The Into in Revalation to The 7 Letters From Jesus


When you look at the writing of John you will see the way he uses objects and relationships to bring extra depth to his writing.  John uses words like children and elect Lady to bring our relationship with Jesus into the topics he is writing about.  And I really appreciate that.  The bottom line is not duty or works.  It is a relationship with our Lord and savior Jesus.

Our relationship is that Christians are the bride of Christ and Jesus is the groom.  He is the head.  The church is the bride of Christ.  Many get off on this point.  They will then say which church? And of course come to the conclusion that it is theirs and then conclude that everyone else is wrong.

But they do not stop to think that in that day, when we are joined with Jesus, that all Christians will be assembled into one body of believers.  We will all be in one church at that time.  That is future.  Today we are in individual bodies of believers.  No one individual local church or even one specific group of local churches is the bride of Christ and no one else is.  The current distinctions will not matter in that day.

There will be no more sin, there will be no more false doctrine.  Every Christian will be changed and then all assembled together into one local visible body and that bride will be joined with Christ to be with Him for all eternity.

But we have to live our lives until then.  However long we have.  In that day, the relationship with Jesus will be perfect because there will be no more sin.  But right now we still have to carry that old sin nature with us.

Right now we have to work on pleasing our Lord.  In this age, what would that relationship look like if it were healthy?  What would it look like if it was not?  

Who determines what pleases Jesus in this relationship?  And who decides what does not please Jesus in this relationship between Christians in local churches and the Lord?

I think the answer is obvious.  Jesus does.  And we do not have to guess.  Jesus gives us 7 examples.  Jesus has John pen 7 letters to 7 specific churches.  And in these letters Jesus will show what things He is happy about and what He is not.  He will show us what He is pleased with and what needs to be corrected.

But before we look at the 7 letters from Jesus we need to look at the introduction to those letters.  There are important truths about Jesus that are given in the introduction and those truths come up again and again in the 7 letters.  It is obvious that Jesus wants these truths to be on the minds of those who read the letters.

The introduction in Revelation of the 7 letters from Jesus.

Rev 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 

This letter in total is given for the benefit of the servants of Jesus.

Rev 1:2  Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 

Rev 1:3  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. 

This is the only book of the Bible that has a specific blessing attached to it for all who read it, and hear it.  That would be hear as in keeping it, and as in doing it, and keep as in holding on to the truth.

Verse 4 starts the greeting to the 7 specific churches.

Greeting to the Seven Churches

Rev 1:4  John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 

These 7 churches were located in the western end of Asia Minor bordering on the Aegean and the Mediterranean seas.  The Word of God clearly teaches that there were at least 3 other Churches in that area.

The church at Colosse Col 1:2, the church at Hierapolis Col 4:13, and the church at Troas Acts 20:6-7.

What is the point?  These letters were not written to all of the Asia Minor churches.  Each of these 7 letters was written to a specific local church in a specific location and that specific church had a unique spiritual condition.

Jesus was having John write to each one to deal with their individual situation.  And Jesus had these 7 letters preserved for us to learn from.  By looking at each one we can know what He expects, and what He wants.  What He is happy with and what we need to watch out for and stay away from.

Foundatial Information about who is giving the letters

The greeting takes time to go over a few things before the actual individual letters are given.  These are important things that apply to all and give a strong foundation as to who is giving the letters and why they should pay heed to them.

Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 

Truth 1.  These letters come from Jesus.  The Jesus who is faithful.  The Jesus who rose from the dead.  The Jesus who loved us and died for us and washed our sins away in his own blood.  This truth here should be enough to get our attention and to make us want to really pay attention to the 7 letters from Jesus.

Rev 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

Truth 2.  These letters come from Jesus who has made us kings.  What?  I am not a king.  This is referring to how he will make us rulers for the 1,000 year reign.

And He has made us priests unto God. In the Old Testament priests did the service.  They sprinkled the blood in the holy place.  The priests burned the incense, which was a picture of prayer.  In those days the priests were the go between.  They are the ones who served God in the tabernacle and then later the temple.  But after the cross, Jesus has made each and every Christian a priest unto God.  Each one of us has direct access to pray to God.  Each one of us can serve Him.

Truth 3.  To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.  Jesus is the one who rules.  He is the master.  All glory is His for ever and ever.

Time is being taken here before the actual letters are given to make sure the readers have a strong picture in their minds of who is giving the letters.

Rev 1:7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 

Truth 4.  Jesus is coming again.  The one who is giving you these letters is coming back.

