The apocalypse isn't something to be afraid of. Those who read, listen & keep it will be blessed.
Read / Listen to the chapter:
Read the chapter in an outlined format
Revelation 1 (ESV)
1 The revelation of Jesus Christ,
which God gave him
to his servants
the things that must soon take place.
He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
2 who bore witness
to the word of God
and to the testimony of Jesus Christ,
even to all that he saw.
is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy,
and blessed are
those who hear,
and who keep
what is written in it,
for the time is near.
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace
from him who is
and who was
and who is to come,
and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
5 and from Jesus Christ
the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead,
and the ruler of kings on earth.
who loves us
and has freed us
from our sins
by his blood
6 and made us
priests to his God and Father,
to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
he is coming with the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him,
and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.
Even so. Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
and who was
and who is to come,
9 I, John,
your brother and partner
in the tribulation
and the kingdom
and the patient endurance
that are in Jesus,
was on the island called Patmos
on account of
the word of God
and the testimony of Jesus.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,
and I heard
a loud voice like a trumpet
“Write what you see in a book
and send it to the seven churches,
and to Smyrna
and to Pergamum
and to Thyatira
and to Sardis
and to Philadelphia
and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me,
and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,
13 and in the midst of the lampstands
one like a son of man,
with a long robe
and with a golden sash around his chest.
14 The hairs of his head were white,
like white wool,
His eyes were like a flame of fire,
15 his feet were like burnished bronze,
refined in a furnace,
and his voice was like the roar of many waters.
16 In his right hand he held seven stars,
from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword,
and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.
But he laid his right hand on me, saying,
“Fear not, I am
the first and the last,
18 and the living one.
and behold I am alive forevermore,
and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
19 Write therefore
the things that you have seen,
those that are
and those that are to take place after this.
20 As for the mystery
of the seven stars that 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 are the seven churches.
Revelation 1 Summary
The word 'apocalypse' is very often misused. For example, after some sort of natural disaster such as a tornado or flood, reporters often describe the scene as being apocalyptic. We associate this word with disasters because it's the first word of this final book of the Bible: Ἀποκάλυψις (Apokalypsis), which translates into English as 'a revelation.'
An apocalypse can be either good or bad, and books of the Bible that reveal future events are classified as apocalyptic books, although, as we'll see, not all of the events that are revealed in this book will happen in the future. Some have already occurred, and others are occurring right now, as Jesus mentions in v19.
We'll be interpreting the book through the lens of what's come to be known as progressive parallelism: Parallel because we'll be looking at the same series of events from seven different perspectives, and progressive because each new perspective adds progressively more detail than the previous one.
Most of the Bible's teachings are clear and straightforward. For example, the doctrines of salvation taught in Romans and Ephesians are simple enough to be understood by children, yet at the same time, the details can be described with amazing precision. Those presenting ideas that are contrary or who make misrepresentations to this orthodox theology must be called out in order to keep the church pure.
When it comes to apocalyptic books like Revelation, however, we need to loosen our grip a bit and understand that good Christian people are going to come to different conclusions and interpretations. Understanding what this book is saying is hard stuff, so unfortunately many people just give up and skip over it. Others spend all of their time and energy developing massively complex interpretations and looking for clues each night on the evening news for fulfillment of their theories.
The Book of Revelation is God's Word that has meaning and application for our lives, so you can't just skip it, but at the same time, one of the first rules of Biblical interpretation that we must stick to is that we interpret the difficult passages of scripture in light of the clear passages. As we've read the New Testament this year, we've seen over and over again that salvation comes by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, and for God's glory alone, so it's through that confidence that we'll interpret this difficult book.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father God, who is, who was, and who is to come (v4)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will read and hear God's Word often and keep what's written in it (v3)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: