Lesson 9 – Revelation 1:17-20
Lesson 9 – Revelation 1:17-20
Revelation 1:17-18 – John’s reaction to this is also similar to his experience with the glory of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. He was overwhelmed with terror and fell at His feet like a dead man. Daniel reacted in much the same way when an angel appeared to him (Daniel 10:8-9; 8:17). Isaiah was also so affected (Isaiah 6:5). Ezekiel fell on his face when confronted with his visions of the Lord (Ezekiel 1:28;3:23;9:8;43:3;44:4). But Yeshua reached out His right hand and softly touched John, assuring Him and said four things to John.
1) “Do not be afraid”. He was telling John that He had not appeared to him in judgment but in love and care. He was appearing to commission John to use him to reach out to the churches building them up and for the reaching of the lost for God (Isaiah 41:10;43:1-2).
2) “I am the first and the last” (Revelation 1:17). That is, He is the beginning and the end. He is the One who can be with a person forever—when the person is born and when he dies and during all the days in between. John need not fear the awesome, terrifying presence of Messiah, for He not only is the eternal Lord of the universe but the Savior of man (John 8:58). He also identified Himself as “I am” which was the covenant name of God (Exodus 3:14). The same name with that comforted the terrified disciples who saw Him walking on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:27). Yeshua took that name for Himself in John 8:58 which was a direct claim to deity that was not lost on His opponents (John 8:59).
3) “and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:18). This also is a title used throughout Scripture to describe God (Joshua 3:10;1 Samuel 17:26;Psalm 84:2;Hosea 1:10;Matthew 16:16; 26:6; Acts 14:15, Romans 9:26;2 Corinthians 3:3;6:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:9;1 Timothy 3:15;4:10; Hebrews 3:12; 9:14; 10:31; Revelation 7:2).
The exalted Lord need not be feared because He is the same Person who came to earth and died and arose for our salvation. While He dwells in the most awesome glory, He dwells there to save us, not to condemn us. He lives always to make us acceptable to God and to carry us through the evil and death of this world (John 1:4; 10:10).
4) “I have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18). Jesus has conquered death, and He can deliver us from judgment and hell (Hebrews 2:14-15; John 5:24; Isaiah 25:8). Hades is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament term Sheol and refers to the place of the dead. Hades is the place that temporarily holds the immaterial part of the unbeliever between death and the ultimate casting into the lake of fire. The Keys speak of His access and authority.
Jesus has the authority to decide who dies and who lives. And John, like all the redeemed, had nothing to fear, since Messiah had already delivered him from death and Hades by His own death. Knowing that Jesus has authority over death provides us with assurance, since we need no longer fear it. Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies… because I live, you will live also.” (John 11:25;14:19). To die, Paul noted, is “to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord ” (2 Corinthians 5:8; cf. Philippians 1:23). Jesus conquered Satan and took the keys of death away from him.
-The things which are: that is, the state and condition of the churches (Revelation 2-3), and
-The things which shall be: that is, the consummation of human history, the coming again of the Lord Yeshua and the end of the world (Revelation 4-22).
The vision John saw inspired in him a healthy tension between fear and assurance. Like John, who was called to record all that he saw, all Believers have a duty to pass on the truths they learn from what is recorded in this book. These words like all Scripture, are ” inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work ” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).