"Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
Rev 22:7

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Alpha and Omega

Revelation 1:7-8

Revelation 1:7 - Behold, He is coming with clouds...

The Greek word translated "behold" means "perceive," or "look." When Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation, it will be visibly "with clouds." The passages below show that the heavenly hosts are sometimes called "clouds":

Daniel 7:13 - I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.
Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

The following passage supports that the heavenly host, or the armies of Heaven are the "clouds" Christ returns to Earth with:

Revelation 19:14 - And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
Jude 1:14-15 - Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
Zechariah 14:4-5 - And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley.... Thus the LORD my God will come, and all the saints with You.
Matthew 25:31 - "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory."

However, Jesus said He would return the same way He left, which was in a literal cloud:

Acts 1:9-11 - Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven, as He went up behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."
Luke 21:27 - Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Matthew 24:30 - Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mark 13:26 - Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

In addition to physical atmospheric clouds, the singular "cloud" mentioned in the first two passages above could be the physical manifestation of the glory of the Lord as depicted elsewhere in Scripture:

Exodus 16:10 - Now it came to pass, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
Exodus 19:9 - And the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever." So Moses told the words of the people to the LORD.
Exodus 40:34-38 - Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
Ezekiel 1:4, 28 - Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire.... Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.

Notice in the passages below, the cloud surrounding the Lord is thick and dark, and likened to a thunderstorm with bright flashes like lightning, when He comes in judgment and wrath:

Psalm 18:7-14 - Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth; coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down with darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire. The LORD thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice, hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.
Psalm 97:1-6 - The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad! Clouds and darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. A fire goes before Him, and burns up His enemies round about. His lightnings light the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory.

In short, the clouds Christ is coming with are the heavenly hosts, but He will also probably come in a literal cloud when He returns to Earth in judgment, as described in the Psalms above.

Revelation 1:7 - ...and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.

As discussed in the last section, Jesus will return visibly, the same way He left when He ascended to Heaven. If "every eye" will literally see Him, it is safe to assume that everyone with physical eyes at the Lord's return will be able to witness the event, as conveyed in the following verse:

Matthew 24:30 - Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

If that is the case, in order for everyone in the world to see Him coming, Jesus and the heavenly armies will likely make a grand procession around the earth as He returns.

There are many who believe that the souls in Hell will also visually witness Jesus' return. The phrase: "Even they who pierced Him," would suggest that those who personally had a hand in crucifying the Lord will witness His return to Earth - even from Hell - assuming they hadn't accepted Jesus as Messiah at some point. I would not rule out that possibility, as Jesus told the high priest that he would personally witness His return:

Matthew 26:63-64 - But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!" Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."

However, the following passage shows that when the Lord returns, Jerusalem's inhabitants will represent those that actually rejected Him and wanted Him crucified:

Zechariah 12:10 - "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn."

That being said, there was at least a partial fulfillment of this prophecy in Zechariah; not by the descendants of David, but by the Roman soldiers that crucified him, as indicated by John in his Gospel:

John 19:32-37 - Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken." And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

While there might be a non-physical view of the return of Jesus in the spiritual realm, in taking the literal rendering of the text, there is no doubt that Jesus will return in a physical body to Earth, where physical eyes will witness the event.

As a side note, it is incredible that centuries before the crucifixion, David prophesied that Jesus would be rejected by His own people and be pierced in His hands and feet, long before this type of execution was ever implemented. Jesus was also pierced in His side without sustaining any broken bones during the crucifixion:

Psalm 22:16 - For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet.
Psalm 34:20 - He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.
John 19:33-34 - But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

Revelation 1:7 - And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.

The parallel passage to this is in Jesus' "Olivet Discourse":

Matthew 24:30 - Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

As mentioned in the last section, the descendants from the kingdom of Judah living at the return of Jesus will realize that He is the Messiah, and they will mourn for Him:

Zechariah 12:10 - "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves."

In Scripture, we find that the act of mourning, or lamenting is usually associated with the loss of a loved one, or bad news, such as impending judgment for disobedience. The passage above shows that God will pour out the "Spirit of grace and supplication" on these descendants from the kingdom of Judah. This shows they will believe and accept that Jesus is Messiah right before He returns. In this case, the mourning would signify that they realize their sin in their rejection, and are now humbled in the sight of the Lord:

James 4:8-10 - Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

The Lord will comfort these humble mourners as He welcomes them into His Kingdom:

Isaiah 61:1-4 - "...He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted.... To comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.

