Introduction

Writer: John the Apostle, Servant and Prophet, and we know this from the following scriptures.

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

Revelation 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

The author uses several words that only John the Apostle used in the Gospel of John and in the epistles of John, i.e., John calls Jesus Christ the logos or the word.

Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

1John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The author also calls Jesus Christ the Lamb of God.

Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Revelation 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

We can compare this to John 1:36. And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! We also find the word true (alethinos) used 10 times in Revelation.

The author used the Greek word dwell (Skenoo) in the Gospel of John to picture the tabernacling of Jesus Christ as God did in the tabernacle of old. This is a symbol of protection and communion. The same usage of the word occurs four times in Revelation.

Revelation 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Revelation 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Date: 90-96 A.D., during the reign of Domitian who was a harsh ruler and had a warped personality. He ruled Rome between 81-96 A.D.. Christians were being threatened by Rome to recant their faith and accept the cult of emperor worship. This date was held by the early Church writers and the Church father Irenaeus and agrees better with the picture of complacency and defection of the Churches listed in chapters two and three.

Location: John is on a rocky island called the Isle of Patmos. It is located between the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas off the coast of Asia Minor. It is a very rugged, volcanic island about ten miles long and six miles wide. Domitian had put John in prison on this island for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ as stated in Revelation 1:9.

Different Methods of Interpreting the Bible and Biblical Prophecy:

  • Preterist, prophecies fulfilled during the early history of the Church.
  • Historical, a panorama of the Church from the days of John to the end of time.
  • Idealist, considers the book a pictorial unfolding of great principles in constant conflict, without reference to actual events.
  • Futurist, views most of the book, Chapters 4-22, as prophecy yet to be fulfilled. It is based on the principle of interpreting the text plainly.
  • Literal, see Futurist.
  • Allegorical, pictures a conflict between good and evil or Christianity and paganism, takes the literal meaning and attempts to ‘spiritualize’ it.

This study and all future studies will use the Literal/Futurist method of Bible interpretation.

Revelation (G602 'apokalupsis' in greek apokalupsis ap-ok-al’-oop-sis From G601) disclosure: – appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation. Something that has not been disclosed before is now being revealed.

Symbolic Language:  Note, numbers such as  (G602) (H302) from Strong’s exhaustive concordance.

like‘ (homoios, 3664) likeness in external appearance, used at least 22 times.

as‘ (hos, 5613) similarity in action or quality, used at least 65 times, and ‘as it were’ used in a comparative sense, used at least 10 times.

Revelation 1:4 states the book is written to the seven Churches, which are in Asia. And, these Churches were in fact in existence when John was told to write the letters. It is a message for the Churches of that day and all future Churches.

The number seven occurs 54 times in the book of Revelation. It is associated with completion, fulfillment, and perfection. In Revelation there are seven Churches, seven Spirits, seven Lampstands, seven Stars, seven Seals, seven Horns, seven Eyes of the Lamb, seven Angels, seven Trumpets, seven Thunders, seven heads of the dragon, seven heads of the beast, seven Golden Bowls or Vials, and seven kings.

There are also seven Beatitudes or Blessings promised for those reading the book of Revelation.

Revelation 1:3 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.

Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Revelation 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Revelation 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Contents: The book of Revelation can generally be broken down into major categories.

  1. In Chapter 1 we see the revelation or revealing of Jesus Christ in His risen glory. He is the center of the entire book.
  2. In Chapters 2-3 He directs His Churches on earth.
  3. In Chapters 4-5 He is the slain and risen Lamb to whom all worship is directed.
  4. In Chapters 6-19 we see the judgments of the coming seven year period of tribulation. The judgments of the seven year period of tribulation on this earth are the display of the wrath of the Lamb.
  5. In Chapters 19:11 through 19:21 we see the return of Jesus Christ to this earth.
  6. In Chapter 20 we see the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.
  7. In Chapters 21 and 22 we see the new heavens and the new earth.

The outline of the book is indicated in Revelation 1:19, the things that John had seen include the vision of the risen Christ in Chapter 1, the things which are we see described in the seven Churches of Asia Minor in Chapters 2 and 3, the things which shall be hereafter are the prophecies in Chapters 4-22.

Purpose:

The purpose for the writing of the book of Revelation was to reveal Jesus Christ in His risen glory.

The seven Churches listed in Revelation in Chapters 2 and 3 needed a word of encouragement, of counsel and of warning. The Churches of today need a word of encouragement, of counsel and of warning.

The Godly purpose was to give to the Churches and the world Revelation 1:1a The Revelation of Jesus Christ. This revelation is both the unveiling of the person of Jesus Christ as the central figure of history and the unveiling of the message of His heart. He is both the content of the Book of Revelation and the unveiler of the Book of Revelation.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ concerns Revelation 1:1 things which must shortly come to pass. It concerns the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who alone is worthy to open and oversee the book of destiny, the book of the future of the world and lastly the book of God’s redemptive purpose.