1This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his angel to his servant, John, 2who testified to God’s word and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, about everything that he saw.

3Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written in it, for the time is near.

4John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne; 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood— 6and he made us to be a Kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

7Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.

8“I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

9I John, your brother and partner with you in the oppression, Kingdom, and perseverance in Christ Jesus, was on the isle that is called Patmos because of God’s Word and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet 11saying, “What you see, write in a book and send to the seven assemblies: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

12I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. Having turned, I saw seven golden lamp stands. 13And among the lamp stands was one like a son of man, clothed with a robe reaching down to his feet, and with a golden sash around his chest. 14His head and his hair were white as white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15His feet were like burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace. His voice was like the voice of many waters. 16He had seven stars in his right hand. Out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining at its brightest. 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man.

He laid his right hand on me, saying, “Don’t be afraid. I am the first and the last, 18and the Living one. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forever and ever. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of Hades.

19Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will happen hereafter. 20The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven assemblies. The seven lamp stands are seven assemblies.

Jesus Unveils the Future to the Apostle John

Note | Rev 1:1 | Hershel Wayne House | Patmos

The first verse of the book of Revelation provides information about the content and genre of the book. The Greek term apokalypsis (ἀποκάλυψις) means an unveiling or disclosure, and reflects a type of literature that became popular in the early second century A.D., but is also found in the Old Testament. The Revelation written by John the apostle (1:4) is much more, however, because it is also a prophetic book given by a Jesus through an angel sent by Him (cf 1:3; 19:10; 22:7, 10, 18-19). The apocalyptic works of the next century are regularly pseudonymous, bearing the name of famous people, but writing by unknown people, whereas John's authorship of the Revelation is attested by several church fathers, including Tertullian, Justin, and Ireneaus). 

The book is penned by John but comes from Jesus and is about Him. After the introduction of Jesus and the angel, we see a statement that reflects a similar kind of genre written by Daniel the prophet, and contains a similar statement found in verse one: "things which must happen soon" (Dan 2:28, 29, 45) This is not an indication that the events spoken about in the Revelation would occur within a short time after John is given the revelation from Christ. Rather, the events spoken about  will occur in the future and in rapid succession (en tachei, έν τάχει) when they begin to occur.

Also see the Word Study on Revelation and the Note "Who Wrote the Revelation" in Rev 1:1, HVSB.