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Notes on the Book of Revelation

Chapter 1

The Revelation of Jesus Christ


“John, the beloved disciple…was the last survivor of the first chosen disciples. Under the New Testament dispensation he was honored as the prophet Daniel was honored under the Old Testament dispensation. The instruction to be communicated to John was so important that Christ came from heaven to give it to His servant, telling him to send it to the churches.”1


John pulled heavily from the book of Daniel while writing the book of Revelation and neither book can be fully understood without the other. 


In fact, Daniel was told to “shut up the words, and seal the book…” in Daniel 12:4, because some of the time prophecies could not be fully understood or comprehended during the time of Daniel. 


His writings would not be fully understood until near the time of the end, which is the age that we are living in now. The book of Daniel and Revelation have been opened to us and are now understood more fully than in the past. 


The time of the end started in 1798 AD (the end of the 1260 year prophecy which went from 538 to 1798 AD). Daniel 12:4 says, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” In verses 6-7, the angel tells Daniel, “And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”  So a time, times, and an half is the 1260 year prophecy, which was from 538 to 1798 AD. So the time of the end starts in 1798. 


Daniel and John were very similar. 

Both were in their 80s when they received their last visions. 


Both were captives when they received their visions. 


Both presented through their writings vast prophetic panoramas that in successive parallels traced the course of history from their own day to the end of time. 


Both were given messages rich in symbolism. 


Both called attention to the glorious return of Jesus at the second coming. 


Both were shown God’s concern to stand beside us every day. 


Both revealed how very much God cares. (Maxwell, God Cares, vol. 2:53)


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


1V1: Revelation of Jesus Christ = The entire focus of this book is Jesus Christ and His mission to save humanity. It is not the revelation of John as some Bibles title this book. 


Jesus is making known to us His overall plan and the events that will take place throughout history and more importantly at the end of time. This book “provides the behind-the-scenes accounts of what Jesus has been doing, is now doing, and will do in the future on behalf of human beings.” (Maxwell, God Cares, vol. 2:67) 


“The book of Revelation opens to the world what has been, what is, and what is to come; it is for our instruction upon whom the ends of the world are come. It should be studied with reverential awe. We are privileged in knowing what is for our learning. . .The Lord Himself revealed to His servant John the mysteries of the book of Revelation, and He designs that they shall be open to the study of all. In this book [Revelation] are depicted scenes that are now in the past, and some of eternal interest that are taking place around us; other of its prophecies will not receive their complete fulfillment until the close of time, when the last great conflict between the powers of darkness and the Prince of heaven will take place.”2


1V1: Which God gave unto him = This book was not written by John from his own understanding and wisdom. It was a message from God the Father to Jesus to an angel and finally to John the apostle for all Christians. Jesus also revealed Himself and spoke directly to John in visions, see Revelation 1:8, 11 and the letters to the churches starting at 1:18 and going to 3:22.  


1V1: To show unto his servants = This book and the messages contained in it are for all Christians, since we are all servants of God. Although the context of this verse is referring to the saints in the seven churches. But, the book of Revelation is now for all Christians. 


1V1: Shortly come to pass = This means that events started during the time of John which was the apostolic age. Prophecy is past, present and future, see verses 4, 8, and 19.3 The apostolic age refers to the time of the apostles which is roughly from 31 to 100 AD. The book of Revelation was written between 90 to 95 AD, near the end of the apostolic age and toward the end of John’s life (the last surviving apostle). 

1V1: Signified it = Means to give a sign or put into symbolic language or to make known or explain. 


1V1: Servant John = The apostle John. He also wrote the books of John, 1 John, 2 John and 3 John.


“John, the beloved disciple, was the one chosen to receive this revelation. He was the last survivor of the first chosen disciples. Under the New Testament dispensation he was honored as the prophet Daniel was honored under the Old Testament dispensation.” (Ellen White, 7BC 953.8)


God can use anyone at anytime, even an old man exiled on a barren rock. 


“When John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos, there were many who thought him to be past service, an old and broken reed ready to fall at any time. But the Lord saw fit to use him in that lonely island home where His servant was imprisoned. The world and the bigoted priests and rulers rejoiced that they were at last rid of his ever fresh testimony.” (Ellen White, 7BC 954.7)


“God honors His servants who have grown old in His service. The most glorious truths concerning the last chapters of this earth's history were given to the aged disciple whom Jesus loved.” (Ellen White, 7BC 954.9)



  • Revelation 1:2, Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.


1V2: Who bare record of the word of God = Since John was the last living apostle and an eye witness to the ministry of Jesus Christ, then he would be in a unique position to confirm whether the letters (epistles) and books of the Bible that were circulating throughout the churches at that time were real or a counterfeit. 


1V2: Testimony of Jesus Christ = The Spirit of Prophecy, Revelation 19:10. Jesus spoke in prophetic terms throughout His ministry. He spoke of many things that were to occur in the future like His crucifixion, the betrayal of Judas, the closing of probation for the nation of Israel, the destruction of Jerusalem and much more.


This phrase is used four times in the book of Revelation, here and in Revelation 1:9; 12:17, and 19:10.  


John lived with Jesus for 3 1/2 years and could confirm what Jesus had actually preached and testified to during those years and the miracles that Jesus and His apostles/disciples had witnessed and performed.


This clearly tells us that the book of Revelation is a prophetic book, foretelling the future, and that therefore, the things therein will need to be interpreted primarily prophetically. 


1V2: All things that he saw = John was an eye witness to the ministry of Jesus Christ and was one of the 12 apostles selected by Jesus. Apostles were selected by Jesus so not all Christians are considered apostles, but all Christians are considered disciples. So, all apostles are disciples, but not all disciples are apostles. 



  • Revelation 1:3, Blessed 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.


1V3: Blessed = There is a three fold blessing to those that read, hear and keep the words that are written in the book of Revelation. Blessed means to be happy. 


Prophecy is to prepare us for what is going to happen. Misunderstanding prophecy caused the Jews to crucify Jesus. 


Before each major event in the Bible, God sent a prophet to warn His people (Amos 3:7).4 


Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”


He sent Noah before the flood. 


He sent John the Baptist before the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ.


He sent the prophet Jonah to warn Nineva about their imminent destruction.


He sent Moses before the exodus of the Israelites. 


He sent Jeremiah to warn His people about Babylon taking them captive.


He sent Ezekiel to remind His people of why they were captives in Babylon and to give them hope of their future restoration and freedom.


He sent Amos to warn the Northern Kingdom about their judgment.


He sent Obadiah to warn Edom about their judgment. 


There are many more examples in the Bible of God sending prophets to warn His people before major events. The book of Revelation is just one method God has used to prepare us for what is to come. But, this book also informs us on what has happened in the past which will assist us to better understand what is happening now and what will happen in the future. 


1V3: Blessed = Translates as happy and is the same word used by Jesus in the sermon on the mount. There are seven blessings in the book of Revelation. The first one is here in this verse and the others are in 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7; and 22:14. 


These are the blessings summarized:

  1. Those that read, hear and keep the things written in Revelation.

  2. Those that die in the Lord. 

  3. Those that watch and keep their garments (of righteousness). 

  4. Those that are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. 

  5. Those that are in the first resurrection. 

  6. Those that keep the sayings of prophecy in Revelation.

  7. Those that do His commandments. 

Most of these blessings are action words, which show that Christians should not only hear but be doers of the Word. James 1:22, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

1V3: Hear = We are blessed just by hearing the book of Revelation read aloud. Many translations say, ‘Blessed are those who hear it…’ or ‘Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy…’ It was customary for Jesus to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath and to read scripture out loud and then to discuss what was read.


Luke 4:16-22, “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?”


1V3: 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. 


So after the book of Revelation was written and disseminated to all the churches in Asia Minor (which includes the seven churches mentioned in verse 11), it was probably read aloud to the congregations and then discussed. This book was probably copied and passed throughout the Christian churches and not just the seven mentioned. “This is the only book in the Bible that offers a special ‘blessing’ on those who read it.”5


1V3: Keep those things which are written therein = The New International Version (NIV) puts it this way, ‘…take to heart what is written in it…’. This concept is also mentioned in Luke 11:28, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” 


God not only expects His people to hear what He is saying and providing through prophets, but He expects us to act upon what we hear. We as Christians are expected to go and do what the Lord has commanded as in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”


1V3: John begins and ends the book of Revelation with a blessing, see Revelation 22:14. 


Revelation 22:14, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”



  • Revelation 1:4, John 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;


1V4: The seven churches = Those listed in verse 11 (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea). These are actual churches in Asia Minor along an old Roman post road which John directed this letter. The churches are basically situated in a loop and referenced in a counter-clock manner. 


“Seven is also a symbol of perfection, wholeness, or completeness in prophecy. When you apply this to other examples of seven in the Bible you see the idea coming through. God created the world in six days and then rested the seventh day, showing completeness. There was nothing left to do as the world was perfect. Jesus asks us to forgive 70x7 times, signifying until the close of probation, until the end of the world and Jesus' second coming. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon lost his mind and experienced judgment for seven years, until he was restored to wholeness of mind.” (Amazing Discoveries Revelation Online Commentary)

1V4: Asia = Refers to Asia Minor which is now the area of modern day Turkey. 


1V4: Which is, which was, which is to come = This is the Father in heaven and represents His eternal existence in the past, present, and future. The Godhead is mentioned in this verse and verse 5. The father is mentioned with this statement, the Holy Spirit is the seven Spirits and Jesus is mentioned in verse 5. Those are the three powers that make up the Godhead. 


