Archive for April, 2012

Apr 13 2012

A Study and Review of The Book of Revelation: A Prophecy of the End Times and GOD’S Ultimate Triumph Over All Evil!

The Book of Revelation

This review of the Book of Revelation was compiled from “The Layman’s Bible Handbook”, George W. Knight, 2003.  This handbook has given me tremendous insight and understanding of God’s Eternal Word.

As a Child of GOD, I do not fear the end of the world and the long-awaited return of Jesus.  I have a sad feeling in my heart when I think of those non-believers who have no idea of Christ’s return.  The many who are “lost” have no fear of being “left behind”.  My heart aches for those lost souls.  The Book of Revelation is the only book of apocalyptic literature in the entire New Testament.  The writing was of a distinctive type of writing in biblical times that used symbols and numbers to depict the end of the present age and the coming of God’s future kingdom.  The Book of Revelation is similar to apocalyptic writings in several books of the Old Testament,  i.e. Daniel, Ezekiel,and Zechariah.

The Book of Revelation was written about A.D. 95 by John, The Beloved Disciple of Jesus.  At this time John was imprisoned by the Romans on Patmos, a rocky and barren island off the coast of what now is modern day Turkey.

John wrote this book during a time of intense persecution of the Christian movement under the Roman emperor Domitian.  John probably used symbolism in his writing to hide the meaning of his message from the Roman enemies of the church.  Christian “insiders” understood the images that John used, but the Roman persecutors did not have the key that enabled  them to decode his message.

The Book of Revelation came to John under divine inspiration through a series of visions.  In spite of the persecution that believers were experiencing, John affirmed that the all-powerful Lord would fulfill His promises and accomplish His purpose in history.  Jesus Christ would be victorious over the forces of Saten, and He would reign forever as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Rev 1:1-3   These verses indicate that the Book of Revelation was revealed to the apostle John through an angel.  It came directly from the Father through His Son Jesus Christ.  John chose to write this revelation down in the form of a letter.  It was probably intended to be read publicly in local congregations.

Rev 1:4-8   John addresses this letter to the churches in seven cities that represent the major centers of Christianity in the region of Asia (Turkey).  The theme of his letter is “victory in Jesus.”  God has guaranteed that His Son Jesus Christ-“Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending”-will reign ultimately over the entire earth Phil. 2:11 .

Rev 1:9-20  While in exile on the island of Patmos, John had a vision of the risen Lord.  He was told to write down what he saw and to send his message to the seven churches, represented by seven candlesticks.  Jesus appeared among these candlesticks; this represented His presence with these congregations.  In His hands Jesus held seven stars.  These represented “the angels of the seven  churches”, perhaps angels with responsibility for and authority over these churches.                                                                                                     

Rev 2:1-7  John writes a specific message to the church at Ephesus ( Acts 19:1-40 ).  Their initial love and enthusiasm for the Lord had cooled, and they needed to rekindle their zeal.

Church at Ephesus

Rev 2;12-17   The church at Pergamos was accused of indulging in idol worship.  Unless they repented immediately of their evil, the Lord promised to confront them and to fight against them with the sword of His mouth.

Church at Pergamos

Rev 2:18-29  Tolerating immorality and false teaching was the problem of the church of Thyatira.  This congregation was exhorted to return to the truth.

Church at Thyatira

Rev 3:1-6   The believers in the church at Sardis had lost their spiritual zeal. They needed to wake up and “strengthen the things…that are ready to die” so they could bring honor and glory to the Lord.

Church at Sardis

Rev 3:7-13  The church at Philadelphia is the only one of the seven churches that receives no rebuke.  In spite of great persecution, this congregation remained faithful to the Lord.

Church of Philadelphia

Rev 3:14-22  The church at Laodicea is condemned more severely than all the other churches.  The problem of these believers was spiritual apathy.  They were “neither cold nor hot” about spiritual matters.  God promised to deal with this church severely unless they repented of their waywardness.

Church at Laodicea

Rev 4:1-11  This chapter describes a vision in which John saw the Lord in heaven, seated on a throne.  Seated around the throne were 24 elders representing angels who administered God’s rule throughout the universe.  The four creatures described as “beasts” were actually seraphim (Isa. 6:1-3), winged beings, or another order of angels who helped to administer the rule of God in the universe.  God’s unquestioned rule and authority are clear when these 24 elders and four seraphim fall down in worship before Him.

Rev 5:1-14  This chapter continues John’s vision of God seated on a throne.  In His hand God holds a book, or scroll, that is sealed with seven wax seals.  One of the elders around the throne declares that only the risen Christ-represented by a lamb-is worthy to remove the seven seals and open the scroll.  God hands the scroll to Jesus.  This symbolizes that He has delegated to His crucified and risen Son all authority in heaven and earth.  The elders and angels that had previously bowed down to God now fall down in adoration and worship at the feet of Jesus.

Rev 6:1-8    Rev 6:9-11   Rev 6:12-17  Rev 7:1-17  Rev 8:1  This section of Revelation describes the events of God’s judgement represented by the seven seals when Jesus removed them from the scroll.  Seals 1 through 4 show the horrors of war, including famine, devastation, and death.  Seal 5 represents the reward of believers who are martyred for their faith.  Seal 6 shows the earthshaking events that will happen before the second coming of Christ.  The opening of the seventh seal causes an eerie silence in heaven, as all the earth awaits the coming judgment of the Lord.

Chapter 7 of Revelation is inserted between the opening of seal 6 and seal 7.  This chapter describes a great multitude of people who fall down before God and the Lamb in reverence and worship.  These people have been redeemed by the Lamb, and they are in God’s presence in heaven.

Rev 8:1-13   Rev 9:1-21  Rev 10:1-11  Rev 11:1-19    This section describes the seven trumpet judgements, or God’s judgement against the earth and those who have rejected Him.  These trumpets are sounded by seven angels.

Trumpet 1 (8:7) brings hail and fire on the earth.  Trumpet 2 (8:8-9) brings the destruction of sea life and ships.  At the sound of trumpet 3  (8:10-11), a meteorite poisons earth’s rivers and streams.  Many of the heavenly bodies are darkened with the sounding of trumpet 4 (8:12).  Trumpet 5 (9:1-12) brings torment and misery on earth’s inhabitants.  With trumpet 6 (9:13-21), widespread death occurs. The sounding of the seventh and final trumpet (11:15-19) indicates that the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms over which Christ Jesus will rule.

Rev 10 and Rev 11:1-14 are inserted between the sounding of trumpets 6 and 7.  Chapter 10 reaffirms the call of the apostle John.  He is told to eat a book, or scroll.  This recalls the experience of the prophet Ezekiel ( Ezek. 2:1 – 3:11 ).  In Rev 11:1-14 , the apostle John sees the city of Jerusalem trampled for forty-tw0 months.  Two unnamed witnesses are raised up by the Lord to prophesy in His name.  After their persecution and death, they are resurrected and called up to heaven.  Faithfulness in God’s service will be rewarded ( Matt 25:14-29).

Rev 12:1-17  John sees a vision of a  woman who gives birth to a male child.  Saten, represented by a red dragon, tries to kill the child.  But the child is protected and delivered from harm by the Lord.  The message oft his chapter is that God will protect His church from Satan’s threats.

Rev 13:1-18  The vision in this chapter shows that Satan continues his efforts to destroy the church.  John sees a beast emerge from the sea.

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