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The Book of Revelation

Chapter 1

Rev. 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: [KJV] This Book is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God (Jesus) gave to John concerning the events that shall absolutely happen, soon. An angel was sent to God's servant John, so that John could share the revelation with God's people.

Revelation (singular) is the title of this book. God (Jesus) ‘unveils’ Christ’s full identity and God’s plan for the end of the world, and it centers on, and revolves around Jesus, the Christ (Messiah), His second coming, His victory over all evil, and the establishment of His kingdom. Jesus gave His message to John in a vision, allowing John to see and record certain future events so they could be an encouragement and comfort to all believers. The visions includes many signs and symbols that convey what is to happen in the future. Symbols represent reality! Just what is a ‘symbol’? It is something that stands for, or represents another thing, for instance: the symbol of Christianity is the Cross. The symbol of marriage is a wedding ring. What John saw most of the time, could not be put into words; it was indescribable; so he used illustrations to show what it was like. When we read this Book, let us remember that we do not have to understand every detail — even John didn’t, and couldn't. Instead, let us realize that Christ is indeed the glorious and victorious Lord of all. The word “shortly” is grossly misunderstood. God’s timetable and ours are quite different (2 Pet.3:8; Ps.90:4).

Rev. 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. [KJV] John faithfully reported the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ and everything he saw. John was an eye witness to all the things in this Book, and he, in obedience to God, wrote it all down as he was instructed. May we all be as obedient as John.

Rev. 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. [KJV] God blesses anyone who reads this prophecy to the church, and He blesses all who listen to it and obey what it says, because the time is near when these things will take place.

Revelation is a Book of prophecy (foretelling future events) and proclamation (preaching about who God is and what He will do). Prophecy is more than telling the future, but it also gives us important principles about God’s character and Promises. As we study this Book, we should get to know God much better, and in so doing, learn that we can trust Him completely.

When John says, “the time is at hand,” he is urging his readers to be ready at all times for the Last Judgment and the establishment of God's Kingdom, for we do NOT know when the Rapture will take place; and then the Great Tribulation period. We must always be prepared and watching. They will happen ever so quickly, and there will be NO second chance to change sides.

Judgment IS coming: http://www.hisservants.org/rapture,_second_coming_h_s.htm. . . http://www.hisservants.org/judgment_seat_h_s.htm . . . http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_judgment_coming.htm . . . http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_judgment_sure.htm . . . Hell is real: http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_hell_is_real.htm

The mysteries and difficulties of this book go hand in hand with learning more about God. It is meant to impress upon us the awe and wonder of God, and to purify the soul of the reader (as does all His Word), although we may not totally discern the prophetic meaning. No part of the Bible more fully states the Gospel, and too, it fully warns against the evils of sin. God promises a blessing to all who read or hear this prophetic Book.

Rev. 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; [KJV] This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia. Grace and peace from the One who is, who always was, and who is still to come; and from the sevenfold Spirit (the Holy Spirit) before His throne. John was to write to seven churches that knew and trusted him and had read his earlier letters. The “seven spirits” is another name for the Holy Spirit, for He is the perfect Spirit of God. The number seven is used throughout Revelation to symbolize completeness and perfection.

There can be no true peace, where there is not true grace; but where there is God’s grace, peace will follow. This blessing is in the Name of God, and it is an act of adoration and praise. God “who is, and who was, and who is to come," is simply stating His eternal and unchanging character, and too, refers to the Trinity (our Triune God).

Rev. 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, [KJV] Jesus Christ, is the Faithful Witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the commander of all the rulers of the world. All praise to Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding His precious Blood for us.

