“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to make known to His servants the things which must shortly come to pass, and signified, sending by His angel to His servant John, who has given testimony to the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever he has seen” (1:1,2).
God the Father, gave to His Son Jesus Christ, Who sent His appointed (angel), who in turn gave to Saint John, who would write ‘the things’ which will shortly happen, and pass it on to the Church. All is done in the perfection and in the order of God. We will see later that the angels mentioned in the Apocalypse are Eucharistic man and bishops. This new creature ‘Eucharistic man’ is the fulfillment of Jesus saying that He would make all things new. Some people will accept this, some won’t. Amen. So be it! ‘The things’ which Saint John would see and write were foretold to him by Jesus when He said to His Apostles: “Amen I say to you, there are some of them that stand here, that shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in His Kingdom.” (Mt 16:28) Saint Luke reports: “…till they see the Kingdom of God.” (Lk 9:27) Saint John wrote down the events in the heavens, on the earth, and the things which he saw coming up out of the depths of the earth, a) the abyss, b) the bottomless pit (which are separate from Hell), and the things which he saw being cast down to Hell that is the hell of ‘fire and brimstone’ for all eternity, and the things he saw coming down from Heaven. The book of the Apocalypse, the Revelation, fulfills the promise of Jesus to Saint John as stated above ‘there are some of them that stand here, that shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in His Kingdom,’ St. John saw ‘the Son of man coming in His Kingdom.’ In the unfolding of ‘Christ’ in the following pages, the worthy seeker will see the New Creature, Christ Jesus. Remember that the old man, Jesus, died on the Cross, and the New Man, Christ Jesus, arose from the dead. In the Holy Scripture of the New (Second) Testament, Jesus Christ is named 177 times, while Christ Jesus, the New Man, is mentioned 92 times. (Six times the two Names are mentioned in the same verse: 1Co 1:2; Ga 2:16; Ep 1:1; Phil 1:1; 1T 1:1; 2T 1;1).
“Blessed is he that reads and hears the words of this prophecy, and keeps those things which are written in it, for the time is at hand” (1:3).
The first of the seven blessings of the Apocalypse is given. We are encouraged to read this book, and hear in our hearts what God is saying to us. ‘The time is at hand’ indicates that when the events revealed herein begin to be fulfilled, then all will be fulfilled quickly and we must be prepared to meet the ‘Just Judge.’
“John, to the seven churches which are in Asia. Grace be unto you and peace, from him that is, and that was, and that is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before His Throne” (1:4).
The seven churches in the ‘Asia’ mentioned here is that area of modern day Turkey, and the Greek Islands, of which Patmos was one, which was close at hand to the Asia (Turkish) mainland. This also means that it is written to all who are close at hand, that is, it is written to us for we are close at hand to the prophetical completion of all things. The seven churches signifies various stages of spiritual life which we shall see. ‘Grace’ in it’s simplest meaning is the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, given ‘unto you.’ When it is written: ‘from him that is, and that was, and that is to come,’ it must be pointed out the use of the pronoun ‘that’ is used to identify a specific person, or singling out someone with a particular feature, while ‘who’ is a pronoun indicating a particular person. In this verse which differs from the ‘Who is…Who was…’ in verse 8, the ‘that’ of this verse 4 would indicate a particular identity which is not Jesus Christ. ‘That’ in common language refers to a lesser, while ‘who’ refers to the particular person. In this verse 4 Saint John is stating a different person than Jesus speaking, as we will see in verse 5. 1. He that is, living in the Heart of the Father from all eternity. (Ps 109:3) 2. He that was, immaculate in the Paradise of Pleasure. (Gn 2:8) 3. He that is to come, in Eucharistic man, (Jn 17:21) in Holy Communion, endowed with the seven spirits of God, living in the Seven Sacraments of the Church (Throne of God). ‘…from the seven spirits which are before His Throne…’ What or who are ‘the spirits’? Are the ‘seven spirits’ the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Ghost? Are they the Seven Sacraments of the Church? Are they the seven angels of the seven churches? What is their importance? We will see these answers as we progress throughout the entire book. I only ask that you throw out all previous ideas and look at everything through a fresh mind, heart, ears, and eyes.
“and from Jesus Christ, Who is the Faithful Witness, the First begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth, Who has loved us, and washed us from our sins in His Own Blood, and has made us a Kingdom, and priests to God and His Father. To Him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen” (1:5,6).