Verse 8 uses the same phrase again. Verse 19 past, present, future = Revelation is the history of people in the past, present and future. Revelation must be understood in terms of the past, present and future, which is a method of prophetic interpretation called historicism.6

Methods of Prophetic Interpretation.7

Historicism = Prophecy has been unfolding throughout history. There have never been a people that did not have prophecy to guide them, Revelation 1:4; 1:8; 1:19; Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Historicists believe that some prophecies have been fulfilled in the past, some are being fulfilled now, and some are yet to be fulfilled. Everything must be read in context to determine where it fits. 


Preterism = Preterists believe that most prophecies were fulfilled in the first century A.D. They believe the antichrist already appeared in history and was Antiochus or some other prominent figure. 


Futurism = Futurists believe that the majority of prophecies are yet to be fulfilled in some time in the future, especially from Revelation 4 and onward. They believe that the antichrist is yet to be revealed at some point in the future.  


Idealism = Idealists believe that Revelation is a book of principles describing the conflict between good and evil. The Bible isn’t taken literally but there are good principles that can be learned. The problem with this line of thought is that it doesn’t really deal with history and there is a lot of history in the Bible especially in the prophecies (like in Daniel). 


Preterism and futurism changed times in the prophecies of Daniel which was mentioned in Daniel 7:25.


Preterism and futurism were developed by two Jesuit Priests to counter the protestant reformation. The majority of the reformers believed that the books of Daniel and Revelation pointed to the system of the Catholic Church as the antichrist and that it was spiritual Babylon. So the Jesuits came up with two additional interpretations of Daniel and Revelation that pointed away from the Catholic Church, preterism pointing to the past and futurism pointing to the future. Both are false methods of prophetic interpretation created to counter the protestant reformation. For additional information on the end time antichrist, see the study called, The Antichrist (The Roman Catholic Church System). 


1V4: The verse says ‘which is to come’ which some believe to imply that the Father will return with Jesus in the clouds at the second coming (not sure I fully agree, but…). 


Matthew 26:64, “Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”


That verse says ‘sitting on the right hand of power’, which can be applied to God the Father. 


Also, Revelation 6:16 says, “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:”


The one seated on the throne many times in the book of Revelation refers to God the Father, Revelation 5:6-8, “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.”


Revelation 7:15, “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.”


Revelation 21:5, “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”


1V4: For the time is at hand = The prophecies are unfolding starting in the time of John and going until the end of time which is the second coming of Jesus Christ. Romans 13:11 warns us to awake out of sleep for our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 


1V4: Seven = Represents fullness, completion, and perfection. The number seven is used throughout the book of Revelation. 


1V4: Seven Spirits = The complete fullness and perfection of the Holy Spirit. There are seven aspects of the Holy Spirit which are outlined in Isaiah 11:2 (Of the Lord, Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Knowledge, Fear of the Lord). 


The Holy Spirit was always in the earth which can be seen in Genesis 1:2 which mentions the Spirit. But the fullness was not given until Jesus ascended to heaven (John 7:39; Revelation 5:6). The seven facets of the Holy Spirit are also mentioned in Revelation 3:1, 4:5, and 5:6. 


1V4: His throne = The throne of God in heaven. There are three heavens mentioned in the Bible; First heaven = Atmosphere (Genesis 7:23; Acts 1:11), Second heaven = Sun, moon and stars (Genesis 22:17), and the third heaven = Dwelling place of God (Matthew 5:16). This is obviously referring to the dwelling place of God where His throne is located.



  • Revelation 1:5, And 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,


1V5: Faithful witness = Jesus was a faithful witness of His Father in heaven during His entire life on earth and more specifically during His 3 1/2 years of ministry. 


Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men…and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”


Matthew 5:43-48, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”


Matthew 23:9, “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”


Luke 10:21-22, “All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”


John 4:21-26, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”


John 5:17-27, 30-47, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do…the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself…I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”


John 8:16-19, “…I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.”


John 10:30, 37-38, “I and my Father are one…the Father is in me, and I in him.”


John 14:9-14, 28, “…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father…” 


As we can see from these example verses, Jesus spoke of His Father often and always glorified and pointed to His Father in His teachings and sayings to the disciples and the crowds that followed and listened to Him. As Jesus was a faithful witness of His Father, we as Christians must be faithful witnesses of Jesus our Saviour. 


1V5: First begotten of the dead = First born of the dead = First in preeminence (superiority) of those resurrected, John 10:17-18, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” 


This term, first begotten or only begotten as in John 3:16, also refers to Jesus receiving all the privileges of the first born son. He receives all the rights and inheritance of the first born son, Colossians 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”


Genesis 43:33, “And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.”


Deuteronomy 21:17, “But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.” 


This principle was very important in the times of Jesus and everyone reading this would probably have understood the meaning. It does not mean that Jesus was created as some claim.8


“Jesus is the ‘firstborn of the dead’ because He is supremely the most significant person ever to have died and come back to life.” (Maxwell, God Cares, vol. 2:79)


1V5: Prince of the kings of the earth = Jesus Christ is referred to as a prince several times in scripture.


Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”


Acts 3:14-15, “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.”


