Author of Revelation CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The author (authors) of Revelation identify themselves as God the Father, John the apostle, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
God the Father
He identifies himself as Alpha and Omega [v.8]. Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet. Thus, the written record of the Revelation depends entirely on God’s Revelation of himself by his words [1 Samuel 3:21]. He has the first and last word on all of it. Nostradamus, Mohammed, the Mormon prophet, the Watchtower Society, the Pope, or any other self-made authority can add nothing to what God has already written about the future [Isaiah 41:21-29].
Then he identifies himself as the beginning and the ending. Of course, the Lord has no beginning or ending because he is eternal [Psalms 90:2]. However, from the beginning of anything made by God or revealed by God, he was there [Genesis 1:1]. And when time ends, he will be there to end it [notice the two words “the end” after Revelation 22:21].
Finally, he is the God which is, which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. As such, he has always been here and he will always be here and there is no God like him [Isaiah 43:10-11, 1 Corinthians 8:5-6]. All other gods have a beginning and they will all have an end.
John the Apostle
John identifies himself as “your brother” [v.9] because he is of the “brethren that have the testimony of Jesus,” [Revelation 19:10, Hebrews 2:11]. He says also that he is a “companion in tribulation,” not because he was in the “great tribulation,” [Matthew 24:21], but because he experienced the tribulation that accompanies godly saints [Acts 14:22, 2 Timothy 3:12]. He was also our companion in the kingdom and patience of Jesus, since we, like he, must patiently wait for his coming.
John had been exiled to the isle of Patmos because of his belief in the words of God and because of his testimony of trust in the Lord Jesus Christ [v.9, 2]. Tribulation saints will be able to identify with him because they will be martyred for the exact same reasons he was exiled [Revelation 6:9, 20:4].
In v.10, John shows us how he was able to see the things he saw in the Revelation. He was transported by the Spirit and brought forward in time so that he sees things that haven’t even happened yet [Revelation 4:2, 17:3, compare Ezekiel 11:24]. In v.10, this happened to John on the Lord’s day, which marginal cross references make the first day of the week. However, since the Revelation concerns the day of the Lord [Isaiah 13:6, 9], John is referring to being transported forward in time to the day of the Lord.
The description of Jesus Christ in this passage clearly reveals his deity since his identity matches God the Father’s in so many particulars. Jesus made himself known to John by the voice of a trumpet [v.10, in Revelation 4:1, the trumpet talks]. This is the same way that the Lord made himself known to Israel when he gave them the law in the wilderness [Exodus 19:16, 19]. Notice this trumpet will sound at the rapture [1Thessalonians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 15:52].
Jesus said, “I am Alpha and Omega,” [v.11] identifying himself the same as God the Father [v.8]. In addition, he identifies himself as the “first and the last” [Isaiah 44:6] which when cross-referenced with Revelation 22:13, further demonstrates his deity as “the beginning and the end,” like God the Father [v.8]. On this authority, Jesus commands John to write what he sees in a book and send it to the seven churches in Asia [v.11]. He is to write about “the things which are” from the standpoint of the time to which the Lord transports him, not from the standpoint of where he is in the isle of Patmos [v.19]. Thus, the things “which shall be hereafter” are things beyond the tribulation.
The first thing John saw was Jesus standing in the middle of seven golden candlesticks. These candlesticks match the candlestick of the tabernacle in Exodus 25:31 and not just the seven lamps on the candlestick [Exodus 25:37]. Jesus’ appearance [v.14-15] matches the appearance that Daniel saw in Dan 10:5-6. He was clothed with a garment down to the foot and girt about the paps [the priests wore a breastplate] with a golden girdle [v.13]. So, he was dressed in similar fashion to the priests [Exodus 28:4] which is appropriate given that he is the High Priest [Hebrews 7:25-26]. His hair [v.14] matches the hair of the Ancient of days in Dan 7:9. His voice [v.15] matches the voice of the Almighty in Ezekiel 1:24. This is the glorified body of Jesus.
He had seven stars in his right hand. The stars and the candlesticks are representative of something else. So that there is no doubt for what they stand, Jesus tells us that the seven stars are “the angels of the seven churches,” [v.20]. And the seven golden candlesticks are the seven churches [v.20].
Out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword [v.16]. With this sword, he will smite the nations [Revelation 19:15]. The sword, no doubt, is the word of God [Hebrews 4:12]. His countenance looked like the sun. So he matches his appearance on the mount of transfiguration in Matthew 17:2, which is what he will look like at his Second Coming [Malachi 4:2].
When John saw him he fell down as if he were dead [v.17]. The same thing happened to Daniel [Daniel 10:8]. The appearance caused him to tremble [Daniel 10:11]. No wonder Paul told us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling [Philippians 2:12], because he had seen this appearance of the Lord, as well [Acts 9:4-6]. If you were to really get close to the Lord, you would fear before his holiness.
Jesus identified himself as the resurrected Savior; there is not another living being that could have identified himself to John the way Jesus did in v.18. Jesus is unique in that he is the only one who could have said to John in 96AD “I am he that liveth, and was dead: and, behold, I am alive for evermore.”
Jesus has the keys of hell and of death. So, hell and death are literal places [Revelation 20:13-14]. Hell is described in Luke 16:19-31, and, evidently, death is the name of Abraham’s Bosom after the Old Testament saints are taken up at the ascension of Jesus Christ [Ephesians 4:8-9]. It will hold the souls of the saints after the rapture of the church [Revelation 6:9]. And since Jesus has the keys, the devil can’t get those souls.