(King James Version is used throughout because most
brethren use this version.)
1. The Revelation [or unveiling] of
Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his saints things which must shortly
come to pass [be done speedily]; and he sent and signified
[showed by signs] it by his angel [messenger, Bro. Russell] unto
his servant John [the John Class, who are in the spirit-begotten condition on the
Lords Sabbath day]:
2. Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ,
and of all things that he saw.
3. Blessed [or happy] is HE that readeth [or
interprets], and THEY that hear the words [or interpretations] of
this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time [of
fulfillment] is at hand.
4. [The Apostle] John to the seven [stages of the] churches
which are in Asia [Diaglott, Appendix, muddy or boggy condition]: Grace
be unto you, and peace, from him which is and which was, and which is to come
[Jehovah, clearly referring to Revelation 4:8, but in reverse order in saying
"was" and "is"]; and from the seven Spirits [promises
of the Spirit later given to all seven churches through the Lamb] which are before
his throne [see Revelation 4:5 and 5:6];
5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
and first begotten [born] of the dead, and the
Prince of the kings of the
earth [those who are to be the future kings of society, his faithful church]. Unto
him that loveth us, and washed [freed] us from our sins by his own blood
6. And hath made us kings [a kingdom] and
priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for
ever and ever. Amen
[So be it].
7. Behold, he cometh with clouds [clouds of
trouble upon the earth]; and every eye [understanding] shall see
[discern] him, and they also which pierced him [See John 19:37 and
Zechariah 12:10—Vol. 2, p.130.]: and all kindreds of the earth [society] shall
wail because of him. Even so, Amen [So be it].
8. I am the Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the ending
[Jesus], saith the Lord [most MSS also add God], which is
[alive], and which was [dead, Revelation 1:17,18],
and which is
to come, the Almighty.
9. 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 called Patmos, for the word
of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10. I was in the Spirit [the saint class in the spirit-begotten
or spiritually minded condition] on the Lord's day [during his second
presence], and heard behind me [from the past] a
great voice [testimony], as of a trumpet [proclamation],
11. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, [All
preceding words of this verse are not in the Sinaitic and Alexandrian
Manuscripts]. What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the
seven churches which are in Asia: unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and
unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
[The meaning of what each church symbolizes will follow later.]
12. And I turned [the John Class, the saints living during the
Lord's second presence look into the past] to see [discern and
understand] the voice [message] that spake [that of the
risen Lord] with me. And being turned [as they looked into the Holy
Writ of the past], I [the John Class] saw seven golden
candlesticks [stages or periods of the church of the Gospel age];
13. And in the midst [as the central figure] of the seven
candlesticks [seven periods of the churches], one like the Son of man
[Jesus with his glory manifested by his own ministry and that of his apostles],
clothed with a garment down to the foot [the glory of his earthly ministry
becomes veiled through the ages until the time of his second presence when it is again
manifested], and girt about the paps [his heart] with a golden
girdle [dedicated to the divine service].
14. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow [he
is intellectually pure and venerable]; and his eyes were as a flame of fire
[penetrating omniscient wisdom or discernment];
15. And his feet [those representing him on earth] like unto
fine brass [purified or justified], as if they burned in a furnace
[exposed to fiery experiences]; and his voice [message] as the
sound of many waters [people].
16. And he had in his right hand [for guidance, protection, care and
favor], seven stars [messengers]: and out of his mouth
[mouthpiece giving divine truths] went a sharp two-edged sword [Old and
New Testament judgments]; and his countenance [favor] was as the
sun shineth in his strength [illuminating and cheering].
17. And when I [the John Class] saw him, I [they] fell
at his feet as dead [humbled to the dust lost in wonder, love and praise].
And he [Jesus] laid his right hand upon me [favor upon the saint class
of the harvest time], saying unto me, Fear not; I [Jesus] am the
first and the last [of Gods direct creation, having pre-eminence in all
18. I [Jesus] am he that liveth, and was dead, and, behold, I
am alive forevermore; Amen [So be it]; and have the keys [power
or authority] of hell [the death state] and of death
[the dying condition].
19. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the
things which shall be hereafter [must shortly come to pass];
20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my
[Jesus] right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are
the seven angels [messengers] of the seven churches: and the seven
candlesticks [successive periods of the churches]
which thou sawest are
the seven churches.