There were others who had risen from the dead — people whom the prophets, Jesus, and the apostles had brought back to life — but those people later died again. Jesus was the first who rose from the dead in a body that is imperishable (1 Cor. 15:20), a body that would never die again. He is the Firstborn from the dead, but there will one day be many others to follow. The Lord Jesus Christ was from eternity past and will continue on into future eternity, a true and faithful Witness to all the counsels of God. He will one day, by His own power raise up all His people. His great love set us free from our sins through His death on the cross. We (His people) have been “freed (washed) from our sins by His Blood” thus guaranteeing us a place in His Kingdom. Only His precious Blood can justify us (Ro.5:1, 9-10). Because of these things, we can be assured that John’s message is reliable, is sure and for certain, and is God’s Word to us.

Rev. 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. [KJV] He has made us His kings and priests who serve before God His Father. We should give to Him everlasting glory! He rules forever and ever! Amen!

All God’s children are made priests to administer God’s love to others. The fact that our awesome, all-powerful God has offered eternal life to us (sinners) is nothing short of spectacular (1 Jn.3:1).

Rev. 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. [KJV] Look! One day He shall come with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see Him . . . even those who pierced Him. And all the nations of the Earth shall weep because of Him. So be it! Amen!

This is not speaking of the Rapture when believers will be caught up together with Him in the clouds. This means the physical and bodily appearance of Christ when He comes to set up His Kingdom. At that time, ALL who rejected Christ will have deep regrets for doing so. They do NOT want to see Him!

Jesus is portrayed as our all-powerful King, victorious in battle, and glorious in peace. He is not just a humble earthly Teacher, as shown in the Gospels; He is our glorious and awesome God. When you read John’s description of the vision, remember that his words are not just good advice; they are Truth from the King of kings. Let the Truth about Christ penetrate your heart and mind, let it deepen your faith in Him, and strengthen your commitment to follow Him no matter what!

Rev. 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. [KJV] Jesus stated: I am the Alpha and the Omega the beginning and the end. I am the One who is, who always was, and who is still to come, the Almighty One. He is stating one of the Bible's tremendous Truths! HE IS OUR ETERNAL GOD!!

Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. The first and the last; the beginning and the end. Christ is the A through Z in any language. Again, this refers to the eternal existence of our Lord. Christ WAS in the past, Christ IS today (now), IS TO COME is His future reign as Sovereign over all the Earth. Without Jesus, you have nothing that is eternal, nothing that can change your life, nothing that can save you from sin. Is Jesus our Lord your reason for living? Is Jesus “the Alpha and the Omega” of your life? We should praise and honor and worship the One who is the beginning and the end of all existence, wisdom, and power. There’s a great day coming when we will see the wisdom and happiness of the friends of Christ (those who have accepted Him), and the agony and misery of His enemies (those who have rejected Him).

Rev. 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. [KJV] I am John, your brother. In Jesus we are partners in suffering and in the Kingdom and in patient endurance. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and speaking about Jesus.

John is not speaking of the Great Tribulation in this verse, but of the trials, troubles and persecution that had befallen believers. John’s home was Ephesus, where he was pastor of the church, and also overseer of surrounding churches. When the Roman emperor, Domitian, came to rule, he told John to quit preaching Christ. John refused and continued to teach the Word of God. Domitian had John exiled to Patmos, which was a small rocky island in the Aegean Sea, about 50 miles from the city of Ephesus. We are not persecuted as the early Christians were, but even with our freedom there are few of us who have the courage to share God’s Word with others. If we hesitate to share our faith in easy times, what would we do in times of persecution?

Rev. 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, [KJV] It was the Lord's Day, and John was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, he heard a loud voice behind him, a voice that sounded like a trumpet blast.

The day and time when John had this vision was the Lord’s day, Sunday, the first day of the week, observed in remembrance of the resurrection of Christ. Let us who call him “Lord,” honor Him on His own day. This day should be wholly devoted to the Lord, and not used in a sensual, worldly manner. John was in a serious, heavenly, spiritual frame of mind, under the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit of God. All who would enjoy the worship of God on the Lord’s day, must seek to draw their thoughts from all earthly things. As John was “in the Spirit” he heard a “great voice” like a trumpet blast, and then the apostle heard the voice of Christ.

Rev. 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. [KJV] The voice (Jesus) said: "Write down what you see, and send it to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea."

Who was speaking? It was Christ Jesus — our Lord! Only Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last! He tells John to write in a book all that he will see in the vision, and send it to the seven churches in Asia.

Rev. 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; [KJV] When John turned to see who was speaking to him, he saw seven golden lampstands.

When John turned to see who was speaking, he saw seven golden candlesticks (symbol for churches). The churches receive their light from Christ and His Word, and we should always hold it high for others. Golden symbolizes we should be precious and pure; not only the ministers, but the members of the churches as well. Their lights should shine before men, so others can give glory to God. Don’t hide your light under a bushel (Mat.5:15)

Rev. 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. [KJV] And standing in the middle of the lampstands was the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across His chest.

The seven golden lampstands are the seven churches in Asia (Rev. 1:11, 20), and Jesus stands among them. No matter what the churches face, Jesus is there with His all-encompassing love and wondrous power. Through His Spirit, Christ Jesus is still among the churches today. He will be with His churches always, to the end of the world. He fills them with light and life and love. He was clothed with a garment like that of the high priest (Ex.28:2-4), thus representing His righteousness and priesthood (our Mediator). Jesus “like unto the Son of man” (this title occurs many times in the New Testament, referring to Jesus as the Messiah). John recognized Jesus because he lived and worked with Him for three years.

Rev. 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; [KJV] His head and His hair were white as wool, as white as snow. And His eyes were like flames of fire.

Jesus' appearance with His white hair symbolizes His wisdom and His divine, eternal existence (Dan. 7:9). His “eyes as a flame of fire” symbolize His penetrating and all knowing insight, and judgment of all evil. Our Lord knows the secrets of all hearts (Jn.2:24). He knows our every thought (Eze.11:5-B). He knows the end of a thing, before it begins (Is.46:10).

Rev. 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. [KJV] His feet were as bright as bronze refined in a furnace, and His voice thundered like the mighty ocean.

His feet like unto fine brass” refined in a furnace symbolizes judgment . . . on ALL sin. “His voice as the sound of many waters” symbolizes the power and authority of His Word.

Rev. 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. [KJV] He held seven stars in His right hand, and from His mouth, was a sharp two-edged sword. And His Face was as bright as the sun on a hot, summer's day.

The seven stars are symbolic of the pastors of the seven churches. Christ holds these in His Hands; He upholds and directs them. He has control of the churches and more important, He has control of the entire universe! The sword in Jesus’ mouth is NOT literal, but symbolizes the power and force of His Message. His Words of judgment are as sharp as swords (Isa. 49:2; Heb. 4:12). The sword symbolizes His justice and His Word. “His countenance was as the sun” when it shines clearly and powerfully; its brilliance and strength are too bright and dazzling for mortal eyes to behold. This is our glorified Saviour! Much brighter than the sun He created!

Rev. 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: [KJV] When John saw him, he fell at Jesus' feet as thought he were dead. But Jesus placed His right hand on John and said, "Don't be afraid! I am the First and the Last.

While Jesus was on Earth, John knew Jesus, and was closer to Him than anyone else. But in this vision, John did NOT go and shake hands with Him, nor embrace, nor kiss Him. John didn’t even speak, but fell at Jesus’ Feet, as if he were dead. The sight of the glorified Christ simply paralyzed John. Have you ever considered just what YOU will do when you come into the Presence of our Lord? John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.[KJV] If you SAY you are a friend of Jesus, and Jesus is a Friend of yours, you are implying that you are obeying Him! Are you, in deed and fact, doing what Jesus has commanded you to do? The Lord Jesus spoke words of comfort; “Fear not.” Words of instruction; from the One who appeared.

Rev. 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. [KJV] I am Jesus, the One who died. But, as you see, I am alive, and shall be forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.

