Part 002 – The Christ

The Book of REVELATION

A Study

Part 002

As we have seen in Part 001, the THEME of the Book of Revelation is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” all things that God planned and purposed for man in relation the earth being finally fulfilled through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is unveiled and also will be accomplished through angelic ministry. The seven spirits emanating from God’s throne, is seen in connection with the faithful witness of the Son or the revelation or unveiling of the Son (Rev.1:4, 5). Seven is a number showing completeness. The Father, through His Son, brings all things in view, to completion.

Then we see certain descriptions of Christ, mentioned in Rev.1:1-8, as an introduction to the unveiling or revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, which must shortly take place:

1) The One Who is, Who was, and Who is to come

The words, who is and who was and who is to come” are repeatedly used in this book (Rev.1:4; 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 16:5). The first reference (1:4) has to do with the Father and the second reference (1:8) has to do with the Son. Thus, as seen in these verses, both the Father and the Son exist in a co-equal sense throughout all time, without a beginning or an ending. Similarly, in John 1:1, “God” and “the Word” are seen as one and the same and that they existed continuously without a beginning or an ending. And the Word which was God, became flesh at a point in time in the person of the Son (John 1:14; 19:30; 14:9, 10). And similarly, the coming of the Father (1:4) will occur very soon through the coming in the person of His Son (1:8).

2) Firstborn, Ruler (Rev.1:5)

Exo.4:22 states, “Thus says the Lord God, Israel is my son, even my firstborn.” The nation of Israel symbolically experienced death in Egypt through substitution of the Pascal Lambs, and then burial and resurrection at the Red Sea. Subsequently they were to inherit their Promised Land and exercise therein the rights of the firstborn. Similarly, when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, and as witnessed subsequently in baptism, we have experienced death, burial and resurrection in Christ. This is with a view to inherit the kingdom of the heavens and exercise therein the rights of the firstborn (Rom.6:4; Col.2:12; 3:1, 2).

In a similar manner Christ is presented in Rev.1:5 as “the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.” When “the manifestation of the sons of God” occurs (Rom.8:19, 29; Heb.2:10), when God brings many sons unto glory, God’s Son will occupy the position of “the firstborn among many brethren” (John 12:23-25; Col.3:3, 4).

3) Loved us and loosed us (Rev.1:5)

God’s redemptive work, emanating from His love, began in Eden following man’s sin. God slew one or more innocent animals, took the skin and clothed Adam and Eve. Death and shed blood occurred, which set an unchangeable pattern for God’s continued redemptive work. This is fulfilled in a two-fold manner. Firstly, a redemptive work has resulted in the death of Christ as the Lamb of God. Secondly, a continuing redemptive work occurs through Christ’s present high priestly ministry. Both, with a view to bring back fallen man back into a position where he can realize the purpose for his creation in the beginning “…let them have dominion” (Gen.1:26-28).

4) Made us a kingdom of priests (Rev.1:6)

The picture is one kingdom with a body of priests. In the coming kingdom, all the nations will be ruled by and blessed through Israel, “kingdom of priests” (Exo.19:6). We, the believers in the Church will occupy exactly the same position from a heavenly sphere under Christ (1Pet.2:9).

5) Behold, He is coming with clouds (Rev.1:7)

His coming will be in a two-fold manner; first, for the removal of the church (Rev.1:9 — 4:11) and second, to deal with Israel and the nations (Rev.5 — 20a). The clouds can refer to the large number of angels who will accompany our Lord during His coming. When He comes to judge and reward each of us in the whole church, innumerable angels will be with Him (Rev.1-3; Matt.16:27). Then, when He comes for Israel and the nations also He will be accompanied by innumerable angels, called the armies in heaven (Rev.19:14). While regathering the Jews also He will be with many angels (Deut.30:1-3; Ezek.34:13; 36:24; Matt.24:29-31).

The cloud also refers to the glory of God (Exo.40:34; 1Kings 8:11), the glory of the Father with which the Lord will appear (Matt.16:27; Matt.17:5; 26:64).

6) Every eye shall see Him (Rev.1:7)

“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt.24:27). This will happen when the Lord comes to complete His dealing with Israel and other nations. Before this, we all who are part of the church will meet Him at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2Cor.5:10; Rom.14:10-12; Rev.1-3). The Gentile nations coming against Israel and Israel’s Messiah will see Him and will be utterly destroyed (Psa.2:1-5; Ezek.38:18 — 39:8, 21-23; Dan.2:44, 45). All the unsaved men will see Him on the Great White Throne after the Messianic Era (Rev.20:11-15).

7) Even they who pierced Him (Rev.1:7)

In the middle of the tribulation period all the Jews in the land of Israel are going to be uprooted and scattered over all the nations and severely persecuted (Matt.24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24; 2Chron.7:19-22; Rev.17:1, 15, 16). In their deep distress they will repent from all their harlotries, unbelief and disobedience and cry unto God. Then their Messiah will return and not only regather them but will also destroy the Gentile world power. The real and total regathering will take place only after Israel’s repentance and after God has sent the Deliverer back to the repentant nation.

8) All upon the earth shall wail (Rev.1:7)

At that time, the rapture of the church would have taken place already. And “all upon the earth” would be the Jews and other Gentile nations.

When their Messiah appears before the Jews, they will immediately remember all what they did to Him on His first appearance — they had rejected and crucified their Messiah. In that day, they are going to be greatly troubled and they are going to be as Joseph’s brethren at the time when Joseph revealed himself to them (Gen.45:1-3). There shall be great mourning in Israel (Zech.12:10-12). And then similar to what Joseph’s brethren did (Gen.45:26), the Jews will go forth proclaiming, “Jesus is alive, and He is governor over the entire earth.”

The Gentile nations, under satanic leadership, will make a final attempt to come against Israel and their Messiah. But the battle will be completely one sided — He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision (Rev.19:17-21; Psa.2:1-6; Isa.63:1-4; Ezek.38, 39; Dan.2:44, 45; Joel 3:9-17).