Unlocking the Mysteries of Revelation #2
THE BLESSING IN REVELATION:
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (1:3).
When you read Revelation, and obey the things written in it, you will be blessed. If you just simply read the book of Revelation, you will be blessed. If you hear it being read, you will be blessed. Most importantly, there is a blessing to those who obey it.
What is the book of Revelation about? It is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” Those first five words of the first verse of Revelation clearly identify Jesus as the central figure in this book. He is the Lamb of God who has provided salvation, and will execute judgment and ultimately overcome all of his enemies. Every book of the Bible is about Jesus. Some of you may be shocked by that and say, “I don’t remember reading about Jesus in the Old Testament.” Jesus said, “Behold, I have come – In the volume of the book it is written of Me – To do Your will, O God.” (Hebrews 10:7). Every book of the Bible is about Jesus, and Revelation is no different. It’s all about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
AN OVERVIEW OF REVELATION:
Before we begin going verse by verse and chapter by chapter through Revelation, let me finish our introduction by giving you an overview of the major sections of the book of Revelation:
- 1:1-20 Prologue – John’s Vision of Jesus
- 2:1-3:22 Seven Letters to the Seven Churches
- 4:1-11 Vision of God the Father (Powerful Creator)
- 5:1-14 Vision of Jesus the Lamb of God (Loving Redeemer)
- 6:1-8:1 Seven Seals
- 8:2-11:18 Seven Trumpets
- 11:19-15:4 Seven Signs
- 15:5-16:21 Seven Bowls
- 17:1-19:11 Judgment ofBabylon
- 19:11-20:10 The Second Coming of Jesus and the Millennium
- 20:11-22:21 Heaven:ParadiseRestored; Jesus is Coming Soon
REVELATION CHAPTER ONE:
Let us go verse by verse through the first chapter of the Book of Revelation.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants–things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.” (Rev. 1:1-2).
Who is the book of Revelation about? Jesus Christ. If you walk away from these lessons with this one simple truth, it can revolutionize your understanding of this book of the Bible. It’s all about Jesus – not the devil, the beast, or the antichrist.
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Rev. 1:3).
The blessing of Revelation is for all who read, hear and obey these words.
“John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.” (Rev. 1:4-5).
Notice first of all that John says God extends GRACE and PEACE to the seven churches which are inAsia. He doesn’t say, ‘Here comes gloom, doom, despair and agony. The wrath of God is coming!” No. He says, “Grace and peace to you.” That sounds like the rest of the Bible to me – God’s loving plan to restore humanity to a relationship with Him. Pay special attention to the next phrase that John uses here: “from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness.” We’re about to learn something about the nature of God here.
One of the things we need to understand about the Bible is that God was very purposeful when He chose what things to be recorded in His holy book. The main truths that God wanted to communicate with us can be narrowed down to four categories.
What does this Scripture teach me about:
- Who God is? (the nature of God – holy, loving, eternal, etc.)
- Who we are? (our nature – children of God, loved by Him, accepted in the beloved)
- God’s Commandments? (what God wants us to do for Him)
- God’s Promises? (what God has said He would do for us)
Let’s keep these ideas in the back of our mind as we read through Revelation, as we’re going to learn about who God is, who we are, God’s commandments and God’s promises.
WHO GOD IS:
In these verses here, we see a picture of the Trinity. God is a triune being:
- – from Him who is and who was and who is to come
- – this is a picture of the Eternal Father
- – from the seven Spirits who are before His throne
- – this is a picture of the Perfect Holy Spirit*
- – from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness
- – this is a picture of the Faithful Son, Jesus
* Seven in the Bible is a symbolic number representing perfection.
Notice that one of the very first things John gives us in this book of the Bible is a revelation of who Jesus is:
He is the FAITHFUL witness. You can trust Jesus. He is a promise keeping God. God is faithful, faithful, faithful. If God said it in His Word, you can trust it.
He is the FIRSTBORN from the dead. That’s an interesting expression – what does it mean? Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we have the hope as believers that we too will one day be raised from the dead. Up until Jesus’ death on the Cross, He is referred to as the only begotten Son of God. But after His resurrection from the dead – throughout the rest of the New Testament – He is referred to as the firstborn from the dead. Jesus, the Son of God, became the Son of Man, so that we, the sons of men, could become the sons of God.
He is the Ruler over the Kings of the Earth. He is the King of all kings, and the Lord of all lords.
WHO WE ARE:
“To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father.” (Rev. 1:6).
Not only does God’s Word teach us about the nature of God, it also teaches us about our nature as God’s children. There are three things we learn about ourselves as God’s children in this Scripture:
1. We are loved by God. The book of Revelation proclaims the same message as the rest of the Bible – God loves you. “Jesus loves me, this I know – for the Book of Revelation tells me so!” A lot of people overemphasize the holiness and wrath of God, but we need to understand that the wrath of God is not directed towards His children; rather it is reserved for His enemies. Christians do not need to fear the wrath of God described in the book of Revelation.
2. We are washed from our sins in the blood of Jesus. Because Jesus died on the Cross, our sins can be forgiven, and we can be washed clean. I love the old hymns that sing about the blood of Jesus:
- Are you washed, in the blood, in the soul-cleansing blood of the lamb?
- Are your garments spotless, are they white as snow?
- Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
3. We are Kings and Priests to His God and Father. To say that we are kings means that He has given us authority to rule and reign with Him. To say that we are priests tells us that we have direct access to God. We can go to God for ourselves through Jesus; we don’t have to go through a human mediator.
This is a sample chapter from The Beausejour Pulpit.
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