“This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia. Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne;” Revelation 1:4 NLT
There are,essentially, three things here.
1. The letter is from John, the Apostle. As stated in yesterday's devotional, John is the recipient of the Divine Revelation of Jesus Christ while on the Island of Patmos. Patmos is a small island in the Aegean Sea. This same John is the one who wrote the gospel of John and the epistles (letters) of I, 2, and 3 John.
John's central theme, in all of his writings, is Jesus. John is consumed with the person of our Lord. Jesus is Lord! The church MUST never lose sight of this eternal truth.
2. John writes the Revelation to the seven churches of Asia
(Asia Minor - The Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia - now called Turkey). These churches were individual congregations that were located throughout this area of the known world. The seven names are:
These churches are listed in this order in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Each church is recognized by the Lord Jesus Christ and given assessments of their spiritual condition. Some believe these assessments are dispensations of church history. Others believe they are literal assessments of these historical churches and that we can parallel them to the state of the church even in our modern age.
3. The Person of Jesus. John expresses the grace of God upon these churches. Certainly, it is the grace of Jesus that the churches need. The reference to the One who is, always was, and is to come, is easily matched with verse 8 of Revelation 1 and also Hebrews 13:8. ““I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”” Revelation 1:8 NLT “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NLT Verse 1, of Revelation 1, in both the KJV and NASB say "Revelation of Jesus" instead of "from". As stated yesterday, this book is about Christ, His redemption, His judgment, His restoration of all things, and His righteous rule. The seven-fold Spirit before His throne is not clear. There are various interpretations. However, the number seven is the number of perfection that is associated with God alone. Certainly, we should all agree that Jesus is perfect and His Spirit is all sufficient! Jesus is the One sitting upon the throne and His Spirit transcends time and space to oversee His church. Our Lord is timeless!
Rev. Curtis Norris