Revelation Made Simple Workbook

Revelation Made Simple Workbook

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The Revelation Made Simple Workbook is a simple verse by verse commentary written in a format and style that anyone can read and understand. Each chapter is complete with questions which are designed to generate thought, discussion, and personal application. It can be used as a personal Bible study guide, a teaching aid, or small group Bible study.  

  • PRODUCT INFO

    Paperback book 8 1/2 x 11, 22 chapters, 255 pages.

  • SHIPPING INFO

    FREE SHIPPING - Books print after order is made. Please allow 2 - 3 weeks for delivery. Most orders arrive in 14 days. 

  • Study Guide Recommendations

    Recommendations for use as a workbook or study guide.

    • Feel free to underline sentences and write in the margins any thoughts, insights, or questions you have as you read. This will help you answer the questions at the end of each chapter. You will probably come up with many more questions of your own.
    • Answer the questions at the end of each chapter from what God is showing you personally from the Scripture. Use my notes and other commentaries to help with your questions only after you have done your own study. Remember that the Word of God is inspired and not the commentators.
    • Don’t feel like you must complete a chapter a week, personally, or as a small group. Some chapters will be filled with questions and challenging interpretations and some will be shorter. I recommend going through at your own comfortable pace.
    • In small groups, allow everyone to share equally as they feel comfortable. The questions are designed to generate thought, discussion, and application. If you are the facilitator, encourage equal discussion and try to allow everyone to participate.
    • Realize that there will be disagreements and passages that are hard to interpret. Agree to be open to different interpretations as long as they don’t compromise the gospel or the clear and foundational doctrines of the Bible. Sometimes we must agree to disagree.
    • Look for personal application in every chapter, lesson, and question. Revelation is a blessing to study and God wants us to be blessed.   
    • Enjoy and be blessed as you grow in the knowledge and truth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

     

  • Contents

    Chapter 1 – The Revelation of Jesus Christ

     8

    Chapter 2 – Letters to the 7 Churches Part 1

    23

    Chapter 3 – Letters to the 7 Churches Part 2

    47

    Chapter 4 – God is on His Throne in Heaven

    64

    Chapter 5 – The Scroll and the Lamb

    75

    Chapter 6 – The Great Tribulation and the Wrath of the Lamb

    83

    Chapter 7 – The 144,000 of the Great Tribulation

    91

    Chapter 8 – The Seventh Seal and the Seven Trumpets

    100

    Chapter 9 – Hell is Unleashed on Earth

    108

    Chapter 10 – The Sweet and Sour Word of Power

    117

    Chapter 11 – The Temple, the Two Witnesses, and the Seventh Trumpet

    125

    Chapter 12 – The Woman, the Dragon, and the Child

    136

    Chapter 13 – The Antichrist and the False Prophet

    144

    Chapter 14 – Visions of the Second Coming

    154

    Chapter 15 – The Prelude to the Bowl Judgments

    165

    Chapter 16 – The Pouring Out of the Bowl Judgments

    171

    Chapter 17 – The Great Harlot and the Scarlet Beast

    178

    Chapter 18 – The Fall of the World System

    189

    Chapter 19 – The Second Coming of Christ

    199

    Chapter 20 – The Millennial Kingdom and The Great White Throne Judgment

    211

    Chapter 21 – The New Heaven, New Earth, and New City

    226

    Chapter 22 – The Last Words

    244

    Contents

  • Chapter 1 content sample with questions

    NOTE: This is a content sample only. The book has a more user friendy format.

    REVELATION CHAPTER 1

    The Revelation of Jesus Christ

    Revelation 1:1-20

    • His Introduction                               1-8
    • His Instruction                                  9-19
    • His Intent                                           20

    Revelation 1:1-3 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, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 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. NKJV

    His Introduction

    1a The Revelation of Jesus Christ,

    The book of Revelation gets its title from the first words of chapter 1 verse 1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ. The word “Revelation” is the English translation for the Greek word apokalupsis (ap-ok-al'-oop-sis); In English, the word is transliterated “apocalypse,” meaning to unveil, disclose or to reveal. Revelation is a previously hidden view now given by God into the present glorified person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the revelation of His heavenly position and of major future events that will happen at the end of this present age in which we live, also known as the church age or the last days. In some ways it is the end of things as we know them, but it could also be referred to as the beginning of things to come.  

