Matthew Henry explains:
It is called the Revelation, because God therein discovers those things which could never have been sifted out by the reasonings of human understanding, those deep things of God which no man knows, but the Spirit of God, and those to whom he reveals them.
Revelation is really a summary of the entire Bible, in which the main themes of Holy Scripture are reviewed in order to stress their importance.
The Bible introduces us to Jesus Christ and His merciful dealings with humanity in order to save us and bless us with Himself. He wants to be reunited with His people and provides the antidote for sin. Himself.
And most importantly, as an acorn embodies the mighty oak, so does the book of Revelation embodies the great key points of the entire Bible.
How to Understand the Book of Revelation
There are five key steps the Scriptures passed through to reach us today. Let’s take a look at what these are.
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: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 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. 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; 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…
Before we proceed to unfold these verses, it’s important to note that this is the Revelation of a person. His name is Jesus Christ. The book starts with this simple truth. This is the revelation of Jesus Christ. So this will be my focus, Him.
The second step was The Father giving Jesus the prophecy for the purpose of showing His servants the future.
But before moving forward, I’d like to add that God considers His servants friends. I find that fascinating, the Creator of the universe considers me His friend.
Let me show you. Let’s read John 15:16.
“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
But what I find more fascinating is how much John 15:16 sound like Revelation 1:1.
In John 12:26 He says:
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Let’s take a look at John 14:21 to understand what we must do to qualify as His servants, or friends:
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
You know one of the definitions of the word “manifest” is “signify”?
In Revelation 1:1-5 we read that God gave Jesus this Revelation to show His servants the future which was “signified” by His angel. In other words, Jesus will manifest Himself to His friends, those who study the Bible and put to practice what they’ve learned from God.
In Revelation 1:11 it says:
…I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
These are the seven churches that received the information revealed to John.
What did John write exactly?
Revelation 1:19 says: Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter…
This is the past, the present, and the future. Write what you’ve seen and give it to the churches.