Author: Ron Graham
The Revelation of Christ (Revelation 1-5) >The Prologue >The Introduction >The declarations
We are looking at John's prologue to the Book of Revelation. In this lesson, we consider the seven declarations that John makes about Jesus Christ.
¶“4...from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6and has made us kings and priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion, for ever and ever, Amen. 7Behold ;he is coming with clouds, and every eye shall see him... Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:4-7).
Jesus is the "faithful witness". John is quite sure that what he is receiving from Christ through the angel, is exactly what Christ received from his God and Father. It is a true testimony.
Jesus himself declared, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6), and John was sure that "the one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself" whereas unbelievers have "made God a liar" (1John 5:10)
Jesus is "the firstborn from the dead". Jesus was the first to be raised from the dead and ascend into glory. This implies there will be others, and it is this to which the book of Revelation looks ahead.
In Paul's declarations about Jesus, he too claims that Jesus is "the firstborn from the dead [of all creation]" (Colossians 1:15,18).
In the first vision given to John, the vision of the glorified Jesus, John hears Jesus say, "I am he who lives, and I was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and Hades" (Revelation 1:18).
Jesus is "the ruler of the kings of the earth". Later in Revelation he is called "the King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation 17:14, 19:16).
Paul gives him the same accolade (1Timothy 6:14-15). Jesus is the Sovereign of all things —equal to, and subject only to, God his Father.
Jesus "loved us and released us from our sins by his blood". Without the sacrifice of his flesh and blood, we would have no hope of forgiveness. In the second vision (Revelation 5:6), Jesus is seen as the Lamb to symbolise that he became a sacrifice for us.
Jesus, thinking on the sacrifice he was going to make, was moved to say, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends" (John 15:13).
Jesus has "made us to be a kingdom of priests to his God and Father". Jesus established his kingdom when he ascended into heaven. The saints in the seven churches of Christ were in his kingdom. All Christians are in his kingdom.
As Jesus is both king and high priest, so he has made those in his kingdom to be priests to his God. This "royal priesthood" (1Peter 2:9) is sometimes referred to as “the priesthood of all believers.”
Jesus has "glory and dominion forever and ever". In the book of Revelation, the same glory which is attributed to God the Father of Jesus is also attributed to Jesus the Lamb of God (Revelation 5:12-13).
"And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, 'To him who sits on the throne* and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!' " (Revelation 5:13, ESV). *"Him who sits on the throne" = "our Lord and our God" (Revelation 4:10-11).
Jesus "is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him". The book of Revelation, as we have noted already, looks forward to the second coming of Christ. This will be the climax in the final visions.
When Jesus ascended into the clouds, the angels made a promise to the disciples who saw it. They said, "This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw him go" (Acts 1:11).