However, mourning can also be a sign of regret or guilt. This will be the type of mourning for most in the world when Jesus returns. Throughout the Tribulation, people will shake their fist at God and refuse to repent and turn to Him (Revelation 9:20-21, 16:9, 11, 21). Those who laugh and scoff at the Lord during the Tribulation will mourn when Jesus returns to set up His Kingdom. While believers will mourn out of humbleness, unbelievers will mourn because they will realize judgment is coming because of their rejection of God:

Luke 6:25 - ...Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

Revelation 1:7 - Even so, Amen.

"Amen" is a Hebrew declaration used at the end of benedictions throughout the New Testament. "Amen" is also the standard ending to prayer which means "so be it," as defined within the following passage:

Numbers 5:22 - ...Then the woman shall say, "Amen, so be it."

Revelation 1:8 - "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord...

The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet are "alpha" and "omega." This is another way of saying "the beginning and the end," or the "first and the last" (Revelation 1:11). In Jewish tradition, "the alpha and omega" was a common expression used to depict the entirety of something.

The title: "The Beginning and the End" denotes the Lord's eternal existence and omniscience; from eternity past to eternity future, as shown in following passages:

Isaiah 43:10-13 - "...Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, and besides Me there is no savior. I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, and there was no foreign god among you; therefore you are My witnesses," Says the LORD, "that I am God. Indeed before the day was, I am He; and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?"
Isaiah 46:9-10 - Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.'

The title: "The Beginning and the End" also shows us that the Godhead accomplishes everything He begins through Jesus. The following passages support this notion:

Hebrews 12:2 - Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Matthew 5:17-18 - "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."
John 1:1-3 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Revelation 1:8 - ...who is and who was and who is to come...

As discussed in Revelation 1:4, the title: "Who is and who was and who is to come" introduced God the Father. This same title denotes the eternal nature of Jesus presented in the passages below:

Micah 5:2 - "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."
Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
John 17:24 - "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world."

Revelation 1:8 - "...the Almighty."

The Greek word translated as "Almighty" can mean ruler of all, the one who holds all, the one exercising absolute dominion with unrestricted power, or "omnipotent," as translated in Revelation 19:6. In short, the title "Almighty" shows God's sovereignty. A similar title was also given in a prophecy of Christ's birth:

Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

"Almighty" is found throughout the Old Testament as a title for God. The first time in Scripture we find this title, is when God made His covenant with Abram and changed his name to Abraham:

Genesis 17:1-2 - When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly."

Revelation 1:9-11

Revelation 1:9 - I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ...

The apostle John underscores his equality with other believers as a brother and friend in Christ. Peter had a similar humble greeting in his epistle:

1 Peter 5:1 - The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed.

Jesus warned that we would have tribulation (afflictions, distress, and trouble) in this world:

John 16:33 - "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

It is important to note, the use of "tribulation" here in Scripture is not same as "the Tribulation." The latter is a term used by Bible scholars to describe the seven-year period leading up to the 2nd Coming of Jesus. The intended purpose in allowing us to suffer tribulation is to produce patience or perseverance, which builds character and hope:

Romans 5:3-4 - And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
James 1:2-4 - My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

The following example illustrates progression from tribulation to patience, and explains the "kingdom" connection:

2 Thessalonians 1:3-8 - We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The "manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God" shows the Lord's direction in each believer's life and evidence to the world that they are a true Christian. "Righteous judgment" comes by trial or tribulation, which builds character, or chastening, which corrects sin. Consequently, God will not judge or condemn a believer with the world (1 Corinthians 11:31-32).

In other words, while salvation is all about grace (Ephesians 2:8), and you can do nothing by yourself to "be counted worthy of the kingdom of God" (2 Thessalonians 1:5), God gives evidence to the world that you belong in His Kingdom, by allowing you to acquire patience through tribulations that cultivate proper Christian conduct.

Revelation 1:9 - [I John...] was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The island of Patmos is a small rocky Greek island in the Aegean Sea, off the Mediterranean. Since John was on Patmos as a result of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, it is probably safe to assume his exile was due to persecution. The Apostle Paul was also apprehended for the testimony of Jesus, as described below:

2 Timothy 1:8-12 - Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

The "testimony of Jesus Christ" is that God and His Word are true, and He has given us eternal life through Jesus:

John 3:32-34 - And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.
John 5:33-39 - You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish - the very works that I do - bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
1 John 5:9 - 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. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Revelation 1:10 - I was in the Spirit...

