What is the Apocalypse mentioned in the Bible? Why is it important enough to know?
The word apocalypse doesn’t appear in most translations but the word revelation does. For example, the Greek word for revelation is “apokalypsis” which means “laying bare, making naked,” or “revealing” something like a curtain opening so that what is behind the curtain can be seen. In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John writes that Jesus Christ is the One Who does the revealing “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw”(Rev 1:1-2). First of all, it is the revelation of Jesus Christ and He was the One Who revealed it to John (and to us). It is not the revelation of John at all. John only “bore witness to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ” and for “all that he saw” (that is all that John saw). Jesus is known as the Word of God as this is what John called Him (John 1:1-, 14). Jesus is the Word and was (and is) God and the testimony was what he revealed to John in the Book of Revelation or of the unveiling or (apokalypsis) laying bare for all to see.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
The Apostle Peter also wrote about the revelation of Jesus Christ but in a slightly different way. He wrote “that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1st Pet 1:7). Peter was writing about the revelation of the appearance of Jesus Christ Who could come at any moment now. Peter writes that the church should be “preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance” (1st Pet 1:13-14). We set our hope on the Author of our grace, Jesus Christ, and that this will be fully experienced “at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
The Revelation about Jesus Christ
This gospel has been a mystery for thousands of years to the patriarchs and prophets, even though they had some ideas about the Messiah and it was only known fully when Christ came to earth to the extent that we recognized such a great of a salvation. Then, Paul writes, “the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ” (Eph 3:3-4) and he prayed “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation (apokalypsis ) in the knowledge of him” (Eph 1:17). Just as John didn’t receive the revelation by his own experience, Paul says “I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal 1:12) and so he says “I went up because of a revelation and set before them… the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain” (Gal 2:2). What Jesus revealed to John, John revealed to us and what Jesus revealed to Paul, Paul revealed to the Gentiles.
Doxology is simply a praise of God and Paul writes the doxology to the Book of Romans by writing “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith” (Rom 16:25-26) so this which was kept secret for ages (the gospel) has now been revealed (apokalypsis) and what was disclosed through the prophetic writings (the prophets), “has been made known to all nations” through this revelation by God in Christ. Jesus is “a light for revelation (apokalypsis) to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:32). In other words, in Jesus Christ, the mystery of the gospel unto salvation, has now been laid bare and revealed for all people (Gentiles and Jews) and is now made known for all to see.
King David acknowledged where all godly revelations come from when God had made a covenant with David, “For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you” (2nd Sam 7:27). God is the revelator, the revealer, the One Who lays out the Man of salvation for all to see (Acts 4:12). Now, what will we do with this revelation if we have not already acted upon it?
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.