Now Jesus is identified and He is different from the ‘that’ which we just saw. Jesus is ‘the Faithful Witness,’ Who came to redeem fallen man. He is the Son of God, Who came to do the Will of God the Father. (Jn 6:40) Jesus is the ‘First begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth,’ (Col 1:18) as He holds the primacy in all things, and all the angels of God adore Him. (Hb 1:6) ‘He has made us a Kingdom,’ reconfirms what Jesus said to His Apostles: “I dispose to you, as My Father has disposed to Me, a Kingdom.” (Lk 22:29)
“Behold, He comes with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they also that pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth shall bewail themselves because of Him. Even so. Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, saith the Lord God, Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty” (1:7,8). ‘
Clouds’ indicate a warning about an impending storm or disaster, and so when we see the warning signs of the great tribulation, all people are alerted to prepare! ‘They also that pierced Him’ include not only the Jews who handed Him over to be crucified, but to those soldiers at the Crucifixion, and also all those who desecrate Him in Holy Communion, and all who deny His Real Presence in Holy Eucharist. The audacity of man to tell God what God can do or not do! How dare they tell God that He cannot come in a piece of bread or a drop of wine! How dare they deny God’s presence in the ‘burning bush’ of today, which is Holy Eucharist! The two ‘Amens,’ here and in verse 6, certify that what is said is true, is Truth, is a fact. The second ‘Amen’ ends the words of Jesus speaking directly to Saint John, and now then begins ‘the revelation’ and the things which will happen. There may seem to be a duplication of verses 4 & 8, but in fact verse 4 states ‘from him that is, that was, that is to come…’ while verse 8 states: ‘Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come.’ When Jesus says ‘Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come,’ St. John is saying that: 1. (He Who is) – He it is Who is Eternal, 2. (He Who was) – He it is Who as Man came to earth to redeem us, 3. (Who is to come) He is the Just Judge will come to judge the world, He is (the Almighty)!
“I, John, your brother and your partner in tribulation, and in the Kingdom, and patience in Christ Jesus, was in the island which is called Patmos, for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus. I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying: ‘What you see, write in a book and send to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamus, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea’” (1:9-11).
When it is said: ‘I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day…’ St. Jerome wrote in the Vulgate: ‘in dominica die,’ and although this is properly translated from the Latin as ‘the Lord’s day,’ signifying the seventh day of the new week, or Sunday, I would prefer to treat it as ‘the day of the Lord.’ Why? Because what follows in the prophecy is a combination of corrections to the faithful, admonishments to the erring, and destruction for those who are obstinate and defiant against God. The Prophet Zephaniah treats of this day with a harsh warning: “Be silent before the face of the Lord God, for the day of the Lord is near, for the Lord has prepared a victim, He has sanctified His guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the victim of the Lord, that I will visit upon the princes, and upon the king’s sons, and upon all such as are clothed with strange apparel, and I will visit in that day upon every one that enters arrogantly over the threshold, them that fill the house of the Lord their God with iniquity and deceit. And there shall be in that day, saith the Lord, the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and a howling from the Second, and a great destruction from the hills.” (Zp 1:7-10) In other words, ‘the clouds’ of verse 7 are going to pour out their storm, in the great and terrible day of the Lord. When Zephaniah says ‘He has sanctified His guests,’ Jesus means that the few who will believe in Him and in the manner of His coming, He has sanctified them and made them ready for the events related in the Apocalypse. The mention of ‘strange apparel’ means that: “A woman shall not be clothed with man’s apparel, neither shall a man use woman’s apparel, for he that does these things is abominable before God.” (Dt 22:5) It also means that those who take upon themselves to preach and act in the Name of God, and to have entered ‘arrogantly over the threshold,’ when God has not called them to do that which they are doing, and so God will punish them severely. Saint John heard behind him ‘a great voice, as of a trumpet,’ and this was a warning to all the inhabitants of the earth: “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, sound an alarm in My holy mountain, let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, because the day of the Lord comes, because it is near at hand.” (Jl 2:1) God has His angels blow the trumpets, and what we see here is ‘an angel’ and this angel is Eucharistic man, of whom we will elaborate in much greater detail in the next verses. The ‘great voice’ of authority, commanded him to write to all the churches. Here now is the first vision in the Book of Revelation.
