On the Revelation of Yahshua Christ, Part 2: The Revelation of Christ as God

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On the Revelation of Yahshua Christ, Part 2: The Revelation of Christ as God

In our opening presentation in this series, we offered a description of the antiquity of the oldest extant manuscripts of the Revelation, and also sought to establish the approximate time and place of the authorship of the work, including the fact that it was written by the apostle John, the son of Zebedee, who also wrote the Gospel bearing his name, and the epistles which have been attributed to him from the earliest times. Doing that, we cited Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Hippolytus of Rome, Victorinus of Pettau, and the Acts of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John. Our purpose was to exhibit the fact that from these eight ancient second and third-century Christian sources, a rather consistent narrative is presented in which it may be determined that the apostle John wrote his Gospel account, was imprisoned in exile on Patmos at an undetermined time in the reign of the emperor Domitian, and upon the death of Domitian he returned to Ephesus, where he penned the Revelation of Yahshua Christ. It is not certain when he may have written his three surviving epistles.

While doing that we also presented and discussed the arguments of one of the earliest skeptics of John’s authorship of the Revelation, Dionysius of Alexandria. So we hope to have also convincingly explained how the arguments of Dionysius are all faulty or without merit, and after the faults are elucidated he really has no arguments remaining to provide a substantial basis for his doubt.

Furthermore, there are some tales found in the early Christian writers of which we ourselves must be skeptical. Presenting our witnesses, one tale that we encountered from Tertullian described John’s having been boiled in oil without injury before his exile to Patmos. In the Acts of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John, a work which is esteemed to predate Tertullian by at least several decades, although John’s exile is recorded no such story of his having been boiled in oil is found. Rather, in that record it is attested that John was banished to Patmos instead of being executed on account of a miracle where he had raised a dead woman to life. Outside of the Book of Acts, I do not necessarily credit the writings which purport to record the acts of the apostles, but this does indicate that not all accounts found in the so-called “Church Fathers” are trustworthy or even consistent.

However when there are eight ancient witnesses to a particular historical narrative, such as the exile of John and his writing of the Revelation after his exile had ended, then the records are difficult to simply brush aside. Then, as we shall see, when the text of the Revelation itself supports that same narrative, then we must accept it as relative truth.

Now, before proceeding with our commentary on the text of the Revelation itself, perhaps it is fitting to discuss our method of interpretation of its prophecies. Foremost among many aspects of its Biblical meaning, prophecy is the declaration of the will of Yahweh our God. For that reason, prophecy may also be history written in advance. But prophecy may also be the revelation of something which is not generally known, or even the revelation of something which had happened in the past and has been forgotten by men. In its most elementary form, prophecy may even be the ability to interpret the Word of God which has already been recorded by others. But our favorite definition of prophecy is found in Isaiah chapter 41, where the children of Israel are challenged for their idolatry and we read: “21 Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. 22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. 23 Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.”

Here in this passage we learn several things. First, the Word of Yahweh in His prophets can reveal both the former things, as well as what shall be in the future, and secondly, that unless one has knowledge of the former things he will not know the reasons for the latter end of them. An example would be Genesis chapter 3, that if Genesis chapter 3 is not understood, one cannot understand the words of Christ in John chapters 8 or 10 or in Matthew chapter 13, and one certainly shall not understand the Revelation. Finally, if we can see the Word of God unfold in history, then we know for certain that He is God. But prophecy is not written so that we can read it and tell the future. Rather, prophecy is written in a way that we can read it and consider what has happened, and know that God is true.

But the prophecy is not incomprehensible. One cannot skip around the ages trying to find men or events which seem to fit certain prophecies, and randomly assign interpretations to the visions in a skewed chronological order. The books of Daniel, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were all constructed in a consistent narrative. But the chapters of all three of those books as they appear in modern Bibles are now demonstrably out-of-order. Fortunately, the Revelation has not suffered in that same manner. When we interpret its visions, we shall hope to present a consistent narrative which actually does demonstrate that they reveal great and significant events in history, beginning with the rise and fall of the Roman empire, and ending with the present-day domination of all world governments by a system of international banks and corporations which we shall identify here as Mystery Babylon.

