Shoebury Gospel Hall

Tel: 07733105854

Email the Church

Bible Studies in the Book of Revelation Study 1

Study 1: Read chapter 1.1-11     On the Isle of Patmos

The opening of the book reveals what it is its content, the future events of the world and into eternity. There are a number of phrases and words that are repeated which give clues to the meaning of the revelation. The use of ‘alpha’ and ‘omega’, the a-z of the Greek alphabet are used to describe the focus on Jesus Christ, a picture of completeness. The title also reminds us it is ‘a revelation’, a revealing of things that are not known or unclear, note carefully that it is a revelation of Jesus Christ.

He is seen in many titles or descriptions:

  • The Priest- King ch 1
  • The Judge of the Churches ch 2-3
  • The Creator ch 4
  • The Redeemer ch 5
  • The Lord of History ch 6-18
  • The Victor over all evil ch 19-20
  • The Bridegroom ch 21-22

In the writing John reminds us of the key name of Christ is ‘The Lamb’, the sin sacrifice that redeems all who trust in Him. Another key is the word ‘throne’, repeated over 40 times, but it also portrays a conflict in the events, between the Throne of the Lamb and the Throne of Satan, but the Lamb is always victorious.

Perhaps the key verse is 1.19, where John is told to write of things that:

  • Which you have seen ch 1
  • Which are ch 2-3
  • Which will take place after this ch 4-22

It is also noted that Matthew 24 and Mark 13 are parallel descriptions of the ‘Day of the Lord’, describing the Tribulation, the Bible is not inconsistent in its teaching.

We do need to be careful not to be lost or intense in the detail, e.g. not try to identify each horn of the Beast from the Sea, because the book is full of symbolism. We need to see the big picture. John wrote this to encourage a persecuted church, showing the climax of the Bible, the fulfilment of Genesis.

The book opens, in the Greek, with the word ‘apokalupis’, which is the root of our word ‘apocalypse’, which means ‘revelation’, not quite the same, as is in common use today. It was a revelation to John, the Gospel writer, probably as late as 95AD, the last of the books of the Bible to be written, and was to be given to a waiting and persecuted church. Domitian was the Roman Emperor, who banned Christians rather than killing them. So John was in exile on Patmos, a rocky volcanic island in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Turkey. It was about 40 miles southwest of Miletus, the harbour port for Ephesus. It is about 10m by 6m, with hills over 600ft high. It was a Roman prison colony in the 1st & 2nd Century, and a place for troublemakers to be sent in exile. John, the sole surviving Disciple, was on a Sunday ‘in the Spirit’, meditating about the situation of the church when he was given this revelation. His instruction was to write it down and send it to the seven churches of Asia Minor.

1.1   The Declaration comes from Jesus Christ- so it was important:

  • The Message came from Christ, guided by His angel
  • The Message was entrusted to a faithful man, John
  • The Message is God’s Word and not man’s fantasy
  • The Message has an universal and eternal encouragement for the Christian

1.4    The Greeting from John to the churches was for their benefit and its authorship would not be in any doubt;

  • From John, their well-known apostle
  • From God, who was, is and is to come- eternal
  • From Christ
    • Faithful witness
    • First-born of the dead
    • Ruler of all kings
    • Lover of the church
    • Giver of freedom from sin
    • Sacrifice of his own blood- his life
    • Kingdom establisher
      • Call His followers to be part of the Kingdom
      • Entitles them to be worshippers of God- His Father
    • The Eternal Lord of Glory and Power

1.7    The Promise of Heaven

  • Return in the clouds- Acts 1
  • Every eye shall see Him- Zechariah 12
  • His coming will cause great sorrow to an unbelieving world

1.8    The Complete One

  • The Alpha and Omega, the first and last
  • The God who is eternal, was, is and will be
  • The Lord God, Adonai, the God of Heaven’s army

1.9    John begins his writing

  • Where he was, why he was there on Patmos
  • The purpose of God
    • His true witness to the truth of the Gospel
    • Suffering but in Christ’s Kingdom,
    • Patient in his endurance for his hope
  • His attention was drawn from his meditation
    • By a trumpet like voice demanding attention
    • An instruction to write it all down before he has seen anything
    • The destination of his message was to the seven churches



Page last updated: Saturday 16th April 2016 4:36 PM
Powered by Church Edit