The Book of Revelation is the only book of the Bible with a Promise to the reader! Why? What makes this book so special? One of the reasons this book strikes us as strange is because of our lack of understanding concerning the Old Testament. The Book of Revelation consists of 404 verses that contain over 800 allusions to the Old Testament. Learn about the past, present and future of the Church and our ultimate destiny. This is an ideal “first study” and foundational for every Christian.
As the first verse of the Book of Revelation states, it is not the Revelation of St. John, but the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Join David in this opening video message on his favorite book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, and join us as we study through this book with new messages added every week. See the whole series indexed at Hope For Today
Revelation is a “lens” that puts the entire Bible into focus. The lens is focused on the person of Jesus Christ, and his destiny is imminent. This is a book of victory: We are overcomers! We are the ultimate winners in the game of life! (I read the ending: we win!
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John:
2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3 Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand.
4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
5 And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14 His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength.
17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
18 I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
The Book of Revelation is the only book of the Bible that promises a special blessing to the reader.1 (Many verses in the Bible encourage reading God’s Word–in general–but only one book has the “audacity” to claim, in effect, “Read me, I’m special.”)
What is surprising is that, even for many avid Bible readers, this book is overlooked or neglected. One would expect just the opposite.
There are many reasons why this book invariably results in a special blessing to the diligent inquirer. Perhaps the most basic blessing accrues from the fact that in order to understand the back ground of the many idioms and allusions, one will have to trace back into virtually every book of the Bible.
The Book of Revelation consists of 404 verses which contain over 800 allusions to the Old Testament alone!2 One reason the book appears so strange to the uninitiated is that most of us haven’t developed enough familiarity with the Old Testament.
One of the keys to understanding the book is also to take it seriously,not to get distracted with fanciful allegories or speculations but to read it with care and diligence as part of the whole Word of God. The Bible consists of 66 books, penned by 40 authors over thousands of years, and yet we now discover that it is an integrated message: every detail, every word, every number, every place name is there by supernatural engineering. And no study makes this clearer than the study of the Book of Revelation.
(The Bible is like any textbook in school, the answers are all in the back!)
Organization of the Book
The Book of Revelation is the only book I know which also has a divinely inspired outline included! Jesus Himself has provided the key to the structure of the book:3He told John to write:
- the things which thou hast seen, and
- the things which are, and
- the things which shall be hereafter.
The “things which thou hast seen” refers to the vision of our risen Lord just experienced previously in Chapter 1.
The “things which are” refers to the seven churches which were existing at that time in Chapters 2 and 3. Interestingly, the Lord’s letters to the churches in these two chapters are the most relevant part of the book for you and me today.
The “things which shall be hereafter (meta tauta)” refers to the remainder of the book.
Joshua as a Model?
It is interesting to notice the parallels in design between the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation. Joshua’s name is in Hebrew; in Greek it could be rendered “Jesus.” Joshua’s mission is to dispossess the usurpers from the Land on behalf of God’s people; in Revelation, Jesus’ mission is to dispossess the Planet Earth of the usurpers.
Joshua initially sends ahead two witnesses.4 (We call them spies, but all they accomplished was getting a Gentile woman saved.) The two witnesses of Revelation Chapter 11 are a prominent element.
In the initial attack on the Amorite capital of Jericho, every rule of the Torah was violated: the Levites were exempt from military duties, yet they lead the procession. They were to do no work on Sabbath Day, yet here they march around Jericho once a day for six days, and then seven times on the seventh day! They are to keep silent until the final trumpet blast, etc. It is interesting that the Seven Trumpets in Revelation are introduced after a strange silence.5
The opposing kings align themselves under a leader who calls himself Adoni-Zedek (“The Lord of Righteousness”), who is ultimately defeated with signs in the sun and the moon at the battle of Beth Horon.6The defeated kings hide in caves, etc.
It seems that in Revelation we have the final “Joshua,” dispossessing the Planet Earth of its usurpers on behalf of God’s people in a manner that is remarkably parallel.
- Revelation 1:3; 22:7.
- These are all detailed in our notes accompanying the Expositional Commentary on Revelation.
- Revelation 1:19.
- Joshua 2; Revelation 11.
- Revelation 8:1, et al.
- Joshua 10.
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