Because one purpose of prophecy is to foretell history, and because it has now been approximately nineteen hundred and twenty five years since John recorded this Revelation, it should be reasonably expected that many of its prophecies have been fulfilled, and for us it is relatively obvious, once a proper historical interpretation is applied. But until the return of Christ and the destruction of His enemies, these prophecies are certainly not all fulfilled. We may only be assured that if the first nineteen hundred years of its prophecies have manifested themselves in the world, then the end will also be fulfilled, and we should not be surprised at its coming. Furthermore, if we do not understand the Revelation, it is vanity to look elsewhere for any better understanding of the Word of God. As Paul of Tarsus wrote in Hebrews chapter 1: “1 On many occasions and in many ways in past times Yahweh had spoken to the fathers by the prophets. 2 At the end of these days He speaks to us by a Son, whom He has appointed heir of all, through whom He also made the ages.”

Yet Christ Himself came not to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill. So as we interpret the Revelation we shall also see that many of the words of the prophets which are relative to the times and events of which the Revelation also prophecies are upheld, while many passages from the prophets actually foreshadow visions here in the Revelation. So the prophets also help to explain many passages of the Revelation, as their visions and symbols are repeated on various occasions. The words of the prophets are the Word of God, and Yahshua Christ is that Word made flesh. Together, Christ and the prophets all present various parts of a consistent narrative. So portions of the Revelation overlap with prophecies in Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel and Zechariah, to name a few. We, meaning the nations of White Christian Europe who are indeed the descendants of the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”, should find great encouragement in that narrative.

With this, we shall commence with Revelation chapter 1. While men may debate over the nature of Christ as it is presented in the Gospels, here in the Revelation one of the first things which Christ has revealed is that He is Yahweh God, who had himself promised to be the Saviour and Redeemer of Israel in the words of the prophets, and here He makes this revelation in several ways:

I 1 A revelation from Yahshua Christ which Yahweh had given to Him to show to His servants the things which are necessary to happen quickly, and He having sent explained through His messenger to His servant Iohannes, 2 who bore witness to the Word of Yahweh and the testimony of Yahshua Christ, as many things as he had seen.

As we have discussed at length, there are many witnesses from the second and third centuries of the Christian era which also attest to the Apostle John's authorship of the Revelation, in spite of the early skeptics. With this testimony, this John who “bore witness to the Word of Yahweh” must therefore be that same John who wrote the Gospel, which he considered to be the very record of the Word which became flesh (John 1:14). Where John testified that he “bore witness to the Word of Yahweh and the testimony of Yahshua Christ” he is professing to have been an actual witness to the ministry of Christ, and not merely a vicarious recorder, such as Luke. So this introduction is perfectly consistent with his descriptions of Christ in the opening chapter of his Gospel, and he attests to being the John who wrote that Gospel. Therefore, if the prophecies of this book are true, then we must accept the testimony of its authorship. If the prophecies are not true, we would have to reject the book entirely. However we are confident that they are true, and that John is fully vindicated.

Here John attests that there things which he is to show the servants of Christ that would literally “happen quickly”, or perhaps “with haste”. But it is evident from the Revelation itself that these things were, from our worldly perspective, only to begin to happen quickly, since they would take many centuries to actually unfold. From the perspective of God, Peter attests in 2 Peter chapter 3 “8… that one day with the Prince is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” So quickly to Him is not necessarily quick in our own perception. Where it says “for the time is near”, that does not indicate that the entire Revelation would be fulfilled immediately. The entire Revelation is not one vision, but a series of visions. In fact, Revelation chapter 4 opens with a statement that John was to see things which “must be hereafter”, at a later time, which were not necessarily going to happen so quickly or even near to John's own time.

3 Blessed is he reading and those hearing the words of the prophecy and keeping the things written in it, for the time is near.

The Revelation could not have been foreseen by men, and it came as many as 40 years after Paul had written his epistle to the Hebrews where he said that “2 At the end of these days He speaks to us by a Son, whom He has appointed heir of all, through whom He also made the ages.” However the Revelation is also the Word of God, being the Words of Christ, who had told His disciples in John chapter 14: “He having My commandments and keeping them is he who loves Me. Then he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and make Myself manifest to him… If one would love Me he shall keep My word, and My Father shall love him and We shall come to him and We shall make an abode with him.” So in the final chapter of the Revelation we read in words attributed to an angel and directed at John: “6 And he said to me: ‘These words are trustworthy and true, and Yahweh God of the spirits of the prophets has sent His messenger to show His servants the things which are necessary to happen shortly.’ 7 And ‘Behold! I come quickly! Blessed is he keeping the words of the prophecy of this book!’”

