Read Revelation 1

Key Verse: Revelation 1:17, 18 “…Do not be afraid;…I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

Chapter one is fairly straightforward. It sets out to establish the who, what, why, and where of the vision. Relative to the remaining chapters, this one is clear and succinct.

First of all, this is a “revelation of Jesus Christ” given to “His servant John”, and the messenger is an “angel” (v.1). The revelation is a “prophecy” with a note of urgency, for “the time is near” (v.3).

John writes to “the seven churches which are in Asia” and extends greetings from “Him who is, and who was, and who is to come” (v.4). Jesus is described as “the faithful witness, the first born for the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth” … “Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood” (v.5 NIV). The urgency of the hour relates to His “coming with clouds” when “every eye will see him (v.7). This expectation of Christ’s soon return is the key factor in all of Revelation — the book begins with it, and ends with it, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (22:20). As tough as some of apocalyptic symbols in the book may be to interpret, you can be clear and certain on the central message: Jesus is coming soon! Are you ready?

Exiled to the island of Patmos because of “the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (v.9), John writes what he has seen to the churches of “Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea” (v.11). Its’ a message about “what is now and what will take place later” (v.19 NIV).