The purpose of this Reader’s Guide is to help you read through one of the more intimidating books of the Bible profitably. In my past experience, Revelation was a very confusing book for me. I imagine that many more Christians find the book confusing as well. The guide is basically to keep you on track as you read, and any commentary is meant solely for the purpose of keeping the reader on as straight a path as possible. Think of me primarily as a tour guide, and take your own pictures.
I. Author and Intent
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
The Author is Jesus Christ, his amanuensis is John. The revelation is not of Christ himself, but a revelation that has been given to him by his Father, which he in turn gives to John through the mediation of an angel. The message of the revelation is ‘the things that must soon take place.’
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
The directions are threefold, the public reading of the revelation, hearing the revelation, and keeping the revelation.
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Jesus is specifically sending his revelation to the seven churches in Asia Minor (chapters 2 and 3). His message is to be met with worship to the Triune God in the Church.
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
The occasion of the revelation is the soon return of Jesus Christ in judgment and glory.