Revelation 1:18

Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

There are three tenses of time given in this verse.  I am he that lives.  This is present tense.  It points us to the resurrection of the Lord.  And was dead.  This points to the crucifixion of Christ.  I am alive forevermore.  This points to the ascension and present ministry of the Lord.  This is the totality of the vision John received in chapter one.  To consider the perspective from these three tenses of time, we must apply them to our lives according to the Scripture.  First, we have resurrection life. Jesus said in this verse, “I am He that liveth.” One writer said that you can never make too much of the cross, but you can make too little of the resurrection.  It is a glorious fact that Jesus is not dead.  He arose again from the dead to give us resurrection life.  Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. This verse explains the purpose of our baptism and what it represents.  Our death in Him is the death of our old Adamic flesh nature.  Our baptism is the burial of that nature in the tomb.  Our resurrection is walking out of the tomb alive unto God with a brand-new nature.  Resurrection power in the believer’s life is what enables us to walk free of ourselves and embrace the moving of the Holy Spirit in us.  Resurrection life gives us power over the enemy.  Resurrection power gives us God’s perspective over circumstances and situations in our lives.  There are many tools that God has given us to walk in resurrection life.  Faith is one of those tools.  Faith is given by the Spirit of God in us to trust Him for this resurrection life.  When our faith comes under attack, and we are tempted to doubt, resurrection life is what the enemy is trying to rob us of.  Without the power of resurrection life, we will enact a flesh way of thinking.  So then, faith is an important tool in keeping a God perspective view, which comes from resurrection life.  God gives us tools such as grace and peace, among many other things, to keep us walking in resurrection life.  Because Jesus is the one that lives, and we are in Him, so do we live. 

Next, in this verse, He says He was dead.  Before there can be a resurrection, there must first be a death.  Jesus came to die so that we could live.  The only way for us to live is first to die.  Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  In this verse, Paul describes the application of the crucifixion in our life.  In this verse, again, we see one of the God-given tools to appropriate this power in us, which is faith.  Paul teaches us to reckon ourselves as dead in the book of Romans.  To receive Jesus as our Savior, we are receiving the death of our old man by faith and receiving the resurrection power of Christ by faith to be raised into a new man.  This new man is empowered by the Holy Spirit.  The Old Testament gives us an example of this transformation: 1 Samuel 10:6: And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.  This metamorphosis occurs in every believer’s life when we come to Jesus, receiving Him as Savior by faith.  Grace is then given by the Father through the death of His Son and the subsequent death of our old nature.  Walking in the newness of resurrection life transforms us into what God wants us to be.  Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  How wonderful to know that God does not expect us to live this life as we are in our own minds, with corrupt thoughts and desires tossing us in every direction.  He has given us the power through Him to be transformed from one state of being into another man. 

Next, in this verse, our Lord says, I am alive forever more.  This implies that His ministry is ongoing even now.  He not only is still saving the lost and accepting those that will come to Him in complete surrender, but the writer of Hebrews tells us, Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.  This is the truth that I believe is greatly overlooked in today’s Church.  The greater works of Christ that are mentioned in John 14, I believe, is this awesome power of intercession.  If we want to be found doing what Jesus is doing, this is the work we should constantly involve ourselves in.  The power of prayer and intercession is the power that changes things.  One of the greatest comforts I have in life is knowing that Jesus is praying for me.  In the Church today, we spend much time and effort in building programs, arranging events, and doing everything right.  I believe we could change the world if we spent as much time in fervent prayer and intercession.  This is the way to peace and power in our life. Even great knowledge cannot replace time with the Lord in prayer.  Great preaching will not accomplish nearly as much as time spent with the Lord in prayer and intercession.  Wonderful singing will not compare to the growth of spirit that comes through prayer and intercession.  I’m reminded of what God said concerning Job.  Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

The only way to begin an eternal perspective is to be crucified with Christ to live again in resurrection power and engage at the highest level of ministry and life through great intercession. 

Jesus went on to say, “I have the keys of hell and death.”  Keys in the bible represent authority.  Jesus, through all he did, came away with the authority over hell and death.  This is the authority He tells us to go in, to live in, and to share. He demonstrated His power over death by raising the dead and His own resurrection. He will give power over death when He appears in the clouds, and the dead in Christ rise to meet Him in the air.  He shows His power over death by even giving to man the gift of death in the garden of Eden so as not to permit man to live his entire eternal existence wrapped in the death of sin.  Death is used by the Lord.  Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. In this verse, I believe His power and authority over hell would include His authority over demons, principalities, and Satan himself. 

 This verse presents the timeless Christ with complete authority over everything.  Because He was dead and is alive, and ever liveth to make intercession for us, He is the supreme authority over all things.

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