Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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The Prelude

Revelation 1.1-3

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[The book of revelation opens with its own prelude.  This prelude reveals the Person Of The Book, The Presentation Of The Book, The Purpose Of The Book, and The Promises In the Book.] 

A. The Person Of The Book (vs 1) [-   The Revelation of Jesus Christ, . . .  - I use the term Person Of The Book rather than the person in the book because while there are many persons referred to in the book there is but one person upon whom the whole of the book of Revelation is founded and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Concerning the Person Of The Book Dr. Hunter wrote, “It is the Revelation of Jesus!  What a grand anticipation! This book is printed in the opening phrases to provide its readers with an unequalled view of the pristine beauty of our Blessed Lord!” [1] These first five words of the text speak to us of:] 

1.      The Unveiling Of Our Lord (Matt 17.1-4; Matt 11.3) [- And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: . . . - It is hard to imagine what it must have been like for Peter, James, and John when Jesus was gloriously transfigured before them.  Yet, the revelation to come of the majesty and supreme glory of our Lord Jesus Christ will far and away exceed that of the mount of transfiguration.  The Lord Jesus Christ will one day, in the near and coming future be fully revealed to this mortal and corrupt world and what a revelation that will be.] 

[The Revelation - Ἀποκάλυψις (Gk) – Of this word Zodhiates writes,]

[fem. noun from apokalúptō (601), to reveal. Revelation, uncovering, unveiling, disclosure. One of three words referring to the Second Coming of Christ (1 Cor. 1:7; 2 Thess. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:7, 13). The other two words are epipháneia (2015), appearing (1 Tim. 6:14), and parousía (3952), coming, presence (2 Thess. 2:1). Apokálupsis, a grander and more comprehensive word, includes not merely the thing shown and seen but the interpretation, the unveiling of the same. The epipháneiai (pl.), appearances, are contained in the apokálupsis, revelation, being separate points or moments therein. Christ’s first coming was an epipháneia (2 Tim. 1:10); the second, an apokálupsis, will be far more glorious.[2]] 

[Hence, this revelation will remove every doubt from every mind about who the Lord Jesus Christ is.  He will be fully revealed and manifested.  The doubts expressed by John the Baptist when he sent his disciples to ask,  . . .  Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another (Matt 11.3),  will all be eternally answered.   This is the full revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ and as we study our way through this book we will discover how all creation responds to the glory and magnificence of His revelation.] 

2.      The Undeniability of Our Lord (Philip 2.10-11; Rev 1.7) [- Christians throughout the ages have labored feverishly to win the lost to our Lord Jesus Christ by declaring  relentlessly,]  

[Philippians 2:10-11 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.] 

[But now, breaking over the horizon of history, the King of king’s thrusts this Word of God upon all humanity. ]  

[No longer will they deny His unfettered authority.   No longer will their calloused hearts repulse the piercing pricks of the Holy Spirits conviction, No longer will the spiritual cataracts hide the Lord of all glory from their reprobate minds.  He, the Lord Jesus Christ, is fully revealed and every eye shall see Him (Rev 1.7).] 

[What incredible majesty encompasses the God given prelude to this book of the Bible.  The natural title of the book contained in the first five words of the text, The Revelation Of Jesus Christ.] 

B. The Presentation Of The book (vs 1) [-  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: - The revelation given within this text is so glorious that its content could not be given to just anyone. In this formal presentation we discover:]

1. The Purity Of The Book (vs 1; Mark 13.31-33; 2 Tim 3.16-17; 2 Pet 1.20-21) [- The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, . . . – In considering the purity of this book of the Bible we note it source.  This revelation is not the fancy of the imaginations of mankind, nor is the idea of even the Lord Jesus Christ.  Instead it proceeds from the mind of God the Father Almighty.  Thus causing us to remember that our Lord said,]  

[Mark 13:31-33 31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.]

[The details of this divine book find their origin in the supreme mind of Almighty God Himself.  Thus speaking to the veracity and reliability of their declaration, these words are pure because He is supremely holy and pure.]

[Through this revelation we discover more about the source and purity of all scripture.  Of Inspiration the Bible states,] 

[2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.]  

[In developing the idea of inspiration the Bible also declares,] 

[2 Peter 1:20-21 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.]  

[Perhaps, it is safe to infer that the hierarchy revealed in the revelation is representative of the process of inspiration itself.  That God the Father was the source of God’s Word, who gave it His Son, who in turn passed it on to those men whom He (Jesus) would pass His Word on through.] 

