Introduction, part 2
As we study Revelation, we are only going to get to verse one. In fact, we are only going to really study the first three words of the Revelation. And the emphasis will really be on the first word. So you may go away from this and tell others that it is going to be a long study in Revelation, because Bro. Tim taught for 45 minutes on the first word. It will be a long study.
a. The Subject of the Revelation is Jesus and it is not hidden
By its very title, the book of Revelation is not a book which is to be hidden, obscure or mysterious. In fact, it is meant to be read openly and in so doing it is to be a blessing to both the reader and hearer. The opening words of the book-- “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”—clearly state that this book is to be unveiling and revealing and uncovering, but even these very words are often obscured and subject to interpretation to their true meaning. Does it mean Jesus Christ is going to reveal something? Or does it mean Jesus Christ Himself is going to be revealed in the contents of the book of the “Apocalypse” (the transliteration of the first Greek word used in Revelation).
The word apocalypse comes from two Greek words, “apo” meaning “away from” and “kalupto”, which means to hide, conceal, cover, or quite literally veil. Thus the Revelation means to stop hiding the real Christ. It is to reveal Him as He is, not as He was at the first appearance, but as He fully will be shown in His second coming. While the word is used as a noun 18 times in the New Testament, as it is here in Rev. 1:1, 26 times in the verb form, but only once in the entire book of Revelation.
There is only one part of the book of Revelation that was sealed, that being of the seven thunderous voices, found in Rev. 10:4. “Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.’” There is absolutely no reason for us to speculate what will be the contents of the seven thunders. It was not meant to be known to us, but the existence of them apparently will be revealed at the appropriate time, and will be likely understood by believers who read this prophetic book during the time of the Great Tribulation.
But the rest of the book is meant to be UNSEALED. Rev. 22:10 says, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book.” Other prophetic books are stated that they are to be sealed. Isa. 29:10-11, “The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, ‘Read this, please.’ And he says, ‘I cannot, for it is sealed.’” Dan. 12:4 says, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end.”
Everything other than the thunders in Revelation is to be read, heard, studied, heeded, obeyed, and applied in the lives of believers, from the very first church which first read this letter in
in Ephesus , in
Pergamos, in Thyatira, in Smyrna ,
in Sardis ,
in Laodicia, and in our churches today. Philadelphia