The book of Revelation is the unveiling of the glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus and his message are fully revealed and introduced. Jump in with Dr. Paula for this “opening scene” that gives the reader focus, hope, encouragement, and splendor. Be sure to visit drpaulamcdonald.com, and click on the tab, “Exhale Bible Discovery Weekly Podcast Study Guides” to download your self-study guide and follow along.
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Well, hello, everyone. This is Dr. Paul McDonald. And we have arrived at lesson four. We are in Revelation chapter one. And this introductory chapter lays out for us exactly with whom we are hearing from and what is being revealed to us. The book of Revelation is the unveiling of the glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ. And just as we learned through prophecy that Jesus would be born sacrificed and resurrected, we also know that he is coming again, this wonderful promise should be the one thing that keeps our lives from absolutely spinning out of control. And as we grapple with the daily barrage of fear as believers, we have an anchor in Christ, who grounds us and helps us to stand firm in the battleground, right here on Earth. So chapter one sets the stage for what is to come. Jesus and his message are fully revealed and introduced. It's the opening scene that gives the reader focus, hope, encouragement, and splendor. So you guys, I'm ready to jump in. I've divided this into two different sections, Jesus is revealed. And then the second part is Jesus's message is revealed. So let's get started section one. And this is encompassing verses one through seven, Jesus is revealed. In verse one begins with the words, the revelation of Jesus Christ. And the word revelation comes from a Greek word apocalypsis, meaning Apocalypse unveiling, or to reveal this revelation is of or directly from Christ. And immediately, John tells us what this book is about. And who is it from. And as we study this book, it's going to be vital to remember from whom this book came from, and that is from Christ himself. This is his revelation to us, His believers. And the second part of the opening verses, which God gave him to show his servants, what must soon take place. So in the second part of this verse, it's important to note that God desires to show us what's going to happen, to show means to see, and this is vital to know by John was shown this revelation, rather than just given something to read, it was if John was being shown an amazing movie to view. You know, the old saying, seeing is believing? Well, this is very much true for John. So imagine that you saw a futuristic movie. And then you were asked to go and write down and describe every aspect of that movie, in your own words, and you'd be seeing things you had no idea about. So imagine someone from the early 1900s Watching a movie of today, they would most likely have a tough time describing what cell phones are computers, satellites, DNA, and on and on, you would use your own words to the best of your ability to describe these things. But it would be difficult. And this is what John was faced with, as he was shown what must soon take place. So soon to take place comes from a Greek phrase in todai, which means quickly or suddenly coming to pass. And so basically, this means the event would happen suddenly, it's not necessarily referring to something that's going to happen the next day. It's just a notion that when it does happen, it will be swift. So verse one then continues with, he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John. And we know angels have always been messengers for God. The Greek word Anglos means one who brings a message. And there are so many examples in the Bible, of those who delivered messages from angels or angels who delivered the messages. So Hagar is told to go back to Abraham and that hurts descendants would be numerous. An angel told her this, an angel appeared to Moses in the burning bush. Angels were also sent to prepare the way in Exodus to shut the mouths of lions Zachariah, the prophet received the warning for the people to return to God. Luke 111, Zachariah is told his wife, Elizabeth would be having a son named John, who was John the Baptist, then Mary is visited by the angel to tell her she's going to have a baby who she's going to call Jesus. And then Jesus himself is ministered to and strengthened by an angel in the desert. And then two angels appear at the tomb to announce that Jesus was not there. And in the book of Revelation, angels are mentioned 53 times. So it's a big topic. Alright, let's move on to verse two, which continues with revealing to whom the message from the angel was sent, which was John, and it was the Word of God and the testimony of Christ. Verse three is what we call the first beatitude in the book of Revelation. And a beatitude means supreme blessedness. Most people have heard about the Beatitudes found in Matthew. But many, however, have not heard about the seven beatitudes that are listed in Revelation. So let's look at this first one, the verse says, Bless it is the one who reads the words of the prophecy, and bless it are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it. The other beatitudes in Revelation are found in 1413, which means to die in the Lord 1615 for those to keep watch 19 Nine, for those invited to the wedding feast 26 those who share in the resurrection 22 Seven, those who keep the prophetic message, and 2214 those who are washed clean, and can enter the gate. And as we go through this study, we will get to each one of these. So the first beatitude instructs us to read here and take to heart, we are instructed to read and study this book. To hear means to listen, what is written, and then to take heart means to apply it to our lives. And many, many, many people miss this blessing found in the Book of Revelation. Verse four begins with the greetings and doxology