Wednesday, June 23, 2021

2. The Names of Jesus in Revelation

One thing you need to know entering in the book of Revelation is that it is preeminently the “Revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:1). The Revelation describes Jesus Christ by many titles:

  • The faithful witness (Rev. 1:5)
  • The firstborn of the dead (Rev. 1:5)
  • The ruler of the kings of the earth (Rev. 1:5)
  • The Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 1:8; Rev. 21:6)
  • The first and the last (Rev. 1:17)
  • The living One (Rev. 1:18)
  • The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands (Rev. 2:1)
  • The One who has the sharp two-edged sword (Rev. 2:12)
  • The Son of God (Rev. 2:18)
  • The One “who has eyes like a flame of fire, and … feet … like burnished bronze” (Rev. 2:18)
  • The One “who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars” (3:1) The One “who is holy, who is true” (Rev. 3:7)
  • The holder of “the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens” (Rev. 3:7)
  • The Amen, the faithful and true Witness (Rev. 3:14)
  • The Beginning of the creation of God (Rev. 3:14)
  • The Lion that is from the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5)
  • The Root of David (Rev. 5:5)
  • The Lamb of God (Rev. 5:6; Rev. 6:1; Rev. 7:9–10; Rev. 8:1 and others)
  • The “Lord, holy and true” (Rev. 6:10)
  • The One who “is called Faithful and True” (Rev. 19:11)
  • The Word of God (Rev. 19:13)
  • King of kings, and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16)
  • Christ (Messiah), ruling on earth with His glorified saints (Rev. 20:6)
  • The root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star (Rev. 22:16)

Far from being a mysterious, incomprehensible book, Revelation’s purpose is to reveal truth. The very title in the first verse, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” introduces this fact. Even the Greek word translated “Revelation” can be translated “an uncovering” or “a disclosure.” It is used in the New Testament to speak of revealing spiritual truth (Romans 16:25), the revealing of the sons of God (Romans 8:19), and of Christ’s manifestation at both His first (Luke 2:32) and second (2 Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:7) comings. In each case, the word describes something or someone formerly hidden, but now made visible.

Revelation unveils truths about Jesus Christ, clarifying features of prophecy only hinted at in other Bible books. This clarity is sometimes obscured by a rejection of literal interpretation in favor of an allegorical or spiritual approach. Such approaches attempt to place Revelation’s account in the past or present rather than the future. But once the plain meaning of the text is denied, readers are left to their own imagination, leaving the truths of this book lost in a maze of human inventions. As we will see through our study in the book of Revelation, a literal approach provides the most accurate handling of this inspired portion of Scripture.