When John was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, what did he see?
Here we break down the wonder of Jesus - the Son of Man - and why He calls us to not be afraid.

Revelation 1:9-20

1 John 2:18 Last hour, many antichrists.

Revelation is a book written to encourage and strengthen us. It also warns us to wake up!

The Greeting to the Revelation (v4-8)

God is Triune in nature (v4-5a).
The I AM, the Holy Spirit, Jesus

At times the Holy Spirit is described as one spirit and other times as a seven-fold spirit.
The latter speaks of perfection, possibly the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit (e.g. Isaiah 11).

Could the spirits mentioned here be a bunch angels?
Unlikely, given context of I AM and Jesus.

Description of Jesus (v5-6)
Why is the Holy Spirit mentioned in the middle? - because rest of chapter is about Jesus.

Jesus is the faithful witness
Witness == martyr - originally meant courtroom witness, became synonymous with those who gave their life
See Rev 2:13

Jesus witness to Father and faithful to death on the cross.
Jesus is supreme over death

Jesus rules over kings of the earth - tough to believe at times, but he is!
All authority on heaven and earth given to him (Matthew 28:18).
Jesus reigns - opposition to his reign does not alter the truth.
One day the opposition will end, see 1 Corinthians 15:24-26.

This description causes John to burst out in worship (v5b-6).
How do I know Jesus loves me? He freed me by his blood! (Galatians 2:20 - Paul gets personal)
Not only are we freed - we are a kingdom of priests. Priests are conduits / go-betweens.

The urgency (v7)
Highlights the need for a faithful kingdom of priests (v6).
Wonderful, exciting verse but the severity / urgency of it cannot be ignored.
It is a call to live in the light of the end. Look he's coming!

Live in light of eternity - the only legacy worth leaving. What is your bucket list?
The coming of Jesus must affect your choices / what you give your time and attention to.

The coming of Jesus is a time of judgement.

God underlines the introduction (v8)

The Genesis of the Revelation (v9-11)

The suffering, kingdom and patience are closely linked.
These are key themes of Revelation.
Suffering : Revelation 2:9-10,22; 7:14
Kingdom: Revelation 11:15; 12:10; 16:10; 17:12,17-18
Patience: Revelation 2:2-3,19; 3:10; 13:10; 14:12

John's description of himself
Brother, partner, companion : the one who Jesus loved.
Partner in the tribulation, the kingdom and the patient endurance - that are in Jesus.
In Jesus these three are also ours.
Suffering and the kingdom are inseperable parts of our inheritance in Jesus (see Phillipians 1:29).
We walk in the paradox of the cross - our weakness (2 Corinthians 2:19) is often the very means by which the victory of God comes.

Lord's day
Only place in scripture this is mentioned - commonly thought to refer to Sunday, first day of week (resurrection).

In the spirit
What does this refer to?
Jude 1:20 Pray in the spirit. John 4:24 Worship in spirit and truth.
Be in line with the gospel and in submission to the mind of the spirit.

John worshipping (in prison) on Sunday in intense awareness of the Holy Spirit.
John did not obtain the revelation by manipulation, he was just ready for it.
John did not waste his Patmos experience, he did not blame God. The Holy Spirit experienced it with him.
There is an intensity of relationship with the Spirit of God that only Patmos experiences bring.

The God man of the Revelation (v12-18)

This is Jesus is in his glorified state (v13).
Long robe - Jesus status as high priest. Isaiah 1:6 robe filled the temple. Great status. Great honour.
Gold sash - speaks of royalty and purity
Sash round chest - person resting in accomplishment of task (compare: round waist - prepare for work).
On cross Jesus declared "it is finished", here he is displaying it.

White hair mark of honour, prestige, wisdom, nobility. See Daniel 7:9
Jesus described here in ways only God had been before!
The son of man is also the son of God.

Eyes like a flame of fire - they penetrate, they see everything, they see through the facade.

Feet like bronze speaks of sturdiness, he does not have clay feet, his foundation is strong.

His voice drowns out all others.

Right hand speaks of power, control, rule. He sits in a position of authority.

Jesus is pictured as walking among the 7 lampstands.
Speaks of him caring for the lamps - tending, trimming, refuelling.

The 7 lampstands represent churches.
The 7 stars represent the angels of the churches.
Gold - call to purity.
Hints elsewhere in scripture that angels have responsibilities to specific nations, churches, people.
See 1 Corinthians 11:10
Ephesians 6 reminds us that there are things going on we do not know about, cannot see.
Hebrews 13:2 - it is possible to entertain angels unaware.

In Revelation 2:5 we have a warning that Jesus might remove a lampstand from its place.
Suggests he will cease to care for it. Its outward form will remain, but it will give no light.
Churches which have a form of godliness but without any power (2 Timothy 3:5).

Double-edged sword - word of God, wounds and heals. Needs to do both.

Face describes his glory. No sun needed in coming Kingdom.
See the glory of God in the face of Jesus.

John responded by falling.
Jesus touches him and says "do not be afraid".
Why no fear? Jesus has taken on the enemy and overcome him.
Jesus did not rebuke John for falling down (unlike angel in Revelation 22:8).
Instead Jesus compares himself with God - Alpha, Omega, First, Last, Living One.

What am I afraid of?
Life is easy / comfy, no police at door, no sickness, no thirst, no hunger.
Fear - of failure, not meeting expectations, of appearance.
Do you have a Patmos - are you angry with God?
What do I run after to escape fear, or does fear cripple me?
Fear, no matter how it manifests itself is no way to live.

Jesus' words to all of us "fear not, do not be afraid - my right hand is on you, I love you, I freed you".
Lay your life down before Jesus as a living sacrifice. Receive grace upon grace.
That we might be priests with a great story to tell to a people desperate for it.

Instructions (v19-20)

Hear, see, write
A common refrain throughout Revelation.
What did this experience look like?
Compare with 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. Paul not allowed to share it (pride issue?).

What is now and what will take place
The latter-day kingdom Daniel prophesied is not something to arrive at a later date, or when Christ returns, but has now arrived. The scope of Revelation covers all the events of world history, commencing with the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, the outpouring of the Spirit, and concoluding with his final return.

The mystery
This reminds us of the prophet mystery Daniel spoke of (Daniel 2:27-30).
Paul refers to this mystery in 1 Corinthians 2:7; Romans 11:25, 16:25; Ephesians 3:3-6.
Jesus also spoke of the mysteries of the Kingdom Matthew 13:11.

This prophetic mystery was fulfilled in a way contrary to common expectations.
Jesus came as Isaiah's suffering servant, the Lion of Judah who conquered by laying down his life as a lamb (Revelation 5:1-10).
This mystery is applied to the church through the ages, the community of those who follow in Christ's footsteps.
The reality of Christ's sovereign rule over history is exercised even when Christians are suffering (he walks amongst the lampstands).

Further Reading

Revelation 14:14; Daniel 7:13
Son of man

Daniel 10:16
Overcome, speechless, encouragement.

Revelation 19:11-21
King of kings, Lord of lords

Romans 6:9, 14:9
Christ overcame death.