Introduction: The Revelation of Jesus Christ
“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.”
The Book of Revelation is one of the most encouraging books in the Bible, because in it we see our Savior vindicated before the world. Revelation is really a very simple book. It all comes down to this: Jesus wins! The subject of the Book of Revelation is Jesus Christ. It is a revelation of His person, His power and His specific plan for the end of the age.
I. Three emphases in the book clarify WHO JESUS IS:
- . He is the same “human Jesus” who was born on earth at His first coming. He is the same “Jesus” on whose chest John reclined (1:1, 2, 5). He is a “son of man,” possessing a full human nature (1:13). Moreover, He will always be fully human.
Rev. 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the O spring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
- He is also fully divine: one in essence with the Father (1:12-18). He reveals God fully (19:13). He will share the throne of the universe with the Father eventually.
Rev 3:14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.”Rev. 22:1-3 “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb… 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him,”
- He is the eternal God (21:6; 22:13)
Rev. 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,”[c] saysthe Lord,[d] “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
II. In the book of Revelation there are many titles that give us a more complete appreciation of HIS PLACE IN HISTORY.
- IN THE PAST, He proved to be the “Root of David,” the “Lion of the tribe of Judah,” and the promised “Messiah” (3:7; 5:5; 22:16). This became clear at His baptism (Matthew 3:17). Also He proved to be “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (5:6, 6:1). This became clear at His death. In thepast, He proved to be “the firstborn from the dead, the victor over death and Hades” (1:5-6, 18; 2:8; 3:21). This became clear at His resurrection. Rev 5:12 “saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing! Rev. 1:18 “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
- IN THE PRESENT, He is “the Lord of the churches” who reigns over the church (2:1; 3:1; ver 22:20). Rev. 2:1 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars [the leaders of the church] in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lamp stands [the churches].” (1:20).
- IN THE FUTURE, Jesus Christ will prove to be “the Judge of all
humankind” (2:12, 18, 3:14, 6:1). This is His primary role during the Great Tribulation. In the future, He will prove to be “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1:5; 19:16). This is His primary role during the Millennium. In the future, He will prove to be “the Morning Star” (22:16). His Second Coming will signal the dawn of a new day in history. This will find its clearest revelation in the new heavens and the new earth. The Millennium will only be a foretaste of that eternal day.Rev. 17:14 “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
III. Revelation is also a REVELATION OF THE POWER OF JESUS CHRIST:
- HE HAS ALL PERSONAL POWER. He has inherent power, power within Himself. We see this in His control of all other beings and forces (e.g., believers, unbelievers, Satan, the beasts, human armies, etc.). He wields the power Himself. He also has acquired power, power that has been given to Him by another. His Father has given Him even more power and authority (5:1, 6-7; Mt. 28:18). He exercises all the power of the Godhead.Rev. 5:12-13 “saying with a loud voice:“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” 13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!.”
- HE HAS ALL INSTRUMENTAL POWER. That is, He has “authority” over all things as He executes His power. All things are His instruments or tools. He has power over all material objects and forces. He controls the physical universe. We can see this in His using individuals, storms, earthquakes, and even the heavenly bodies to accomplish His will in this book. He also has power over all spiritual entities and authorities. He controls the angels, the demons, and Satan. Every power in the universe is under His authority and control (e.g., 13:15).Rev. 8:10 “Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.”
- HE HAS ALL EFFECTUAL POWER. That is, He has power to accomplish anything. He can e ect any changes that He desires. He has all destructive power. He can destroy anything that exists: individuals, systems (e.g., Babylonianism), objects, even the very heavens and earth. He also has all constructive power. He can create new human bodies (by resurrection), new systems (new religious and economic orders), and new cities (the new Jerusalem).Rev. 19:11 y 15 “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war… 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp[g] sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”
IV. THE BOOK OF REVELATION ALSO REVEALS THE PROGRAM OF JESUS CHRIST. (1:19). It gives us much detail about God’s program and how it will unfold in the future:
- Christ’s IMMEDIATE purpose is to defeat and destroy Satan and sin. We see Him doing this in the Church Age, in Revelation, as He deals with believers in the seven churches (2—3). His purpose is to purify to Himself a people who will be “a kingdom and priests to God” (1:6). We also see Him doing this in the Tribulation period in Revelation. We see it in His judgment of those who have not believed on Him (4—18). His purpose then will be to pour out God’s wrath on His enemies for their refusal to receive His grace (16:1). Why does there have to be a Tribulation? God has promised a “time of trouble” that will be the worst that the world has seen (Jeremiah 30:7, Dan. 11: 36-45). If God is faithful to His promises (and He is), there has to be a special time of tribulation yet future.Rev. 14:9-10 “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.”
- Christ’s ULTIMATE purpose is to dwell among His people and experience intimate fellowship with them. We see Him doing this in the Millennium to an extent never before attained in history (20:6). We see Him doing this— perfectly and eternally—in the new earth (22:3-5). This has always been God’s ultimate purpose (e.g., Adam, Noah, the patriarchs, Israel, the church, the Millennium). He will achieve it completely in the new earth.Rev. 22:3-5 “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”
V. THE BLESSEDNESS FOR THOSE WHO STUDY REVELATION
Ap. 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.” God promises a special blessing or blessing to those who:
• “Read” It should be considered a privilege to be allowed to emphasize the revelations that will be made in this book about future times. It refers to public and private reading.
• “Listen” It refers to pay attention. The meaning of this word is that they should be considered as very favored to become familiar in some way with what is communicated here and gain an understanding that a ects their lives. Both those of us who read these words to the church and those who hear them with hearts full of faith (Hebrews 4:2) will be blessed.
• “Keep” It refers to remembering what refers to the events of the future and obey the things that are required.
The Book of Revelation, then, is a revelation of Jesus Christ, His person, His power and His plan, for the rest of the story. We must never forget that He is the central subject of this book, as we seek to understand what He has revealed here. A “revelation” of the end of history is not given to satisfy curiosity, but to inspire to live in accordance with the revealed reality.
Commentator Smith says about Rev. 1:1 “to show His servants” ‘This is especially a book for a problematic age, for a time when darkness deepens, fear spreads over the whole humanity, and the wicked and evil powers, appear on the stage of history (as seen in this book). If we are having di culties with this blessed final book of the holy Word of God, let us give ourselves to Jesus Christ as his servants. The book was written for the servants.’
- Based on what you have heard about Jesus in this introduction, what aspect of the person of Jesus impacts you the most?
- How do you plan to study this book?
- How do you think the understanding of the Book of Revelation will affect your way of life in a practical way?