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The singular subject theme, and message of the entire Bible, the Old Testament and the New, is the person, work, and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. As in creation, providence, and redemption, so in the Holy Scriptures, it is the purpose of God “that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18).
All about Christ
The Book of God is a book all about Christ (Luke 24:27, 44-48). All the promises and blessings of God given to sinful men and women are in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Apart from Christ, God promises nothing but wrath, and every supposed blessing will prove to be a curse. All the love, mercy, and grace of God are found in Christ. All the revelation and knowledge of the triune God are in Christ. Christ is not only the central message of Holy Scripture, he is the message of Holy Scripture. To understand that is to have the key that opens the Word of God and reveals its treasures.
That which is true of the whole of Scripture is especially and gloriously true of the last, closing chapters of the Sacred Volume, the Book of Revelation. This last book of the Bible is Christ’s revelation of himself to his servants. This book is “the Revelation of Jesus Christ.” It is not the revelation of St John, but “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” given to, and recorded by John. It is not the book of “revelations” (plural). It does not contain many revelations; it contains one revelation seen in many things. It is “the Revelation of Jesus Christ.”
The Book of Revelation gives us seven visions of the Person and work of God our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, in this Gospel Age. In these seven visions the Lord God revealed to John what he had done, is doing, and shall hereafter do for his Church, in his Church, and with his Church. The whole purpose of the Book of Revelation is to assure God’s children in this world of their ultimate conquest over the world, the flesh, and the devil. By revealing to us who he is and what he does, our Lord calls for us to ever look to him with confident faith, and assures us that we are “more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
The seven visions John saw and recorded by Divine Inspiration are set before us in consecutive order in the twenty-two chapters of this book. He saw...
1. Christ in the midst of his churches, the seven golden candlesticks, in this world (chapters 1-3).
2. Christ opening and fulfilling the seven sealed book of God’s sovereign, eternal purpose (chapters 4-7).
3. Christ answering the prayers of his people, protecting them from their enemies, and vindicating them by executing the seven trumpets of judgment in his providential rule of the universe (chapters 8-11).
4. Christ and his Church persecuted by Satan, world government, and false religion (chapters 12-14).
5. Christ sending his angels to pour out the seven vials of his wrath upon the earth (chapters 15-16).
6. Christ’s conquest over Babylon, the beast, and the false prophet (chapters 17-19).
7. Christ’s dominion over and destruction of Satan and the glory of the New Jerusalem (chapters 20-22).
These seven visions each cover the whole Gospel Age from the first to the second coming of Christ. They do not represent different ages, dispensations, or prophetic events. They all tell the same story. They all tell us what our Lord has done, is doing, and shall do for the salvation of his people. The use of the word “seven” is striking. There are “seven golden candlesticks,” “seven stars,” “seven seals,” “seven trumpets,” “seven angels,” “seven vials.”
Seven is the number of perfection, completion, and satisfaction. And in each of these seven visions, the Holy Spirit assures us of the perfect rule of Christ as the Monarch of the universe for the complete victory and eternal salvation of his Church. Seven speaks of perfection and completion. Christ’s rule is perfect. His work is perfect. His salvation is perfect. He is perfectly accomplishing the purpose of God in this world for the complete and perfect salvation of his Church. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” was given to assure God’s Church in all ages that all is well, because Christ our Savior is Lord over all, King of kings and Lord of lords!