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1. One Like a Son of Man

1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John; 2who bare witness of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, even of all things that he saw. 3Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written therein: for the time is at hand. 4John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from him who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits that are before his throne; 5and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loveth us, and loosed us from our sins by his blood; 6and he made us to be a kingdom, to be priests unto his God and Father; to him be the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 7Behold, he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they that pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him. Even so, Amen. 8I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. 9I John, your brother and partaker with you in tribulation and kingdom and patience which are in Jesus, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet 11saying, What thou seest, write in a book and send it to the seven churches: unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamum, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. 12And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And having turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto a son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the breasts with a golden girdle. 14And his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15and his feet like unto burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace; and his voice as the voice of many waters. 16And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as one dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying, Fear not; I am the first and the last, 18and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. 19Write therefore the things which thou sawest, and the things which are, and the things which shall come to pass hereafter; 20the 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 are seven churches.

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6. And hath—rather as Greek, "And (He) hath."

made us kings—The oldest manuscripts read, "a kingdom." One oldest manuscript reads the dative, "for us." Another reads "us," accusative: so Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Andreas. This seems preferable, "He made us (to be) a kingdom." So Ex 19:6, "a kingdom of priests"; 1Pe 2:9, "a royal priesthood." The saints shall constitute peculiarly a kingdom of God, and shall themselves be kings (Re 5:10). They shall share His King-Priest throne in the millennial kingdom. The emphasis thus falls more on the kingdom than on priests: whereas in English Version reading it is equally distributed between both. This book lays prominent stress on the saints' kingdom. They are kings because they are priests: the priesthood is the continuous ground and legitimization of their kingship; they are kings in relation to man, priests in relation to God, serving Him day and night in His temple (Re 7:15; 5:10). The priest-kings shall rule, not in an external mechanical manner, but simply in virtue of what they are, by the power of attraction and conviction overcoming the heart [Auberlen].

priests—who have pre-eminently the privilege of near access to the king. David's sons were priests (Hebrew), 2Sa 8:18. The distinction of priests and people, nearer and more remote from God, shall cease; all shall have nearest access to Him. All persons and things shall be holy to the Lord.

God and his Father—There is but one article to both in the Greek, therefore it means, "Unto Him who is at once God and His Father."

glory and dominionGreek, "the glory and the might." The fuller threefold doxology occurs, Re 4:9, 11; fourfold, Re 5:13; Jude 25; sevenfold, Re 7:12; 1Ch 29:11. Doxology occupies the prominent place above, which prayer does below. If we thought of God's glory first (as in the Lord's Prayer), and gave the secondary place to our needs, we should please God and gain our petitions better than we do.

for ever and everGreek, "unto the ages."

7. with cloudsGreek, "the clouds," namely, of heaven. "A cloud received Him out of their sight" at His ascension (Ac 1:9). His ascension corresponds to the manner of His coming again (Ac 1:11). Clouds are the symbols of wrath to sinners.

every eye—His coming shall therefore be a personal, visible appearing.

shall see—It is because they do not now see Him, they will not believe. Contrast Joh 20:29.

they also—they in particular; "whosoever." Primarily, at His pre-millennial advent the Jews, who shall "look upon Him whom they have pierced," and mourn in repentance, and say, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." Secondarily, and here chiefly, at the general judgment all the ungodly, not only those who actually pierced Him, but those who did so by their sins, shall look with trembling upon Him. John is the only one of the Evangelists who records the piercing of Christ's side. This allusion identifies him as the author of the Apocalypse. The reality of Christ's humanity and His death is proved by His having been pierced; and the water and blood from His side were the antitype to the Levitical waters of cleansing and blood offerings.

all kindreds … shall wail—all the unconverted at the general judgment; and especially at His pre-millennial advent, the Antichristian confederacy (Zec 12:3-6, 9; 14:1-4; Mt 24:30). Greek, "all the tribes of the land," or "the earth." See the limitation to "all," Re 13:8. Even the godly while rejoicing in His love shall feel penitential sorrow at their sins, which shall all be manifested at the general judgment.

because ofGreek, "at," or "in regard to Him."

Even so, Amen—Gods seal of His own word; to which corresponds the believer's prayer, Re 22:20. The "even so" is Greek; "Amen" is Hebrew. To both Gentiles and Jews His promises and threats are unchangeable.

8. Greek, "I am the Alpha and the Omega." The first and last letters of the alphabet. God in Christ comprises all that goes between, as well as the first and last.

the beginning and the ending—omitted in the oldest manuscripts, though found in Vulgate and Coptic. Transcribers probably inserted the clause from Re 21:6. In Christ, Genesis, the Alpha of the Old Testament, and Revelation, the Omega of the New Testament, meet together: the last book presenting to us man and God reconciled in Paradise, as the first book presented man at the beginning innocent and in God's favor in Paradise. Accomplishing finally what I begin. Always the same; before the dragon, the beast, false prophet, and all foes. An anticipatory consolation to the saints under the coming trials of the Church.

the Lord—The oldest manuscripts read "the Lord God."

AlmightyHebrew, "Shaddai," and "Jehovah Sabaoth," that is, "of hosts"; commanding all the hosts or powers in heaven and earth, so able to overcome all His Church's foes. It occurs often in Revelation, but nowhere else in the New Testament save 2Co 6:18, a quotation from Isaiah.




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