Revealing Revelation - Part 2

There is so much to cover in the book of Revelation. I want to try look at a little each day. Hopefully you will be able to follow along and use this as part of your daily personal study. We are promised a blessing if we study the Revelation, so I pray that you will receive a blessing today. Grab your Bible and let us get started.

In Part 1 we have seen the meaning of the word revelation. We have looked at the author, the Apostle John. We have also looked at various introductory thoughts to prepare us for the meat of the book to come. Now let us go to verse 1:1

Chapter 1 v. 1 - We see that the Revelation was given of Jesus Christ which was given by
God and given to His servant John. This book is God-breathed just as much as the rest of the Bible. It was given to shew him things that shortly must come to pass. The word “shew” has the idea of word pictures. In other words, John would visibly see these events unfold before his eyes. He would see visions.

v. 3 - Blessing is promised to accompany this book. “Blessed is he that readeth". promises a blessing to the teacher (he), the preacher, the one who is reading the book to others.. “. . .and they that hear. . . “, that is, the audience (they)—those that are listening to the reading, to the preaching.

A qualification of this promise is that we “. . .keep those things which are written therein. . .”. The word “keep” means to guard from loss by keeping an eye on. We must protect and defend the things that are written therein. We are given encouragement to study this book even though it may be difficult at times to understand. The blessed one will read, hear and keep what is written in the Book.

v. 4 - John is writing to the seven churches located in Asia. They are representative of all Christianity, and we will look at each church in detail a little later. Not only are seven churches involved, but the seven spirits of God have part in this Revelation. Isaiah 11:2 prophecies “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD”. Notice the seven spirits mentioned here: 1. spirit of the LORD; 2.spirit of wisdom; 3. spirit of understanding; 4. spirit of counsel; 5. spirit of might; 6. spirit of knowledge; 7. spirit of fear of the LORD. These all are involved in giving the message of “. . .that which is. . .”(present) , “. . .that which was. . . (past), and “. . .that which is to come. . .” (future).

Although this is not a study in Biblical Numerology, the number seven is very significant in Scripture. Not only do we see seven churches and seven spirits here in Revelation, but we see many other sevens in the Bible. God rested on the 7th day of creation. Joshua circled the city of Jericho seven days and seven times on the seventh day. Naaman dipped in the river
seven times. There were seven years of plenty, and seven years of famine in Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar was insane for seven years. There are seven beatitudes. Many other examples could be given, but these should suffice. In Scripture, the number seven signifies completeness and/or perfection.

v. 5 - Every word of Scripture is important, so please notice the little word “from”. He is the first begotten “from” the dead, not “of” the dead. In other words, He was the first to resurrect Himself; the first to be born from death. We likewise will follow in His steps although our resurrection will be through Him, not of ourselves. If I could put it this way, He is the first to come from the womb of the tomb.

v. 7 - Now as we look at verse seven, let us go back to Acts 1:9-11. “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold two men in white apparel: Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus,which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye
have seen him go into heaven”.: This same Jesus that ascended into Heaven 2,000 years ago will return to reveal, to unveil things that are yet to come. He is coming with clouds.


This is not the rapture, but the physical, personal return of “this same Jesus” that every eye will see. Philippians 2:9—11 says, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” It is this same Jesus that is coming back the same way He left.

v.10, 11 - Here we see John in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. Again be careful of the wording. It is not the Day of the Lord we are talking about, but the Lord’s day. That is Sunday. On the first day of the week, God began to send John the revelation. Please be careful of the wording. We must only say what the Bible says. This is an established Old Testament fact. Look at Numbers 22:18. we are told that Balaam could not ". . go beyond the word of the Lord" and neither can we.

That being said, notice that John hears a voice as a trumpet. He heard a voice, not a trumpet. The word trumpet here means a quavering or reverberation. But yet these were inspired words. Just as the trumpet was sounded for war in Old Testament times, a voice as a trumpet was about to be sounded for judgment—the judgment of the human race.

