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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 1 - BLESSING ON THOSE WHO READ (REVELATION 1:1-8)

I.INTRO:  THIS WEEK WE START A NEW QUARTER AND A NEW BOOK: REVELATION.
REVELATION WAS PROBABLY WRITTEN 20 - 50 YRS. AFTER CHRIST'S DEATH, AND
15-20 YRS. AFTER THE REST OF THE BOOKS OF THE N.T.  IT WAS  WRITTEN AT A TIME
WHEN CHRISTIANS WERE ENTERING A PERIOD OF PERSECUTION. 
      THE NAME COMES FROM THE GREEK WORD APOCALYPSE-- WHICH MEANS
UNCOVERING SOMETHING PREVIOUSLY HIDDEN.  AN ILLUSTRATION WOULD BE TO
TAKE THE LID OFF A BASKET, LETTING WHAT IS INSIDE THE BASKET BE SEEN. 
      THE WRITER WAS JOHN THE APOSTLE.  HE WAS THE LAST SURVIVOR OF THE
DISCIPLES AND WAS THE ONE CALLED, "BELOVED." 
      YOU ALL KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT REVELATION AND SOMETHING ABOUT
THE REST OF THE BOOKS OF THE N.T.  TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK IS THE MOST
IMPORTANT DISTINCTION BETWEEN REV. AND THE REST OF THE N.T.?  (THE N.T.
BOOKS SPEAK PRIMARILY IN TERMS OF THE PRESENT WORLD.  HOW TO LIVE, HOW
TO GET ALONG WITH OTHERS, HOW TO WITNESS TO OTHERS.  REV. IS ABOUT THE
DISSOLUTION OF THE PRESENT WORLD, AND THE USHERING IN OF THE WORLD TO
COME.  A VERY DIFFERENT APPROACH.)
      THE BOOK IS BOTH COMPLEX AND INTERESTING, SO LETS GET INTO IT.

II. THE REVELATION
      A. LETS READ REV. 1:1A.
      B. WHAT DO THESE FIRST FEW WORDS TELL US ABOUT THE THEME OF
            THE BOOK?
      C. NOW READ REV. 1: 1B-3
      D. HOW DID THE MESSAGE OF THE BOOK FINALLY GET TO JOHN?
            (GOD>JESUS>ANGEL>JOHN>YOU.)
      E. IS THE BOOK MORE IMPORTANT TO THOSE TO WHOM JOHN SPECIFICALLY
            WROTE, OR US TODAY? (US. END TIME BOOK, AND CLEARLY
            NEARER END TIME NOW.)
      
III.   THE BLESSING
      A. ONCE THE MESSAGE GETS TO YOU, VERSE 3 HAS A THREE-FOLD
            BLESSING. WE WANT THE BLESSING, WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO?
      B. READS/HEAR/KEEP (TAKE TO HEART-NIV)
            1. WHY DOES JOHN PUT IT THIS WAY?
            2. READ
                  a. HOW MANY HAVE READ THE BOOK OF REV.? (NO HANDS)
                        (IN MY BIBLE IT IS 24 PAGES LONG. NOTHING LONG)
                  b. THINK MEANS THAT WE HAVE TO EXPOSE OURSELVES TO
                              IT.
                  c. IF DON'T READ IT, NO BLESSING FOR YOU!
            3.HEAR.
                  a. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS DIFFERENT CONCEPT THAT
                        JOHN HAS IN MIND WHEN ADDS "HEAR" TO "READ"? 
                  b.  (REALIZE WHAT READ. PAYING ATTENTION)
            4. KEEP
                  a. WHAT IS LAST ELEMENT HERE FOR BLESSING? (OBEY-
                  CHANGE YOUR LIFE)
      C. DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE ALL THREE TO HAVE THE BLESSING IN
            REVELATION?
      (TRAFFIC LIGHT STORY:  THIS WEEK WAS DRIVING TO WORK. CAME TO THE
LIGHT AT THE EXIT TO MONTCLAIR.  SAW THE LIGHT, SO I READ IT.  I
ACKNOWLEGED THE LIGHT, I "HEARD", BECAUSE I STOPPED.  AFTER I STOPPED, I
LOOKED BOTH WAYS, SAW THE TRAFFIC WAS CLEAR AND PULLED OUT.  JUST AS
I WAS CROSSING THE LANES OF TRAFFIC I REALIZED MY ERROR--THE LIGHT WAS
STILL RED.  I DIDN'T REALLY, FULLY ACKNOWLEDGE THE LIGHT, AND I DID NOT
OBEY IT FULLY.  ONLY BECAUSE A POLICE OFFICER WAS NOT PRESENT DID I AVOID
A "NEGATIVE BLESSING."

IV. THE SPEAKERS
      A. READ V.4-5.
      B. ARE ALL THREE PERSONS OF THE GODHEAD MENTIONED HERE?
            1. WHO IS THE "IS, WAS, AND IS TO COME?" (FATHER-
                  COMPARE V.8. BUT NOTE THAT JESUS USES THIS TITLE
                  TO DESCRIBE HIMSELF IN 22:13)
            2. HOW ABOUT THOSE 7 SPIRITS?  ARE THERE 7 H.S., AND
                  ALL THE TIME YOU THOUGHT THERE WAS ONE? (REFERENCE
                  TO THE THRONE REMINDS US OF LAST QTRS. LESSONS ON
                  SANCTUARY.  THE LAMP IN THE SANCTUARY HAD 7
                  LIGHTS. SEE ZECH. 4:1-6 FOR MORE DETAILS.)
            3. WHAT ARE THE THE SPECIAL ROLES OF JESUS DESCRIBED HERE?
                  (a. FAITHFUL WITNESS
                  (b. FIRSTBORN OF DEAD
                  (c. RULER OF KINGS OF EARTH
            4. WHY IS JESUS CALLED A FAITHFUL WITNESS? (A WITNESS IS ONE
WHO HAS SEEN SOMETHING FIRST HAND.  JESUS SAW HIS FATHER FIRST HAND.)
            5. WHY IS JESUS THE FIRST BORN OF THE DEAD? (HE GIVES US VICTORY
OVER DEATH BY HIS RESURRECTION.)
            6. WHY IS JESUS THE RULER OF THE KINGS OF THE EARTH? (BY HIS
VICTORY OVER SIN, JESUS WON BACK THE EARTH AND HIS RULERSHIP OVER IT.)

V.CONCLUSION.
      A. IN CONCLUSION READ 1:7. THIS SETS THE STAGE FOR THE REST OF THE
BOOK.

VI.NEXT WEEK. LOOK MORE CLOSELY AT THE AUTHOR OF REV. AND STUDY
            1:9-20.