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The Book of Revelation

 

The Book of Revelation

Welcome to our study of Revelation

This is a great study of End Time events. The book of Revelation is the terminal, like trunk lines running unto a grand central station, where the highways of Biblical prophecy come to an end. To understand end time events and the book of Revelation, we need to trace the major trunk lines into Revelation. Most people who study Revelation begin with the book it’s self. They do not have the background for interpretation and therefore we have many interpretations.

To provide this background, I strongly suggest that you study our other topics in prophecy before beginning this study.

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Please study prophecy in the following Order.

1. Introduction to Biblical Prophecy 

2. The Biblical Covenants

3. The Prophetic Chapters of Daniel

4. Jesus Discourse on End Times

5. The Church and the Rapture

6. The Book of Revelation.

Introduction to Revelation

For years, many have considered the book of Revelation to be a closed book. Few have understood it and many have misinterpreted it. However, the first chapter says that those who do read it will be blessed. We must assume that the blessing will be enhanced if we understand the background of prophecy culminated here. It has been said that Revelation can be compared to a grand central station as all the major lines of prophecy have fulfillment and termination here. In many ways, Revelation is a continuation of the Book of Daniel and the two books should be studied together.

Jesus appeared to the Apostle John on the island of Patmos and told him to write what he would be shown. Then in visions, John was shown the events (in figurative views) of the “End Times”.

The key to understanding the book is given to us in verse 1:19. “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this” (Rev 1:19). The book is divided into three parts: (1) “Things which you have seen,” (2) “Things which are” and (3) “Things which will take place after this.” The “Things which you have seen” are covered in the first chapter, “Things which are” are covered in chapters two and three and “Things which will take place after this” are covered in the remaining chapters.

During the first three chapters, John is seeing things from an earthly view and many believe these chapters cover the “Church age”. Beginning with the fourth chapter, John has a vision of being taken into heaven to view the activities of the great tribulation which is taking place on earth. Many believe that John represents “The Church” and is seeing events through the eyes of “The Church”. If this is true, then “The Church” will be raptured after the events described in chapter three. There are also other Biblical references implying that “The Church” will not go through the great tribulation.

The first chapter reveals the gloried Christ. The second and third chapters provide details of the letters written to the seven churches of Asia. These churches are represented by the seven candlesticks shown in chapter one. The remaining chapters cover the great tribulation, the destruction of evil and the second coming of Christ as He establishes His earthly kingdom. The last two chapters provide details of the new heaven and new earth.

The book is a series of visions which are expressed in symbols. Interpretation is enhanced if we observe where the events are taking place – either in heaven or on the earth. Events and characters should be taken literally unless support for symbolic interpretation is given. Prior to studying this book, a study of prophecy will enable us to identify many of the characters and symbols since they have been previously given to us as covenants, shadows, numbers, and types.

The scenes, characters and events are not necessarily in chronological sequence, although the first five chapters and the seal, trumpet and bowl judgments are in sequence. Other chapters are sometimes referred to as interlude chapters and they are often parenthetical to other chapters or out of sequence as to unfolding events.

Summary of Capters of Revelation

Chapter one – The appearance of the Glorified Christ to John. Jesus gave John instructions as to how to interpret what he is seeing and what to write.

Chapter two – The letters to the Churches at Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum and Thyatira. These letters have personal messages to the churches of Asia, warnings to all churches and also seem to be symbolic of the state of churches at a specific time during Church history.

Chapter three – Letters to the Churches at Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. The same messages continue.

Chapter four – The scene is the Throne of God surrounded by twenty-four elders. God is not only being worshiped by the elders but by others around him.

Chapter five – The book of seals is presented and Christ is the only one worthy to open it. There is universal worship of Jesus who is the Creator and Savior of mankind.

