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Basic Summary of the Book of Revelation

Updated on October 18, 2016

This overview of the book of Revelation, the last book in the New Testament, provides a short summary. Its brevity provides a view of the chronology of the major parts and events of this prophecy. A further look into how I arrived at the conclusions summarized in this overview can be found through the links on the right of the overview.

Overview of Revelation

Prelude

Fifty plus years after His first coming, Jesus Christ reveals to the last living apostle, John, vital information about His second coming as ultimate Judge. In 1:1, it says that the contents of this book are written for faithful servants of Christ, so that they will know what will occur in the last days.

John is also instructed to record warnings to the seven local churches under his leadership; warnings of both immediate consequences as well as consequences at Christ’s return.

The saints are urged to be ready when He comes to take them into his eternal rule over all nations (1:5). Though persecuted for not worshiping the Roman emperor, they are to hold on to their faith in Christ, like a bride waiting with her burning lamp for the coming of the groom.

'There in heaven a throne was set'

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Throne room

John is taken into heaven (chapter 4) where he is given a marvelous view of the throne of God and the activities that will occur in the last days. The focal point is an unopened scroll in the hand of Him who sits on a throne, sealed with seven seals.

One of the twenty-four elders seated around the throne tells John, only the Lamb of God is worthy to open the scroll.

The Day of the Lord
The Day of the Lord

Novel that tells us what it could be like when the Lord returns.

 

"Birth pangs"—Prelude to God's final judgment

The Seals represent conditions that must first be in place before God brings His final judgment upon the world. The opening of first four Seals—resulting in the martyrdom of many believers for their testimony (6:9)—sets the stage for the fifth Seal to be opened to see the martyrs under the altar.

In response to their plea, the sixth Seal is opened. The sun, moon and stars go dark, signifying to the earth that the judgment and wrath of God, the Day of the Lord, has come and is about to commence.

Great Tribulation—The Day of the Lord

There are three interludes where Christ gives more clarification. The first, 7:1-17, explains that God's faithful are sealed by the blood of the Lamb for protection from the ‘second death.’ They are then seen in heaven (if killed by the Beast).

Next, the seventh Seal is opened to initiate the Day of the Lord, in answer to the prayers of the saints (8:4).

The first six Trumpets of the Lord’s judgment are then inflicted upon a third of the earth, during which His two witnesses proclaim the eternal gospel.

The second interlude, chapters 12-13, explains the great tribulation of those six Trumpets, when Satan and his Beasts demand mankind’s worship.

Source

The rapture is

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Second coming of Jesus

When the seventh Trumpet sounds—in preparation to unleash the seven Vials of plagues to destroy the Beast (Babylon the Great)—the Lamb descends to Mount Zion (14:1), the 144,000 with Him. (They include all the rest, 6:11, who were martyred.)

As He descends, the saints still living are harvested (14:16) and appear as victors on the sea of glass (15:2). The wicked grapes (14:18) are also gathered (as armies to attack Jerusalem, Ezk. 38:16; Rev. 16:14).

Full wrath of God

The Vials, the fullness of God’s wrath, are quickly poured out on the gathered wicked. The third interlude, chapters 17-18, describes the Beast’s empire and its demise at the battle of Armageddon. The Beast and false prophet are then thrown directly into the lake of fire.

Wicked tormented forever (20:10)

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The wife of the Lamb, the new Jerusalem (21:9-14)

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Christ’s thousand-year reign

Christ reveals to John In the last chapters (20-22) that Satan will be bound in a bottomless pit for a thousand years. During this time, the ‘harvested’ saints (14:16) and the resurrected martyred (20:4) saints will judge the nations and reign with Christ.

Afterwards, Satan is released to deceive the nations one last time, but is again defeated. The wicked dead and all of those who died during Christ’s thousand-year reign are resurrected and judged before the great white throne. They and Satan all end up in the lake of fire.

Christ then gives his saints, his bride, a new heaven and a new earth, with the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven where they will reside together with him (21:1-4). The saints then see God’s face (22:4) and dwell in his light forever.

Revelation Revealed
Revelation Revealed

Explains Revelation verse by verse.

 
REVELATION (Macarthur Study Guide)
REVELATION (Macarthur Study Guide)

This study guide uses contextual and historical sidebars that give a better understanding of Revelation and helped me begin a study of this book of the bible.

 

© 2012 Deidre Shelden

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    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      4 years ago from Texas, USA

      Good to hear you found this overview of Revelation interesting. :)

    • profile image

      Lybrah 

      4 years ago

      Very interesting read! I enjoyed it. Revelations and the end times are really intriguing!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I'm hoping to see that from a different vantage point if I can!