    1b which God gave Him

    Jesus Christ is both the Revealer of these truths and the embodiment of the Revelation itself. So, the title means that the Lord Jesus Christ is both revealed and the Revealer. He is the eternal, almighty, Son of God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. The message was given to the Son by God the Father.

    1c to show His servants

    The message is to His servants. We who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are His children and His servants. At this time Jesus wants His servants to know what He is doing and will do in the days to come. His relationship with His servants is special because we are also friends of the Groom, and sons and daughters of God, and fellow heirs with Christ. Therefore, Jesus is revealing to His servants what He is doing now and will do soon.

    John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. NKJV

    1d things which must shortly take place.

                It has been nearly 2,000 years since John received this amazing word of prophecy so how could the phrase “shortly take place” make sense? It makes sense when we put some Theological truths and the realm of eternity into perspective. First of all, with God time is viewed from an eternal sense. God is eternal and He has always been. He is “I AM,” the self-existent God. He is not looking at time by days, months, and years but He exists outside of the confines of time. This means that when time marches on for hundreds of years that man will doubt God and His word. However, we must know that God is not limited by time as we are and is much more concerned about the redemption of mankind than about what time it is.

    2 Peter 3:3-13

    3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.  5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

    8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

    10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. NKJV

     

                God’s Word tells us that these things written about in Revelation will happen but the great delay is because of the great love, mercy, and patience of God, Who, is waiting for and wanting for every man, woman, boy and girl to be saved. We need to be saved spiritually and eternally and when we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ, we will also be saved from the terrible judgments that are described in the book of Revelation. Is 2,000 years a short time? Not to me and you, but in the grand scheme of eternity it really is. Notice in 2 Peter 3 that the two things that man will doubt because of the expanse of time are creation and the end. Because he can’t see the distant beginning or the seemingly distant end, he therefore doubts both. 

    While the precise time of all these things which will shortly take place is unknown and unknowable to man, we need to remember what Jesus said.

    Matt 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 36 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

    Our ever-present responsibility is to be waiting, watching, working and ready.

    Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. NKJV

                The word “shortly” in verse 1 also refers to swiftness in time meaning that when these events begin, they will happen in rapid succession until the end.

    1e And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,

    God’s angels are ministering spirits and messengers sent by Him. Angels are mentioned over 75 times in Revelation. This messenger angel bore the message of Christ to John. Angels are powerful and are sometimes described in majestic and mysterious ways.  So much so that twice in Revelation John falls down to give reverence to the angel and twice the angel corrects John, saying that he was only a messenger and to only worship the Lord your God.

    Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." NKJV (Rev.22:8-9) 

                His servant John is of course the beloved disciple, one of the twelve, and an Apostle of Christ. John is the author of The Gospel according to John, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Revelation. John is also the last to be alive of the twelve. He is imprisoned for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and writes from the Isle of Patmos located off the southwest coast of Asia Minor. The Isle of Patmos was the Roman version of the United States’ old Alcatraz. This island was 10 by 6 miles, rocky and barren. John was there about 18 months and was probably forced to do hard labor in the mines and quarries. Most believe that Revelation was written about 95 AD when he was given visions of the things to come and instructed to write these things down. Confirming this date, there are writings as early as 140 AD by Justin Martyr that refer to The Apostle John as the author.

    2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.

