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revelation 1 commentary wesley

And the might — Whereby he governs all things. Grace be unto you, and peace — The favour of God, with all temporal and eternal blessings. He does not call John by his name, (as the angels did Zechariah and others,) but speaks as his well known master. Accordingly, it was little esteemed by the Asiatic church, after the time of Constantine; but highly valued by all the African churches, as it has been since by all the persecuted children of God. He that readeth and they that hear — St. John probably sent this book by a single person into Asia, who read it in the churches, while many heard. It is chiefly under various afflictions that faith obtains its part in the kingdom; and whosoever is a partaker of this kingdom is not afraid to suffer for Jesus, 2 Timothy 2:12. This book is therefore not only the sum and the key of all the prophecies which preceded, but likewise a supplement to all; the seals being closed before. And from the seven spirits which are before his throne — Christ is he who "hath the seven spirits of God." From the preceding description, mostly, are taken the titles given to Christ in the following letters, particularly the four first. Who hath testified — In the following book. And the seven candlesticks are seven churches — How significant an emblem is this! And which are — The instructions relating to the present state of the seven churches. As soon as this was spoken St. John wrote it down, even all that is contained in this first chapter. Thomas saw the print of these wounds even after his resurrection; and the same, undoubtedly, will be seen by all, when he cometh in the clouds of heaven. Many things largely described by the prophets are here summarily repeated; and frequently in the same words.To them we may then usefully have recourse. And his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength — Without any mist or cloud. It is right therefore to compare them; but not to measure the fulness of these by the scantiness of those preceding. I am — When in his state of humiliation he spoke of his glory, he frequently spoke in the third person, as Matthew 26:64. Saying, What thou seest — And hearest. But these are also delivered in other parts of holy writ; so that the Revelation need not to have been given for the sake of these. And I turned to see the voice — That is, to see him whose voice it was. And every eye — Of the Jews in particular. A great sinking of nature usually precedes a large communication of heavenly things. Even so, Amen. Frequently, likewise, where there is a resemblance between them, there is a difference also; the Revelation, as it were, taking a stock from one of the old prophets, and inserting a new graft into it. But rejoice unto him with reverence: an increase of reverence towards this awful majesty can be no prejudice to your faith. Who hath testified — In the following book. How much nearer to us is even the full accomplishment of this weighty prophecy! [11] Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And he had in his right hand seven stars — In token of his favour and powerful protection. In the intermediate state, the body abides in death, the soul in hades. What did St. John then feel in himself? [12] And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. His servants — Much is comprehended in this appellation. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; His head and his hair - That is, the hair of his head, not his whole head. He is called the seven spirits, not with regard to his essence, which is one, but with regard to his manifold operations. Serve thou the Lord Jesus Christ in truth: so shalt thou learn his secret in this book; yea, and thou shalt feel in thy heart whether this book be divine, or not. In the affliction, and kingdom and patience of Jesus — The kingdom stands in the midst. Revelation 1:11 In each church there was one pastor or ruling minister, to whom all the rest were subordinate. Hence others are afraid to touch it; and, while they desire to know all things else, reject only the knowledge of those which God hath shown. And all the tribes of the earth — The word tribes, in the Revelation, always means the Israelites: but where another word, such as nations or people, is joined with it, it implies likewise (as here) all the rest of mankind. All rights reserved. He is here styled a prince: but by and by he hears his title of king; yea, King of kings, and Lord of lords." There had been several other churches planted here; but it seems these were now the most eminent; and it was among these that St. John had laboured most during his abode in Asia.

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