v1-3 - The introduction and purpose of Revelation:
It comes from Jesus, who showed it to John, who wrote it down for you.
This book isn't to frighten you or cause you to worry. Quite the opposite; it's for your blessing as you take it to heart.
v4-8 - This opening section contains two elements that are a big part of our worship services:
A benediction (words of blessing), that you might have grace and peace, given to you from Christ Himself;
A doxology (words of glory), praising God for loving and redeeming us, and reminding that every knee will bow and tongue will confess Him when He returns.
v9-20 - John explains how this revelation came to him.
He was worshipping God on the Lord's Day when he heard a loud voice, commanding him to write down what he saw and send it to the Church.
He turned around to see a Christ, appearing so glorified that it's hard to picture what John describes.
As we read Revelation, we're going to encounter lots of symbolic language. There will be times where the meaning of that symbolism will be quite mysterious, but often times the symbols will be clearly explained, as they are here:
Jesus, appearing with seven stars and golden lampstands, has a message for His Church.
The Church will be the central character in the story that will unfold.
It's true that this book can seem quite complicated, but don't be intimidated by it. Jesus explains the basic premise of it in v19:
“Write, therefore, what you have seen,
John does exactly that, but so many of the things he sees are way beyond description.
John does his best to use words, images and concepts that most closely capture the amazing things he saw.
Often times his descriptions are so fantastic and so beyond the ordinary that it doesn't make sense. For example, in v15-16 John describes Jesus' feet as looking like glowing bronze and as having a massive sword sticking out of His mouth.
When you read these types of things, just remember John is trying to describe super-natural phenomenons using our limited natural vocabulary in a metaphorical way.
John doesn't mean for us to interpret everything he wrote literally.
Look for clue words such as 'like' or 'as' or 'had the appearance of.'
what is now and what will take place later.
Revelation is not just about the future. As we read, we'll notice that much of what John describes are things that have been going on all throughout history.
Also remember that John is going to tell the same account of Christ's victory from seven parallel perspectives. We'll explain this as we go.
Dig even deeper: I'll have the sermons from our recent series on Revelation embedded at the bottom of each post. Even if you don't want to listen to them in their entirety, you can easily see the sermon slides and be reminded of the outline and key passages.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL— What keys does Jesus say He has? (See verse 18.)
Questions from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The Alpha and the Omega (the first and last) who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty (v8)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will be blessed as you read & hear these words and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near (v3)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: