Revelation Chapter 1:5 explained – unveiling the true Glory of Jesus Christ
Revelation 1:5 – …and from Jesus Christ…
John introduces the Father and the Holy Spirit in Revelation 1:4. The Godhead’s introduction is complete with Jesus Christ in this verse.
Continuing the description of Jesus, John gives three memorable portrayals of our Savior. This begins a very long list of names and titles for Him in The Revelation. You might like to keep track of them as we go through the book. In the very first verse we already noticed one name (Jesus – “Savior”) and one title (Christ – “Messiah”).
[infobox style=”alert-info”]Verse 1:5 and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world. All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.[/infobox]
He is “the faithful witness.” The Greek word is martus, and it has two important meanings in this book. The first meaning is “testimony,” as in a courtroom setting, where the witness tells what he or she has seen or heard. John 1:18 says that Jesus is the only one who has truly seen God the Father, and He has told us about Him. In John 8:38 He said, “I speak what I have seen with My Father.”
The other meaning of martus is one who gives his life because of his testimony. Our word for this is “martyr.” In every age there have been many Christians put to death for their faith. In most cases they could have lived if they had been willing to deny their belief in Jesus, but they would not give up their faith! Jesus Himself was a martyr. He was crucified for telling the truth about Himself. He was willing to die in order that we might live.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8 (Read the whole chapter for more about this).
His death was the fulfillment of God’s gift of grace that we saw in the previous verse. Our first parents accepted God’s forgiveness. At that point sin offerings were instituted, even though they were not made a formal law until Moses’ time. We know this is true because of the offerings that Cain and Abel made. Cain’s offering was not acceptable because it did not involve the death of an animal (Genesis 4). This was a constant reminder that “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 3:23).
When Jesus died on the cross, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). This symbolized the end of the need for the sacrificial system. Before His death animal sacrifices were just a “covering” for sins until the Lamb of God would make the perfect offering.
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. – Hebrews 10:4
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever. – Hebrews 7:26-28
Next, Jesus is called “the firstborn from the dead.” This is an obvious reference to His resurrection. Jesus paid for our sins by His death, but each person must accept the gift of eternal life (John 1:12; Romans 10:9-10; Revelation 3:20). His resurrection was the proof that He was who He claimed to be and His death really was acceptable to the Father. The whole long chapter of 1 Corinthians 15 is devoted to the subject of the resurrection. It gives many convincing reasons to believe it, including the fact that there were more than 500 eye-witnesses. In verse 23 Paul called Christ the “firstfruits” of the resurrection, and added that believers will also be raised at His coming.
One more impressive title is given in this verse. Jesus is said to be “the ruler over the kings of the earth.” This is primarily a preview of His glorious return, which will be mentioned in verse 7, and described more fully in chapter nineteen. When He comes to Earth again, it will be as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:11-16).
In one sense Jesus already rules over the kings of the Earth, and in another way He is not yet “King of Kings” the way He will be at His second coming. You might remember that during His temptation, the Devil offered to give Him the earthly kingdoms if He would just worship him (Matthew 4:9-10). He could make that offer because on our sin-corrupted planet, evil is thriving. That is why the Devil is called the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), and the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). There is no comparison between the evil empires of this world system and the future righteous kingdom Jesus will establish. On the other hand, as God the Son, He is still sovereign over His creation. God does set a limit of what He will allow. Psalm 75:7 says, “But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.”
Jesus had told his Disciples that the Kingdom of Heaven was “at hand” (Matthew 4:17). He knew his offer to be King at His triumphal entry would be rejected. Nevertheless, He will come in great glory in the future to establish it (Luke 21:25-31; 22:18, 30). In Acts 1:6 they asked Him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He told them they couldn’t know the time, but when the Holy Spirit would come, He would enable them to be witnesses to the whole earth.
Evidently the Kingdom would not yet be established at that time. He would not yet reign on earth, and the Disciples would not yet reign with Him, but they would spread the message of the Kingdom, even as He had been doing.
That is why Jesus taught us to pray “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as [it is] in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10). We still pray that way because even though His Kingdom does already exist in Heaven, and He is our King already, it still has not yet been established here on earth.
Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36-37).
Born-again Christians are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven (Philippians 3:20). However, we are also citizens of our earthly nations. That’s why Jesus told His disciples,
“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”- Matthew 22:21
While we are here we are ambassadors, representing Christ and His Kingdom.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. – 2 Corinthians 5:20
During this time, we establish outposts of the Kingdom in our homes, churches, missions, and other Christian enterprises. We seek constantly to gain new members of the Kingdom by following His example of ministering to their needs and giving them the Gospel. There is much “Kingdom work” to do now even though it has not yet been established on earth.
The Greek name “Iesous,” and the Hebrew name “Yehosua” or “Yeshua,” which means “salvation,” transliterates in English to Jesus. The Greek word “Christos,” which means the “Anointed One” and the Hebrew word “Mashiach,” which means “Messiah,” transliterates to Christ. Together, the name and title of “Jesus Christ” means the “Anointed One who saves.”
Jesus Christ fulfills the messianic prophecies in the Old Testament that foretold of the coming “Anointed One”:
1 Samuel 2:10 – The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces; from heaven He will thunder against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed.”
1 Samuel 2:35 – Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever.
Psalm 2:1-9 – Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.” “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”
Psalm 132:17-18 – “There I will make the horn of David grow; I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed. His enemies I will clothe with shame, but upon Himself His crown shall flourish.”
Revelation 1:5 – …the faithful witness…
Jesus is the “faithful witness.” The Greek word translated “faithful” can also mean reliable or trustworthy. Jesus has a similar title later in Revelation:
Revelation 19:11 – Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
The following Proverb describes a “faithful witness” this way:
Proverbs 14:5 – A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness will utter lies.
This agrees with following passages that show us that it is impossible for God to lie:
Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
Titus 1:1-2 – Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.
Hebrews 6:17-18 – Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
Jesus is the faithful witness in truth; not solely His own witness, but also that of the Godhead. In other words, at least two or three members of the Godhead fulfill the Old Testament Law, which requires two or three witnesses to judge a matter (Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15):
John 8:13-18 – The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.” Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”
John 18:36-38 – Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.
1 John 5:6-10 – This is He who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
Jesus’ faithful witness revealed who His Father was. His witness was complete in His work on the cross:
John 1:18 – No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
Hebrews 1:1-2 – God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son.
John 17:4-7 – I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You.”
Revelation 1:5 – …the firstborn from the dead…
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is a prototype, or “firstfruits,” that had to precede the resurrection for believers:
Romans 8:28-30 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
1 Corinthians 15:12-15 – Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up – if in fact the dead do not rise.
1 Corinthians 15:16-23 – For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
Christ’s resurrection fulfilled the feast of Firstfruits, rising from the dead on the first day of the week after the Sabbath during the Passover week:
Leviticus 23:10-11 – “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.’”
Matthew 28:1 – Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
Mark 16:9 – Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.
Christ is also the firstborn, or begotten Son of God, through whom salvation comes, because of His resurrection:
Acts 13:33-39 – God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’ Therefore He also says in another Psalm: ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’ “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
Jesus is the begotten Son of God, in that He is the “express image” of God:
Hebrews 1:2-3, 5-6 – …by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…. For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
Jesus, the begotten Son of God and High Priest, “according to the order of Melchizedek,” brought us eternal life through His sacrifice, which He fulfilled through His death at Passover, and resurrection on the Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23):
Hebrews 5:5-9 – So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.” As He also says in another place “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.
Revelation 1:5 – …and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
Jesus, the “King of kings” (Revelation 19:16), will fulfill the following Messianic Psalm that had partial fulfillment through David:
Psalms 89:24-29 – “But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him, and in My name his horn shall be exalted. Also I will set his hand over the sea, and his right hand over the rivers. He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.’ Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. My mercy I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall stand firm with him. His seed also I will make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven.”
With all the turmoil and chaos in the world, one might believe that Jesus is not in charge at all:
Luke 4:5-7 – Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
Indeed, God has granted Satan authority over the kingdoms of the world temporarily. However, God is still sovereign. All authority and power given not only to Satan, but to all rulers of the earth will end, when Jesus returns to Earth to set up His Kingdom:
1 Corinthians 15:24-28 – Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Revelation 1:5 – To Him who loved us…
The Father manifests His love in the sacrifice of His Son:
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Jesus showed His own love toward us, in that He offered Himself as a sacrifice for us:
Ephesians 5:2 – And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
“The love of God which is in Christ Jesus,” is enduring:
Romans 8:35-39 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We love God after we comprehend His love for us:
1 John 4:15-19 – Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.
Revelation 1:5 – …and washed us from our sins in His own blood…
Only the blood of Jesus can wash away our sin. There is redemption by the cleansing power of His blood:
1 John 1:7 – …the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Matthew 26:28 – For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Romans 3:23-25 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.
Ephesians 1:7 – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
Colossians 1:20 – …to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
The penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23). That is why God requires blood to atone, or cover sin:
Leviticus 17:11 – For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.
Hebrews 9:22 – And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
The blood sacrifices of the animals under the Old Testament covenant could temporarily atone for sin, but the Law required continual sacrifices. However, in the new covenant, Christ’s blood cleansed our sin completely, so there is no more need for sacrifices:
Hebrews 9:12-15 – Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing..
We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.