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The Book of Revelation (part 5): John on the Isle of Patmos
July 17, 2019

The Book of Revelation (part 5): John on the Isle of Patmos

July 17, 2019

The Book of Revelation (part 5)

John on the Isle of Patmos

Revelation 1:9-20


Ephesians 1:9-10 – JB Phillips

For God has allowed us to know the secret of His plan and it is this, He purposed long ago in His sovereign will that all human history should be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in heaven and earth should find its perfection and fulfillment in Him.


Gk – apokolypsis (our English word apocalypse is transliterated from this Greek word)

apo – away from

kalupsis – veiling

away from veiling, an unveiling


March 13 – (part 1) – 3 classifications of people that God deals with in the Bible:

the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Church


March 27 (part 2) – Four Covenants






April 10 (part 3) – Daniel’s revelation

There are yet 7 years of Jewish time that God revealed to Daniel that must be fulfilled.


The Jewish time clock will begin to tick again when Israel makes or confirms a covenant with its enemies. Seven years from that time, the second coming will occur.

July 10 (part 4) – Revelation 1:1-8

Revelation 1:1-8 (NKJV)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, (2) who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. (3) Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. (4) 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, (5) 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, (6) and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (7) Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. (8) “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Tonight – Part 5

Revelation 1:8-17

Revelation 1:8 – NKJV

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

*I am Alpha and Omega-

Jesus refers to Himself as the Alpha and the Omega also in Revelation 21:6 and 22:13.

Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

Jesus here is saying that He is Alpha, that is, He was around at the beginning – any and every beginning. Nothing takes Him by surprise. He knows the origin of every issue and situation.

Colossians 1:15-18 – NLT

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, (16) for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. (17) He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together. (18) Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So He is first in everything.

He is also Omega, the end, the last. He will be here at any and every ending, of anything, anywhere. He will be here when evil is finally put away, Satan is judged, and the earth is returned back to the pristine environment it once was.

* He is the Almighty.


The all-ruling, absolute, and universal Sovereign, Almighty, Omnipotent. He who holds sway over all things.

This word Almighty is used of God 10 times in the New Testament, 9 of those times in the book of Revelation:

2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15; 21:22

John is reminding us here that Jesus is the One True God, who rules over all, and subdues all His enemies.


(9) I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

*Here John reminds the churches that he is their brother and companion. He mentions three areas where this is true:

First, he is their brother in tribulation. If they have been suffering for their faith, so has he. Maybe more so because he was on the penal colony of Patmos because of his faith.

Secondly, he is their brother in the Kingdom. If they were living in the expectation of Christ’s return to set up His kingdom on earth, so was John!

Thirdly, he is their brother in patience. Until Jesus returns to rule the earth, they must be patient and endure with faith and patience the hardships that life brings.

John was on the isle of Patmos when he received the Revelation.

Patmos was a small island in the Aegean Sea 60 miles southwest of Ephesus, a city in modern Turkey. It is about 150 miles east of Athens Greece. It was 10 miles long, 6 miles wide, and had no trees. It was very rocky. John was banished there by the Roman Emperor Domitian.

The Historical Background of Revelation

(From Halley’s Bible Handbook (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1965, twenty-fourth edition.) page 686.

These visions were given, and the book was written, in the lurid light of burning martyrs. The church was 66 years old. It had grown enormously. It had suffered, and was suffering, terrific persecutions.

The first imperial persecution of Christians, 30 years before this book was written, was instigated by Emperor Nero in AD 64 – 67. In that persecution, many Christians were crucified, or thrown to wild beasts, or wrapped in combustible garments and burned to death while Nero laughed at the pitiful shrieks of burning men and women. Paul and Peter suffered martyrdom in Nero’s persecution.

The second imperial persecution was under Emperor Domitian (AD 95). It was short but extremely severe. More than 40,000 Christians were tortured and killed. It was during this period of persecution that John was banished to the island of Patmos.

The third imperial persecution, that of Trajan, was soon to begin (AD 98). John had lived through the first two and was now about to enter the third of Rome’s efforts to blot out the Christian faith. Those were dark days for the church. And still darker days were coming. (See The First Centuries: From Pentecost to A.D. 313.)

But persecution from without was not the only problem. The church itself, from within, was beginning to show signs of corruption and apostasy.

God gave these visions, evidently, to help prepare and steady the church for the awful days ahead, and to comfort the church with the certainty that He stands at the beginning as well as at the end of history.

Next, John reveals

Revelation 1:10-11 – NKJV

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, (11) saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

* To be in the Spirit was to be in a state where he was more influenced by the Holy Spirit than natural surroundings.

To be in the spirit , for John, was to be in an ecstatic state and supernaturally transported out of the material world – and then while fully awake, be empowered by the Holy Spirit to behold prophetic events of the last days.

