Revelation Graphics

Vital statistics

 Purpose: To reveal the full identity of Christ and to give warning and hope to believers
 Author: The apostle John 
 Original audience: The seven churches in Asia and all believers everywhere  
 Date written:  Approximately A.D. 95 from Patmos 
 Setting: Most scholars believe that the seven churches of Asia to whom John writes were experiencing the persecution that took place under Emperor Domitian (A.D. 90-95). It seems that the Roman authorities had exiled John to the island of Patmos (off the coast of Asia).
 John, who had been an eyewitness of the incarnate Christ, had a vision of the glorified Christ. God also reveled to John what would take place in the future - judgment and the ultimate triumph of God over evil.  
 Key verse: "God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near" (1:3).  
 Key people: John, Jesus 
 Key places:  Patmos, the seven churches, the new Jerusalem
 Special features: Revelation is written in "apocalyptic" from - a type of Jewish literature that uses symbolic imagery to communicate hope (in the ultimate triumph of God) to those in the midst of persecution. The events are ordered according to literary, rather than strictly chronological patterns.     

The Seventh Churches

Praised for
Warned About
Ephesus (2:1–7)
The Loveless Church
     not bearing those who are evil
     testing false apostles
     hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans
     leaving their first love
Smyrna (2:8–11)
The Persecuted Church
     faithfulness under persecution
Pergamos (2:12–17)
The Compromising Church
     holding fast to Christ’s name
     not denying the faith, even faced with martyrdom
     allowing false teaching having to do with immorality and idolatry
     holding to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans
Thyatira (2:18–29)
The Corrupt Church
     allowing Jezebel to teach and seduce to immorality and idolatry
     holding fast and overcoming
Sardis (3:1–6)
The Dead Church
     a few faithful people
     deadness, even though they had a reputation for being alive
Philadelphia (3:7–13)
The Faithful Church
     a little strength
     keeping Christ’s word
     not denying Christ’s name
     holding fast what they had and overcoming during coming tribulations
Laodicea (3:14–20)
The Lukewarm Church
     being lukewarm
     pretending to be well off spiritually when they were impoverished
     need for repentance and overcoming
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (Ap 3.1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Christ Makes All the Difference

With Christ: Worship
Without Christ: Wrath
Splendor and beauty (Rev. 4:2–8)
Praise and adoration (4:8–11)
Access provided (5:1–8)
Outbursts of worship (5:9)
Entitlement given (5:10)
Affirmation (5:11–14)
Martyrs restored (6:9–11)
Protection given (7:2–8)
Suffering ceases (7:9–17)
God’ mystery completed (10:7)
Bitter becomes sweet (10:9)
Peace gone from earth (Rev. 6:4)
Killing unleashed (6:5)
Death reigns (6:8)
Earth collapses (6:12–17)
Fires and earthquakes (8:5)
Destruction surges (8:7–10)
Many die (8:11)
Darkness pervades earth (8:12)
Woes are announced (8:13)
Plagues torment the lost (9:2–11)
Many die (9:18)
Repentance is rejected (9:20–21)
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (Gn 1.1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

The Ministry of Angels

     Calmed Joseph’s doubts about Mary’s faithfulness (Matt. 1:20–25).
     Warned Joseph to flee from Herod’s plan to kill Jesus (Matt. 2:13).
     Encouraged Joseph to return to Israel with his family (Matt. 2:19–20).
     Ministered to Jesus after His temptation in the wilderness (Matt. 4:11).
     Told the women at the empty tomb that Jesus was alive (Matt. 28:2–6).
     Foretold to Zacharias the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11–20).
     Told Mary that she would bear the Christ (Luke 1:26–38).
     Announced Jesus’ birth to shepherds near Bethlehem (Luke 2:8–15).
     Appeared to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane to give Him strength (Luke 22:43).
     Promised the crowd observing Jesus’ ascension that He would return in like manner (Acts 1:10–11).
     Brought Peter and John out of prison (Acts 5:17–20).
     Told Philip to go into the desert where he met the Ethiopian treasurer (Acts 8:26).
     Told the centurion Cornelius to send for Peter (Acts 10:3–8).
     Released Peter from prison (Acts 12:7).
     Struck down Herod for not giving glory to God (Acts 12:23).
     Stood by Paul during a storm at sea to assure him that he would stand before Caesar (Acts 27:23–24).
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (Ap 7.1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Satan’s Many Aliases

     Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons (Matt. 12:24)
     The wicked one (Matt. 13:19, 38)
     The enemy (Matt. 13:39)
     Murderer (John 8:44)
     Liar (John 8:44)
     The ruler of this world (John 12:31; 14:30)
     The god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4)
     Belial (2 Cor. 6:15, according to some interpretations)
     The prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2)
     The tempter (1 Thess. 3:5)
     A roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8)
     The adversary (1 Pet. 5:8)
     The dragon (Rev. 12:7)
     The accuser of our brethren (Rev. 12:10)
     The serpent of old (Rev. 20:2)
     The deceiver (Rev. 20:10)
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (Ap 9.11). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Genesis and Revelation