Acts 5:30-31, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”


There are other times Jesus is mentioned as Prince.


1V5: Unto Him that loved us… = This is the gospel. It says Jesus loved us, died for us, and washed us from our sins with His own blood. The gospel is in the very first chapter because Jesus is the focus of the entire book of Revelation.9 To understand more fully how Jesus is our Saviour and has washed us from all sin, see the study in Annex D: Salvation. 


1V5: Washed us from our sins in his own blood = Jesus loved us so much that He came to earth and lived a grueling human life and died for our sins on the cross. 


John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”


Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”


Romans 5:10, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”



  • Revelation 1:6, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


1V6: Kings and priests = Also in Revelation 5:10, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”


1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”


Ezekiel 28:17, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.”


Deuteronomy 7:6, “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”


Deuteronomy 14:2, “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”


Exodus 19:3-6, “And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 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: 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.”


We will have the awesome privilege of reigning with and serving God forever as kings and priests in the new earth. 

  • Revelation 1:7, Behold, 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.


1V7: He cometh = This is the promise that Jesus will return. In John 14:1-3, Jesus promises us that He will “come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”


1V7: Cometh with clouds = Angels are referred to as clouds because there are so many of them and together they appear to be clouds because they are dressed in white and are bright in appearance, John 20:12, “And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.”


Acts 10:30, “And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,”


Matthew 28:2-3, “And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:”


All the angels of heaven will be with Jesus at the second coming, Matthew 16:27, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”


Matthew 24:30-31, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”


Matthew 25:31, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:”


Matthew 26:64, “Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”


Daniel 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.”


Acts 1:9-10, “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;”


1 Thessalonians 3:13, “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”


Deuteronomy 33:2, “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.”


Psalm 68:17, “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.”


1V7: Every eye shall see Him = This will occur as Jesus and His angels go around the earth collecting the saved. This does not say that everyone will see Him simultaneously. 


1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”


1V7: Pierced him = This verse implies that there will be a special resurrection at the second coming where those involved in the crucifixion of Jesus will be resurrected to see Jesus in the clouds in all His glory and then be destroyed and will go back into their graves until the second resurrection. 


Matthew 26:64, “Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” 


Because thy asked Jesus, He’s going to give them the answer (proof) by resurrecting them so they can see Him coming in all His glory. 


Daniel 12:1-2 confirms this event, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”


That verse says ‘many’, not all will be resurrected. Some to everlasting life which refers to the saints and those to shame and everlasting contempt, which must refer to those that pierced Him since the wicked are not to be resurrected until after the thousand years as outlined in Revelation 20. 


This also might mean that all those that persecuted the saints throughout history will be resurrected to see Jesus in the clouds. Acts 9:4-5, “And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”


1V7: All kindreds of the earth shall wail = This refers to those whose names are not written in the book of life. Those looking forward to the second coming of Jesus will not be wailing, they will be praising the coming of their Lord. See Revelation 13:3 where it says “all the world wondered” after the beast, but it only refers to those not in the book of life, see verse 8. So the same concept is used here where all those that wail are those that are not in the book of life.


See notes on Revelation 14:13 for a full explanation on the special resurrection.  



  • Revelation 1:8, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.


1V8: Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending = Refers to Jesus’ eternal existence as part of the Godhead (The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit). Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.10 “Jesus is the beginning and the end. He created us in the beginning, and He will re-create us in the end.”11 


Jesus is the Creator.

John 1:1-3, 14, “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”


Jesus claiming to be I AM in the Old Testament which was God in the burning bush.

John 8:58, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”


Exodus 3:14, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”


“It was Christ who from the bush on Mount Horeb spoke to Moses saying, “I AM THAT I AM.... Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:14. This was the pledge of Israel's deliverance. So when He came “in the likeness of men,” He declared Himself the I AM. The Child of Bethlehem, the meek and lowly Saviour, is God “manifest in the flesh.” 1 Timothy 3:16. And to us He says: “I AM the Good Shepherd.” “I AM the living Bread.” “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” John 10:11; 6:51; 14:6; Matthew 28:18. I AM the assurance of every promise. I AM; be not afraid. “God with us” is the surety of our deliverance from sin, the assurance of our power to obey the law of heaven.” (Ellen White, DA 24.3)


Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and for ever.

Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”


God is the same God in the Old Testament as in the New Testament. 


1V8: Which is, and which was, and which is to come = See explanation in verse 4, This refers to God the Father. 



  • Revelation 1:9, I 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. 


1V9-20: Sanctuary imagery is used in these verses, which points to the Holy Place and Christ’s ministration in the heavenly temple. 


1V9: In tribulation = Tribulation occurs in all ages, not just in the end times. All of the early Christians went through some form of persecution (tribulation). Of the 12 apostles only John died from natural causes (old age). The other 11 apostles were martyred for their faith. 


1V9: Patmos = The island where John was put in exile by the Romans. The island is off the coast of modern day Turkey and east of Greece and is about 17 square miles.  