Without Jesus, our sins convict and sentence us, but Jesus holds the keys of death and Hades. Only He can justify us (Rom.5:1) and free us from bondage to Satan. Only He has the power and authority to set us free from sin’s control. Believers do NOT have to fear Hades (present day Hell; holding place of the unsaved dead) or death, because Christ Jesus holds the keys to both. All we must do is realize and admit we are sinners, repent and turn to Him in faith. If we try to control our lives and disregard God, we are on a very broad and well used road leading directly to eternal Hell. http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_hell_is_real.htm

Jesus did die! His disciples witnessed Him suffer and die on the cross. But His resurrection brought Him back to life. He conquered death and is alive “for evermore”! His sovereign authority and dominion is in and over the entire universe (Mat.28:18; Ep.1:22; 1 Pet.3:22). He is Judge of ALL and there shall be NO appeals on any sentence He hands down. If you do not know Jesus as your Saviour and Lord, listen to the voice of Christ, reach out and receive His love and the Gift of eternal life that He offers. Rejection of Christ and His love leaves only eternal Hell!

Rev. 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; [KJV] Jesus told John to write down what he had seen, both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen later.

This verse is the Divine division of this Book.

  1. Past . . . “the things which thou hast seen.” What has John seen? The Glorified Christ! The Book of Revelation centers on Christ. He is the Subject of this Book. Don’t get your eyes on the horsemen, the seals, the trumpets, the bowls or the beasts; they are all just passing through! Jesus is the MAIN Character! Keep your eyes on Jesus!
  2. Present . . . “things which are.” What are the ‘things which are’? They are things that pertain to the church. The church is still here after 1900 years. This includes churches of today. It includes matters concerning the churches when John wrote this (about 96 A.D.), but also today.
  3. Future . . . “the things which shall be hereafter.” Revelation very plainly tells us of God’s scheduled program of things to come. This Book is prophecy! The things written in this Book shall happen!

Rev. 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. [KJV] Jesus explains what John saw. This is the meaning of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Keep in mind: take things literally unless otherwise stated, as in this verse. John makes it very plain when he uses symbols. “Mystery” in Scripture is a sacred secret that has not been revealed before. John saw the glorified Christ. Paul (Acts 9:3; 26:13) saw a great light from Heaven, and heard Christ speak, but did not see Christ. The “angels” are symbols for the elders or pastors of the local churches, who are accountable to God for the churches they represent. Because the seven letters in Rev. 2-3 contain reprimands, it is very doubtful that these were literal angels from Heaven. May we always obey Christ, and give up ourselves completely to Him.

SPECIAL FEATURES IN THE 7 LETTERS

  1. Each letter had a direct message to the local church to whom it was written.
  2. There is something in ALL the messages that can be applied to all churches in all ages.
  3. To each of the 7 churches, Christ presents Himself in a special way. The description of Christ is definitely related to the condition of that particular church.
  4. Letters are addressed to the “angel” (pastor) of each church; the person in charge of church affairs.
  5. Christ Jesus begins by stating to each: “I know thy works.” We CANNOT hide our wrongdoings from God.
  6. He first commends (praises) each church; then condemns (states what is wrong there), with two exceptions. Smyrna and Philadelphia received NO condemnation, and Laodicea and Sardis received NO praise.
  7. Each letter concludes with a warning: “He that hath and ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith.” We should always listen to what God has to say to us!

Book of Revelation

Ch.1. . Ch.2 . . Ch.3 . . Ch.4 . . Ch.5. . Ch.6 . . Ch.7 . . Ch.8 . . Ch.9 . . Ch.10 . . Ch.11 . . Ch.12 . . Ch.13 . . Ch.14 . . Ch.15 . . Ch.16 . . Ch.`17 . . Ch.18 . . Ch.19 . . Ch.20 . . Ch.21 . . Ch.22 . . Special Comments

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