Today, our church began a teaching series on the Book of Revelation. I plan to document our journey through this book. My hope is that you will gain a greater understanding of this incredible book.
The Book of Revelation is a captivating and often enigmatic part of the Bible, filled with vivid imagery, prophecies, and messages. It’s a book that has sparked curiosity and, at times, confusion. However, at its core, Revelation is a revelation of Jesus Christ and a promise of our coming victory in Him. In this post, we will explore the first few verses of Revelation (Revelation 1:1-6), uncovering its foundational truths and blessings. We will also explore the significance of John’s three-fold purpose, the Trinitarian welcome, and the central message of our victory in Christ.
The Book of Revelation Reveals Jesus Christ
The opening words of Revelation, “The revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1), set the stage for the entire book. This declaration is a powerful reminder that the primary focus of Revelation is not on cataclysmic events or harbingers of doom, but on the person of Jesus Christ Himself.
The Book of Revelation is unique in that it offers a multi-faceted unveiling of Jesus. It begins with a vision of Christ in radiant glory, described as “one like a son of man” (Revelation 1:13), revealing His divine nature and authority. This initial unveiling sets the tone for the entire book, which continues to reveal different aspects of Jesus’ character and work.
In Revelation, Jesus is portrayed in various roles, serving as the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5). He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, and the slain Lamb who is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals (Revelation 5:5-6). Each of these titles and images reveals more about who Jesus is and the significance of His death and resurrection.
Three-Fold Purpose of the Book of Revelation
John’s three-fold purpose in the Book of Revelation, as outlined in Revelation 1:1-3, provides a clear framework for understanding the significance and intent of this profound prophetic work. The verse states, “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, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads aloud 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” (Revelation 1:1-3).
This threefold purpose reveals Jesus Christ, shows what must soon happen, and blesses those who engage with this prophecy.
1. Make Jesus Known
Firstly, the revelation of Jesus Christ is at the heart of John’s purpose. This book is a revelation of Jesus Christ. It is not a revelation of the Antichrist. It is not a revelation of what will happen to Israel. And it is definitely not a revelation of what will happen to America.
The Book of Revelation is not primarily about predicting specific future events, but about revealing the person, power, and preeminence of Jesus Christ. It is a testimony to His sovereignty over all creation and history, and a declaration of His ultimate victory.
2. Show What Will Soon Take Place
Secondly, John’s purpose is to show what must soon take place. This indicates that the events described in Revelation are not far-off or irrelevant, but are imminent and significant for the original audience and for all subsequent readers. The urgency of this message message urges believers to be prepared, faithful, and hopeful for the fulfillment of God’s purposes.
3. Bless Those Who Read and Apply It
Finally, John emphasizes the blessing that comes to those who read, hear, and take to heart the words of this prophecy. This blessing is not merely a reward for intellectual understanding, but a spiritual benefit for those who engage with the message of Revelation in a way that leads to transformed living and unwavering faith.
In summary, John’s three-fold purpose in Revelation 1:1-3 serves to center the book on the person of Jesus Christ, to underscore the imminence and significance of the events it describes, and to promise a blessing to those who receive its message with faith and obedience. This purpose provides a solid foundation for approaching the book of Revelation with reverence, expectation, and a commitment to its transformative impact on our lives.
The Book of Revelation is a Letter to Real Churches
The Book of Revelation is a letter written to seven actual churches in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). These churches were located in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.
The choice of the number seven in the Book of Revelation is not accidental, as it holds significant symbolic meaning throughout the Bible. Biblically, the number seven represents completion or fullness, and it is often associated with perfection. This symbolism is evident in the seven days of creation, the march around Jericho seven times, and various other instances in the Old Testament, such as priests sprinkling blood seven times and the observance of festivals and ordinations for seven days.
While the Book of Revelation is written to seven historical churches in Asia Minor, it also symbolically represents the Church as a whole, signifying the entire Body of Christ. The messages to these seven churches hold prophetic significance, addressing their unique circumstances and offering timeless principles that are applicable to Christian communities throughout history. Therefore, the number seven in the context of the seven churches in Revelation signifies the specific messages to these congregations and the fullness and universality of its application to the Church in every age.
Application: Our Coming Victory in Christ
The central message of Revelation is our coming victory in Christ. As we journey through this book, let’s keep our focus on Jesus. Let’s allow this revelation to deepen our faith, strengthen our hope, and inspire us to live in light of our ultimate victory in Him. The Book of Revelation is not merely a roadmap of future events; it is a promise of triumph for all who are in Christ.
In conclusion, the Book of Revelation is a profound and hope-filled revelation of Jesus Christ. As we engage with this book, let’s approach it with open hearts and minds, seeking to grow in our understanding of Jesus and His redemptive work. Our victory is assured in Him, and this truth should embolden us as we navigate through the complexities of life.
For further study and reflection, you may find the following resources helpful:
- Sermons about Revelation 1:1-6 – Eric Echols
- Bible Study Guide With Questions – Studyandobey.com
- Revelation 1 | YouVersion
May this exploration of Revelation kindle a deeper passion for Christ and a renewed sense of hope in His ultimate victory.