Revelation 1:9-11 / The Voice of Authority

Posted on January 9, 2015


This is the fourth 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 January 4, 2015. This message introduces Jesus’ address to the seven churches. 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.

Sermon Audio:
Rev. 1:9-11

Here we begin to see how the book of Revelation came about.

As John writes this, he is the last surviving apostle, the only one not martyred.

God still had a work for him to do, and the recording of this letter was it.

This letter serves as the only book of prophecy in the New Testament, and John has the distinction of being the last true prophet.

As this book was completed, so was God’s word. There would be no new revelation.

Because John was spared martyrdom, presumably for the purpose of recording this word from God, it doesn’t mean that he was without troubles.

John suffered tribulation, as many Christians do, but not the same great tribulation which we will be detailed in this book.

The reference is to the tribulation that had already befallen the believers.

2 Timothy 3:12

At the time of this writing, John was in exile on this small island. He was an old man, and this type of isolation was certainly a tribulation in and of itself.

Patmos served as a Roman penal colony, certainly not a pleasant place.

John’s statement that he was there for the Word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ, likely means that he had been banished for his preaching.

This wouldn’t be the first time John had gotten in trouble for that.

According to early Christian historian Eusebius, the emperor Nerva (a.d. 96–98) eventually released John from Patmos.

While there; however, John identifies with the Asian Christians to whom he would write this letter.

He too, had gone through tribulation (further support that he was there as a prisoner).

He was also a fellow citizen of the Kingdom of Christ, and was awaiting His return.

John notes that he was “in the spirit on the Lord’s day”

First, we need to understand that he was not asleep (as some would suppose), but wide awake.

The Lord’s Day would be Sunday, the first day of the week.

It is the day of Jesus’ resurrection, and the apostles were accustomed to meeting for worship on that day.

Acts 20:7

1 Corinthians 16:2

Sunday is still a very appropriate day for believers to meet in worship.

Most likely, John was in an act of worship when all of this began.

John 4:23-24

Philippians 3:3

It was at that point, that being “in the spirit” became a very literal event for John.

John was supernaturally transported out of the material world awake—not sleeping—to an experience beyond his normal senses.

The Holy Spirit empowered him to perceive revelation from God.

Note how Peter saw heaven opened.

Acts 10:11

Peter may have seen heaven opened, but unlike Peter, John saw inside.

In fact, John is one of only four people in the Bible to see a vision of heaven – Isaiah, Ezekiel, Paul and John.

Two other Biblical figures caught a glimpse of heaven Micaiah, Stephen), but what they saw is merely mentioned, not described.

2 Chronicles 18:18

Acts 7:55-56

Only three of these men actually wrote about what they saw – Isaiah, Ezekiel and John.

Paul never wrote about what he saw. He simply writes that he was caught up to the third heaven.

2 Corinthians 12:2

It is undoubtedly an experience reserved for a very select few prophets.

While there, John hears the voice of great and unmistakeable magnitude – loud and as of a trumpet.

Throughout Scripture, the trumpet is the sound of the herald. It commands attention and signals the coming of an important message.

This sound John heard wasn’t actually a trumpet, but AS a trumpet. It marked the coming of a great revelation.

Throughout Revelation, a loud sound or voice indicates the solemnity of what God is about to reveal, and the coming revelation was solemn indeed.

It would come from none other than Jesus Christ Himself! (v.11)

This voice is positively identified here.

The “loud voice as of a trumpet” was saying: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last”.

That is what the voice said. Therefore, the voice could not have been that of an angel, as some commentators have proposed.

The Alpha and Omega, The First and the Last can only refer to God, and that is precisely how this voice identifies Himself.

An angel is a created being, it has a beginning and the end, it is not THE begining and THE end. An angel is not eternal and pre-existant.

The voice was that of none other than the Alpha and the Omega, Word Himself.

Those 24 Greek letters which comprise the entirety of the written Word of God.

This Alpha and Omega is the Word Himself.

John 1:1

John 1:14

He is the Creator, and therefore the source of the beginning and the end of all things.

John 1:3

When He speaks, you listen!

And this loud trumpeting voice had a word for these churches.

These seven churches were real churches that existed as the time this was written.

The number seven is also a symbol of completeness.

As we look at the attributes of these seven churches, we see that they also represent all churches throughout history.

There has never been a church who wasn’t adequately described in these seven churches.

Therefore, the messages, warnings and praises to these churches still applies to each church today.

God is speaking, and we need to sit up and take note.

The Creator of the universe has a stern warning for all of us today.

Though many will refuse to listen, all will be without excuse . . . it has been spoken!

Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons