About the Author
  Vision of Christ
  Seven Churches
  The Throne
  The Rapture
  Judgment Seat
  Seven Seals
  Seven Trumpets
  Two Witnesses
  Seven Personages
  The Antichrist
  Seven Vials
  Babylon the Great
  Marriage of Lamb
  The Millennium
  New Jerusalem

The Communication of Christ (1:1-3)

Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
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.
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.

The Book of Revelation has been a source of inspiration as well as fascination for Christians throughout history. For many it's a sealed book waiting for that special key that will unlock its profound mysteries. I believe that God has given us this key in the form of a divine outline which we'll talk more about later in this chapter.

The Revelation was written by the apostle John in A.D. 96 while he was on the isle of Patmos. He had been banished to the small and dreary island during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian for his allegiance to the Word of God.

Patmos, an isolated island in the Aegean Sea, was located twenty-five miles off the coast of Asia Minor. The harsh and barren island was used by the Romans as a penal colony. According to early tradition the aging apostle spent his remaining years in the city of Ephesus.

The word "revelation" comes from the Greek word Apokalupsis, which means an unveiling or revealing. It tells us not only of the glorious person of our Lord Jesus Christ, but also about His program for our future. This timetable includes both the Jew and the Gentile as well as the church of God.

It is a book of prophecy sent and signified by an angel to the apostle John. The word signified means "to show by a sign." The symbolism would have been a mystery to any Roman official; yet it carried with it a universal message that any Spirit-led believer would understand.

Of all the disciples that walked with Jesus during His earthly life, John was chosen to bare record of the grandeur of Christ's return. There, on the rocky island of Patmos, he witnessed firsthand the glories of the Lord's coming as no other writer had previously done.

As a born-again believer, you're guaranteed a special blessing if you will only read and heed the sayings of the Revelation. This should encourage every Christian as it's the only promise of this kind anywhere in the Bible. God would never have made this pledge if it was impossible for us to comprehend the marvelous sayings of this book.

Greetings From The Trinity (1:4-6)

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;
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,
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

John is commissioned to write to the seven churches that were located on the western side of Asia Minor better known today as modern Turkey. There were other congregations in the vicinity, yet these seven were used to represent the church as a whole.

Next we see greetings from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. A blessing of grace and peace is given to those of us who will need special encouragement during difficult times. God the Father is the great I am of the Old Testament, the Eternal One. The Holy Spirit is expressed as the seven Spirits which are before His throne denoting His fullness and holiness.

After this we are presented with a three-fold description of Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King. He has loved us, washed us from our sins, and made us a kingdom of priests unto God. Amen!

Christ's Coming In The Clouds (1:7-8)

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.
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.

The announcement of our Lord's visible and glorious return to the earth is pictured here. This is the second stage or Revelation of Jesus Christ. The nations will wail and oppose Him but to no avail. It will be a time of judgment for the world as well as for the Jewish people.

In the first phase of the Second Coming, called the Rapture, the believer is caught up to be with the Lord in the clouds. This is seven years prior to the Revelation or second stage of His coming.

In the Rapture the Lord comes back for His church, while at the end of the tribulation period He comes back with His church.

As He slowly descends to the earth with His saints and angelic hosts every eye shall see Him, although at the Rapture He will come as a thief and only Christians will see Him.

The letters Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. God is the Eternal One, where time is of no consequence, for He is at the beginning as well as the end of all things. He is the Almighty, able to subdue everything. Hallelujah!

John's Vision Of Christ (1:9-18)

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.
Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
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.
Rev 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
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.
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;
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.
Rev 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
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:
Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

John is now transported into the future to see and hear the incredible experiences of the end of the age and eternity. He listens to the glorified Lord proclaim, "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last." He is then authorized to write down in a scroll the visions that God would give him to send to the seven churches.

After this John turns to see Christ standing in the midst of seven golden candlesticks. The Lord explains to him that the candlesticks or lampstands are the seven churches.

Jesus is portrayed here as our great high priest, clothed in priestly apparel. The focus is on strength rather than service, especially concerning His judgment of the churches. His seven-fold description sets the tone and theme for each letter to the seven churches in chapters two and three.

The Divine Key To The Future (1:19-20)

Rev 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
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.

John is told to write what he as seen, (Chapter 1); the things that are, (Chapters 2-3); and the things which were to be hereafter (Chapters 4-22).

The things which thou hast seen (past tense), relate to the vision of Christ in Chapter 1.

The things which are (present tense), concern the seven churches of chapters 2-3 and comprise not only their local character but envision the church age in its entirety.

The things which shall be hereafter (future tense), have to do with those things beginning in chapter 4 which are future. In this one verse John has given us the divine key to the whole book of Revelation!

Finally we see the mystery of the seven stars and the seven golden candlesticks. As we study the Book of Revelation we find that many of the symbols interpret themselves or are found elsewhere in the Scriptures.

The angels represent messengers (most probably the leaders or pastors of the local church) and the seven candlesticks are symbolic of the seven churches.

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