which is a liturgical expression of praise to God. The seven churches are mentioned as to whom is being addressed. And the verse says, Grace and peace to you from him, who is God, and who was the Holy Spirit, and who is to come Christ, and from the seven spirits. So the mention of the seven spirits confuses a lot of people. Most theologians agree that the seven spirits refers to a verse found in Isaiah 11, one through three, it says, a shoot shall come from out of the stalk of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of Yahweh rests on him the spirit of wisdom and understanding the spirit of counsel, and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of Yahweh, his delight shall be in the fear of Yahweh, which is God. So there are the seven fold characteristics of the Holy Spirit, which are the Spirit of Yahweh. And you guys, we also have the spirit within us. The Spirit of wisdom, we have wisdom from God, the spirit of understanding, we are given the ability to understand that things of God. And then there's the spirit of counsel, and we do receive counsel of God from the Holy Spirit, in the spirit of might. And certainly we have the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of knowledge, we absolutely possess knowledge from God. And then number seven, the spirit of the fear of Yahweh, as we honor God, we fear Him meaning that we honor and deeply respect who he is. We're not trembling and quaking, but we're fearing out of respect of who he is. And in Acts 238, promises us as believers that you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So I love that there's a seven fold manifestations or characteristics of the Holy Spirit just like we've seen throughout this book, the sevens. Alright, moving along to verse five. We just a continuation of verse four. And it says in from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of kings of the earth. So this verse defines Christ in three specific ways. One is faithful witness. And while Jesus was here on earth, he faithfully executed his mission, which was to be a witness to his father. His witness provided us with how we are to live. And it also speaks to Jesus's reliability, and faithfulness to his father, and his people, even unto death. The ancient Greek word translated witness, also into the word that means martyr.
So the second name that's given to Christ in this first, it's called the firstborn from the dead. This speaks to Jesus's standing as a pre eminent among all beings, that he is the first in priority. The firstborn from the dead means much more than Jesus was the first person resurrected. It also means he is preeminent among all those who are or will be resurrected in the future. Jesus is the firstborn among many brethren, Romans 829. Jesus defied death, and provides those who accept Him into life with him. So we are no longer dead in our sins. And the third name, he's given in that verses ruler of the kings of earth, Jesus will ultimately rule the earth when he returns. This is a promise that we can count on. So the second part of verse five and into six continues with to him who loves us, and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and a priest to serve his God and Father, to Him be glory, and power forever and ever. There is a lot packed into that, that verse and into six. So let's break it down. So the love of Christ, His love is secure for believers. Romans five eight says, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Next, it says, We are freed from our sins, and by His love, we are forgiven of our sins, and the word freed implies that it is done. And when we receive Jesus, our sins are released. This love, though came at a price, the precious blood of Jesus through his blood, we are washed clean from the dirtiness and the filth of sin. Psalm 51, seven, Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean, wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. And remember, hyssop was used also at the cross. It was used in the Mosaic Law, back in the day for cleansing, and its connection to the cross becomes a powerful symbol of a new covenant. And you can go into Exodus 12, to really look at more information about hyssop and how it was used. The next part is, he made us to be a kingdom with Christ, we are part of His royalty in his new kingdom, we will reign along with him. And then he says we are to be priests. and a high priest has very specific duties. And so we are now the priests of Christ in this New Covenant. Each of us is consecrated as a priest. And this means the official ordaining of all, a person to be a pastor, priest or missionary, which is each and every one of us as believers, y'all we all have the right and the authority to read, to interpret and to apply the teachings of the Bible. So wanted to go and just look at some of the duties of a priest in the Old Testament. In Leviticus 10. It says to teach the people to serve as judges to resolve controversy, which means trying to work to maintain peace, to offer sacrifices, which means to give your time, your resources and talents to assess impurity, to cast out what is evil and not of God. To burn incense, which this signifies prayers that are being lifted to heaven as pleasing to God. We are to bless the people and we bless others when we bring them the good news of Christ. The priests were to keep the tabernacle and this is where God dwells within You. So you're supposed to keep it. Healing and anointing in the power of the Holy Spirit, y'all. We have amazing abilities in Him and through Him for healing and anointing. We have to believe it, and we have to claim it. They are also to take care of the altar, the lamps and the Showbread. Y'all This is such an indicative verse, which now points to us our body. We are the altar in the temple of God. And so we've got to care for it. The priests also prepared the holy things for each day's journey. Well, that can mean for us, we need to stay prayed up and ready.
