Revelation Speaks Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Revelation – The Author of the Book

This chapter is based upon Revelation, Chapter 1 and 4

Before we begin, Welcome to Revelation Speaks Lesson series. I am glad you have chosen to study the book of Revelation with us. If this is the first time you have seen this series, then I invite you to review the other lessons before completing this lesson. With each lesson building on what has been taught in previous lessons it is important to start at the beginning. You can click here and it will take you to the introduction page and previous lessons. At the end of this lesson I have me email listed so you can submit additional questions on this lesson or any previous lesson. Now let us begin!

People everywhere have an inner longing for something they can worship. Augustine says that man was created with a vacuum that can be filled only by the presence of God!

Perhaps most of us are not even aware of this longing! Psychologist tell us that people try to satisfy this inner longing by excessive eating, drinking, smoking, immorality, and materialism. But things only bring temporary enjoyment.

The fragile bubble people are chasing will burst, leaving a deeper void. What we really need to fill this inner void is a meaningful relationship with God – the God who has graphically revealed Himself in the Book of Revelation. We all need to feel the satisfaction of knowing there is someone more powerful than ourselves who is able and willing to help us solve all of our problems. We all need to know there is someone who unselfishly loves and cares for us!

In this lesson we will meet the Author of the Book of Revelation – the God of the Universe!

Before We Begin, Please Read Revelation 1:1-11

1.  Who is the real Author of the Book of Revelation? Revelation 1:1 first part? 

Answer: God the Father

NOTE: You will find in some versions of the Bible that the translators have titled the Book of Revelation, “The Revelation of St. John the Devine.”  In this they have contradicted the very first verse of the book itself!  It is not only the Revelation of Jesus Christ, but it is the Revelation which God gave to Jesus, and Christ sent and signified it by His angel and told John to write it.  So, you see, the real Author of Revelation is God, the Father – the Source of all the wisdom and truth.

2. Why did God give this Revelation to Jesus? Revelation 1:1 

Answer: To show His Servants things which must take place

3.  How is God described in this book? Revelation 1:4, 8.

Answers:

    a.  (Revealing) Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End
    b.  Who is, who was, who is to come

Additional Information: See John 1:1-2; and Titus 1:1-2,

Both verses indicate that God existed from all times and will continue to exist for ever and ever. These two texts also prove that Christ, or the pre-incarnate Christ existed with God from the very beginning. So God the Son existed with the Father from the very beginning until the time he was born in as a baby in the little town of Bethlehem.

4.  What members of the Godhead participated in the transmission of this message? Revelation 1:1, 4-6.

  1. Father
  2. Son – “Him” ­­­­
  3. Spirit ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

NOTE: Here we find the phrase, “The seven spirits who are before the throne.”

As we study further into the book of Revelation, we find numerous references to the number “seven”: seven churches, seven candlesticks, seven stars, seven crowns, seven mountains, seven kings, seven seals seven trumpets, etc. The number “seven” denote fullness, completeness or perfection

Since seven is the number of completeness, some Bible commentators have suggested that with the Holy Spirit the God head is made complete.  Or the trinity is made perfect and complete with the Holy Spirit.

Additional Information: The Trinity is shown at other times in the Bible;

CreationGenesis 1:1, 26 In the original Hebrew, the word translated for God is the word Elohim which in Genesis 1:1 is used in the plural form in the original Hebrew text.  This would indicate that all three members of the trinity had a part in the creation of the world.

The BaptismMatthew 3:16, 17

In RedemptionRevelation 3:18

 It must also be pointed out that the creation week was not complete until the seventh day in which Genesis 2:2 says, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the Seventh day from all His work which He had done.”

 We will come back to this passage again in a later lesson, but for now it is safe to say, the work of creation was not complete until God completed His work and He completed it by resting on the Seventh day.

5.  What invitation was given to John, and what was John going to see? Revelation 4:2 & 3

  1. Come up to heavenly Throne
  2. Things which must take place

ADDITIONAL NOTE: God’s Throne – Isaiah 6:1-3; Ezekiel 1:1-28; Ezekiel 10:1-22 

The Bible give us additional information on God’s Throne – Exodus 24:9, 10; Isaiah 6:1-3; Ezekiel 1:1-28; Ezekiel 10:1-22.  Each of these four passages, one from both exodus and Isaiah, and then two from Ezekiel gives us additional information on God, His Throne and the area that surrounds it.

Ezekiels throne

6.  What did John see? Revelation 4:2, 3    

Answer: God on a Throne, The throne had the appearance of Jasper, Sardis, and a Rainbow

  1. God is a God of awe, glory and power.  Deuteronomy 5:10; But showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep my commandments.
  2. Although many would have you believe otherwise, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are full of Mercy and Love.  The Psalmist says in Psalm 138:8; The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD endures forever; Do not forsake the worlds of Your hands.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: In our four additional passages question 5 and again in question 6 we see word Rainbow used.  Why the Rainbow? The answer can be found in Revelation 10:1; Ezekiel 1:28; and Genesis 9:8-17. In each case the Rainbow signifies God’s mercy toward his fallen earth children.

Many would have you believe otherwise, but the truth is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are full of Mercy and Love.  As the Psalmist says in Psalm 138:8; The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD endures forever;  Do not forsake the worlds of Your hands.

God is a God of awe, glory and power.  Deuteronomy 5:10; But showing mercy to thousands to those who love Me and Keep My commandments.

24 Elder and 4 Living Creatures

7.  Whom did John see surrounding the throne? Revelation 4:4.  

Answer: 24 Thrones, 24 Elders clothed in White with Gold Crowns

8.  Whom did the 24 elders say they were? Revelation 5:8-10                

Answer:

  1. V9 redeemed from every tribe, tongue, and people.
  2. V10 Priest and Kings.

NOTE: They themselves declare that they were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation (Revelation 5:8-10). They are, therefore sinners just as you and I are that have been saved by grace.

Additional Information: Matthew 27:51-53 Give us details on when they were resurrected and who these people are that sit on these throne in the courtroom of heaven.

Additional Information: Leviticus 23:10-14 gives us additional information regarding the Feast of First Fruits. After reading the texts come back and read this explanation regarding the Passover and the feast of Frist Fruits.

The presentation of the first fruits was a part of the celebration of the days of unleavened bread which is the Passover celebration. The presentation would take place on the day after the sabbath. This sabbath would not necessarily mean the seventh day of the week but the day after the Passover which was a called a sabbath because no work was done on the day of the Passover. The correct way to read a day such as Passover would be a ceremonial sabbath. This is why in this instance and many instances in the Bible you see the word Sabbath capitalized in some places and not capitalized in others. Colossians 2:16, 17 is an instances in which the word sabbath is not capitalized because it does not refer to the day of rest Sabbath, the 7th day Sabbath, but the ceremonial sabbaths.

This day referred to in Leviticus 23:10-14 was neither a “holy convocation” or a “Sabbath”, nevertheless an important work was done on that day. On the 14h day of Abib a certain portion of a field of barley was marked off to be cut down in preparation for the presentation on the 16th. Three select men cut the barley in the presence of witnesses, having already tied the sheaves together before cutting them. After being cut the sheaves were all tied together into one large sheaf and presented before the Lord as a “sheaf of the first fruits.” In addition, a perfect male lamb, a cereal offering mingled with oil and a drink offering were presented to God. Verses 12 and 13 of Leviticus. Not until all these was done could Israel make use of the fruits of the field for themselves. This pointed to “Christ the first fruits: afterward they are Christ’s at his coming.” I Corinthians 15:23)

The Passover ritual lends emphasis to the great central truths of Christianity. The Passover is symbolic of the death of Christ. As the Passover Lamb died, so Christ died. The blood of the lamb delivered Israel of old from the destroying angel that swept through Egypt. The blood of Christ now reconciles all who come to Him in faith, assuring His faithful followers that they too will be Passed Over on the Great day of His return. Not passed over from going to heaven but passed over from the destruction to come.

