Revelation 1:1-8: 1.The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants’ things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 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, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty”.
I want us to realize first off, this book of the bible is the book of Revelation it is singular, not Revelations. So many people pronounce it Revelations, but it’s not, it’s Revelation. Ok I’m glad we got that settled!
Now on to the story. What does the word Revelation mean? Glad you asked, the word comes from the Greek word apocalypses and it means “an uncovering or pulling back the curtain to see what is really going on here, and it could also mean an uncovering, pulling back the sheets, even the appearing of Jesus Christ, I believe you get the point, anyway it is the words and works of Jesus Christ being revealed to the Church and then to a lost and dying world!
Verse 1: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants’ things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
As will begin this study let’s do a quick summary of the whole book and then we will break it down as we go!
Chapters 1 to 3- we see Christ as the Priest and the King in the midst of His churches.
Chapter 2 and chapter 3 in particular- Christ is right in the middle of His Church and He is ministering to Her!
Chapters 4-5, we will see Christ as the glorified Lamb in the midst of the throne, Christ is in the midst reigning.
Chapters 6 through to 18, a few more chapters, we see Christ as the Lion in the midst of the nations of the world, Christ in the midst judging.
Chapter 19 We see Jesus Christ King of Kings conquering , and Christ comes into the midst returning.
Chapter 20 We see Christ as the Heavenly Bridegroom in the midst of the marriage supper, and Christ is in the midst of His people rejoicing with them and over His new-found bride and wife, the church.
Chapter 21 and 22 The last two chapters of the book, Christ is the light in the midst of eternal glory, Christ in the midst of the holy city, the New Jerusalem, shining.
I hope that you can see that it’s all about Jesus Christ.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s hymn, which was written, of course, in relation to the Lord’s Supper, but it’s so applicable to the second coming truth:
‘If now with eyes defiled and dim,
We see the signs, but see not Him;
O may His love the scales displace,
And bid us see Him face to face’.
And that really says it all, it’s all about Him Jesus Christ the Son of God!
You see my friends it is all about our love for Him, love for His Word, and love for His people. Remember what the apostle Paul said in the book of 1 Corinthians 13:2: ‘Though I have the gift of prophecy’, Paul says, ‘and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity’, love, ‘I am nothing’. Christ is the love of God to our hearts, let’s not miss Him.
Now there is a second meaning to the title of the book of Revelation that we need understand. ‘The Revelation that came from Jesus Christ’, is equally authentic. If you look at verse 1, you will see that this Revelation ‘God gave unto Him’ – and that ‘h’ there of ‘him’, really should be a capital, because it’s not speaking of John, it’s speaking of Christ.
God gave this Revelation to Christ, ‘to show to his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent’, God sent, ‘and signified it by his angel unto his servant John’. . There are times we see a voice from heaven speaking to him, but the process of the delivery of this revelation was from God, given to Jesus Christ, sent by Christ by an angel to the apostle John.
Now that’s the title of the book: about Christ, from Christ. Let’s look for a minute at those who are to receive this revelation. Verse 1, right in the middle says ‘to show his servants things which must shortly’, or quickly, or swiftly take place, in other words once all this starts it won’t stop until it is completely over. Now right away that designates this book as being prophetic(FUTURE)! It is speaking of things that as yet have not happened, but would come to pass. As we know from the last two chapters, chapter 21 and 22, that goes right until the eternal state, after Christ has returned, reigned for a thousand years, and set up an eternal Kingdom forever – so there’s a lot of prophecy in this book.
Now I want to mention the author of the book of Revelation, at the end of verse 1 he is called John. And we know and believe that this is indeed John the Apostle, this is the same John that wrote the Gospel of John and also the epistles 1st, 2nd and 3rd John, because he identifies himself as John four times in the book of Revelation alone.
John, the author, wrote this book from a vision he received on the Isle of Patmos, and the book was probably written in the late first century, around the 90s AD, which were the latter years of the reign of the Roman Emperor, Domitian. Now that’s important, it’s important as we’ll see a little bit later, the message that this book conveys to these Christians and to ourselves today – to know that John himself was exiled as a persecuted Christian to the Isle of Patmos, and John, when on the Isle of Patmos, receives a vision to give and write to persecuted Christians in seven churches in Asia Minor, which is now modern-day Turkey.
Verse 3: Did you know this is the only book in the Bible that begins with a benediction in verse 3: “Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand’. Now this benediction is, I believe, is a great motivation for studying the book of the Revelation. Not saying that all the other books of the Bible aren’t a blessing to read, they are, but this is the only one that comes with a pronounced blessing on all of those that read it, hear it and obey it!
