Reflections on Revelation #11

Day 11

 “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, 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 released us from our sins by His blood” Rev.1:4-5 

In the Book of Revelation, a lot of things happen in threes. There are three angels (Rev.14:6-12) and three frogs (Rev.16:13). There are three beasts (Rev.12 and 13, cf. 16:13) and three woes (Rev.8:13. In this passage, the godhead is described as a complete “trinity” of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There are, in fact, three “trinities” in Rev.1:4-6. We will focus on the second of the three in today’s meditation. 

Jesus is described as “the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” These phrases describe the main characteristics–or qualities–of Jesus. The marvellous qualities of Jesus are not widely known in this world. That’s why the Book of Revelation is so important. In Revelation, the secret things about Jesus are openly and publicly revealed. 

Jesus is “the faithful witness.” In the original language, the word for “witness” is the one from which we get the English word “martyr.” In the self-sacrificing love of Jesus on the cross, we see a clear witness to the character of God. 

Jesus is also “the firstborn from the dead.” This is a reference to His resurrection. When God raised Jesus from the dead, He pronounced a blessing on the whole human race (Acts.13:30-33). From then on, a human being was seated at the right hand of God (Heb.8:1-2)! 

That means He is the “ruler of the kings of the earth.” While most people do not acknowledge Him as such, we can become citizens of His kingdom and all the benefits of citizenship become ours. Because He rules the kings of the earth, we don’t have to be afraid of oppressive governments anymore. They rule only by permission (John.18:36-37). In the Book of Revelation Jesus is everything we need.

  • Henny Vanderpol
    Posted at 07:29h, 14 January Reply

    Hi Team (if I may be so bold)
    I have been reading your Reflections. One thing I don’t understand is and I quote, “From the on a human being was seated at the right hand of God.”
    My question is, does this refer to Jesus or to us. I don’t think this refers to Jesus because He is God, so this must mean that we, all who are a new creation through Christ are seated at the right hand of God?
    I am a bit confused.
    Thank you for taking your time to clarify this for me.

    • Ross Chadwick
      Posted at 15:32h, 29 January Reply

      Hi Henny, I apologise for this late response, your question has just been noticed. Heb 8:1-2 is clearly talking about Jesus being at the right hand of God. He is the High Priest talked about. The Right Hand in scripture signifies a place of preeminence and so this expression here used in Heb 8 in no way diminishes Jesus’ equality with the Father but is rather a reference to His work of sacrifice.

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