Revelation 1:1-6 – The Essential Nature
1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. esv
Greeting to the Seven Churches
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
God reveals to us what His plan is for the earth and the people. The final chapter in the story of ‘redemption’.
Apokalupsis (Revelation) appears eighteen times in the New Testament, always, when used of a person, with the meaning “to become visible.”
Luke 2:32 a light for revelation (apokalypsis – G602 – ‘Revelation’) to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” ESV
G602 – ἀποκάλυψις [apokalupsis /ap·ok·al·oop·sis/] ..1 a laying bear, making naked. 2 a disclosure of truth, instruction. 2a concerning things before unknown. 2b used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all. 3 manifestation, appearance.
1 Corinthians 1:7 – 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing (apokalypsis G02)of our Lord Jesus Christ. Esv
1 Peter 1:7 – those tested by fire will result in praise and glory and honor and this revelation of Christ at His second coming.
John MacArthur: The book of Revelation contains truths that had been concealed, but have now been revealed. Though it nowhere directly quotes the Old Testament, 278 of its 404 verses of the book of ‘Revelation’ refer or allude to Old Testament prophetic truth, and it amplifies what was only initially suggested in the Old Testament
What is the central Theme? Verse 1b? It is about Revealing Jesus as His exaltation in the 2nd coming. The Gospels presented his first coming in humiliation.
Quoted by MacArthur – quote: W. A. Criswell, long-time pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, gave the following explanation as to why Christ must yet be revealed in glory:
The first time our Lord came into this world, He came in the veil of our flesh. His deity was covered over with His manhood. His Godhead was hidden by His humanity. Just once in a while did His deity shine through, as on the Mount of Transfiguration, or as in His miraculous works. But most of the time the glory, the majesty, the deity, the wonder and the marvel of the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, were veiled. These attributes were covered over in flesh, in our humanity. He was born in a stable. He grew up in poverty. He knew what it was to hunger and to thirst. He was buffeted and beaten and bruised. He was crucified and raised up as a felon before the scoffing gaze of the whole earth. The last time that this world saw Jesus was when it saw Him hanging in shame, misery and anguish upon the cross. He later appeared to a few of His believing disciples, but the last time that this unbelieving world ever saw Jesus was when it saw Him die as a malefactor, as a criminal, crucified on a Roman cross. That was a part of the plan of God, a part of the immeasurable, illimitable grace and love of our Lord. “By His stripes we are healed.”
But then is that all the world is ever to see of our Saviour—dying in shame on a cross? No! It is also a part of the plan of God that some day this unbelieving, this blaspheming, this godless world shall see the Son of God in His full character, in glory, in majesty, in the full-orbed wonder and marvel of His Godhead. Then all men shall look upon Him as He really is. They shall see Him holding in His hands the title-deed to the Universe, holding in His hands the authority of all creation in the universe above us, in the universe around us, and in the universe beneath us; holding this world and its destiny in His pierced and loving hands. (Expository Sermons on Revelation [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1969], 1:16–17)
While Jesus existed on earth He did not know the time, He knew it would come and spoke about that.
Mark 13:32 – 32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake.
Thus, the book of Revelation reveals the glory that will be Christ’s second coming.
Matthew 22:8 – 8 Then he said to his servants,(doulos G1401 LN37.3 –“Slave”) ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. The Greek word “Doulois” Bond servant or a special type of slave that served out of love and devotion to his master.
LN37.3 – ‘for as you surrendered the parts of your body to be like slaves to obey impurity…”
These were the ones granted to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. Note the attitude needed to be called a ‘bond-servant’.
Rev. 1:1 – “…the things that must soon (tachos – G5034–LN6756 – quickness) take place.
