Verse By Verse Through Revelation (1:11-15)


11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

The revelation was to be distributed to the seven churches.

Ephesus: It was located in Asia minor and was a Roman province. It was one of the most important cities in Asia Minor, especially because the goddess Diana was there. Every year pilgrims would go to worship her there.

Smyrna: It was a large ancient city that had a theater on the slope of Mt. Pagus that seated 20,000 spectators. The temple of Zeus and Cybele were located there.

Pergamum: It was 3 miles from the Selinus river and 15 miles from the sea. One of the wonders of the ancient world was located in Pergamum which was the altar of Zeus being 40 feet high.

Thyatira: The city had a population of about 50,000 people. It was considered as the best place for dyeing fabrics in purple. Paul’s first convert to the Lord was in Thyatira by the name of Lydia which is found in Acts 16:14. The main deity there was Apollo who was worshiped as a sun-god with the surname Tyrimnas.

Sardis: The city was about 50 miles East of Smyrna and was located on an important commercial route which ran E and W from the kingdom of Lydia being the capital. It also made beautiful jewelry.

Philadelphia: The name means “brotherly love” a city in Lydia. It was about 28 miles SW of Sardis and 100 miles W of Smyrna. Earthquakes have almost destroyed the city several times.

Laodicea: The city was 90 miles E of Ephesus and at the time of the apostles it was mainly Jewish.

12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands

The lampstands represent the seven churches that the Book of Revelation was going to go to (see verse 20).

13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.

Son of man is a title that Jesus used to describe the side of His humanity and is also connected to the Son of man who is referred in the Book of Daniel. John saw Jesus full of glory and honor. Robe in the Old Testament when referring to God means righteousness (Isaiah 61:10) and Yahweh is also mentioned as being enrobed in His throne (Isaiah 6:1).

14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.

This description points back to Daniel’s vision of God which is found in Daniel 7:9 which says, 9 “As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.

That’s another verse that clearly identifies Jesus as God.

15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.

Jesus was reflecting the Fathers glory (Matthew 16:27). His feet glowing like in a furnace and His voice which sounds like rushing waters reveal tremendous power which is heard and seen.

Note: All geographical background information came from “New Unger’s Bible.” and “”

Verse By Verse Through Revelation (1:6-10)

John in Patmos
The revelation of Jesus Christ given to John in the island of Patmos

6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

When a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ, the person is sanctified and prepared for service for God’s kingdom. Only those with the Holy Spirit can bring Him glory. For God is good and deserves glory and power forever.

7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen.

The phrase “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” alludes to Daniel 7:13-14 which says, 13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Daniel saw God the Son Jesus Christ in his vision and like John, they witnessed His second coming that is going to occur in the future. Everyone that was ever created will see this event. The phrase “will mourn because of him.” refer to remorse and repentance as prophesied in Zechariah 12:10 which says, 10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

“So shall it be! Amen.” His second coming is guaranteed.

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

The Lord God declares that He is the Alpha and the Omega and is coming. Jesus applies the same title to Himself in Revelation 1:17-18; 22:12-13 and is the One coming.

9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

John as a fellow believer is suffering for the cause of Christ and His glory like all believers. John patiently endures this suffering because he knows that God has a purpose. In his case, it was to reveal to the seven churches and all of us in the future what will take place and need not to worry because at the end the Lamb of God will be victorious.

Patmos was an island that the Roman government used to banish their prisoners and make them work the mines. It was a barren rock belonging to a group of people called “The Sporades.”

10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet

The phrase “On the Lord’s Day” could be referring to the day of Jesus resurrection which happened on the first day of the week (Sunday).

The voice that John heard was like a trumpet. Trumpets in the Old Testament was used to get people’s attention and readiness. In the same way, Jesus was getting John ready to pay close attention to the Lord’s Words and write them down so that upon completion it can be dispersed to the seven churches.

Note: All geographical background information came from “New Unger’s Bible.”