Revelation Prologue (Rev. 1:1 - 1:9)
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Revelation: The very name "Revelation" indicates a book that is intended to be understood. It is a disclosing or revealing of Jesus ("Revelation of Jesus"). We can expect to understand more and more as we study and as history unfolds.
Source: The method of getting the book of Revelation written down followed a path:
God the Father > Jesus > Angel > John
Signified: The book of Revelation was given to John in signs. It contains symbols.
Testimony of Jesus: The book of Revelation is the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 1:2). Later in Revelation, the testimony of Jesus is plainly said to be the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). Jesus is sharing what He has received from God about things that are to come. The angel and John are both prophets because they have received a prophetic message to share, the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 19:10, 22:9). The Remnant church is also described as having the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 12:17) because it too has received prophetic messages from Jesus to share.
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
Throne = Place of authority. Thrones are referred to often in Revelation, including Jesus' throne, the saints' thrones and Satan's throne. A throne indicates power and authority to rule. The book revolves around a controversy between the rule of Jesus Christ and Satan, in which those who dwell on the earth are caught up.
Chiasm: The chiastic structure of Revelation also brings attention to this controversy. A chiasm is a literary device used in ancient writings to emphasize a point. This is accomplished through structuring a section of writing (or whole book) in the format A, B, C, C, B, A. There are variations to the format, such as A, B, B, A, A, B, B, A, but the symmetry of the structure remains. The center of the chiasm contains the focal point and all ideas lead up to it (examples in Matt. 6:24, Josh. 1:5b-9). In Revelation, the center of the chiasm is Revelation 12-14, which contains the story of the controversy between Christ and Satan and the battle for the loyalty of humanity.
|A||Prologue||1:1 to 1:9|
|B||Seven Churches||Rev. 1:10 to 3:22|
|C||Seven Seals||4:1 to 8:1|
|D||Seven Trumpets||8:2 to 11:19|
|E||Controversy (The cosmic conflict between Jesus and Satan||12:1 to 12:17|
|E||Controversy (The battle for the loyalty and worship of humanity)||13 to 14:20|
|D||Fall of Babylon||15:1 to 19:21|
|C||Millenial Judgment||20:1 to 20:15|
|B||New Earth||21:1 to 22:21|
|A||Epilogue||22:6 to 22:21|
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Parellism: The books of these two beloved prophets have many references that tie them together. They both follow the same pattern of parallelism, repeating the same story and enlarging on the details. For example, in Daniel 2, the four kingdoms are represented by substances within the image. Those same kingdoms are symbolized by beasts in Daniel 7.
Example of Parallelism in Daniel:
|Realm||Daniel 2||Daniel 7|
|Babylon||Head of Gold||Lion|
|Medo Persia||Chest of Silver||Bear|
|Greece||Thighs of Brass||Leopard|
|Rome||Legs of Iron||Dreadful Beast|
Daniel 8-9 and 10-12 also repeat the same time line, but reveal additional details. Daniel's prophecies reveal events from his day until the second coming of Jesus. Revelation's prophecies focus on the time period from John's day (Christ's ascension to heaven to begin His ministry) to the second coming of Jesus. John repeats this time period, with each prophecy using different symbols and enlarging the story. As an example, the 7 Churches parallel the 7 Seals.
Example of Parallelism in Revelation:
|The 7 Time Periods of Revelation||7 Churches||7 Seals|
|31 to 217 AD||Church #1||Seal #1|
|217 to 486 ADD||Church #2||Seal #2|
|486 to 752 AD||Church #3||Seal #3|
|752 to 1299 AD||Church #4||Seal #4|
|1299 to 1449 AD||Church #5||Seal #5|
|1449 to 1840 AD||Church #6||Seal #6|
|1840 to Second Coming||Church #7||Seal #7|
Continue to the 7 Churches (Rev. 1:10 - 3:22)