Revelation 1

true or false

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Living King of Glory


Someone has remarked, “Without tears the Revelation was not written; neither without tears can it be understood.”

In Revelation 1:1-3 we read about the unique character of the Book of the Revelation. What is it? A revelation, an unveiling of. It came by revelation, given by God to His Son, Jesus. The Son gave it to His angel and the angel gave it to John. The Revelation of Jesus Christ…

Revelation 1:1-3
1The 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: 2Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3Blessed 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.

It is given to show them things that were to come to pass. It should be read because verse three states: God will bless those who read and those who hear.

The prophesies of the Old Testament were preparatory to Jesus’ first coming, and in His lifetime on earth, the ministry of the New Testament confirms that prophecies were fulfilled and proves these will be fulfilled.

The Bible is about many things but chiefly it is about Jesus Christ and the loving God who gave Him to be the Saviour of the world.

John received this revelation of Jesus while he was a prisoner, persecuted and exiled because of his faithful witness. As a Spirit-filled believer John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and while John was in the Spirit, he heard a mighty voice, as loud as a trumpet, saying,

Revelation 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.

No one will ever take His place. He will NEVER be replaced. He will make the throne of David eternal. He is the one who commanded John to write in a book and send the Book to the seven churches of the Roman province of Asia.

When John turned, he saw a golden lampstand representing the 7 churches of Western Asia. The churches in Asia needed encouragement. The church as a whole had known persecution from its earliest days in Jerusalem.

Opposition came first from unbelieving Jewish leaders and later from Rome. Roman emperors demanded worship of themselves as gods, which Christians refused. The Book of Revelation was written during that time to give the Christian congregations courage and assurance to withstand their difficulties. It is a revelation about Jesus, the living King of glory. The Christ who bore affliction and death also gives His persecuted people strength and victory through their tribulations.

John, who recorded this message, was no stranger either to persecution or to the churches of Asia.

In Matthew 20:22-23 John’s mother, the mother of Zebedee’s children, requested for her two sons a place of authority, where to sit in Jesus’ kingdom. Instead, they had been promised to share in the “cup” and the “baptism” of Jesus’ sufferings.

Matthew 20:22-23
22But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They said unto him, We are able. 23And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

In Revelation 1:8, I am Alpha and Omega signify that Jesus is before anything else, and that He continues, after all else is gone. He who created all things retains unlimited power to control what He has created.

Revelation 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.

After the end of Revelation Chapter 3 the Church is never represented again as on the earth. Between Chapters 3 and 4 the removal of the Church, the redeemed, must have taken place.

In Chapter 1 of our lesson today…John saw seven golden lampstands/candlesticks representing the seven churches and among these candlesticks, the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, ever present in their midst.

The glorified Christ’s robe, down to His feet, and the golden girdle about his chest signify His role as Intercessor and High Priest for all believers.

The hair of His head and His beard being white as snow are expressive of His perfect holiness. His eyes as a flame of fire show His power to see into and search the heart with convincing love.

Revelation 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.

His feet glow with the beauty as of the Chief Preacher of the Gospel of peace and His voice as the sound of many waters signifies the authority of His words.

Matthew 7:28-29
28And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29For he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

The two-edged sword proceeding out of the mouth of the glorified Lord clearly represents the Word of God. His countenance was as the sun shineth, represents the presence and power of God revealed through Him. He is the Light of the world.

John was so overwhelmed by the majesty of Christ that he fell prostrate before Him in reverent worship. The Lord laid His right hand on John showing that He intended to bless him and then He spoke those comforting words, “Fear not.” These words were spoken by Jesus often during his life and after the resurrection to His disciples to comfort them.

Fear is probably the first emotion we experience as infants and we battle with fears all through life. Jesus knows how important it is for us to overcome fears that keep us from serving and glorifying Him. He bids us to receive the blessings of His peace, for He is the everlasting Lord who is always working for the good for each of us.

The touch of Jesus revived John. The words of Jesus encouraged him, but Jesus wanted to do more than make him feel good. He had a work for John to do. John was to write the Revelation as well as further revelation he was about to receive.

