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Behold! He appears[a] within the clouds,[b] and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him.[c] And all the people groups of the earth will weep with sorrow because of him. And so it is to be! Amen.

“I am the Aleph and the Tav,”[d] says the Lord God, “who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

I, John, am your brother and companion in tribulation,[e] the kingdom,[f] and the patience that are found in Jesus.[g] I was exiled on the island of Patmos[h] because of the ministry of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

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  1. Revelation 1:7 Or “comes.” The Greek verb tense of erchomai (“appears” or “comes”) is in the third-person singular, present indicative, which is a present-tense reality, not a distant one. It can be translated “He is now coming” or “He is in the act of coming and continues to come.”
  2. Revelation 1:7 Or “He will appear [be surrounded] with [Gr. meta] clouds,” or “He appears by means of clouds” or “with clouds” or “between clouds.” See also Isa. 60:8; Dan. 7:13-14; Heb. 12:1. The cloud of glory is now plural—clouds, a company of clouds (Dan. 7:13-14; Matt. 26:64; 1 Thess. 4:17).
  3. Revelation 1:7 Every one of us has “pierced” his side with the spear of our unbelief and sin.
  4. Revelation 1:8 As translated from the Hebrew and Aramaic. The Greek is “the Alpha and Omega,” Alpha being the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega the last letter. Jesus affirms that he has all knowledge and is the sum of all truth.
  5. Revelation 1:9 Or “persecution.” The Greek word for tribulation is thlipsis and means “great pressure.” It refers to the pressure (tribulation) that all believers experience.
  6. Revelation 1:9 As a fellow companion in the kingdom, John verifies that the kingdom of God formally began after Christ was raised from the dead and continues to expand until now (Isa. 9:7). John was on Patmos but in the kingdom. See Acts 14:22.
  7. Revelation 1:9 Or “the one who co-shares [joint partner] with you in Jesus.”
  8. Revelation 1:9 Patmos was a small, rocky island in the Aegean Sea roughly ten miles long and five miles wide, believed to be a Roman penal colony. This vision came to John while he was an exile on Patmos, which means “my crushing” or “my killing.” But we must remember, our “killing” took place on the cross (Gal. 2:20).