LN6756 – pertaining to a point of time subsequent to another point of time (either an event in the discourse or the time of the discourse itself), with emphasis upon the relatively brief interval between the two points of time—‘soon, very soon.’ – In relation to the various events depicted in this book. (We know about the final week being only the week of 7 years long with the gap between the 69 week (AD70, Jerusalem Destruction) and the 70th, ‘Daniel’s” last week in Prophecy. In the prophecy of 69 weeks Plus 1.) Daniel 9:24-27
Revelation portrays Jesus Christ in His future glory along with the blessedness of the saints.
Matthew 24:42 – Stay awake, but you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. – Jesus says this while on earth and during the 69Weeks of BC445 – to AD70 when temple was destroyed. Remember Neh. 3-6 – the rebuilding of Jerusalem and thus starting the 69 week period (BC445-AD70). The gap after AD70 is the current time period that we are living in.
Revelation 1:2-3 – 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
A blessing befalls those hearing these words and having the understanding about them for these are the children of God. Revelation was given to the ‘bond-servants’ of Jesus.
It’s Supernatural Delivery – Rev. 1:1f – He sent and communicated it by His angel(s)… “He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,”-Rev. 1f esv
Angels played an important part in transmitting of the book of Revelation to John. They were also involved in the depicted scenes. Angels appear in every chapter Except in 4 & 13 and is used 71 times in the book.
Its Human Author – Revelation 1:1g-2
to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. (1:1g–2)
John, the bond-servant of Jesus – The son of Zebedee and brother of James. God’s Word expressed in the book of Revelation is the testimony about the coming of Jesus Christ given to His church and recorded by His faithful witness, John. Note: Rev. 22:16 – 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
Revelation 1:3a – 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
Three participles that are translated in the present tense are: read – hear – keep – “…for the time is near.” –
Time does not translate chronos, which refers to time on a clock or calendar, but (Kairos G2540 LN67.1 occasion), which refers to seasons, epochs, or eras. The next great era of God’s redemptive history is near.
G2540 καιρός [kairos /kahee·ros/] n m. … 1 due measure. 2 a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time, hence:. 2a a fixed and definite time, the time when things are brought to crisis, the decisive epoch waited for. 2b opportune or seasonable time. 2c the right time. 2d a limited period of time. 2e to what time brings, the state of the times, the things and events of time. Additional Information: For synonyms see entry 5550, chronos.See entry 5853 for comparison of synonyms.
It is a time we are to be ready. We are to keep of lamps lit. To be ready to enter the wedding feast when the master calls.
To the seven churches:
Revelation 1:4-8 – 4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood ..
The phrase: ‘Him who is and who was and who is to come…” – is the 1st person of the trinity, God the Father. It is like saying the past, present and future (although timeless) is the source of all the blessings of salvation, all grace and all peace. Rev. 1:8 – I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
The Phrase: “The seven spirits who are before His throne” – refers to the Holy Spirit and depicted in His fulness. Isa. Isa. 11:2 – And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. nasb
And from Jesus Christ, the ruler and king of the earth… Jesus is here to testify to the truth.
John 18:37 – “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world,” He declared to Pilate, “to testify to the truth” nasb
The phrase, the 3rd title is: ‘the ruler of the kings of the earth’ – He is sovereign over the affairs of this world, the King of the earth. Luke 19:38 – “Blessed be the King who comes who comes in the name of the Lord.” nasb
The Exalted Doxology (Rev. 1: 5b-6)
“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” NASB
Here is the heart of the gospel. Sinners are forgiven by God, set free from sin, death, and hell by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. God made Him our substitute, killing Him for our sins, so that the penalty was fully paid for us. God’s justice was satisfied and God was able then to grant righteousness to repentant sinners for whom Christ died.
J. MacArthur: Christ’s love also caused Him to make us to be a kingdom (not the millennial kingdom, but the sphere of God’s rule which believers enter at salvation; cf. Col. 1:13) in which we enjoy His loving, gracious rule and almighty, sovereign protection. Finally, He made us priests to His God and Father, granting us the privilege of direct access to the Father (cf. 1 Pet. 2:9–10).
