TO WHOM IS THE BOOK OF REVELATION WRITTEN?
The Book of Revelation is the lifting of curtain to unveil the revelation that Jesus wants us to know about the last days. The visions and truths that it is ‘unveiling’ are the ones of the former prophets, who before Jesus, told us revelations concerning the last days. Jesus comes to John to ‘unveil’ those revelations. Thus, this book is sort of a ‘key’ to unlocking the former visions and revelations of Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Enoch, Abraham, etc. etc.
Who does Jesus allow to understand the unveiled truths in the book? There is an answer. The true Author of the book is not John, but the Author is Jesus, Who is giving the personal vision to John, as John writes it down for us to share likewise. This book is written for John, His servant, and for all ‘servants’ of the Lord.
1. to shew unto his servants... unto His servant John
The word ‘servant’ is from the Greek word, “doulos”. This word indicates that one is obligated to serve another. One who is a ‘slave’, though not in the context of slavery as we sometimes think, but in the context of having somehow, someway, come under obligation, subject to the will of another. It can be used of free men, who willingly choose to follow the direction and guidance of another, or of those obligated by force to obey and heed another. The subjection chosen is to be unconditional, with the right of veto relinquished. It speaks of giving body, soul, will, and totality to another.
This book is written to ‘servants’ and was related to a ‘servant’, i.e. John, for him to relate to us. This word ‘servant’ is used often in this book of Revelation. Note, the use of the word in the book:
1:1 “to His servants”
This refers to the saints of the ages, it is given for us to read and know, we, as servants are privileged to understand this book. I have marveled at how some who do not choose to make Jesus, to be Lord, and accept the role of being His servant, will not understand this book. It is not ‘milk’ to them, it is not even ‘meat’ to them, it is all ‘bone’, and they choke on it. This book is not meant for them. The understanding of it, escapes them. This book is written as an ‘unveiling’ to ‘servants’ and to no one else. It will be misunderstood, misinterpreted, ignored, or twisted into unrecognizable forms by any who are not ‘servants’.
1:1 “unto His servant, John”
John was a ‘servant’. He loved Jesus, and served Him as Lord. It was this devotion and consecration of John, that made him to be the one chosen to receive this revelation first, and to be allowed to be the secretary of the Lord, in writing it down, to relate to others of that time, and of later times, who would also be servants.
2:20 “to teach and to seduce My servants”
The people of Thyatira, were being attacked, unbeknownst to them, by one the Lord calls ‘Jezebel’. This was a ‘Jezebel spirit’, that seeks out those who are ‘servants’ of the Lord, and attempts to gain control of them, thereby taking them from being controlled by the Lord. This is the nature of this kind of evil spirit. Control is the issue. Servants of the Lord, are therefore the target of this evil spirit. In Thyatira, this jezebel spirit tried to seduce the ‘servants’ of God to think that fornication and partaking in feasts and celebrations to false gods, was acceptable.
7:3 “we have sealed the servants of God in”
These ‘servants’ are the 144,000 Jews, who are saved shortly after the beginning of the tribulation, and sealed to be protected from the judgments of God being put upon the sinners of the world. They are ‘servants’ of the Lord too. Just as, we the church, are supposed to be ‘servants’ now.
10:7 “...hath declared to His servants, the prophets”
The prophets of the O.T. and of the N.T. period are servants. God would not have given them visions and revelations of sin, of future events, of judgments to come, if they were not willingly obligated, and subjected to the One Who is revealing things to them. False prophets, before they become ‘false’, are those who somewhere, in something, take back control of their decisions, choosing to obey their own will, or someone else’s will, and not the will of the Lord. When they do that, the false prophecies quickly follow. To be a prophet of God, one must first be a ‘servant of the Lord.”
11:18 “... reward unto Thy servants, the prophets”
This speaks of the happenings of the tribulation period. While the Lord is giving wrath and destruction to this earth, and those who rejected being ‘servants’ of the Lord, in heaven, the ‘servants’, including the ‘prophets’, are being rewarded. We do not need to fear the seven year tribulation. We are going to be in heaven, being rewarded, while the world is being judged.
15:3 “...sing the song of Moses, the servant of God”
While in heaven, following their martyrdom on earth, the tribulation saints begin to sing a song, here called the ‘song of Moses. We shall later talk of it, but here, we will just say that most think this song is the one found in Deuteronomy 32:1-43, or the one in Exodus 15:1-19. The song mainly rejoices in the triumph over satan and the enemies of God. Here, the martyred tribulation saints sing a song of triumph. Their martyrdom was a victory, not a defeat. Many see death as a defeat, but if God wants us in heaven, and we are done here on earth with His work, how can the trip there, be a defeat? The martyred servants of the tribulation see it as a victory, and sing a victory song when they arrive in heaven. They became that strong, by becoming ‘servants’, i.e. subjecting themselves to the will of God, seeing that what He allowed for them to suffer would be good, and they arrive therefore, not in despair and feeling defeated, but recognizing that what happened was the will of God, bringing them to the heavenly home, that Jesus has prepared.
19:2 “...hath avenged the blood of His servants”
Many wonder why God has not judged those who have done them harm. Many think that God is forgetful of their plight, their troubles, and their persecution. But God sees our hurts, feels the pain we feel, and knows the hairs upon our heads. Someday, those who were ‘servants’ and were killed by the wicked of the world will see that God will ‘avenge’ that harm. He has not forgotten that His servants are attacked by the devil and all his cohorts. God does avenge His servants.
19:5 “...Praise our God, all ye His servants”
When in heaven, we are ‘sons’ of God, but still we are also still ‘servants. and the saints in heaven, will hear a voice from the throne of God calling for us to praise Him. It is not a bad thing to be a ‘servant’ of God. It is not slavery, as the blacks suffered in the early days of this nation in the South. It is a blessed servanthood. We serve, not a cruel, mean, unloving master, but we serve a Master, Who gave His life for us, allowing us to be more than a servant, to be a child of God. We reach this place in heaven, by being a ‘servant’.
22:3 “...and His servants shall serve Him”
In the New Jerusalem, we shall still see ourselves as ‘servants’. That heavenly home, is eternal, and so is our servanthood. We do not throw it off, to rule in pomp and pride over others. We will still see ourselves as servants ourselves. In the riches of heaven, in the perfection of our rewards, on the streets of gold, amidst the other saints who will never sin again, still, the humility of position will still possess our spirit. We will serve Him. Some have the idea that heaven is where God spends eternity serving us. Not so, and I fear for those who think this way. For the Lord will always be the Master, and we will always be there to serve Him.
22:6 “...sent His angel to shew unto His servants”
This is again the reminder that we are to receive this revelation, if we are ‘servants’. No other claim can be made on its understanding. If we want to understand the book, its truths, its revelations, we must be ‘servants’.
The book is given only to His ‘servants.’ If we want to understand it, if we want to learn and grow due to it, we must be servants, His servants.