And then the priests were to continue the sacred fire? And how do we do that today? By keeping Christ's message the main thing in your life? Finally, the priests were to blow the trumpets, y'all. That means we got to blow out our lungs and tell others about Him. We really are we are considered a priests in his kingdom. Did you know that? You should and when you fully embrace this, it's a game changer. It is a responsibility and an honor. Alright, moving into verse seven, which points to the coming of Christ, 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. And here we find the Old Testament foretelling of this verse, As we read, when Jesus returns, there will be no doubt about what is happening. Every I will see him, even those who pierced him. No matter if you believed in Christ or not. Everyone, even the naysayers will know exactly who it is when this time happens. And those who denied him, will no doubt be grieving terribly. As they recognize that in that instant, they were wrong, and their entire lives have been lived in vain. So the truth bomb, Jesus reveals Himself to us, his priests, we are his priests, and we are to a point to teach and to lead others to him and your call to action. As a priest for Christ, what roles are you fulfilling for the Kingdom? Okay, the second part is Jesus's message is revealed in this is Revelation 183 20. Verse eight is the response by god of the first seven verses, I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord, who is and was and who is to come the Almighty. Here again, we see three titles that God uses to proclaim who he is. He says, I am the deity of God. Exodus 314, God revealed Himself to Moses as I am,
the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. In Genesis one one, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. So the true message from Jesus is now revealed in the second part of chapter one. And verse nine begins with 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. John tells them, he is one of them, and he also is suffering because of the cause of Christ. He mentions having endurance, which they all need to be encouraged with what they're going through. And in this includes John himself, we all need encouragement, firsthand. And 11. John tells them that on the Sabbath, He was in deep prayer when he hears the voice sounding like a trumpet. Can you even imagine? The message he hears is right on a scroll what you see, and send it to the seven churches to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Lady Oh, see it. I am sure that John jumped into action, as he was prepared to write what was coming. Verse 12, says he turned to see the voice speaking. And when he did, he saw seven golden lampstands. And then in verse 13. among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet with a golden sash around his chest. Now remember, John spent years with Jesus while He was on earth. So the description that John's sharing write here is vastly different from the man that he ate with and spent time with, and prayed with. And also, the voice was entirely new to him. It was very different from the voice that he knew of Jesus on this earth. This was the reincarnated Jesus. So the lamp stand then represents the seven churches, the lamps, back in the temple days were placed on the stands, and the light came from the oil within the lamps. And so the oil represents Christ. He is the one who creates the light. Without the oil. The lamps are empty vessels and illuminate nothing. For us. We are empty vessels without the light of Christ. It says the Son of Man, and of course, this is Jesus. Jesus stands in the center of the church. He is the light of the church. And then it says he's dressed in a robe, which this represents His royalty as the high priest, Isaiah 6110, For He has clothed me with garments of salvation. And then there's the beautiful golden sash around his chest, and your that represents Christ's banner, Lord of Lord King of kings. And this sash binds Christ to us, and is never removed. In verse 14, it continues with the beautiful description of Christ, the hair on his head was white like wool as white as snow, and his eyes were blazing like fire. We know we are washed whiter than snow from our sins. White hair also symbolizes his wisdom and authority eyes ablaze signifies Jesus is all powerful and all seeing he sees right through all the yuck and he sees right through to our hearts. Verse 15, talks about his feet like bronze glowing in a furnace. And his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. And bronze, we know is refined in the fire. And Jesus's ultimate refinement happened on the cross, thus providing him as feet that are set in firmness and completion and power. The voice being referred to as rushing water had to be quite beautiful, strong, yet soothing,
