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.