“Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” (Revelation 1:2)
The Revelation message was “sent and signified” by Jesus’ angel unto John “Who bare record of the word of God…” John is stating plainly that this message is not something that is independent of, nor to be understood separately from nor outside the context of: the Word of God, the Bible.
The dictionary defines “record”: “to set down in writing : furnish written evidence of” also “something that recalls or relates past events”
The book of Revelations sets down in writing and furnishes evidence of the Bible. It also recalls and relates itself to many past events that are spoken of in the Bible. In fact, it is impossible to understand Revelations without understanding the teachings and events of the rest of the Bible. Consequently any study of Revelations must reference the rest of the Bible constantly to provide the correct and appropriate interpretation.
Many spiritual conditions mentioned in Revelations are repeats of spiritual conditions of the past that have been recorded in the Bible. The old saying “he who ignores history is doomed to repeat it” still applies, and in fact is scriptural:
“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” (Eccl 1:9)
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (I Cor 10:11-12)
“…and of the testimony of Jesus Christ,…” The book of Revelations bears a record that matches the testimony of Jesus Christ – it teaches us a lesson that we should accept nothing less, and nothing more, than that testimony. Jesus is the Word of God that “was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Our lives are to reflect the testimony that Jesus Christ gave. Later in the book the angel delivering this Revelation message to John plainly stated this:
“I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Rev 19:10.
The true worshipers have this same record of them: the testimony of Jesus Christ, and false worshipers come up short of it. This is much of what the Revelations message is about: laying out the difference between true and false worshipers throughout history and today.
“…and of all things he saw.” John saw many things that would be strange to an earthly minded individual. But the book of Revelations, like the rest of the Bible, is a spiritual book and must be interpreted spiritually. Many things John saw are symbolic of spiritual conditions that exist within the hearts of men and women. It takes the Word of God, and the Spirit of God to give you understanding into spiritual things. I Cor 2:9-16