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 Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 1) (verses 1-3)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 1) (verses 1-3)   Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 1) (verses 1-3) EmptySat Oct 04, 2014 12:12 am

Revelation Chapter 1 (part 1) (verses 1-3)

I am assuming that you are following along with your bibles opened. Our bible studies are going to be fully comprehensive. I want you to have a complete understanding. This study is going to mostly use the NIV (2003 version), but might consult other translations.

One of the most important things to realize about Revelation chapter 1 is that it is basically a table of contents for the entire book of Revelation. Just like a contemporary book, it begins with a preface (verses 1-3), includes a dedication (verses 5b-6), and the table of contents is from verses 4 through the end of the chapter. Time-wise, therefore, the events of chapter 1 are spread out throughout the book. It even has an outline in verse 19, which says, “Write, therefore, what you have seen (past tense—chapter 1 (verses 1-18)), what is now (present tense—chapters 2-3), and what will take place later (future—chapters 4 through to the end of the book.)” That is a quick, macroscopic overview of chapter 1. Now let’s take a closer look.

Verse 1: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John...” This is a great synopsis statement of the contents of the entire book. The entire book is simply a revelation of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of Christians who shy away from reading this book because they are intimidated by it. But to not study this book, is to miss out in something about Jesus that is revealed only in this book. This is where I would list a lot of reasons why we should study this book and all the benefits gained by an understanding of it. But I’ll skip all of that for the sake of brevity, so just take my word for it. Study it! Don’t shy away from it. It’s good! (Please see Part 44 where I do cover the benefits of studying this book.)

The Greek word used here for “revelation” is the word “apocalypse”. It simply means an uncovering, or unveiling. Notice that the word revelation is singular. This is not a book about a bunch of mysterious secrets from God. It is about one thing—the unveiling of Jesus Christ. Moreover, it is a revealing, not a hiding. We will soon see that Revelation is a book that God intends for us to fully understand. Note that according to verse one, Jesus is the one giving the message to show His servants. Implied here is the divinity of Jesus because it is saying that we are servants of Jesus Christ. But Jesus sent the message about Himself via an angel to the Apostle John. Angels, by the way, are messengers of God; and in fact, “angel” means “messenger” in the Greek.

It should be mentioned here that John is the same John who wrote the Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John. This same John is the one who originally penned for us the book of Revelation that he received by revelation from Jesus through the angel.

Revelation 2 reads, “ His servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” It appears here that John saw this revelation with his eyes, which means that he was not asleep when he received this revelation. This would not be new because in Zechariah 4:1, an angel woke Zechariah up from his sleep to show him a vision. John attests here that what he is telling us is the truth from God.

Verse 3 is interesting because it is the only verse in the bible that gives a special blessing to the one who reads the text. This is another reason why this book should be studied. It doesn’t even say that you need to understand it. It says only that you will be blessed by reading it. It reads, “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” This verse offers 3 different blessings. You are blessed if you read it, blessed if you hear it, and blessed again if you take to heart the message. A similar verse to this is Revelation 22:7, which Jesus speaks, saying, “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” These 2 verses should be compared to Luke 11:28, which says, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” It is also noteworthy that the book of Revelation starts with a blessing, as we saw, but it ends with a curse. Revelation 22:18 reads, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” We will eventually get to this verse and explain what it means when we get there, but it is a curse, which serves as a warning and it concludes this book.

In Revelation 1:3, the words translated “take to heart” literally means in the Greek “keep.” So it more accurately reads, “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy and blessed are those who hear it and keep what is written in it, because the time is near.” As we said, to attain this blessing, one needs only to accept and obey the message of the book; understanding is not a prerequisite for this blessing. Verse 3 also shows that Revelation, at the time it was written to the early churches, was meant to be read aloud as a public reading in the churches: “those who hear.” We can bless our children in this regard who are not old enough to read for themselves—we can read to them. We will comprehensively cover the things that we are to obey or “keep” that is written within it. We will also look at how and why the time is near. We are finished looking at the first 3 verses. We will pick back up at verse 4 soon.

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