Introduction to Book of Revelation
Revelation is a series of apocalyptic images given to John by the Holy Spirit:
- To set forth Christ as eternally victorious over all world conditions
- To encourage the Christian of John's day and every succeeding day until the return of our Lord.
Revelation is a message of warning to the church to keep itself pure and free
from worldly entanglements.
It is a message of warning to the enemies of the church that the church through Christ
will eventually triumph and that all who oppose it will find themselves broken
by the righteous power of God.
This book is a message of comfort for those who sorrow; it reveals freedom from sorrow
and pain in God's own time.
It is a message of hope for those who are discouraged; it tells them to lift up heads and hearts
since God has not abdicated his throne in favor of anyone or any power.
It is a book peculiarly adapted to any age of great trouble and perplexity.
From the very beginning of the book the action is dominated by the Christ, who is presented
as the Lamb that had been slain but still lived.
It is through the redeeming Lamb that victory comes to the people of God.
Preface, Revelation 1:1-8
"The revelation of Jesus Christ"
He is the Revealer as well as the One who is revealed in the book,
This is an uncovering of "the things which it is necessary to come to pass shortly."
The things revealed here must come to pass shortly.
"Shortly" means just what it says: shortly, quickly.
The things revealed here must happen shortly or the cause will be lost -- and God will not allow that.
The revelation was "signified" by Christ through His angel to His servant, John.
The word "signified" means to show by signs.
So we are introduced to the nature of the book.
It is a revelation (unveiling) of God's message through signs (symbols).
Blessings are pronounced upon those who rightly receive this message.
There can be no question but that the book was first of all, for the Christians
at the close of the first century.
"For the time is at hand" - a restatement of the truth that the message is
an unveiling of events which are to take place shortly.