The Sovereign Builder

Revelation 1:9-2:1

The message: an uncovering of the things which would occur soon v.1

The source: God (the Father) by way of the exalted Christ v.1

The messenger: an angel sent from Jesus Christ v.1

The recipient: John, the apostle v. 1
the one who had given witness of the Logos of God v. 2; see also
1 John 1:1-3 and John 1:1, 14
the representative of the churches v.9

The beneficiaries: the church at large v.4, 11
not solely for John’s benefit

The experience: worship and adoration vv.5b-8

The day: Sunday, the Lord’s Day v.10

The medium: a prophetic vision vv.10 & 12

The commission: write what you see (the revelation, the message) in a book v.11, 19

A. John’s worship experience:

1. heard v.10

loud voice

like a trumpet

speaking with authority, so as to command attention

see Dan. 10:6; John 10:27-30

2. turned v.12a

responded physically and intellectually

actively “engaged” in worship

3. saw v.12b


a majestic figure

4. fell v.17a

completely overwhelmed and overcome by the majesty of the figure

overpowered by his greatness, his glorious holiness

same response as Isaiah (Isa 6:5), Ezekiel (Eze 1:28), and Daniel (Dan 10:15)

B. The One encountered

1. Who he is

seen vv. 13-16

a glorious figure

compare: Dan. 7:9, 10:4-6

One of these men had a belt of fine gold, the other a golden sash around his chest. One had a face like the appearance of lightning, the other like the sun shining in full strength. One had eyes like flaming torches, the other like a flame of fire. One had arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, the other feet like burnished bronze. One had the voice like the sound of a multitude, the other like the roar of many waters. If we make allowance for the cultural differences present between the Babylonian exile and Patmos exile as well as the individuality of the authors and that John was very possibly quoting from memory, they almost certainly were confronted by the same Person. There’s A War Going On

Everything about the appearance of this individual conveys glory, majesty, power and authority.

self-identified vv.17b-18

gracious – Fear not

creator and consummator – first and last

living sacrifice – lives, was dead

exalted one – alive forevermore

conquering hero – have the keys (see Ps. 68:18; 1 Cor. 15:54-57; Eph. 4:8) and absolute sovereign

Notice that the Son of man is here pictured as clothed with power and majesty and with awe and terror. That long royal robe; that golden belt buckled at the breast; that hair so glistening white that like snow on which the sun is shining it hurts the eye; those eyes flashing fire, eyes which read every heart and penetrate every hidden corner; those feet glowing in order to trample down the wicked; that loud, reverberating voice, like the mighty breakers booming against the rocky shore of Patmos; that sharp, long, heavy great-sword with two biting edges; that entire appearance “as the sun shines in its power,” too intense for human eyes to stare at—the entire picture, taken as a whole, is symbolical of Christ, the Holy One, coming to purge His churches, and to punish those who are persecuting His elect. Hendricksen, New Testament Commentary

2. Where he is vv.13, 20

among the lampstands

3. What he is doing vv.16, 20-2:1

walking among the churches (2:1)

ongoing presence – Matt. 28:20

intimate oversight and tender care

coordinating and governing the building of his church – Matt. 16:18

death and Hades cannot prevail – HE HOLDS THE KEYS!

wielding the sword of his word – see v.19

on behalf of his church

to build up the saints

to conquer his enemies

holding in his right hand

the hand of

blessing – Gen 48:13-18

power – Exodus 15:6, 12

strength – Psa 16:8; 18:35

refuge – Psa 17:17

deliverance – Psa 60:5

honor – Psa 110:5

victory – Psa 118:15-16

authority – 1 Pet. 3:21-22

his ministers

in the care of Christ

ministering in his authority

are the agents he uses to wield his sword

secure from all enemies when they trust in him

C. Response v.3 (see also Rev. 22:14)

1. Read aloud

2. Hear

3. Keep

be faithful in obedience

4. Receive the blessing

a good gift from God

the first gift – an absolutely awesome and overwhelming vision of how Christ is caring for his church

confidence of God’s sovereignty over all things – v.8, 17

assurance of his personal care – vv.16-17, 20

certainty that Christ has done/will do all necessary for our perseverance – 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7

Just as he was during John’s day, Christ continues to build up his church into its final and complete form.

“This is for special consolation in evil times, that Christ hath such a care of His Ministers and Churches: let the Devil pluck again and again to have a Ministry down, sometimes by force, sometimes by flight, it will not be, they are stars, and in Christ’s hand: sooner will Stars be plucked from heaven, than they from Him.” James Durham, Commentary on Revelation


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