The Passover is also symbolic of the resurrection, as typified in the wave sheaf. The lamb died before sunset on the 14th day of Abib. On the 16th of Abib, the morrow or day after the Sabbath the first fruits previously cut, were presented before the Lord. Christ died on Friday afternoon and rested in the grave over Sabbath (Luke 23:53-56). As Christ rested on the Sabbath after creating the world, he now on the Sabbath rested in the grave from his word of redemption. On the morrow after the Sabbath (the day he rested in the grave) (Luke 24:1) Christ, “the first fruits” (I Corinthians 15:20) was raised from the grave, and presented Himself before the heavenly Father (John 20:17). But Christ did not come before the Father alone, as we will see in our next question, he brought others, representing the first fruits of the redeemed with Him to heave

Further Note on Abib:  The name used for the 1st month in the Jewish calendar was changed from Abib to Nisan after the Babylonian captivity.  It falls roughly between our months of March and April.  We must keep in mind that a Jewish month is based on a 30 day month and from time to time when they would add an extra month to keep the alignment of the seasons correctly.  We will learn more about Jewish days, months, and years, in lessons to come.  But for now it is safe to say that the Passover would start on the 14 day of the first month of the Jewish calendar, then last for seven days.  On the 16 of Abib (Nisan) was the waving,  or presenting of the first fruits.

women at the tomb

9.  What miraculous event occurred when Christ arose from the tomb? Matthew 27:50-53

Answer: Special Resurrection

NOTE: When Jesus arose from the grave, the Bible says that graves were opened and many who slept in the graves arose – and when Jesus ascended to heaven, He took a multitude of captives with Him  (Ephesians 4:8)

ADDITIONAL NOTE: David – Acts 2:29  Peter in this passage drives home the point that Christ was crucified upon the cross and then rose from the dead.  But even though Jesus took some of the Saints to heaven with Him,  David’s grave remained undisturbed as it had for centuries.

But this passage brings out one additional point. Since Jesus returned to heaven after His resurrection he was not sitting at the right hand of the Father. But God and Jesus sitting side by side in the throne room of heaven. In upcoming lessons will again look into the Throne Room of heaven to see what Jesus is doing for us now.

I am looking forward to sharing the coronation of Christ with you and what it means for us today in the a future lesson.

10.  What other beings did John see in God’s presence? Revelation 4:5-8

Answer: 4 Living Creatures “beasts”

NOTE: The word beast is from the Greek word “zoa”, which actually means “living creatures,” or “living beings. “The quartet of living creatures that sing praises day and night unto the “LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, which was and is, and is to come” have the honor of being close to God.  Is it any wonder they sing and praise Him day and night!

  1. Isaiah called these creatures Seraphim (Isaiah6:2)
  2. Ezekiel calls them Cherubim (Ezekiel 10:15, 20)

ADDITIONAL Information: There is certainly a lot going on in these 4 verses from Revelation 4. Let’s break it down now instead of waiting, for these symbols will be brought out again in future lessons.

Verse 5: And from the throne proceeded lightings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Once again, seven is used to indicate completeness. The Godhead is completed or made perfect with the addition of the Holy Spirit. The seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne which are the seven spirits of God refers to the Holy Spirit and it shining of light upon the darkness of this earth.

As it was in the earthly Sanctuary which was built by Moses the lamp stand in the Holy Place had seven lamps and it would shine day and night to illuminate the Holy and Most Holy place. It stood in the earthly Sanctuary before the earthly representation of God’s heavenly throne.

Verse 6: Before the throne was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.

Revelation 15:2; Exodus 24:10; Exodus 38:8: All talk about something that is clear and reflective. But Exodus 38:8 speaks specifically to the laver that was in the court yard before the Holy Place in the Tabernacle Moses built. It was built of fine brass. Formally this fine brass had been polished to the point that it would reflect the image of the one looking at it, as a glass mirror would today. The Laver held water that the priest would use to wash themselves before entering in to the Holy Place. After the laver was constructed it was again polished to the point that it would again reflect the image of those looking at it. Now filled with water waiting for the priest to wash itself it would look like a sea of glass. Clear in its clarity like the heavens above. Exodus 24:10.