1V9: For the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ = John was arrested and put into exile for preaching the word of God and for preaching about the life, the deeds and the purpose of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. John was arrested and imprisoned for preaching the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. Tradition says that John refused to worship an idol of Emperor Domitian and was imprisoned for that reason. 


Christians have been persecuted throughout history for preaching the gospel, especially during the dark ages and persecution will increase again at the end of time right before the second coming of Jesus Christ. 


1V9: Word of God = Primarily the Old Testament, since the New Testament wasn’t finished yet. 


Hosea 1:1, “The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.”


Joel 1:1, “The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.”


2 Timothy 3:15-16, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”


1V9: Testimony of Jesus Christ = This is the spirit of prophecy, Revelation 19:10, “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”


This phrase is used four times in the book of Revelation, here and in Revelation 1:2; 12:17, and 19:10. 


Prophecy is one of the gifts of the spirit. 

1 Corinthians 12:10, “To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:”


Old Testament prophets were inspired by the Spirit of Christ. 

1 Peter 1:10-12, “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”


“The ’testimony of Jesus’ produced a living, growing body of literature that revealed the truth about Jesus.” (Maxwell, God Cares, vol. 2:78)



  • Revelation 1:10, I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,


1V10: Spirit on the Lord’s day = Saturday (the Sabbath).


Matthew 12:8, ““For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.”


Mark 2:28, “therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”


Exodus 20:10, “but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:”


Isaiah 58:13, “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:”12 


Some newer translations say that this is Sunday, but that is not an accurate translation. The Bible never says that the Lord’s day is Sunday. From the four verses given above, it is clear that the Sabbath is the Lord’s day, which is Saturday. The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, which is Saturday (not Sunday which is the first day of the week).


“On the Sabbath day the risen Saviour made His presence known to John.” (Ellen White, 7BC 955.8)


“Now he was permitted again to behold his risen Lord, clothed with as much glory as a human being could behold, and live. What a Sabbath was that to the lonely exile, always precious in the sight of Christ, but now more than ever exalted! Never had he learned so much of Jesus. Never had he heard such exalted truth.” (Ellen White, 7BC 955.9)


1V10: Voice, as of a trumpet = Jesus Christ, verses 11-18, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God). Also, see the study on Michael the Archangel at the end of chapter 12. John hears the voice behind him and turns to see who it is in verse 13 and sees the Son of Man (Jesus). This would be the first time John had seen Jesus since His ascension. 



  • Revelation 1:11, Saying, 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.


1V11: Alpha and Omega, the first and the last = Similar to Revelation 1:8 and means the same thing, the eternal existence of Jesus as part of the Godhead.


1V11: In Asia = Also called Asia Minor and encompasses modern day Turkey, see Revelation 1:4. 


1V11: Write in a book = John was told to write what he saw in a book which is the book of Revelation. 


1V11: And send it unto the seven churches = The entire book of Revelation was to be sent to the seven churches, not just chapters 2 and 3, see Revelation 22:16 (Jesus mentions the churches again). 


1V11: Seven churches = The specific letters to the churches begin in chapter 2 and end in chapter 3. But, as mentioned above, the entire book of Revelation was sent to the churches, not just these two chapters.  


“The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian Era. The number 7 indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods in the history of the world.” (Ellen White, AA 585.3)



  • Revelation 1:12, And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;


1V12: I turned to see = John heard a voice behind him in verse 10. 


1V12: The voice that spake with me = This is Jesus Christ, see verses 13-18. 


1V12: Seven candlesticks = Represents the seven churches, see verse 20. Candlesticks are only needed in the dark. The world is in spiritual darkness and the churches provide the light.13



  • Revelation 1:13, And 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.


1V13: Midst = Jesus is pictured as standing in the midst of the seven churches (see verse 20). It is a sign of His love for His church that He stands for us and with us.14 The seven churches represent seven literal churches during the time of John, but also represents God’s church throughout history, see the overview at the beginning of chapter 2. 


“Christ is spoken of as walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks. Thus is symbolized His relation to the churches. He is in constant communication with His people. He knows their true state. He observes their order, their piety, their devotion. Although He is high priest and mediator in the sanctuary above, yet He is represented as walking up and down in the midst of His churches on the earth.” (Ellen White, AA 586.1)


“He is represented as “walking” among them, thus illustrating His constant diligence in behalf of His church. He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. Nor does He become indifferent.” (Ellen White, 7BC 956.1)


Leviticus 24:1-4, describes the role of the high priest in maintaining the candlesticks. This is symbolically what Jesus is doing in the heavenly sanctuary by watching over His churches and the light that His ministers are shining by His direction and power. 

The sad thing is that the seven churches start with Jesus standing with them (in the church) and by the seventh church (Laodicea) He’s standing on the outside knocking to get in (3:20). 


1V13: The Son of Man = Jesus, Revelation 2:18 uses Son of God with same description as in Revelation 1:13-15. Son of man is used throughout the New Testament to describe Jesus. Here are a few examples.