                Drawing a parallel, we see that John refers to bearing witness to the “Word of God” and he referred to Jesus in his Gospel account as the WORD.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. NKJV

    This is the same Jesus. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, amen. John writes all things that he saw and leaves nothing out, whether he understands or not, except for one vision which the Lord instructs him not to write. (Revelation 10:4)

    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. NKJV

                A blessing is promised to all who read, hear, and keep the message of this book. This is true for all Scripture. When we read it or hear it and then heed it and put it into action in our lives we will always be blessed. What a privilege to know what is going to happen before it happens and what a blessing to know that we are on the winning team or that one has the knowledge and chance to be on the winning team. It is the peace and confidence of a sure hope. Imagine knowing the outcome and major plays of a game before it begins. This is like watching a football game that is pre-recorded and you know your team wins before you start watching. We may get excited and even upset at times as we watch, but we know our team wins in the end. This also gives light to the purpose of the letter. Revelation was written to comfort, encourage, strengthen, and inspire Christians to hold on, to prepare, and to share with others that Jesus Christ is coming again.

    4a John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

                Again, John identifies himself as the author and tells us to whom the letter is addressed. This letter was to be carried to and read in the seven churches of Asia Minor, (modern day Turkey). Here we begin to see the significance of numbers in the letter. One of the great challenges to properly interpreting and understanding Revelation is seeing the symbolism of names, numbers, colors, places, and many other things. We have to follow a simple rule that I learned in Bible college. It says that if the literal sense makes sense, seek no other sense. If we are not careful, we will interpret the literal as symbolic and the symbolic as literal. There are also times when we just can’t be positive. I think it’s always okay to say, “I don’t know” when we truly don’t know. Whenever I hear or read the words of a person claiming they totally and completely understand all of Revelation, I get concerned. There are some things that I don’t believe we will know for sure until they happen. For example, the exact time when Jesus will return.

                As a rule, some numbers are consistently symbolic through Scripture. Here are a few consistencies and examples but they are not always absolute. The following numbers are used often in Revelation.

    • The number 1 symbolizes perfect singleness and that which is first and foremost. The Lord our God is One and we should have no other gods before Him.
    • The number 2 symbolizes the truth of testimony. There were two tablets of Law, there are to be at least two witnesses for testimony and judgment, and there is the Old and the New Testaments.
    • The number 3 symbolizes unity and a completeness.

    The Trinity - Father, Son and Spirit

    Jesus - The Way, Truth, and Life

    Man - Body, Soul and Spirit.

    • The number 4 symbolizes universality, the four corners of the earth, (north, south, east, west), four winds, four wings, four faces, four creatures, etc.
    • The number 6 symbolizes man who was created on the sixth day, 6 is 1 short of 7, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Satan’s best always falls short of 7 and the mark of the beast reveals that man’s best is 666. Complete imperfection apart from God.
    • The number 7 is used 54 times in Revelation and symbolizes completeness and perfection or the perfection of completeness. The 7 churches are both literal and representative of the complete church from Acts 2 and the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit until today.
    • The number 10 symbolizes governmental completion. There are 10 nations, In Daniel 10 toes, In the Old Covenant 10 commandments, and the Millennial Kingdom, which is a 1,000-year reign, also a derivative of 10.
    • The number 12 symbolizes God’s people and certain significant areas of construction – The 12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples, 12 apostles, Heaven’s 12 foundations, gates, and the 24 elders, 144,000 sealed, which are derivatives of 12.

                There is without a doubt significance and symbolism with the numbers used in Revelation and the Bible. I would however use caution when it comes to reading too much into numbers and symbols that are not very clearly symbolic. Again, “if the literal sense makes sense, seek no other sense”.

                This address to the seven churches has a literal meaning. There were seven churches in Asia Minor that John addressed the letter to. These seven churches probably started out of the church of Ephesus and John was no doubt a former pastor and leader in that church and minister, overseer, and Apostle to the other six. It is believed that John ministered to the churches in Asia Minor from 67 AD until his imprisonment in 95 AD. Even now, separated by distance and prison, John is still burdened for and loving these churches.

                These letters and their application does not stop with these seven churches but as the number 7 represents, it is written to and for all of the churches that would exist from the beginning of the church in Acts 2 until the rapture of the church in 1 Thessalonians 4. It is to the complete, whole, and perfect in Christ, universal church. It is written to all who have confessed Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and whose spirits have been made alive and have been transformed by His saving power.  

    4b Grace to you and peace

                Grace is the unmerited favor of God that we receive when we believe on and receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord and peace is the result of completely trusting Him for everything.

    4c from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

                God is the eternal Father Who is, He is the self-existent I AM, Who was, He has always existed, and Who is to come, He will forever be and has no end. Also, this grace and peace comes from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, the Holy Spirit. Here again is the number seven used to show completion and perfection. There is only one Holy Spirit as the Bible teaches that the Lord is One. (Deuteronomy 6:4) Some believe that the seven Spirits are symbolic of the seven attributes of the Spirit in Isaiah and quoted by Jesus when He read from the Holy Scripture in the synagogue (Luke 4:18-21).

    Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,

    The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. NKJV

    The meaning of the seven Spirits is that the Holy Spirit is fully and completely present with the Father and also to complete the triune Godhead, there is the Lord Jesus Christ.   

    5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

                He is the faithful witness because He is the Truth and everything He says is true. He is the firstborn from the dead. The word firstborn means not only the first of its kind but the most preeminent one. He is number 1. There is only one number one and Jesus is both the first to rise from the dead bodily, spiritually, and eternally, never to die again but He is also above all as the ruler over all. He is King of kings and Lord of lords.

    5b To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

                The reason we are His servants and children are because He loved us so much that He gave His life for us on the cross when His blood was shed as a perfect, holy, and eternal sacrifice.

    Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. NKJV

                It is because of our faith in His work on the cross and His resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins that He has made us holy. We are a kingdom of priests before God. This means that we are able to stand as righteous people before God forever because Jesus has made us holy. We now have complete access to the Father through Jesus the Son and by the Holy Spirit. And as John writes, we must say when we grasp this truth, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  

    7a Behold, He is coming with clouds,

    Here is the purpose, theme, climax, and ultimate pinnacle of the book of Revelation, “HE IS COMING!” This is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. As the angels said in Acts 1. With clouds refers to both the Shekinah glory cloud that will surround Him and the great company of angelic hosts and saints who will return with Him. (Revelation 19)

    Acts 1:8 This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." NKJV

    7b and every eye will see Him,

    We will see Him, and we will rejoice. At last, the long-awaited King has come and all of heaven and of the earth who are redeemed by His blood will shout with joy. However, not everyone will rejoice at the sight of His coming.

    7c even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

    Even the ones who did not believe and are condemned will see Him. This is a reference that not only applies to the Roman soldiers who physically nailed Jesus to the cross but every person who is complicit in that act. This includes the Roman soldiers who were there, the Roman leaders who legally agreed to crucify him though they found no fault in Him, the Jewish religious leaders who conspired against Him, the mob who yelled  “CRUCIFY HIM” and every person in the world ever born who has not believed and received Him as Savior and Lord.

    Zechariah 12:10-11

    "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. NKJV

                Every time I read this verse, I think of Jesus’ words to the high priest when he put Him under oath and demanded an answer to His identity.

    Matthew 26:62-64

    62 And the high priest arose and said to Him, "Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?" 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!"

    64 Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." NKJV

    8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

                Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last. Jesus is the first and the last and is the eternal Son of God. He is the A and the Z, the beginning and the end and everything in between. With A through Z, you can spell and say anything, a myriad of combinations is possible. Putting a limit on Jesus is like putting a limit on the alphabet. Like playing Scrabble, Jesus is always that perfect word when you need it, a triple word score with Q, Z, and V, in it. Jesus is the Eternal and the Almighty; He has total and omnipotent control over every person, place, and thing, and all that we see in the pages to come will reveal His power.