The literal rendering of the Greek in this passage would say "I came to be in spirit." This is obviously more than being in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit as a believer. It appears that John was spiritually transported like Ezekiel in his vision of the "dry bones":

Ezekiel 37:1-2 - The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry.

Whether a prophet gets transported somewhere in the Spirit or not like John and Ezekiel, it is important to note that all prophetic revelation and understanding only come through the Spirit of God:

1 Corinthians 2:7, 10-12 - But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.... But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

Revelation 1:10 - ...on the Lord's Day...

There are at least three schools of thought about the "Lord's Day."

    1. It is the Sabbath, or the seventh day of the week:

Exodus 20:10 - ...the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God....
Isaiah 58:13 - "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words."

    2. It is the first day of the week, and the Lord's resurrection was that day:

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.

        The early Church memorialized the resurrection by assembling on the first day of the week:

Acts 20:7 - Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.
1 Corinthians 16:2 - On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

    3. John transported through time to the "day of the Lord," which encompasses the time from the
        rapture through the Tribulation and the Millennium, to eternity and the New Heaven and Earth:

Obadiah 1:15 - "For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you; your reprisal shall return upon your own head.
2 Peter 3:10 - But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

The "Day of the Lord" is also used in Scripture to describe historical periods, where the Lord poured out His Wrath. In other words, it is not used exclusively as a term for the future Tribulation.

Since the first day of the week was never called the "Lord's day" in Scripture, while the Sabbath was, I believe it is possible that John was given the Revelation on the Sabbath day, but it is also possible that he was spiritually transported in time by the Holy Spirit to the eschatological "Day of the Lord."

Revelation 1:10 - ...and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet...

In the Old Testament, they used a trumpet to sound the alarm, or proclaim something with authority:

Job 39:25 - At the blast of the trumpet he says, 'Aha!' He smells the battle from afar, the thunder of captains and shouting.
Leviticus 25:9 - Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.
2 Samuel 2:28 - So Joab blew a trumpet; and all the people stood still and did not pursue Israel anymore, nor did they fight anymore.

The following passages show that the voice like a trumpet, which has authority and power, is the voice of the Lord:

Psalm 47:2-5 - For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet. He will choose our inheritance for us, the excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 - For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

Revelation 1:11 - ...saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last..."

See Revelation 1:8 for commentary about "the Alpha and Omega."

The Greek word "protos" translated as "first" is where we derive the English word "prototype." Christ is the prototype, or "firstborn" of the resurrected, whom we are going to "conform" to:

Romans 8:29 - 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.

The Greek word "eschatos" translated as "last" is where we derive the English word "eschatology," or the study of "last things." "Eschatos" can also mean "uttermost," which denotes that the Lord is paramount of all that there is; without limit or end:

Hebrews 7:24-25 - But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

The title: "The First and the Last" is also another way to convey God's eternal nature:

Isaiah 41:4 - "Who has performed and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? 'I, the LORD, am the first; and with the last I am He.'"
Isaiah 44:6-7 - Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God. And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, let them show these to them.'
Isaiah 48:3, 5, 12-13 - I have declared the former things from the beginning; they went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.... Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you.... "Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last. Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together."

Revelation 1:11 - ...and, "What you see, write in a book..."

The Lord commanded John to write in a book the Revelation as it unfolded before him. In ancient times, books were in the form of a scroll, which is a continuous roll of papyrus, parchment, or tablets. Here is a similar example where God told the prophet Habakkuk to write the account of his vision on tablets:

Habakkuk 2:2-3 - Then the LORD answered me and said: "Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

Revelation 1:11 - "...and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."

When John finished recording the events revealed to him, he was to send his account to seven specific churches in Asia, or current day Turkey.

Note on the map below, the churches are given in clockwise in order. Some speculate that one of the reasons the Lord listed these church in this order, is because it would have been the most efficient route for someone to hand deliver the messages.

The seven churches in Asia
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                                                                                                                      <---Coming Soon--->
                                                                                                                   Unless Jesus Does First

Revelation Flow Chart:

Revelation Flow Chart

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