- What, according to verse 9, is the twofold experience in which all believers share, and what should characterize their lives? Cf. John 16:33; Acts 14:22; 2 Tim. 2:12a.
- We are not for a moment to suppose that Christ is literally like this. What John sees is a vision, each feature of which is symbolic of some aspect of our glorified Lord. Write down against each feature portrayed here what trait in our Lord’s character it suggests. What is the overall impression left in your mind?
- What does Christ say of himself and of his relationship to the churches in verses 17-20? With verse 17, cf. Dan. 10:8-11, 15-19, and with the figure of the ‘lampstand’, cf. Matt. 5:14-16.
- Verse 17: see also 22:13. Note that Christ applies to himself words spoken by God of himself in verse 8.
- Verse 18. ‘The keys of death and Hades’: according to the teaching of the Rabbis these keys are in the hands of God alone.
- Verse 20. ‘Mystery’: i.e., something with a hidden meaning here explained. Cf. 17:7; Matt.13:11. ‘The angels of the seven churches’: sometimes taken to mean the pastor or bishops of each church, but more probably denoting a guardian angel (cf. Dan. 10:21; Matt. 18:10).