Lesson One • Focus on Jesus
Dr. Randy T. Johnson
John F. Walvoord wrote, “As the New Testament opens with the four Gospels relating to the first coming of Christ, so the Book of Revelation closes the New Testament with the general theme of the second coming of Christ.” The goal of this study is not to settle all eschatological arguments; but to focus on the fact that Jesus is coming again, He will judge every one of us, and by faith (or the lack thereof) in Jesus as Savior, we will spend eternity in Heaven or the Lake of Fire.
Warren Wiersbe said, “The word translated ‘revelation’ simply means ‘unveiling.’ It gives us our English word apocalypse which, unfortunately, is today a synonym for chaos and catastrophe. The verb simply means ‘to uncover, to reveal, to make manifest.’ In this book, the Holy Spirit pulls back the curtain and gives us the privilege of seeing the glorified Christ in heaven and the fulfillment of His sovereign purposes in the world.”
Revelation 1:1-3 says, “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 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.”
1. Who is the author of Revelation?
2. What are some things we know about this author?
Revelation 1:4-8 continues, “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’”
3. What are some views of these seven churches?
4. What titles or descriptive phrases are used here to describe Jesus?
Twice in that short section, we read the phrase, “Who is and who was and who is to come.” The key is the return of Christ. Warren Wiersbe points out, “John’s prophecy is primarily the revelation of Jesus Christ, not the revelation of future events. You must not divorce the Person from the prophecy, for without the Person there could be no fulfillment of the prophecy.” That is so important! Our focus must be on Jesus Christ. Merrill Tenney adds, “He is not incidental to its action; He is its chief Subject.” It is all about Jesus. Please focus on Him throughout this study.
Revelation 1:9-11 adds, “I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.’”
5. Why was John on Patmos?
Revelation 1:12-16 says, “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.”
6. Who is being described? What is the significance of some of the descriptions?
7. What is the sword (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17)?
Revelation 1:17-20 closes the first chapter, “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.’”
8. What was John’s response to seeing Jesus?
9. What titles or descriptive phrases are used here to describe Jesus?
10. What are the seven stars? What are the seven lampstands?
Warren Wiersbe’s summation of the book is a great way to end this first study. He focuses on the action of the Lord.
The exalted Priest-King ministering to the churches.
Glorified Lamb of God reigning on the throne in Heaven.
Christ is the Judge of all the earth.
He returns to earth as the conquering King of kings.
The heavenly Bridegroom ushering His bride, the church, into the glorious heavenly city.
“Whatever you do as you study this book, get to know your Savior better.”