In the words of the Old Testament prophets we see the exhortation “Thus saith the Lord”, or “Thus saith Yahweh”, is repeated well over four hundred times. However now the Word of God comes from Yahshua Christ, as Paul explained in the opening verses of the epistle to the Hebrews, and Christ speaks for Himself, as He is the Lord, so Paul had described Him in that same passage as “3… the radiance of the honor and the express image of His substance”, or person as the word is translated in the King James Version. Yahshua Christ is God, and He is not a separate person from God. Rather, He is the image of the person of God, and not His Own person distinct from God, which is idolatry.

We read here that “the time is near”, and there is a similar exhortation to those who keep these words in Revelation chapter 22 where we read “Behold! I come quickly!” All of the apostles had taught that the return of Christ was imminent, as that is what He wanted them to teach. Thus we read in Mark chapter 13: “31 The heaven and the earth shall pass, but My words shall by no means pass! 32 But concerning that day or the hour no one knows, neither the messengers in heaven nor the Son, except the Father. 33 You watch, be wakeful. For you do not know when the time is. 34 As a man traveling abroad has left his house and given to his slaves authority for each his work and orders the doorkeeper that he should be alert, 35 therefore you be alert. For you do not know when the master of the house comes, whether late or at midnight or at the cock-crow or in morning, 36 not coming suddenly he should find you sleeping. 37 And that which I say to you I say to all: be alert!”

Yet the apostle Peter, who must have received some further revelation, had come to understand that the return of Christ would not happen too quickly, as he wrote in the final chapter of his second epistle: “1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I write to you, in which I arouse your pure minds with a mention, 2 to remind of the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and of the commandment of your ambassadors from the Prince and Savior, 3 knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers with scoffing going according to their own desires 4 and saying ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers have fallen asleep, all things continue thusly from the beginning of creation!’” As the prophecies of the Revelation unfold, we shall observe periods of time corresponding to things which are also described in the words of the Old Testament prophets which certainly shall indicate to us that it would take over two thousand years for it all to be fulfilled. Of course, we cannot determine how many years are left. But even that, as Peter had written in that same place, is only a couple of days from the perspective of God.

4 Iohannes, to the seven assemblies which are in Asia, favor and peace to you from He who is and who was and who is coming, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne 5 and from Yahshua Christ, the Witness, the Faithful One, the First Born from the dead and He ruling the kings of the earth.

Yahshua Christ is the Witness, not merely a witness, as He came with testimony directly from God, speaking the Word of God as He is the Word made flesh. He is the Faithful One, as He alone among men had flawlessly accomplished the will of God while remaining free from sin. He is the First Born from the dead because He is God, and therefore He is First Born regardless of how many men had been born, died and were resurrected before Him. Not only was Lazarus resurrected before Him, but we read in Matthew chapter 27 that upon His death on the cross, “52 … the tombs had opened and many bodies of the saints who were sleeping had been raised, 53 and coming out from the tombs after His rising they entered into the holy city and had appeared to many.” Paul of Tarsus had also attested, in Hebrews chapter 11, speaking of the saints of the Old Testament and the wars of ancient Israel that “35 Women received their dead from resurrection, but others had been cudgeled to death, not accepting redemption that they would obtain a better resurrection.” Christ is also “He ruling the kings of the earth” because all power and authority are His, and regardless of the perception of men, even they are being used by Him to accomplish His Will.

Yahshua Christ is also “He who is and who was and who is coming” because He is, being God, so He exists and He has always existed, He was, meaning that He had walked here on the earth, and He is coming, which is an assurance that He shall indeed return. In the person of Yahshua Christ, Yahweh God, “He who is” had manifested Himself as “He who was”, and shall be once again be manifest as “He who is coming”, which is Christ. So we read in Isaiah chapter 44: “6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Then again in Isaiah chapter 60: “16… and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.”

In Isaiah chapter 43 we read: “10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” So where Christ had confronted His adversaries, He said to them, in John chapter 8: “24 Now I said to you that you shall die in your errors. For if you do not believe that I am, you shall die in your errors!” Then a few verses later: “28 Then Yahshua said that ‘When you raise up the Son of Man, then you shall know that I am, and I do nothing by Myself, but just as the Father has taught Me, these things I say.’” If Christ is the “I am he” of those passages in Isaiah, then He is Yahweh God incarnate as His Son, and the children of Israel have one God, as Christ Himself had also professed.

