As we shall see in a moment, John states the central thesis of the book in verse seven. The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven as he comes with clouds. At his unveiling, that is, at his revelation, every eye shall see him including those who pierced him.
Zechariah the prophet speaks of this great day when Israel will “look upon me whom they have pierced.” At his revelation our Lord will deliver Israel from the great time of Jacob’s trouble and in that moment many in Israel will be overcome with personal repentance as they recognize Jesus is the Messiah.
They will mourn for him with a broken heart as they realize the nation mistreated him. They will ask him of the wounds in his hands and Jesus will say to them I received these when I was wounded in the house of my friends.
Israel’s bitterness of soul over how they treated their Messiah will fade into a song of salvation. Zephaniah the prophet says, “Sing, O daughter of Zion, shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem . . . The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy . . . at that time I will undo all that afflict thee . . . at that time will I bring you again . . . for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.”
Then John goes on to say “all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” My friends, the prospect of the Lord’s return, first for his church and later with his church and the hosts of heaven, fills our heart with joyful anticipation and is a wellspring of hope in our spirit.
But not so for a lost world. When Christ returns in great power and glory many through-out the kindreds and nations of the earth shall wail because of him. In fact, they will say to the rocks and mountains, “fall on us and hide us from . . . the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
May I ask you a question: are you among those praying “even so come Lord Jesus;” or are you among those who one day will bewail his coming?
Please look now at Revelation 1:7=20:
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
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 twoedged 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.”
You will notice in verse 10 the apostle tells us he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” While John was “in the Spirit,” the Lord told him to write in a book the things which he saw. John proceeded to write about the churches of his day, and then wrote of the things to come after the church age.
Please take careful note that the content of this book, as with all the books of the Bible, did not first originate in the thinking of the writers. Rather, they wrote the words that were first God’s words. Scripture is literally “God-breathed.” All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16), that is, it originated with God. The Spirit of God then proceeded to carry along the writers as they wrote not “in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches” (1 Cor. 2:13).
Do you believe our Savior told John to write a book that ended up as John’s best effort to tell us what he saw, or do you believe the Holy Spirit gave John the words to write so that what he saw “in the Spirit” was faithfully communicated in written form to the churches in words “which the Holy Ghost” gave him?
Please understand the book of Revelation, along with the other 65 books of the Bible, came from the Spirit of God. He gave the words to the various writers. This is what we refer to as the verbal inspiration of the Bible.
While the Bible has a human element in as much as God used men to give his word to the world, the words of the Bible did not originate with the human authors. They wrote as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit chose the words and gave those words through the human instruments.
The Bible is not a natural book. It is a supernatural book. John the Revelator wrote what he saw while in the Spirit. The book of Revelation, as is the case with all the books of the Bible, is the Word of the living God!
Now may I ask you another question: are you willing to listen to the Word of God?
The glorified Christ whom John encountered in the Spirit told the apostle to write the things he saw in a book and to send that book to the churches. Of course, through the churches the book is given to the whole world.
I am here today to warn you of things to come. The things John saw and wrote in this book are coming upon the world. Will you be ready?
The Lord Jesus says in Luke’s gospel to watch and pray always, “that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
The only way to escape the hour of great trial which shall come upon the world to test them that dwell upon the earth is to repent and believe the gospel. Only those who turn to the Lord Jesus Christ will be accounted worthy to escape the coming Day of the Lord as it unfolds upon the world.
These words of Jesus quoted from Luke's gospel must be interpreted in the context of unfolding Bible prophecy. There is an event described in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 in which Jesus returns for his bride to receive his redeemed to himself (John 14:1-3).
It is this event that will catch away living believers as they are translated that they should not see death. The dead in Christ (those absent from the body, but present with the Lord from the entire church age) will return with Christ and be clothed with their resurrected, glorified bodies. Then living believers at the time of this great event will be changed and caught up (raptured) to meet the Lord in the air.
Those believers alive on the earth and raptured at the return of Christ for his church (his bride) will escape the things Jesus says will come upon those left behind. As we eventually march through the book of Revelation we shall come face to face with the details of what Jesus describes as the Great Tribulation, the most trying time the world will ever see.
Will you escape these things? Are you ready?
The Lord's return is imminent, which means it could happen at any moment. Likewise, death itself ever lurks in the shadows ready in a moment's time to usher us into eternity. Are you ready should the Lord return for his bride today? Are you ready should death compel you to stand before the Son of man today?
Bow your head and call upon the Lord now. Humble your heart and ask him to save you and to forgive you. Accept the death of Christ for your sins and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead. Confess him as your Lord and Savior and you will be saved!