A Study of the Book of Revelation (Group study notes Rev. 1:1-3, 9/22/10)

Prologue1The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2who testifies to everything he saw€”that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (Rev 1:1-3

Each week, a group of faithful men gather to study the Word of God under the guidance of Pastor Michael. This is my summation of our 9/22/10 study session.

In the Greek, the word used for Revelation is “apokalupsis.” Literally, this word means “lifting or taking away the veil.” As stated in v.1:1, this Book is the revelation of, not about Jesus Christ. The words come directly from Him.

In common usage, apocalypse has come to mean catastrophe, disaster or violent ending. This Book is associated with “The Day of the Lord” and with “The End Times.” While there are several Books of the OT that are mainly apocalyptic literature, Revelation is the only apocalyptic Book of this nature in the NT.

In the sense of an apocalypse being a revealing of something not known or even knowable to the human mind within his realm of experience, the entire Bible is apocalyptic. Beginning in Genesis God’s calling of Noah or covenant with Abraham, for example)

God uses revelation to communicate things we could not otherwise possibly understand.

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Ge. 2:16-17

Death had never occurred on Earth so it was completely outside the realm of what Adam could have understood except through the revelation of God.

Other examples are the revelations through angels to Mary and Joseph (the incarnation) and to the women at the empty tomb (the resurrection).

Paul Called by God
11I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation (apokalupsis) from Jesus Christ. (Gal 1:11-120)

Whenever we are called to do God’s work, we are receiving a revelation.

prophecy is also revelation of things that haven’t happened. The OT is full of prophecy.

Many revelations, including the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:1) given to John, are delivered by angels. In the Hebrew, the word for “angel” is “malak”, which means “deputy or messenger.” In the Greek, the word is “aggello” which has the same meaning as the Hebrew “malak.” We don’t find angels with wings playing harps in the Bible.

Angels, like man, are God created creatures. In God’s grand plan, angels are inferior to man. Angel’s also have ‘free will.” Think of “fallen angels.”

All creatures with “free will” are guided, not controlled by God. And God has a plan for each of us. (See Jer. 29)

Jesus promised us a “guide” and “counselor” in the form of God the Spirit. Via the Spirit, God reveals His desires for us in everything we do. Are we paying attention or listening?

God is the source of all truth. He has given us the ability to think, to reason. He has given us the capacity to make decisions and choices.

In modern culture, we are taught that truth is relative, to be determined according to circumstances and reason. But humans can never create truth!

And God’s truth is absolute, not relative. This is counter to modern culture and counter to whar our children are being taught within that society. We can discover truth (through revelation), but we can’t alter it or create it.

My thanks to Pastor Michael and the members of the Men on the Grow Bible study group.

This blog is part of an ongoing series based on my notes from a weekly Bible Study. For all of the blogs in this study, see: A Study of the Book of Revelation: Index of Blogs

Alive in the Word

About aliveintheword

Missouri, USA Married to Marty, 45 years 2 sons (with 2 daughers-in-law) and 2 granddaughters Life dedicated to serving Jesus Christ and delivering the Good News
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2 Responses to A Study of the Book of Revelation (Group study notes Rev. 1:1-3, 9/22/10)

  1. Sharon Hawthorne says:

    Art, so many churches have stopped teaching that God’s truth is absolute. I am so glad that the men in your group along with pastor Michael not only recognized but emphasized the sovereignty of God and His truth. Many times I read that we should be tolerant of all things…well, God does not say tolerate. He said here is the truth, live by it and let it be the standard barer. I have been impressed with what I have read and I hope others are studying this also.

    Another thing that stuck a cord with me is the entire bible is a revelation. I had never thought about that before but it is so true. It is a revelation and a road map for living.
    Your sister-in-Christ, Sharon

    • Sharon:

      Thank you for your visit and comment. In what is considered to be a relatively moderate (by some progressive) denomination this group (led by my rabbi, Michael) sticks to the truth of the Bible.

      Beginning with Genesis 1:1, God progressively reveals Himself and His plan to us. The greatest book of all time is one book, one story with 40 some authors. What an amazing story it is!

      Shalom, Art

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