Who wrote it?
Revelation 1:1,4,9 and 22:8 specifically identify the author of the book of Revelation as the apostle John.
When(ish) was it written?
Revelation was likely written between AD 90-95.
Why was it written?
The Revelation of Jesus Christ was given to John by God “to show to his servants the things that must soon take place” (Revelation 1:1). This book is filled with mysteries about things to come. It is the final warning that the world will surely end and judgment is certain. It gives us a tiny glimpse of Heaven, and all of the glories awaiting those who choose Jesus. Revelation takes us through the great tribulation with all its woes and the final fire that all unbelievers will face for eternity. The book reiterates the fall of Satan and the doom for which he and his angels are bound. We are shown the duties of all creatures and angels of Heaven, and the promises of the saints that will live forever with Jesus in the New Jerusalem. Like John, we find it hard to describe what we read in the book of Revelation.
Some Key Verses
Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.
– Revelation 1:19
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 13:16-17
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 19:11
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 20:11
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.
– Revelation 21:1
A Quick Summary
Revelation is lavish in colorful descriptions of the visions which proclaim for us the last days before Christ’s return and the ushering in of the new heaven and new earth. 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 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.
Old Testament Ties
Revelation is the culmination of the prophecies about the end times, beginning with the Old Testament. The description of the antichrist mentioned in Daniel 9:27 is developed fully in chapter 13 of Revelation. Outside of Revelation, examples of apocalyptic literature in the Bible are Daniel chapters 7-12, Isaiah chapters 24-27, Ezekiel chapters 37-41, and Zechariah chapters 9-14. All these prophecies come together in the book of Revelation.
What does this mean?
The overarching theme of this book is that Jesus is victorious and has complete authority over all creation, over all heaven, over all earth, over all humanity, and over all spiritual forces. We know that the battle has already been won, and as followers of Christ, we’re on the winning team. This should motivate us to live freely in our position in Christ rather than be burdened by the weight of sin. The future home with Christ is something that should encourage us to live on mission in the current age. The urgency of sharing the hope of salvation in Christ should be at the forefront of our minds as we live out our lives in the “in between” until Jesus returns in victory.
Take a few minutes to read aloud the Scripture from Genesis 1:1-2, 2:7-17, Revelation 1:12-19, 19:11-16, 20:1-3, 20:11-15, 21:1-6, 22:1-5, 22:18-21. What verses or ideas stand out to you from this passage? What questions do you have? What “next step” are you considering as a result of your interaction with God’s Word?
Prior to this past weekend, what has been your experience with the book of Revelation? Have you read it? Studied it? Do you avoid it? What new insight about the book of Revelation did you gain?
How will your life be evaluated on the day of judgement? Are you tempted to believe that you’ve earned salvation? Have you trusted Jesus alone to be the righteousness you need to cover for your sins?
What are some common misperceptions (i.e. angels, harps, disembodied spirits, etc.) in our culture about heaven? Read Revelation 22:1-5. How does John’s description compare? Based on the depiction in Revelation, how would you describe of the glorious future that awaits those who are followers of Jesus? What are you most looking forward to?
What has been your overall takeaway from the Thread series? How has your life personally been impacted? How can you help expose others to the truth of the Gospel?