Prophecy of Revelation CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In this study of the first part of the Revelation, we will see the overview of the Revelation, the blessing of the Revelation, the authority of the Revelation, and the highlight of the Revelation. You will also notice in this study that there are several groups of “three’s.” For instance, there are three givers of the Revelation, there are three records of the revelation, there are three descriptions of Jesus, and so forth.
The Overview of the Revelation
We can examine the Revelation as a journalist would examine an event about which he wants to report, by asking who, what, when, how and why questions.
From whom is the Revelation given? The Revelation is given by Jesus [v.1] in similar fashion as he gave Paul the revelation of his gospel in Galatians 1:11-12. The Revelation is also given by God in v.1 in the same fashion that God gave Jesus his doctrine in John 8:26 and John 12:49. And the third source of the Revelation is the Lord’s angel [Revelation 22:6, 8-9, 16].
To whom is the Revelation given? The Revelation is given to “his servants,” [v.1] more specifically his servants in the seven churches which are in Asia [v.4]. Doctrinally, these seven churches are churches [called out assemblies] that will be here during the tribulation. Whether there were churches here, historically, in the same cities and regions as those listed in Revelation 2 and 3 is not really significant. The things promised to these churches for “overcoming” [Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:26, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21] are things that church age saints have already received as children of God or things that we don’t need since we have already overcome [1 John 4:4, 5:4].
Why was the Revelation written? The Revelation was written to shew his servants things which must shortly come to pass.
What time frame is the Revelation? Well, John wrote the Revelation nearly 2000 years ago, which is anything but a short time. However, if you consider 2 Peter 3:8, 1000 years with the Lord is as one day. So, on God’s calendar, there have only been two days since John wrote. Furthermore, as you study the Revelation, you realize that John was transported in time to the tribulation. Thus, to a “servant” reading the Revelation at the beginning of the tribulation, the events described in this book are but a short time away.
What is the Revelation? It is John’s record of three things [v.2]. It is his record of the word of God that he was told to write [notice, in Revelation 10:1-4, there were things that he heard that he was told not to write]. It is the testimony of Jesus, which according to Rev 19:10, is the spirit of prophecy [so we are reading about specific, literal details of future events]. It is the record of the things which John personally saw [for example, Revelation 1:2, 1:17, 4:4, 5:1, 5:2, 5:11, 6:1, etc.].
The Blessing of the Revelation
There is a blessing promised for doing three things with this book [v.3]. Blessed is he that readeth, they that hear, and they that keep those things which are written therein. It is not enough to simply read the book or to hear it read, taught or preached. You must keep what it says [John 14:21, 14:23-24].
Notice the expression “the time is at hand” at the end of verse 3. That phrase is used to indicate the imminence of an event as in Mark 14:42, or to indicate that the events in a prophecy are in close proximity in time to other things in the context, as in Joel 1:15. See the time frame of the Revelation above.
The Authority of the Revelation
Grace and peace are afforded to the recipients of the Revelation. These are promised from three sources who have the authority to give them [v.4-5]. They are from God, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty [v.4 and v.8]; from the seven Spirits, which appear as lamps [Revelation 4:5] and seven horns and eyes [Revelation 5:6]; and from Jesus Christ. As you know, in the mouth of two or three witnesses is every word established.
Jesus Christ is described in three particulars [v.5]. He is the faithful witness [Revelation 19:11] because you can count on everything he says. He is the first begotten of the dead of all those who will have died and resurrected to never die again [Colossians 1:18]. And he is the prince of the kings of the earth, the one having the highest rank and the highest place of authority [Ephesians 1:20-21].
The Highlight of the Revelation
The highlight of the Revelation is the eventual glory and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ [v.6]. As a preacher said, the whole Bible is about getting the right man on the right throne, and when the events of the Revelation are completed, Jesus Christ, the right man, will be in charge. Amen [Revelation 5:11-13].
To the saved, Jesus Christ getting his glory and dominion is indeed a highlight because of what Jesus has done for us [v.5-6]. He loved us [John 15:13], he washed us from our sins in his own blood [1 John 1:7], and he hath made us kings and priests unto God [Revelation 5:10, Revelation 20:4-6].
However, to the lost, his exaltation will not be a highlight [v.7]. He will come with clouds [Matthew 24:30-31] and everyone will know of his arrival. Every eye shall see him, they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him [Revelation 6:15-17].