How to Study Revelation (NASB)
To familiarize yourself with the first two segments of the book of Revelation, carefully read 1:1-4:1 in one sitting. (Revelation is a translation of the Greek word apokalupsis, which means "an unveiling.")
Mark the following key words (along with their synonyms and pronouns) in chapter 1, and then list in your notebook everything you learn from the text about these words: Jesus Christ, God (the Father), Spirit (seven Spirits), and write.
Revelation 1:19 gives an outline of the book of Revelation.
List the three things John was to write:
Now look at Revelation 4:1 and note how it relates to 1:19. Revelation 4 begins the third segment of Revelations. Chapter 1 describes what John saw, and chapters 2 and 3 are "the things with are." What is the third segment that begins in 4:1?
Using the terminology found in Revelation 1:19, record these three segments in the space for segment division on the Structure of Revelation chat. (The lines to divide the book into these sections are already drawn.)
Read Revelation 1-3 and do the following:
Watch for key repeated phrases or words: (NASB) God, Jesus (Christ), in the Spirit, church (es), throne, mystery, repent, overcome (s), mark every reference to Satan (demons, devil, dragon), after this things, and I saw (looked), seal (s), nations, trumpet (s), bow (s), plague (s), woe, wrath, beast, Babylon, earthquake, voices, thunder, lightning. Mark these in the text in a distinctive way so you can spot them immediately. Watch for pattern in Jesus' messages as He addresses each church.
Now concentrate on Jesus' messages to the churches, one church at a time. Record what you learn about each church on the chart Jesus' Messages to the Churches. When you see what is said regarding those who overcome, note how John describes overcomers in 1 John 5:4-5. Add what you learn to the chart
Record the main theme of each chapter in the Structure of Revelation.
In the last 19 chapters of Revelation Jesus shows John "the things which must shortly take place." Read Revelation 4-22 one chapter at a time and do the following:
As you read, ask the "5 W's and H": Who? What? When? Where? and How? For example, if it is a event, ask: What is happening? Who is involved? When will this happen and where? Why is this happening? How will it happen? If it is a person or a personage: Who is this? What is this person like? What does he do? When? Where? Why? What are the consequences? How will he accomplish it? These are very critical questions. If these are answered carefully after thoroughly observing the text and apart from preconceived ideas, you will learn much. Make a list of what you learn. Record your insights in your notebook.
Mark key repeated words (along with their synonyms and pronouns-he, she, it, we, they, us, and you) in a distinctive way: (NASB) God, Jesus (Christ), in the Spirit, church (es), throne, mystery, repent, overcome (s), mark every reference to Satan (demons, devil, dragon), after this things, and I saw (looked), seal (s), nations, trumpet (s), bow (s), plague (s), woe, wrath, beast, Babylon, earthquake, voices, thunder, lightning. Since it is a long list, write these on an index card, color code the words as you intend to mark them in the text, and use the card as a bookmark. When you finish marking these, record in your notebook what you learn from each one (unless you have been told to record that information on chart).
As you go through Revelation, let the text speak for itself. Remember, truth is revealed gradually, so don't become impatient. Simply observe what is being said without adding you own interpretation. Stay in an attitude of prayer, ask God to open the eyes of your understanding, and put away any preconceived ideas you might have.
Mark in a distinctive way all references to time. Observe what happens during that time. In biblical reckoning 42 months, 1260 days, and time, time and half a time all refer to a period of 3 1/2 years. Note all that happens within the framework of 3 1/2 years.
Give careful attention to when something begins and end: for example, the great Day of God's wrath, when the mystery of God is finished, when God begins to reign. Observe carefully the three woes and the events surrounding them. Noting the timing of these will help you understand Revelation better.
As you observe what happens during each of the seals, trumpets, and bowls, record your insights on the chart, The Seven Trumpets, and Bowls. Then consider whether the seals, trumpets, and bowls happen at the same time or follow one another.
Babylon intermittently plays an important role from Genesis to Revelation. A you mark every reference to Babylon, carefully note whether it is referring to "the woman" or to the city. Then discern whether they are one and the same or two separate but somehow related entities. In chapter 17 and 18, where Babylon is preeminent, list what you learn from marking each reference to Babylon. Then compile your information on the chart What the Bible Teaches About Babylon.
- As you observe what happens during each of the seals, trumpets, and bowls, record your insights on the chart The Seven Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls. Then consider whether the seals, trumpets, and bowls happen at the same time or follow one another.
As you study Revelation, you may want to consult any note you have made on The Day of the Lord. To see is there are any parallels between what you have observed in others books and what you see in Daniel and in Revelation.
There is much to learn about the Godhead in this book that you will want to remember and meditate on. Record what you learn on the chart What Revelation Teach About God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
When you finish going through Revelation, record the chapter themes on Structure of Revelation, along with other pertinent information called for on the chart.
Finally, see how various chapters of the book group according to events, places, or persons. Use your chapter themes as a guide to see when these groupings occur. Record these groupings under "Segment Divisions" on Structure of Revelation, placing them at the chapter numbers in which they occur.
Key Words in the NIV and KJV
Key doctrines in Revelation
Revelation - Jesus Christ's true identity and saving work is unveiled (1:1-22:21; Is 11:5; 53:1-11; Zech 9:9; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-14; 7:18; Acts 4:27; 2 Cor 8:9; Phil 2:8; 1 Thess 5:24; Heb 1:9; 1 John 5:20)
Holiness - the church is warned about sin and exhorted to holiness (22:11; Lev 11:45; 19:2; 20:7; Ps 24:3, 4; Rom 8:29; 12:1; Eph 5:1, 8; Col 3:12; Heb 12:14; 1 Pet 1:15, 16; 1 John 2:6)
Worship - God is worthy of man's worship and praise (4:10, 11; 5:12; 2 Sam 22:44; Ps 22:23; 50:23; 96;2; 145:3; Ezek 3:12; Dan 2:20; Matt 2:1, 2, 11; 28:16, 17; John 4:20-24; 9:30-38; Luke 1:68, 69; Heb 1:6; Jude 1:25)
Eschatology - the doctrine of the last things (4:1-22:21)