm,” Daniel 6:22.

I asked, “What are these, my lord?” The angel who was talking to me replied, “I will show you what they are,” Zechariah 1:9.

Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of the Lord, with Satan standing at his right side to accuse him, Zechariah 3:1

If the Spirit is a Being or an independent Personage by itself/himself; and there were seven Spirits that are before His throne, and since the Spirit is inherently and intrinsically Holy, there would be seven Holy Spirits, as John saw them;

and with these John would add Jesus Christ the Son, and God the Father, then there would be nine Personage. This is just simple arithmetic. Nine in the Godhead; we should have a Polygon (a nine sided shape) or a Nonagon (nine straight sides that meet at nine corners); so surely the Godhead would be a Polyty or a Nonaty, but certainly couldn’t be a Trinity?

Revelation 2

Seven Churches of Revelation Bible Study – David Jeremiah Blog

It’s important to note that beside the Churches as seen as historical it may have metaphorical or allegorical meaning to these Churches, in term of eras, otherwise why took the time and trouble to write them down. The Churches must be real; and that their spiritual state is literally pointed out; but they must have reference to the state of the Church in later stages of its history; and that the notion of what has been termed the Ephesian state, the Smyrnian state, the Pergamenian state . . . the Laodicean state, should be studied, analysed and such expositions should be entertained by anyone who wishes to arrive at a sober and rational knowledge of the Scriptures. The messenger, or the angel could well be giving the Church certain warnings pertaining to the era of their Church so as to teach and edify those concern.

(1) The Ephesus Era

1 “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: ‘These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks: — the church at Ephesus, started on the day of Pentecost and being the original apostolic church; known originally as Nazarenes (Acts 24:5), a church whose records had been documented in the Acts of the Apostles, which patiently labored to spread the gospel to the nations, the Gentiles; and were met with many obstacles but remained steadfast to the truth, though persecuted till the end;

I know thy works and thy labor and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil; and how thou hast tried them that say they are apostles and are not, and hast found them liars; — I know thy works; for the eyes of the Lord are throughout the earth, beholding the evil and the good; and, being omnipresent, all things are continually open and naked before him;

— “apostles and are not, and hast found them liars” are false apostles, and they could be found right from the start, Simon Magus, from the Samaritans (Acts 8:9-25), who were famed for their worship of the Sun; but went on masquerading itself as the One True Church or the first church that ever existed.

and hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name’s sake hast labored and hast not fainted.

Nevertheless, I have something against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the works as at first; or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, unless thou repent.

But this thou hast: that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.’

— the headquarters church at Jerusalem, in around 69 AD, fled to Pella before the Romans razed the city and the Temple to the ground;

until probably the time of Emperor Constantine;

— Paul, Barnabas; and later such men as Polycarp and Polycrates, they were called “Quartodecimani” because they kept the true Passover celebration the Jewish way on the fourteenth instead of Easter on a Sunday.

(2) The Smyrna Era

“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘These things saith the First and the Last, who was dead and is alive: — 

I know thy works and tribulation and poverty (but thou art rich), and I know the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. — they called themselves Jews but from God’s point of view they are of the synagogue of Satan; this is a serious charge!

What happened was an attempt by the Catholics to stamp out the true scattered Church and the true Passover from the world?

Let the Catholic historian Eusebius, who lived in the time of Constantine, tell the story: “But before this time another most virulent disorder had existed, and long afflicted the Church; I mean the difference respecting… Easter. For while one party asserted that the Jewish custom (as to time) should be adhered to, the other (did not).

“Accordingly, the people being thus in every place divided in this respect… no one appeared who was capable of devising a remedy…. Constantine appeared to be the only one on earth capable… He convoked a general council…”

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried, and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of Life.

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. He that overcometh shall not be hurt by the second death.’  

After the Nicaean Council closed, Emperor Constantine sent the following letter to all the churches: “At this meeting the question concerning… Easter was discussed… First of all, it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this… feast we should follow the practice of the Jews… Let us then have nothing in common with the Jews… It has been determined by the common judgment of all, that the… feast of Easter should be kept on one and the same day.” The Council of Nicea decided, under his authority, that Easter MUST be celebrated on Sunday and that the Passover must be forbidden!

(3) The Pergamos Era

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write: ‘These things saith He that hath the sharp sword with two edges: — as a result of the Council of Nicaea (325 AD), the great false Church commenced 1260 years of Tribulation (Rev 12:6) with full force. The true Church fled into the valleys and mountains in Europe and Asia Minor.

It was the close of the twelfth century. In Lyons, France, lived an astonishingly successful and wealthy merchant, Peter Waldo. “One day, while in the company of some of the leading citizens, one of his friends fell lifeless at his side. Terrified by the event, he said to himself: If death had stricken me, what would have become of my soul?”

