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Getting to Know the Bible: Revelation Overview

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.

Today we are going to visit our Getting to Know the Bible Series. In this series, our goal is to come to a comprehensive understanding of each book of the bible. At this point of the series we're going to focus on Revelation. But before we get to Revelation 1, I want to ensure we have a baseline understanding of the book of Revelation. This way we can have a full appreciation for the exquisiteness of the entire book, as well as each individual chapter.

And so, in that spirit, see below for a comprehensive overview of the book of Revelation, as we prepare to behold and discern Revelation, beginning with Revelation 1 in our next installment of this series.

Book Type: NT book of prophecy; the twenty-seventh book of the New Testament; the sixty-sixth book of the Bible.

Author: Apostle John

Date of Writing: A.D. 90-96

Audience: Believers; especially those seven churches in chapters 2-3

Theme: Prophecy; apocalypse

Original Language: Greek

Genre: Prophecy

Purpose of Writing: The revelation of Jesus Christ (1:1) was probably written by the apostle John while in exile on the island of Patmos, off the coast of present-day Turkey. It was addressed to seven actual churches. Revelation begins with letters from Christ himself to these churches, letters that include commendation, criticism, and comfort. Then comes a long series of visions of judgment on the wicked, all in highly symbolic language. The church is depicted under great distress, but is assured of the final triumph of Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords (19:16), bringing to an end the rebellion of humanity and ushering in a new heaven and a new earth (21:1), where God himself will reign forever and ever (11:15).

Summary: The Book of Revelation is the culmination of the prophecies about the end times, beginning with the Old Testament. The Revelation begins with letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor, then goes on to reveal the series of devastations poured out upon the earth; the mark of the beast, 666; the climactic battle of Armageddon; the binding of Satan; the reign of the Lord; the Great White Throne Judgment; and the nature of the eternal city of God. Prophecies concerning Jesus Christ are fulfilled and a concluding call to His Lordship assures us that He will soon return.

Overview: The book's twenty-two chapters are built around the three periods noted in Revelation 1:8. The first section focuses on the things that you [John] have seen (Revelation 1:19). Following the introduction (Revelation 1:1–8), John experiences a vision of the glorified Jesus (Revelation 1:8–18) who tells him to write down messages to the churches and what will take place in the future (Revelation 1:19–20).

The second section addresses the current state of various churches (Revelation 2—3). Each of the seven churches is addressed, some with positive traits, or negative traits, or both, ending with the lukewarm church of Laodicea in Revelation 3:14–22.

The third section addresses the future (Revelation 4-22). John is taken to a worship experience in heaven (Revelation 4-5). A lengthy section of the book addresses aspects of a future tribulation (Revelation 6-18). Chapter 19 describes the second coming of Jesus to defeat His enemies. After this time, Jesus rules on the earth in a 1,000-year millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:1-6). After one final battle against Satan and those with him (Revelation 20:7-10), the great white throne judgment is described (Revelation 20:11-15). The final two chapters (Revelation 21-22) describe the eternal state consisting of God's eternal presence in a new heaven, new earth, and New Jerusalem.

Application: Before the final judgment begins, we must witness to friends and neighbors about God’s offer of eternal life in Christ.

Key Verses (ESV):

Revelation 1:19: "Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.

Revelation 13:16–17: Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Revelation 19:11: Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

Revelation 20:11: Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.

Revelation 21:1–5: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.' And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' Also he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.

Revelation 22:17: The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

*Note: John was on the island of Patmos, off the coast of modern Turkey, during the last part of the first century as punishment for his Christian faith. This book contains the final words of the New Testament.

The seven churches referenced in the book were all located in modern Turkey, consisting largely of Gentile believers, meeting in house churches, who faced much persecution. Each church was given specific information in addition to the overall vision shared to all believers.

I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.

May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.

Love you much.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!

-Humble Servant

P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.

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