October 23, 2020

Topic Day|Revelation Introduction

Revelation: The Last Word

Revelation 1:1

9 Comments | Listen | Print | Full Chapter

Prologue

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants1 the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,

Footnotes

[1] 1:1 for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; likewise for servant later in this verse

Revelation: The Last Word



Key Verse | Revelation 1:1a

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place.

Bio | Ann Holford

Hello! I'm Ann Holford, and I'm so excited to be writing about one of the most intriguing, awe-inspiring parts of the Bible! 

My husband, children, and grandchildren will all attest that whenever I watch a TV show or movie, I'm always trying to figure out how it ends, and I'm not afraid to float my ideas out loud. I'm not sure why they don't want to sit next to me! 

I'm part of Watermark's Women's Bible Study, where I get to serve with amazing and authentic women who listen, care about, encourage, and challenge one another!

 

Central Truth

Jesus is coming back! Read and heed Revelation because the time is near.

Devotional | Revelation Introduction

We're finally here! Welcome to the final chapter of the most epic story of all time—the story of the Bible. It's the story God created us to respond to: His story of faithfulness, rescue,...

We're finally here! Welcome to the final chapter of the most epic story of all time—the story of the Bible. It's the story God created us to respond to: His story of faithfulness, rescue, justice, power, and promise-keeping, where He makes all things right. How do you approach the book of Revelation? Excited? Intrigued? Intimidated? Confused?

Revelation 1:3 changed my perspective of this book: "Blessed 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." Did you notice? It doesn't say "blessed is the one who UNDERSTANDS" everything in this book. God says you will be blessed if you READ this book . . . and "KEEP what is written in it."

God has told us how the story ends so that we'll live our lives today in light of this certain future. This is not an allegory or a metaphor. There are symbols, but they are symbols of things that are true and real. People may differ in their interpretation of the details, but there is one thing Christians will all agree on: Jesus is coming back, just as He promised! 

I easily get hyper-focused on my issues of today and worry about the future. But Jesus says, "I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the beginning and the end." (Revelation 22:13) Jesus is the last word, not your sin, your circumstances, or even death.

When you fail in sin yet again, that is not the last word. When it seems like no one cares about you, that is not the last word. When your past continues to follow you, that is not the last word. When it seems like evil is winning, that is not the last word. JESUS is the last word.

I need to be reminded of that. Revelation tells us He is coming back to set up His eternal kingdom where He will personally reign and will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Revelation 21:3-4). If you trust in Him, you'll live with Him forever. Live today in light of your forever.

Wanna be blessed? Jump in! 

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Discussion Questions

1. How does Revelation 1:3 encourage you to jump in?

2. Revelation 1:1 says this book will reveal things that "must soon take place." What if you knew Jesus was coming back next month? How would that change your today?

3. What circumstances have you discouraged and stressed this week? How can Revelation remind you that JESUS is the last word?

4. How does knowing Jesus will fulfill His promise to come back again (John 14:1-3) give you confidence that He will fulfill every promise He has made?

 

9 Comments available

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

An eclipse is a covering up of something An apocalypse is an uncovering of something, aka a Revelation (in the singular - with no ‘s’ please)

It’s important to keep the main thing the main thing and not miss the forest for the trees. It’s important to see the contrasting images. Lamb verses beast. Calm like glass sea verses a turbulent sea. It’s important to see big themes like encouragement to persevere because it will be worth it

Yes some things are hard but there is a blessing for those who read it and for those who hear it. It’s an encouragement of a blessing reading hard scripture.

Patricia Simmons about 1 month ago

Good morning my sweet and faithful sister in Christ! Love this intro to Revelation which serves as a tasty appetizer for the delicious main course we are about to savor! Each time I study this book another morsel of God’s truth penetrates my heart. I admit to not fully understanding everything written, but like you, I know that the ending is epic and GOD WINS!!! Thanks for always being faithful to God’s Word and it’s truth that still transforms lives.

Greg Jones about 1 month ago

1/1 Tim Tebow tells a story of an apocalyptic vision, a revelation, he experienced.

