Cover to Cover
The first words of this book are, "The revelation of Jesus Christ," showing us this book is focused on revealing JESUS and His return to reign over the earth. One emphasis is how Christ’s government will overthrow all human, self-sufficient, arrogant, earthly governments that existed before Him. He is the King over all kings. He is the Alpha and Omega, who was in the beginning and who will reign in the end. He was first and He is last. He is, He was, He is to come. He is the Almighty One. He was dead, but now He lives, and He lives forevermore. He has the keys of Hades and of Death.
The Revelation was written by John, one of Jesus' disciples, to the seven churches in Asia, but also would be circulated among the other churches and in the generations to follow. When John saw Jesus in his glorified state, his response was to fall at His feet in adoration of Him. His description of Christ is one of splendor and love. He “loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood (verse 5)." Jesus is powerful, but Jesus is also personal, our Lord and our Savior. He is a king who became a brother. He is a Lord who became a servant. He is a Savior who became our sin. He is an authority that died for His people. Why did Jesus appear to John to inform His church of what would come? Because he loves us.
The Greek word for "revelation" in Revelation 1:1 is "apokalypsis." It's where we get our word "apocalypse." The Greek word means "an uncovering, unveiling of hidden knowledge or disclosure of truth, laying bare." It can also mean "a manifestation or appearance" with the purpose of revealing knowledge, especially of future events.
John saw seven lampstands. These are the seven churches for which Jesus had messages. Jesus walked among them lampstands. We can know that Jesus is very invested in His body, the Church, made up of local churches. He takes notice of how churches are operating. He knew when Ananias lied about his offering. He knew when Stephen was stoned. He knew when false teachers would infiltrate a church family. He knew when church member’s hearts would fill with pride and oppose their pastor. He heard their malicious words. He heard their praise. He saw their outreach. He saw their ministry. He knew of their love. He knew of their faithfulness.
John saw the Lord holding seven stars in His right hand; the right hand denoted power. The stars were the pastors of the churches, held in place by His power. The term angel means messenger, the one who speaks for God to that group of people.
My husband is a lead pastor. His calling is something he takes very seriously. He prays over his messages to get direction from God, to get that message in his heart, and to lean on the Lord to deliver that message under the anointing. As a shepherd, those messages are like food for his flock. He wants his congregation to get a well-balanced meal, a well-rounded teaching from God’s Word so people grow individually and collectively. In addition, there is also a responsibility to oversee or govern, protect with discernment, lead with vision, correct in love, equip with training, restore with gentleness, and provide care with diligence. In addition, a pastor is to reach the lost in the community and represent Christ well. We will see in the next two chapters how Jesus gives instruction to His pastors concerning the churches they oversee.
There is a prophecy in this portion of Scripture that gives some clarity to the “season of the Gentiles,” or how long the timing is between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel. Remember that there are often layers to prophecy, for the time it was given, as well as a window into the future. The Holy Spirit helps us to discern what God is saying.
In chapter 5, Hosea predicts judgment on Israel (Ephraim) and Judah. In verse 13, Israel and Judah receive a wound from which they cannot recover. In verse 14, God says He will “tear them.” In the Hebrew the word means “tear into pieces.” Then God says that He will leave them. He says He is going to return to His place until they acknowledge their office and seek His face, or to know Him intimately, for who He is.
In chapter 6, verse 1, the people say, “Come, let US return to the Lord.” This is their repentance, their return. They say, “He has torn US, but He will heal.”
In Hosea 6:2, it says that after two days he will revive us and that on the third day He will raise us up, that we may life in His sight. It could sound like a prophecy about Jesus’ death and resurrection; however, the one struck was not Christ. The one struck was Israel. The one torn to pieces and scattered were the Jews. When were the Jews struck and scattered? In 70 AD, Rome attacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. The Jews scattered. They could not recover from their wound. Today, Jews are scattered around the world, mostly in the Middle East, the United States, and countries in Europe. However, after the Holocaust, They were driven even farther into Asia and beyond.
God promises to regather all the Jews back to Israel when He reigns on the Earth. He will return from His place to the Earth, a second coming, and He will reign for one thousand years. Consider this- if the Millennium is the third day, then how many days are in between 70 AD and the Millennium? The answer is two. If a day is as one thousand, then it will be approximately two thousands years from 70 AD to Christ’s return. If a prophetic year, a lunar year, is 360 days, then Christ will come no later than 2041.
As we long around and see the signs Jesus gave us in Matthew 24, we can know that we are well within a window of Christ’s return. How exciting! The Bible says we will not know the day or the hour, and Hosea doesn’t pinpoint the day or the hour. But Hosea does give us implication that it will be before 2041 and sometime in this century.