Revelation 1:1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ…”
The revealing, the apocalypse of Jesus. His, not about Him, what He will reveal. Jesus will reveal what shall happen at the end of time. Due to the terrible things which are revealed, the word apocalypse has been associated with prophecies of destruction, end of the world type scenarios. But its meaning is revelation, the revealing of what was hidden. God gave it to Christ who passed it on to John to write down, at least much of what he will see. Some he will be told to not write down.
One note – Revelation expounds on what is told in Daniel. You need to take the two together to understand them properly. Revelation tells what happens during the final week appointed to the Jewish people. All of the other weeks transpired before Christ was crucified. We’ve been in a holding pattern, the Church Age, since then awaiting the beginning of the final week. It will start again when the Antichrist, the man of perdition, makes a covenant with Israel for seven years, a week of years.
1 “…things which must shortly take place…”
Has been two thousand years or so since it was given. Guess it can be considered short by God’s standards or compared to eternity. Of course, I’m sure John probably thought it wouldn’t be long, perhaps in his lifetime.
2 “who bore witness…”
John had seen and known Christ while He was on earth.
3 “…the time is near”
Our sense of immediacy or imminence of His return. Could happen at any time.
4 “John, to the seven churches which are in Asia…”
Will be told to the churches of Asia Minor, the area between the Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean Seas.
4 “…from Him who is and who was and who is to come…”
Love this description of God/Christ. He transcends time itself.
7 “…He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him…”
His final return at the end of the Tribulation. The entire earth will see Him, even the Jewish people. Those will finally be ready to accept Him as the Messiah as a nation, the final conclusion of His promise to Abraham.
7 “…all the tribes of the earth will mourn…”
Tribes, not races. Scripture never talks about races. We’re all human beings, of the same race. We’re divided by physical characteristics and locations, but not by any inherent traits. Even those of different colors can be part of the same tribe.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
9 “…was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ”
He had been exiled there because he was a Christian. He apparently leaves after the death of the current Roman emperor, so he doesn’t die there. Commentary says he was put there under Domitian and released under Nerva.
10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…”
Looking inward, using the spirit, not the body. Not his imagination or a hallucination, he will have his vision through his spirit. Due to our rebirth by Christ, we have bodies and spirits which house our souls, our essence. We can perceive things in the physical and spiritual realms. He will perceive everything that happens through his spirit. Sunday, the weekly celebration of the Lord’s resurrection.
13-18 “…in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man…”
Description of the appearance of Christ, apparently in full glory.
20 “…The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”
Explanation of what he mentioned in verse 12. The word of God will interpret itself. You don’t have to come up with some weird idea of what was meant. That’s why you can take it literally unless it says to do so otherwise.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.