John Is Called To Write the Prophecy -2
v.4-6 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
These seven churches in Asia (i.e., Western Turkey) were real congregations that existed at the time of John. Throughout Scripture, however, the number “seven” is also taken to signify that which is “complete” and “whole”. Seven days, for instance, make a complete week; seven colors create a complete rainbow; and seven notes make up a complete musical scale. Therefore, at the same time that this book was intended to instruct seven historical congregations, it is also meant to instruct the Church as a whole and is as relevant for you and me today as it was for those in the first century.
In this opening greeting, John introduces himself simply by name. Then he goes on and categorically and wonderfully identifies the triune God: He is God the Father (“who is and who was and who is to come”), God the Holy Spirit (“the seven Spirits who are before His throne”), and God the Son (“Jesus Christ”).
Okay, but let’s consider why John alludes to the Holy Spirit as “the seven Spirits” when the Bible emphatically teaches the oneness of the Holy Spirit (1John 5:7). The best explanation seems to surround the following prophecy Isaiah gave concerning Jesus, and the seven-fold manifestation of the Holy Spirit that rested upon Him during His time on earth. (The brackets are included for emphasis only and are not part of the original text).
- “The [Spirit of] the Lord shall rest upon Him,
- The [Spirit of] wisdom and [the Spirit of] understanding,
- The [Spirit of] counsel and [the Spirit of] might,
- The [Spirit of] knowledge and [the Spirit] of the fear of the Lord” (Isa.11:2).
v.7-8 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, and they also who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and is to come, the Almighty.”
John concludes his greeting by drawing attention to our Lord’s Second Coming. This speaks of our Savior’s glorious Return to this planet to establish His Kingdom on earth, not the rapture of the Church.
The rapture will be a covert event. Jesus will reach into this world’s kingdom sight unseen and remove His Church “as a thief in the night.” In the same way a homeowner is first made aware that a thief has come and gone when things are found missing from the home, the world will know nothing more of Rapture until after it discovers the Church’s disappearance.
The Second Coming on the other hand will be an event as visible and dramatic as an invasion. The whole world shall see Him (Rev.19:11), and as John points out, all of the tribes of earth will mourn because of Him—meaning that the nation Israel will mourn because of Him (see—Zech.12:10).
It’s time to get ready, dear ones. “Behold, He is coming…!” The seventh from Adam prophesied it (Jude 14), Jesus openly qualified it (Matt.24:30), the angels declared it (Acts 1:11), and again here in Revelation it’s not just reiterated, but affirmed with an arousing heavenly cry “Even so, Amen.”