God creates the world.
God creates a new heaven and earth.
The devil introduces sin into the world.
The devil is defeated and destroyed; sin is done away with.
Humanity falls into sin.
God restores people to their original sinlessness.
The world is subjected to a curse.
The curse is removed.
People are separate from God.
People live with God forever.
People shed tears and know sorrow.
God wipes away every tear and removes sorrow.
People are barred from the tree of life.
People may eat freely from the tree of life.
Death enters the world.
Death is done away with and people live forever.
The languages of humanity are confused and the peoples scattered.
The peoples of the world are brought together before Christ and they sing His praises together.
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (Gn 1.1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Interpretations of Revelation

Modern historic
Suggests the Rapture of the church.
Suggests awe-filled worship by church of all ages.
Relates scroll to Daniel 7:13–14 as deed to the Old Testament’s promised Druidic Kingdom.
Scroll speaks of redemption and believer’s rule in Christ today.
Initiates events that Jesus described in Matthew 24:5–8, leading into the Great Tribulation.
Shows impact of the Gospel on the earth, as Christ conquers through the massage of His cross.
Sees the 144,000 as Jewish missionaries active in Tribulation.
Sees 144,000 as symbolic “perfect number” of the saved.
Initial judgments of Tribulation.
Natural disasters are a warning to the unsaved.
Demonic Enemies are released to torment man.
An invasion of anti-Christian forces operating in the spiritual realm.
An interlude.
A message that God will not abandon believers.
The two witnesses are Moses and Elijah (Matt. 17:10–11), who preach for 3½ years in Jerusalem and are killed near end of first half of the Tribulation.
The period of 3½ years is symbolic. Witnesses arc the true church speaking against false faith.
Thc Jewish people arc preserved by God from Satan during Antlehrist’s rule.
War in heaven is a picture of Jesus’ victory on Calvary preserving the church from persecution.
The Antichrist and false prophet appear and form European state.
Symbolic expression of Satan’s attack on church by anti-Christian governments and false religion.
An overview of the final judgment of God on human society, represented by “Babylon.”
An image of final judgment.
Literal descriptions of events on earth at the end of the Tribulation.
Symbolic descriptions of final judgment.
“Mystery Babylon” represents false religion of Antichrist.
Thc woman is pseudo-religious influences in the world today.
Civil, secular, and military power of the Antichrist.
Represents all past, present, and future materialistic centers.
Jesus returns as foretold by Old Testament prophets to battle enemies
Symbolizes the complete victory of Jesus over all enemies.
Jesus sets up 1,000-year kingdom, then destroys Satan in Last great battle.
Satan was “bound” at birth of Jesus. 1,000 years is symbolic of believer’s present exaltation of Christ.
The vision is of eternity.
The vision is of the triumphant church, not of a literal city or new earth.
Jesus is coming again, soon!
Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher's commentary. Includes index. (1070). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

The Revelation of Jesus

John’s Gospel
Who is unveiled
What is unveiled
Life, Light, Grace, Truth
Wrath of the Lamb (Rev. 6:16)
For whom is the unveiling
Those who believe (John 20:21)
Every eye will see Him (Rev. 1:7)
Quality of God emphasized
Love (John 3:16)
Holiness (Rev. 4:8)
Expression of that quality
Washed us from our sins in His blood (John 3:16; Rev. 1:5)
Wrath (Rev. 6:16–17)
Man’s response
Believe in Him (John 6:69; 10:41)
Praise (Rev. 1:6)
Fear, anger (Rev. 9:20–21)
Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher's commentary. Includes index. (1072). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

Interpretations of the Book of Revelation

Interpretive Method
Basic Thesis
Major Advocates
All the events of Revelation were fulfilled during the days of either Nero or Domitian. The book is concerned only with events of the first century.
This view was developed by the Jesuits and is still held by many in the Roman Church and by some Protestants
The book is reduced to little more than a relic of antiquity, with no message for later generations.
Historical (Postmillennialism- the belief that Christ will return at the end of the millennial age.)
Revelation is a panorama of church history, form the initiation of the apostolic era to the consummation of the age.
This position was espoused by Martin Luther, John Wycliffe, and most of the Reformers, except the Anabaptists.
The multiplicity of interpretation of metaphors and symbols quickly becomes intolerably subjective.
(Amilennialism- the belief that there is no literal millennial reign on Christ on earth.)
The Apocalypse is not to be construed as a representation of actual events, whether past or future. The book is only a symbol or metaphor to depict the great struggle between good and evil.
This concept was spawned in the Alexandrian school of philosophy and theology by Origin and is maintained by a host of liberal, and some conservative, Bible students today.
As this method shows, pagan philosophy and Christian theology do not mix. The early fathers of the church are overwhelming in their support of Revelation as representing actual history in some sense.
Futuristic (Premillennialism- the belief that Christ will return to usher in the millennial age.)
Beginning with chapter 4, the events described belong to the future age and constitute a marvelous prophecy of God’s program for the consummation of the age.
This view has wide acceptance among evangelicals around the world. Anabaptists of the Reformation era were futurists. Numerous church fathers from the initial Christian centuries also were advocates of this view.
The futuristic perspective is in perfect harmony with the message of the entire Bible. Far fewer interpretive enigmas are engendered by this approach.
New Geneva study Bible. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.) (Ap 1.3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Interpretations of Revelation 20:1–6

