Author: Ron Graham
The Revelation of Christ (Revelation 1-5) >The Prologue >The Introduction >The powers
At least seven aspects of Christ’s power and authority may be noticed in the first vision —a vision of Christ. This vision includes the messages that Christ commanded John to write to the seven churches.
Jesus is "the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the end, the First and the Last... he who is and who was and who is to come (Revelation 1:8,17, cf 2:8a). Time is under God's authority (Acts 1:7). Jesus rules time; it does not rule him. He has "dominion forever and ever" (Revelation 1:6) and lives in eternity. The visions of Revelation represent time from that eternal perspective. We shall discuss this matter further in some of our lessons that focus on questions of times and seasons in prophecy.
Jesus claims to be "the beginning of the creation of God" (Revelation 3:14). He is the Creator of all things that have been created (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16-17).
"He sent and signified [the revelation] by his angel... To the angel of the church of Ephesus write..." (Revelation 1:1, 2:1). In the book of Revelation, angels are seen to be servants carrying out orders from Jesus. The angels are inferior and are subject to Jesus Christ. They worship him (Hebrews 1:6-8, 13-14).
Jesus is "he who lives, and was dead, and came to life, and behold I am alive forever more, Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death" (Revelation 1:18, 2:8b). The death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ is a basic doctrine in the gospel (Acts 2:23-24,31-33). The book of Revelation promises that Christ will also raise the dead and destroy death and Hades (Revelation 20:11-15).
Jesus is "he who is holy, he who is true, he who has the key of David, who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens" (Revelation 3:7, cf Isaiah 22:22). Christ will judge the living and the dead (2Timothy 4:1). He has the authority to decide which destiny shall be yours (Matthew 25:31-32,46).
Jesus is "he who has the sharp two-edged sword" (Revelation 1:16, 2:12), with "eyes like a flame of fire" (Revelation 1:14), and "the Amen, the faithful and true witness" (Revelation 3:14). The two edged sword represents the teaching of Christ, his gospel (Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians6:17). The word Amen means "true". Jesus has the truth, and he decides what is true and what is false. As the eyes of fire signify, Jesus has not left us in the dark; he has given us the revelation of light of the truth.
Jesus is "he who holds the seven stars in his right hand and who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands" (Revelation 1:13,16, 2:1). The stars are the angels of the churches, and the lampstands are the churches themselves (Revelation 1:20). Christ, although in heaven, is in control of his churches on earth. He says, as he begins each message to the churches, "I know your works" (Revelation 2:2,9,13,19, 3:1,8,15). All churches are answerable to him and should regard him as the Head (Colossians 1:18).