All those coming before the throne of God must be washed until they reflect God like the waters in the laver reflected the image of those that washed themselves with the water in the laver. Those standing upon the sea of glass would represent those who have overcome sin and stand washed clean before God, victorious as they reflect the character of God.

The Four Living Creatures full of eyes in front and in back. This may be understood as symbol as a symbol of the intelligence and ceaseless vigilance of the heavenly beings. They eyes are plainly drawn from Ezekiel were nine time in the Old Testament the word eye is used in the sense of color, or brilliance which can also mean that these four beast had the appearance of brilliance.

From this we can draw the conclusion that these four living creatures are ceaselessly vigilant, intelligent beings who have the brilliant appearance.

Verse 7: The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.

Although Revelation does not make it clear, Ezekiel does that these creatures, four in all, each have four heads. Each creature has the head of a lion, a calf, the face of a man, and a forth face that of an eagle.

Since the prophet does not interpret the symbols of his vision, and since the Scriptures elsewhere do not directly state the significance of these faces, we can only conjecture as to the specific application of the symbols. Commentators have suggested various ideas, such as:

  1. The human face is the highest symbol of the Eternal; the lion, a symbol of sovereignty; the ox, also a king of sovereignty, together with a natural symbol of strength made subservient to human uses; and the eagle, an emblem of kingly power.
  2. The faces are symbols of the four evangelists. This view was advanced by the Church Fathers, Irenaeus being one of the first to set forth the theory. The lion is sometimes identified with Matthew, and the man with Mark, and conversely. The ox and the eagle are uniformly assigned to Luke and John respectively. But this interpretation has only an imaginative foundation.
  3. According to later Jewish tradition the four forms, taking Ezekiel’s order, are the standards generally borne by the tribes of Reuben, Judah, Ephraim, and Dan when they encamped in the wilderness (Num. 2:2). That such were the ancient standards cannot be verified. Even if such were possible, it is difficult to see any connection between the standards and the teaching objectives of the vision.
  4. But the more I have studied this, the more I have come to believe that this is representative of an angelic host which are involved in the affairs of men. They are an exalted angelic order involved in serving God and leading the heavenly hosts in worshiping and praising God (Isa. 6:2–3; Ezek. 1:6–10; 10:14). The best way to describe them as having the “strength like the lion” (Ps. 103:20), “ability to render service like the ox” (Heb. 1:14), “intelligence like man” (Luke 15:10), and “swiftness like the eagle” (Dan. 9:21), characteristics which in the Bible are ascribed to angels

11.  What was the response of the 24 elders when the quartet sang their song of praise? Revelation 4:9, 10

Answer: Fell down before God and Worshiped, Cast their Crowns

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

These are not Royal Crowns, instead they are Victor’s Crowns! Revelation uses the term Crowns many times and in two separate ways. “Beasts” and “Horns” that have crowns which signify kingdoms or kings. In this case the Crowns that the 24 Elders cast before the throne are not to signify their dominion or rule over something, instead these are crowns of victory. They have been victorious over sin

12. Why do they say that God is worthy to be worshiped? Revelation 4:11.

Answer: Because He is the Creator.   See Revelation 14:7 and Hebrews 1:1-4

NOTE: We find no atheists or evolutionists among the beings surrounding the Throne of God!  He is worthy of our praise and adoration!  He made us and with His unlimited love has redeemed us!

Note:  In upcoming lessons will again look at creation and the significance of Christ being the creator of this world.  As earth’s history draws to a close we will begin to see why it is so necessary to understand who created the world, why he is so deserving of worship, and how this will become the central theme in earths final hours.

13.  What question did David ask as he was considering this great universe God had created? Psalm 8:3, 4.

Answer: What is man that You are mindful?

Note: Why does God care so much for the human race that has failed so miserably to live up to God’s standards?  Our next question helps answer that question.