Preview of the Second Coming:
Revelation 1:7-8 – Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (1:7–8)
Revelation brings out the events leading up to the future Noah’s day destruction of all wickedness on the earth for the final time. The words: “Behold, He is coming…Every eye will see Him.. Rev1V7-8
The word ‘coming’ erchomai G2061, LN15.81 – (present tense) suggests that He is already on His way…it is a certainty.
LN15.81 ἔρχομαιb; ἔλευσις, εως f: to move toward or up to the reference point of the viewpoint character or event—‘to come, coming
This word is used nine times in Revelation referring to Jesus Christ. There are 500+ times that the Bible throughout the Bible. Jesus continually spoke about His return and thus a central theme in the Scriptures.
John MacArthur points out several compelling reasons why Christ must return.
First, the promises of God require that Jesus return. Psalm
2:6-9, Isa. 9:6-7,
Genesis 49:10 – The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
Second, the promise of Jesus requires His return.. Rev. 2:15; 3:11; 22:7, 12,20 – John 14:2-3 – 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
Third, the guarantee of the Holy Spirit requires that Jesus return… John 15:26 – John 16:13 – 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Fourth, God’s program for the church demands that Jesus return. .. In Revelation 3:10 Jesus promised, “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
Following the Rapture, Christ will reward His church for its faithful service to Him (Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:12–15; 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10; Phil. 1:6, 10; 2 Tim. 1:12, 18; 4:8; Rev. 11:18). That time of reward presupposes that Christ will have already returned for His church.
At the end of the seven-year tribulation period, the glorified church, the bride of Christ (Rev. 19:7–9; cf. 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:22–30), will return in triumph with Him (Rev. 19:14; cf. v. 8). At that time the church will be vindicated before the unbelieving world, making it evident who truly belongs to the Lord (cf. 2 Tim. 2:19).
God’s program for the church—to rescue it from the terrors of the Tribulation, reward it for faithful service, and vindicate it in exaltation in His kingdom before the world—requires that Christ return.
Fifth, Christ’s program for the unbelieving nations requires His return. Psalm 2 predicts a time when Christ will rule the nations… Joel 3:1-2,9-17, Isa. 11:1-5, Zephaniah 3:8 – “Therefore wait for me,” declares the Lord, “for the day when I rise up to seize the prey. For my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them my indignation, all my burning anger; for in the fire of my jealousy all the earth shall be consumed.
Sixth, God’s program for Israel demands that Christ return. Romans 11:13 – 13 Now I am
speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I
magnify my ministry..
1 Timothy 2:7 – For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. God states in Jeremiah 31:35-37 and Jeremiah 33:25-26 with strong terms that He would never permanently set aside Israel. Jeremiah 33:25-26 – “Thus says the Lord, ‘If My covenant for day and night stand not, and the fixed patterns of heaven and earth I have not established, then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, not taking from his descendants rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.’ ”
Seventh, Christ’s humiliation demands that He return. Christ was rejected, reviled, abused and executed, but He would return a king. Phil. 2:10-11 – However, Jesus lets the world know the He would return a King of great power. Matthew 25:63-64 – 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Eighth, the judgment of Satan demands that Christ return. – John 12:31 – 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
Ninth, the expectation of believers
demands that Christ return. Titus
2:13 – 13 waiting for
our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
John 14:1-3 – “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
Revelation 1:7b – The Glory of the Second Coming… ‘with the clouds’
Clouds frequently symbolize God’s presence. Cloud led Israel in the wilderness. Cloud showed God’s presence when giving the law at Mount Sinai etc. Matthew 24:30 – 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
MacArthur: The clouds picture Christ’s descent from heaven. More significantly, they symbolize the brilliant light that accompanies God’s presence—a light so powerful that no one could see it and live (Ex. 33:20). The appearance of the blazing glory of Jesus Christ, “the radiance of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Heb. 1:3), and the lesser brilliance of the innumerable angels and the redeemed who accompany Him, will be both an indescribable and terrifying pageant.
divides those who will see the Second Coming into two groups. Those who
pierced Him does not refer to the Roman soldiers involved in Christ’s
crucifixion but to the unbelieving Jews who instigated His death. In Zechariah
12:10 God says, “I will pour out on the house of David and on the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they
will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one
mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter
weeping over a firstborn.”