a lot like the waves upon the shore. In verse 16, it says in his right hand, he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. The Seven Stars point to the leaders or the seven churches, the stars are securely in the hands of Jesus. And seven is the number of completion. And it reminds me of the song. He's got the whole world in His hands. While the sharp double edged sword represents different types of swords that were used. Back in those days, there was a large, powerful sword used to kill, and then a smaller one for more precise jobs. And we know words are known to have power. And most believe this is a metaphor, pointing to the fact that Christ's words mean business. He does not mince his words, his words are truth. And he means what he says. And then we see his face, like the sun shining in all its brilliance. And remember, when Moses came down from the mountain after having seen God, his face was so brilliant that he had to wear a veil. So imagine the reincarnated Christ when He returns in all of his brilliance. John 812 says, I am the light of the world. Verse 17, when I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. And then he placed his right hand on me and said, Do not be afraid. I am, the first and the last. So as we go through this description of Christ, I can imagine it had to be overwhelming, spectacular, and even a bit frightening. Being present with the reincarnated Christ, in His heavenly glory, will be something that will cause anyone to see him to be so stunned that they will fall prostate on the floor like John did. And then next, I just love, love, love this part of the verse. Jesus placed his right hand on John, and he reminded him to not be afraid, our compassionate and precious and powerful Lord and Savior saw John's trembling body laying on the floor. And he reached out to him to assure him that all was well. This mighty shining Body of Christ took the time to touch John, and to calm his fears. He reminds John that He is the first and the last key is the Christ. And in verse 18, he says, I am the living one, I was dead. And now look, I am alive forever and ever. And I hold the keys of death of Hades, of death and Hades. And here, he is reminding us that he is alive and well. He was resurrected, and from now on, he will live forever. Only in Christ, do we find life or death, heaven or hell, it's our choice. He alone holds the keys. And it is only through him that we find everlasting life. Verse 19, right there for what you have seen what is now and what will take place later. And this is another emphasis to John. As we saw in the beginning of this chapter, we are reminded to do something especially directly from Christ himself. So this is a major clue that this is important to do. And so this verse is really a mini outline of the entire book of Revelation. What have you seen is from chapter one, the reincarnated Christ, what is now chapters two through three, which is the state of the churches. And then what will take place later, the rest of the chapters from three through 20. Future Events, are actually four through 20. Verse 20, then says the mystery of the seven stars that you saw on my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands is this, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Jesus doesn't leave John in a state of confusion, as he tells them exactly what the message being revealed is truth bomb. Majestic, Jesus reveals to us his plans for his future return. And your call to action is, how are you planning for his return? And what are you doing to prepare for it?
So in summary, the stage is now set, Jesus in His glory has come to tell us the rest of the story, buckle up as we leave chapter one, and head into the most important revelation of your life. Next week, we'll head into Chapter Two as we read about the first four of the seven churches. So my summary sentence is this, Jesus reveals Himself and His message to mankind. And so your journaling questions How will you apply these truths? Number one, how has Jesus revealed Himself to you personally? Number two, what will you do today to read here and take to heart what you are learning? Number three, as you reflect on the seven fold aspects of the Holy Spirit, how does this impact your life? In four? What are your thoughts as a believer that you are a priest? Which priestly duties are you doing? And number five, describe your thoughts of how Jesus is described by John and number six, as Jesus reached out and touch John to comfort him? How have you been comforted by Jesus in your own life? Let's pray. Heavenly Father, thank you so much for this book of Revelation. Thank you for revealing it to us. Thank you for opening it to us. And thank you for the privilege of learning and the privilege of learning with these amazing Christian brothers and sisters and it's in Your Son's name we pray, amen. Be sure to visit my website Dr. Paula McDonald comm click on podcast and then exhale Bible discovery for self study guides and resources to support you with each episode.