Bible in Shape of Heart

14.  What character trait of God causes Him to be concerned about us? I John 4:8, 16.

Answer: Because God is Love

NOTE:   God loves us when we are good and when we are bad. He loves us if we are beautiful or if we are ugly. He loves us if we are black, white, brown or yellow. In fact, He said He loves us with an “everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). There’s no one else like that! Don’t you agree?

Jesus on the cross

15.  How did God show His great love for us? John 3:16.

Answer: He sent His son to die for us

NOTE:   God gave His Son to a fallen race – a planet in rebellion!  Christ died that we could live eternally.  He suffered the cruel lashings, the thrones driven into His forehead, the nails driven into His hands and feet, without protest!  He could have called 10,000 angels to set Himself free, but He couldn’t save Himself and save us too!  This was the ultimate gift of a loving, caring God for guilty man.  And as His bruised and bleeding body hung on the cross, Jesus prayed, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).  That’s what God is like!  What Love!

This might be difficult to understand at this point in our lessons, but before Adam and Eve sinned they had a divine character.  They had a character like God’s.  When they sinned they laid down their divine character and pickup up humanity.  In much the same way it was for Jesus.  When he came to earth as a little baby, he put on man’s humanity laying off His divinity.  If at any time he had pickup up His divinity for a purpose other than to help others, he would have committed the same type of sin that Adam and Eve had.  They pickup up their humanity for selfish reasons, and should Christ have pickup His divinity for a selfish purpose he would have been guilty of the same sin.

The whole plan of salvation is keyed in to the fact of mankind putting down his humanity and picking up God’s divinity (God’s Character).  Only when we lay self aside can the character of Christ be reproduced in us.

It is in this way (Jesus picking up His Divinity) that Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are tempted.

16.  What did Jesus tell us to call God? Matthew 6:9

Answer: Our Father

Additional Note: Please read Luke 11:2, Romans 8:13, and Galatians 4:6

Whether it is Matthew, Luke, or Paul speaking, we are invited to accept God as our Father.  Our Heavenly Father.

17.  What touching example of human love did God use to let us know about His everlasting love for us? Isaiah 49:15, 16.

Answer: He never forgets us, He inscribes us on the palms of His hands

Additional Note: Those nail prints that are still on the hands of Jesus is how our names are inscribed on the palms of his hands.  Even in the earth made new with each of us restored to the health and beauty God original intended for His earth children to be, His hands will still bear the mark of those cruel nails driven through the sinless body of Christ all because of our sins.

18.  What is the ultimate goal that God has for each of us? Revelation 21:6, 7; John 1:12; II Peter 3:9.               

Answer:

  1. To inherit heaven, to be filled with living water.
  2. To be called sons and Daughters of God, All to be saved.

19.  When will God’s plan for mankind finally be realized? Revelation 21:1-3

Answer: When heaven comes down and when God makes all things new.

NOTE: In this lesson we have discovered the real Author of the Book of Revelation.  And what a revelation that has been!  What a God!  It is difficult for human minds to fathom such love!  With such an all-wise, all powerful, all-loving God who sustains and controls the whole universe, we can but echo David’s provocative question, “What is man that thou art mindful of him?”  Yet God said, “I will not forget thee.”

As we study the following lessons, we discover more about this Author of the Book of Revelation and His wonderful plan for our future.  Exciting lessons are just ahead!  God has promised His blessing upon the reader of this Book of Revelation.  What encouragement we have for its study!

My Response

After studding this lesson, I have discovered that the Book of Revelation is not a “closed” Book, but that God wants us to read and understand it and will bless us in our study.

I was thrilled to learn about the love God has for each person on earth, and I want to study and learn more about his plan for me as revealed in Revelation.

Supplemental Reading:  God Cares, vol. 2, pp. 67-69.

Hope you both enjoyed and learned a lot from this and past lessons. If you should have any question regarding this lesson or pervious lessons, please email me at: pastor.lester.bentley@gmail.com.   Please put in the subject line Revelation Speaks and in the email from what lesson your question from. I will do my best to answer in a timely manner. I hope you will continue to enjoy this series.

Thanks You,

Pastor Lester

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s