"I, John, YOUR BROTHER and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus."
1. I, John,- Again clearly, John the PROPHET is the author of this letter and he's making a unique salutation to the churches, specifically to those of the seven churches in Asia as he was being instructed. Hopefully, we'll get into learning more about those 7 churches later. John wrote to them specifically but obviously The Holy Spirit had substantially greater plans in in readership. Even though John was a prophet, I'm wondering if he had any idea that his letter would get world-wide dissemination? By world-wide dissemination I mean his letter being spread to the four corners of the earth and read hundreds of millions, if not, billions and billions of times over the courses of the two milleniums in several tongues, I mean, languages.
A. Apostle Paul: "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is PROPHESYING, let him use it in proportion to his faith." Ro 12:6
B. Apostle Peter: "Each one should use whatever gift he has received TO SERVE OTHERS, faithfully administering God's grace in its VARIOUS FORMS." I Peter 4:10
C. Apostle Paul again: "Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers, PROPHECY however, IS FOR BELIEVERS, not for unbelievers..." I Cor 14:22 (but read to verse 25 to get full context of the Apostle's assertion)
2. YOUR BROTHER - He says that he is their brother... hmmmmm... But how can one be a brother and one is not necessarily related? I've heard of soul brother (referring to ethnicity), I've heard the terms frat brother used (as in fraternity), the masonic brotherhood, blood brothers and the like... But truly, when one personally and genuinely accepts by faith, The Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour AND does the will of God then they are entering into a genuine, divine brotherhood of Believers born and baptized of The same Holy Spirit:
A. Peter: "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love FOR YOUR BROTHERS, love one another deeply, from the heart." I Peter 1:22
B. Author unknown (possibly Apollos): "Keep on loving each other AS BROTHERS..." Hebrews 13:1
C. Paul: "Now about BROTHERLY LOVE we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other." I Thessalonia 5:9
D. Apostle James: "Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it." James 4:11
E. So what about the Sista's?
(1) Paul: "Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the SISTER is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace." I Cor 7
(2) Paul: "Have we not power to lead about A SISTER, A WIFE, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? I Cor 9
a. A SISTER, A WIFE = A Believing Wife
b. Just like my wife (Mrs. Qu'innocence), is my sister. Now she isn't my sister in the flesh but she is my sister in the Spirit. Anything wrong or incestuous with that? Nope, didn't think so.
(3) Jesus: "Whoever does God's will is my brother and SISTER and mother."
(4) More on Sista's: Romans 16:1... I Timothy 5:2... James 2:15... 2 John 1:13