“And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks, and in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. And his head and his hairs were white as white wool and as snow. And his eyes were as a flame of fire, and his feet like unto fine brass, as in a burning furnace. And his voice as the sound of many waters” (1:12-15).
‘One like to the Son of man,’ is referred to in almost all the commentaries as Jesus, but I am not of that opinion. Why? Because Saint John said in another place: “And I fell down before his feet, to adore him. And he said to me: ‘See you do it not. I am your fellow servant and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Adore God.’” (Apoc 19:10) And again the great saint and beloved Disciple said: “And I, John, who have heard and seen these things, and, after I had heard and seen, I fell down to adore before the feet of the angel who showed me the things. And he said to me: ‘See you do it not. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets and of them that keep the words of the prophecy of this book. Adore God.’” (Apoc 22:8,9) This ‘one like to the Son of man’ is Eucharistic man. We will explain. It is written that God said: “Let Us make man to Our image and likeness…And God created man to His Own image, to the image of God He created him: male and female He created them.” (Gn 1:26,27) The ‘likeness’ not mentioned here was to come through Jesus Christ. At the moment of His resurrection from the dead, Jesus became the New Man, the Firstborn from the dead, the New Creature, that is He became Eucharistic Man. Therefore what Saint John saw was the first vision of the ‘sons of God,’ that is the sons of Jesus Eucharist, for Jesus is prophesied as the ‘Father of the world TO come,’ (Is 9:6) which in Holy Eucharist He has come, therefore Jesus is the Father of the world which IS come! This ‘one like to the Son of man’ is Eucharistic man, and he is not the Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, but is the first born of Christ Jesus, the new creature in Christ Jesus, the new creation in Christ Jesus Holy Eucharist. Eucharistic man is the fulfillment of Holy Eucharist in those who have the faith of God. (Mk 11:22) Saint John is seeing the fulfillment of what Saint Paul wrote about when he said: “…may we in all things grow up in Him, Who is the Head, (Ep 4:15) walking in newness of life, in the likeness of His resurrection,( Rm 6:4,5) to perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ.” (Ep 4:13) What is spoken of here is the new creature, the new man, Eucharistic man. Let us deal with this Eucharistic man in the embryonic stage in the womb of the woman: “And being with child, she cried also travailing, and was in pain to be delivered…And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her son was taken up to God and to His Throne.” (Apoc 12:2,4,5) As the child, Eucharistic man, emerges, walks in newness of Life, that is in Jesus Eucharist, and gradually becomes the image and likeness of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus, becoming the absolute perfect man, growing into the fulness of the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the completion of the plan of God to bring all of His creation back into the beauty of the Garden of Eden, back into the Tree of Life, from which Adam and Eve were banished. This then is the ‘new man,’ the ‘new creature,’ born again new, and who is endowed with the Seven Spirits of God. In another place Jesus said: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself, but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak. And the things that are to come, he shall show you. He shall glorify Me because he shall receive of Mine and shall show it to you. All things whatsoever the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that he shall receive of Me and show it to you.” (Jn 16:12-15) Some mistakenly say this ‘Spirit of truth’ is the Holy Ghost. Not so! Why? Because the Three Divine Persons, Holy Trinity, are one God, and one Lord, not in the oneness of a single person, but in the Trinity of one substance. (Hb 1:3) Of the Holy Ghost it cannot be said that ‘he shall not speak of himself, but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak.’ The Holy Ghost is the Third Divine Person of the Holy Trinity. The Trinity is the True and Everlasting Godhead, in Whom we adore, (Col 2:9) a distinction in Persons, a oneness in Being, an equality in Majesty. So it can be categorically stated that the ‘Spirit of truth’ referred to here is not the Holy Ghost, but the new man, in the image and LIKENESS of God. Saint John wrote: “But as many as received Him (Jesus), He (Jesus) gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in His Name, who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Jn 1:12,13) In another place Jesus said: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (Jn 3:5,6) So this ‘one like to the Son of man’ is the new man, Eucharistic man, who has entered into the fulness of God through the Second coming of Jesus in faithful man in Holy Eucharist, Holy Communion, Holy Co-union. The Psalmist confirms this wonderful new creature: “Give ye glory to God for Israel, His magnificence, and His power is in the clouds. God is wonderful in His saints, the God of Israel is He Who will give power and strength to His people. Blessed be God.” (Ps 67:35,36) It is recorded later on: “He that shall overcome shall possess these things, and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.” (Apoc 21:7) This then is the ‘son’ of Christ Jesus. Of Jesus it was prophesied: “For a Child is born to us, and a Son is given to us, and the government is upon His shoulder, and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace. His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace. He shall sit upon the Throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and strengthen it, with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Is 9:6,7) Now if Jesus is the Father of the world – to come, then who will be His sons and daughters? The answer is simple, those: ‘who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,’ as we saw earlier. These ‘sons of God’ are in the Spirit of God, and “therefore, as we have borne the image of the earthly, let us bear also the image of the heavenly.” (1Co 15:49) How then can there be any question of who is speaking to Saint John but Eucharistic man, the new creation, and a very specific Eucharistic man, for he is the Vicar of Christ on earth. The ‘one like to the son of man,’ was ‘clothed with a garment down to the feet,’ signifying that he was of the priesthood of Jesus, ‘girt about the paps with a golden girdle,’ signifying the authority, and dignity, of the royalty of the priesthood of Jesus. ‘His head and his hairs were white as white wool and as snow,’ certify his birth in the Heart of God the Father from all eternity (white hair). (Ps 109:3) ‘His eyes were as a flame of fire,’ because he has received the wisdom and knowledge of God. ‘His feet like unto fine brass, as in a burning furnace,’ because he is given the eternal permanence of God, and fulfills His plan of creation from all eternity and unto the eternity which never ends. ‘His voice as the sound of many waters,’ because of the fear inspired by his majesty, which is total authority over all the earth, to bring it into subjection to the Will of God the Father,( Mt 7:21) which as I said above, is the majesty of God.
“And he had in his right hand seven stars. And from his mouth came out a sharp two-edged sword. And his face was as the sun shines in his power” (1:16).
‘He had in his right hand seven stars’ confirming that he has the power of Almighty God given to him, to bring all into perfection, either by conversion or destruction. He is the authority of God over all the princes of the churches, to direct, instruct, and assist in all matters. Remember that Jesus said: “Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions and upon all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you, (Lk 10:19) and again: “I send the promise of My Father upon you, but stay you in the city till you be endued with power from on high,” (Lk 24:49) and again as stated previously: ‘But as many as received Him, He gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in His Name,’ and again: “But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth.” (Ac 1:8) This promise of the power is fulfilled in Eucharistic man, the new creature. The promise of this power and authority was given to the first Apostles, but since then the ‘church’ has divided Christ into a thousand contentious ‘christian’ factions, so it was asked: “Is Christ divided?” (1Co 1:13) ‘And from his mouth came out a sharp two-edged sword,’ because he is prepared to afflict and destroy if necessary faithless Christians, neo-Christians, and all other infidels, and anti-christs, and also to defend, protect, and succor, the true believers. ‘His face was as the sun shines in his power,’ because in God, he has the power and the authority to correct, teach, and make permanent, and bring in the new era of God in the New Garden of Eden. This power is derived because God dwells in Him through Holy Eucharist, with God the Father in Jesus, and in turn Jesus in His new creature, in Eucharistic union in Holy Communion. This unity and accomplishment is the Second Coming of Christ. Remember: The First Coming of Christ was as man, The Second Coming of Christ is in man, The Third Coming of Christ is to judge man. (Mt 25:31-46) Now then when we read:
“When I had seen him, I fell at his feet as dead, and he laid his right hand upon me, saying: ‘Fear not. I am the First and the Last, and alive, and was dead, and behold I am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and of Hell” (1:17,18).
