Vision of the glorified and glorious Son of God
We start with “… The Revelation of Jesus Christ…”as this book’s main purpose is to reveal Christ. Verses 1 and 2 deal with a witness to Jesus and things which must come to pass and the testimony of Christ in its contemporary period shortly after His crucifixion as revealed by God to John, to prepare us for what is to come.
Rolley opens his book called “A Study on the Revelation of Jesus Christ”, with a beautiful comparison of verse 3 to the Beatitudes, drawing a comparison with Matthew 5: 10; or to Psalm 1: 1. He says, “This blessing is threefold, “… Blessed is he /she who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it, for the time is near…” Thus we can draw a conclusion John was talking about the time period in which he lived, but we would do well to adhere to this principle in our day. We can also draw a comparison with similar wording and theme from Daniel 8:26, 12:4-9, Matthew 13:16, 24:15, Luke 11:28, Romans 13:11, 12, 1John 3:2-3, 2Peter 3:8 where we are exhorted to read the total counsel of God for understanding.
Verse four starts with the greeting from John to the seven churches in Asia on behalf of Jesus, as found in this statement “Him who is and who was and who is to come“, and also the seven spirits before his throne (Isaiah 11:2, Zechariah 3:9, 4:10, Acts 2:9, Romans1: 7). The true witness of God’s great power Jesus, the firstborn from the dead, meaning resurrection into eternal life, freeing us from sin (v5). John here is alluding to a statement in Daniel 12:2 where Daniel makes a reference to two resurrections, one of believers and one of non-believers. Then in verse 6 Jesus has made us to be a kingdom and priests (Genesis 18:18, 22:18, 26:40, Exodus 19:3-6), which when connected to the next verse 7 where there will be visible, physical signs and mourning at His return (Zechariah 12:10-14, 13:6). This is an indication of remorse of the House of Judah, Israel and all who did not believe that Christ was the Messiah. It also indicates that the coming together of the house of Jacob will take place after Jesus returns and sometime in the following thousand years (Ezekiel 37:15, Isaiah 11:1-13).
The work of this restoration will be under the rule of Christ and His Church, who are the royal priests. The matter is settled by God in the beginning and the end (v8). John also makes it clear that he is the companion of the saints who were suffering because of the Word of God. They will rule and not any by natural descent of a nation, but by a spiritual nation the Church. As we saw the prophecy in Deuteronomy 28:49; 57 gave us an insight into the symbol of this empire as the “Eagle” that will destroy the nation of Israel and the Temple. Now John is facing the time of this abomination that causes desolation, the persecution under Rome. Like Daniel in chapter seven, who revealed that in the end the Kingdom of God will be given into the hands of the saints, John does the same thing here (9).
In Daniel chapter 7:9-18, where we saw the Ancient of Days coming. Jesus pre-existed as the Word, and not only that, but He is God. This statement by John shows that Jesus was with God before He came physically to this earth. Daniel describes the purity of God (Christ) by using the theme of white and also describes the awesome power that God has as He destroys the beast and sends him to hell.