All seven of the assemblies, or churches, which John is about to address are in Asia, a reference to the Roman province of Asia in western Anatolia as it was in the first century. They are in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Notice that the churches in which political power would later be concentrated, Rome and Byzantium, are not in the list. Where the prophecies of the Revelation do allude to those places in later chapters, they are not favored. There were many more than seven assemblies in the Christian world at this time, but these seven are being singled out here for examples. Of these seven churches, Paul of Tarsus is only recorded as having had any direct intercourse with the church at Ephesus, which he had founded. He wrote an epistle to the church at Laodicea, but it has not survived. We only know of it as it is mentioned in the closing salutation of his epistle to the Colossians. None of the others are mentioned explicitly in the course of his travels, although he certainly may have visited some of them. So while these seven churches by themselves are not exceptional, there must be a reason why they are chosen out of all Christian churches as the recipients of these messages. As we present each of the messages, we will find that reason in the meanings of their names.

The number seven resonates with meaning throughout Scripture. From the seven day creation and sabbath cycles, the seven year land sabbath and the Jubilee year which follows a cycle of forty-nine years, which is seven periods of seven years. There were seven times of punishment prophesied for Israel, and seven years of banishment for Nebuchadnezzar. There were seven demons cast from May Magdalene, and seven others of the parable of the evil demon, which gathered them to himself after finding his house had been tidied. The number seven is also very often found in the Revelation, from these seven assemblies, seven stars, seven Spirits, seven plagues, seven trumpets, seven seals, seven vials, seven horns and eyes of the Lamb, and seven heads of the beast, etc. There are also the seven mountains which are the seven beast kingdoms. In the Enoch literature there are seven heavens. This number seven, no doubt, is of some significance in the Creation of God, and perhaps it is a number representing spiritual harmony or completion.

We had stopped in the middle of verse 5, and as we proceed we shall see that the purpose of the Christ is the same purpose of the promised Messiah of the Old Testament prophets:

To He who loves us and has released us from our errors with His blood, 6 and has made us a kingdom, priests to Yahweh - even His Father - to Him is the honor and the sovereignty for the eternal ages, truly.

The entire purpose of Christ was to release the children of Israel from their sins. The children of Israel were sent off into captivity on account of their sins, and for that reason, as it is announced in Hosea, they were told by God that they were “not My people”. But Yahweh God would keep the promises which He had made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, so He also promised in Hosea that they would be reconciled at some future point in time. Therefore we read, in Hosea chapter 1: “10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” For that same reason, when Paul wrote to the Galatians he explained that reconciliation, where in Galatians chapter 4 we read: “4 And when the fulfillment of the time had come, Yahweh had dispatched His Son, having been born of a woman, having been subject to law, 5 in order that he would redeem those subject to law, that we would recover the position of sons.”

The apostle Peter addressed his epistles to Christians scattered throughout the provinces of Anatolia, including these same seven churches where he wrote in the opening line of his first epistle: “1 Petros, ambassador of Yahshua Christ, to the elect sojourners of the dispersion of Pontos, Galatia, Kappadokia, Asia and Bithunia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of Father Yahweh in a sanctification of the Spirit in obedience and a sprinkling of the blood of Yahshua Christ: favor to you and peace be multiplied.” So Peter’s message for these same people is just like that of John’s here, and later, in chapter 2, Peter continued and said: “9 But you are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, so that you should proclaim the virtues for which from out of darkness you have been called into the wonder of His light, 10 who at one time were ‘not a people’ but now are the people of Yahweh, those who ‘have not been shown mercy’ but are now shown mercy.” Having written this, Peter was citing that same prophecy of Hosea which concerned the children of Israel sent off into captivity, and referred to them as the same people which Yahweh had separated unto Himself in the Old Testament, where we read in Exodus chapter 19: “5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” This is why the children of Israel needed redemption and salvation, so that Yahweh could keep the promises which He made to the fathers. That is the story of most all of the prophets.

