It is interesting to me to notice that the KJV, NRSV and NASB entitle this “book” as “The Revelation to John,” while the NIV entitles it merely “Revelation.” I would have have entitled it “The Revelation of Jesus Christ to Israel and the Gentile Nations.” “Why'” you say? Well, let us look at how it is written and “to whom” it is written:
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
If you have been reading any of my posts you know that God has a reason for what He says, why He says it and to whom He says it. He does not use words loosely or carelessly. What we see here is that God gave this revelation, apokalupsis, (noun, a disclosure of truth, instruction, concerning divine things before unknown) to Jesus Christ who sent and relayed it by His angel to His bond-servant John.
Rev 1:3 3
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
The words of this prophecy are just that, prophetic, things that will come to pass in the future. Preterists believe that this prophecy came to pass in 70 A.D. Futurists like myself and Fred Price Jr. believe it is still future. Time is the word kairos and means a fixed and definite time: the time occupied by what is written, i.e., the Coming of the Day of the Lord; the days of the wrath of our God. At the culmination of which, we, the born again believers of this Age, will return with Christ for the Battle of Armagedon.
John to the seven assemblies that [are] in Asia:
Young’s Literal Translation properly translates ekklesias as assemblies, not churches. These 7 assemblies have nothing to do with the Church of God to which all born again believers belong, the Body of Christ.
Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come;
Here we have an undoubted reference to, and paraphrase of, the name of Jehovah, as revealed in Ex. iii. 14. It is not from the Father to His children, as in the Church Epistles ; but it is from Jehovah as He was revealed and made known to Israel. This is in perfect keeping with what we hold to be the scope of the book. Three times we have this periphrasis of Jehovah, and yet it is varied according to the emphasis we are to place upon it. Bullinger, E.W. (2011-08-21). The Apocalypse or “The Day of The Lord”: Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 2486-2490). Trumpet Press. Kindle Edition.
and from the seven spirits which are before his throne;
We see from Rev 8:2 that these seven spirits are angels and more than likely the angels of the 7 assemblies as well: “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.” KJV Rev 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. KJV
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Grace and peace are given from the Old Testament reference to YHWH, the 7 angels who stand before Him and from Jesus Christ. As we go further in this spoken and written prophecy, we will see beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Church to which you and I belong will be long gone before the unfolding of the Great and Terrible Day of the LORD!