Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read the Revelation (ch. 1), the seven seals (ch. 5-8), and the second coming (19:11) to the end.
Orientation Revelation is book #27 of 27 in the New Testament, and and is a book of prophecy. For more information see the Bible Overview page. Synopsis John has a revelation of Jesus Christ (1:1) while exiled to Patmos (1:9), a small rocky island off Turkey. In the revelation, he is told to write a scroll for seven churches (1:11). He is instructed (1:19) to write what he has seen (which he does in ch. 1), what is now (which he does individually to the seven churches in ch. 2-3) , and what will take place later (which he does in ch. 4 to end).
In the vision, John sees the throne room of God (4:1), where a lamb (5:6) breaks seven seals from a scroll, which unleashes war, famine, and other disasters. A dragon (12:3) and two beasts (13:1, 13:11) arise and demand worship from the survivors (13:14). These satanic forces incur seven vials of wrath (16:1), such as plague, hail, and darkness. Babylon the great (the evil worldly system) is destroyed (18:1). An angel seizes Satan (20:1) and imprisons him for 1000 years (20:3). He is released briefly (with expected results) (20:7) then is thrown into hell for good (20:10). God creates a new heaven and earth (21:1) where believers live in eternal fellowship with God and each other.
Outline The revelation (1) The seven churches (1:9 - 3:end) The throne (4) The seven seals (5) Six seals opened in order (6) Sealing of 144,000 God's servants (7) Seventh seal opened (8:1) The seven trumpets Six trumpets sounded in order (8:6) Little scroll, measuring the temple (10) Seventh trumpet sounded (11:15) The seven mystic figures Sun-clothed woman (12:1) Red dragon (12:3) Man-child (12:5) Beast from the sea (13:1) Beast from the earth, mark of 666 (13:11) Lamb on Mt. Zion (14:1) Son of Man on the cloud (14:14) The seven plagues (15) The seven vials/bowls (16) Six vials poured out in order (16:2) Kings gathered for battle of Armageddon (16:13) Seventh vial poured out (16:17) Three final conflicts and triumphs (17:1-22:5) 1st conflict (fall of Babylon) and triumph (17:1) 2nd conflict and triumph, the second coming (19:11) The millenium (20:1) 3rd conflict and triumph, Satan's doom (20:7) The dead are judged (20:11) New heaven and earth (21) Conclusion Testimony of the truth of the vision (22:6) Direction of the angels (22:9) The moral of the book (22:11) Some numbers Numbers are used a great deal in Revelation. Here are the major ones:
- 7 - used over 50 times. There are seven churchs, seven lampstands, seven seals, etc. Seven indicates a complete cycle, like the seven days of creation.
- 666 (from 13:18) - known as the "mark of the beast", this may be a reference to Nero, Rome's worst persecutor of Christians. When the numeric equivalents of the letters "Nero Caesar" (in Hebrew or Greek) are added up, the total is 666. Or it could be someone still to come in the future, perhaps Nero returning.
- 144,000 (from 7:4) - used symbolically to indicate the complete collection of all God's people. The number comes from the original 12 tribes of Israel which numbered 12,000 each.
Connections About 300 of the 400 verses in Revelation relate directly back to the Old Testament.
This is the only Bible book which specifically promises a blessing to those who read it (1:3), but also a curse to those who add or subtract from it (22:18).
For source citations see the home page. Revised April 14 2014
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