Christ will return after the 1,000 years. A golden age on the earth is ushered in by the triumph of the gospel through the church.
There is no literal 1, 000 years of Christ’s reign on the earth.
The return of Christ will precede the establishment of His literal kingdom on earth.
Christ is viewed as presently reigning either in: (1) the hearts of men,
(2) heaven, or
(3) the church.
Christ and His saints with Him will reign on the earth in fulfillment of O.T. and N.T. prophecy.
The 1, 000 years is viewed literally by some but symbolically by others.
The 1, 000 years is understood symbolically as representing an extended period of time.
The 1,000 years is understood as predicting a literal future reign of peace and righteousness on the earth.
New Geneva study Bible. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.) (Ap 20.1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Events in Revelation described elsewhere in the Bible

 Other Reference Revelation Reference  Event
 Ezekiel 1:22-28 4:2, 3; 10:1-3 Glowing rainbow around God's throne
 Isaiah 53:7 5:6-8 Christ is pictured as a Lamb
 Psalm 96 5:9-14 New song
 Zechariah 1:7-11; 6:1-8 6:1-8 Horses and riders
 Isaiah 2:19-22 6:12; 8:5; 11:13 Earthquake
 Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:14-21 6:12 Moon turns red as blood
 Mark 13:21-25 6:13 Stars falling from the sky
 Isaiah 34:1-4 6:14 Sky rolled up like a scroll
 Zephaniah 1:14-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 6:15-17 God's inescapable wrath
 Jeremiah 49:35-39 7:1 Four winds of judgment 
 Luke 8:26-34 9:1, 2; 17:3-8 Bottomless pit
 Joel 1:2-2:11 9:3-11 Plaque of locusts
 Luke 21:20-24 11:1, 2 Trampling of the holy city of Jerusalem
 Zechariah 4 11:3-6 Two olive trees as witnesses 
 Daniel 7 13:1-10 A beast coming out of the sea 
 2 Thessalonians 2:7-14 13:11-15 Astounding signs and miracles done by the evil beast 
 Jeremiah 25:15-29 141:9-12 Drinking the cup of God's wrath 
 Isaiah 21:1-10 18:2, 3 "Babylon" falls 
 Matthew 22:1-14 19:5-8 Wedding feast of the Lamb
 Ezekiel 38, 39 20:7-10 Conflict with Gog and Magog 
 John 5:19-30 20:11-15 Judging of all people
 Ezekiel 37:21-28 21:3 God lives among his people
 Isaiah 25:1-8 21:4 Our tears will be wiped away forever
 Genesis 2:8-14 22:1, 2 Tree of life
 1 Corinthians 13:11, 12 22:3-5 We will see God face to face
 Daniel 7:18-28 22:5 Believers will reign with God forever

The Blueprint

  A. Letters to the Churches (1:1-3:22)

   The vision John received opens with instructions for him to write to seven churches. He both commends them for their strengths and warns them about their flaws. Each letter was directed to a church then in existence but also speaks to conditions in the church throughout history. Both in the church and in our individual lives, we must constantly fight against the temptation to become loveless, immoral, lenient, compromising, lifeless, or casual about our faith. The letters make it clear how our Lord feels about these qualities.

  B. Message for the church (4:1-22:21)  
    1. Worshiping God in heaven
    2. Opening the seven seals
    3. Sounding the seven trumpets 
    4. Observing the great conflict 
    5. Pouring out the seven plagues
    6. Seizing the final victory
    7. Making all things new

  This revelation is both a warning to Christians who have grown apathetic and an encouragement to those  who are faithfully enduring the struggles in this world. It reassures us that good will triumph over evil, gives us hope as we face difficult times, and gives guidance when we are wavering in our faith. Christ's message to the church is a message of hope for all believers in every generation. 

The names of Jesus in Revelation

Scattered among the vivid images of the book Revelation is a large collection of names for Jesus. Each one tells something of his character and highlights a particular aspect of his role within God's plan of redemption.

 ReferenceJesus' Name Reference Jesus' Name 
  •  1:13
  • 1:17
  • 1:18
  • 2:18
  • 3:14
  • 5:5
  • 5:5
  • 5:6
  • 7:17
  •  The Son of Man
  • The First and the Last
  • The living one
  • The Son of God
  • The faithful and true witness
  • The Lion of the tribe of Judah
  • The heir to David's throne
  • Lamb
  • Shepherd 
  • 12:10
  • 19:11
  • 19:13
  • 19:16
  • 19:16
  • 22:13
  • 22:13
  • 22:16
  • Christ
  • Faithful and True
  • The Word of God
  • King over all kings
  • Lord over all lords
  • The Alpha and the Omega
  • The Beginning and the End
  • The bright morning star

Revelation Overview