Hades
The name of the ancient Greek underworld and the god of that underworld. In modern Christianity, the term hades refers to the abode of the dead, also known as Sheol, or hell, where the dead await judgment.
Revelation 1 Commentary
Summary: Read Revelation 1 KJV along with a helpful commentary.
 
 

Revelation 1 KJV

Commentary

1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

 

2Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

3Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

1:1-3 The book of Revelation is a loving message from Jesus Christ to His precious bride, the church, revealing the things that must soon come to pass. It is meant to be understood by His people, with a blessing promised to those who read, hear and keep the things revealed in these prophecies.

The word “Revelation” comes from the Greek “apokalupisis” (Strong’s # 602) which means: “an unveiling of”. The very name of this book disproves the common assumption that it cannot be understood. Despite the many different interpretations of Daniel and Revelation, the Bible says that the wise “will” understand them. Matthew 24:25; Daniel 12:10.

This book is said to be the “Revelation of Jesus.” He is its author; it is a message straight from Him. Revelation continues where the four gospels and the book of Acts left off, and shows us what Jesus has done since then, is doing now and will do for His church in the future. Revelation 1:19.

“The time is at hand.” This book of prophecy contained messages needed by the Church in John’s day, by the Church throughout its history and for us as individual Christians today. The message for today is especially relevant, for we are living in the “time of the end” and “the time is at hand” when the final events portrayed in the book of Revelation will sweep over the world and bring the great controversy to a spectacular conclusion.

4John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

1:4 There were seven literal churches in Asia to which John directed this letter. See notes on 1:20. Seven is also a symbol of perfection, wholeness, or completeness in prophecy. The term “seven churches” indicates the whole or complete church through all ages. The “seven spirits” denote the perfect Holy Spirit of God.

5And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

1:5 Christ’s death on the cross bore witness to the truth of the righteousness of God’s character and of Satan’s malignant lies. Jesus is our “faithful Witness” “that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”

The term “first begotten of the dead,” could mean either first in time or first in importance. Since Moses, Lazarus and a number of others were raised from the dead before His own resurrection; Jesus is the foremost or most important of those raised from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:20; Colossians 1:18. He is head of the church. He is the “second Adam,” the new head of the human race for those who have faith in Him. He is the “first fruits of the dead,” the preeminent one of the harvest of the saints of earth rose from the dead. He is the pattern of righteousness into whose image we will be conformed. Romans 5:12-19; 8:29.

6And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1:6 When we receive Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour, we are forgiven, cleansed and made royalty as “kings and priests unto God!”

“To Him be Glory.” The glory, splendor, majesty and holiness of God are portrayed throughout the Bible. For some descriptions of God’s glory, see Isaiah 6:1-3; Ezekiel 10; Psalm 29; Daniel 7:9, 10; Exodus 24:17; 33:7-9, 18-23; 34:5-7, 29-35; 40:34-38; Mark 9:2-8.

7Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

1:7 Every eye will see Jesus at His Second Coming. It will be as visible as a flash of lightning on a dark night. Matthew 24:27. This breathtaking event will not be a secret, but will bring terror to those who have rejected His mercy.

8I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

1:8 See notes on Revelation 1:11.

9I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

10I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

1:10 John was “In the Spirit,” meaning he was in vision, “on the Lord’s day.” The only day the Bible calls “the Lord’s Day” is the seventh-day Sabbath. Isaiah 58:13; Mark 2:28; Exodus 20:11. Of all the eight times that “the first day” [Sunday] is mentioned in the New Testament it is never called holy, blessed, the Lord’s day, or anything but a common working day.

11Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

1:11 “Alpha and Omega” are the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet. Jesus calls himself the A to Z, “the First and the Last.” Jesus Christ is God Eternal. His love is constant and sure. He is everything we need from beginning to end. See Isaiah 41:4; 48:12.

12And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

1:12-13 Revelation 1:20 tells us that the “seven golden candlesticks” represent the seven churches.” In the days of ancient Israel, the seven golden candlesticks were in the holy place of the Sanctuary. Exodus 25:31-40; 2 Chronicles 4:7. The clothing Jesus is wearing here is the attire of a high priest. This is a picture of Christ watching over and guiding His Church, and ministering as High Priest in the heavenly Sanctuary.

Christ appears here “like unto the Son of man,” in human form. He forever identifies Himself with humanity.

14His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

15And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

 

16And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

1:16 “Seven stars.” See notes on 1:20. The sharp, two-edged sword” is the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17.

17And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

 

18I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

1:18 The word here translated “hell” is the Greek word “Hades” which literally means the “grave or abode of the dead.” Jesus alone has power over life and death. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. Christ demonstrated His mighty power over the grave by raising the dead to life and through His own resurrection. Death is not God’s original plan; it was the result of the sin of Adam and Eve. Jesus plans to restore things to the way He meant them to be. He promises to destroy this curse (1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 20:14) so that no one will ever die again.

19Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

 

20The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

1:20 “The seven churches.” These messages have multiple applications. First, as a literal message for the historical churches to which they were addressed. Second, more broadly, the reproofs, commendations and promises apply to present day church congregations that have the same characteristics as the churches to which they are addressed. Third, to individual Christians who have those same traits. Last, each is a prophecy representing seven periods in the history of the Christian church from John’s day till the end of time, just like the time prophecies in Daniel. Each of the seven churches is symbolic of what God’s people would face during the succeeding periods of its history.

 

Ahead to Revelation 2

This commentary is adapted from Amazing Prophecies, © 2010 Family Heritage Books.

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