I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ…
The vision granted for the comfort of the suffering Church was made:
1. To a "brother and partaker" in all "the tribulation and kingdom and patience," sharing at the very hour, "in the isle that is called Patmos," the consequences of faithfully proclaiming the Word of God and bearing his testimony to Jesus.
2. He was in an exalted spiritual state: "in the Spirit" - under the control of the Spirit; sensitively alive to the teachings of the Spirit; filled with the Spirit.
3. On the Lord's day.
4. A great voice arrests his attention, and commands him to write and proclaim to the seven named Churches the vision which should be granted to him. The vision embraced -
I. A SYMBOLICAL VIEW OF THE CHURCH. "Seven golden candlesticks." A single seven-branched lamp stand, representing the Church in its essential unity and sevenfold diversity. "And the seven candlesticks are seven Churches." The purity and glory of the Church may be symbolized in its being "golden."
II. A VIEW OF THE LORD DWELLING IN AND RULING OVER THE CHURCHES.
1. The presence of the Lord in the midst of the Churches is the one essential and abiding source of consolation to all believers, especially in the times of danger, persecution, and sorrow. The attention of the seer now confined to the vision of him who, though like a Son of man, is "the First and the Last, and the Living One."
2. Testimony to the Divine nature of our Lord. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God;" "I am the First and the Last," saith the "one like unto a son of man." Truly God was manifested in the flesh! The descriptive view of the Lord is not to be imagined or delineated as a picture. It is grotesque; its symbolical meaning only to be regarded.
3. The dress indicates his high priestly office; the head, hair, eyes, feet, and voice are symbolical representations.
4. The Lord's care and control over the messengers of the Churches symbolized by, "And he had in his right hard seven stars;" "The seven stars are the angels of the seven Churches."
5. The Lord the Source of truth, and the truth the one weapon of the Lord's might: "Out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword."
6. The human humble awe in presence of the Divine Lord: "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as one dead."
7. The consolation of the Divine Lord to his affrighted, humble servant: "Fear not;" confirmed by the glorious assurance, "I am the First and the Last, and the Living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and have the keys of death and of Hades." From this, the manifested Lord, the sacred seer receives command to "write the things which thou sawest, and the things which are, and the things which shall come to pass hereafter." - R.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.