The Revelation

To John
The Revelation of Jesus Christ

“The Final Chapter” - “Hope Unveiled”

The New Covenant Fulfilled


Authorship: John the Apostle

Claimed by author 1:1
Familiarity with Asian churches 1:4
Patmos exile 1:9
    Eusibius & Clement of Alexandria (180 AD) place John as exiled there
    and then freed by the Roman Government

Historical Support

Irenaeus (140) calls it the Apocalypse (knew Polycarp)
Allusions in early 2
nd Century:         
    Ignatius (110),
    Epistle of Barnabas (130), et al
Justin Martyr (155)

Justin Martyr, “There was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the Apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem.”

Date & Place

95 AD

                Domitian persecution ended 96

From: Patmos

To: 7 Churches in Asia m - 1:11

Immediate circulation as a         circular, general letter
Destination fits with John’s  ministry & residence in Ephesus


John’s: Fulfill the command of Christ 1:11
Comfort and encouragement of the Lord’s return
To show that God’s purposes could not be destroyed

Compare:        Genesis 1-2 with Revelation 21-22

   (Good)                     (Better)

A perfect earth
God dwelling with man
Tree of life - River of the water of life
No Sin - No Death - No Night
A Garden vs. A City


Unite and complete prophetic truth:

- Daniel 7:19-27; 8:23-25; 9:24-27
- Jeremiah 23:5-8; 30:4-10
- Zechariah 8:23; 12:9-14
- Matthew 24:15-23, 19-31
- Romans 11:25-28
- 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Purpose: – 1:1- …To show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place

Key verse

Revelation 1:19 - Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.

Note the outline of the book
Similar to Acts 1:8

Why use a method that seemingly makes His message so obscure?

1. The language & imagery were not so strange to 1st century readers
   as they are to many today.

2. The subject matter, with glimpses into the future and even into heaven, required
             the kind of language John used.


Literal = normal, plain (see Benware 273)
What about symbols.
        “a symbol is a timeless figurative         representation.” Ramm
Watch for the words: “like” or “as”
Interpret by scripture, context, nature, cross reference

Approaches & Conclusions - Benware 272 & maps 452-455

Allegorical or Idealist

No literal representation
Contains in symbols points of encouragement
No set standard, it means what you think

Idealist View:

Sees the book as showing the spiritual battle between good versus evil


Sees the prophecies as depicting the course of history in this age
Already happened except for perhaps chapters 20-22
Includes Preterist position as fulfilled under Nero and Domitian and         focuses
   on the first century fall of Jerusalem as the backdrop of the prophecies of
   this book


The bulk of the book (ch. 4-22) is         yet to take place
Uses literal interpretation
Fits with OT prophecy: 350 mentioned in Revelation
Two OT mysteries: the church (Eph. 5:32) & 1000 years


Allegorical - Post-millennial

Historical – Amillenniel

Futurist – Premillenniel

Details – The Number 7

55 X 31 verses

Churches, golden lampstands, angels, seals, trumpets, bowls, horns, heads, kings, diadems, thrones, stars, Spirits, trumpets, plagues, peals of thunder,

Details – Other Numbers

24 Elders on 24 thrones
4 Living Creatures
4 Angels
1/3 of things destroyed
1260 days = witnesses & woman protected

Details – The Seven Churches

Churches are real Asian churches
Problems are typical of churches         and believers through the ages
    See Chart in Maps – page 452

Details – Worship in Revelation

4:1-11 – Worship of the Holy Creator
5:1-14 – Worship of the Lamb
7:9-17 – Worship by Tribulation Saints
14:1-5 – Worship by the 144,000
15:2-4 – Worship by those victorious over the beast, his image & number
19:1-8 -  Hallelujah Chorus

Details – The Seals, Trumpets & Bowls - Benware 275

Opening of 7th seal – opens 7 trumpets
Sounding of 7
th trumpet 10:7; 11:15 - Opens 7 bowls (same as 7 plagues)
Interludes: 7:1-17; 10:1-14:20; 15:1ff

Details - Chapters 6-19 - Benware 279

Millennialism view:

Chapter Topics - Benware 274

Old Testament background: Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah,  Zechariah
New Testament background: Matthew, Romans, I&II Thessalonians

1:19 outline:

Things which you have seen- 1:1-20

The Person of Christ:

The Revelation of Christ

Things which are - 2:1-3:22

The Possessions of Christ:

Messages to the 7 Churches

Things which shall take place - 4:1-22:21

The Program of Christ:

See the outline in Maps page 450

Highlights of the Revelation

1:1 – It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ

1:3 – The Blessing on readers, hearers & doers

12:10-11 – Overcame because of…

19:7-8 – Bride makes herself ready

20:11-15 – Great White Throne

22:17, 20 – Come! – Amen. Come!