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Revelation Commentary – Introduction to
the book of Revelation Verses 1:1 through 1:20

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Today, we start a verse-by-verse study on the book of Revelation. If you would like to put some notes in your Bible as we go through the book of Revelation, this would be a good time to get your Bible out and do so.

 

Revelation 1:1   The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending His angel to his servant John.

 

Revelation 1:2   who testifies to everything he saw – that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

Revelation 1:1   The revelation, (e.g., the full disclosure) of Jesus Christ, which God (the Father) gave (to) him (Jesus) to show his (the) servants (of Jesus) what must soon take place. He (the Father) made it (this revelation) known by sending his angel (messenger/Jesus) to (me) his servant John.   

 

Revelation 1:2   who testifies (as a witness) to everything he saw – that is, the word of God (Jesus, is “the Word”) and the testimony (words) of Jesus Christ. 

 

The Book of Revelation predicts a full disclosure of Jesus Christ is coming. I want to share some thoughts on this process. According to the U.S. Census, 6, 651,605,767 people live on Earth right now in 2007.  According to the American Bible Society, approximately 2.5 billion people have not heard of Jesus and another 2.1 billion people have heard about Him, but they strongly reject or resent Christianity. That’s 4.6 billion people who do not know or like Jesus Christ.

 

Each month, our world has a net increase in population of about 11 million people! (For comparison, Los Angeles is a city of 10 million people.) From these stats, we can see that Christianity (currently 27% of the world’s population) is shrinking as a percentage of the world’s population because the net number of people standing in opposition to Christianity is growing larger each day.

 

The shrinkage of Christianity is not a problem for God, because He had devised a plan to reveal Jesus to a hostile, arrogant and ignorant world. 

 

Unfortunately, the revelation of Jesus will not be a pleasant experience, but it will be very effective.  This disclosure will necessitate turning everything in this world upside down. In short, the revelation of Jesus Christ will begin with an overwhelming show of force and wrath. Jesus Himself will implement and oversee a compelling drama that will totally demolish the religions and nations of the world.

 

It is ironic that the coming revelation of Jesus Christ, which the Father designed and pre-decreed by His own authority, will cause many so-called Christians to abandon their association with Christianity. In other words, when Jesus is revealed, a lot of Christians will not want to have anything to do with Him. Conversely, a large number of people from other religions will have their hearts and minds opened to the Savior and they will welcome and love Him when their blindness is removed!

 

Ultimately, the revealing of Jesus will cause the people of Earth to take a stand. One group will submit to the authority of Jesus. By faith they will obey His commands and accept the consequences. The other group will justify their rebellion and they will take their stand with Lucifer (the Antichrist) and they will suffer the wrath of God.

 

The revelation of Jesus will be a drama having many players, parts and sub stories. All of these pieces will combine to reveal things about Jesus that could not otherwise be known. For example, the Father wants the world to know that Jesus is fully God. Jesus has all the prerogatives of the Father because Jesus is a co-eternal member of the Godhead just like the Father and the Holy Spirit. 

 

A day is coming when the whole world will be stunned into a condition of reverence so that everyone can hear and consider that Jesus Christ is the only Savior of mankind, and by right of His blood-redemption, He is the Owner of Earth, Lord of lords and King of kings. It is also fair to say that of all gods presently worshiped, Jesus is hated more than any other because Jesus has made some exclusive claims that are highly offensive to people in other religions. For example:

 

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. “

 

Given the hostile feelings that billions of people have towards Christianity, you should be able to understand how the revelation of Jesus as the God of Heaven and Earth, the Savior of man, Owner of Earth, Lord of lords and king of kings will be “a hard pill to swallow” for a very large number of people!

 

During the revelation of Jesus process, the religions of the world will implode, the nations of the world will be demoralized, faith will be severely tested and everyone will experience suffering and tribulation. A big part of this coming drama will be man’s desperate need of a Savior!

 

Of course, our need of a Savior will become self-evident when our security and possessions are ruined and after this physical experience strips away our pretense, an even greater truth will be seen! Man needs a Savior to escape the penalty of sin.

 

God the Father personally designed the drama that reveals Jesus at the end of the world and He sent Jesus to John with a copy of “the drama.” The Father put the revealing of Jesus within the context of a “tribulation” because the Father wants the world to know the love, which Jesus has for all mankind. The Father wants the world to know who died for our sins.

 

Profound Point:

Earth’s degenerate condition has come to a place where God’s wrath is the best means through which God’s love can be explained. So, Jesus will tear down the arrogance, darkness and ignorance that sin and religion has produced by exercising justifiable wrath. This will hurt and affect everyone.

 

The Father designed the Great Tribulation to be an educational drama. This drama will show the world what sin and rebellion really are, and during this drama, Jesus will be revealed as our Creator, our sin bearer, our Friend and God. Near the end of the first century A.D., the Father evidently gave this drama story to Jesus. Then, Jesus chose John to write it down, so that those of us who would be alive when this drama took place could understand in advance what “must soon take place.”

 

The words “must soon take place” presents a problem for some people because the book of Revelation was written around A.D. 95 and that was about 2,000 years ago! 2,000 years later is NOT soon. The word “soon” means imminent.

 

The word “soon” in Revelation 1:1 has led early Christians to assume that Jesus was returning to Earth right away! In fact, all of the apostles were sure that Jesus would soon return. We investigated their belief in the imminent return of Jesus in my first broadcast on the book of Daniel.

 

Even though the word “soon” has been misapplied for 20 centuries, the word “soon” has helped to keep the interest and hope in our Lord’s return alive and that is not entirely bad even though there is the desensitizing danger in crying “wolf” when there is no wolf.

 

However, the word “soon” in Revelation 1:1 means exactly what it says when the word is placed within the contextof the revelation which occurs at the appointed time of the end. In other words, because the book of Daniel was sealed up until the appointed time of the end, the book of Revelation has been misunderstood ever since it was written because the rules of interpretation found in Daniel are necessary to correctly interpret the book of Revelation.

 


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