Revelation 1-3

Things Which Are

The Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation some 25 years after Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by Rome. This book was addressed to seven churches located in Asia. John received this prophesy by revelation from the Lord. He was to write down what he had seen, what was taking place presently, and what would take place in the future. I have heard that those who read this prophesy will be blessed based on verse 9 of Chapter 1. Careful reading of the verse, however, tells us that the blessing is contingent on “hearing” what is being said and heeding it.

In Chapter 1, John records how he receive this revelation and under what circumstances. In Chapters 2 &3 John records the message of the Lord to each of the seven churches. Of them, five received some level of rebuke. Many see these churches representing different stages in the history of the Church. Ephesus would be seen as the first century Church and Laodicea as the present day Church. The other churches would represent various major events of church history such as the period of persecution, the Church state under Constantine, and the Reformation, to name a few. I believe these are certainly stages and could well be historical stages, but it seems to me that the issues mentioned in these churches continue to exist in churches today in our nation and various places in the world. 

Back in Chapter 1 verse 10, John said that it was the Lord’s Day when he received this revelation from the Lord. In that verse he also said he was in the Spirit.  In other words he had set his mind and heart on the Lord. He was in a place where he was able to hear from the Lord. I believe being “in the Spirit” is essential for Bible Study and it will be especially essential as we read this book if we are to hear from the Lord what He has to say to us. For me this means that I need to be in a place where there are few distractions. Over the years I have found that when I study is important along with where I study.  But being “in the Spirit” is more than that. I need to purposely focus on the Lord and expect to hear from Him. In other words I need to get my mind in the right place as well. I also need to approach my time with the Lord with a right attitude. That is, I try to lay down my agenda and understanding and submit to what I am reading and seeing in the scriptures and how they apply to me.

As we read about these seven churches in Chapters 2&3 I want to encourage you to get yourself “in the Spirit” and look at and listen to things that the Lord might be saying to you. So that is the homework assignment for this study.

Read, listen, and heed.

Pastor Dave