The Book of the Revelation was given to the Apostle John, a "servant of Jesus Christ", while he was a prisoner for his beliefs on the island of Patmos (1:9). John had earlier written the Gospel and the 3 letters which bear his name. Now he was older and was to be the last of God's prophets to add to the word of God in the Bible.

The Book was a "revelation" or "uncovering" of Jesus Christ - who will be revealed when he returns to the earth. Jesus received its contents from God (1:1), and sent his angel with it to John, who wrote it down for all God's servants (Christians) in all ages to read (1:3).

The Book is mainly about Jesus and shows:

• The importance of Jesus
• That he will return
• That he will punish the wicked
• And he will set up God's Kingdom on earth and reward his servants.

Much of the Revelation is in symbol or picture language. John was shown it by a series of visions (pictures). the message can only be really understood by having a good insight into the rest of the Bible - which is also about Jesus Christ.

The number 7 is used a great many times in the Revelation. So, for example, we read about:
7 churches - 7 spirits (powers) - 7 lampstands - 7 stars - etc., etc.

This Book which is at the end of the Bible has many links with the beginning. For example, John sees the earth as a paradise (or garden) again, like it once was (Genesis 1-2), with a Tree of Life, etc., in the garden (Ch.22) In the Revelation, Jesus is shown as the "beginning and ending" of God's plan for the earth.

Jesus has received from God the titles which really belong to his Father. We can find some of them in the Revelation :

• Alpha and Omega (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet) (1:8).
• The First and the Last (1:17)
• The Beginning and the End (21:6)
• All three of the above names (22:13)

The time is close when God shall "send Jesus Christ, who was preached unto you before, who heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:20,21).


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