An In- Depth Study Of

The book of Revelation is in two parts. The first three chapters identify the author and the authority of the vision and contain the letters of warning to the seven major churches of this time. The rest of the book is prophetic in nature, the only prophetic book in the New Testament. The first 11 chapter deal with mankind's physical history; the next 9 chapters deal with man's spiritual history, culminating with Revelation 21 and 22: the conclusion of the history of mankind that began way back in the book of Genesis. Only this time, everything was was tainted and damaged by sin is now made perfect, for all eternity.

  • Gen. 1:1.........."In the beginning God created the heaven and earth"
              Rev.21:1........."I saw a new heaven and a new earth"
  • Gen. 1:10........"The gathering together of waters He called the sea"
              Rev. 21:1........"And the sea was no more"
  • Gen. 1:5.........."The darkness He called night"
              Rev. 21:25......"There shall be no night there"
  • Gen. 1:16........"God made the two great lights" (the sun and the moon)
              Rev. 21:23......"The city has no need of the sun or the moon"
  • Gen. 2:10........Man's earliest home was by a river.
              Rev. 22:1........Man's eternal home will be by a river.
  • Gen. 2:17........"In the day you eat thereof you shall surely die"
              Rev. 21:4........"Death shall be no more"
  • Gen. 3:16........"I will greatly multiply your pain"
              Rev. 21:4........"Neither shall there be pain any more"
  • Gen. 3:17........"Cursed is the ground for your sake"
              Rev. 22:3........"There shall be no more curse"
  • Gen. 3:1,4.......Satan deceives mankind
              Rev. 20:10......Satan disappears forever
  • Gen. 3:22-24.....Man was driven away from the Tree of Life
              Rev. 22:2........The Tree of Life re-appears
  • Gen. 3:24........Man was driven from God's presence
              Rev. 22:4........"They shall see His face"
(from Halley's Bible Handbook)


1: This verse states that this revelation was given to Jesus by God; Jesus then used an angel to send this vision to John.
2: John identifies himself, and confirms the close relationship he had with Jesus.
3: The blessings for all who hear and do according to the words of this book. The word blessings means more than just happiness, it implies special status for those who heed this message; i.e., they have God's favor.
4: This is the first place in this book where the seven spirits of God are mentioned. Some translations say "seven-fold spirit", and those who use that translation claim this refers to the Holy Spirit, as seven is the number of completeness and perfection representing God. It seems more apparent from both usage and tradition that these seven spirits are agents used by God to accomplish His will. (also see 3:1, 4:5, and 5:6)
5: He points to Jesus as the faithful witness, or true and sure example for all who claim to be Christians; the one and only means of salvation; who bought us with His own blood because of His great love for us; who was the first to be resurrected.
6: Here the promise is again made that true believers are made kings and priests in the kingdom of God, not merely citizens, but having power and authority. (see 5:10 also)
7-8: Again identifying Jesus as the One who will one day return to judge the world; the One who existed before the world was created and will live forever.
9-10: At the time of this revelation, John was exiled on the isle of Patmos , under the persecution of Domitian, about 95 A.D. He was released the next year, and his use of the word "was" in vs. 9 suggests that although the vision appeared to him while he was exiled, he did not record it until after his release.
11: Jesus himself instructed John to write down the things that will be revealed to him, and send it to each of the seven churches in Asia.
12-16: The vision of Jesus as the Son of Man in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks (later explained to represent the seven churches). He is clothed in a long garment with a golden belt--- a description of the garment worn by the high priest in the performance of his most sacred duties. His head and hair were white as snow, possibly a depiction of His purity. His eyes were like a fiery flame, an indication of righteous indignation. His feet were like fine burnished brass- solid, strong and steadfast, having been refined by fire to be made stronger and purer. His voice was like the sound of many waters- i.e.- a rushing roar, a commanding sound. In His right hand He held seven stars, (later explained to represent the angels of the seven churches). He had a sharp two-edged sword in His mouth, a symbol of judgment. (Heb. 4:12 states, The word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.) His countenance was like the shining sunlight, an indication of His splendor and glory. This picture as a whole presents a pure, holy and righteous Jesus as the Son of Man and the high priest, prepared to pass judgment upon the seven churches, which represent the entire body of believers.
17-20: Jesus himself verifies who He is--- the first and the last, who first lived, then died, and now is alive forevermore. He repeats His instruction to John to write down the things that will be revealed to him. He then explains the meaning of the seven stars and the seven candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels (or messengers) of the seven churches. Each letter was addressed to the angel of that particular church, to be passed along to the entire church. Whether this refers to heavenly messengers or the earthly ministers of each church is highly debated, but the fact that He holds them in His hand indicates they belong to Him and have His protection. The seven golden candlesticks represent the churches themselves; that they are depicted as gold indicates their worth, as gold was the most rare and precious commodity of the time. This passage as a whole indicates how precious the churches and their angels are to Jesus- after all, He gave His life for them!

References used in this study:

  • NIV Study Bible; Zondervan Press
  • The Revelation of John, volume 2; Wm. Barclay
  • Halley's Bible Handbook; H.H. Halley
  • Clarke's Commentary On The Bible; abridged by Ralph Earle

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