[from In The Spirit On The Lord’s Day, – Newsletter – March/April 2008 edition (2009: Winter Garden, FL: Zion’s; Zion’s Hope, Inc). p. 7]

This did not happen only to John in the Bible. The prophet Ezekiel had a similar experience:

Ezekiel 8:3-4 – NLT

He reached out what seemed to be a hand and took me by the hair. Then the Spirit lifted me up into the sky and transported me to Jerusalem in a vision from God. I was taken to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the Temple, where there is a large idol that has made the Lord very jealous. (4) Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel was there, just as I had seen it before in the valley.

The Apostle Peter had a similar experience:

Acts 10:9-16 – NLT

The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, (10) and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. (11) He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. (12) In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. (13) Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” (14) “No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.” (15) But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” (16) The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven.

The Apostle Paul had an experience like this:

2 Corinthians 12:1-4 – NLT

This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. (2) I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. (3) Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know (4) that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.

Most Bible commentaries mention that John was speaking of being in the spirit on a Sunday, the first day of the week.

But, The Lord’s Day is not found in the four gospels following Jesus’ resurrection.

It’s not found in the Book of Acts. It is not found in any of the epistles in the New Testament.

The only place in the Bible this is found is here in Revelation 1:10.

The Lord’s Day is not found until 50 years after John wrote Revelation in any of the writings of the early church fathers.

This was written to seven churches in Asia Minor. How could they understand what he was saying when he mentions The Lord’s Day if it is not normally used in their speech before this time?

There is a similar expression used by 8 Old Testament writers and 3 New Testament authors that describes the time period John is talking about.

The Lord’s day could also be translated The Day of the Lord, referring to the period of time during Daniel’s 70th week when the wrath of God is poured out on the earth.

During the Day of the Lord, believers will be raptured, the unsaved will be judged, and the 1000-year reign of Jesus will be ushered in.

*John was placed in a trance by the Holy Spirit and shown what would transpire at the end of the age of Grace during the Day of the Lord.

John was placed in another trance in Revelation 4 and 5. There, a door was opened in heaven and he was told to come up here! There he saw the throne of God, and the scroll on God’s right hand with the 7 seals on it. He saw the events of the end of the age as they unfolded!

So here in Revelation 1, John is placed in a trance-like state and shown what will happen.

In Revelation 1:19, John is commanded:

Revelation 1:19

Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.

So, while John is in a trance he sees 2 things: the things which are (which is chapters 1-3), and the things which will take place after this (chapters 4-22).

So to state again:

Revelation 1:10-11 – NKJV

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, (11) saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

Rev 1:12

Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,

Here John sees 7 golden lampstands. Lampstands were part of the furniture in the Old Testament Tabernacle and Temple.

Revelation 1:13

and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.

This is referring to Christ; the language is similar to Daniel 7:13:

Daniel 7:13 – NLT

As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence.

The description is that similar to a priest dressed in a long robe with a golden sash around his chest.

Revelation 1:14-15

His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; (15) His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;

The white hair seen on Jesus and the fire is like what Daniel saw on God in Daniel 7:

Daniel 7:9-10

I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; (10) A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

*His eyes like flames of fire speaks of the judgment of sin:

Revelation 2:18 – NLT

Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze:

The idea of the judgment of sin is carried further by the His feet being like fine brass that has been refined in a furnace. (from The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

The bronze altar in the temple was related to the sacrifices for sin and the judgment of God that was on the sacrifice. (from The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Revelation 1:16

He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.

*The 7 stars are angels or messengers, perhaps the pastors of the 7 churches mentioned.

*The two-edged sword symbolizes the power of the spoken word of God. This sword is a small Roman sword used for stabbing and quickly killing the enemy!

*His countenance shining like the sun is a reminder to John of what he saw on the Mount of Transfiguration:

Matthew 17:2 – NLT

As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.

Revelation 1:17-18

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. (18) I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

*He fell at Jesus’ feet as dead. Here he experienced the full glory of the Son of God, much more so than on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Paul was struck to the ground when Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus.

*Don’t be afraid – Jesus revealed Himself again as the eternal one who has the power of life and death.

*Jesus confirms that He has the authority over death and the place of the dead. Our death and resurrection are in Jesus’ hands!

John 5:21-27 – NLT

For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. (22) In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, (23) so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him. (24) I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. (25) And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. (26) The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son. (27) And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 – NLT

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (56) For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. (57) But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rev 20:12-14 – NLT

I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. (13) The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. (14) Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death.

Revelation 1:19-20

Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. (20) The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

What you have seen is the vision of Jesus just mentioned in verses 12-18. The “things which are” refers to the 7 churches in chapters 2 and 3. What “will take place after this” refers to the rest of the book of Revelation.

The “mystery” refers to something previously hidden that is now revealed.


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