Matthew 24:27, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”


Matthew 24:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”


Matthew 24:37, “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” 


Matthew 24:39, “And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” 


Matthew 24:44, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” 


Matthew 25:13, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”


Matthew 25:31, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:” 


Matthew 26:2, “Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”


Matthew 26:24, “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.”


Matthew 26:45, “Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.”


Matthew 26:64, “Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”


Mark 2:10, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)”


Mark 2:28, “Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”


Mark 8:31, “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”


Mark 8:38, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”


Mark 9:9, “And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.”


Mark 9:12, “And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.”


1V13: Paps = Waist, Daniel 10:5 (KJV uses the word loins which can be translated as waist).


Daniel 10:5, “Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:” Both of these verses and the surrounding verses are describing Jesus. 


1V13: Girdle = Sash or wide belt (Daniel 10:5); Exodus 28:4 (Girdle which is a belt). The image of Jesus dressed in these specific clothes signifies that He has moved into His work of ministry dressed as a priest, Exodus 28:1-5 (Priests wore specific clothing to minister to the people).



  • Revelation 1:14, His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;


1V14: Hairs white like wool/snow = Represents glory, righteousness, and wisdom, Proverbs 16:31 (speaks of gray hair as a sign of glory and righteousness). White hair would command the same respect as gray hair (both representing elders who deserve respect and honor). Jesus’ glory was often mentioned in the New Testament, Matthew 16:27 (in the glory of His Father); Matthew 19:28 (throne of His glory); Matthew 24:30 (great glory); Matthew 25:31 (in His glory); Mark 10:37 (in thy glory); Luke 2:9 (glory of the Lord); Luke 9:26 (in His own glory); John 1:14 (beheld His glory); 2 Corinthians 4:6 (glory of God in the face of Jesus); 2 Corinthians 8:23 (glory of Christ). The righteousness of Jesus was also mentioned in the New Testament, Matthew 6:33 (His righteousness); Romans 1:17 (the righteousness of God); Romans 3:5, 21-22 (Righteousness of God); Romans 10:3 (God’s righteousness). The righteousness of God is also associated with wisdom, 1 Corinthians 1:30 (wisdom, and righteousness). The wisdom of Jesus is also mentioned, Mark 6:2 (the wisdom of Jesus in the synagogue); Luke 2:40, 52 (filled with wisdom); Luke 11:49 (wisdom of God); Romans 11:33 (wisdom of God); 1 Corinthians 1:24 (wisdom of God); 1 Corinthians 2:7 (wisdom of God); Ephesians 3:10 (wisdom of God). Snow is white which represents righteousness, see Revelation 19:8. 


1V14: Eyes like flame of fire = Sees in darkness, sees everything, Hebrews 4:13 (God sees everything); Job 34:21 (God sees all that man does); Psalm 33:13-15 (God sees everyone and their works from heaven); 1 Corinthians 4:5-6 (hidden things of darkness will be brought to light). Jesus is the light, Matthew 4:16 (great light);  John 3:19 (men loved darkness rather than light). The light of the body is the eye, Matthew 6:22-23, Jesus is depicted here with eyes of fire which means eyes of light or righteousness (not darkness and evil). Also mentioned in Daniel 10:6 (a parallel vision to the one here in Revelation). See also Revelation 2:18. 



  • Revelation 1:15, And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.


1V15: Feet of fine brass = Brings good tidings of salvation, Isaiah 52:7, represents how we walk and purification.15 See also Revelation 2:18. 


1V15: Voice of many waters = Voice of God, also as thunder, Revelation 14:2 (voice from heaven); Ezekiel 43:2 (His voice was like a noise of many waters); Daniel 10:6 (voice of a multitude - waters represent multitudes, Revelation 17:15); Job 40:9 (voice of thunder); Psalm 104:7 (voice of thunder). This can also represent a soothing voice as rushing waters is sometimes considered soothing, Jesus is attractive to those that seek Him.16



  • Revelation 1:16, And 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.


1V13-16: See Daniel 10:5-10 which is a parallel description to this vision in Revelation 1.17 Remember, Daniel and Revelation go hand in hand.


1V16: Right hand = No church that is faithful can be plucked out of the hand of Christ.18 The right hand is associated with the righteous and the left with the wicked, Matthew 25:33-34. The right hand was the place of honor in the king’s courts and at the king’s table, Matthew 26:64 (right hand of power); Mark 14:62 (right hand of power); Mark 16:19 (right hand of God); Acts 2:33 (right hand of God exalted); Acts 5:31 (exalted with His right hand); Acts 7:55-56 (Jesus on the right hand of God); Romans 8:34 (Christ at the right hand of God); Colossians 3:1 (Christ on the right hand of God); Hebrews 1:3 (right hand of the Majesty); Hebrews 10:12 (right hand of God); Psalm 110:1-2, 5 (right hand to rule). 