Tebow has just won the Heisman Trophy and his life will never be the same. He accepts an invitation to speak to a group, doing ministry in the Philippines. After speaking he’s invited to participate in ministering to a shantytown where people are lined up for food. The line is longer than the supply. Starting at the back of the line Tebow starts greeting people when a man starts pulling on him to divert his attention. It takes awhile for communication to happen but eventually a crowded street parts and Tebow sees a young boy, extremely malnourished, not in line, sitting in a ditch of rain runoff and open sewage. He’s wearing a tattered number 15 Tebow Florida Gator jersey. “This is what I care about” was the message that came with what he saw.

Greg Jones about 1 month ago

2/2 Bible scholars ponder how the best way is to understand and study ancient Jewish apocalyptic writings today.

Like playing professional sports, this is worthy work. Getting back to today, who understands the metaphor of what a previously discarded tattered Tebow shirt represents on a young boy who wouldn’t know Tim Tebow if he walked up and gave him a baloney sandwich, and who understands the reality of the malnourished life the shirt is draping?

Who are the dead we are not aware of that rise up first to meet him?

How does a malnourished boy in a ditch in a shantytown wearing a tattered national champion, Heisman Trophy winner, Tebow jersey share his platform with Jesus. According to Tebow he uses it to speak to winners.

What new questions can scholars and athletes inspire us to ask?

May my understanding of John’s revelations help me see mine better.

Hope Harris about 1 month ago

GM JTJ family

JTJ has been a gift to me to see Gods plan for humanity from start to finish in Bible. I am intrigue to read for the 3rd or 4th time the book of" Revelation as history marches one step closer towards the return of our Lord and Savior and the final judgement.

From Guzik’s notes this morning: "Shortly in Greek… means quickly or suddenly coming to pass,’ indicating rapidity of execution after the beginning takes place. The idea is not that the event may occur soon, but that when it does, it will be sudden.” (Walvoord)

I do not claim to know when our Lord will return, I do know now more than ever I must remain root and grounded in my faith. Cling to Truth and continue to proclaim the good news.

Sue Bohlin about 1 month ago

Hi Ann! How wonderful to see your beautiful face again this morning! Thanks for the excellent intro to Revelation.

I’ve been mentioning this book a lot lately in conversation in the context of the upcoming election. No matter who wins, there is going to be a deep schism in our country, accompanied by a disheartening internal rottenness because of how we as a nation have ignored and even despised God. Regardless of who the next president is, I think we are sliding into the horrors of the book of Revelation, and it’s just a matter of how fast the slide happens—apart from a supernatural revival.

I learned from Dr. Constable that Revelation is studded with references (but not direct quotes) to the Old Testament. “One scholar claimed that 278 of the 404 verses in Revelation contain references to the Old Testament.” The next weeks will be a treasure hunt!

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

The two books which most encourage me are Leviticus and Revelation.

Stop laughing.

They both give me deep detail on the holiness, purity and sovereignty of God.

The daily insanity no longer gets me so sideways because “Ive read this book before”. I know what’s going to happen.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

Other than the Bible there are only two books I have read twice. One was MONEYBALL and the other was IN AN UNCERTAIN TIME. Only MONEYBALL was worth it.

I am not sure but I think this is the 4th or 5th time in Revelation. Reading the whole Bible next year in JTJ will make time # 4 for it.

Talking about uncertain times…It’s an interesting time to be a believer.

Revelation calls me to have an eternal focus and center on “the things which must take place”.

The culture calls me to an internal focus and center on what is happening right now.

Yet, God could not be more clear as to where He wants me to put my energy and focus.

For 1189 chapters and 800,000 words He has been telling me what is going to happen. Now He is going to give me details.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

Years ago a young priest friend started off a sermon by discussing a conversation he and a few friends had in seminary. They were talking about how to put the message of the Bible into short form. These PhD and Masters level student debated and argued.

After a while the seminary janitor walked over, looked at them and simply said…

“WE WIN”

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