Jesus refers Himself as “the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last. Literally, what He is saying is that He is before the beginning and will continue everlasting into the future. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. Omega is the last. This same Jesus who is coming in clouds, the First and the Last and everything in between - this same Jesus will again place His foot on the soil of the earth. He came to Bethlehem as the virgin-born babe to be our Savior. This time He will come in judgment. This time the cup of His wrath is full.

v.14-16 - This brings us to the description of the glorified Christ. Christ is seen as the judge and high priest. His description fits that of the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:9. The Ancient of Days was none other than Jehovah God of the Old Testament manifest in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16). We see his eyes as a flame of fire. The same John that wrote Revelation saw these same eyes weep at the grave of Lazarus (John 11:35). These eyes are the eyes of the judge of all the earth. His feet are like brass - as He stands firm in righteous judgment. His voice is the sound of many waters—the voice that will roar on high upon His habitation (Jeremiah 25:30), the voice of majesty (Psalm 29:4), the voice that all in the grave will hear (John 5:28). He holds the seven stars or pastors in His hand. Out of His mouth goes a sharp two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). His countenance shines in His strength. John saw the shining with Peter and James at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2). Paul saw it on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-5). This is the One who stands, no longer seated at the right hand of the Father, but is standing ready to take action.

We will continue next time as we look at chapter 2. Keep seeking the blessing.

The Unveiling - Michael Card

More by this Author


Comments 19 comments

shofarcall profile image

shofarcall 3 years ago

Hi Bill, I am already feeling blessed. I always feel blessed when I read Revelation.

I have one question: You wrote: He holds the seven stars or 'pastors' in His hand....where is that written? In my Bible it says Rev 1:20 The mystery of.........The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches;......

I enjoyed the ref to Isaiah 11:2 (prophecies)concerning the Seven Spirits and drawing our attention to the number 7 of completeness/perfection. And the ref to the 'voice as a trumpet' being sounded for judgement- judgement for the human race.

Like the deer, I am panting for more. Thank you.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Another good one. I never understood what the seven spirits were. So glad to finally get an answer to that.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

I hate to get ahead of the story but I wonder if this is not the time of the rapture, I mean with the subject being the seven churches and assuming you do not believe the Christian will be put through tribulation? I have always figured if He rescued Noah and Lot, surely the Bride of Christ will not be in the tribulation? I use to lean toward mid-tribulation though with that being the time the anti-Christ is revealed, but then maybe we would rat him out now, come to think of it. Just thinking out loud, sorry, part of the fun of bible study.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Karen,

Good question! The word for "angel" (aggelos) simply means messenger. The one giving the message to the seven churches would be the pastors. The word "aggelos" can also mean pastors. I hope that helps to see where I'm coming from. So the seven stars are the angels or pastors of the seven churches.. I'm so glad you're finding the study worthwhile. Part 3 is on the way.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

LS,

Thanks for continuing with me on this journey through Revelation. I don't claim to understand everything, but I am enjoying sharing it with you all. Glad you made the trip!


shofarcall profile image

shofarcall 3 years ago

Hi Bill, thanks for your explanation but I don't feel very comfortable with that. Scripture clearly states angels of the seven churches. It is a big jump for me to go from Angel to pastor. And if angel "aggelos" 'can mean' messenger, than I would rather call it that. I don't believe they even called themselves pastors in those days. They were the shepherds of the flocks. And everyone had much more say in the communities of the times. I hope you don't mind me expressing this.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks for keeping up Jackie. I'm glad you see a pre-tribulation rapture; one less topic to explain although I will touch on it. I believe the rapture will come into play shortly, but not just yet. I do see the seven churches as having a prophetic meaning. I'll take a look at that in Part 3 which is on the way. Thanks so much Jackie, for staying with it.


shofarcall profile image

shofarcall 3 years ago

Hi Bill, sorry, I did try to add to my comment but I was too late.

You did say in v10,11 of your hub: 'We must only say what the Bible says.'

Not haranguing you dear Brother Bill. Want to be sure of where the parameters are.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Karen,

You're right. the word "pastor" only occurs once in scripture and "pastors" only occurs 8 times. Out of the nine times eight are in the book of Jeremiah and one in Ephesians. The word does refer to shepherding. I also believe that the "pastor" of most of today's churches (at least in America) is not what the New Testament church had in mind. Generally we are so far away from the New Testament church in so many ways.

That being said I do believe that God has raised up "shepherds" if you will, to oversee and feed the flock. That also included preaching of the Word as Paul admonished Timothy to do.They were the messengers of the churches, but of course we won't agree on everything.