2. The Passing of the book (vs 1) [- The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, . . . and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: -  Once the message was given to our Lord Jesus Christ, He in turn sent the message to His faithful bond servant the apostle John.  Of his servant hood we note,]   

[Servant δούλοις (Gk) - of being in a servile condition enslaved, performing the service of a slave; figuratively, of unquestioning obedience, in either a good or bad sense subservient, enslaved, subject [3]] 

[Clearly, the apostle John was sold out to Jesus.  He wouldn’t have been where he was, on the Isle of Patmos, except it were for his undying loyalty to our Savior.   Hence, we learn that to be greatly used of our Lord, in His kingdoms work, one must be greatly given to our Lord.] 

C. The Purpose Of The Book (vs 1; 1 Cor 2.9-10) [-  . . . To show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass . . . – It is incredible to know that God wants us to know things like those things He reveals throughout this book of Revelation.  But our Heavenly Father has wanted us to know many great and incredible things.  As a matter of fact the apostle Paul was led to write,] 

[1 Corinthians 2:9-10 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.]

[Without any doubt, the things revealed within this Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ are deeper than our mind could hope to understand.  Of this unfolding we understand that there is,]

 1. A Selective Revelation (Rev 2.7,11,17,29; 3.6,13,22; 13.9; Ps 25.14; Jer 6.10; John 15.15; 1 Cor 2.6-16) [- It is "unto His servants.”  Many lost, unhearing souls, of which many were and are religious, yet unredeemed.  One might say these are the tears among the wheat, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, or the foolish virgins among the wise virgins. Many of these unhearing souls have wrestled to understand and explain the deep truths revealed in this glorious revelation.  But in order to hear and understand these spiritual truths, one must be in right relation to the one who gave the revelation in the first place.  No less than Eight times the admonition is given ". . . he that hath and ear, let him hear . . . " (Rev 2.7,11,17,29; 3.6,13,22; 13.9).  Thus we are told that a circumcised ear is a necessity for to understand the things contained within this text.  But hasn’t this ever beenthe case for the whole of the Word of God.  The Bible declares,] 

[Psalm 25:14 14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.]

[Jeremiah 6:10 10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.]

[John 15:15 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.]

[1 Corinthians 2:6-16 6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.]  

[The Word of God is wide open to those who are His, but it is darkly seal to the lost, though they study it with zeal and diligence.  As is the case with the text before us.] 

2. An Objective Revelation [– Two objects permeate this book,]

a. [It reveals the Lord Jesus Christ and who He is. We have already discovered and relished in this object of the book.]

b. [It demonstrates "things which must shortly come to pass."  What things?]

1) [Only those "things" that deal directly with the End Times or those things yet to come.]

2) [These things "MUST" come to pass emphasizing that theses prophecies will surely occur.]

3) [All will be revealed "SHORTLY".  Some suggest that this phrase might be better understood to mean thing which must come to pass in rapid succession.  Thus, indicating that once the things revealed within this revelation begin to take place, they will be fulfilled quickly.[4]]

4) [Is it delayed that the lost might be saved.  The Bible reveals why God has delayed the fulfillment of these prophecies, ] 

[2 Peter 3:8-9 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.]

[1 Timothy 2:4 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. ] 

5) [The fulfillment of these prophecies will manifest God’s glory.] 

[Romans 9:22-23 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,] 

D. The Promise In The Book (vs 3) [– Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. – The Word of God contains many promises, some are conditional and others are unconditional.  The book of Revelation is no different.  The prophecies contained in this text amount to promises given by our Lord and, as with any prophecy, ought to be a source of great hope and security for all who will read them, hear them, and heed them.  Hope is one of the profound truths of all Bible prophecy.  A prophecy may forth tell a horrible and cataclysmic judgment soon to come, but its proclamation and revelation reveal the sovereignty, omniscience, and omnipotence of God so that those who love and obey their Heavenly Father may have eternal hope and assurance in the face of His judgment and justice.]