Being a Catholic, Waldo asked one of these theologians what is the PERFECT way. ‘Ah!’ answered the theologian… ‘here is Christ’s precept’: ‘”If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell that thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come take up thy cross and follow me.”‘” (Comba, “History of the Waldenses”, p 21).

Waldo disposed of his property by distributing to the poor. But from his wealth he also had a translation of the Scriptures made. In this translation he noticed the command to the apostles to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God. His mind began to understand the Scriptures.

God was using Peter Waldo.

Comba says that “he brought to the study of the Scriptures that practical common sense which had guided him in his business transactions… The word of Christ was clear enough, for Waldo it was simply a question of furnishing a literal translation” (p 243 of Comba’s “History”).

The humble remnant of the Church of God listened to him. Soon many new disciples were coming to repentance. “His disciples became almost as many C0-workers for him” (p 26). The world called them Waldenses.

But in 1315 AD, long before the crusade against the Waldenses occurred, the truth of God was carried to England by a German Waldensian preacher, Walter Lollard. It took deep root for a while until the Protestant Reformation.

Through the preaching of Lollard and other helpers, hundreds were repenting. Thousands were learning for the first time that baptism means immersion — that the world’s religious holidays came from paganism and that Sunday was not the Sabbath.

It was not until about 1650 that there were again enough Sabbath keepers to establish local congregations. They often called themselves the Church of God, but the world termed them “Sabbatarians” and Sabbatarian Baptists.

13 I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is; and that thou holdest fast My name and hast not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. — 

15 So thou also hast them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.  

16 Repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it.’ — 

From England the true Church spread to America. In 1664, Stephen Mumford, sent to Newport, Rhode Island, raised up a small church mainly from Baptist converts. One by one new churches were established through continued help of the churches in England.

But as always happens, after several generations the children take truth for granted and never really surrender their wills and their lives to God. In less than one hundred and fifty years, the English churches almost disappeared, having cut themselves off from God by turning from His truth, and by adopting the name “Seventh-day Baptists.”

Members of the church migrated to America the number of churches increased as the gospel was spread from state to state. But so nearly dead were these congregations that in 1802 many began to organise themselves together into a General Conference instead of submitting to the government of God for the carrying out of the gospel. At this serious juncture, most of the local churches joined together to form the Seventh-day Baptist General Conference and thereby ceased to be the true Church. Soon they began teaching the Trinity doctrine!

(4) The Thyatira Era

18 “And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘These things saith the Son of God, who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass: — during this time William Miller started the advent movement among Sunday-observing churches. In 1843 several followers of Miller in Washington, New Hampshire, became acquainted with the truth of the Sabbath. It was not until after their miserable Great Disappointment of 1844 that the general body of Adventists had the Sabbath question called to their attention.

19 I know thy works, and charity and service, and faith and thy patience, and thy works, and the last to be more than the first. — a small number accepted the Sabbath and teamed up with the few others who refused to be affiliated with the Seventh-day Baptist Conference.

They called themselves the “Church of God” and began publishing “The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald”. Their first songbook was dedicated to “The Church of God scattered abroad.”

20 Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess,to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. — with each passing year, new and different doctrines were being introduced by Ellen G. White to explain away the Adventist failure of October 22. 1844. The original church members generally did not go along, with the “inspired testimony” of Ellen G. White. Finally, a meeting was held by some of the members in Battle Creek, Michigan, September 28 through October 1, 1860. And that is how the Seventh-Day Adventist began to regard her as a prophetess, and who was responsible for naming their organisation.

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication, and she repented not. — in fact, instead of the true gospel, Passover and feast days and prophecies of the Old Testament, their ministers taught a “third angel’s message,” which they had accepted from Helen G. White. 

22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. — the Adventist movement didn’t regard themselves separate from the mainstream Protestants, but rather as one of them, and in doing so, took in Trinity in their teachings along with Christmas celebrations.

23 And I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He that searcheth the reins and hearts; and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. — “I will kill her children with death” sounds serious, and this warning is from God. There must be some serious abominations within the church, within their practices and doctrines.

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine and who have not known the depths of Satan (as they say) I will put upon you no other burden.

25 But that which ye have already, hold fast till I come.

26 And he that overcometh and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations, — there is great rewards for those who are judged faithful and true, yet penalties are great, too, for those who harbour many false doctrines and teachings within.

27 and “he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers,” even as I have received from My Father.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!’

~~~

“And I will kill her children with death;” perhaps this great tribulation should be tied in with a similar vision the prophet Ezekiel had: “Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” Then they began with the elder men who were before the house,” Ezekiel 9:6.

One thing which is a serious charge is that Adventists put Ellen G. White’s writings ahead of Moses and the Prophets, ahead of God’s in actual fact; hence they insist wine is grape juice; and Passover is observe quarterly, on every thirteenth sabbath, and not annually on the fourteenth of Nisan as the Scriptures say.

~ by Joel Huan on October 15, 2021.

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