Revelation 1:5 Index
"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"
Research Material

"...from Jesus Christ..." (Revelation 1:1)

  • The other members of the Godhead have already been mentioned in Revelation 1:4. (7BC 732)
  • Some of the chief characteristics which pertain to Christ are here mentioned. (US 345)

"...who is the faithful witness..." (Revelation 3:15)

  • Christ is the "faithful witness" in that He is the perfect representative of God's character, mind, and will to mankind (John 1:1, 14). His sinless life among men and His sacrificial death testify of the Father's holiness and love (John 14:10; Revelation 3:16). (7BC 732)
  • He is "the faithful Witness." Whatever He bears witness to is true. Whatever He promises, He will surely fulfill. (US 345)

"...the first begotten of the dead..."

  • Or "first born" (Matthew 1:25; Romans 8:29; John 1:14). Though Jesus was not the first to rise from the dead in point of time, He may be regarded as first in the sense that all others resurrected... gained their freedom from the bonds of death only by virtue of His triumph over the grave. His power to lay down His life and to take it again (John 10:18) sets Him apart from all other men ever to come forth from the grave, and characterizes Him as the source of all life (Romans 14:9; I Corinthians 15:12-23; John 1:4, 7-9). This title, with the one that follows, reflects the thought of Psalm 89:27. (7BC 732)
  • "The first begotten of the" is an expression parallel to I Corinthians 15:20, 23; Hebrews 1:6; Romans 8:29; and Colossians 15:20, 23, where we find such expressions applied to Christ as "the first fruits of them that slept," "the first born among many brethren," "the firstborn of every creature," and "the first born from the dead." But these expressions do not denote that He was the first in point of time to be raised from the dead; for others were raised before Him. Moreover, that is a very unimportant point. But He was the chief and central figure of all who have come up from the grave, for it was by virtue of Christ's coming, work, and resurrection, that any were raised before His time. In the purpose of God He was the first in point of time as well as in importance, for it was not until after the purpose of Christ's triumph over the grave was formed in the mind of God, who "calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17), that any were released from the power of death by virtue of that great purpose which was in due time to be accomplished. (US 345-346)
  • Christ arose from the dead as the first fruits of those that slept. He was the antitype of the wave sheaf, and His resurrection took place on the very day when the wave sheaf was to be presented before the Lord. For more than a thousand years this symbolic ceremony had been performed. From the harvest fields the first heads of ripened grain were gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem to the Passover, the sheaf of first fruits was waved as a thank offering before the Lord. Not until this was presented could the sickle be put to the grain, and it be gathered into sheaves. The sheaf dedicated to God represented the harvest. So Christ the first fruits represented the great spiritual harvest to be gathered for the kingdom of God. His resurrection is the type and pledge of the resurrection of all the righteous dead. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14). (DA 785-786)
  • The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father's throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng—“ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity. Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father's will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God's plan, but would exalt the Father's glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love. (PP 36)

"...the prince of the kings of the earth..."

  • Or, "ruler." This world is Christ's legitimate domain. Christ triumphed over sin and won back the lost heritage of Adam, and is the rightful ruler of mankind (Colossians 2:15; Colossians 1:20; Revelation 11:15). At the last day all men will recognize Him as such (Revelation 5:13). But, recognized or not, Christ has overruled the affairs of earth for the completion of His eternal purpose (Daniel 4:17). The plan of redemption, made a historical fact by His life, death, and resurrection, has unfolded step by step toward that great day of triumph (Revelation 19:15, 16). (7BC 733)
  • Christ is "the Prince of the kings of the earth." In a certain sense He is that now. Paul informs us in Ephesians 1:20, 21, that He has been set at the right hand of God in the heavenly places, "far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come." The highest names in this world are those of princes, kings, emperors, and potentates of earth. But Christ is place far above them. He is seated with His Father upon the throne of universal dominion, and ranks equally with Him in the overruling and the controlling of the affairs of all nations of earth. (Revelation 3:21). In a more particular sense, Christ is to be Prince of the kings of the earth when He takes His own throne, and the kingdoms of this world become the "kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ," when they are given by the Father into His hands, and He comes forth bearing upon His vesture the title of "King of kings and Lord of lords," to dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. (Revelation 19:16; 2:27; Psalm 2:8, 9) (US 346)
  • When the tempter offered to Christ the kingdom and glory of the world, he was proposing that Christ should yield up the real kingship of the world, and hold dominion subject to Satan. This was the same dominion upon which the hopes of the Jews were set. They desired the kingdom of this world. If Christ had consented to offer them such a kingdom, they would gladly have received Him. But the curse of sin, with all its woe, rested upon it. Christ declared to the tempter, “Get thee behind Me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (Luke 4:8). (DA 130)
  • When Christ shall come to the earth again, not as a prisoner surrounded by a rabble will men see Him. They will see Him then as heaven's King. Christ will come in His own glory, in the glory of His Father, and the glory of the holy angels. (DA 739)
  • The Prince of heaven was among His people. The greatest gift of God had been given to the world. Joy to the poor; for Christ had come to make them heirs of His kingdom. Joy to the rich; for He would teach them how to secure eternal riches. Joy to the ignorant; He would make them wise unto salvation. Joy to the learned; He would open to them deeper mysteries than they had ever fathomed; truths that had been hidden from the foundation of the world would be opened to men by the Saviour's mission. (DA 277)

"...Unto him that loved us..."

  • Or "that loved us." ...the love of God [the Father] was revealed in [the life, death, and resurrection] of Christ. [It is also true that the Father loved us before Christ came into this sin sick world or the Father would not have made] the supreme gift [sacrifice] of His son. (7BC 733)
  • Christ is spoken of further as "Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood." We have thought that earthly friends loved us - a father, a mother, brothers and sisters, or bosom friends - but we see that no love is worthy of the name compared with the love of Christ for us. The following sentence adds intensity of meaning to the previous words: "and washed us from our sins in His own blood." What love is this! "Greater love," says the apostle, "hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13). But Christ has commended His love for us in that He died for us "while we were yet sinners." (Romans 5:8).... Consider for a moment the sanctuary service and its beautiful significance. When a sinner confesses his sins, and receives forgiveness, he lays them on Christ, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. In the books of heaven where they are recorded, the blood of Christ covers them, and if the follower of God is faithful to his profession, those sins will never be revealed, but will be destroyed by the fires that purify the earth when sin and sinners are consumed. Says the prophet Isaiah, "Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back." (Isaiah 38:17). then will apply the statement of the Lord through Jeremiah, "I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31:34). (US 346-347)
  • No wonder the loving and beloved disciple John ascribed to [Christ] who had done so much for us, glory and dominion, forever and ever! (US 347)
  • As invisible agencies, angels are working through human beings to proclaim the commandments of God. Angels have far more to do with the human family than many suppose. Speaking of the angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). Holy angels will join in the song of the redeemed. Though they cannot sing from experimental knowledge, “He hath washed us in His own blood, and redeemed us unto God,” yet they understand the great peril from which the people of God have been saved. Were they not sent to lift up for them a standard against the enemy? They can fully sympathize with the glowing ecstasy of those who have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. (7BC 922)

"...and washed us from our sins in His own blood..."

  • The reason the book is called the Revelation of Jesus Christ is because of what happens when we come to know Him. An internal transformation takes place and the assurance of His grace fills our hearts. We know our sins are forgiven, and our hope of eternal life is sure because of what Christ has done for us. Peace settles into our soul and we know He has won victory over the enemy! ...In these verses (Revelation 1:4-6) the gospel is simple and to the point" "Unto to Him that loved us" How wonderful that He loves us before we are washed, He accepts us just as we are -- dirty and defiled.... Christ does not say, "Clean yourself up, and then you can come to Me." Instead He says, "Come just as you are." He does not love us like we love babies. If a baby has been bathed and powered, anyone will pick it up and love it. But just let it get a dirty diaper or a snotty nose, and watch how many people turn away!... God loves us -- then He washes us from our sins in His own blood. How great is the cleansing agent that takes out all stains -- 'the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).... Consider this invitation and promise in Isaiah 1:18 "'Come now, and let us reason together,' saith the LORD: 'though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, the shall be as wool'." We understand the comparison between scarlet and snow, but what about crimson and wool? When I was a boy, I learned a trick in preparing sheep to be shown at a fair. a couple of months before the big day, we'd cover the sheep's body with a gunnysack. As the sheep wore the sack it would pull all the dirt to the top of the wool, and when we'd take the sack off, the sheep looked filthy! But when we cut off about an inch of wool, it would be perfectly white underneath -- just like the righteousness of Christ! (KC 22)
  • Or "loosed." To be "loosed" from [our] sins is to be set free from the penalty and power of sin (John 3:16; Romans 6:16-18, 21, 22). (7BC 733)
  • When the soldier pierced the side of Jesus as He hung upon the cross, there came out two distinct streams, one of blood, the other of water. The blood was to wash away the sins of those who should believe in His name, and the water was to represent that living water which is obtained from Jesus to give life to the believer. (EW 209)
  • The redeemed will meet and recognize those whose attention they have directed to the uplifted Saviour. What blessed converse they have with these souls! “I was a sinner,” it will be said, “without God and without hope in the world, and you came to me, and drew my attention to the precious Saviour as my only hope. And I believed in Him. I repented of my sins, and was made to sit together with His saints in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Others will say: “I was a heathen in heathen lands. You left your friends and comfortable home, and came to teach me how to find Jesus and believe in Him as the only true God. I demolished my idols and worshiped God, and now I see Him face to face. I am saved, eternally saved, ever to behold Him whom I love. I then saw Him only with the eye of faith, but now I see Him as He is. I can now express my gratitude for His redeeming mercy to Him who loved me and washed me from my sins in His own blood.” (6T 311)

"...in His own blood."

  • Or, "by His blood," Christ's death on the cross... was a vicarious sacrifice (Isaiah 53:4-6; DA 25) (7BC 733)

 

An Exhaustive Ellen G. White Commentary on Revelation, Vol.2, pp.473-475

v.5 - "unto Him that loved us"

  • (SD 287) Even now, in heaven, He is afflicted with our afflictions; and as a living Saviour, as an interested Advocate, He is making intercession for us.... We should daily exercise faith; and that faith should daily increase as it is exercised, as we realize that He has not only redeemed us, but has loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests unto God and the Father.