Message Starts at 31:50 In Video
So Shall It Be For Such a Time as This
An Exposition of Revelation #1
1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
4 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds," and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” 12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands
The Book of Revelation:
(1) Has an author with a message for Our times
(a) What It Is
-) Revelation = "to uncover; to unveil; to reveal."
-) The Essence in the Book = "to uncover the speaking of the very mind of God.
(b) Who Wrote It
i) A Revelation of Jesus Christ (1:1)
ii) The word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ (1:2)
iii) Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and is to come (1:4)
iv) And from the seven spirits before his throne (1:4) (see Isaiah 11:2-3)
v) And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness (1:5)
vi) And (he is) the firstborn of the dead (1:5)
vii) And (he is) the ruler of the kings of the earth (1:5)
(c) Application to You
Seven is the number of perfection/completeness. It’s also the number of authorship references in this passage. We think of “revelation” as “cataclysm” about to come in negative terms. Jesus’ thoughts are exactly the opposite: he wrote revelation to specifically encourage us to depend on him, the victor, and each other now more than ever in times such as this.
(2) That Is unveiled to lampstands facing a Rubicon crossing
(a) To Cross A Rubicon
To commit to a fateful decision; to a course of action. Jesus, through John, writes to seven churches (lamp stands) to encourage them to remain faithful in the midst of persecution.
(b) Who It's Written To:
“Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” (1:11)
-) Seven churches in Asia Minor (Turkey), the cradle of Christianity in the 1st and 2nd century.
(c) Why It's Written to Them
“I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands” (1:12)
-) John turns expecting to see Jesus. Instead he sees seven golden lamp stands: the very representation on earth. The church's confession, especially in the face of persecution, is the voice of God in the world.
(d) An Important Lesson to Note
-) Ephesus is the only one still standing, figuratively speaking. Smyrna is Izmar. Pergamum is Burgama. Thyatira is Akhisar. Sardis is Sartmustifa. Philadelphia is Alesehir. And Laodicea is Denizli. All are Islamic cities in Turkey.
(e) Application to You
Lampstands can dim if they succumb to the world’s pressure. When the church looks like the world it has nothing to offer it.
(3) That teaches us the victory of God in a pestilent world is certain.
Because Jesus Controls the Present - "Who Is" (1:5; 1:8)
Because Jesus Controlled the Past - "Who Was" (1:5; 1:8)
Because Jesus Controls the Future - "Who Is to Come" (1:5; 1:8)
Because Jesus Will Come Again to Make Things Right (1:7)
Because Jesus Is the Beginning and the End of All Things (1:8)
Application to You
The Victory of God in the future means we must not succumb to the world's pressures. We stand and speak Christ instead from the purview of victory, not negativity, doom or defeat.
(4) And that seeing that victory in our lives in such a time as this directly corresponds to our dependence on each other
(a) How John Usually Introduces Himself -
"elder; apostle" (2 John; 3 John)
(b) How Revelation Introduces Him
servant (1:1); brother and companion in suffering (1:9)
(c) Why It's Important
John only plays a small role in the grander scheme unfolding. He comes in third gladly. Without the angels verbalizing to John what he was seeing, there is no Revelation to preach or read.
(d) Application to You
Following Jesus with a "Lone Ranger" mentality actually makes you weaker. Collective unity in a time such as this will help us depend on the Lord and each other more than we ever have before.