1V16: Seven stars = Angels, see verse 20; The definition of angel is messenger, Revelation 12:4, 9 (stars = angels); Jude 6, 13 (stars = angels). This depiction of stars/angels is probably symbolic and is referring to the ministers of each of the churches. God’s messengers to those churches.  


“These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand.” Revelation 2:1. These words are spoken to the teachers in the church—those entrusted by God with weighty responsibilities. The sweet influences that are to be abundant in the church are bound up with God's ministers, who are to reveal the love of Christ. The stars of heaven are under His control. He fills them with light. He guides and directs their movements. If He did not do this, they would become fallen stars. So with His ministers. They are but instruments in His hands, and all the good they accomplish is done through His power. Through them His light is to shine forth.” (Ellen White, AA 586.3)


1V16: Two-edged sword = The Old Testament and New Testament (the Bible), Hebrews 4:12 (word of God sharper than any twoedged sword); Ephesians 6:17 (sword of the Spirit which is the word of God).


1V16: As the sun = Brightness of God (Righteousness and His glory), Matthew 17:2 (Face did shine as the sun); 2 Corinthians 4:6 (glory of God in the face of Jesus); 2 Thessalonians 2:8 (brightness of His coming); Revelation 10:1 (is a description of Jesus and says that His face was as it were the sun); Malachi 4:2 (Sun of Righteousness); Psalm 84:11 (God is a sun).



  • Revelation 1:17, And 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: 


1V17: Fell at his feet as dead = Afraid in the presence of righteousness, parallel verses in Daniel 8:17-18. This also occurs with angels who reflect the righteousness of God because they are in the presence of God and reflect His glory, Matthew 28:2-4. The reflecting of God’s glory also occurred with Moses who spent sometimes up to 40 days in the presence of God, Exodus 34:28-35.



  • Revelation 1:18, I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. 


1V18: Describes Jesus Christ being crucified, buried, and resurrected.


1V18: Keys of hell and of death = “Jesus points us to the hope of the resurrection, the culmination and climax of the Christian faith. Without this particular hope, what hope is there?”19 


Romans 6:9, “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.”


Romans 8:34, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”


Hosea 13:14, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.”


Acts 2:24, 27, 31-32, “ Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” Note that in verse 27 and 31 the word hell is better translated as the grave in the KJV. 


1V18: Hell = The greek word here is Hades, which is better translated as the grave. Jesus was resurrected and has conquered the grave and death. In 1 Corinthians 15:55, the word Hades has been translated as grave (in the KJV). 



  • Revelation 1:19, Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 


1V19: Hast seen = John was given the great privilege of seeing the things that he wrote about which means he was able to see visions of heaven, of God’s throne, of the heavenly sanctuary, and historical events that would not occur until after his death. 


1V19: John is being instructed to write down the past, present and future, see verse 4 and verse 8 for similar expressions. This shows that the book of Revelation is not just full of prophecies or events that occurred only in the past, or only in during the time of John, or only in the future. The book of Revelation was for all Christians throughout history starting in the time of John when the book was distributed to the Christian churches, starting with the seven in Asia Minor. 



  • Revelation 1:20, The 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.


1V20: This verse is a perfect example of the first principle of studying the book of Revelation which is to let the Bible explain the Bible. In many areas of Revelation, the answer to a question or the answer to what a symbol means is in another part of the book of Revelation.



Bible Study: Timing and Location are Crucial to Understanding Revelation.20

Location is determined by the sanctuary. When reading verses the location in the sanctuary can be determined by the artifacts described in the verse. For example: If a verse mentions the table of shewbread, then the location is the Holy Place of the sanctuary. See Annex B for a full description of the sanctuary and its artifacts. 


Examples of why it is important to understand location.

The sanctuary is all through Revelation and the artifacts depict the plan of salvation, Psalm 77:13 (God’s way is in the sanctuary). For example: The artifacts in the courtyard represents the process of justification (altar of sacrifice which represents the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross which we accept and are justified; the laver which represents baptism), the artifacts in the Holy Place represents the process of sanctification (see next paragraph), and the artifact in the Most Holy Place represents glorification (going to heaven and serving the Lord at the right hand of God). 


The Holy Place articles of furniture is a representation of how God sustains His people which is also sanctification (or our life time walk with Christ); The Bible (table of shewbread), prayer (altar of incense) and His light and the Holy Spirit (candlestick).


The seven churches, seven seals and seven trumpets depict how God sustains His church through the ages.


Exodus 30:7, Altar of incense and seven branch candlestick, whenever the priest ministered at the candlestick he was also to minister at the altar of incense. Ministry in the holy place was a simultaneous ministry. The seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets are all simultaneous. For instance, the first church, the first seal and the first trumpet are all in the apostolic age (time of the apostles around 31-100 AD).