Peter affirmed that the Jewish people were responsible for Christ’s execution, boldly declaring Acts 2:22-23:
Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. (Acts 2:22–23; cf. 3:14–15)
Israel’s mourning, noted in Zechariah 12:10, will be that of genuine repentance. Many Jews will be saved during the Tribulation, both the 144,000 and their converts. But for many others, the Second Coming will be the time of their salvation. It will be “in that day [that] a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity” (Zech. 13:1).
John describes the second group as all the tribes of the earth, a reference to the unbelieving Gentile nations. Like the Jewish people, they too will mourn over Christ. Some of that mourning may relate to the repentance of those who are saved at that time (7:9–10, 14). But unlike the Jewish nation, the Gentiles’ mourning will not generally result from genuine repentance. Mourn is from koptō, which literally means “to cut.” The word became associated with mourning due to the pagans’ practice of cutting themselves when in extreme grief or despair. First Kings 18:28 records that the frenzied, panicked prophets of Baal “cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them” in a desperate attempt to get their god’s attention. The Israelites were strictly forbidden to engage in such pagan rituals (Lev. 19:28; Deut. 14:1).
The Gentiles’ mourning, for the most part, will be prompted by terror, not repentance. They will mourn not for the Christ they rejected, but over their doom. They will “not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts” (9:21).
Revelation 1:7d – “So it is to be. Amen” – John’s response to the above future events and their purpose.
The certainty of the Second Coming – Revelation 1:8 –“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Repeating: Jesus came the first time in humiliation; He will return in exaltation. He came the first time to be killed; He will return to kill His enemies. He came the first time to serve; He will return to be served. He came the first time as the suffering servant; He will return as the conquering king. The challenge the book of Revelation makes to every person is to be ready for His return.
Revelation 1:9-11 – The Setting of the Vision
I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance (G5281 – LN25.174 – ‘steadfast endurance’ which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” (1:9–11)
Revelation 1:12-20 –
12 – Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;
13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash.
14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.
15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.
16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,
18 and the living One; and I bwas dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
19 “Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.
20 “As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
In v.20 –
7 golden lampstands seen as the seven churches. Symbolizing the churches as the light of the world. Gold would be considered the most precious metal. These 7 churches are God’s most beautiful and valuable entity on earth.
In the middle of them John sees one like a son of man. In Ps. 118:6 and Hebrews 13:6 – Jesus stated that He would never leave His faithful followers.
V.13 – Christ is in their group “clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.” – He is our High Priest as shown with the golden sash that the High Priest would wear. (Hebrews 9:11-12 – As a priest He comes before God.)
Revelation 1:14-15a – Christ Purifies His Church
“The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze.” – esv
Jesus established His church: 2 Corinthians 11:2 – 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. Esv
“white, like white wool” – reverence to Daniel 7:9 – “As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. Esv
Revelation 1:14b – John
describes his eyes being like a flame of fire.
Revelation 19:12 – 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.
These eyes penetrate the very depths of His church to reveal everything about them. Hebrews 4:13 – 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Revelation 1:15 – his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.
A clear reference to judgement on sinners in the church and his movement through His church exercising His chastening authority.
Hebrews 12:5–10 speaks to this matter:
You have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.” It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
Revelation 1:15b – and his voice was like the roar of many waters. – Speaks with authority to His Church in a different voice then at verse 10 where it was a roar.
