Lesson 3

Jesus and the Book of Revelation

(Revelation 1 & 19)
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Introduction: Last week we studied how God gave Daniel the meaning of a vision that predicted the future, right up to the end of the world! The book of Revelation, among other things, also tells us about the end of the world. When we think about Revelation, we may visualize all kinds of "monsters." This week we consider Revelation in a more favorable light. We focus on Jesus in Revelation. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. Jesus and the Churches

    1. Read Revelation 1:1. Who is the source of the message of the book of Revelation? (Jesus.)

      1. Why did Jesus send us this message? (So that we can know what will take place in the future. This reminds us of our study about Daniel.)

      2. Who is the messenger? (An angel gave the message to John.)

    2. Read Revelation 1:2. How can we summarize the book of Revelation? (It is "the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.")

      1. Where have we seen this phrase before? (Read Revelation 1:9. John says he is on Patmos because of "the word of God and the testimony of Jesus." In Revelation 12:17 we read that Satan is making war on those who "obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus." This phrase occurs other places in Revelation. Revelation is about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is at the heart of the controversy between good and evil.)

    3. Read Revelation 1:3. What will we receive through our study of Revelation? (A blessing.)

      1. This is the second time in the first few verses that Jesus refers to the time being "near" or "what must soon take place." Read Revelation 22:12. This was written two thousand years ago. Is this just false? If it is false, can we ignore it? (Two things. We are told in Psalms 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 that God has a different view of time. In fact, the context of 2 Peter 3:8 argues that we should not lose confidence in the Second Coming because of what appears to us to be a delay. Second, if we look at this like the revelation last week (Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel), we realize that some of the revealed events about the history of the earth started then.)

    4. Read Revelation 1:4-6. Who is the central figure here? (While it mentions greetings from several entities in heaven, Jesus is mentioned several times. John starts out with praises to Jesus.)

    5. Read Revelation 1:7-8. What event does this appear to describe? (The Second Coming of Jesus.)

      1. That will be a great event! Why does the text say "all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him?" (Notice that it also refers to those who crucified Jesus. I conclude that the "peoples of the earth" refers to those who have rejected heaven.)

      2. How will Jesus come? (From heaven. Notice that "every eye will see him." There will be no doubt about when Jesus comes.)

    6. Read Revelation 1:9. In our study last quarter, we read several texts that promised material and other blessings if we were faithful to God. What is John's condition? (He is "suffering" and his attitude is one of "patient endurance.")

      1. Why is he on the island of Patmos? (Commentators say that John was banished to this barren island by one of the Roman emperors. It was a method of silencing him (so the authorities thought) without killing him.)

    7. Read Revelation 1:10-11. John is inspired by the Holy Spirit on the Sabbath. What does the Holy Spirit have in mind? (It is not to let John be silent. Rather, to send a message to seven specific churches.)

      1. Do you think these were literal churches? (Yes, it appears there were seven literal churches. If you read Revelation chapters 2-3, you will find a message for each church.)

      2. No doubt there were more than seven Christian churches at the time, why do you think the Holy Spirit picked seven? Do you think the number "seven" also has some symbolism? (Seven is the perfect number. I believe, along with others, that these seven church represent the spiritual characteristics of the Christian Church throughout the ages. In that sense, this vision describing the future of the Christian Church is like the one interpreted by Daniel, which described the nations of the future.)

    8. Read Revelation 1:12-15. Is this the Holy Spirit? (No. We are given more information. This is someone John sees - and what an appearance He has!)

    9. Read Revelation 1:16-18. Who is this? (Jesus! The prior (v.13) reference to "like a son of man" and the reference here to "I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever" reveals this is Jesus.)

    10. Read Revelation 1:19-20. Who is behind the words given to John? (Jesus! Notice that Jesus refers to "what will take place later." There is now no doubt that John is giving us a picture of the future, just like we saw with Daniel.")

  2. Jesus Triumphant

    1. Read Revelation 19:11-15. Who do you think this describes? (Recall that in Revelation 1:16 we decided that the person with a sword coming out of His mouth was Jesus. In the first week of this series, we read the beginning of Revelation 12 and we found in Revelation 12:5 a reference to Jesus ruling all nations with an "iron scepter.")

      1. I think it is odd and ugly to have a sword coming out of your mouth. Why not hold it in your hand?

      2. Read Genesis 1:1-3 and John 1:1-3. How does Jesus exert His power? (By speaking. I think this is the meaning of the sword. That is why Jesus, "the Word," has no need to carry a sword in His hand. Notice that in the texts we just read ( Revelation 19:13) Jesus is again called "the Word of God.")

    2. Look again at Revelation 19:14. How many armies does heaven have? (More than one! The NIV translates this as plural: "the armies of heaven.")

      1. Are these composed of beings from other worlds?

      2. If they have never sinned, are they "fit for duty" in a war?

    3. Read Revelation 19:16. Does this confirm that Rider ( Revelation 19:11) is Jesus? (Absolutely.)

    4. Read Revelation 19:17-18. How confident is this angel about the outcome of the emerging battle?

      1. What kind of attitude does this reflect? Compare it to the attitude that Jesus displayed towards sinners during His first coming? (This is tough talk.)

    5. Read Revelation 19:19-21. Does Jesus need armies? (All except the leaders are killed by sword coming out of the mouth of Jesus. If I'm right about this, Jesus destroys them by speaking. The armies don't have to fight.)

      1. Notice a very important statement in these verses. Who is burning in sulfur? (The beast and the false prophet.)

        1. What happens to the rest? (They are killed and eaten by birds.)

        2. What does this say about the idea of an eternally burning hell for those who are lost? (This text distinguishes between the very top leaders and the rest of the wicked. Because this is simply one reference, it should not resolve the matter, but you should keep the distinction made here in mind when considering the larger issue.)

    6. Read Revelation 22:12-16. Who closes out the book of Revelation? (Jesus!)

      1. How are the wicked and the righteous described? Why is this important? (The wicked are described by their deeds. The righteous are described by their decision to accept righteousness by faith - "those who wash their robes." Compare Revelation 7:14. Not a word is said about the sins of those covered by the righteousness of Jesus.)

    7. Friend, Jesus is the author and the beginning and end of Revelation. If you want to be saved, if you want not a word to be said about your sins, then why not, right now, confess that Jesus is Lord? Claim as your robe of righteousness His perfect life, His death for your sins, and His power over death?

  3. Next week: Salvation and the End Time.

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