Rev 1:8  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. 

Truth 5. Jesus the one who is giving you this letter is the Alpha and Omega.  He is the beginning and the ending.  A way of saying He is everything.  He is the eternal one.  It is all about Him.

Truth 6.  The one who is giving you this letter is the Almighty.  He is God.  He has all power.  He has all wisdom and all knowledge.  Nothing is beyond Him.  He knows all and has all power at His disposal.

This is the Jesus who is writing to your specific little local church.  So you had better pay attention.  The Almighty God who loves you and died for you and is coming again.

The Vision that is inbetween the intro and the 7 letters from Jesus

Now in between the greeting and introduction of the letters and the letters themselves is the vision that John sees of Jesus.

The vision also gives information about who is giving them these letters but in a powerful visually descriptive way.

By the time the first letter comes the reader should have a very strong powerful view of the giver of their letter.  Jesus.

Rev 1:9  I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 

Rev 1:10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 

Rev 1:11  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. 

Rev 1:12  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 

Rev 1:13  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 

Jesus is in the midst of the seven candlesticks.  He is involved.  He is present.  He is very aware and interested in the candlesticks.  And notice He is in the midst of all 7 all at the same time.

Rev 1:14  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 

This is figurative language.  Jesus’ hair was not wool, it was like it.  His hair was white as.  His eyes were as.  It is figurative language. White is often used to symbolize purity and righteousness and fire is often used to symbolize judgment.  What is being shown here is that the one giving you these letters is pure, sinless, righteous, and His eyes are set on judgment.  He sees all and He will judge all He sees.

Rev 1:15  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 

Brass is often used to symbolize judgment.  And here His feet are like brass but brass as if they burned in a furnace.  So the feet like brass (judgment) also endured burning (judgment).  Jesus will judge but first Jesus went to the cross and had the judgment of the Father upon Him as Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the tree.

Rev 1:16  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 

Other scripture shows us that the twoedged sword is the Word of God.  Jesus is the giver of the Word of God.  It comes out of His mouth.

Jesus is holding in his right hand seven stars.  They are in His hand.  The right hand is the hand of power.  And He is holding them.  When you hold something you are keeping it.  It speaks of ownership but also of interest and control.

Rev 1:17  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: 

Rev 1:18  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. 

Rev 1:19  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Jesus tells John to write the vision down, and then next write the things which are, and then the things that will happen in the future.

The things which are are the letters to the 7 churches.  They are written to real churches that existed right then.  That very day that John was on Patmos Island and Jesus came and talked with John.  Jesus came and spoke to John on the Lord’s day.  On Sunday.  That same Sunday these 7 churches were meeting

They each had an individual spiritual condition and Jesus knew about each and every one of them and is going to give each of them a report card if you will.  And have them preserved for us so we can evaluate ourselves and know is Jesus pleased with us.

So the introduction has been given, the vision has been given.  Those receiving or reading these 7 letters have a powerful view in their mind of who is giving the letters.

It is a view of Jesus that includes power and judgment and forgiveness and love and His glory.  If you are thinking some of those seem opposites.  No one can be all of those things at the same time.  No one can perfectly balance all of that.  You would be right no man can.  But God can.  It is no problem for Jesus.

The view of Jesus that God wanted people to have before reading these 7 letters has been given.  Only one thing remains before the first letter.  To give the meaning of the vision.

Rev 1:20  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. 

Sometimes the word angels can be used for messengers of the Word of God.  Many believe that is the meaning here.  The seven stars are the 7 messengers of the 7 churches.  The stars are the pastors.  Those that give the Word of God to their church.

The 7 candlesticks are the 7 churches.

John saw, seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man,

Candlesticks put out light.  That is a very fitting picture for a church.  They are to be guardians of God’s truth and they are to shine that truth out.  They are to be a light to the world around them.

And he had in his right hand seven stars:

The vision is Jesus in the midst of the 7 churches He is not afar off.  He is active, He is present, He is interested.  They are His churches.  And the Pastors of those churches are being held in His hand.  They are His men being held up and supported and cared for by the Almighty.

These letters are given to you by Jesus the one who loved you and died for you and rose again.  The Jesus who washed your sins away in His own blood.  The one who is faithful and powerful and is coming again in judgment. The creator, the first and the last.  The one who all glory belongs.

The one giving you these letters is the same one who is in the midst of each church and who holds His man in His hand.

Now that a very detailed vivid picture has been given of the giver of the letters, John can now start to pen them.  And that is where we will pick up next time.

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