    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      5 years ago from Texas, USA

      WTS, Yes, certainly can follow this reasoning. :) I tend to think we will have a surprise when we see who the two witnesses really are, but that's just me.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I spent two years in a discipleship ministry/drug rehab doing little else in my free time but reading eschatology books. It's all very interesting, and I've read very convincing arguments for and against different events and their placement in time, and then different interpretations of the symbols and their meanings.

      I remain rather unconvinced one way or another as to what all the Rapture is about.

      What I find most interesting out of all of it are...the two witnesses, and the discussions as to who exactly they actually are. I tend to go with Elijah and Enoch, for "it is appointed but once for man to die."...and I'm sure you can follow my reasoning from there :)

    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      It is my belief that there are certain parts/aspects of it that are to be interpretted literally. Other parts of it are clearly figurative. These are my conclusions after having translated Revelation into another language and several years of having studied commentaries on it and just simply prayed for help to understand.

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 

      6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Quite eerie stuff really, I wonder if we can interpret it literally.

    • junko profile image

      junko 

      6 years ago

      No Ms Dee, I think also that the seventh seal has not been opened.I do believe the war of the Gods has begun, and it's spiritual warfare. I must work with the good(God) in me and not the evil (Devil,)it's my choice. I have not read the bible for the first time yet. Thank you for your understanding, God use willing workers to explain. (P.S. Latin was spoken in the Catholic Church)

    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Junko, the small window into your experiences is interesting and I am glad for you that you have a rebuilt life and church. I'm thinking all the Seals cannot have been opened yet. Otherwise, 1/3 of the earth would have been destroyed with the opening of the 7th Seal, which starts that sudden destruction.

    • junko profile image

      junko 

      6 years ago

      Ms Dee, I was born Catholic, Lain was still in services at that time. I searched for God for many years after I walked away from the Catholic church. In my early 20's I found God in me through a religious experience. For 37 years after that, I had no church home, but I had The God in me. Since I had never been immerged and water and I'd aways heard I must, at 58 I went down and came back up. Four months later Katrina washed away the church and all my earthly belongings.The church and my life has been rebuilt. I enjoy bible study more than any other church service other than seeing people coming up to join church. It seems to me that some seals were opened long ago, I'm not sure how long.

    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Junko, I'm currently working on a hub that explains why the last empire in Daniel's vision (and in Revelation) is not Rome. If this is the case, then I am strongly inclined to think the first 3 seals have been opened. What do you think, junko?

    • junko profile image

      junko 

      6 years ago

      Ms Dee, in your opinion has any of the seven seals been opened?

    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      A precise overview is what this summary is--helpful feedback. Thanks so much!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      It is so precise in my mind, not basic in any way. It gets to the point and doesn't leave out the most important - Revelation of Jesus. Great hub! In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Faith Reaper, so you would call it more than a basic summary of Revelation? Maybe it is an overview of the major parts of Revelation.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Your "Basic Summary" is anything but that! This is such a wonderful piece here of His truths. Excellent in both word and imagery. Yes, the Revelation of Jesus! Well done. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Good to know you see this summary of Revelation as a precise presentation. Yes, the more I've studied Revelation, the more I see the importance of it for understanding other parts of the Scriptures.

    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 

      6 years ago from Savannah GA.

      Thank you for this precise presentation of this so important book! I feel blessed to have you as one of my followers and I will also follow your work closely! Keep shining the light!

    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Segun, Amen! And I am so thankful God guides us to his Truth, because we cannot find/understand it or Revelation on our own.

    • Segun Tewogbola profile image

      Segun Tewogbola 

      6 years ago

      Thank God for the TRUTH of His Word. The bread of Life.

    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      So glad to be helping a little bit with your learning to understand Revelation. I love sharing what I, myself, have learned.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      I love your hubs. Each time I read them, you are teaching more and more. Thank you so much! God Bless you.

    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Segun, Hope this helps with understanding Revelation.

    • Segun Tewogbola profile image

      Segun Tewogbola 

      6 years ago

      This is an awesome piece! God bless you.

    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      teaches, looking forward to that time with you! Good to know how helpful the photos are.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      You made my heart rejoice with the description of Revelation. Wow, those photos are so awesome and really add to the content. Looking forward to the time of Revelation. Voted up.

    • Ms Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Deidre Shelden 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Angela, you've made my day! Yes, Jesus said we are to ready and alert for his return. So we need to understand what he is telling us in the prophesies given to us. The time is near!

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      As a very poor student of Revelation you have broadened my horizons greatly and thank you so very much. For me, personally, understanding of end time prophecy is imperative -- and appears to be drawing nearer as we speak. Thank you so very much for this Hub. Best/Sis

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