An Introduction to Revelation
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Welcome to week 1 of our study through the 7 churches in Revelation. If you have never read or studied this book before, you need to know that the book of Revelation contains a lot of information. So much so, that scholars have spent their whole lives studying it, and still cannot agree on what everything in it means. So why do we bother studying it at all?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says all Scripture is useful to us, and that includes the book of Revelation. The goal of this study isn’t to come to a complete understanding of everything written in Revelation (some of this stuff we won’t understand until it happens). Our goal is to take what Jesus taught and apply it to our lives today.
To start off our study, I wanted to share a little bit of background on this book. The whole book is actually one letter, recorded by John one Sunday while he was in exile on the island of Patmos. Jesus appeared to him there and asked him to write down what he was shown and what he heard, and share it with others. Specifically, to Christ’s church.
If you haven’t already read revelation chapter 1 on your own today, I highly encourage you to read it before going any further.
When John heard Jesus speaking to him, he turned and saw 7 golden lampstands. These lampstands were a picture of the 7 churches – and Jesus was walking among them. He wasn’t standing over them. He wasn’t looking at them. He was walking among them. I don’t know if you find the immense comfort in that that I do, but it’s there. The verses in this chapter speak about a God who cares. About a God who walks among His churches. As some would say, He’s not a God who’s far away, but a God who is near. We have a God who walks among us. Amen?
More than that, if you look at the picture of the lampstand itself, you get an even deeper understanding of how close we are to Christ. Lampstands during that time period would have held oil lamps. They would have had to have been filled with oil and lit in order to be of any use. What a perfect picture of churches. We have to be filled by Christ, and then display His light to the world. That’s our purpose—to know Christ and to make Him known. On our own, without Christ and the Holy Spirit within us, we are of no use to the kingdom of God. In fact, without the light of Christ, we have no place in the kingdom of God.
The fact is, we need Jesus.
Both here on earth to shine His glory, but also as our Savior.
The words in Revelation are His words to us, as those who display His light to the world. Over the next several weeks, we will look at what Jesus said specifically to the churches—the lampstands of that day. We will see that He knows about their day-to-day lives, and He cares about what they do and what they are going through. But that isn’t just true for them. He cares for us, too. And everything He wrote to them is something we can use to learn, grow, correct, and become equipped to live for Him.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”
~ Matthew 5:14-15
Do you find comfort in knowing that we have a God who walks among us?
As a lampstand built to be filled by God, and display the light of Christ, how are you doing at fulfilling your purpose?
I focused on one key part of this chapter, yet, I know there is wealth of knowledge and teaching that we skimmed over. What stood out to you when you read through Revelation chapter 1?
Take it further:
- Check out these related verses (on BibleGateway.com)
- Click here to download the group study guide (PDF)
- Leave a comment below