In their early explorations, the children of Israel are remembered in history as Phoenicians, Trojans, or Dorian or Danaan Greeks, among other names. But after the captivity of Israel by the Assyrians, other branches of them became known as Kimmerians, Sakae, Scythians, Galatae or Galatians, and then ultimately as Germans, among many other names. These were the “twelve tribes scattered abroad” to whom the apostle James had written, and these are the twelve tribes for whom Paul had labored, as he professed in Acts chapter 26: “6 And now for the hope of the promise having been made by God to our fathers I stand being judged, 7 for which our twelve tribes serving in earnest night and day hope to attain…” Christ came for these people alone, as He said in Matthew chapter 15: “24… I have not been sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel!” That is why the entire prophecy of the Revelation concerns the people of Europe, and where others are mentioned, they are only a scourge to the European people.

7 Behold! He comes with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, even whoever had pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn before Him. Yeah, truly!

That word translated as whoever, οἵτινες, which is a form of ὅστις, refers to anyone who has pierced Him. This is not merely a reference to the Jews or the Roman soldiers of the first century. Rather, it is a warning to all of those who reject Christ, for when we reject Christ we uphold His crucifixion. Paul of Tarsus wrote in Hebrews chapter 6: “4 For impossible it is, those once being enlightened both tasting of the heavenly gift and becoming partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and tasting of the good word of Yahweh and powers of the coming age 6 yet falling away, to restore again in repentance, upholding the crucifixion among themselves and making an example of the Son of Yahweh.” This is exactly what many of our own White European people have done, people who have been Christians for centuries, by embracing humanism and hedonism and all the practices of the neo-Canaanites: the antichrist Jews who have now usurped our once-Christian society. Christ is recorded as having said in Matthew 12:30: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and He not gathering with Me scatters!”

In the Gospel of John in chapter 19 we read: “37 And again another writing says ‘They shall look at He whom they have pierced.’” But the prophecy which John was citing, found in Zechariah chapter 12, has a broader meaning as we see here in the Revelation, where we read: “10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Where it says “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced” we should once again have no doubt that Yahshua Christ is Yahweh God incarnate.

Where we read “Behold! He comes with the clouds”, in 1 Enoch chapter 1 we read: “9 And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones to execute judgement upon all, and to destroy all the ungodly.” While I do not necessarily credit the Ethiopic 1 Enoch, the apostle Jude must have had a more authentic reference where he wrote in his epistle: “14 And Enoch, seventh from Adam, prophesied to these saying 'Behold, the Prince has come with ten thousands of His saints 15 to execute judgment against all and to convict every soul for all of their impious deeds which they committed impiously and for all of the harsh things which the impious wrongdoers have spoken against Him!'” Likewise we read in Daniel chapter 7: “13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

As Paul of Tarsus had used the word cloud of a great “cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews chapter 12, the “clouds of heaven” in Daniel and here in Revelation 1:7 certainly do seem to refer to the “ten thousands of his saints” of Enoch and Jude. This same interpretation may properly be applied in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 where Paul wrote “17 Then we, the living who are remaining, at once with them shall be carried off in clouds for a meeting with the Prince in air, and in that manner always with the Prince we shall be”, where we interpret the word for air as denoting the physical world as opposed to that of the spiritual. In Greek cosmology the term for air described the lower atmosphere as opposed to the ether, or upper atmosphere. Note that these passages from Daniel and the Revelation state “with clouds” and not “in the clouds” or “from [the] clouds”. In Acts chapter 1 we read: “11 And they said ‘Men, Galilaians, why do you stand looking into the heaven? This Yahshua, who is taken up from you into the heaven, thusly shall He come in the manner which you have beheld Him going into the heaven.’” Yet even that description of the return of Yahshua does not preclude the clouds as being clouds of ten thousands of His people coming with Him, or perhaps being immediately gathered to Him.

8 I am the Alpha and the Omega, says Yahweh God, He who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty.

In our New Testament translation, we have often rendered the Greek word κύριος as Yahweh, where it refers to the God of the Old Testament, because it is the Hebrew form of Yahweh which was changed to κύριος in the Greek texts. Not all of the ancients accepted that. Among the Dead Sea Scrolls are copies of scriptures in Greek where the Hebrew letters spelling out the name of Yahweh appear instead of the Greek title κύριος. Where it is used as a title for Christ, we preferred to translate it as Prince, rather than Lord, which is acceptable even according to the lexicons. But here where the word κύριος appears, it is an adjective modifying the phrase ὁ θεός, which is the word for God with a definite article. Throughout the Septuagint, the phrase κύριος ὁ θεὸς which appears here is how the Hebrew phrase Yahweh Elohim was commonly translated, which is Yahweh God. Here Yahshua Christ is directly asserting that he is the Yahweh Elohim of the Old Testament.

