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The Story of the Seer of Patmos - Contents
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    The first chapter of Revelation is an introduction to the entire book. The first three verses are a preface to the chapter, and the first verse is the key, not only to Revelation, but to every prophetic book in the Bible, showing how all prophecy is given. In this first verse is given the title of the book, the author of the prophecy, its object, the manner in which it came, and the agent of God in making known the history of future events.SSP 28.1

    It is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” It is not the Revelation of John, as many seem to think; for then it would cease to be prophecy, and as a history, would rank no higher than the works of many other writers. John calls himself our “brother and companion in tribulation.” It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ,-an unfolding of the life of the God-man. Jesus means Saviour. “Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Jesus was the name given by the angel when he talked with Mary, the mother of Jesus. Christ means MarginThe 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. Revelation 1:1.
    For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:9.
    John 1:1.
    And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14.
    Hebrews 2:14.
    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5.
    Revelation 1:9.
    Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. John 14:11.
    Matthew 1:21.
    John 1:41 [margin.]
    Daniel 9:26.
    Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23.
    anointed: Jesus Christ is the anointed Saviour; prophets of old had foretold of His mission on earth, and named Him Emmanuel, “God with us.”
    SSP 28.2

    To John, then, was laid open, or made manifest, the mystery of Emmanuel, the union of the divine and human, the Christ. The entire book of Revelation is an explanation of the divine life which God placed in the human mold, and gave to man for all eternity. “Divinity needed humanity; for it required both the divine and the human to bring salvation to the world. Divinity needed humanity, that humanity might afford a channel of communication between God and man.” Humanity was lost without divinity. Salvation came by the union of the two in Christ. The union formed in Him will never be severed, for the church to which His teachings gave birth is a child of God, and the history of the church is the history of Emmanuel,-the mystery of godliness. Adam was made in the image of God, and was a son of God; but sin severed the tie, and the children of Adam were born in sin. But Christ, the second Adam, was the Son of God; and the church, the only begotten of Christ, partakes of the nature of the Father, and stands before the world to perpetuate His name,-Emmanuel. This family name will never become extinct. “I [Paul] bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.”SSP 29.1

    The continued history of Emmanuel, as read in the life of the Christian Church, is what was revealed to John by the angel Gabriel, Christ’s attendant,-that member of the heavenly host whose duty it has long been to make known the mystery of God to His servants. God desires MarginAnd without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16.
    To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
    Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:19, 20.
    Luke 19:10.
    Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace. Ephesians 2:15, 16.
    Ephesians 3:10, 11.
    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27.
    And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45.
    Ephesians 3:11-17.
    Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Romans 8:34.
    Ephesians 3:14, 15.
    Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Revelation 1:2.
    Daniel 10:21.
    Daniel 8:16.
    I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. Hosea 8:12.
    that, man should comprehend the nature of His law and the manner of His working.
    SSP 29.2

    Near the close of the first century, Gabriel was bidden to open to the Prophet on Patmos the signs, or symbols, by which John might understand the history of the work of God in the earth. God reveals Himself to man in various ways. “Nature is the mirror of divinity;” the Word of God is His character in human language; Christ was that Word lived in human form, and the body of Christ-the church-has, in addition to these methods, the providences, or leadings, of the Spirit. Thus John “bare record of the Word of God,” as written and as lived in Christ; and he bare record also “of the testimony of Jesus Christ,” “which is the spirit of prophecy,” and he likewise bare record of the signs which Gabriel presented to his vision,-the “all things that he saw.”SSP 30.1

    A heavenly benediction is pronounced upon him “that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy,” and upon those who “keep those things which are written therein.” It must needs be that the things written by John can be understood, else why the blessing that is here pronounced? Since the book is a revelation of MarginThe secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29.
    I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets. Hosea 12:10.
    Numbers 12:6-8.
    And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14.
    Hebrews 4:12-15.
    John 15:10.
    John 16:7, 8.
    Revelation 19:10.
    But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 1 John 2:20, 27.
    Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
    If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
    Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.Proverbs 2:3-5.
    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. Revelation 1:3.
    Jesus Christ to the servants of the Most High, all who are His servants will study and understand the prophecy. Every doctrine necessary for salvation was given in the revelation of Christ, and the book becomes a compendium of the whole Bible. The blessing pronounced upon the servants to whom it is sent, is an eternal blessing: “For thou blessest, O Lord, and it shall be blessed forever.”
    SSP 30.2

