Lesson 1 - Introduction

Lesson 1 - Introduction

The book of Revelation is not the revelation of “St. John the Divine” as stated in the King James Version of the Bible.  It is the revelation of Jesus Christ as recorded by the Apostle John.  John was not divine, though he was a saint, as are all believers in Christ.  Since this book reveals a great deal about the Person of Jesus Christ, it has been attacked by Satan for centuries.

The book of Revelation occupies three dispensational periods: the Church Age, the Tribulation and the Millennium.  Whenever something is figurative in this book it will be indicated by the context, otherwise it is literal.  The book begins with the rapture of the Church and ends with Christ’s kingdom being established on earth.  The book of Revelation has a parallel book in the Old Testament – the book of Daniel.  Therefore, the book of Revelation is a book of prophecy.

Outline of the Book

Chapter Subject
Chapter 1 Subject of the Book - Jesus Christ
Chapter 2-3 The Church on Earth
Chapter 4-5 Removal of the Church and the Church in Heaven
Chapter 6-19 The Tribulation on the Earth
Chapter 6   Seals
Chapter 7 Evangelism
Chapter 8-9 Trumpet Judgments
Chapter 10 Angelic Heralds of the Second Coming
Chapter 11 Human Heralds of the Second Coming
Chapter 12 Anti-Semitism 
Chapter 13 Devil’s Two Witnesses (Two Beasts)
Chapter 14 144,000 Witnesses and their Converts and Seven Angels of Judgment
Chapter 15 Introduction to the Seven Vials of Judgment
Chapter 16 Seven Vials of Judgment
Chapter 17 Ecumenical Religion
Chapter 18 Downfall of Ecumenical Religion
Chapter 19 Second Coming of Christ
Chapter 20 Millennium – events at beginning and end
Chapter 21 Eternity
Chapter 22 Eternity and Flash Back to the Tribulation

Chapter 1:1-8

Verses 1-2 The Title of the Book

The Greek word for revelation is “apokalupsis” and means to uncover or unveil.  Therefore, the book of Revelation is the unveiling of future events by the Lord Jesus Christ to the Apostle John by means of His angel.  Angels were commonly used as messengers by God (the word angel means messenger).  It is God’s purpose for believers to understand this book, as indicated by the Greek word for show, which is “deiknumi.”  This word means to show by making known. The Greek word for signify is “semaino” and means to indicate or to communicate.  God wants us to understand this prophecy of coming events.

John, as were all the apostles, was merely a “mouthpiece” for the truth of God’s Word, even (“kai” in Greek) the testimony of Jesus Christ and all the things which Jesus Christ saw (“eido” in Greek meaning to perceive or to know).  Therefore, verses one and two give us the title of this book, which is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ Which God the Father Gave to Him.”

Verse 3 The Blessing of the Book

There is a blessing attached to this book.  Blessing means happiness.  The happiness that is attached to this book is obtained by reading it, believing it and applying it.  The one referred to as “he that readeth” is the teacher or expounder of Scripture as evidenced by the Greek word “anaginosko” meaning to gather exact knowledge or to know certainly.  The ones referred to as “they that hear the words” are those who believe the words of this book.  This is expressed by the use of the Greek word, “akouo” meaning to give something an audience or to know something.  And, finally, “they who keep the things written” are those who apply the words as seen in the Greek word “tereo” meaning to guard, to watch over or to observe.  It is a book that enhances the believer’s personal sense of destiny.

Verses 4-8 The Author and Subject of the Book

The author of the book of Revelation is the Apostle John, while he was exiled to the Isle of Patmos, an island in the Aegean Sea.  The book is addressed to the seven churches in Asia over which John had jurisdiction as an apostle.  The salutation to the churches is from the Lord Jesus Christ by way of John.

The subject of the book of Revelation is Jesus Christ.  It is the record of the end times from the rapture of the Church to God’s eternal kingdom being established for all eternity.  It is the unveiling of Jesus Christ in all His glory as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  It is a book that reveals the ultimate victory over Satan and the fallen angels.  It is a book of hope for the believer because it reveals the last chapter in human history and the final triumph of good over evil as Satan and the fallen angels are cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity.       

