Introduction: Most people won’t even attempt to read this part of the Bible, but Jesus promised a blessing to all those who read, hear, and keep those things written in this book. He also promised to curse all those who add to or take away from it.
This book is intense and very detailed and could take me weeks to get through each chapter. So be patient when it has been a while before another chapter shows up on the blog.
There is a rule of interpretation when reading Scripture: When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense. The Bible explains itself.
Revelation is God’s message to all of us who are concerned about what is going to happen in the “end times.” This world is not getting better and better, but worse and worse. However, for the Christian, this book reveals God’s total control. It will encourage the Christian to persevere and gain eternal life.
As we begin to study, keep in mind: Chapters 1-3 is the Church Age we are now living in. Chapters 4-19 is “From the Rapture to the Second Coming.” This age is drawing closer every day. Chapters 20-22 is called the “Millennium and Beyond.”
Author: John, one of the twelve disciples wrote Revelation under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He had been imprisoned on the island of Patmos when he wrote this.
History: This book was originally written in Greek around 96 A.D. and by 250 A.D. the entire Bible had been translated into what is known as Old Lain, but the first officially recognized Latin translation (the Vulgale) did not appear until 382 A.D. The first officially recognized English translation (the King James Bible) was circulated in 1611 A.D.
Revelation is filled with symbols. There are certain symbols used throughout the Bible to mean… For instance the word “leaven” is usually meant for “sin.”
So many have different view points on when the church will be raptured, but I personally believe in pre-tribulation. I have my reasons, which will come out later on. Take your time when reading this precious book, it will help us all to be more compassionate towards the lost.
The Church Age – The word “revelation” comes from the Greek word “apokalupsis.” It means uncovering, the unveiling, or disclosing. Revelation is the disclosing of Jesus Christ. The Church Age is the period of time that the “Church” is on the earth. The Church Age started fifty days after Jesus was raised from the dead on Pentecost (The Feast of Weeks). It will end when the Church is raptured.
Verse 1 – The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants – things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
Verse 2 – who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, and to all things that he saw.
God is not on our time-table, so when John says, “must shortly come to pass,” it could be a year or a thousand years, or even thousands of years, which it has been. But the time is closer now then ever before.
Verse 3 – Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it: for the time is near.
God’s intention is, for all Christians to know what is going to happen in the end times. So many won’t even attempt to read this book. Some say it is too difficult to understand, so they don’t bother. Some denominations have even removed it from their Bibles.
However, blessed are those who read, hear, and keep those things written in it and take it to heart. Do you want to be blessed? Then read it.
Verse 4 – John, to the seven churches which 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 who are before His throne,
The greeting to the seven churches is “grace” and “peace.” Without the grace of God we would all perish and without the peace of God we would be unsure of our salvation.
The Holy Spirit has a seven-fold nature. This nature is made up of seven virtues which are called the “seven spirits.” The seven spirits are: the Spirit of the Lord – the nature of Jesus; the Spirit of wisdom – the ability to make the right decision; the Spirit of understanding – the ability to understand everything; the Spirit of counsel – the ability to give sound advice; the Spirit of might – the power to do what God wants; the Spirit of knowledge – the ability to know beyond human comprehension; and the Spirit of the fear of the Lord – the ability to respect God’s will.
Verse 5 – and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
Verse 6 – and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Jesus Christ, the faithful witness – the first coming of Jesus was in the flesh – Scripture fulfilled. Ruler over the kings of the earth – the second coming. Even now people don’t realize God is in charge of how things will play out.
“Kings and priests” – Christians are a “royal priesthood.” Christians to the fact that they, in common with the Savior, will reign triumphant over all enemies; and that having gained a victory over sin and death and hell, they may be represented as reigning together.
Verse 7 – Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, and they also who pierced Him. And all tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
John witnessed Jesus death and never forgot the horror of it. Christians will have nothing to fear at His coming, but those who have rejected His love and forgiveness, will basically wail in fear of His coming.
Verse 8 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
There was no beginning to God’s existence, and there will be no end. He always was and always will be. Jesus is the Creator of all things and will be the final judge of all things!
Verse 9 – I, John, both, your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Verse 10 – I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,
Verse 11 – saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
The Lord’s Day is Sunday and John was praying when the Holy Spirit came upon him and he heard a loud voice that sounded like a trumpet. By this time there might have been thousand of churches, but Jesus picked seven. He placed them in order of the prophecies revealing the future history of the Church.
Verse 12 – Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. and having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
Verse 13 – and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
The seven lampstand represent the seven churches Jesus mentioned earlier. Next John turned and saw Jesus standing in the midst of the seven churches. He is the great High Priest, always with His Church down though the ages.
Verse 14 – His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire:
In Daniel 7:9, he describes God’s hair like wool. Now Jesus hair is as pure and white as the brightness of heaven. His eyes like a fire, a penetrating glare over the churches, seeing good deeds and bad deeds.
Verse 15 – His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;
Again, Daniel 10:6, “And His arms and His feet like in color to polished brass.” The word means “white brass.” A metal distinguished for its cleanness or whiteness.
“And His voice” – the voice that spoke everything into creation; the voice that can raise the dead; the voice that has all authority over all creation, and the voice over heaven and hell.
Verse 16 – He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shinning in its strength.
The seven stars are seven angels (1:20) watching after the seven churches. The Bible tells us that the two-edged sword represents the Word of God; it penetrates even to the dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Jesus deals with His church through His Word. We will be judged by His Word.
The Shekinah Glory – the Son of righteousness and the light of the world.
Verse 17 – And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.
Verse 18 – I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and Death.
There was none before Jesus there will be none after. There never was a time He did not exist. He is from everlasting to everlasting. Jesus conquered death and hell by His resurrection, so we Christians should not fear death.
Verse 19 – “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are and the things which will take place after this.
John’s vision in this chapter (1) is of past events. They will not be repeated. (Meaning, don’t let a false prophet tell you that they saw Jesus in this setting. It happened to John and John only, one time.)
The events in chapters 2 and 3 are present events. The future events, Chapters 4-22, will not take place until after the Church Age.
Verse 20 – “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven golden lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”
The Bible interprets itself. Whether the stars are literal angels or spiritual leaders is debatable, but I tend to think when Jesus says angels He means angels! The lampstands signify the Churches and they foretell the history and the future of the church from Pentecost to the Rapture. Once a mystery is revealed, it becomes a revelation.