    John, while on the island, away from the work with which he had been so long and so intimately associated, away from friends and companions, often let his mind wander to the scene of his former labors. As he looked toward the shores of Asia Minor, there came up before him the picture of the companies of believers who were standing for the truth in the midst of pagan darkness. He loved those followers of his Lord, and through him, Christ sent a message to each of “the seven churches which are in Asia.” The Spirit used each of those churches to represent a period in the history of the work of God on earth, the seven covering the time from the life of John to the closing events in the history of the world.SSP 31.1

    There was a peculiar significance in the location of these seven churches. Asia Minor, or more particularly the western portion of the peninsula to which the term Asia is applied in Revelation 1:4, held in the spread of Christianity, a position corresponding to that which was occupied by Palestine in the history of the Jewish nation. When God wished to make the Hebrew race the leading government of earth, He chose, for the seat of that government, a position unrivaled by any other portion of the globe. Palestine was Margin2 Timothy 3:15, 16.
    John 5:39.
    1 Chronicles 17:27.
    Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Psalm 31:20.
    Jeremiah 15:15-18.
    Deuteronomy 33:3.
    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;
    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. Revelation 1:4, 5.
    Revelation 12:17.
    Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. Psalm 48:2.
    Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Psalm 50:2.
    the highway between the South and the East and between the East and the West. When the power of God passed from this nation to the Christian Church, Asia Minor became the center of activity and the base of operation. In those seacoast towns, and in Ephesus above all others, Jew and Gentile met on equal footing. Every nationality,-Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and dwellers in Mesopotamia, representing the far North and East, met in trade, with citizens of Rome, Egypt, and Cyrene, men from the South and the West. Into these busy marts the Christian faith penetrated, and from these centers, the knowledge of the Christ was spread to all the world.
    SSP 31.2

    Jehovah, the Great I AM, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, the Father of us all, who meets us where we are,-He, the Ever Present, breathed His blessing on the church called by the name of His Son. And from “the seven spirits which are before His throne,” and from Jesus Christ, the visible manifestation of that Spirit, came the greeting of grace and peace to the companies who should be known by the name of the Anointed.SSP 32.1

    Here is inscribed the name of the author of the Revelation. He, who to-day witnesses for us in the heavenly court, is the “faithful witness,” “the first begotten of the dead,” “the prince of the kings of the earth;” and above all He is the one who “loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” He, who on earth was the despised and rejected of men, was in truth the Prince of the kings of the earth. Again and again this same Christ had, by His providences, caused men to acknowledge the fact MarginAll that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth? Lamentations 2:15.
    Acts 19:8-10.
    Acts 19:18-20.
    Acts 2:5-11.
    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:19, 20.
    Exodus 3:2-6.
    And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. Exodus 3:14.
    John 20:22.
    1 Corinthians 1:3.
    2 Corinthians 1:2.
    2 Corinthians 13:14.
    Galatians 1:3.
    Ephesians 1:2.
    Philippians 1:2.
    Colossians 1:2.
    1 Thessalonians 1:1.
    2 Thessalonians 1:2.
    1 Timothy 1:2.
    2 Timothy 1:2.
    Titus 1:4.
    Philippians 1:3.
    He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3.
    that “the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men.” No ruler on earth reigns independent of the Lord of heaven; for all power belongs unto God, and “the powers that be, are ordained of God.” For this reason men are exhorted to pray for governors and kings, that there may be peace in the land.
    SSP 32.2

