Saturday, February 16, 2013

Five Bible Passages on Revelation Chapter 1

1. Revelation 1:1-3 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw-that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

The book of Revelation is a book shrouded in mystery, but as I've said before it was written to be read! Are we so far from God's gift of wisdom? Definitely not! This is a revelation that was first given to Jesus Christ and through him it was given to John. In Revelation we often see the words "soon" and "near." We are to live as these things could happen any day. In this passage we see that John is the writer, but the vision comes from Christ. Verse three tells us that those who study this chapter are blessed, as long as they take it to heart. Why? Because the time is near!

2. Revelation 1:7 Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.
In Revelation verse seven we get some wonderful statements about the return of Christ. He is coming with the clouds or in some translations "in the clouds." This is a metaphor and means Christ will return from heaven where he is now. Truly we see that no one will miss this great event. The righteous and the evil will both know of his return. We see that all the people of the earth will mourn because of him. What does it mean? Well at that time the earth will be full of evil. And Jesus will return to judge those who have done evil and not accepted him.

3. Revelation 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

Some people are confused by this verse. What does alpha and omega mean? Well alpha is the first letter of the greek alphabet and omega is the last letter of that alphabet. God transcends beginning or ending. He simply is. No one created God, and from our perspective this is impossible to fully understand. Perhaps we will understand more completely in the next life. We are often wondering who created what in this world. We are taught to believe everything is created. Well God simply is. He is the almighty! He has all power.

4. Revelation 1:9-11 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea."

This is a wonderful passage because we are reminded that John was suffering at the time of writing these words. He was imprisoned at the time, yet he was not sad and he was proud to be under persecution for Christ. We see no undertones of sadness in John's writing. It is full of joy, even while he is imprisoned! We see that while John wrote this he was in the spirit, most likely in deep meditative prayer. Christ delivered this message to John through an angel, that he was to write down what he saw and send letters to the seven ancient churches of that time spread out across what is now the middle east.

5. Revelation 1:17-18 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

When John saw the angel before him he fell at it's feet and worshiped. We see that the angel may have been Christ himself given the words spoken that he was dead and now lives. Once again the words "the first and the last" are used. The right hand being placed on John may be symbolic of power, since often power is associated with the right hand. We see here that this being holds the power of death and Hades. What does this mean? Well it means that all the things that he will be shown are under his power. He has the power of life and death. He has the power to send some to the lake of fire, through his judgement.

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