The city of brotherly love had a tremendous opportunity to make an eternal impact, if they remained faithful to the gospel. (February 17)
Jesus warned the luke-warm church against neglecting their calling and uniqueness. (February 24)
The book of Revelation is the only PROPHETIC BOOK in the New Testament.
Revelation is also known as the REVELATION OF JOHN.
GABRIEL is the angel who delivered the message to John.
JOHN, THE SON OF ZEBEDEE was the human secretary but JESUS inspired the writing.
John also wrote the 4TH GOSPEL, and 3 EPISTLES to the church.
Revelation was written about 95 A.D.
VERSE BY VERSE EXPLANATION:
v1. The book is the REVEALING OF JESUS and the IMMINENT FUTURE.
v2. John FAITHFULLY SHARES TEH VISION.
v3. Reading this book is the MEANS OF BLESSING.
v4. The book is given to 7 real churches of ASIA MINOR.
The 7 SPIRITS PROBLEM - Eph. 4:4.
There are 3 PRIMARY interpretations of this phrase:
#1: 7 DISTINCT SPIRITUAL BEINGS. Protestants say "Dynamis" means 'STRENGTH', 'POWER,' or 'ABILITY.' Roman Catholics say it is 'VIRTUES.'
#2: SYMBOLIC OF PERFECTION - thus it is the Holy Spirit Himself.
#3: 7 FOLD MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT.
v. 5. - beautiful description of JESUS & IS WORK WHILE ON EARTH.
v. 6. - Describes what JESUS DID FOR US.
v7. An ENCOURAGEMENT TO REMAIN FAITHFUL because He is coming back.
v. 8. A reminder of WHO ORIGINATED THIS MESSAGE.
v. 9. Introduction of JOHN & HIS PREDICAMENT.
vs10-11. HOW THE LETTER CAME TO BE.
v12. Introduces the 7 GOLDEN LAMPSTANDS to us.
v.13-16. Jesus, in HIs GLORIFIED STATE introduces the 7 STARS & the SHARP, 2-EDGED SWORD.
v. 17-18. John is SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT.
Jesus also reassured John of His POWER TO PROTECT & DIRECT HIM into the future.
v. 19. Jesus tells John to RECORD WHAT HE HEARS, SEES & EXPERIENCES.
v. 20. The mystery of symbolic LANGUAGE IS REVEALED.
Revelation 1:19 is the key interpreting
1. Context – City of Ephesus & its influence on the church
Ephesus was the LARGEST CITY in that region.
It was also a “FREE CITY.”
Ephesus was also a “CAPITAL CITY.”
The center for Ephesus’ religious activities was the THE TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS (Diana).
Ephesus was also a PORT CITY.
2. Christ’s Description – v. 1
a. The One who holds the “stars” in His hand – Psalm 105:15 & 1 Chronicles 16:22; John 10:28.
The stars are the PASTORS of the churches.
b. The ONE WHO WALKS among His people. Acts 9:4-5
3. Commendation to the Church – v. 2-3, 6
– Romans 14:4
a. “Deeds and toil” - ‘kopos” = INTENSE LABOR WITH TROUBLE.
b. “Tested the False Apostles” – Acts 20:29.
What test did they use? 1 John 4:1-3; 1 Corinthians 14:29; Matthew 7:15-20; Galatians 1:7-9;
Acts 2:43 & 4:33.
c. “Perseverance” – “ABILITY TO HANG IN THERE”
d. Hated the deeds of the NICOLAITANS.
They were OCCULTIC COMPROMISERS and grossly HERETICAL.
4. Charge Against the Church – v. 4
They had LOST their FIRST LOVE.
Ephesians 3:16-18; 4:1-2
5. Command to the Church – v. 5
John 13:34-35; 15:12; 15:17; Galatians 5:22-23; 5:16
Eternal life is a gift; not a reward!
6. Christ’s Promise to Overcomers – v. 7
a. Fruit from the TREE OF LIFE.
b. Paradise – Luke 23:43
7. Church History
Many subscribe to the HISTORICAL-PROPHETIC VIEW.
In that view, Ephesus would represent the APOSTOLIC AGE.
This would also correspond to Israel’s history in the EXODUS.