There is much debate and conjecture about who are the seven spirits and what they represent.  We have our first figurative symbol in verse four.  Some say they are the sevenfold essence of Jesus Christ, some say they represent the sevenfold attributes of the Holy Spirit (thus the Holy Spirit Himself) and some say it could be a reference to angels.  We do know from Revelation 4:5 that they are the same as the seven lamp-stands before the throne of God, the same as the seven horns and the same as the seven eyes that belong to the Lamb of God Jesus Christ according to Revelation 5:6.  These seven spirits are sent out into the world.  Revelation 3:1 says that Jesus Christ possesses the seven spirits.  The context is all about Jesus Christ.  The number seven in Scripture is always the number of perfection or completion.  Therefore, I believe these seven spirits represent the essence of Jesus Christ.  The phrase “before the throne” means in the presence of the throne.  (Revelation 3:1)

Jesus Christ was the “faithful witness” Who revealed God to the human race.  He was also the first Person in history to be raised from the dead.  He is without dispute the King of kings and Lord of lords.  This is the same Person Who made the payment for our sin on the Cross.  The result is that all who believe in Him as Savior become kings and priests themselves as a part of their eternal inheritance. 

Inheritance implies a family relationship and eternal is a permanent, everlasting relationship.  This is certainly the case for every Christian.  At salvation, every believer becomes a child of God.  One of the amazing things is that, as children of God, we also become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.  This means that we share in Christ’s inheritance.  The Bible declares that it has not even entered into the mind of man what God has prepared for him.  (Galatians 3:26; 4:26; Romans 8:17)

Upon faith in Christ, all believers are placed in union with Christ, become children of God and become spiritual aristocrats.  It is this realization that should be a motivating factor for the believer to live as royalty and not as a mere peasant.  What God has provided for us is immeasurable.  It is up to us to begin to discover the breadth, length, depth and height of what we have as believers.  This can be accomplished only one way – study and application of God’s Word. (Ephesians 3:16-21)

As Royal Family of God it is not only our responsibility but it is our privilege to represent Christ to the world.  It is, therefore, imperative that we think, talk and act like the true royalty that we are in Christ.  Because of this unique dispensation in which we live, we have a unique relationship with God.  Never before has the entire Godhead permanently indwelt a believer as they do now.  As never before in history, we have the opportunity to make our experiential sanctification align with our positional sanctification.   (II Corinthians 5:20)

The realization of the fact that you have an eternal inheritance should cause you to have a personal sense of destiny.  It is a personal sense of destiny that gives the believer capacity for life by producing spiritual self-esteem.  Spiritual self-esteem means that you have discovered who you are in Christ.  Capacity for life replaces the temporary pleasures of the world with the eternal happiness of God. (Galatians 6:6-10) Capacity is increased by spending a maximum amount of time in fellowship with God under the filling of the Holy Spirit, in consistent study and application of Bible doctrine and in the use of Divine Viewpoint Thinking.

God’s plan for your life is simple; fulfilling it is also simple.  It becomes difficult only when we fail to utilize all that God has given us and begin to manufacture our own problems by rejecting truth.  The days in which we live are uncertain and the national scene is unstable at best.  Yet for those believers who choose to execute the Christian Way of Life, you can remain stabilized, confident and faithful in time of pressure or even national disaster.  Why?  Because you know the One Who controls history and you have learned that you have a place in it.  You have a personal sense of destiny that has been secured by your faith in Christ and realized by your consistent intake and application of God’s Word (Bible doctrine).  Only with Bible doctrine in your soul that has been converted into wisdom through application, will you be able to put everything in life into its proper perspective.  (Matthew 11:28-30; James 1:1-12; II Timothy 1:12)

God the Father’s plan for the human race called for Jesus Christ His Son to become a member of the human race and ultimately reveal God to the world, which He did.  No other Person in history has so influenced mankind.  After He accomplished the plan of God, He returned to His rightful place in Heaven and will return in the future to establish an earthly kingdom as the Ruler of this world.  (John 1:1-5)

Jesus Christ is the all-powerful, self-existent One.  He is “the beginning and the end.”  Jesus Christ is the creator of the universe, mankind, angelic beings (including Satan), and He knows the beginning from the end.  There is no one like Him - He is unique.  Jesus Christ is the God-Man and He is the subject of this book.