We see that the mind, wisdom, power, authority, and unity of God is in man, and man is in His God, and we see that ‘Christ is all, and in all.’ (Col 3:11) We see that the cycle is completed: 1st From perfect man in the Paradise of pleasure (alive), 2nd To fallen man expelled from the Garden of Eden (dead), 3rd To perfect man through Christ Jesus, Who brings us to completion in Himself, Perfect man, Eucharistic man, in the Paradise of God (living for ever and ever). We see the full circle: God made man perfect (Adam) and gave him the Divinity of God living in the absolute bliss of Paradise. The Devil seduced Adam, and so man fell from Divine immaculacy to sinful man, under the dominion of evil. God the Son became Man, and through His Sacrifice, gave fallen man the opportunity and grace to be restored to immaculacy. Man would have to fight against the Devil in order to recover the Divine immaculacy which he lost to Satan. In believing the Sacrifice of the Son of God, fallen man could: a). reject Satan, b). live the promises of God, c). abolish Satan out of his life, d). become immaculate through the Seven Sacraments, e). take back the earth and all it’s creatures from the evil one, f). return all to Jesus, g). which completes the restoration of man, h). in the purified creation, return all to God. This new man is ‘alter Christus,’ is ‘other Christ’ as Saint Paul indicates most dramatically when he states: “You despised not, nor rejected, but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.” (Ga 4:14) Again he says: “But doing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in Him who is the head, even Christ.” (Ep 4:15) By ‘doing the truth’ he means that in spite of opposition and persecution we must persevere to become perfect in Christ Jesus, bringing with us those who will believe and enter by the narrow gate. (Lk 13:24) He has ‘the keys of death and of Hell,’ because he lives the Seven Sacraments of the Church (keys) and has the power to destroy evil.
“Write therefore the things which you have seen, and which are, and which must be done hereafter. The Sacrament of the seven stars, which you saw in my right hand and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. And the seven candlesticks are the seven churches” (1:19,20).
(Saint Jerome wrote in the Vulgate: “Sacramentum septem stellarum…”, not ‘mystery’ which some have erroneously re-written, but it is the ‘Sacrament’ of the seven stars). As we said before, seven in spiritual numbers signifies spiritual perfection. ‘The things which you have seen, and which are, and which must be done hereafter’ confirms the work which Eucharistic man, the new creature must do. Everything Eucharistic man does is in union with Jesus. Jesus is the Sacrament of Sacraments, and so all is done in Him. Eucharistic man always includes Jesus in all things, for Christ is All and in all (Col 3:11), (who invite Him). Jesus said: “In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” (Jn 14:20) This unity is in Eucharistic man. A Sacrament is the fulfillment of a Divine promise, and so ‘The Sacrament of the seven stars’ confirms the fulfillment of the promise made to Saint Peter and the Apostles that the ‘gates of Hell shall not prevail.’ The ‘angels’ are the bishops in the Church, and the Church is heaven on earth where Jesus resides in His Eucharistic new creation. This ‘heaven’ is distinguished from ‘Heaven’ the Throne of Almighty God. At the time of this prophecy by Saint John, he sees the Holy Catholic Church in the love of God, in the hand of Eucharistic man. Let us be clear about the word ‘Catholic.’ It is taken from the Greek word ‘Katholikos’ meaning ‘universal.’ The universality of the command from Jesus is recorded in Holy Writ: “All power is given to Me in Heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Mt 28:18,19) “Go ye into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Mk 16:15) “You shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth.” (Ac 1:8) “… penance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Lk 24:47) Jesus ascended into Heaven in the year 33 AD. It is recorded that “at Antioch the disciples were first named Christians,” (Ac 11:26) this was in 42 AD, some nine years after the Ascension. The term ‘Christian’ has been abused by many defectors from the true Catholic faith, and we find the Copts, Orthodox, Protestant all calling themselves ‘Christian’ and even ‘Catholic’ while denying some or all of the Seven Sacraments. We hear of the Coptic Catholic, the Orthodox Catholic, and some of the multitudinous Protestant churches call themselves ‘Catholic.’ The term ‘Catholic’ is now taken to mean and to include all ‘Christians.’ The ‘Roman Catholic’ sets himself apart from the other transgressors of the term ‘Catholic.’ A true Christian accepts that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, and the successor of the Primacy of Saint Peter. Anyone who denies either of this is neither Catholic nor Christian, and is a pawn in the plan of evil. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the promise made in the Old Testament: “And I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, and I will establish them, and will multiply them, and will set My Sanctuary in the midst of them for ever. And My Tabernacle shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (Ez 37:26,27) God in us, and we in God, (Jn 17) in Eucharistic unity. ‘The revelation of Jesus Christ’ is the power, authority, and unity of God in man, and man in God, through the power of Holy Eucharist in His new creature, Eucharistic man, Christ Jesus. Armed with this knowledge, we can now proceed in understanding the rest of the Apocalypse.