So once again, and with very direct and explicit language, Yahshua Christ Himself asserts that He is one and the same as Yahweh God. In several passages from Isaiah, that same Yahweh Elohim had also professed what Christ has professed here, that He is the first and the last. First, from Isaiah chapter 41: “4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.” Then in Isaiah chapter 44: “6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Finally, in Isaiah chapter 48: “12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.” There can only be one First and one Last, and Christ is therefore the God who professed to be both, which He Himself informs us here.

9 I, Iohannes, your brother and fellow-companion in the tribulation and kingdom and endurance in Yahshua, was on the island called Patmos on account of the Word of Yahweh and the testimony of Yahshua.

Here John tells us explicitly of the circumstances under which he received this Revelation, that he was on the island called Patmos. Writing this he used a past-tense form of the verb, indicating that he was no longer on Patmos when he was writing, but that he was on Patmos when he received the visions which he is about to describe. From the accounts we have presented here, this concurs with the fact that he actually wrote out the visions after he returned to Ephesus. He also professes that he was on Patmos “on account of the Word of Yahweh and the testimony of Yahshua”, which is why I am persuaded that his Gospel account must have been written before the time of his exile, that his distributing it was a large part of the reason for his exile.

It is apparent in the Gospel accounts that John was a young man at the time of the ministry of Christ, and we have estimated him to have been at least as young as 16. If he was 16 at the beginning of the ministry of Christ in 28 AD, he may have been about 70 when Domitian came to power in late 81 AD, and 85 when he died in 96 AD. While we do not know precisely when in this period of Domitian’s rule that John was exiled, he was indeed an aged man when he was condemned to labor in the mines on Patmos. If John, the beloved apostle, could not escape such a trial, how can any modern Christian expect to have a life free of trial, regardless of his works? One inevitable purpose of this life is to suffer trial, where Christians are encouraged to prove their worthiness for His kingdom. The trials of man were decreed by Yahweh God in the account of the fall in Eden, and therefore we read in Ecclesiastes chapter 1 where Solomon had attested that “13… I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.” Likewise, we read in Romans chapter 8, where Paul is referring to the Adamic creation alone: “20 To transientness the creation was subjected not willingly, but on account of He who subjected it in expectation 21 that also the creation itself shall be liberated from the bondage of decay into the freedom of the honor of the children of Yahweh. 22 For we know that the whole creation laments together and travails together until then.”

Therefore John calls himself a partner in both the tribulation and the kingdom. The purpose of this life is not for pleasure or for joy, as those enemies of our God have now led most people to believe. For that same reason, Paul had compared the suffering of men and the suffering of Christ on behalf of men, in Romans chapter 5 and wrote, in part, encouraging his readers to: “boast in afflictions, knowing that affliction results in endurance; 4 and the endurance a tried character, and the tried character an expectation; 5 and the expectation does not disgrace, because the love of Yahweh has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which is given to us.” Apparently, the easier we comply with His will, the less we may endure such trials, as Yahshua Himself had said, His yoke is easy and His burden light. But we cannot expect to avoid trials.

So we read in James chapter 1: “12 Blessed is a man who endures trial, because being approved he shall receive the crown of life which He promised to those who love Him.” Then again, from 1 Peter chapter 1: “3 Blessed is Yahweh, even the Father of our Prince Yahshua Christ, who according to His great mercy has engendered us from above into a living hope through the resurrection of Yahshua Christ from among the dead, 4 for an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, being kept in the heavens for us 5 who are being preserved by the power of Yahweh through faith for a salvation prepared to be revealed in the last time. 6 In which you must rejoice, if for a short time now it is necessary being pained by various trials, 7 in order that the test of your faith, much more valuable than gold which is destroyed even being tested by fire, would be found in praise and honor and dignity at the revelation of Yahshua Christ, 8 whom not having seen you love, in whom now not seeing but believing you rejoice with an indescribable and illustrious joy, 9 acquiring the result of your faith: preservation of your souls.”

John, having suffered this trial very late in his life, evidently did not falter, so we read:

10 I was in the spirit on the day of the Prince and heard a great voice behind me, like a trumpet, 11 saying That which you see write in a book and send to the seven assemblies: to Ephesos and to Smurna and to Pergamos and to Thuateira and to Sardeis and to Philadelpheia and to Laodikeia.

We shall wait to discuss the meanings of the names of each of the seven assemblies, which are of course also the names of the seven cities where they are located, as they are also relevant to the messages which each of those assemblies receive.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 5 Paul described similar experiences which he perceived to be outside of his body, and described the body as being a mere vessel for the Spirit. So we read: “1 Therefore we know that if perhaps our earthly house of the tabernacle would be destroyed, we have a building from Yahweh, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 And we bemoan in this, yearning to be clothed with our dwelling which is from of heaven. [The ‘spiritual body’ of 1 Corinthians chapter 15.] 3 If indeed even being stripped, we shall not be found naked. 4 And indeed we who are being burdened in the tabernacle bemoan [suffering in this earthly body], since we wish not to be stripped, but to be clothed in order that the mortal would be consumed by life. 5 Now He who has been cultivating us for this same thing is Yahweh, who has been giving to us the deposits of the Spirit. 6 Therefore always having courage, and knowing that residing in the body, we sojourn away from the Prince; 7 indeed we walk by faith, not by that which is seen; 8 now we have courage, and we are still more pleased to travel out of the body and to reside with the Prince.” Christians should not even fear death, because for them, death is their true life.

John was evidently “in the Spirit” through prayer and meditation, and there are other statements in the Revelation which indicate that he meant the same thing which Paul did in that chapter of 2 Corinthians. For instance, Revelation 4:1 reads from the King James Version: “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”

12 And I turned to see the voice which spoke with me, and turning I saw seven golden lampstands 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man clothed down to the feet and girt with a golden belt to the breasts.

The seven-branched candlestick is first described in Exodus chapter 25, and verse 37 states: “And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.” The word for lampstand here, λυχνία, is the same word found in the Septuagint where that seven-branched lampstand is described. The Hebrew word is menorah, for which the King James Version often has candlestick. This is an Old Testament Israelite symbol, and the Revelation is replete with such symbols of ancient Israel, because the focus of God’s will on earth has never been removed from the children of Israel. Not only is an understanding of the Old Testament a prerequisite to understanding these symbols, this is also a full indication that the message of the Revelation concerns those same people with which the Old Testament is concerned, and it should be because the New Testament is a covenant by which Yahweh God had promised salvation to those same people. But the Jews – who are not of Israel – have only passing and negative mentions in the Revelation, as they are truly of those fallen angels who have forever been opposed to God.

In Zechariah chapter 4 we see a vision of the building of the second temple by Zerubbabel associated with seven candlesticks and two olive trees. There we read: “1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, 2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: 3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. 4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? 5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. 6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. 7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. [In other words, Zerubbabel would rebuild the temple in spite of any opposition.] 8 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. 10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth. 11 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? 12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? 13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. 14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” While Zechariah chapter 4 is an important key to understanding the symbols which Christ used here in the opening chapter of the Revelation, it will again become important to understanding the meaning of the two witnesses of Revelation chapter 11.

The name Zerubbabel actually means “sown in Babylon”, as he was born during the captivity, and it may be imagined that from Genesis chapter 11, where men perceived that they must build a tower in order to reach unto heaven, the idea that man must build edifices in which their gods could dwell was also sown in ancient Babylon. There are references throughout the earliest Sumerian inscriptions where particular temples or precincts are referred to as the houses of particular gods. And the Roman Catholic Church and other denominations have adopted this same pagan concept. But Yahshua Christ has shown us that our bodies are the true temples of the Spirit of Yahweh our God, who cannot dwell in a house built with hands. So where He spoke about the destruction of the temple and His ability to raise it in three days, as it is recorded in John chapter 2, John had attested that He spoke of the temple of His body. This was a theme of Paul's later teachings, for example in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 where he wrote “16 Do you not know that you are a temple of Yahweh, and that the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in you? 17 If anyone should spoil the temple of Yahweh, Yahweh will spoil the same; indeed the temple of Yahweh is holy, such as which you are.” But this is also alluded to in Isaiah chapter 52 where we read: “11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.” The “vessels of Yahweh” are the bodies of His people, which bear the spirit which He had instilled into the Adamic man.

Therefore Yahshua Christ has taken for Himself this vision of the seven lampstands, in order to show us that He is indeed the true temple of Yahweh – the spirit of the Living God in the body of a man, as Paul had written of Yahshua saying that “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Divinity bodily”, in Colossians 2:9. At the end of the chapter, we learn that the seven lampstands represent the seven assemblies. So the menorah is actually a Christian symbol, especially since the only assembly which belongs to the Jews is the synagogue of Satan.

