In the New Testament, revelation is a translation of the Greek word apocalypse. Apocalypse does not appear in our English Bible, but is common in the Greek, and is one of those rare instances of a Greek word so familiar to us it probably could have been left un-translated. How sobering would it be to read of “the day of wrath and apocalypse of the righteous judgment of God” (Rom. 2:5). How ominous, how majestic and hopeful would it be to know the last book of Scripture as the “The Apocalypse”
(Rev. 1:1). Still, revelation is a good translation. The basic meaning of it is to uncover, or make visible and known by taking away that which hides it, and therefore also to enlighten (Luke 2:32), make manifest (Rom. 8:19), or appear (I Pet. 1:7).
God alone can truly reveal. Deep and secret things He reveals, because He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him (Dan. 2:22). God reveals many things, but all primarily concern Himself. Therefore, He is also the revelation. A mystery of eternal, invisible spirit, He remains forever hidden from us temporal, material, and blind creatures unless He is revealed. Thankfully God delights so to do. Although the secret things belong to the Lord, those things He reveals belong unto us and to our children forever (Deut. 29:29). He revealed himself to Samuel (I Sam. 3:21), David (II Sam. 7:27), Isaiah (Is. 22:14), Daniel (Dan. 2:19), old Simeon (Luke 2:25), Peter (Matt. 16:17), and Paul, whom God was pleased to separate in his mother’s womb and call by his grace to reveal his Son through him (Gal. 1:15-16). To us He reveals His grace. But not all revelation is grace. For while the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:17-18).
God reveals Himself in grace only by His Spirit through Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:12). Jesus said so. No man knows the Father but the Son and He to whom the Son will reveal Him (Luke 10:22). God out of God, His express image, the Light, and His Word, Jesus Christ is the apocalypse, the one revelator of God in all His works and perfections, and one revelation of the great mystery kept secret since the world began (Rom. 16:25). He is the Word of God in whom the glory of the Lord is revealed so all flesh shall see it together (Is. 40:5). He is the power of God by whom the arm of the Lord is revealed (Is. 53:1). He is the justice of God through whom His salvation is made near and His righteousness is revealed (Is. 56:1). He is the promise of God by whom faith is revealed (Gal. 3:23). But not to all. Jesus said so. God has hid these things from the wise and prudent, but is pleased to reveal them to babes (Matt. 11:25).
As truly God, even Jesus must be revealed. He was revealed in His incarnation (John 1:1). He is revealed in the holy gospel (Eph. 3:5). And there is a day coming when the Son of man will be revealed and will reveal God unlike ever before (Luke 17:30). Before that day, the man of sin, son of perdition, and Wicked is revealed sitting in God’s temple claiming to be God. Then in a grand, final apocalypse, the Lord will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, expose the imposter, and destroy him with the brightness of His coming (II Thess. 2:3-8). Everything covered will be revealed (Matt. 10:26). The thoughts of many hearts (Luke 2:35) and every man’s work shall be revealed (I Cor. 3:13). Unto that revelation of the righteous judgment of God, the wicked store up wrath against themselves (Rom. 2:5). But given the spirit of revelation in the knowledge of Christ (Eph. 1:17), we are to fear not (Matt. 10:26). Our present sufferings cannot
be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18). Hidden from many eyes, ears, and hearts are the things God has prepared for them that love Him, but they are revealed to us by the Spirit, who searches all things, even the hidden things of God (I Cor. 2:10). Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you by the revelation, the apocalypse, of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:13).