Revelation 1:4-6 / The Trinity Revealed (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on November 28, 2014


This is the second in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of November 23, 2014. This message introduces the Trinity, and gives a glimpse of the believer’s role in the millennial kingdom. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


Rev 1_4-6




Revelation 1:4-6

John is writing to actual, historical churches. These churches actually existed in the Roman province of Asia (the western part of present-day Turkey).

There were certainly more than seven churches in this area by the time of this writing, so we can’t be sure why these seven were selected by God to receive this letter.

Some have suggested that these churches were prophetic of the church ages throughout history, yet there is no reason from the text itself, or from history to hold this view.

  • First, it makes no sense to subdivide the church age into separate individual ages.
  • Second, it simply doesn’t work historically. At no point in history is the church conformed to just one of these seven churches. We see each of the churches represented at any given time throughout history.
  • Third, and most importantly, there is nothing in the text that would lead us to that conclusion.

It is best to understand that these were all literal churches to which John was writing.

It is also significant that seven is the number that represents completeness, and we’ll see that number frequently throughout the book. So, although there were more than seven churches in the area, seven is representative of the whole church.

The greeting of grace and peace is important to understanding the rest of the sentence, since only God can be to source of either grace or peace. Hence we see a trio listed as the source of both grace and peace.

The first is “Him who is and who was and who is to come”. This is none other than God the Father. This Phrase speaks to God’s eternal nature. It reassures us that He who gave the vision, He who authored these letters, He who pronounces judgment, and He who administers grace and peace is eternal; therefore infinitely above mankind. As such, it reassures us that God is fully capable, and at all times in control. The Eternal God is able, and we can take these words as a promise.

The next part of the trio that is listed are the “seven Spirits who are before His throne”. What are we to make of seven spirits?

We must understand this to mean the Holy Spirit. As the originator of grace and peace, this must be a reference to God. Elsewhere He is specifically referred to as the Seven Spirits of God.

  • Revelation 3:1
  • Revelation 4:5
  • Revelation 5:6

But why seven? Remember that seven symbolizes completeness, and this number is no stranger to the Holy Spirit.

In Isaiah 11:1-2 He is given a seven-fold description.

The lamp stand in Zechariah chapter four has seven branches, and represents the Holy Spirit.

  • Zechariah 4:2
  • Zechariah 4:10

In the Holy Place of both the tabernacle and the temple, the sole source of light was a lamp stand with seven branches, representing the Holy Spirit.

The third part of the trio is Jesus Christ.

He is truly a faithful witness.

  • Revelation 3:14
  • Revelation 19:11
  • John 14:6

He is the firstborn from the dead, the first to be resurrected, giving all saints the promise of a future resurrection.

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:16

He will establish His throne on earth, and will rule the nations.

  • Revelation 19:15-16

As an act of His love, and the sacrifice of His flesh, we were cleansed from our sins.

  • 1 Peter 1:18-19

Having been cleansed by Christ, raised incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:52), we will be ready for our most glorious of service. . . That of kings and priests.

Many translations use the word kingdom instead of kings. If that is correct, then it is a reference to the collective body of Christ. While it is undeniable that the saved are part of God’s own kingdom, other references indicate the the word kings may actually be the correct usage here.

  • Daniel 7:18 – we will possess the kingdom.
  • Daniel 7:27 – we will have dominion in the kingdom.

In the parable of the minas, Jesus talks about giving the faithful authority over cities.

  • Luke 19:17
  • 2 Timothy 2:12 – We will reign with Him.
  • Revelation 5:10

We can conclude that in some fashion, that the saints will be kings, ruling with Christ, but under His headship and authority. Christ is the King of Kings, meaning He rules over the kings.

We should expect that the saints will have work to do, particularly during the millennium, considering that some unsaved will enter into the millennium as well. It makes sense that Christ would give His faithful the task of ruling over the earthly affairs of men, on His behalf.

In addition to kingship, we will be priests to God the Father. The priesthood of the believer has already been established, with Christ as our high priest. No more intermediaries, believers have direct access to Christ. As priests, we will have the very pleasurable duty of offering spiritual sacrifices and praise to God.

  • Hebrews 13:15
  • 1 Peter 2:5

God, who has eternal Dominion, will forever receive the glory that’s due Him.

Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons