Summary: If Jesus sent a message to your church, what would he say? He did just that in the first part of Revelation, we can still hear his voice to us if we listen in.
Revelation, the Grand Finale of God’s Word
When Heaven Speaks Do Churches Listen?
Just imagine meeting Jesus today! When Paul saw the resurrected, glorified Jesus he fell down and was blinded. When John sees him on the isle of Patmos he falls down as a dead man. Here in God’s grand finale book of the Bible, we meet Jesus and hear his message for the seven churches he addresses. We learn that Jesus knows where we are and sees everything we do. He knows our hearts and he has a vital interest in our lives. Jesus has a message for you and me today, too. If you listen closely to his words here, you are sure to hear him speak to your heart and reveal a word of instruction, encouragement, rebuke and blessing. As the Hebrew writer said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…”
Dear student, God promises a blessing to those that hear the words of this book and heed it’s message! You are about to begin a journey into the presence of Jesus Christ glorified and come before the throne of our Almighty Father and the Holy Spirit. You are entering into the glorious assembly of the heavenly host. Open the eyes of your mind and heart through faith and celebrate the joy of God’s awesome radiance!
Read Revelation 1:1-3
Notice when the scriptures say these things must take place. Verse 1 and verse 3 mention this. Look also at the end of the book of Revelation 22:6, 10, what do these verses say about the events of this book?
Notice who is writing this book in verse 1 and verse 9. Whose message is this? (vs 1, first 5 words) To whom is it written? (vs 4,11).
The apostle, John, lived until near the end of the first century. The things he saw were written as messages of Jesus for the churches in Asia. How does this effect the way we should interpret what we will read within this book?
What we want to do in this study is let the scriptures speak for themselves. Let’s listen to the voice of Jesus through the words John records. It is an exciting message that has timeless meaning and present day applications, but let us not forget to let the words of God tell us specific information about those who first were given this message. We must remember that this was written for them first. We who read it today should seek to understand what it meant in that day before we seek to understand what it means for us today. Most of the misunderstanding of this book comes from those who skip this first step.
Notice the greetings in verses 4-6. Underline the word “from.” Who is mentioned after each one of the “from”s that you underlined? These are descriptions of the trinity.
How is the Father described?
How is the Holy Spirit described?
How is Jesus described and what has he done for us?
Who does John meet after verse 10? What is his reaction?
List some of the descriptive images John uses to draw a verbal picture of Jesus:
John is told several times in this book to write things. It will help you if you mark these and note the repetition within this book. Also you will notice that John speaks of several books and scrolls in this book. You should mark each time you read one of these (throughout our study of Revelation) and note what it is talking about each time.
Whenever Jesus speaks and describes himself, mark it and write down what he says about himself. You may record these on the worksheet included in this lesson. This will begin to help you see him as John saw him and know his majesty. Jesus is awesome!!!
(Sorry this worksheet will not format on Sermoncentral, but all you need to do is list the passage on the left side of a page with a brief discription of what the scriptures say about Jesus to the right of it. Keeping this list will build a broad view of how Jesus is pictured in this book and encourage your faith).
Read chapter 2:1-7
Jesus sends messages to the seven churches of Asia. Remember, the chapter divisions were not written by Jesus or John and it would be better to read chapters 2-3 together.
The first church to which Jesus sends a message is Ephesus. What do you know about this church? Lets look at some other scriptures and notice what we can discover.
There is more information about the church in Ephesus in the New Testament than any other church. We have a record of the establishment of the church there in Acts, we have a letter to the church called Ephesians, we have two letters to the preacher there (1&2 Timothy), and we have this message to them from Jesus in Revelation. We first hear about them in Acts 18:19-21. Who did Paul leave there?