Chapter six – The first six seals are opened by Christ: (1) Rider on a white horse, (2) Rider on a red horse, (3) Rider on a black horse, (4) Rider on a pale horse, (5) Prayers of the martyred remnant and (6) God pouring out his wrath on the people. The first five seals reflect the actions of the Antichrist and the chaos he creates on earth. Beginning with the sixth seal God is pouring out His wrath on the earth. This action by God has resulted in most prophecy scholars believing that the fifth seal ends the first three and half years and the sixth seal begins the second half of the tribulation known as the “Great Tribulation. There are others who believe that the second half of the tribulation begins with the seventh trumpet judgment. If we look at the chronological sequence of Revelation, we have the trumpet judgments given in chapter eight and nine before most mid-tribulation events which begins with chapter eleven.

Chapter seven – This chapter is parenthetical and serves as an interlude between the sixth and the seventh seal. It covers the sealing of a remnant of Israel and a multitude of redeemed Gentiles. God now turns to a remnant of the Jews to lead evangelistic activities during the Tribulation.

Chapter eight – This chapter presents the seventh seal which introduces the seven trumpet judgments. The first four trumpets judgments are presented: (1) Burning Trees, (2) Seas become blood, (3) Fresh water becomes bitter and (4) Sun, moon, stars are smitten.

Chapter nine – This chapter describes the fifth and sixth trumpet judgments. The fifth trumpet judgment begins with a star falling who is Satan and he will be given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. Locusts will come out of the Abyss and will be given power like that of scorpions. The sixth trumpet judgment begins with the release of two hundred million mounted troops who will kill many of the people.

Chapters ten – This chapter is also parenthetical and serves as an interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpet judgements. This chapter has a vision of John eating a little book which the angel gave him. This is symbolic of feeding upon the word of God.

Chapter eleven – This chapter covers: (1) Date for the ending of “The Times of the Gentiles”, (2) Duration of the prophesying of the two witnesses, and (3) Doom of the second woe – great earthquake. This chapter also presents the seventh trumpet judgment which opens the seven bowls judgments.

Chapter twelve – This chapter is parenthetical and covers six great performers during the tribulation. They are (1) The woman, (2) The red dragon, (3) The child of the woman, (4) Michael, the Archangel, warring with the Dragon, (5) The Dragon persecuting the woman and (6) The remnant of Israel. The stage is being set for the final act – the destruction of Satan’s kingdom. During this time the Antichrist will turn against Israel and Israel will suffer great persecution during the last three and one-half years.

Chapter thirteen – This chapter presents the beast of the sea – political and religious Babylon. Here, we see the final days of the rule of the Antichrist.

Chapter fourteen – This chapter is focuses the events leading to the end of the great Tribulation. It covers (1) Picture of the Lamb with the 144,000, (2) Proclamation of the everlasting gospel, (2) The angels announcements and (3) The harvest judgments. The final verses are a preview of Armageddon.

Chapter fifteen – This chapter covers the preparation for the seven bowl judgments of the wrath that God will pour out from heaven.

Chapter Sixteen – This chapter presents the seven bowl judgments. They are: (1) Sores fall upon the men who have the mark of the beast, (2) The sea became blood and every living creature died, (3) Rivers and springs became blood, (4) Men were scorched with fire, (5) The earth was filled with darkness and people gnawed their tongues because of the pain, (6) The waters of the river Euphrates was dried up and (7) There will be a great earthquake and hail from heaven.

Chapter seventeen – Religious Babylon, representing the great apostate church, is destroyed.

Chapter eighteen – The great political kingdom of Babylon is destroyed.

Chapter nineteen – Marriage of the Lamb and the return of Christ in judgment.

Chapter twenty – The millennium kingdom of Christ and the great white throne judgment.

Chapter twenty-one and twenty-two – Entrance into eternity. A new heaven and a new earth.

The following provide details of the study of Revelation. You should study these in sequence. Please click on one of the following:

1. Virtues of the Holy Spirit

2. Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia

3. The Tribulation

4. The Millennium Kingdom

5. The Great White Throne Judgment

6. A New Heaven and a New Earth

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (Rev 22:12-13).