Summary: Introducing the first in a series of studies of the amazing book of Revelation. You are invited to let God’s Word do the talking!
Revelation, The Bible’s Grand Finale
It is hard to imagine a more appropriate ending to the Bible than the book of Revelation.
Of all the books of the Bible, Revelation gives the fullest picture of the conclusion of all of earth’s history with the climax and drama of a prophetic disclosure. Just as Genesis is a book of beginnings, Revelation is a book of closure and consummation. All the divine program of redemption comes to a grand conclusion as evil is finally destroyed and righteousness is vindicated and victory is consummated in Christ.
Revelation answers the question, “Why doesn’t God do something about all this evil in the world?” Here, from heaven’s perspective, we see what God is doing. He is working to bring sinners to repentance while allowing freedom for his enemies to come to their senses before the end. Within that freedom there are sometimes terrible consequences that impact everyone living on the earth, yet God’s people, who are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, are never left alone and unattended.
This experience where the righteous and wicked dwell together on earth is termed the great tribulation. As John states, “This calls for endurance and perseverance on the part of the saints.”
We also see that Jesus Christ leads us to the ultimate victory over all the enemies of his kingdom. The triumphant celebration of the end breaks out over and over in this book, reminding us that victory for followers of the Lamb is sure. Just as certain is the defeat of evil, no matter how powerful it may appear and deceptive its ways.
Please open your heart and mind to receive the blessing promised to all who read this book and take it’s message to heart.
Revelation 1: 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Broad Outline of Divisions in Revelation
Our course of study for Revelation will be divided up into the natural sections within the book.
The following divisions will make up our lesson plans:
Overview of Revelation: What is obvious from the surface?
Chapters 1-3, Jesus sends messages to the Seven Churches of Asia
Chapters 4-5, Before the throne of heaven, the worship, the scroll, and the Lamb.
Chapters 6-7, Jesus opens the seven seals of the scroll
Chapters 8-11, The seven trumpets sound, the little book and the two witnesses.
Chapters 12-14, The woman, the dragon (Satan), the two beasts, the 144,000, the wrath and the reapers.
Chapters 15-16, The seven last plagues, (bowls of wrath).
Chapters 17-19:10, Babylon’s doom, fall, and lament. Heaven’s celebration.
Chapters 19:11-22:21, Christ’s return, Satan’s doom, judgment day, New heaven and new earth, New Jerusalem, (the Lamb’s bride), dwelling of God with men, Spirit’s call to come!
Review of Revelation: What have we discovered?
And now we look at lesson 1: An Overview of Revelation...
Revelation, The Grand Finale of God’s Word
Overview of Revelation
Take time and read the book through. It is God’s final word to conclude the scriptures. You need to do this! You may wish to listen to a taped copy of Revelation. It is about one hour in length. (One of the best hours you will spend). I would suggest using the NIV or some other modern translation for this overview reading. You need to have a pen and paper in hand as you read so that you may note the obvious divisions and things that come up. Jot questions about scenes that are difficult to understand and make note of the references for discussion in class.
Be diligent, dear student! God has wonderful things to show you in this amazing book! May God give you insight into the message of Revelation as you seek to know God’s Word. Pause and pray for wisdom and understanding as you read, also pray for diligence and faithfulness to your commitment to studying God’s book of life.
Read Chapters 1-5 Messages to the churches and the vision of heaven.
Who are the characters of these five chapters?
What is happening in each chapter?
When is this being written?
Where is John in each chapter? Locate each church and see what you can find out about them from a Bible dictionary or commentary.
Read chapters 6-11 Seven seals opened and seven trumpets sounded.
Note what is similar and different about the seven seals and seven trumpets:
Notice the seven thunders in 10:3-4. What happens here? What happens when John eats the little book?
Notice the Two witnesses in chapter 11. What do they do and what happens to them?
Are you beginning to see a central theme? As you notice what is happening on the earth, did you also notice what is going on from a heavenly point of view?