The Revelation of Jesus Christ

This is a prophecy of ‘things which must shortly come to pass’. The Lord Jesus got the apostle John to write it, being guided by his Father in heaven. It was written for the benefit of the servants of Jesus that they might know where about in the outworking of the purpose of God they would be living. This revelation is said to be ‘signified’, that is to say that signs and symbols would be used to describe events in the political and religious worlds that were to follow. In spite of the difficulties, a blessing is involved in its study; “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein”.

It would be useful first of all, to briefly note the context of each chapter or part thereof as a way of providing a kind of Index, commencing with the reference.

Chapter 1. This is an introduction using the symbolic language that was to be characteristic throughout the prophecy. This is particularly true of the description of the ‘Son of man’. The symbols used are repeated later where the context makes them easier to interpret.

Chapters 2 and 3. These chapters contain the letters to the 7 ecclesias that were in Asia, a Roman province, an area now known as western Turkey. Their spiritual progress is assessed by Jesus. This is accompanied with warnings and exhortations.

Chapter 4. John sees the throne of God set in a symbolic heaven, surrounded by 24 elders clothed in white raiment and wearing crowns of gold indicating immortal nature. Additionally there were 7 lamps of fire, a sea of glass, 4 beasts (or living creatures) all worshipping and glorifying God, the whole portraying the fulfilment of the purpose of God.

Chapter 5. The book sealed with 7 seals. The introduction of the slain Lamb who had redeemed the 4 beasts and the 24 elders. The Lamb is praised by the beasts, elders, angels and every creature.

Chapter 6. The opening of the 7 seals. The first four seals had riders on horses of varying colours. The 5th seal (v.9) revealed the slain souls under the altar. The 6th seal (v.12) revealed an earthquake and the departing of the Symbolic heaven.

Chapter 7. The 4 angels standing on the 4 corners of the earth. The sealing of the 144,000 (v.3-8). A great multitude clothed in white robes (v.9-10). The worship of the angels (v.11-12). The interpretation of the multitude (v.13-17).

Chapter 8. 7 angels with 7 war-trumpets. 1st trumpet – hail on the earth (v.7). 2nd trumpet – A great mountain cast into the sea (v.8-9). 3rd trumpet – A great star falls on a third part of the rivers (v.10-11). 4th trumpet – A third part of the sun, moon and stars was smitten (v.12).

Chapter 9. The 5th trumpet – a star opens the bottomless pit – smoke, locusts, power to hurt men 5 months. 6th trumpet – Loosing the four angels bound in the river Euphrates for an hour, a day, a month and a year. The horses, a breastplate of fire, the third part of men killed.

Chapter 10. The mighty angel clothed with a cloud. He cries as when a lion roars. The 7 thunders not revealed (v.4). The little book which John eats (v.10), John to prophesy again.

Chapter 11. Measuring the temple and its worshippers. The holy city to be trodden under foot 42 months. The 2 witnesses to prophesy 1,260 days clothed in sackcloth (v.3). These are killed by the beast (v.7); their dead bodies seen 3½ days (v.9). These witnesses stand up again and ascend up to heaven (v.12). A great earthquake (v.13). The 7th trumpet sounded; the Lord and Christ reign for ever (v.17). The Judgement and an earthquake (v.19).

Chapter 12. A woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet and wearing a crown of 12 stars. A great red dragon having 7 heads and 10 horns. The woman bears a man child that was caught up to God. The woman fled into the wilderness where she is fed 1,260 days (v.6). War in heaven between Michael and the dragon; the dragon cast out of heaven (v.19). “The loud voice – now is come the kingdom” (v.10). The woman is nourished in the wilderness for 3½ times. The dragon casts water out of his mouth. The earth swallows up the flood (v.16).

Chapter 13. The beast rising out of the sea having 7 heads and 10 horns which were crowned – given authority by the dragon – one of its heads wounded to death and later healed (v.3). Power to continue 42 months. War with the Saints. A beast coming up out of the earth with 2 horns like a lamb (v.11). He does great wonders to deceive.

Making an image of the beast (v.14). Non-worshippers should be killed (v.15) – receiving a mark of the beast. The number 666 (v.18).

Chapter 14. The Lamb standing on Mount Sion with 144,000. They sing a new song and were redeemed from among men (v.4). The preaching of the everlasting gospel to every nation (v.6-7). The fall of Babylon is announced (v.8). Her worshippers are tormented (v.11). The Son of man on the white cloud with a sharp sickle (v.14). Another angel with a sharp sickle to gather the vine of the earth – blood comes out of the wine press by the space of 1,600 furlongs.

Chapter 15. The sea of glass mingled with fire (v.2). 7 angels having 7 golden vials full of the wrath of God.

Chapter 16.

1st vial poured out on the earth (v.2).

2nd vial poured out on the sea (v.3).

3rd vial poured out on the rivers and fountains (v.4).

4th vial poured out upon the sun (v.8)

5th vial poured out on the seat of the beast (v.10).

6th vial poured out on the great river Euphrates: its waters were dried up (v.12).

3 unclean spirits like frogs go to gather the world to battle (v.14), “Behold I (Jesus) come as a thief” (v.15).

7th vial poured out into the air – a great earthquake, the great city Babylon remembered, the plague of hail (v.21).

Chapter 17. A description of the great whore – a woman arrayed in purple and red, having a golden cup and having the name ‘mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the earth’. (v.5).

She was sitting on a scarlet beast that was and is not and yet is (v.8). The 10 horns are 10 kings that receive power 1 hour with the beast. These make war with the Lamb who will overcome them (v.14). The 10 horns will hate the whore and burn her (v.16).

Chapter 18. A strong angel announces the fall of Babylon (v.2). Her plagues come in one day (v.8). In one hour (v.10, 17, 19,) the merchants bewail her downfall (v.15). The symbolic heaven to rejoice (v.20). In her was found the blood of prophets and saints (v.24).

Chapter 19. A multitude in the symbolic heaven rejoice over the judgement of the great whore. The marriage of the Lamb (v.7). Heaven opened showing the ‘Faithful and True’ one sitting on a white horse followed by an army on white horses (v.14). The King of Kings rules with a rod of iron (v.16). The calling of the fowls to the supper of the great God (v.17). The outcome of the war, the beast and the false prophet were cast into the lake of fire (v.20).

Chapter 20. The dragon bound for 1,000 years (v.2). The worthy saints previously slain now alive and sitting on thrones and reigning for 1,000 years (v.4). The loosing of Satan (the dragon) who besieges the beloved city and are destroyed by fire (v.9). The great white throne and the final judgement (v.13).

Chapter 21. A new heaven and a new earth. The new Jerusalem. The tabernacle of God is with men (v.3). The great city the holy Jerusalem had 12 foundations (v.14). It measured 12,000 furlongs (v.16). The 12 gates were 12 pearls (v.21).

Chapter 22. The river of life with the tree of life on its banks. No night there. They shall reign for ever and ever (v.5). Blessed is he who keeps the sayings of this prophecy (v.7) and that do his commandments (v.14). The Spirit and the bride say ‘Come’ (v.17). The words of this prophecy must not be altered (v.19). Jesus comes quickly (v.20).

Bro. Ralph Green (U.K.)

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