Part 001 – The Theme

The Book of REVELATION

A Study

Part 001

The THEME

The THEME of the Book of Revelation is given in the first two verses of this book. It is, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw” (Rev.1:1, 2). It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It is the revealing, disclosing or uncovering of “all things” regarding the Lord Jesus Christ, pertaining to man in relation to the earth. “All things” of the Father have been given to the Son and they are also in possession of the Holy Spirit (John 3:34, 35; 5:20-22; 7:16; 8:28; 16:14, 15). This is also seen clearly through the typology in Gen.24:10, 36; 25:5, where all the master’s goods were given to the son, and were also in the hands of the servant. This Book of Revelation is an opening up of that which relates to all that the Father has given to the Son, revealed through the Son; making Himself, His plans and His purposes known to man — all that is a mystery till now is going to be manifested. What God purposed for man on the earth (Gen.1:26-28) will be fulfilled when this present age of 6000 years — age of the grace of God — would come to an end and the coming age of 1000 years — the age of the glory of Christ — would begin. That is the time when the mystery of God would be finished (Rev.10:7) and the kingdoms of this world would become “the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ” (Rev.11:15).

who is and who was and who is to come

The words, who is and who was and who is to come” are repeatedly used in this book (Rev.1:4; 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 16:5). The first reference (1:4) has to do with the Father and the second reference (1:8) has to do with the Son. Thus, as seen in these verses, both the Father and the Son exist in a co-equal sense throughout all time, without a beginning or an ending. Similarly, in John 1:1, “God” and “the Word” are seen as one and the same and that they existed continuously without a beginning or an ending. And the Word which was God, became flesh at a point in time in the person of the Son (John 1:14; 19:30; 14:9, 10). And similarly, the coming of the Father (1:4) will occur very soon through the coming in the person of His Son (1:8).

CONSUMMATION

The THEME of the Book of Revelation is also called CONSUMMATION, or, bringing to an end, of all what God purposed and began to do from the beginning of the first Chapter of Genesis. In this respect, this Book of Revelation, paralleling the Book of Daniel, deals centrally with events during the end of this present age of 6000 years as well as the beginning of the Messianic Era. This time is shown in the Book of Daniel to encompass events occurring in the midst of the Jewish people during the last seven years of Man’s Day and lead into the Messianic Era, the Lord’s Day. The Book of Revelation, though deals not only with these events, but also includes God’s end-time dealings with the Church as well.

The Judgment

God deals with the Church first (chs.1-4) and by this the bride is removed from the body. This will occur following the decisions and determinations at the Judgment Seat of Christ. It will be followed by two things, 1) the redemption of the inheritance (chs.5-18), and 2) the bride becoming Christ’s wife (chs.6-19a). And these two things will take place simultaneously through God’s judgment upon the earth-dwellers (Israel and the nations, following the removal of the Church) during the final seven years of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy (chs.6-18). A typology of these things can be seen in the Book of Ruth. In Ruth Chapter 3, Ruth was identified and accepted as the bride. But before she becomes the wife, their inheritance had to be redeemed. In Ruth Chapter 4 we can see the inheritance being redeemed by Boaz, and during this process, concurrently, the bride, Ruth, was acquired as Boaz’s wife.

The ages beyond the Messianic Era

Then, at the end of the Book of Revelation, matters are projected out into the ages beyond the Messianic Era (chs.21, 22). The Bible has very little to say about the past ages which occurred prior to this present age of 6000 years, and it has very little to say about that which will occur following the Messianic Era. All that is revealed through the Bible, centers on regality — having to do with the government of the earth — to be realized during the seventh millennium, the Messianic Era. Man’s destiny beyond the Messianic Era, as revealed at the end of the Book of Revelation, is to have a part in the government of the whole universe.

Signified

In Rev.1:1, we read that, “He sent and signified…” The apostle John introduced, opened up, and developed matters in his gospel account through “signs” (John 20:30, 31). And similarly, in the Book of Revelations also numerous numbers, signs and metaphors and other illustrative means are used as well. This must be recognized, or else what is stated in this book cannot be understood properly.

By His angel

In Rev.1:1, we also read that, “He sent and signified it by His angel…” God uses angels in all facets of His activities as He governs the universe. God’s use of angels and angelic ministry is seen throughout the Book of Revelation, when He brings to a conclusion all what He planned and purposed for man on the earth. Man is a far superior creation when compared with angels. Man was created in the image and likeness of God, and is destined to become a joint-heir of Christ and partake in the power and glory of God. But the angels are created and appointed by God to be servants of God and man (Heb.1:14).

When God created the heavens and the earth, He also created and appointed innumerable angels and placed them under Him, to rule over different provinces of His universal kingdom. God also created innumerable number of subordinate angels and placed them to rule under each of these ruling angels. There are other angels created to hold positions as watchers and holy ones (as seen in Dan.4); others to hold positions around the throne of God (Rev.4, 5, 7); and others who comprise the armies of heaven (2Kings 6:17; Matt.24:31; 2Thess.1:7; Rev.19:14). When these angels go about fulfilling the tasks assigned to them, they are totally governed by the specific commands given to them and remain subject to the fixed laws/rules laid down by God. When the angels do so, their actions are seen as the Lord’s actions; whatever they do is seen as if the Lord Himself has done. These facts about angels also should be kept in mind, when we continue the study of the Book of Revelation.

A blessing

A blessing is promised to all those who read, hear and keep the things stated in this book (Rev.1:3). This blessing cannot be restricted to this book alone; it must pertain to the whole of Scripture (Psa.12:6; 138:2; 2Tim.3:15-17). In fact, all that the Lord purposed and planned and was doing throughout the Old and New Testaments is revealed and brought to fulfillment in this book. So the blessing pronounced regarding this book holds good for the whole Bible. So, we are exhorted to read, hear and keep (observe or give heed) the things which are written in the word of God; for the time is at hand, that is, the time when the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ is very near.

 

—To be continued