He has made us kings and priests, and He comes with clouds!
By Brother Mike (11-29-18; 43 minutes)
5 . . .
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen .
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen .
In this study of Revelation 1:5-7, we begin where we left off in our last study with the last part of verse 5, which states, Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood. With respect to these statements, what does it mean that He loved us? And, what does it mean that He washed us from our sins in His own blood?
Then, we were told that He has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father. How can we possibly be kings in this life when we don't appear to rule over others, and we are not rich like other kings? And, since we have been made priests, what is our role as priests in this life?
Finally, we are told that Christ comes with clouds. Does this mean that He comes with literal clouds? Or, do clouds symbolize something else?
The answers to these questions and more can be found in the following study. May our Lord grant us eyes to see, and ears to hear, and we pray these things through Jesus Christ who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, amen.
5 . . . Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood . . .
In this last part of verse 5, we first read, Unto Him that loved us. Because the participle translated as him that loved is in the Aorist Tense of the Greek, it is referring to a love that took place at a point in the past. No doubt, this love must do with the love of Christ (God) in His humbling of Himself in becoming flesh in order to suffer and die for the sins of His people, the elect from every nation, peoples, language, and tribe. Such love we can barely comprehend, but we read in Philippians 2,
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men :
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross .
And, we further read of His great love toward us in Ephesians 2 where we read,
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved ;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus :
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus .
And, in 2Thessalonians 2:13 His great love for us is seen once again in that He chose us from the beginning. We read,
2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth . . .
And, again, we read of how He so loved us by offering Himself as a sacrifice to God. We read,
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor .
And, again, we read,
1Jo 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins .
And, finally, we read,
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life .
Yes, as our verse states, unto Him that loved us.
Yet, our verse not only says, unto him that loved us, but it says, and washed us from our sins in His own blood. Now, obviously, this doesn't mean that Christ physically bathed us in His own physical blood, but it means that through the shedding of His own blood on the cross, He paid the price for our sins so that we could be forgiven and spiritually brought to life by the washing and regeneration of the Holy Spirit. As we read in Titus 3:4-7,
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost ;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour ;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life .
So, it was by the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross whereby our sins have been washed away; no longer able to condemn us to death, which death we so justly deserved, for Christ was condemned for us so that we would no longer come under the wrath of God, but instead be filled with His Spirit and cleansed by the washing of water by the Word. As we read in Ephesians 5,
That he might sanctify and cleanse [us] with the washing of water by the word
27 That he might present [us] to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish .
We find, then, that Christ's death on the cross not only washed us from our sins because sin could no longer be held against us, having been held against Christ instead even though He Himself never sinned, but Christ's death on the cross also brought us unto spiritual life wherein we are being cleansed by the washing of water by the Word as we read, study, and apply His Word to our lives. So, in having washed us from our sins in His blood, He became sin for us in that our sins were accounted to Him rather than to us so that we no longer have a death sentence upon us as do the rest, for the wages of sin is death (Ro 6:23), but we have a life sentence upon us because Christ rose from the dead. And, because He rose from the dead, we also have become spiritually risen from the dead unto eternal life. And, as we read in John 11:26, whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die.
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen .
Here, we are first told that Christ has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father. It is difficult to see how we can be kings when we are often the poor and looked down upon people of this world. Kings rule over the people and live in castles, but we are the scum of the world and often have difficulty just paying our basic expenses. So, how can we be kings? Well, obviously, we are not kings of this world; otherwise, we would be rich and live in luxury while ruling over others, and we would be esteemed for our riches and greatness. But, instead, we often seem to be poor, and others seem to rule over us. So, how is it that we have been made kings? As we think about the answer to this question, immediately we think of Christ because we are spiritually, after all, the body of Christ (1Cor. 12:27; Eph. 4:12), and we remember what Christ once said. He said, my kingdom is not of this world. We read in John 18,
36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence .
Now, if we are Christ's body, and He said that My kingdom is not of this world, then we too must say that our kingdom is not of this world as we are the body of Jesus Christ. And, just as Jesus is the supreme ruler of the kingdom of heaven, we must, therefore, also be rulers over the kingdom of heaven, for we are His body. This means that we do not rule over the peoples of this world, but we rule over the beings, whoever and whatever they may be, of the heavenly realm, which will be made manifest to us in the new heaven and earth on the Last Day of Judgment Day in which we now find ourselves. So, our kingdom and riches are not in this life, but are in the next. And, although we may be poor in this life, we are rich in the heavenlies. As we read in Ephesians 3,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love :
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will ,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved .
