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Christian Education
Instructor: Thomas D. Johnson Sr., D.Min.
Time: Thursdays, 6:30pm

The Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation has been often overlooked by Pastors and Bible teachers.   I suppose this is because it is believed to have been a difficult area to interpret and also some Christians are apprehensive about learning of the last events to occur on earth.


I.       The Purpose of the Book

Revelation is a book which describes the coming of the Kingdom, explaining how this relates to the judgments of God, the collapse of human government and the calling of the Jews. It is the final book in the New Testament.  Most importantly, the purpose of this revelatory letter is also suggested by the contents of the letter.  Its intent was to strengthen and encourage the Christians so they could endure the tribulations they were suffering, to call them to repentance and a spiritual renewal, to admonish and exhort them to a faithfulness to the true Word and its teachings, and to assure them of the certain hope of victory that was theirs in Christ over their adversaries and all evil.

II.    Authorship

The author of Revelation calls himself John, and ecclesiastical tradition has held Saint John the Evangelist to be the author.

III. Major Themes

Major themes contained in Revelation include:

God's sovereignty - God is sovereign.  He is greater than any power in the universe.  God is not to be compared with any leader, government, or religion.  He controls history for the purpose of uniting true believers in loving fellowship with him.  Though Satan's power may temporarily increase, we are not to be led astray.  God is all-powerful. He is in control. He will bring his true family safely into eternal life.  Because he cares for us, we can trust him with our very lives.

Christ's return - Christ came to earth as a "Lamb," the symbol of his perfect sacrifice for our sin.  He will return as the triumphant "Lion," the rightful ruler and conqueror.  He will defeat Satan, settle accounts with all those who rejected him, and bring his faithful people into eternity. Assurance of Christ's return gives suffering Christians the strength to endure. We can look forward to his return as King and Judge. Since no one knows the time when he will appear, we must be ready at all times by keeping our faith strong.

God's faithful people - John wrote to encourage the church to resist the demands to worship the Roman emperor.  He warns all God's faithful people to be devoted only to Christ.  Revelation identifies who the faithful people are and what they should be doing until Christ returns.  You can take your place in the ranks of God's faithful people by believing in Christ.  Victory is sure for those who resist temptation and make loyalty to Christ their top priority.

Judgment - One day God's anger toward sin will be fully and completely unleashed.  Satan will be defeated with all of his agents.  False religion will be destroyed.  God will reward the faithful with eternal life, but all who refuse to believe in him will face eternal punishment. Evil and injustice will not prevail forever.  God's final judgment will put an end to these.  We need to be certain of our commitment to Jesus if we want to escape this great final judgment.  No one who rejects Christ will escape God's punishment.

Hope - One day God will create a new heaven and a new earth.  All believers will live with him forever in perfect peace and security.  Those who have already died will be raised to life.  These promises for the future bring hope.  Our great hope is that what Christ promises will come true. When we have confidence in our final destination, we can follow Christ with unwavering dedication no matter what we must face. We can be encouraged by hoping in Christ's return.


Outline of Revelation

I.                  The Things Which Thou Hast Seen                                      Chapter 1

A.       Prologue: The Communication of Christ                             1:1-8

B.        The Vision of the Glorified Christ                                      1:9-20


II.               The Things Which Are                                                          Chapters 2-3   

 A.   The Seven Churches
Ephesus                                                                        2:1-7
Smyrna                                                                         2:8-11
               3.  Pergamos                                                                     
               4.  Thyatira                                                                        
Sardis                                                                           3:1-6
Philadelphia                                                                   3:7-13
Laodicea                                                                       3:14-22

III.  The Things Which Shall Be Hereafter                                    Chapters 4-22
A.  The Throne Set In Heaven                                                   4:1-5:14
               l.  The Heavenly Door                                                         4:1
               2. The Heavenly Throne                                                     4:2-5
               3. The Twenty-four Elders                                                  4:4, 10-11
               4. The Four Living Creatures                                              4:6-11
               5. The Seven-Sealed Scroll                                                           5:1-14


            First Interval                                                                                      7:1-17
                       l.  Sealing of the 144,000
                       2. Saved Gentile Multitude                                                                    7:9-17

               7. Seal Seven - Silence In Heaven                                        8:1

         C.  The Seven Trumpets                                                                    8:6-11:19
               1. Trumpet One - Hail, Fire, and Blood                               8:7
               2. Trumpet Two - Mountain Burning With Fire                    8:8-9
               3. Trumpet Three - Star Called Wormwood                        
               4. Trumpet Four - Sun, Moon, and Stars Darkened              8:12-13
               5. Trumpet Five (First Woe) - Locust Plague                       9:1-12
               6. Trumpet Six (Second Woe) - Armies Loosed                 


Second Interval                                                                                   10:1-11:13
           1. The Mighty Angel and Seven Thunders                                              10:1-7
           2. John and the Little Book                                                                    10:8-11
           3. The Two Witnesses                                                                           11:1-13

             7. Trumpet Seven (Third Woe) - Kingdom Anticipated         

         D.  The Seven Personages                                                        12:1-13:18
               1. Person One - The Sun-Clothed Woman                           12:1-2
               2. Person Two - The Great Red Dragon                                        12:3-4
               3. Person Three - The Man-Child                                        12:5-6
               4. Person Four - Michael the
Archangel                               12:7-12
               5. Person Five - The Jewish Remnant                                 
               6. Person Six - The Beast Out of the Sea                                      13:1-10
               7. Person Seven - The Beast Out of the Earth                     

                  Third Interval                                                                                     14:1-20
                       1. The Lamb and the 144,000                                                   14:1-5
                       2. Announcement of the Three Angels                                       14:6-11
                       3. The Blessed Dead Who Die In the Lord                                           
                       4. The Harvest                                                                         
                       5. The Vintage                                                                          14:17-20

         E.  The Seven Vials                                                                  15:1-16:21
               1. Preparation for the Seven Vials                                                 15:1-8
               1. Vial One - Malignant Sores                                              16:1-2
               2. Vial Two - Sea Turned To Blood                                    16:3
               3. Vial Three - Rivers Turned To Blood                              16:4-7
               4. Vial Four - Scorching Heat                                              16:8-9
               5. Vial Five - Darkness                                                       
               6. Vial Six - River
Euphrates Dried Up                                16:12
                       Fourth Interval                                                                                   16:13-16
                       1. Unclean Spirits Like Frogs                                                    16:3-16

               7. Vial Seven - Great Earthquake and Hail                           
         F.  Judgment of
Babylon                                                                    17:1-18:24
              1.  Ecclesiastical
Babylon                                                     17:1-18
              2.  Commercial
Babylon                                                      18:1-24

         G.  The Return of the Lord Jesus Christ                                    19:1-21
               1. Rejoicing in Heaven                                                        19:1-6
               2. The Marriage of the Lamb                                               19:7-10
               3. The Second Advent                                                       
               4. The
Battle of Armageddon                                              19:17-21

         H.  The Millennial Kingdom and Great White Throne                 20:1-15
               1. Satan Bound                                                                   20:1-3
               2. The First Resurrection                                                    20:4-6
               3. Satan Loosed                                                                 20:7-10
               4. Great White Throne Judgment                                        

         I.  The Eternal State                                                                  21:1-22:5
              1.  The New Heaven and New Earth                                     21:1-8
              2.  The Descent of the Holy
Jerusalem                                  21:9-10
              3.  A Description of Outside the City                                    21:9-10
              4.  A Description of Inside the City                                     

         J.  Epilogue


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