Revelation Chapter 1
From The Open Bible Project
The Revelation to John
1:1 This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his  angel [See Revelation Footnotes 1] to his servant, John,
(soon) time indicator
1:2 who testified to God's word, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, about everything that he saw.
1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written in it, for the time is at hand.
- John is telling the churches that "the time is at hand". The people who read this letter expected Christ's return in their own lifetime.
1:4 John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne;
- (2) This is the particular or singular inscription, in which salutation is written to certain churches by name, who represent the catholic church: and the certainty and truth of this is declared, from the author of it, in (Revelation 1:8). (3) That is, from God the Father, eternal, immortal, immutable: wholly unchangeable, John declares in a form of speech which is undeclined. For there is no incongruity in this place, where, of necessity the words must be adapted to the mystery, not the mystery corrupted or impaired by the words.
- (c) These three, Is, Was, and Shall be, signify the word Jehovah, which is the proper name for God. (4) That is, from the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son. This Spirit is one in person according to his subsistence: but in communication of his power, and in demonstration of his divine works in those seven churches, perfectly manifests himself as if there were many spirits, every one perfectly working in his own church. Which is why in (Revelation 5:6) they are called the seven horns and seven eyes of the Lamb, as if to say, as his most absolute power and wisdom. In (Revelation 3:1) Christ is said to have those seven spirits of God, and in (Revelation 4:5) it is said that seven lamps burn before his throne, which also are those seven spirits of God. That this place ought to be so understood, it is thus proved. For first, grace and peace is asked by prayer from this Spirit, which is a divine work, and an action incommunicable in respect to God. Secondly, he is placed between the Father and the Son, as set in the same degree of dignity and operation with them, besides, he is before the throne, as of the same substance with the Father and the Son: as the seven eyes and seven horns of the Lamb. Moreover, these spirits are never said to adore God, as all other things are. Finally, this is the power by which the Lamb opened the book, and loosed the seven seals of it, when no one could be found among all creatures by whom the book might be opened (Revelation 5:1-10); Of these things long ago Master John Luide of Oxford wrote to me. Now the Holy Spirit is named before Christ because a long speech about Christ follows.
- (d) These are the seven spirits, which are later called the horns and eyes of the Lamb in (Revelation 5:6) and are now acting as a guard waiting on God.
1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood;
- (5) A most ample and honourable commendation of Christ, first from his offices of the priesthood and kingdom: secondly from his benefits, as his love toward us, and washing us with his blood, in this verse, and communication of his kingdom and priesthood with us: thirdly, from his eternal glory and power, which is always to be celebrated by us; (Revelation 1:6) Finally, from the accomplishment of all things once to be effected by him, at his second coming, at which time he shall openly destroy the wicked, and comfort the godly in the truth; (Revelation 1:7).
1:6 and he made us to be a Kingdom, priests to his God and Father; to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1:7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.
- (e) All men.
1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord  God, [See Revelation Footnotes 4] "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
- (6) A confirmation of the greeting earlier, taken from the words of God himself: in which he affirms his operation in every single creature, the immutable eternity that is in himself, and his omnipotence in all things: and concludes in the unity of his own essence, that Trinity of persons which was spoken of before.
- (f) I am he before whom there was nothing, indeed, by whom everything that is made, was made: and I shall remain though everything else should perish.
1:9 I John , your brother and partner with you in oppression, Kingdom, and perseverance in Christ, was on the isle that is called Patmos because of God's Word and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
- (7) The narration, opening the way to the declaring of the authority and calling of John the evangelist in this singular revelation, and to procure faith and credit to this prophecy. This is the second part of this chapter, consisting of a proposition, and an exposition. The proposition shows, in (Revelation 1:9) first who was called to this revelation, in what place, and how occupied. Then at what time, and by what means, namely, by the Spirit and the word, and that on the Lord’s day, which ever since the resurrection of Christ, was consecrated for Christians: that is to say, to be a day of rest, as in (Revelation 1:10) Thirdly, who is the author that calls him, and what is the sum of his calling.
- (g) Patmos is one of the islands of Sporas, where John was banished according to some historians.
1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet
- (h) This is a holy trance expressed, with which the prophets were entranced, and being carried out of the world, conversed with God: and so Ezekiel says often, that he was carried from place to place by the Spirit, and that the Spirit of the Lord came on him.
(i) He calls it the Lord’s day, which Paul calls the first day of the week; (1 Corinthians 16:2).
1:11 saying, "What you see, write in a book and send to the seven assemblies: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatria, Sardis, Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
1:12 I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. Having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands.
- (8) The exposition, declaring the third and last point of the proposition (for the other points are evident of themselves) in which is he first speaks of the author of his calling (till verse 17), and secondly, of the calling itself (Revelation 1:17-20). First of all the occasion is noted in this verse, in that John turned himself towards the vision, and after he sets down the description of the author, in the following verses, (Revelation 1:13-16).
- (k) To see him whose voice I had heard. (9) The description of the Author, who is Christ: by the candlesticks that stand about him, that is, the churches that stand before him, and depend upon his direction. In (Revelation 1:13) he is described by his properties, that he is provided with wisdom and dexterity for the achieving of great things, and in (Revelation 1:14) with ancient gravity and most excellent sight of the eye. In (Revelation 1:15) he is described with strength invincible and with a mighty word, and in (Revelation 1:16) by his ruling of the ministry of his servants in the Church by the sword of his word, and enlightening all things with his countenance, and mightily providing for everyone by his divine providence.
1:13 And among the lampstands was one like a son of man, clothed with a robe reaching down to his feet, and with a golden sash around his chest.
1:14 His head and his hair were white as white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire.
1:15 His feet were like burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace. His voice was like the voice of many waters.
1:16 He had seven stars in his right hand. Out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining at its brightest.
1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me, saying, "Don't be afraid. I am the first and the last,
- (10) A religious fear, that goes before the calling of the saints, and their full confirmation to take on them the vocation of God.
- (11) A divine confirmation of this calling, partly by sign, and partly by word of power.
- (12) A most elegant description of this calling contained in three things, which are necessary to a just vocation: first the authority of him who calls, for he is the beginning and end of all things, in this verse, for he is eternal and omnipotent (Revelation 1:8). Secondly the sum of his prophetic calling and revelation (Revelation 1:9). Lastly a declaration of those persons to whom this prophecy is by the commandment of God directed in the description of it (Revelation 1:20).
1:18 and the Living one. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of  Hades [See Revelation Footnotes 8].
1:19 Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will happen hereafter;
- (13) The sum of this prophecy, that the apostle must write whatever he sees, adding nothing, nor taking away anything (Revelation 1:2). Here there are two parts: one is a narration of those things which are, that is, which then were at that time, contained in the second and third chapter: the other part is of those things which were to come, contained in the rest of this book.
1:20 the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands. The seven stars are the  angels [See Revelation Footnotes 9] of the seven assemblies. The seven lampstands are seven assemblies.
- (14) That is, the thing which was mystical signified by the particulars of the vision before going.
- (l) By angels he means the ministers of the Church.