December 28 (Daily reading: Revelations 1-5) In the introduction to the revelation of Jesus Christ to John (1:1-8), we are told how we should approach this prophecy, since “the time is near.” First, we must “read” it; then, we must truly “hear” it, and let it sink in! We must also “keep the things which are written.” This is application, when the word goes from mind to heart!
John described the source of the revelation: “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” Jesus came to earth as a perfect witness of God; in Him we see and know God! “Firstborn of the dead” speaks of His position as primary, or most important. Because He arose, we all have hope of the resurrection! He has total authority, as “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16). This is the same Jesus who loved us, who freed us from our sins, and who brought us into His kingdom as priests (with direct access to the Father through Him). He is the One who will return, “coming with the clouds.” One of His most powerful names is “the Alpha and the Omega…who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” It all began with Him, and it will all end with Him! Are we not blessed to know Him?!
The use of the number seven is significant. John wrote about seven spirits (v. 5), seven churches (v. 11), seven lampstands (v. 12), and seven stars (v. 16). The number “7” represents perfection, or completeness, so all churches are represented. The Holy Spirit is with every church! Every church has an angel, representing God’s presence and protection. Every church is a lampstand, by which the light of Christ will shine on the earth!
– Al Gary