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Geneva Study Notes
Revelation Chapter 1

Revelation 1:1
1:1 The {1} {a} Revelation of {b} Jesus Christ, which God gave
    unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must
    shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his
    angel unto his servant John:

1 AD  The dragon watches the Church of the Jews, which was ready
      to travail: She brings forth, flees and hides herself,
      while Christ was yet on the earth.
34 AD The dragon persecutes Christ ascending to heaven, he
      fights and is thrown down: and after persecutes the Church
      of the Jews.
67 AD The Church of the Jews is received into the wilderness for
      three years and a half.
70 AD When the Church of the Jews was overthrown, the dragon
      invaded the catholic church: all this is in the twelfth
      chapter.  The dragon is bound for a thousand years in
      chapter twenty. The dragon raises up the beast with seven
      heads, and the beast with two heads, which make havock of
      the catholic church and her prophets for 1260 years after
      the passion of Christ in Revelation 13:11.
97 AD The seven churches are admonished of things present,
      somewhat before the end of Domitian his reign, and are
      forewarned of the persecution to come under Trajan for ten
      years, chapter 2,3. God by word and signs provokes the
      world, and seals the godly in chapter 6 and 7. He shows
      examples of his wrath on all creatures, mankind excepted
      in chapter 8.
1073 AD The dragon is let loose after a thousand years, and
        Gregory the seventh, being Pope, rages against Henry the
        third, then Emperor in chapter 20.
1217 AD The dragon vexes the world for 150 years to Gregory the
        ninth, who wrote the Decretals, and most cruelly
        persecuted the Emperor Fredrick the second.
1295 AD The dragon kills the prophets after 1260 years, when
        Boniface the eighth was Pope, who was the author of the
        sixth book of the Decretals: he excommunicated Philip
        the French King.
1300 AD Boniface celebrates the Jubile.
1301 AD About this time was a great earthquake, which overthrew
        many houses in Rome.
1305 AD Prophecy ceases for three years and a half, until
        Benedict the second succeeded after Boniface the eighth.
        Prophecy is revived in chapter 11. The dragon and the
        two beasts question prophecy in chapter 13. Christ
        defends his Church in word and deed, chapter 14, and
        with threats and arms, chapter 16. Christ gives his
        Church victory over the harlot, chapter 17 and 18. Over
        the two beasts, chapter 19. Over the dragon and death,
        chapter 20. The Church is fully glorified in heaven with
        eternal glory, in Christ Jesus, chapter 21 and 22.

 (1) This chapter has two principal parts, the title or
     inscription, which stands in place of an introduction: and a
     narration going before the whole prophecy of this book.
     The inscription is double, general and particular.  In
     Revelation 1:1 the general inscription contains the kind of
     prophecy, the author, end, matter, instruments, and manner
     of communication the same, in Revelation 1:2 the most
     religious faithfulness of the apostle as public witness and
     the use of communicating the same, taken from the promise
     of God, and from the circumstance of the time, Revelation 1:3
    (a) An opening of secret and hidden things.
    (b) Which the Son opened to us out of his Father's bosom by
        angels.

Revelation 1:4
1:4 {2} John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be]
    unto you, and peace, {3} from him {c} which is, and which
    was, and which is to come; and from {4} the {d} seven
    Spirits which are before his throne;

 (2) This is the particular or singular inscription, in which
     salutation is written to certain churches by name, who
     represent the catholic church: and the certainty and truth
     of this is declared, from the author of it, in Revelation 1:8.
 (3) That is, from God the Father, eternal, immortal, immutable:
     wholly unchangeable, John declares in a form of speech
     which is undeclined.  For there is no incongruity in this
     place, where, of necessity the words must be adapted to the
     mystery, not the mystery corrupted or impaired by the
     words.
    (c) These three, Is, Was, and Shall be, signify the word
        Jehovah, which is the proper name for God.
 (4) That is, from the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father
     and the Son.  This Spirit is one in person according to his
     subsistence: but in communication of his power, and in
     demonstration of his divine works in those seven churches,
     perfectly manifests himself as if there were many spirits,
     every one perfectly working in his own church.  Which is
     why in Revelation 5:6 they are called the seven horns and
     seven eyes of the Lamb, as if to say, as his most absolute
     power and wisdom. In Revelation 3:1 Christ is said to have
     those seven spirits of God, and in Revelation 4:5 it is
     said that seven lamps burn before his throne, which also
     are those seven spirits of God.  That this place ought to
     be so understood, it is thus proved.  For first, grace and
     peace is asked by prayer from this Spirit, which is a
     divine work, and an action incommunicable in respect to
     God.  Secondly, he is placed between the Father and the
     Son, as set in the same degree of dignity and operation
     with them, besides, he is before the throne, as of the same
     substance with the Father and the Son: as the seven eyes
     and seven horns of the Lamb.  Moreover, these spirits are
     never said to adore God, as all other things are.  Finally,
     this is the power by which the Lamb opened the book, and
     loosed the seven seals of it, when no one could be found
     among all creatures by whom the book might be opened
     Revelation 5:1-10 ; Of these things long ago Master John
     Luide of Oxford wrote to me.  Now the Holy Spirit is named
     before Christ because a long speech about Christ follows.
    (d) These are the seven spirits, which are later called the
        horns and eyes of the Lamb in Revelation 5:6 and are now
        acting as a guard waiting on God.

