I’m revisiting the last book of the Bible, The Book of Revelation or The Revelation of Jesus Christ, because four years have passed since I last posted a related series called ‘How the World Ends as We Know It.’ I believe the book should be read annually to reset our focus, fill us with clear knowledge, and build up our faith in the marvelous promises that God will fulfill for His children at the end of time.
I will do my best to render a concise and succinct exploration, which hopefully, will not be near as voluminous as the first 13-part series…
The contents of the Revelation of Jesus Christ were revealed to the apostle John by Jesus Himself. The word ‘Revelation’ here, is translated from the Greek apocalypsis, meaning ‘the unveiling of things previously hidden.’ It’s a study of eschatology, i.e. of the ‘end times’ – the time between the first and the second coming of Christ.
Revelation serves to reveal the great battle between the good and the evil spirits in heaven; and it is also the last evangelical appeal in the Bible to reach out to unbelievers, so that they might latch onto their own salvation before it’s too late.
There are horrific scenes of how things play out for the unbelievers; but for the children of God, the book is meant to be a blessing of comfort, as we are given a vivid picture of our heavenly redemption.
John begins by telling us that Jesus directly relayed John’s revelations from God, and then he says that every word will come to pass. (Rv. 1:1 – 3.) John then shares the divine imperative that he receives at the outset:
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. 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, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Rv. 1:4 – 7. NKJV
John then, has been divinely directed to share Jesus’ revelations to the ‘seven churches in Asia.’ These particular seven were singled out because they represented in total, the broad examples of congregant behavior within each, (which still applies to today’s church), that either brought a blessing or a curse upon the church.
We see that the churches are being greeted by the Godhead: Jehovah God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is described as the ‘faithful witness’ because He continually delivered (and stayed true to) the testimony of His Father. Christ is also described as the ‘firstborn of the dead’ because He was the first to die and then be resurrected to eternal life. Finally, John refers to Jesus as the ‘ruler over all the kings on the earth. Indeed, Jesus’ name is above all names. (Phil 2:9, 10.)
Notice too, John points out that the Son of God already loves us, already washed our sins away, and has already made us kingdom priests for His Father – wherein we now hold the same high honor as the children of Israel. (Ex. 19:6)
Finally, we see that every eye will recognize Jesus’ return simultaneously, even those who crucified Him – physically or mentally. And all who had heard of His salvation and denied it, will mourn.
Next, the apostle shares a direct meeting from God Himself:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Rv. 1:8 NASB
God is asserting His authority as the author and creator of all things – declaring that what is about to be revealed is by His own hand, and that it will come to pass. ‘Alpha’ and ‘Omega’ is Greek for the ‘beginning and the end,’ meaning that all things began with God, and that He will determine their final fate at the end of time.
The stage is set to begin…
Goodnight and God bless.