When John mentions the seven angels of the seven churches, what do you see? I'm open to your ideas, and thanks for commenting.


shofarcall profile image

shofarcall 3 years ago

Hi Bill, Well excuse me for a bit of tartiness, but for the most part, unless WE (the laity) 'readeth' Revelation today, and 'heareth' ourselves, - a huge proportion of us would never get to hear it, as it is not often taught or preached on at all!

Thank you for your reply, it is much appreciated.

Re your question, what do I see:

John was IN THE SPIRIT whilst receiving these visions and was told to write these things down that he was shewn. In Ch 1 v 1 God sent and signified it by His angel (which I understand here to be an 'angelic being' who is a messenger.) unto His servant John. In fact, wherever, there has been the term 'angel' in scripture, they always did bring some kind of message. So, I feel drawn to sticking to that and contend that there was an actual angel assigned unto each of the 7 churches. In Ch2 v7 it says "He that hath an ear, let him hear what THE SPIRIT saith unto the churches. Not the preacher or the pastor or the shepherd or even the messenger. And we know, that the Angel always carries a message from The Spirit.

Also, it was quite late in the day when John was on Patmos and I have always wondered how on earth he would have got news out from his prison? I just feel there were things going on IN THE SPIRIT that we cannot understand in the natural, so need to use the words we are given. I think this sounds kind of flimsy, but its the best I can do right now. Its late in SA. God Bless.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

You probably saw no need to explain Sunday as the Lord's day (10,11) since the majority accepts that. Anyway, altogether, I am enjoying the study. Thanks for teaching!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 3 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Appreciate the verse by verse commentary. As I stated before Revelation has been a hard one for me because if it is so heavily scripted in symbols and imagery. Thanks for taking the time to unpack some of this for us. continuing on...


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Karen,

Thanks for responding. I was thinking about your statement about the laity in your last post. I hope you don't think I'm separating laity and "clergy". We're all one in the body and Christ is our head. That being said, I do think that there is a difference between the "reader" and the "hearer" based on "he" and "they". If no one else is bringing a teaching on Revelation, maybe it's time for you to be the reader - just a thought.

I certainly have no argument with your interpretation of "angel". Not that I'm trying to argue. I'm really not, but I was thinking why John would have to send the letters to (spiritual) angels to deliver ( Rev. 1:11; 2:1; 2:12; 2:18; etc) . In my finite human thinking, God could have told them directly what he wanted said. It just makes more sense to me (in my finite human thinking) that since the word "angel" only means messenger (angelic or otherwise) that these letters were sent to the under- shepherds of the churches to read to the people allowing for the reader and the hearer- both of which are to do.

Like I said, no one will agree 100% of the time on everything. Either way, the important thing is that the letters were delivered and that we can read them still today.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

MsDora,

I was thinking about writing a separate hub on "The Lord's Day" since you mentioned it. I would like to explore that . Maybe I'll get to that right after I 'm done with Revelation. Thanks for stopping by. I never take it for granted!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

TJ,

It's a hard one for me too. I think the trick is separating the symbols and imagery from the literal. I guess we both figured that out. Also, I've found the book is not necessarily written in chronological order. I have trouble with that at times as well. Still, the blessing is promised.


shofarcall profile image

shofarcall 3 years ago

Hello Bill, Please forgive me, I really was just having a bit of fun (tartiness) and I do not sense or think that you are in any way separating laity from clergy...quite the opposite!

Point taken about being the "reader." Perhaps after this study, I may feel more able to do that in its entirety.

I am not arguing either, just exploring possibilities of what may have been happening in the spirit. I didn't think for a minute that the letters would have to be given to the angels. But they would have had to be written in that moment as it was happening, so that we could be reading them today. Amen. As you saw from my comment on part 3 - I am enjoying series hugely! Thank you


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Karen, absolutely no apology necessary - and i also know you're not arguing. I just know how writing can be rather than face to face. It's more easily misunderstood. Anyway, thanks for being a part!


skye2day profile image

skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

lifegate I am enjoying the study bro. God is faithful and true. I am so Blessed. Again thank you for taking the effort to teach your readers. GOD BLESS YOU! Going to part 11. Hugs, your sista, Skye.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Skye,

I'm glad you're getting something from the study. That means that God's promise still holds true - there's a blessing for those that study the book. Glad to have you stop by!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working