I .REVIEW (v.1:1-7).
- The book of Revelation reveals the glory of Jesus and His plan to make the transition from the earth to the coming age. The book is called the Revelation of Jesus because it reveals His heart, power and leadership by preparing the nations for the glory of God.
Revelation 1:1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.”
One of the purposes of the Father in giving this book to the Church is to reveal the beauty of Jesus; Who He is (how He thinks and feels) and What He does (His final plan). The main theme of the book of Revelation is not the plan itself, but the glory of the Man behind the plan: Jesus; the secondary theme are the events of end times.
Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near..”
Revelation is the only book in the Bible in which God promises a special blessing to anyone who reads, listens and keeps it, and also issues a grave warning to anyone who adds or removes something (Rev. 22: 18-19). This book was written to be understood by the people of God, even the illiterate and uneducated. A lie that has to be exposed has been propagated which a rms that this book can only be understood by the scholars.
If we read Revelation correctly, it will take us to love Jesus and trust His leadership, seeing His dramatic plans at the end of the age which are wise and loving by combining the sovereignty of God (manifesting His love and justice); human free will and satanic anger; resulting in the harvest of souls and a victorious Church in the end times. The final plan of the Lord is that there is an environment that allows both love and evil to reach their full expression.
The main theme of God’s plan in the book of Revelation is Jesus’ return to earth as King to rule all nations. His “King’s procession” back to earth will be seen by all.
Revelation 1:7 “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
II. WHAT JOHN WAS GOING THROUGH (v.8-10a)
v.9 “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ…”
• John is the one who writes but his letter does not come from his own authority. He calls himself “your brother” who participates with them in three things:
– “in the tribulation” As a result of their faith in Christ, the brothers were experiencing persecution and even martyrdom. Juan had su ered the same and that was why he was in a good position to comfort them. According to the Scripture, this same hostility will be the common experience of all those who follow Jesus.
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
2 Tim. 3:12 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will su er persecution.”
– “In the kingdom of God”: John shares the same Kingdom with the same King; the kingdom of God that reigns over everything but is resisted by the kingdom of this world.
Psalm 2:2 “The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed,”
Ephesians 2:2 “ in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”
• “In the patience of Jesus Christ” It refers to perseverance so as not to break or resent us in the midst of a iction and Christ inspires us because He was patient when He walked on this earth at His first coming and continues to be patience even now. The events of recent times require that we be patient and have understanding. God is very patient and has waited patiently for the time decreed to return to take possession of the earth.
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsu ering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Isaiah 42:14 “I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now I will cry like a woman in labor, I will pant and gasp at once.”
Christian discipleship is to follow the example of Jesus:
2 Thes. 3:5 “Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into
the patience of Christ.”
• “I was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” There is a price paid for believing, living and preaching the Word of God.
1 Corinthians 1:23 “ but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.”
v.10 “I was in the Spirit,” Being in the Spirit is the opposite of being in the flesh. Around there was nothing pleasant or inspiring. On the contrary, it was loneliness and isolation. However, the Holy Spirit gave him the revelation of this whole book.
v.11 “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia…” The voice of God has authority to give orders and to be obeyed promptly and accurately; unfortunately, many have not learned to receive orders from anyone, not even from the authority established by God.
III. LIVING FASCINATED BY JESUS (v.10b-16)
“I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,… 12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;
16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength”
John begins to report the vision he experienced and in the first 5 chapters highlights 30 specific descriptions of Jesus’ majesty, ministry and personality; which are titles, names, appearance, actions and clothes.
Each description is significant and is only an indicator that we should seek more revelation using the rest of the Bible to get a clearer idea of what the Spirit says about Jesus. It is like a menu that highlights what the Holy Spirit will feed the Church to prepare her to overcome concessions, endure the persecution and commit to associate with Jesus in the great drama of the end time.
Jesus gave us these truths about His heart and ministry to model the way we pray, and we serve to release His glory and fight evil prophesying with a spirit of boldness, tenderness and trust, instead of hardness and fear. A good question would be, is it your life goal to enter into the power and pleasure of being obsessed with the magnificence of Jesus?
Paul gladly left everything when he saw the magnificence of Jesus! If we can see what Paul saw about Jesus, then we can live as he lived.
Philippians 3:8 “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have su ered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
In this portion Jesus himself appears with a strong voice of authority declaring who He is; The Alpha and Omega; the first and the last; which is the same statement that the Father had said of Himself in v.8. When John turns around to see who was the one speaking to him, he sees Christ walking among the chandeliers
that are the seven churches. The number seven, again, speaks of the fullness of the churches.
v.1:20 “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”.”
The expression “like the Son of Man” refers to the Messiah prophesied by Daniel hundreds of years earlier and was the favorite title that Jesus used to describe Himself as narrated in the Gospels.
Daniel 7:13-14 “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”
Mark 13:26 “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.”
Acts 7:56 “and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
The person John saw in Revelation 1 looked like a human being and His clothing was similar to that of a priest (Exodus 28:4, Lev 16:4), which speaks of His current o ce (Hebrews 4:14) ; but the other details of his dress as the “long clothes that reach the feet” (v.13) and the “golden belt” with which he encircles his chest and the “sharp sword that comes out of his mouth” (v.13) also signs of His rank and o ce as The King and Prophet who walks in the midst of the churches with this kind of authority and dignity.
Hebrews 4:14-15 “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God… 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses….”
Revelation 1:17 “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.“
IV. PRACTICAL APPLICATION
All these descriptions must be something to which we RESPOND by agreeing, asking that it be REVEALED as such to our lives and that we can OBEY him as what He is God, King and Judge.
- Invite the whole group to read Revelation 1 and talk about Jesus’ leadership for the end of this age events.
- How do you feel that you are responding to Jesus’ leadership in your life?
- Encourage the members of the Friendship Group to pray in agreement and asking for more revelation of the characteristics of Jesus to overcome temptation, discouragement and opposition.