Oh yea by the way, there are seven blessings pronounced in the book of the Revelation. We have already read the first one in chapter 1 vs. 3, the second one is found in chapter 14 verse 13, speaking of martyrs during the tribulation period here on the earth, in chapter 14 verse 13 John says: ‘I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth’ – those martyred for the cause of the Lord Jesus are blessed. Chapter 16 and verse 15, we read there: ‘Behold, I come as a thief’, Jesus says, ‘Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame’ – those who are faithful until the coming of the Lord Jesus are blessed. Then turn with me to chapter 19 and verse 9, the marriage supper of the Lamb when the Lord Jesus will be united with His church, ‘He saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb’. Then in chapter 20 and verse 6, we read: ‘Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years’ – those who rise when Christ raptures His church are blessed. Chapter 22 verse 7 Jesus, speaking of how He will come: ‘Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book’. Chapter 22 and verse 14, the ending blessing: ‘Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city’.
I want to say this right out of the gate! I have been studying Revelation so long and I know I don’t have all the answers, I mean you could literally spend a week on each verse and still not get it all, this book of Revelation is so complex and it covers eternity, because Jesus Himself said He is the Alpha and Omega the beginning and the end, and we know that their is no beginning or end to God! He has always been and will always be! I want to really get each reader that’s interested in the End Times; hungry for the word of God, because I know that He does have all the answers.
I want to highly recommend a book that everyone that studies the end times should have, in my opinion it’s one of the best books you can have in your library. It is written by one of the great theologians of our time, his name is: “J Dwight Pentecost” Just click on the book to buy it! Thank You!!
J Dwight Pentecost: the book is “THINGS to COME”
Here’s a review of the book: ” Because of the prominence of prophecy in Scripture, many excellent books have appeared dealing with prophetic subjects. Until recently, however, the treatment of prophecy has been either apologetic or expository, and prophetic themes have been developed individually apart from their relation to the whole revealed prophetic program. Much of our knowledge has been only fragmentary and unrelated. Dr. Dwight Pentecost’s monumental text, Things to Come, has changed all that. In this massive, highly successful book, Dr. Pentecost has synthesized the whole field of prophecy into a unified biblical doctrine, a systematic and complete biblical eschatology. With nearly a quarter of a million copies sold, Things to Come has earned its place in the library of the pastor, the scholar, and the seminarian or Bible institute student. In addition, it offers a comprehensive and accessible study for anyone interested in the important subject of biblical prophecy”. This will really help you dig out the deep things of God.
I want to mention a quote from a man by the name of H.B. Sweet, He says: ‘Revelation in form is an epistle’, a letter, ‘containing apocalyptic prophecy’ – apocalyptic simply means something that is being unveiled and revealed, and characteristic to apocalyptic literature is the signifying through signs and symbols. It is prophecy, apocalyptic prophecy, through these signs and symbols there is a message about the future. Here’s how he ends his quote: ‘in spirit and in inner purpose this epistle, apocalyptic prophesy, is pastoral’. We must always remember that as we’re going through this book: this book has a message to people in John’s day who were suffering, persecuted for their faith – and, coincidentally, it has a message for us today, those of us who might well be suffering for our faith, or suffering indeed in any way. At any rate it was written as much for todays Christians as it was for the early church.
Verse 4: John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; We have read where Jesus is talking to the Seven Churches in Asia, and it is seven literal churches that were in Asia Minor which today is Turkey, to be sure there were more in existence then these seven but I think because the number Seven is God’s number of perfection and in these churches had some good things going on and some bad things going on. We will also see these churches are representative of the prophetic future of Christ’s Church and the church age! With all that said let’s move on!
You noticed God’s greeting, found in nineteen of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, it is presented here as well: “Grace be unto you, and peace” I love this because we are all sinners and until we have the forgiveness of God’s Grace and Mercy there is no way we can have the peace of God, because this is the exact program God has for all sinners: Grace then Peace, kind-a cool how this works! Just want to throw a little scripture in right here if you don’t mind:
Ephesians 2:1-10 “1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”.
I love it, because we that were dead in our sins are now made alive by His blood and He is now given us a look into our future with Him, it just doesn’t get any better than that, Amen!
Now I want to keep on track here, those seven churches Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, like I said when you read the New Testament we read about a lot of different Churches, but Christ picked these seven for a very particular reason, it’s obvious that these seven in particular were representative of something that John wanted to communicate – and we will see that very clearly when we turn to chapters 2 and 3 and look at those seven churches in detail, but they are chosen for characteristics that the Lord Jesus wanted to highlight.
Verse 5 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,
Here in Vs. 5 we have an interesting statement it says that “Jesus Christ is the first begotten of the dead” why would it say that? We know that for example Lazarus and others were raised from death to life so why wouldn’t they be the first fruits? Well I’m glad you asked, the answer is simple, because they all died again. I mean they were raised from physical death to physical life but they eventually die a second time. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead to immortality and guess what He will never die again! (Acts 26:23) “That Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles“, and in
1st Timothy 6:15-16 15. Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.
In Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah puts it like this: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” It doesn’t get any better then that!
In Psalms 72:8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
No matter how you interpret the word of God, you will always come to the same conclusion that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and God the Son and it’s all about Him and His glory.
In Revelation 19: 4-10 it says it all. “4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thundering’s, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigned. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
You really need to read all of chapter 19! We will get to it later!