The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the title of the Book. The revelation is both from Christ and about Christ. Since God is Christ is the revelation of God Himself John 1:8; John The Apostle wrote the Book of Revelation, in the Isles of Patmos. This is his fifth book, Including The Gospel of John, I John, II John and III John. In the Gospel he reached into eternity than any other Bible writer John 1:1-3 ; Revelation is also called “The Apocalypse” which means- To ” unveil- to reveal” , The Revelation then reveals, unveils the coming triumph of Jesus Christ. In Revelation he reaches into eternity future than any other writer Rev 21, 22 ; The central message is ” The Revelations of Jesus Christ” V:1 ;The high points of this book is: God gave to Christ. Then Christ sent by an angel. Then the angel gave servant John. And finally John gave to the seven churches. These words authenticates every word found in the book of Revelation. Man writes history- and God writes prophecy. Revelation is prophecy from God. In V:3 we find the importance of the book “now the time is at hand” Which means that the return of our Lord is always imminent- Always– And in three beatitudes 1. ” Blessed is he that readeth 2 And they that hear the words of this prophecy 3 And keep those things which are written therein”
Chapter 1: “Write the things that thou hast seen” . In obedience to this command John wrote the things which he had seen. He saw the Glorified Lord, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending. He had seen the seven golden candlesticks -the lampstands V:20- they are Seven Churches;and in its midst he saw one like unto the Son of God. John describes the vision of the Living Lord.His garments,eyes,head,hair,feet,voice. John saw in the right hand of the Lord “seven stars” v:16 ; v:20 they are “angels- messengers actually pastors of the seven churches.
Chapter 2.and 3: :And the things which are” The Seven Candlesticks represent Seven Churches. The message was clear that John was to write in a book what he saw and send message to the seven churches which are in Asia. The seven churches represent all of God s churches. the divine arithmetic in the Revelation is significant because the number “seven” means “fullness”, “complete” – the complete household of God. The Seven Churches represent all the churches of all ages. John lived in the same dispensation,same age that we live in today- the day of the church age.
Christ speaks of the seven churches in a definite order. He follows a definite pattern as you will see ; The pattern in each is : a. First Christ identifies himself . b.Then He commends the church ( all but Laodicea) c. Next He condemns the things that are wrong. ( He had no condemnation for Smyrna and Philadelphia) d. Then He warns the church e. Finally ,He challenges the church.
The Seven Churches.
- Ephesus : “Unto the pastor of the church at Ephesus,write…” (This was the church of apostles) He Identifies Himself :2:1 – “Things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand who walks in the midst of seven golden candlesticks.” He commends The Church V:2-3 – “I know thy works,thy labor,thy patience,etc.” He condemns : V-4, “Nevertheless,I have somewhat against thee,because thou hast left thy first love.” He Warns: V:5-6, “Remember – repent or I will remove the candlestick…” He Challenges: V-7, “He that hath an ear,let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh,will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God”
- Smyrna — “Unto the pastor of the church in Smyrna,write…” ( This was the church of persecution) He Identifies Himself :2:8, “These things saith the first and the last which was dead and now is alive.” He commends: V9-10: (read the verses ). (This was the church of the martyrs and persecution. there were ten distinct attempts by imperial rulers to crush the infant church. These are historical events from the days of Nero to the days of Diocletian.) He Condemns : None. He Warns: V-10, “Fear none of these things – Be thou faithful” He Challenges: ” I will give thee a crown of life” ( see James 1:12)
- Pergamos: – “Unto the pastor of the church at Pergamos,write…” This church was married to the state – a church of the world.) He Identifies Himself: 2:12, “These things saithHe which hath the sharp sword with two edges” He Commends: V-13, “I know thy works – thou holdest fast my name and hast not denied the faith.” He condemns: V-14-15, “But I have a few things against thee” (read the verses) they were practicing false doctrine. He warns: V-16, “Repent or else…” He Challenges: V-17, “To him that overcometh…”
- Thyatira – “Unto the pastor of the church in Thyatira write…” ( This church is the church under the government – a state church.) He Identifies Himself: V-18,”These things saith the Son of God” He commends: V-19, “I know thy works – love,service,faith,patience.” He condemns: V-20-23, – They were allowing the ministry of a false prophetess, Jezebel. He Warns: V-24-25 – ( read the warning) He Challenges: V:26-28, “And he that overcometh…”
- Sardis: – “Unto the pastor of the church of Sardis,write…” 3:1 ( This church period is the church of the Reformation: He Identifies Himself: V-3:1, “These things saith He that hath the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.” Do not forget the divine arithmetic. There are not seven different spirits of God. here in 3:1 Jesus says “these saith He that hath the seven Spirits (fullness,complete total spirit of God.” He commends: V:4, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis – they are worthy.” He condemns: V-1, “Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” He Warns: V-2-3, “Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain – remember – repent.” He Challenges: V-5-6, “I will confess his name before My Father – .” Luke 12:8-9;
- Philadelphia – “Unto the pastor of the church in Philadelphia,write…” V-7; (This church means open door. ” It represents the great missionary movement.) He Identifies Himself: V-7, ” These things saith He that is holy, He that is true,He that is the key of David,He that openeth,and no man shutteth,”etc. He Commends: V-9, “Thou has kept my word and hast not denied my name.” He condemns: He has no condemnation. He Warns: V-11, “Behold I come quickly,hold that fast which thous hast…” He Challenges: v- 8-12, “I have set before thee an open door — I will subdue your enemies – I will keep thee.”
- Laodicea – “Unto the pastors of the church of Laodiceans write…” v-14; ( This church represents the church of the last days before coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.) He Identifies Himself: V-14. ” These things saith the Amen,the faithful and true witness,the beginning of the creation of God.” This is a true description of our Lord in His own words. He Commends : Nothing good ! He condemns:V-15-17, ” Thou art neither cold nor hot _ because thou art lukewarm – I will spue thee out of my mouth,Thou sayest,I am rich,etc.” He warns: V. 18, (read). He Challenges: V-19, “As many as I love,I rebuke and chasten” Hebrews 12:5-8; Then a personal challenge at the close of the church Age is given in V:20-21.
- The third part of the Outline
- ” And the things that shall be thereafter” – will make up the next week.
Chapter 4 – 22: “And the things which shall be thereafter” This is the outline of God to John in 1:19