What is Revelation all about?
The book of Revelation is the last book of the bible, it is the revelation of the end times given to John by Jesus. It was written in the late first century by John, who was the last of the
apostles left alive. At the time, John was banished to the island of Patmos, a prison island reserved for enemies of the state. It was John’s faithful preaching about Jesus that got him here. Nearing
the end of his life, John had a vision showing in detail, what would happen at the end of the world when Jesus returns. Since it’s writing, people have been trying to understand it and have been
looking for it’s events to unfold.
The first three chapters deal with letters from Christ to seven churches located in what is now Turkey. These churches are real churches, with real problems, of John’s day, but they are also symbolic. They can represent individual churches today, they also represent periods that the church has gone through or is presently going through. These are the periods of the church age. It is the end of this age that Jesus’ prophecies in Matthew chapter 24 are referring to, the end times.
In these letters Jesus praises what they have done good, and condemns what they are doing wrong. These letters provide not just churches, but all Christians a mirror to look into to see what we are doing right and wrong. He also gives advice on how to fix what’s wrong and gives promises to all who conquers. These promises are for all who have conquered and accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and savior. These promises are very encouraging.
To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’
To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’
The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations,
The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life.
The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name
The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
All of these promises are for all who conquer sin by accepting Christ’s forgiveness and we will receive them when Jesus returns and sets His throne here on earth. Until then, we must follow Jesus and his instructions until the church age comes to an end. When it does, God is going to take, (or rapture) His church to Him in the sky. This is symbolized by what happens to John next in chapter four verses 1-2.
After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.
Here John, who is the last apostle and representing the church is taken to heaven, this is the rapture. The stage will then be set for God to begin His judgments on all who haven’t accepted
His forgiveness. After describing what he sees in heaven, John starts to talk about a scroll in chapter 5.
Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
What is this scroll? In ancient times, important documents like ownership deeds were written on scrolls and sealed with the seal of the owner. Only the owner, or his legitimate heir could break the seal and open the scroll to claim ownership. This scroll is the ownership deed to the earth. As long as it is sealed, Satan claims ownership of the earth, only Jesus can break the seals, and claim ownership. When He does, the judgments on the world will begin. As each seal is broken, a new judgment is released. These are known as the seven seal judgments which I will cover next.
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 . Standard Bible Society: Wheaton (all verses)