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“This is the revelation which God gave to Yeshua the Messiah, so that he could show his servants what must happen very soon. He communicated it by sending his angel to his servant Yochanan, 2 who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah, as much as he saw. 3 Blessed are the reader and hearers of the words of this prophecy, provided they obey the things written in it! For the time is near!” – Revelation 1:1-3 (CJV)
“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.” Revelation 1:1-3 (KJV)
The book of Revelation is one book many hardly turn to for personal study. It may just end for them in more confusion than they had before they ever started. Even many ministers just pick a place from there to use in a message and sometimes it ends up out of context. It looks like a book that describes strange and scary monsters. Sometimes people even liken it to the Anti-Christ more than Christ himself.
What is this book about? I believe the key to understanding this book is seeing the first three verses because they give us insight into what it is all about. Without understanding this everything else will not fall into place. Every statement, prophecy and situation is based on the foundation in these early verses.
It says it is the revelation of Jesus. The word “Revelation” from the greek is “Apokalupsis” which means disclosure or unveiling. This means this book is about the unveiling of Jesus. When you go through the book you will discover that Jesus revealed himself in different ways to the 7 churches in Asia according to their particular state. Generally the church was undergoing severe persecution from the Jews and Romans and this book was to comfort them. Their comfort and exhortation was in a fresh revelation of Jesus.
The revelation of events like it is written was signified. This revelation was in signs and not to just to be taken literally. Like many have taken the issue of 666 to be a micro-chip to be implanted. The mark of the beast is not a physical sign. Just like many other places, wisdom must be employed to see the meaning.
This book was to unveil God’s plan for the redemption of the 1st century church before the fall of Jerusalem. It was to announce the second coming that why he said “Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come”. Who is to come is Jesus.
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.
The tribes of the earth is an unfortunate translation because the word “earth” is “ge” in the greek which talks about the “land”. The tribes of the land was the land of Israel. This makes sense because they they were ones who pieced him at the cross. He was not referring to our time and age. When they see they would enter mourning before his coming was for judgment upon a nation crucified it covenant partner.
“Blessed are the reader and hearers of the words of this prophecy, provided they obey the things written in it! For the time is near!”
I don’t know where we started to see “the time is near!” for our time period. It was for them and not for us. The end was to roll up the Mosaic age of the Old covenant so that the new covenant would gain full expression. It was time for the new heaven and earth to replace the old one.
6 Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy[b] prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.– Revelation 22:6
Now there is no way you would reveal Christ without unveiling the church. As He is so are we on earth. So we find an interesting place in chapter 21.
“Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”[g] 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy[h] Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. – Rev. 21:10,11
22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it,[j] for the glory[k] of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.24 And the nations of those who are saved[l] shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. – Rev. 21:22-24
This gives a beautiful description of the church. If the church could see what God has made her of she would arise of mediocrity and step into the glory of God.
In the last chapter we see more of Jesus and His loveliness.
14 Blessed are those who do His commandments,[g] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
We find the last chapter takes us back to the Genesis where man lost his place in the garden. The enthronement of the new covenant restores man to the garden. The garden is place of the finished work. That is why Jesus told the thief on the cross “today you will be with me in Paradise”. The Greek word for Paradise is “Paradeisos” means a garden. The finished work of Christ is the place of perfection, the place where all our miseries are no more. It’s where the curse has been reversed.