Yes, we may be poor in this life, but we are rich for all eternity. And, we are kings who rule in the heavenlies and the next life. In fact, Christ taught that we will rule over a varying number of cities depending upon our individual faithfulness to God in this life with what we have been given from Him. We learn of this in the parable of the pounds found in Luke 19 where we read,
He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come .
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us .
15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading .
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds .
17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities .
18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds .
19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities .
We see, then, that the Lord's servant received authority over more cities in the kingdom because he obtained a greater return from what he was given. Each of the 10 servants were given one pound each to begin, but some servants produced more from what they were given than others. Therefore, they were given more cities in the kingdom to rule over. This is a picture of how it will be in the next life. Those Christians who have more fully used what they were given in this life to produce a greater return for the kingdom will be awarded more cities to rule over in the next life when the Lord returns. So, all God's people will be kings, but each of us will rule over a varying number of cities depending on how faithful to God we have been in this life.
But, now, Christ has not only made us kings, but our verse tells us that He has also made us priests unto God and His Father. As priests, we are called to give our lives for the sake of God's people. During the Gospel Age this meant that we were to get out the gospel to the entire world so that all the elect would hear and become saved, but now that we are in Judgment Day, and all the elect are already saved, we are to sacrifice our lives for God's people by being involved in ministry to them. This includes praying for them as we read in Ephesians 6,
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints [the elect] . . .
And, again, we read in James 5,
Jas 5:16 Confess your faults [weaknesses] one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much .
Then, we read in Philippians 4,
Php 4:6 Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God .
And, we read in Colossians 4,
Col 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving . . .
And, finally, we read in 1Peter 4,
1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer .
But, not only are we called as priests to prayer for ourselves and one another, but we are called to minister to the earthly needs of one another. We read in 1John 3,
1Jo 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him ?
Furthermore, if we have been blessed with earthly or spiritual talents or gifts, we should use these to minister unto God's people. If we have the gift of earthly riches, we should not be proud, but offer them up to the people of God. If we have the gift of giving or helping, we should give or help. If we have the gift of singing, we should sing. If we have the gift of music, we should play it for others. If we have the gift of mercy, we should forgive as Christ has forgiven us, and remembers our sin no more, but has cast them as far away as the east is from the west. If we have the gift of declaring the Word of God, we should declare it. If we have the gift of teaching, we should teach. If we have the gift of government, we should govern. If we have the gift of healing, we should heal. And, whatever gift or talent that we may have, we should use it for God's people. The point being that each of us has something that we can offer the people of God for, as we read in Ephesians 4,
Eph 4:12 . . .
the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ :
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive ;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ :
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love .
Now, as our verse continues, it tells us that we have been made kings and priests unto God and His Father. This, of course, is not saying that God and His Father are two different persons, but it could be translated, and Christ has made us kings and priests unto God even His Father. In other words, God is one and the same as Christ's Father, and it is unto Him that we have been made kings and priests. Yet, what does it mean that we have been made kings and priests unto Him? The answer comes in the rest of our verse. It reads, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. That is, to be made kings and priest unto Christ's Father means that we have been so made for the Father's glory and dominion forever and ever. Literally, it reads, to him be glory and dominion into the ages of the ages, amen. And, amen means, so be it. So, we have been made kings and priests for the glory and dominion of the Father into the ages of the ages, so be it.
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen .
In this verse, we first read, Behold. This word Behold is a command, and it means, be seeing or be perceiving what I am about to say. It's like when we say, listen carefully or tune in to what is about to be said. It is letting us know that what is about to be said is important and requires our careful attention.
Then, we read, He comes with clouds. What is so important about that? Does this just simply mean that He comes when it is cloudy outside? Is this saying that it will be cloudy everywhere in the world when He comes? Certainly not! We must understand what clouds symbolize to be able to understand what is being said in that He comes with clouds. And, so, we must look up this word clouds everywhere it takes place in the Bible to begin to get a sense as to what it symbolizes. You can do this with a book called a Concordance, or you can be like me and use the free Bible software program called Online Bible. Whatever the case, when we look up the word clouds or cloud in the Bible, we find, first, that a cloud is often associated with the glory of God. We read in Exodus 24,
Ex 24:16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud .
And, in Exodus 40,
Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle
35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle .
And, again, in 1Kings 8, we read,
1Ki 8:11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD .
And, as one more example, we read in Ezekiel 10,
Eze 10:4 Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD'S glory .
So, from verses such as these, it becomes clear from scripture that a cloud is associated with the glory of God.
But, if a cloud can be representative of the glory of God, it can also represent the judgment of God. We read in Lamentations 2,
La 2:1 How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger !
Here, a cloud represents the Lord's judgment on the daughter of Zion as we see them covered with a cloud in his anger. And, we read in Ezekiel 32,
Eze 32:7 And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light .
In that the sun will be covered with a cloud reveals that the cloud is bringing judgment. And, again, we read in Ezekiel 30,
Eze 30:18 At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity .
Once again, a cloud is identified with the bringing of judgment. And, as a final example, we read in Ezekiel 38,
Eze 38:16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes .
So, we have now learned that a cloud is representative of the glory of God, and it can also represent the judgment of God as we have seen in these latter verses. But, let's now return to our verse and see how we can apply this information to our verse. There we read,
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds . . .
Now that we know that clouds are associated with the glory and judgment of God, when our verse states, Behold, He comes with clouds, we are being told that He comes in glory and judgment. It�s not that He comes in literal visible clouds, but he comes in judgment and glory; that is the point being made! And, we see this point brought out clearly in parallel verses which also speak of Christ coming in the clouds. For instance, we read in Matthew 24,
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory .
And, again, we read in Mark 13,
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light
25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken .
26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory .
And, we read in Luke 21,
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring
26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken .
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory .
Notice that in all three of these parallel verses which speak to the coming of Christ in the clouds, they each associate His coming in clouds with coming in power and great glory. So, we see clearly that His coming in clouds mentioned in Revelation 1:7 symbolizes His coming with power and great glory. And, remember also, we found earlier that Christ's coming in clouds can symbolize His coming in judgment as well. Therefore, when we read in Revelation 1:7 that Christ comes with clouds, it not only means that He comes with power and great glory, but He comes in judgment as well. Indeed, the first time Christ came, He came with salvation and mercy, but the second time Christ comes, He comes in judgment with power and great glory. And, since we know that Christ began His 2nd coming with spiritual Judgment on May 21, 2011 according to the
In this study, we saw a glimpse of what it means that Christ loved us, and that He washed us from our sins in His own blood. That He loved us means that He greatly lowered or humbled Himself to become flesh as a man to suffer and die for our sins. And, that He washed us from our sins in His blood means that it was by His shed blood on the cross whereby the penalty for our sins was taken away from us, and put on Him when He died on the cross so that our sins could no longer be held against us because the penalty for our sins, which was death, was paid for by Him when He died on our behalf. And, He did more than die on our behalf, for He rose from the dead on our behalf as well to guarantee that we too would rise from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit, who raised us from the dead through the gift of faith which was granted to us for an eternal inheritance of incorruptible bodies, and an incorruptible new heaven and earth where we will dwell forevermore, amen, so be it!
Then we learned that we have been made kings. We have not been made kings in so far as ruling over the peoples of this world, or in so far as living in castles with an abundance of wealth, but we have been made kings in so far as we will rule over a greater or lesser number of cities in the next life depending on how faithful we have been with what Christ has given us in this life. And, we are not materially rich in this life, but we are spiritually rich as we have been gifted with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies as well as having been granted an eternal inheritance worth far more than any material riches of this life.
Furthermore, we have not only been made kings, but we learned that we have been made priests unto God and His Father. As priest unto the glory and dominion of God, the Father, we are to sacrifice ourselves in prayer for one another as well as for ourselves. We are to look to satisfying the earthly needs of one another. And, we are to use whatever gifts or talents that the Lord has given us to the benefit of the elect. If one part of the body is hurting, we all hurt as a part of that body. But, if one part of the body is blessed, we are all blessed. So, let us make every effort to do all things for the sake of the body, the elect, and to the glory and dominion of God, the Father.
Finally, we learned that Christ comes the second time with clouds, and this means that He comes in judgment, power and great glory. It need not mean that He comes with literal clouds. In fact, according to the
Now, may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace .