“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:” (Rev 1:1)
Note: The message of the book of Revelations is so important to Jesus and God the Father, that approximately 60 years after his resurrection, Jesus himself personally tells John (while John is “in the spirit” Rev 1:10) exactly what to write and whom to send it to. Everything Jesus does is very important! He did not intend for his revelation to be ignored or to be not understood by true worshipers.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ…” It is Jesus’ revelation to your soul – we must get it directly from him (God gave it to Jesus.) Jesus once told a man named Nicodemus “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3-8 None of us will ever obtain true understanding in spiritual things unless our eyes and understanding are opened by God through a true experience of salvation (being born from above by full repentance away from sin, and the blood of Jesus washing all our sins away.)
Later on in Rev 5 we see it took the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ – for he was the only one who could open the book in that was in the hand of God. And when Jesus took the book, no one but Jesus and his Father were being worshiped – and when people from a redeemed, pure heart worship him, then the seals can be taken off of the book of Revelations (and the whole Bible):
“Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” Rev 5:9
If we do not worship Jesus from a sincere, pure heart: we will never have the simple truths of God revealed to our soul. It does not matter how smart we may be, or how much we study this particular study or any other. No man can reveal to us what we disparately need to know and acknowledge within our very heart and soul! God has ordained that only his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, can reveal this word in its fullness to our soul. Our only hope is that we get completely honest, serious, and earnest about serving him, and worshiping only him. God uses man (true preachers and ministers) to deliver the Word of God to man, but unless Jesus intervenes to give understanding to the very soul, the result will always come up short.
Jesus also said in John 12:49-50 that he only speaks what the Father has him to say. If Jesus was so careful to do so, we better be so much the more careful with the Word of God – who are we compared to Jesus! This very book of Revelations states clearly at the end that if you mess with God’s words (you add your personal interpretation to them or take away from what God intended for them to mean), your done for! (unless you sincerely repent.) Rev 22:18-19
Within 2 Peter 1:19-21 we read “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”
To sum it up: it is Jesus’ revelation of himself, of his Father’s will, of true worship, of his kingdom and authority and power – contrasted with the kingdoms of men (religious and otherwise, including so-called “Christian” religions.)
Again in verse one of Revelations chapter 1, we read: “to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass” Jesus only will reveal this to the heart of a “servant”. The same is shown in Amos 3:6-8 that God reveals his secrets to his servants, and it is them he holds responsible for “trumpeting” out the prophesy to the people on earth.
Most people today do not have a clue what it means to be a servant. It is a concept to them only, but not a reality.
In the days when Jesus gave the Revelation message to John, a servant was one who was “owned” by someone else. In those days, some major cities were made up of mostly “owned” servants. This meant that they were not free to make their own decisions about where they were to go, who they were around, and what they wanted to do. One who has truly given their heart to Jesus to be his servant, is obedient to his word and Holy Spirit – and the Holy Spirit will never lead them to act or go anywhere that is in conflict with his word. A servant of Jesus is “owned” by Jesus, and he guides and makes the decisions for their life. To attempt to understand Revelations without being a true servant is a wast of time – unless you are sincerely interested in knowing how to become his servant. Otherwise this Revelation message will never make any sense to you, no matter how well it is explained or preached. This message is addressed to Jesus’ servants; no one else!
In addition, note he said that these things “must shortly come to pass”. The book of Revelations was written in approximately AD 90. We are now in the 21st century. Most of what is in the book has already come to pass. Note: again at the end of the book he re-emphasis the fact that these things are soon to happen:
“And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.” Rev 22:10
Verse one also states that “he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John”. The word “angel” in the original means “a message bearer.” It can be a messenger from God’s heaven – a spirit angel, but it can also be a mortal human being. This was true where the Bible speaks of Moses and others “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire” ( Heb 1:7 and Psa 104:4) It is specifically stated as such right within the book of Revelations: “And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel” Also Rev 21:17 “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” Rev 22:8-9.
Most references to “angel” in the book of Revelations signify a ministry (people) whom God has chosen to deliver a specific message to men on earth.