“I, John, both your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 1:9.
For those of you who are new Christians or just confused, there is a difference between the man you may know as John the Baptist and this man John one of the 12 disciples now known as the Apostle John.
John the Baptist’s mother and Jesus’ mother Mary were related and John was born about six months before Jesus.
It was the ministry of John the Baptist to herald the coming of Jesus Christ the promised Messiah; a job he did well until he was killed by Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great about two and a half years into Jesus’ ministry, see Luke chapter 1 and Matthew 14:1-12.
“The next day John [the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” John 1:29.
The Apostle John was the son of a fisherman named Zebedee and the brother of James who also became a disciple of Christ. These men were not likely of the poorer class, since his family seemed to have some stature in the community.
John was quite young when he became a disciple of Jesus and probably about ninety when he penned the book of Revelation.
This great man did not identify himself as Pope, Cardinal, Father, or Most Reverent Reverend John; but simply as “your brother and companion”, that still goes; he is our brother and companion. Some of these guys need to get over themselves.
John was banished to the island of Patmos for his faithfulness in spreading the gospel; this is one of the ways of dating this book, the emperor Domitian, 81-96 A.D. had a habit of banishing people.
One author in an attempt to juggle the book tried to make the case that it was Nero (54-68 A.D.) who banished him, but Nero was so unspeakably cruel that he would have had John suffering some indignity in the arena rather than banishment.
The author also claimed that Patmos was a recreation spot during this time. And so we have John drinking pina coladas and watching the sunset rather than the real purpose he was sent there, which was to work an old man to death.
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the Last,’ and ‘what you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.’” Revelation 1:10-11.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega”, this statement is first made by God the Father in verse 8 and now the Lord Jesus makes this claim for Himself. Scripture says this of Jesus.
“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily…” Colossians 2:9.
When you place your trust, your eternal soul in the hands of Jesus, it is not just a man but God Himself, and scary as it may seem, there is no safer place.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” John 10:27-30.
The God spoken of here is not some god principle or psychological mind-game much like one liberal theologian’s statement, “The god behind god”.
Words like this are really those of God haters attempting to gut the gospel and rob God of His glory. Atheists will die but God is eternal and more real than the men who try to destroy Him, He is as real as you and I are.
Knock on the desk top, touch the wall, get a drink of water, step outside and feel the breeze, these things are real!
Do not let men’s malicious fabrications about God deter you from a relationship with a real person a real God. Even, my friend, if you do not feel real yourself, Christ can give you real life.
“Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.” Revelation 1:12-13.
The identity of the Son of Man here is simple for Jesus often referred to Himself in this manner.
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:37.
“But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” – He [Jesus] said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Luke 5:24.
“And He [Jesus] said to them, ‘The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.’” Luke 6:5.
“…The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” Luke 9:22.
What John is seeing here is the risen glorified Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords and while Jesus functioned as prophet on the earth the first time and is at present a priest, as our intercessor.
“But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens…” Hebrews 7:24-26.
The reason we need a High Priest to intercede for us in heaven is as follows.
“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.’” Revelation 12:9-10.
Satan stands before God day and night accusing us of various sins, Jesus Christ, our advocate (lawyer) defends us by merely holding up His nail pierced hands and the blood of Christ which has washed away all our sins shuts the mouth of this evil person.
Please remember this when you hear accusations against our God and Savior, Satan accuses God to us too.
Jesus Christ will return as King, and as a King He will also act as a judge. “…with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band”, these are the robes of a judge.
“His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire…” Revelation 1:14.
This description of His head and hair is symbolic of pure mature wisdom and the purity of holiness. This Judge is not just perfect in wisdom but He cannot be bought or swayed by the double-talk we find in courtrooms throughout this world.
“His eyes like a flame of fire”, suggests eyes that see straight into the soul, that can read the thoughts and intentions of every heart. Lying will not work here.
“Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart…” Psalm 15:1-2.
This is Christ’s omniscience, His all knowing. This all knowing is a good reason for the Christian to speak truth in his/her heart.
To be honest with ourselves and to commune with God in openness and truthfulness is good advice. For we constantly rationalize things and lie to ourselves. And when we lie to ourselves we become entrapped by the deceitfulness of sin.
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort [encourage] one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. “ Hebrews 3:12-13.
Revelation 1:9-14 taken from godisrevealed.com updated on 9-18-16, reposted on 4-7-22.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.