Verse 19 of Revelation Chapter 1 is a key verse, for it indicates the three-fold division of the Book of Revelation:
1. Things which thou hast seen
2. Things which are
3. Things which shall be hereafter

Revelation 1:19-20
19Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 20The 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.

First we read about the vision here in Chapter 1, second, the message to the 7 churches in Chapters 2 and 3 and third, from Chapter 4 and on, the future events which will come at the end of the age.

John was to write a letter from Jesus to each of these 7 churches to encourage them.

Revelation 1:1-8
1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servant things which must shortly come to pass; and he set and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3Blessed 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. 4John 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 5And 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, 6And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 7Behold, 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. 8I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

From Jesus to the Church at Ephesus, writes

Revelation 2:2-7
2I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars. 3And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 6But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Summary: I know your good works. You have had patience, and you don’t tolerate sin among your members, but there is one thing wrong. You don’t love me as you did; turn back to me again and work as you did before, or else I will come again and remove thy candlestick out of his place.

From Jesus to the Church at Smyrna, writes

Revelation 2:8-11
8And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last which was dead, and is alive; 9I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 10Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Summary: I know your work and tribulation and poverty (but thou art rich in heavenly treasures). You will suffer many things, be put into prison, that ye may be tried, and ye shall have more tribulation, but be thou faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life.

From Jesus to the Church at Pergamos, writes

Revelation 2:12-17
12And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write: These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 13I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth 14But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. 16Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written which no an knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Summary: I know thy works and where thou dwellest and where Satan’s seat is. You hold fast my name and hast not denied my faith, but I have a few things against thee. Thou hast them that hold the doctrine of Balaam who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things offered to idols and to commit fornication. Repent or else I will come unto thee quickly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

From Jesus to the Church at Thyatira, writes

Revelation 2:18-29
18And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. 26And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 28And I will give him the morning star. 29He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Summary: The letter to the church at Thyatira: I am aware of all your good deeds, your kindness to the poor, your patience, but I have a few things against you. You are permitting the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess to teach my servants to commit fornication. I gave her time to repent, and she would not. I am He that searcheth deep into the heart. Repent.

From Jesus to the Church at Sardis, writes

Revelation 3:1-6
1And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 4Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6He that hath an ear; let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Summary: I know your reputation as a church that lives, but you’re dead. Be watchful. Strength the things which remain for I have not found thy works perfect before God. There are a few names there that have not defiled their garments. They shall walk with me in white.

From Jesus to the Church at Philadelphia, writes

Revelation 3:7-13
7And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 10Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 13He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Summary: I know your works. I have set before you an open door, that no man can shut. You aren’t strong but you have tried to obey Me, so because you have patiently obeyed Me, I will protect you from the Great Tribulation which will come upon the world to test everyone.

From Jesus to the Church at Laodicea, writes

Revelation 3:14-22
14And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me. 21To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Summary: I know you well. You are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other, but since you are merely lukewarm, I will spue you out of my mouth. You say I am rich and don’t need a thing. You don’t realize that thou art wretched, poor, blind and naked. I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire. As many as I love, I rebuke. Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door I will come in. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit sayest unto the church.

The Seven Churches of The Revelation

Ephesus – The Serving Church
Fault – Decaying love

Smyrna – The suffering Church
No fault - All praise

Pergamos – The Compromising Church
Tolerating evil in their midst. He praised them for their loyalty but warned them to repent.

Thyatira – False Teaching
We find a church, which along with much faithfulness and energy of service is seriously affected with false teaching and one of them was allowed to occupy an official position in the church.
Warning - to repent
Blessings for overcoming

Sardis – The Church in death
Fault - Defiled garments; Fell asleep; Spiritually dead minister; Gave them steps to recover
Will not blot out their name if they will repent

Philadelphia
The only 2 of the 7 churches which received no censure or rebuke from the Lord (Smyrna being the other)

Laodicea – The lukewarm church
Fault - Self-centered; Self-satisfied

This vision was given to John in loneliness, one of the Lord’s blessed compensations.

Author: Nannie Mae Jordan   (Transcribed by Joyce Carter   Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)

 

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