Bible Study

Bible Study Revelation 1:9-20

This is the third Bible Study on Revelation. An outline in PDF format for this Bible Study can be found here: This is the outline for the entire chapter 1. The outline for today’s Bible Study are the pages 13 – 15. The video with the Bible Study can be found here.

Verse 9 – 11

Verse 9:

John:   the apostle (gospel of John, 3 letters): testimony of church fathers in 2nd century

Time:   just after a great tribulation/persecution, see 17:8 : was, is not, will come.

            Either before 70, after Nero’s persecution, or end of the century, after Domitian’s persecution.

Place: Patmos: inhabited island with settlement.

Brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ

Tribulation,  Kingdom, Patient endurance: Three central themes in Revelation.

On the island of Patmos:      either in exile or traveling to preach the gospel.

Testimony of Jesus = Word of God. Testimony of Jesus preached by apostles.

Verse 10:

In the Spirit:    The Holy Spirit. Inspiration.

Lord’s Day:     Name for the Sunday, day of resurrection.

Loud voice/trumpet: See Ex. 19:19 : sound of the trumpet, God’s voice.

Verse 11:

Repeats verse 8:                      emphasis! Must be remembered throughout the whole book!

What you see, write:               God’s command: Revelation must go to the church.

Seven churches in Asia:          Chosen from all the churches: representation of the entire Church of all times and places.

Verse 12 – 16:

Verse 12:

Seven golden lampstands:      see verse 20: seven churches.

They are a light! Recurring theme in Bible: God is light, we reflect His light!

Verse 13:

Son of Man:                            Reference to Daniel 7, but also directly to Christ!

Seven churches (vs 11):          Seven separate lampstands, not one big light!

                                                Local churches. Christ the Head. Shepherd


The way the seven churches are described, what does this teach us about church government: should we have a hierarchy, with one national or worldwide leader of the church on earth, or only local churches, federated as churches within a federation? What direction does the Bible give us here and why is this important?

Verse 13-15 :

See Daniel 7, 10, Ezekiel 1:25-28. Describes His majesty, overwhelming glory, holiness

Christ’s glory and majesty expressed in symbols.

Verse 17 – 20

Verse 17:

As dead: result of God’s holiness: He is too holy for us to approach Him.

John’s reaction: fear and trembling. See Isaiah 6.

Christ encourages him: you will not die, because you are redeemed.

First and last: everything holds together in Him. God’s eternal plan, His work of salvation, it all comes together in Christ.


We should not be scared of God’s holiness, but we should be overwhelmed by it. How do we approach God, and Jesus Christ, in our worship services, in our prayers, in our Bible readings? Have we lost much of the reverence which the Bible tells us about here and in other parts? Do we realise that we are coming before the living God?

Verse 18:

The First and the Last: The whole gospel, Good Friday, sacrifice, resurrection: death is conquered. God reconciled us to Him. He does not come to kill us by His holiness, but to save us!

I am alive forevermore: His promise to us, forevermore: His life is our life.

Amen: certainly!

keys of Hades and Death: death has no power over us, Christ has power over death!

Verse 19:

The things which you have seen: they are the things that are and that will take place after this.

Are: for that time, in which John lived.

Which will take place: it is also prophecy.

How to explain Revelation? As a prophecy. Like so many prophecies: they had a message for the people then and there, but also a deeper meaning for later generations.

Different approaches to the book.

But: let Scripture explain Scripture.

Symbols from the other books of the Bible come back.

Like the Lord’s Supper: we are eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ, not literally, but spiritually. It does speak about the body and blood of Christ: very close connection.