14 Now His head and hairs white as wool, white as snow, and His eyes as flames of fire 15 and His feet like fine brass as if having been burned in a furnace, and His voice as a voice of many waters, 16 and having in His right hand seven stars and coming out from His mouth a sharp two-edged sword, and His eyes like the sun shines in its power.

Here John describes the manner by which Yahshua Christ had appeared to him in his vision, where His visage is an incredibly radiant effulgence. In verse 13 John had initially described Him as “One like a son of man”. The phrase “son of man” was used by Yahweh Himself to address the prophets, especially Daniel and Ezekiel. It is used throughout Job, the Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah and other books of the sons of Adam. Therefore every son of Adam is a “son of man” in that sense. So it is evident that John is telling us that – except for the fascinating description of Him – He looks very much like the rest of the people of European heritage do, and we see in many places in Scripture that He is indeed Yahweh God, yet he is also come as a man. Daniel described Him using this same term, at Daniel 7:13 which we had cited here earlier, where he wrote “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.” In Daniel 7:9 He is described much like He is here in John: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool [as white as wool]: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”

As for the two-edged sword, we read in the 149th Psalm: “4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. 5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. 6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; 7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; 8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.” Again, in Hebrews chapter 4: “12 The Word of Yahweh is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as a division of life and Spirit, of both joints and marrows, and critical of the devices and notions of a heart. 13 And there is not an act unnoticed before Him, but all things naked and laid open to the eyes of Him before whom with us is the Word.”

17 And when I saw Him, I fell to His feet as if dead, and He placed His right hand upon me, saying: Fear not! I am the First and the Last, 18 and He who lives, and was dead, and behold!

Yahshua Christ, being Yahweh God manifest as one of His own sons, once again asserts for Himself to be the First and the Last of all things. Only Yahweh could be First and Last, and only Christ could be “He who lives and was dead”, and therefore they both must be One and the Same, they cannot be two different “persons” no matter how one wants to describe what is a person. Roman Catholic pagan philosophy has no true place in Scripture.

I live for the eternal ages and I have the Keys of death and of Hades! 19 Therefore write the things which you see and the things which are and the things which are going to happen after these: 20 the mystery of the seven stars which you see in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands. The seven stars are messengers of the seven assemblies and the seven lampstands are seven assemblies.

So the menorah is a symbol of Israel in the Old Testament, and students of Scripture must come to accept the fact that it is still a symbol of Israel here in the New Testament, as Christ is the Messiah, the Saviour and Redeemer, of Israel. The seven lampstands represent Israel, and here they are described as the seven churches to which Yahshua is about to send seven messengers, seven angels represented by the seven stars in His right hand. In the temple of Solomon, there were apparently ten menorahs, or candlesticks, and they were placed on either side of the oracle of Yahweh in the temple. So here Christ also seems to be asserting the fact that He is Yahweh, that He is the oracle speaking amidst the candlesticks.

The symbol of the seven stars is found in the prophecy of Amos, where there is also a mention of wormwood, a symbol which we shall see later in the Revelation. So in Amos chapter 5, the seven stars are associated with God, whom the people are admonished to seek, and we read: “ 6 Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel. 7 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth, 8 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name: 9 That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.”

Where we read “therefore write the things which you see and the things which are and the things which are going to happen after these”, the statement vindicates the interpretation given here of the words “quickly” and “near” in verses 1 and 3 earlier in the chapter (words which are rendered “shortly” and “at hand” in the King James Version), that not all of these things were to happen immediately, but were only to begin to happen in John's time.

Where Yahshua professes that “I live for the eternal ages and I have the Keys of death and of Hades” He once again asserts to have all the power of God, while also asserting for Himself to be the God of Isaiah chapter 28, where Yahweh addressed the children of Israel and said: “15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell [Hades] are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: 16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. 17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. 18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell [Hades] shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.” Of course, He is also that precious corner stone, and it is here in Isaiah that it is announced that He would have power over Death and Hades.

This concludes our commentary on Revelation chapter 1. We would assert that the first thing which the Revelation reveals, is that Jesus Christ is truly Yahweh God Incarnate, which it has stated here on several different occasions and in several different ways.

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