Summary: Study one on the Book of Revelation.
Study 1 – (Chapter 1:1-8)
The Title (vs. 1-2)
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ”
Revelation – apocalypse, an unveiling or manifestation.
Revelation is singular; one blessed continuous manifestation.
Revelation is the book of last things, which completes the bible.
Compare Genesis, which presents the first things with Revelation the last things.
There are conflicting views of the Book of Revelation.
The lineage of Revelation
Angel of the Lord
John – His servant
Certification of the book
“testified” or signified – written in signs
Made known by signs and symbols, every symbol used in Revelation is explained or alluded to somewhere else in the bible. Over 400 references to the Old Testament.
Literal interpretation should be taken – every symbol used is explained or told of its nature.
The Commendation (vs. 3)
First of seven beatitudes spread throughout the book.
Shift from singular “he that reads” to the plural “they that hear” suggests public usage of the book.
“The time is near” shows a pressing urgency of the author that fulfillment of the book was imminent.
The Salutation (vs. 4-8)
John, the Apostle
The most celebrated church leader in Asia Minor.
He was the pastor of the Church of Ephesus for half a century.
He outlived all the other apostles.
He was banished to Patmos, an island for government political prisoners.
His incarceration was during the reign of Domitian (A.D. 91-96).
The writing of Revelation was at or near A.D. 95 at the end of John’s life.
Laodicea was destroyed in A.D. 62 by a cataclysmic earthquake and couldn’t have been fully rebuilt till the writing of this book. (See the letter to this church, “increased with goods, rich and needs nothing”.)
Objections to John, the apostle, as the author didn’t surface till the second and third centuries. The early church had no objection to the question of the author.
The seven churches of Asia – actual geographical places.
The churches form a geographical circle in Asia Minor.
The churches also represent seven periods of church history from the first church to the present day church (see chart).
Grace and Peace – a common greeting found in the Pauline books.
Grace – a Greek method of greeting.
Peace – a Hebrew method of greeting.
This type of greeting is generated by God not human prerogatives – the relationship is determined by ones relationship to God.
The trinity of Revelation is a threefold source of grace and peace.
(1) “From Him who is and who was and who is to come” denotes the eternal nature of God.
(2) The seven Spirits may represent the sevenfold ministry of the Holy Spirit found in Isaiah 11:1-2.
“…the Spirit of Jehovah 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 Jehovah.”
This sevenfold Spirit is his empowerment for the task of restoring his authority of his kingdom on Earth.
(3) Titles of his work among men.
(a) His earthly ministry, “the faithful witness”.
(b) The resurrection of Christ, “the firstborn of the dead”.
(c) The victorious conqueror, “ruler of the kings of the Earth”.
The Dedication – present work of Jesus Christ.
Three activities are mentioned here
(1) “He loves us…” – describes His permanent attitude to men.
(2) “…He loosed us…” states the crisis of His manifested love (1 John 1:7).
(3) “…He made to be a kingdom of priests…” is the effect that His love has produced in the work of redemption (Col. 1:13-14).
The Motto – future work of Christ (vs. 7)
The return of Christ. (Acts 1:11)
He ascended in a cloud. (Acts 1:9)
He is coming back in the clouds. (Dan. 7:13 & Matt. 26:64)
“Every eye shall see Him and they that pierced him…” (Zech. 12:10 & Matt. 24:30-31)
The Publishers Imprint (vs. 8)
It asserts the transcendent authority of God, the beginning and the end and whose existence spans all of time.
“Alpha and omega…” – the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet which represents the beginning and the end or for the completeness of anything.
El Shaddai – the almighty who appeared to Abraham.
He created all things and now will complete all things.