Summary: Author of Revelation. Date and Place of Revelation. Original Recipients. The First vision of Apostle John. The Book of Genesis marks the beginning of man’s earthly existence. Revelation marks the end of man’s earthly existence and starting a new existence
Title: Introduction & The vision of the Glorified Christ
Scripture: Revelation 1:1-20
Introduction: Today we are going to begin a new series on the book of Revelation. The Book of Genesis marks the beginning of man’s earthly existence. Revelation marks the end of man’s earthly existence and starting a new existence that is divine. Rev 1:1 says the revelation of Jesus Christ which must soon take place. From the first century Christians are waiting for this revelation but it has never happened. It does not mean that Revelation is not true. The text does not emphasize the imminence of the events. The fact is that when things begin to happen, it will all be very sudden, speedy, and short-lived. Secondly, it says in Rev 1:3 that it blesses the reader and the benefits our faith. The task of interpreting this book is extremely complicated. Yet it was given to the church in order to inform and instruct the church; therefore, we are going to study this book.
Author: In Revelation Jesus Christ communicates with John the Apostle. So it is John one of Jesus’ 12 disciples who wrote this book. Apostle John definitely was very old when he wrote this book. John also wrote the Gospel of John and the 3 letters of John.
Date & Place: Revelation was written in late 80s or early 90 AD at the beginning of Emperor Domitian’s persecution of the Christian movement. The setting of this experience was a small Island of Patmos. Apostle John was serving the sentence of being a faithful servant of Jesus Christ during the persecution of believers.
Original Recipients: Seven churches of Asia minor (Rev 1:11), presently western end of modern Turkey. In the first century the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea were prosperous, and all of those had a church. The book is inspired by God and talks about the future of our faith; therefore it is also relevant to all Christians including us.
John opens the book with a common apostolic greeting (Rev 1:4) ‘grace and Peace.’ He then brings greetings from God directly. He is including the trinity of Godhead in his greetings (Rev 1:4-5):
“Who is and who was, and who is to come” – God the Father.
“Seven spirits before his throne” - The Holy Spirit.
“Jesus Christ” – Son.
When Apostle John is writing this the church is being persecuted. John is trying to encourage the church in his closing greetings (Rev 1:7-8). John is saying what God was He is, what He is He always will be, & He always will be what He was. He is like the head like Alpha of the Greek and the same in the end like Omega of the Greek that never changes.
Now, John is serving sentence in Patmos. He would have been lonely, deserted but would have spent most of his time in prayer. There he saw a vision. He was taken ahead of time to witness beforehand what will happen on the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is the time period from the rapture of the church to the great judgement to the new heaven and new earth when Jesus directly interferes in all the matters of the church and the earth.
The First vision of Apostle John (Rev 1:10-20).
John heard a loud trumpet like voice behind him. John turned to identify the source of the trumpet and saw a breathtaking site. He saw 7 golden lamp stands. In the midst of the lamp stands he saw the ‘Son of Man’ – Jesus. Rev 1:20 says the 7 lamp stands are the 7 churches. Here we can find Jesus standing in between the churches. This shows our Jesus is in constant close relationship with his church – The universal Church of God. We too are a part of that universal church and we must understand Jesus is in close relationship with us. The church is His, the ministry is His, and the people are His. He is always close to his church.
We are going to go into the details of the vision that Apostle Johns saw.
1. Dressed in a robe reaching down his feet with a golden sash around His chest (Rev. 1:13b).
Here Jesus is wearing a robe down to His feet. The robe is secure by a golden sash around His chest. See, Jesus is no longer wearing the lowly garments of a carpenter or of a travelling teacher that he was on the earth. The glorified Christ is having a heavenly attire, a robe. Robe is worn by men of rank and dignity. The robe and sash shows the distinction and authority of Jesus Christ. Jesus stood like a supreme authority like our President or the Prime Minister. Jesus, the glorified Son of God stands in heaven as the head of the government of God in heaven and on earth.