Leviticus 24:7-8, Table of shewbread, in holy place. This represents Jesus’ ministration or intercession for us in the Holy Place of the sanctuary. The seven churches begin with Christ in the midst of the candlesticks, the seven seals begin with a picture of Christ before the table of shewbread, and the seven trumpets begin with a picture of Christ before the altar of incense. All of these artifacts are in the Holy Place of the sanctuary.


Timing is determined by the three time prophecies located in the book of Daniel (see Annex C: Prophecy Chart for details on the three major time prophecies);


The 70 week (490 years) prophecy in Daniel 9, pointing forward to Christ’s baptism, ministry, death on the cross and the closing of probation for the Jewish nation.


The 1260 day/year prophecy in Daniel 7, pointing to the little horn (the persecution of God’s people during the dark ages by the antichrist power).


The 2300 day/year prophecy in Daniel 8, bringing us to 1844 which points us to the cleansing of the sanctuary and Jesus moving from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place in the heavenly temple to begin the investigative judgment.

  • Interesting note: John 2:20, The Jews said 40 and 6 years we built this temple…if we take 46 and add it to 1798 it equals 1844 (cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary). The 1260 year prophecy in Daniel 7 goes from 538 to 1798 AD (see Annex C for a depiction of these prophecies). 


Each gospel (except John because he wrote Revelation), has a prophetic chapter like Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21. Each of these chapters deal with all three time prophecies.


Before chapter 12 the book of Revelation deals with all three time prophecies, after chapter 12 it only deals with the 2300 year prophecy. But chapter 12 has all three time prophecies (verses 1-5 refer to the 70 week or 490 year prophecy which points to Jesus’ ministry, death and resurrection; verses 6, 13-14 deals with the 1260 year prophecy which deals with the persecution of God’s people; verses 15-17 deals with the 2300 year prophecy and the beginning of the investigative judgment).


Bible Study: Christ and His Church.21

The life of Christ is a snapshot of the life of the church, we are to follow His example.


Christ was born, the church was born (the early church); Christ was baptized, the church was baptized at pentecost; the baptism of Christ points us to the 70 week prophecy.


Jesus went into the wilderness (Matthew 4:1) and the church went into the wilderness (Revelation 12:6, 14) which points us to the 1260 year prophecy. 


Out of the wilderness (tempted by Satan after His 40 days of fasting and prayer) He cleanses the temple (Matthew 21:12-13); this reflects the 2300 year prophecy (cleansing of the sanctuary, Daniel 8:14); after the wilderness Christ calls His disciples together and starts His church, after the 1260 years in the wilderness the church is gathered together again (reformation of the 1840s and the formation of the Seventh-Day Adventist church).


Jesus’ ministry focused on preaching, teaching and healing just like the church does till the end of time, Matthew 9:35.


Jesus is harassed, accused, and persecuted because of the Sabbath, just like the church will be persecuted for the Sabbath at the end of time.




Chapter 1 Resources and Notes

1. Ellen G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7, 1957 (EGW Writings Database - Comprehensive Research Edition), pages 953-954.


2. Ibid, page 954.


3. Pastor James Rafferty and Pastor Ivor Myers, Salvation in Symbols and Signs (Program on 3ABN’s Dare To Dream Network), video series can be accessed here:


4. Ibid.


5. Robert J. Wieland, Revelation of things to Come, Stanborough Press Ltd., Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, 2014, ISBN 978-1-909545-18-2, page 9.


6. Pastor James Rafferty and Pastor Ivor Myers, Salvation in Symbols and Signs (Program on 3ABN’s Dare To Dream Network), video series can be accessed here:


7. Ibid.


8. Ibid.


9. Ibid.


10. The Greek Alphabet, Can be accessed here:


11. Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Preparation for the End Time, 3rd Quarter 2018, Pacific Press Publishing Association, ISSN 1096-7400, page 27.


12. Pastor James Rafferty and Pastor Ivor Myers, Salvation in Symbols and Signs (Program on 3ABN’s Dare To Dream Network), video series can be accessed here:


13. Kenneth Mathews, MD, Anchor Point Films (2017),, video series called, Revelations Seven Churches, it is a two DVD documentary series and can be purchased here,


14. Pastor John Bradshaw, It Is Written Ministry television episode called, What I Like About My Church, Can be accessed here:


15. Pastor Kenneth Cox of Kenneth Cox Ministry, video 1 of 29, The Revelation of Jesus Christ: It’s Who You Know, from the series, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, video series can be accessed here:


16. Pastor James Rafferty and Pastor Ivor Myers, Salvation in Symbols and Signs (Program on 3ABN’s Dare To Dream Network), video series can be accessed here:


17. Ibid.


18. Ellen G. White, Acts of the Apostles (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2005), page 586.


19. Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Preparation for the End Time, 3rd Quarter 2018, Pacific Press Publishing Association, ISSN 1096-7400, page 27.


20. Pastor James Rafferty and Pastor Ivor Myers, Salvation in Symbols and Signs (Program on 3ABN’s Dare To Dream Network), video series can be accessed here:


21. Ibid.


Ellen White references can be found here:

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