1. A Unique Book [– The book of Revelation is unique in that it provides an opening blessing (Rev 1.3) and an ending blessing (Rev 22.7).  John Phillips has identified seven blessing that are revealed in the book of revelation.[5]]  The Seven Blessings Of Revelation:

a. Relating to us today:

1) The Blessed Challenge (vs 3) [-  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.All will be blessed who read, hear and keep those things written within this text.  Hence, the challenge is to study, understand, and respond to the prophecies of this book of the Bible.]

b. Those that relate to the great tribulation:

1) The Blessed Comfort (Rev 14.13) [- And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. – As we study through this book we will come to realize how truly blessed it is to have received the new birth through our Lord Jesus Christ.  So will be the case for all who endure through and are persecuted and martyred in the tribulation period.  The enemies of our Lord can starve, buffet and kill this body, but they can never touch an eternally redeemed soul.]

2) The Blessed Cautiousness (Rev 16.15) [- Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. -  Again, to keep oneself unspotted form the world is difficult enough in our day and age of grace, but it will be so much the harder during the tribulation period.  Yet, the blessings of God are poured out abundant upon all who will persevere for our Lord Jesus Christ.]

c. One relating to Armageddon:

1) The Blessed Calling (Rev 19.9) [- And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. – How blessed it will be to be on the right side of the battle of Armageddon.  To be at the marriage supper of the Lamb indicates that when our Lord returns at the second advent that one will be in the glorious armies that follow Him.  To fail to be at the marriage supper of the Lamb indicates that one will likely be in the host that will be destroyed by the sword of our Lord’s Word.]

d. One relating to the Millennium:

1) The Blessed Conquest (Rev 20.6) [- Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. – What a glorious promise indeed.  To partake of the first resurrection is to not only dwell in the millennium but it will be to reign with Christ for one thousand years.] 

e. The remainder relate to New Jerusalem:

1) The Blessed Cherishing (Rev 22.7) [- Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. -  As we read about the New Jerusalem, the equivalent of our Christian concept of Heaven our Lord reminds us that it will all come quickly.  Someone might ask, “Is two thousand years quickly?”  from the perspective of eternity it is but a moment, a breath, or the blink of an eye.  Be always ready.]

2) The Blessed Conformity (Rev 22.14) [- Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. – Be always surrendered and fully given to our Lord Jesus Christ.  For the blessed promises He gives are worth more than many lifetimes of perseverance.]

2. The Unction of the Blessing (vs 3) [- What are the prerequisites necessary to receive this first blessing?]

a. [The Lector - "Blessed is he that readeth . . . " -  In the early days of the Church, due to a limited number of copies of the text, a public reader would go from Church to Church.  This may have also been necessary due to the assumed illiteracy of the people, however, the people of the biblical culture may have been far more literate than previously believed.]

[Readeth - ἀναγινώσκων (Gk)  - A compound word comprised of ἀνα meaning up and γινώσκων meaning to know or understand. Indicating a through knowledge and the only possible source for that knowledge, it is from above, and can only be found there.  This is the truth of all biblical understanding, it is not as much a matter of interpretation as it is a matter of illumination as it must be spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2.9-15). ]

b. [The Listener - ". . . and they that hear the words of this prophecy . . . " - Again the circumcised ear is required.  This is not only hearing the words, and sentences, but is the ability to discern the truths of the text. ]

c. [The Learner - ". . . and keep those things which are written therein . . . " - This keeping is truly the result of proper discernment, as a proper understanding of the things contained in this book will COMPEL one to Godly living (1 John 3.1-3).]

c. The Urgency Of The Blessing (vs 3) [“. . . For the time is at hand." - The word ‘time’ denotes a space of time, or a season.  Hence, the tribulation period or the event of our Lord’s revelation is near at hand.  This statement ought to work a sense of urgency or immanency with us.  Adrian Rogers wrote of this phrase, “IT does not mean that the time is immediate.  It means that it is imminent.  Jesus Christ can come at any moment.  We are not waiting for some event to take place before Jesus can return; He can come whenever He chooses.  We are living on the edge of eternity.  And we are to be living on ‘ready.’  Jesus may come this afternoon.”[6]] 

[The prelude to the book of Revelation as contained it these first three verses of the text reveal the depth contained within its pages and wets our appetite for the spiritual meat of our study.]


[1] Harold F. Hunter, Revelation, (Newburg, Trinity Crusades For Christ, 1984), Pg 8

[2] S. Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 200, c1992, c1993), G602.

[3] Friberg, T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N.F, Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000), 120.

[4] Harold F. Hunter, A Verse By Verse Study Of Revelation (Jacksonville: Trinity Crusades for Christ, 1984), 9.  As well as Dr. David Jeremiah, Escape The Coming Night, 32-33.

[5] John Phillips, Exploring Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1974), 20.

[6] Rogers, 8-9


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