     

    9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

                For the third time John identifies himself as the author and I love that he humbles himself as a brother and a companion to all of the believers in the church. John knows that he is one of the twelve and an Apostle of the Lord, but he relays to the family of God that he is one of them. There is no superiority or hierarchy in the body of Christ - there are just members and the Head which is Jesus. We are reminded of this daily as we go through the trials and tribulations in our own lives. Suffering in the Name of Jesus is both glorious and humbling at the same time. John is in prison on the Isle of Patmos for preaching the Word of God and his unyielding testimony of Jesus Christ. He is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, knowing it is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). His experience and testimony are a motivation to the church to hold fast, be patient, and not compromise their faith. When John was writing Revelation, the church was experiencing some of the worst times of persecution from the Roman Empire.

     

     

    His Instruction

    10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and 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,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

                After an awesome introduction to the letter in verses 10-19 we see the specific instructions that John is given in the vision. I was in the Spirit, is the manner in which John says he receives this revelation. John was no doubt in a time of prayer and fellowship on the Lord’s Day, a reference to the first day of the week and the eventual day of worship adopted by the church in commemoration of the Lord’s resurrection from the dead. John experienced a special and supernatural moment when God opened up his mind and spirit to see these incredible visions. This could be Paul’s explanation of his vision as described below in

     2 Corinthians 12: 2-4

     2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago — whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows — such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows — 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. NKJV

                He knew God had shown him something amazing and he knew it was real. The difference between Paul and John’s experience is that God told Paul not to write what he saw and told John to write what he saw. Not everyone who has a vision is supposed to write a book about it. And when someone does write a book about a vision they had, we need to always remember to check its every word with the Word of God to see if it lines up with the truth.

                John is told by a loud and clear commanding voice to write what he sees and hears over the next moments. The voice that he hears causes him to turn and see who is speaking and it is the Lord Jesus Christ in all His glory. Again, He is called the Alpha and Omega and Jesus tells him who the recipients of this message are to be. This Word is for the seven churches of Asia Minor. These were real churches in the day in which the book of Revelation was given, but the number seven signifies that this letter is to the whole church of Jesus Christ until He comes again. The seven churches are named and then addressed in the next two chapters. They are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

    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 suddenly sees the risen, ascended, glorified Lord Jesus Christ. The last time he saw Jesus he was ascending to Heaven and apparently looked similar to the way He looked when he walked with the disciples on earth. This appearance of Jesus seems much like the way James, John and Peter had seen Him when He was transfigured before them on the mountain and they were overwhelmed with the glorious sight. (Matthew 17:1-2) The following descriptions are awesome and glorious but are also meant to be taken in a figurative sense. The key word to notice in this amazing description is the word “like.” We use the word “like” when our natural words are too weak to convey the magnitude of what we are describing. Where Jesus is standing and what He is holding in His right hand will be revealed in the next few verses, but for now let us observe His appearance.

    13b One like the Son of Man,

                He is like the Son of Man, a term that Jesus loved to use in reference to Himself during His incarnation and ministry on the earth. But now John says He is so much more glorious in appearance.

    13c clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.

                He is dressed in the clothing of an Old Testament priest, but He is so much more than just another priest.

    14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow,

                His head and hair being white do not reflect old age but glorious light and His perfect righteousness.

    14b and His eyes like a flame of fire;

                His eyes are like a laser. He has perfect, all-knowing perception, and knows the thoughts, motives, and intent of every heart and mind. 

    15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;

                His feet are like brass. Brass is almost always associated with God’s judgment on sin. The most iconic emblem of brass is that of the brazen altar in the Temple on which the sacrifices for sin were offered and burned. This is not the meek and mild Jesus as portrayed in the movies or when He came the first time in grace and mercy. This is Jesus coming in judgment for the sins of the world. It is judgment for those on earth who have chosen to live for themselves, for sin and for Satan.

    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.

                The sword of His mouth is the Word of God. Jesus created the heavens and the earth by the power of His Word, and He will judge it by the same Word of power.

    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.  18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.

