Basic Summary of the Book of Revelation
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.
Overview of Revelation
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.
Like a bride waiting for the coming of the groom
- The Jewish Marriage Analogy in Revelation
A look at what the marriage ceremony used in Revelation symbolism may tell us.
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'
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.
"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.
Judgments inflicted also as final call to repent, seen in the...
- Jewish Fall Feasts Reflected in Revelation
The three yearly Jewish feasts held in the fall are yet to be fulfilled in the events associated with Christ’s second coming. These feasts also foreshadow events in Revelation.
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.
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The rapture is
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.
The end times rapture
- Contrasts of Symbols in Revelation - Two Harvests
The symbolic picture of a harvest in the middle of Revelation is actually viewed as two different harvests; one of grain and one of grapes.
Wicked tormented forever (20:10)
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.
The wife of the Lamb, the new Jerusalem (21:9-14)
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