Today we are going to pick up the pace a little bit. The Bible says in Revelation 1:4-5, “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” Last week we looked at the number seven and its significance in the Bible. This week I want to look at the rest of the verse and verse 5.
Notice the description of Jesus given in this verse: “which is, and which was, and which is to come.” He is past, present, and future. Before we were, he was, and after we are gone, He will still be! Jesus is omnipresent. That means that He is everywhere at all times.
Notice also that He is “to come." Do you know that one day Jesus will take His true church out in what is called the rapture and then return seven years later to set up His kingdom on Earth? We will discuss this in detail when we get to chapter 4.
And then notice the "seven spirits." Here we see the Holy Spirit of God, but with seven different characteristics. I believe that these are spoken of in Isaiah 11:2 where it says, “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 of the fear of the LORD.” Do you see the seven characteristics of God? They are the Spirit of the Lord, wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear. Of course, one cannot be dogmatic about this because it is not substantiated throughout the Bible.
Notice that verse 5 refers to Jesus as “the faithful witness." Not one time did our Lord neglect; not one time was He disobedient; not one time did He fail His Father. In every single instance throughout all of His life, He was and is the faithful witness. You and I fail and will continue to fail more times than we would like to admit, but the Bible offers a world of encouragement in 2 Timothy 2:13 when it says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself”.
Notice also that He is the "Firstborn from the Dead." Now this does not mean that He was the first one to be raised from the dead. Many people were raised from the dead before Jesus. All throughout the Old Testament people were raised from the dead. In the New Testament both Lazarus (John 11) and the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5) were raised from the dead. The difference between them and Jesus is that they all died again. When Jesus came back to life, He never died again. That promise is also given to those of us who have placed our faith in Him as our Savior.
Notice also that Jesus is also called the “Ruler over the kings of the earth." One day, Jesus will ascend the throne of David and rule all the earth from Jerusalem. Many have wondered why the Jews had such a difficult time understanding why Jesus had come. It was because they wanted Him to rule over the kings of the earth by ridding them of the Romans and setting Himself up as their liberator and king. This is evidenced by the question that the disciples asked Him in Acts 1:6 when they said, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" Unfortunately, they could not grasp the fact that the purpose of Christ’s first coming was to die.
They were looking at Scriptures like Isaiah 9:6-7 which says, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom.” However they overlooked verses like Psalms 22:14 which says, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted within me.