                John falls down as a dead man. This seems to be the natural response of every person who ever comes close to the unveiled glory of God. As Isaiah said when he had his vision, “woe is me, for I am undone.” This is the only natural response for natural man before the Holy God.

    18b And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

          Jesus holds the keys to life and death, heaven and hell. He is in absolute control over both and the eternal destination of every man and angel who exists or will exist.

    19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.

          Here Jesus tells John what he must do. Write down what he has seen, the things which exist in the current day and the things that are going to take place in the future. This is basically an outline to the book of Revelation. Chapter 1 is the things which he has seen, and it is this glorious revelation of the Savior. Chapter 2-3 are the things which are and will describe the present and evolving stages of the church period which we are currently in. And chapters 4-22 describe the things which will take place after the church age or period. We are currently in a time of grace in which God is patiently calling and waiting for all who will be saved. The things after this are when the age of grace is no more and the time of judgment for this earth and its inhabitants will begin.

    His Intent

     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 intent of the revelation is so that we may see and know what is going to happen in the future and we can begin to prepare in the present. In the first chapter we see these things will shortly take place, we are blessed if we read and heed these words, Jesus is returning and every eye will see Him, and the message is to the churches. We are to be ready and busy about His work in preparation for His return.             

     

          Before Jesus begins to give us a description of the churches and the state of each one, He reminds us that He is in the midst of His church. He has not forsaken and never will forsake His beloved bride and body no matter what. He is also holding in His powerful right hand the angel of each church. The word angel means messenger and can refer to an angelic being or a messenger. The word evangelist comes from the words good and angel. An evangelist is a messenger of the good news or the gospel of salvation in and through Jesus Christ. I believe here the word angel is best understood as the messenger to each church and represents the pastor of each church. Jesus is holding His pastors in His powerful and loving hands and requires them to preach His Word in season and out with boldness, accuracy, consistency, purity and with love and grace. He will also hold each pastor accountable for how they handled the great responsibility of preaching His Word and shepherding His people.

    2 Timothy 4:1-5

    I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. NKJV

    Personal Study and Small Group Discussion Questions

    Revelation Chapter 1

    • Why do you think the book of Revelation is one of the least read and most misunderstood books of the Bible?
    • What are you most interested in learning as you study Revelation?
    • From where does the title of the book of Revelation come from and what does it mean?
    •  How is Jesus Christ both the Author and the Subject of the Revelation?
    • According to verse 1, how does it make sense that Revelation covers, “things which must shortly take place” when these words were written nearly 2,000 years ago?
    • From 2 Peter 3:3-13 what two events are most doubted by man because of length of time?
    • Chapter 1 verse 3 says that there is a blessing for us in Revelation. What are the three parts to receiving this blessing and what are some of the practical blessings that you can think of?
    • How are numbers used in the Bible to symbolize certain truths and what do we need to be careful about when interpreting the meaning of numbers?
    • What does the number seven reveal about the Holy Spirit in verse 4?
    • How is Jesus Christ the firstborn from the dead? Compare with Colossians 1:14-18.
    • According to verses 5-6 how can our sins be forgiven and what does this make us to God?
    • In verse 7, what facts are stated about Jesus’ Second Coming and what does this make you want to do?
    • Where was John when he wrote the Revelation, why was he there, and how does he identify himself in verse 9?
    • When you look at the world today, what assurances of hope can you take from these first 9 verses?
    • In verse 10, John describes his experience as the Lord began to reveal these things to him. What are some comparisons and contrasts with the Apostle Paul’s experience as described in 2 Corinthians 12?
    • John uses the word “like” as he describes the appearance of Jesus Christ. What are some of his “like” words or pictures and how might he be described in today’s terminology?
    • Verse 19 gives an outline for the book. See if you can identify the three parts and which chapters correlate with each part.
    • Verse 20 gives an interpretation or identification of some of the symbols used earlier. What are they and what do they represent?
    •   What new truths have you learned about the book of Revelation in Chapter 1?

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