THE BACKDROP FOR THE REVELATION
Revelation 1:9-20 (KJV)
9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
To understand any book of the Bible, but especially Revelation with it’s complexity and depth, we must understand the setting, or backdrop against which it was written.
Many books require in depth study to find out this information, but this one gives it all to us right here in these verses.
Today, as we study this passage, let the Holy Spirit speak to your hearts and I guarantee that you will be blessed.
Let’s look together at the BACKDROP FOR THE REVELATION.
I. v.9-10a THE PLACEMENT OF THE BOOK
A. Who Wrote The Book? Apostle John ( at around 90-100 years old!) (Ill. Older folk have a place)
1. Brother – (Ill. No distinction between ministry and congregation!)
2. Companion – Persecution, 2 Tim, 3:12; Service; Watching…
B. Where Was John? Island of Patmos – A 10 mile by 6 mile rock in the Mediterranean Sea. This island was used by Rome as a hard labor prison.
(Ill. The providence of God – Domitian tried to kill John, but when he couldn’t do it, he had him banished to Patmos. A place where God could get him alone an speak to him.)
( Ill. He was there physically, but He was in the Spirit also!)
Illustration – All believers are in two locations:
1. v.9b – Earthly location – Patmos (Physical)
2. v.10a – Spiritual Location – In the Spirit (Ill. Need for balance)
(Ill. We need to worship in the Spirit – John 4:24) (Ill. John alone at church – Any service is what we make it!)
C. Why Was He There?
1. His Preaching – 1 Cor. 1:18
2. His Testimony of Jesus Christ – Ill. Christianity was a criminal activity. It might be that again.
II. v.11b & 19 THE PARTITIONS OF THE BOOK
A. v.11b The Command John Received – Write it and Send it – Ill. Why these seven?
B. v.19 The Conditions John Received – (God’s Divine Outline)
1. Past – (Ch. 1)
2. Present – (Ch. 2-3)
3. Prospective – (Ch. 4-22)
(This is the KEY verse of Revelation. You miss it and you will fall into false interpretations.)
III. v.10b, 11a, 12-20 THE PREOCCUPATION OF THE BOOK
(Jesus is the centerpiece of the Revelation, v.1a)
A. v.12 Candlesticks – (Ill. Lampstands) A picture of the church, Mt. 5:16 (Vrs. 20)
B. v.13 Jesus is in the midst of His churches! Mt. 18:20. He meets us here! (Ill. What is He doing when He comes to church?)
C. v.14-18 Jesus Displayed – Ill. When John Turned around he saw:
1. v.11a His Personality – Ill. The author and the finisher – Heb. 12:2; John 8:58
2. v.13 His Position – (Ill. Son of Man – John knew Him well! John 19:26; 13:25; 21:7. (Ill. He is Signified by His clothing) (Ill. Clothes do not make the man, they mark him) His garments mark Him as: Priest (Praying); King (Guiding); Judge (Examining)
3. v.14-16 His Person.
a. v.14 Head and hair – Purity, Age, Wisdom (1 Pet. 2:22; Dan. 7:9)
b. v.14 Eyes – Perception – Heb. 4:13
c. v.15 Feet – Persistence – (Ill. Will never quit, Ill. His Life) (Ill;. Judgment – Will stomp all of His enemies – Heb. 10:12-13)
d. v.15 Voice – Power – (Ill Voice of authority; Niagara, ocean) (Cannot be argued with) (Ill. He will have the final say!)
e. v.16 Stars in hand – Protection – (Ill. Safe in the hand of Jesus – Col. 3:3)
f. v.16 Mouth – Perfection – Heb. 4:12, Jesus always spoke the perfect Word.
g. v.16 Countenance – Peerlessness – (Ill He has no equals!) (Ill. The Sun!)
(Churches = Lampstands; Messengers = Stars; Jesus = The Sun – He outshines them all!)
4. v.17 His Peace – Ill. John’s reaction and Jesus’ touch. He was always dispensing peace – Ill. John 6:20; John 14:27.
5. v.18 His Power – This verse tells all we need to know to give us peace concerning the future! Jesus is in control of all, Mt. 28:18.
a. Resurrection – His and ours.
b. His Right – He holds the keys that unlock deaths door! (He is the key man!) (Ill. Jail – Jail keeper – keys – locks) He has authority over death and judgment – Ill. Eph. 4!