Revelation 1:5
1:5 And from Jesus Christ, {5} [who is] the faithful witness,
    [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the
    kings of the earth.  Unto him that loved us, and washed us
    from our sins in his own blood,

 (5) A most ample and honourable commendation of Christ, first from
     his offices of the priesthood and kingdom: secondly from
     his benefits, as his love toward us, and washing us with
     his blood, in this verse, and communication of his kingdom
     and priesthood with us: thirdly, from his eternal glory and
     power, which is always to be celebrated by us; Revelation 1:6
     Finally, from the accomplishment of all things once to be
     effected by him, at his second coming, at which time he
     shall openly destroy the wicked, and comfort the godly in
     the truth; Revelation 1:7.

Revelation 1:7
1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every {e} eye shall see
    him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of
    the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

    (e) All men.

Revelation 1:8
1:8 {6} I am {f} Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,
    saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to
    come, the Almighty.

 (6) A confirmation of the greeting earlier, taken from the
     words of God himself: in which he affirms his operation in
     every single creature, the immutable eternity that is in
     himself, and his omnipotence in all things: and concludes
     in the unity of his own essence, that Trinity of persons
     which was spoken of before.
    (f) I am he before whom there was nothing, indeed, by whom
        everything that is made, was made: and I shall remain
        though everything else should perish.

Revelation 1:9
1:9 {7} I John, who also am your brother, and companion in
    tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus
    Christ, was in the isle that is {g} called Patmos, for the
    word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 (7) The narration, opening the way to the declaring of the
     authority and calling of John the evangelist in this
     singular revelation, and to procure faith and credit to
     this prophecy.  This is the second part of this chapter,
     consisting of a proposition, and an exposition.  The
     proposition shows, in Revelation 1:9 first who was called to
     this revelation, in what place, and how occupied. Then at
     what time, and by what means, namely, by the Spirit and the
     word, and that on the Lord's day, which ever since the
     resurrection of Christ, was consecrated for Christians:
     that is to say, to be a day of rest, as in Revelation 1:10
     Thirdly, who is the author that calls him, and what is the
     sum of his calling.
    (g) Patmos is one of the islands of Sporas, where John was
        banished according to some historians.

Revelation 1:10
1:10 I was in the {h} Spirit on the {i} Lord's day, and heard
     behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

     (h) This is a holy trance expressed, with which the
         prophets were entranced, and being carried out of the
         world, conversed with God: and so Ezekiel says often,
         that he was carried from place to place by the Spirit,
         and that the Spirit of the Lord came on him.
     (i) He calls it the Lord's day, which Paul calls the first
         day of the week; 1Corinthians 16:2.

Revelation 1:12
1:12 {8} And I turned to {k} see the voice that spake with me.
     {9} And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

 (8) The exposition, declaring the third and last point of the
     proposition (for the other points are evident of
     themselves) in which is he first speaks of the author of
     his calling (till verse 17), and secondly, of the calling
     itself Revelation 1:17-20.  First of all the occasion is
     noted in this verse, in that John turned himself towards
     the vision, and after he sets down the description of the
     author, in the following verses, Revelation 1:13-16.
     (k) To see him whose voice I had heard.
 (9) The description of the Author, who is Christ: by the
     candlesticks that stand about him, that is, the churches
     that stand before him, and depend upon his direction.
     In Revelation 1:13 he is described by his properties, that he
     is provided with wisdom and dexterity for the achieving of
     great things, and in Revelation 1:14 with ancient gravity and
     most excellent sight of the eye.  In Revelation 1:15 he is
     described with strength invincible and with a mighty word,
     and in Revelation 1:16 by his ruling of the ministry of his
     servants in the Church by the sword of his word, and
     enlightening all things with his countenance, and mightily
     providing for everyone by his divine providence.

Revelation 1:17
1:17 {10} And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. {11}
     And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear
     not; {12} I am the first and the last:

 (10) A religious fear, that goes before the calling of the
      saints, and their full confirmation to take on them the
      vocation of God.
 (11) A divine confirmation of this calling, partly by sign, and
      partly by word of power.
 (12) A most elegant description of this calling contained in
      three things, which are necessary to a just vocation:
      first the authority of him who calls, for he is the
      beginning and end of all things, in this verse, for he is
      eternal and omnipotent Revelation 1:8.  Secondly the sum of
      his prophetic calling and revelation Revelation 1:9.  Lastly
      a declaration of those persons to whom this prophecy is by
      the commandment of God directed in the description of it
      Revelation 1:20.

Revelation 1:19
1:19 {13} Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things
     which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

 (13) The sum of this prophecy, that the apostle must write
      whatever he sees, adding nothing, nor taking away anything
      Revelation 1:2.  Here there are two parts: one is a
      narration of those things which are, that is, which then
      were at that time, contained in the second and third
      chapter: the other part is of those things which were to
      come, contained in the rest of this book.

Revelation 1:20
1:20 {14} The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my
     right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven
     stars are the {l} angels of the seven churches: and the
     seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven
     churches.

 (14) That is, the thing which was mystical signified by the
      particulars of the vision before going.
     (l) By angels he means the ministers of the Church.



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