This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: Revelation 2 & 3 ‘.These things saith’

This Week’s Focus Passage: Revelation 2 & 3 

‘.These things saith’

    If our source be a valid source, that is the source which is titled, or named, Bible, we then trust its information to be correct; that is, at least, as far as it goes, in the hands of man; when it has informed us in our search to locate every place, in the Word of God, where the phrase, These things saith, are to be found without being disconnected by any other words, or for that matter, any punctuation marks; the phrase is actually only to be found, in that fashion, in the book of the Revelation of John, or more correctly, we believe, the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ [to John]. And even in that final book of the Scriptures, the phrase is to be found in only eight verses, and the first seven, of those eight, are found in each of the seven letters to the churches of Asia Minor. Each separate epistle which is directed by our Lord to write begins with These things saith; namely, the epistles to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea. And, rather remarkably, the phrase These things saith, in each of these seven letters, or epistles, is followed immediately by an expression regarding the Person dictating the letters; this Person dictating being defined in very different manners in each of the seven. Consider these seven differing expressions: to the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, he that walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. And after the charge given to Ephesus, the One dictating continues: And to the angel of the church in Smyrna, write: These things saith the first and the last, who was dead, and lived again.  And following the message given for Smyrna, we continue reading: And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These things saith he that hath the sharp two-edged sword, after that to Pergamum, we begin to read: And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like unto burnished brass. That takes care of four of these seven churches; the fifth letter now: And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith he that hath the seven spirits of God, and the stars, which is followed by that to the sixth church: And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and none shall shut, and that shutteth and none openeth. We are brought now to the seventh and last of these churches of Asia Minor, (thank you for your patience) that is, Laodicea: And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.  

    William Hendriksen, in his very excellent volume, under the title, More Than Conquerors; An interpretation of the book of Revelation, has written for us:    “Throughout the prophecies of this wonderful book Christ is pictured as the Victor, the Conqueror (1:18; 2:8; 5:9ff.; 6:2; 11:15; 12:9ff.; 14:1,14; 15:2ff.; 19:16; 20:4; 22:3). He conquers death, Hades, the dragon, the beast, the false prophet, and the men who worship the beast. He is victorious; as a result, so are we, even when we seem to be hopelessly defeated.” And Hendriksen continues to express the theme, giving the reader a brief synopsis, after which he has added this remaining paragraph: 

“In short, the theme of this book is stated most gloriously and completely in these words: ‘These shall war against the Lamb, and the Lamb shall conquer them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they also shall conquer that are with him called the chosen and faithful.’ (17:14).

 A brief reflection upon the first chapter of this Revelation of Jesus Christ demonstrate to the reader the lovely agreement of the language found there, with the titles of self-identification presented to each of the angels of the seven churches. They are virtually in tandem with one another. Beginning with the fourth verse:

John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from him who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits that are before his throne: and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loveth us, and loosed us from our sins by his blood; and he made us to be a kingdom, to be priests unto his God and Father; to him be the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Behold, he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they that pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him. Even so, Amen. 

I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Then John begins writing again, as it seems, giving the reader a brief summation of how he came to be where he is, namely, the Isle of Patmos, for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus. And being in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day he heard behind him a great voice, as of a trumpet, telling him to write what he is about to see in a book and send it to the seven churches of Asia Minor. What he then saw now follows:

And having turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto a son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the breasts with a golden girdle. And his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; and his feet like unto burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace; and his voice as the voice of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 

We may readily observe the agreement between what John was given to see, and the wording contained in each of the seven letters to the seven churches. We may refer to these, as the self-disclosure of Jesus to His church. If we lay these self-disclosures alongside one another, we may recognize that what John was given to witness, in the first chapter, is largely contained again in the individual descriptions Christ gives of Himself to each of the seven churches. His revelation of Himself in the first epistle to Ephesus that speaks of our Lord, as holding the seven stars in His right hand, and walking in the midst of seven golden candlesticks, paralleling 1:16. The epistle for Smyrna, and ‘The things saith” contain the description of “the first and the last, who was dead, and lived again. This is, equally, the precise language spoken unto John when he fell at Christ’s feet as one dead, in verse 1:17, 18. To Pergamum, the initial description spoken of Him ‘that hath the two-edged sword,’ in parallel with that spoken to the church at Pergamun. These parallels are not coincidental. Each of the churches received one of the descriptions of just what the beloved disciple had seen. We may not be able to understand the specific applications to specific churches, but it is extremely interesting to see ‘these things.’ The language granted to the church at Thyatira is, likewise consistent with what John saw and recorded in 1:14, 15. And in similar fashion, the descriptions given Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, agree with the wording of chapter one, and verses 4, 5, 15-18. It is marvelous, is it not?

    There is yet one more usage of the terminology, These things saith, and the only further employment of that term. It is to be found in the very last verse of this grand ‘Revelation’ to the church; the last verse just before the ‘benediction’ is this:

He who testifieth these things saith, Yea: I come quickly. Amencome Lord Jesus.


David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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