    Here is the position to which He calls us. He “hath made us kings,” to sit on thrones and rule; “and priests” to minister “unto God and His Father.” And yet, when on earth, He had said, “He that is greatest among you, let him be ...as he that doth serve.” The joint-heirs with Christ rule while still on earth, but their authority here is by virtue of the “power of an endless life,” and they are leaders, not in a physical sense, but in the spiritual realm. The scepter that they sway is not carnal and temporal, but eternal. The position is above earthly potentates, and the wonderful part of it all is, that, in the world, which is in the hands of the prince of evil, Christ has a nation of kings and priests,-a kingdom within a kingdom. “This MarginDaniel 4:17.
    Psalm 44:5-8.
    Psalm 33:6, 7.
    Psalm 75:5-7.
    1 Samuel 2:10.
    1 Samuel 14:6.
    Jeremiah 46:16-20.
    Romans 13:1.
    And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:6.
    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. Revelation 1:9.
    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.
    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. Revelation 1:7, 8.
    is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
    SSP 33.1

    The eye of the prophet swept over the company and as he saw the power of the gospel, in ecstasy he exclaimed, “To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.” He saw, in one glance, the closing of earth’s history, the coming of the Son of man with power and great glory. He saw, again, that angry crowd who gathered in the Garden of Gethsemane, and rudely bore away his Master; he saw the jeering company about the cross, and the soldier who pierced His side; but as he watches this time, he hears the bitter wail of those who rejected the Saviour of mankind. And, as he looked, he heard the words: “I am Alpha, the beginning, and Omega, the ending, ‘the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.’” This expression, or its equivalent, occurs four times in this first chapter.SSP 34.1

    The Sabbath was a precious day to John, and it had been especially dear since that never to be forgotten Sabbath on which their Master rested Margin2 Corinthians 10:4.
    Hebrews 7:16.
    Colossians 1:12, 13.
    Ephesians 5:32.
    Jude 25.
    But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10.
    He came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. Mark 14:39.
    They came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. Luke 22:32.
    Luke 22:47, 48.
    John 19:34.
    Luke 23:27, 28.
    Revelation 1:8, 11, 17, 18.
    And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God. Ezekiel 20:20.
    in the tomb. The preparation for that Sabbath was the bitter hours on Calvary; the day itself was one of utter loneliness; because the gospel of the resurrection was not comprehended. It should have been a day of joy; it was intended as such; and after the Saviour came from the grave, and the light of His countenance again rested upon His followers, they saw more clearly than ever before that the Sabbath was not only a reminder of Creation, but that it also commemorated Redemption. It became the central truth in giving the life of Christ. To John on Patmos it was a day of holy joy. The Saviour came divinely near, and as John contemplated scenes in his own association with Christ, the Man of God, his heart warmed with praise. In imagination he stood by Jordan, and saw the baptism of the Holy Spirit: again he was on the Mount of Transfiguration; he saw the pained face of the Master as they sat around the table on that last night; an agony of feeling passed over him as he recalled the trial, the condemnation, and the death; but it was replaced by the joy of the resurrection, and the remembrance of those last words as the clouds caught Him from the sight of men. John’s love for Christ was so strong that it seemed his Master must surely speak to him again. And he heard behind him a great voice as of a trumpet, and Christ, his own Christ, stood by his side. “I am the first, but I am also the last. ‘I am Alpha and Omega.’ Write what thou seest in a book and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia.”
    SSP 34.2

    He spoke in trumpet tones, like the clearest music, and the voice was as the sound of many waters; but still, to John He was the same Jesus MarginLuke 23:54-56.
    Isaiah 58:13.
    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.
    I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
    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. Revelation 1:9-11
    Colossians 1:14-16.
    John 13:21-25.
    Luke 3:21, 22.
    Matthew 17:1-3.
    Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8-11.
    O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. Song of Solomon 2:14.
    Revelation 1:10.
    Ezekiel 42:2.
    Ezekiel 1:24.
    Revelation 19:5, 6.
    whom he had known in Galilee and in Jerusalem. Not now despised, mocked, and rejected, but standing in the midst of the seven candlesticks,-the churches, their light being the reflection of His own. He was clothed, not in the cast-off purple robe, but in a garment of righteousness of dazzling whiteness, and girt about the loins with the golden girdle of truth. The purity of God Himself encircled His brow with a halo of light, for His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow. The white hairs, which in old age are a crown of glory, even in the presence of sin and decay, are a token of salvation through a Saviour’s love. The power of the life within shone through His eyes as a flame of fire, and the character is still further portrayed in the fact that His feet glowed like unto the most brilliant metal purified seven times. His footsteps were attended by light and heat, and His countenance shone above the brightness of the sun. The shining of our sun is a figure of the light of God shining in the face of Jesus Christ. In human beings, the light of the eye betrays the inner life, and a man’s “countenance doth witness against him.” Thus in every detail of John’s description is revealed the depth of spirituality, the power of the God of life.
    SSP 35.1

    Although this is a description of the personal appearance of Christ, it portrays His character as well. Those who continue to reveal God in the earth must, through the merits of Christ, manifest the same character as living epistles known and read of all men. The robe of His righteousness must cover the human frailties and imperfections; the truth of God must be the MarginAnd I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
    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.
    His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire. Revelation 1:12-14.

    Proverbs 16:31.
    Daniel 7:9.
    And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
    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. Revelation 1:15, 16.

    Ezekiel 1:7.
    Matthew 17:2.
    Acts 26:13-15.
    1 Peter 1:7.
    Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Psalm 4:6.
    Psalm 89:15.
    Luke 9:29.
    The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart. Proverbs 15:30.
    The light of the body is the eye. Matthew 6:22.
    rule of life; cleansed by the blood of Christ, the sinner becomes as white as snow. As He was made perfect through suffering, so the church will be purified by the fires of affliction; they will be brethren with John; “companions in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.”
    SSP 36.1

    He who spoke to John was the One who commanded, and worlds stood forth in space. Christ now stood beside John, and the prophet, looking upon His glory, fell at His feet as one dead. He had walked with Him and talked with Him,-with this same man, Christ Jesus,-when He was on earth. He had asked to sit by His side in His kingdom. The glory of His presence now overcame John, but Jesus laid His right hand on him,-that hand which had so MarginIsaiah 3:9.
    As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him. Colossians 2:6.
    2 Corinthians 5:20.
    1 Peter 2:21.
    2 Corinthians 3:1, 2.
    Isaiah 6:10.
    Revelation 19:8.
    James 2:12.
    1 John 1:7.
    Isaiah 1:18, 19.
    Hebrews 10:35.
    Revelation 1:9.
    Proverbs 16:31.
    Psalm 33:6-9.
    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:
    I am he that liveth, and was dead: and, behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen: and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:17, 18.
    often rested there before, and in a voice which John recognized as the same with which the Master spoke to the stormy waves of Galilee, He said, “Be not afraid, ‘I am He that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore.’ You saw me in the grave, but I now have the keys of hell and of death.” And so the message which John was commanded to give unto the churches is a message of triumph over sin, over death and the grave. It is the victory of truth over error.
    SSP 37.1

    Christ appeared, walking in the midst of the candlesticks, which symbolize the churches; and He held in His hand the seven stars or angels, which direct the work of the churches, and which are light-bearers from His throne to those who represent the work of heaven on earth. God looks upon the Christian Church as He looked upon Christ in the days of His sojourn on earth. As He was attended by an angel, so the church is guided by the Spirit of God, and by the testimony of that Spirit. In days of triumph, the angel attendants sing the song which filled the plains of Bethlehem on the night of the birth of Jesus: in days of persecution, trials, and despondency, angels lift the weary heads, as Gabriel ministered to Christ in the wilderness and in Gethsemane. The church completes the work begun by Christ in the flesh. His life studied will give the history of the church. His life as recorded in the Revelation of Jesus Christ is but a further unfolding of that same mystery of the incarnation,-the Emmanuel. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” MarginWrite the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter:
    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. Revelation 1:19, 20.

    Malachi 2:7.
    The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17.
    Hebrews 2:12.
    Zechariah 2:5.
    And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Acts 2:17.
    Luke 15:10.
    Luke 2:7-14.
    Matthew 4:11.
    Luke 22:43.
    Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
    And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Ephesians 2:19-21.
    Colossians 1:28, 29.
    1 Corinthians 3:3, 15, 16.
    Revelation 1:3.
    SSP 38.1

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