Revelation 1:1-8   (CLICK HERE FOR BIBLE VERSES)

Hi GAMErs!

Today we begin the book of Revelation.  It is easily one of the most intriguing, mysterious, powerful and controversial books in all the Bible.   Revelation was written by the apostle John in approximately 95 A.D. while he was in exile on the island of Patmos for preaching about Jesus.  While on Patmos, John receives multiple visions which he understands to be from Jesus Christ and is told to write them down.  The result is the book of Revelation, a highly significant book that describes what will happen before, during and after the return (second coming) of Jesus Christ.  This book also shows how many Old Testament prophecies will be fulfilled.

Today’s passage is Revelation 1:1-8.  As usual, I encourage you to read the passage yourself first and see what you can glean with the Holy Spirit’s help, then read the GAME sharing below.  Let’s go!

Revelation 1:1-2 (NIV) 
1  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, 
 who testifies to everything he saw–that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 

On verses 1-2:  Here John makes it clear that what he is writing about is not something he manufactured.  Rather what John is writing down is “the revelation of Jesus Christ” (v1).  What John is about to share is what was revealed to him as “the word of God” and “the testimony of Jesus Christ” (v2).

Revelation 1:3 (NIV)
 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.

On verse 3:  There is a blessing that comes from reading God’s Word (v3a), and there is even more blessing that comes with taking it to heart (v3b).  May you not just read or hear God’s Word, but may you take it to heart as well.

Revelation 1:4 (NIV) 
 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,

On verse 4:  Asia was a Roman province.  When John describes God as “Him who is, and who was, and who is to come”, see my comment on verse 8 for more on what that probably means.

Some commentators understand the “seven spirits” to mean more accurately the “seven fold Spirit”, which is probably a reference to the Holy Spirit.  Why is the Holy Spirit the “seven fold Spirit”?  It could be because there were seven churches in the province of Asia, and the same Holy Spirit is at work in each one of them.  In this way He is the “seven fold Spirit”.  If the “seven spirits” or the “seven fold Spirit” is indeed the Holy Spirit, then notice that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit – the Trinity – appear in these first verses of Revelation 1.

Revelation 1:5a (NIV) 
 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth…

On verse 5a:  We can learn so much about Jesus from these verses.  He is “the faithful witness”, meaning you can completely trust His testimony, what He says.  He is “the firstborn from the dead”, meaning he is the first one to resurrect from the dead and never to die again.  He is “the ruler of the kings of the earth”, for all authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Him (Matthew 28:18) and at His name every knee will bow (Philippians 2:10).

Revelation 1:5b-6 (NIV) 
 …To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 
 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father–to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

On verses 5b-6:  In the process of thinking of Jesus, John cannot help but express praises to Him.  In praising Jesus, John tells us three great things Jesus does for us.  First, He loves us (v5).  Second, Jesus “has freed us from our sins by His blood” (v5).  Because of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross we are free from sin’s bondage.  Third, He “has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father” (v6).  In other words, through Jesus Christ you are a member of God’s royal family, made to reign with God.  You are also a priest in God’s kingdom, called to serve God.

Revelation 1:7 (NIV) 
 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.

On verse 7:  In Jesus’ first coming, hardly anyone on earth witnessed it, except for Mary, Joseph, and some shepherds.  In Jesus’ second coming, “every eye will see him”, including every person who has rejected him (“those who pierced him”).  Why will all the peoples of the earth “mourn because of him”?  Perhaps it is because in that moment when all the peoples of the earth see Jesus, they will be struck all at once by how beautiful and holy Jesus is, how painful and terrible was the piercing he received, and how the end has finally come.

Revelation 1:8 (NIV) 
 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

On verse 8:  Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet.  Omega is the last.  When God refers to Himself as the Alpha and the Omega, He is basically saying that everything begins and ends with Him.  God gets the first word and also the last.

God is also the One “who is, and who was, and who is to come”.  In other words, past, present and future, the eternal God has always been there and there is no one like Him.  Our past, present and future are in His hands.

Finally, God refers to Himself as “the Almighty”.  Of the 10 times that the name “the Almighty” appears in the New Testament, 9 of them are in Revelation.

Father, thank You for revealing who You are to us through the book of Revelation.  Thank You that no matter what kind of problem or challenge I am going through today, I can look to You as my Almighty One, my Alpha and Omega, my beginning and my end, the One who holds the past, the present and the future in His hands. Thank You Jesus for who You are and for everything You have done for us.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

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