1. The book was probably written around 90AD, 60 years after Jesus ascended to heaven.  It applies to many people.  It applied to the Churches that existed around 90AD because the 7 letters were written to them specifically and because the truths of the book could strengthen their hearts.  It has applied to the Church throughout history because some of the truths of the 7 letters have applied to Churches at different times.  Also, the truths of the entire book were meant to give courage and hope to the Church throughout all of its history.  This book primarily applies to the Church worldwide that will experience the events of the book of Revelation in the last generation just before Jesus returns to earth.  The 7 letters will give insight to the Church about wrong doctrines that will creep back into some of the Church, they will give insight into Jesus’ priorities in our lives and ministries and they will motivate the Church to overcome sin and strongholds of lies.  The rest of the book will bring hope and courage to the end-time Church that it will be victorious over Satan and the antichrist kingdom in God’s judgments and that it will be victorious in martyrdom.  The book details the incredible events that the earth will go through and this will cause the Church to prophesy the details to the earth and to partner with Jesus in prayer like Moses did to deliver God’s people from Pharaoh.  This book portrays a Victorious Church and a Victorious King.

 

  1. Interpret verses literally unless the verses say they are symbolic, and then interpret them symbolically if needed.  All of the symbols are interpreted in the surrounding verses or in Old Testament books of the bible such as Daniel or Isaiah.

 

  1. There are many themes in this book but two are very important, Jesus as the Lamb and God on His throne.  Jesus is primarily depicted as the Lamb of God in this book (or as our compassionate High Priest in chapter 1) because He is a loving and compassionate servant.  His judgments come from His heart as a tender lamb.  He came to the cross for love.  He will release judgments to remove sin and sinners that hinder love between God and man.  God is on His throne.  God’s throne is mentioned around 40 times in this book because He is the sovereign leader over creation.  The Trinity will lead human history to a crescendo in perfect timing, wisdom, love, justice, mercy and strategy.  We must read this book with the perspective that God and the Church are victorious over the enemy.

 

  1. This book is written in story form.  It has a progressive storyline that has pauses that include character development and explanations.  This book is somewhat confusing without understanding that there are chapters of storyline and chapters where the author paused the storyline and developed other characters or gave explanation to parts of the storyline.  Most commentaries will agree with this perspective of the book.

 

  1. Basic Outline of the Book:
    1. Chapter 1 – Jesus Commissions John to Prophesy
    2. Chapter 2-3 – 7 Letters to the 7 Churches
    3. Chapter 4-5 – God’s Throne – Father is Sovereign over All things and    Jesus  is the only Man worthy to take the title deed to the earth.  Jesus takes the scroll from the Father in a yet future event and will open the scroll (title deed) and release His judgments in order to manifest His ownership and coming to the earth.
    4. Chapter 6 – Storyline – Seal Judgments (begins the last 3 ½ years of human history, which is called the Great Tribulation in Matthew 24 and Jacob’s Trouble in Jeremiah 30:7)
    5. Chapter 7 – Pause – Saints are Victorious Even in Death and Some Gentile and Jewish believers will be Divinely Protected from the Persecution of the Enemy.
    6. Chapter 8-9 – Storyline – Trumpet Judgments (after the Seal Judgments)
    7. Chapter 10-11:14 – Pause – God will Divinely Direct the Church during the Tribulation with an abundance of the spirit of prophecy, prophets and the Two Witnesses.  The Two Witnesses are developed in this section.  There will be an incredible witness of power and prophecy to the nations of the earth during this time.  God will give incredible insight into the scriptures by His Spirit.
    8. Chapter 11:15-19 – Storyline – Jesus’ Will Split the Sky at the 7th Trumpet with His angels and some of the saints to manifest His authority over the earth, to deliver Israel from worldwide attack and to remove every person and demon that resists His loving leadership.
    9. Chapter 12-14 – Pause – Great Opposition and Deception in the natural realm and in the spirit realm.  The greatest collision between God’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom will come to pass during the Great Tribulation.  Satan’s kingdom, including humans that resist Jesus, will be enraged and cause great sorrow but they will be overcome.  The Antichrist, the false prophet and Satan are developed in this section and will cause great deception.  Also, the 144,000 protected Jewish believers are developed.  These Jewish believers will be a singing spiritual army that brings great victory in the spirit realm and a great harvest of souls in the natural realm.  The greatest revival of souls will come about during the Great Tribulation.
    10. Chapter 15-16 – Storyline – The Bowl Judgments.  Jesus will split the skies with His army, the resurrection from the dead will come to pass all over the earth as manifests in the sky and then He will land in the middle east and begin His military march to Jerusalem to deliver Israel (Isaiah 19, 63, Habakkuk 3).  The bowl judgments will be released on the antichrist kingdom during Jesus’ military march on the earth.
    11. Chapter 17-18 – Pause – Deception, Seduction and Corruption.  This section describes the systems of spiritual and natural harlotry in the earth just before the tribulation and then during the great tribulation.  The systems and authorities of the earth will come together in global peace, prosperity and sin just before the Great Tribulation.  God will judge the systems through the oppression of the antichrist.
    12. Chapter 19 – Storyline – Jesus is Victorious over the Enemy and heaven rejoices.  Jesus’ military march, final battle and full victory are described in this section.
    13. Chapter 20:1-6 – Storyline – 1,000 year Reign of Jesus and His saints on the earth.  Jesus and the saints will restore the earth and every system and sphere of society for 1,000 years.  Satan, every demon and every person that took the mark of the beast during the Great Tribulation will be bound in hell.
    14. Chapter 20:7-14 – Storyline – Final Battle and the Beginning of the Eternal Age.  Satan will be released at the end of the 1,000 years to tempt all those that will resist Jesus as king on the earth.  They will all be destroyed.  Every unbeliever who ever lived will then be judged at the judgment seat and thrown into the lake of fire.
    15. Chapter 21-22:5 – Pause – The New Jerusalem Described.  The heavenly city is seen and described in all its beauty.  This city is our hope and has been the hope of every believer.  The New Jerusalem will come down from the heavens and rest just above the earthly Jerusalem for the 1,000 year reign of Jesus.  The city will fully descend and fully join the earth at the end of the 1,000 year reign of Jesus.
    16. Chapter 22:6-21 – Exhortation and Warning – Jesus assures us that this book is from Him, necessary and urgent and He warns people not to change the truths of this book.