Christ Controls His Church
Revelation 1:16a, 20a – In His right hand He held seven stars … the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, (1:16a, 20a)
Holding the 7 stars that are the angels of the seven churches that are in authority, but under control. There are questions as to if they are to be called ‘angels’ or if ‘messengers’ would be more fitting. MacDonald states:
As the head of His church (Eph. 4:15; 5:23; Col. 1:18), and the ruler of the “kingdom of [God’s] beloved Son” (Col. 1:13), Christ exercises authority in His church. In John’s vision, Christ is holding in His right hand the seven stars (cf. 2:1; 3:1), identified in verse 20 as the angels of the seven churches, which symbolized those authorities. That He held them in His right hand does not picture safety and protection, but control. Angeloi (angels) is the common New Testament word for angels, leading some interpreters reasonably to conclude that angels are in view in this passage. But the New Testament nowhere teaches that angels are involved in the leadership of the church. Angels do not sin and thus have no need to repent, as the messengers, along with the congregations they represented, are exhorted to do (cf. 2:4–5, 14, 20; 3:1–3, 15, 17, 19). Dr. Robert L. Thomas notes a further difficulty with this view: “It presumes that Christ is sending a message to heavenly beings through John, an earthly agent, so that it may reach earthly churches through angelic representatives” (Revelation 1–7: An Exegetical Commentary [Chicago: Moody, 1992], 117). Therefore, angeloi is better rendered “messengers,” as in Luke 7:24; 9:52; and James 2:25. Some suggest that these messengers were representatives from each of the seven churches who came to visit John on Patmos and take the book of Revelation back with them. But since Christ is said to hold them in His right hand, they were more likely leading elders and pastors (though not the sole leaders, since the New Testament teaches a plurality of elders), one from each of the seven churches.
These seven men demonstrate the function of spiritual leaders in the church. They are to be instruments through which Christ, the head of the church, mediates His rule. That is why the standards for leadership in the New Testament are so high. To be assigned as an intermediary through which the Lord Jesus Christ controls His church is to be called to a sobering responsibility (cf. 1 Tim. 3:1–7; Titus 1:5–9 for the qualifications for such men).
James 2:25 – 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? Esv
Revelation 1:16b – and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; – nasb
A sword would symbolize causing a defense to defend the church against external threats. To show the extent notice the words at: Matthew 16:18 – 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Nasb
Revelation 1:16c – and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
The glory of God through the Lord Jesus Christ shines n and through His church, reflecting His glory to the world, thus glorified. Matthew 13:43 – 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
Revelation 1:17-19 – The Effects of the Vision:
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. esv
Revelation 1:17a – When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man.
Several accounts are given in the Bible of reactions to experiencing God glory.
Matthew 17:5-6 – 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. esv
Daniel 10:8-9 – 8 So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. 9 Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground. esv
Ezekiel 1:28 – 28 Like
the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the
appearance of the brightness all around. Esv
We do well to realize that great respect is due God as he is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29 – 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire. esv
Revelation 1:17b-18 – Assurance a comfort
But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Esv
Jesus identifies himself as: “I am” – the covenant name of God: Ex. 3:14 – 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
Jesus identifies himself as “the first and the last” – this is a title used of God in the OT – Isa. 44:6 and confirmed by himself at John 8:58…
Isa. 44:6 – Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. esv
John 8:58 – 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” esv
Jesus identifies himself as “the living One” – a title used throughout scripture: Matthew 16:16; 26:63
Matthew 16:16 – 16 Simon
Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 26:63 – 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” esv
Note the confirming words: V. 18 – I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
Behold announces the statement: “I am alive forevermore”… Thus: Hebrews 7:16 –
16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. esv
Consequently, He can: Hebrews 7:25 – 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
AND – He holds the keys of Death and Hades – Revelation 1:5 – 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
Revelation 1:20 – 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. esv
1 – the things which you have seen
2 – the things which are
3 – the things which will take place after these things
With this command it provides an outline for the book of Revelation encompassing the past, present and future.
A Chart on the 70 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy.. Chart70wks
 Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 192). New York: United Bible Societies.