This book presents the vision of John regarding
future events around his time (or even possibly yet to come now)
of the "last days." The book is presented
as a letter from "John" to the seven churches in
what-is-today Turkey. John tells of a voice speaking to him while
he was on the island of Patmos and worshipping on the
"Lord's Day." John was told to write to each of the
seven churches, and the letters are presented in this book --
each one evaluating the churches and telling them to become
interested and excited about the church. (The Revelation 3:19) An
"hour of trial...to test those who live on the earth"
was indicated to be coming in the future. (The Revelation 3:10)
John then describes seeing a door to heaven open to allow him to see "what must take place after this (i.e., in the future)." (The Revelation 4:1) The "throne" of God is described (The Revelation 4) as:
- "A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne."
- "Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four Elders."
- "From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder."
- "In the center, around the throne, were four Four Living Creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first Living Creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the Four Living Creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under His wings."
A scroll in God's right hand was sealed with seven seals. The Lamb was apparently Jesus Christ, but with "seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God" (The Revelation 5:6). The seals were broken by the Lamb, with the results (The Revelation 6-8):
- First seal: a rider of a WHITE horse was carrying a bow, was crowned, and rode out to war.
- Second seal: a rider of a RED horse was given a long sword to end peace and bring war to earth.
- Third seal: a rider of a BLACK horse had a pair of scales in his hand.
- Fourth seal: a rider named DEATH was on a PALE horse and was followed by another horse with a rider named HADES (or hell): these riders were to kill a fourth of the earth.
- Fifth seal: an altar had (underneath it) the souls of those that had been killed because of the Word of God (i.e., martyrs, killed for preaching the Word of God). These souls were told to wait.
- Sixth seal: a great earthquake occurred; the sun turned black; the moon, blood red; stars appeared to fall to earth. People were afraid and wished to hide. The "seal on the foreheads" (i.e., the Seal of God) was placed on 144,000 -- on 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Also there was a multitude of people, in white robes, that came out of the "great tribulation" and "washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (i.e., were believers in Jesus Christ).
- Seventh seal: seven angels were given seven trumpets to blow.
The trumpets blowing had the following results, in sequence (The Revelation 8-10):
- First angel trumpet blow: hail and fire mixed with blood hurled upon the earth with one third of the earth burned up.
- Second angel trumpet blow: huge burning mountain thrown into the sea with one third of ships and sea-life destroyed and one-third of the sea turning to blood.
- Third angel trumpet blow: great blazing star fell from the sky onto a third of the rivers and springs, polluting one-third of the water on earth.
- Fourth angel trumpet blow: a third of the sun and moon and stars were darkened.
- Fifth angel trumpet blow: key to the "Abyss" (i.e, hell; bottomless pit) opened it: sun and sky were darkened; locusts with strange looks and scorpion's tails tortued people without the seal of God on their foreheads. The king of the locusts was the "angel of the Abyss" -- named Abaddon (or Apollyon or Destroyer).
- Sixth angel trumpet blow: four angels (or possibly demons) with a large army and deadly horses (with their tails having heads like snakes) were released, killing one- third of mankind.
- Seventh angel trumpet blow: the world then belongs to the Lord and Christ forever.
Before the seventh angel blew his trumpet, John was asked by a mighty angel (with right foot on the sea and left foot on the land) to eat the scroll telling of the things to happen (first tasting like honey, then souring his stomach) and yet to continue to prophesy further. John was told that the "holy city" (Jerusalem) would be trampled for "42 months," during which two prophets/witnesses would tell about God, then would be killed, and would rise to heaven after 3 1/2 days -- with an earthquake collapsing a tenth of the city. (The Revelation 11)
Jesus birth; threats by the "Red Dragon ...with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads " against Jesus; war in heaven with Michael and the angels fighting the Dragon (called the devil or Satan) and the Dragon being hurled onto the earth with his army; God's salvation and the authority of Christ. These things appear to be looking back, seeing that "They (meaning Christians or Christian martyrs) overcame him by the blood of the Lamb (i.e., Jesus Christ's dying on the cross) and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death." (The Revelation 12)
John describes the vision of a "Beast coming out of the sea" (or Creature from the sea), with seven heads and ten horns, and ten crowns upon its horns: the Beast was given control of the earth for forty-two months, where all mankind (other than those written in the Lamb's Book of Life) worshipped him. Even another strange animal, with two lamb-like horns, came out of the earth (i.e, False Prophet) -- was described as doing unbelievable miracles and requiring all to have a "mark" on the right hand or on the forehead -- the name of the Beast or the number of his name -- 666. (The Revelation 13)
John then saw the Lamb on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem with the 144,000. One angel had the Gospel to proclaim to all those on earth; another said that Babylon (referring probably to Rome) is fallen; another said that worshippers of the Beast "will be tormented with burning sulfur...for ever and ever..." (The Revelation 14:10-11) Then, someone looking like Jesus with a sharp sickle began to "reap." The clusters of grapes that were ripe (apparently the ungodly -- ripe for judgment) were placed in a great winepress yielding a river of blood 180 miles long and high as a horse's bridle.
Then, John saw the "seven last plagues" that were assigned to seven angels to finish God's anger (The Revelation 15-16):
- First angel: ugly, painful sores were given to all with the mark of the Beast.
- Second angel: the seas turned to blood and died.
- Third angel: rivers and springs turned to blood.
- Fourth angel: the sun scorched people with its fire.
- Fifth angel: the kingdom of the Beast from the sea was made dark.
- Sixth angel: River Euphrates was dried up; and three evil spirits looking like frogs (Dragon, Beast, False Prophet) readied for battle on the "Judgment Day" at Armageddon (the mountain of Megiddo).
- Seventh angel: greatest of all earthquakes occurred; islands vanished; mountains flattened; 100-pound hailstones fell.
John was introduced to the "Great Prostitute" with
"Babylon the Great" written on her forehead,
representing the great city (probably meaning Rome) that rules
over the kings of the earth. She was said to be destined for
consumption by fire, thrown totally away. (The Revelation 17-18)
Then John saw heaven again, where an angel said, "...Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy ." (The Revelation 19:10) The armies of heaven prepared to meet the armies of the "Beast." The Beast and False Prophet were captured and thrown into the "fiery lake of burning sulfur." Their entire army was killed. The Dragon ("that ancient Serpent, who is the devil, or Satan") was bound and thrown into the Abyss for 1000 years, during which the "souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus..." came to life again and reigned with Christ -- the First Resurrection . After that 1000 years, Satan was free and gathered again ("with Gog and Magog") for battle, surrounding Jerusalem until fire from heaven devoured them. Once again, the devil (or Dragon) was thrown again into the lake of burning sulfur, where the Beast and False Prophet had been thown also -- to be tormented forever. At that time (Second Resurrection), all dead people were judged: those whose names were NOT recorded in the Book of Life were thrown into the Lake of Fire, along with "Death and Hades (i.e., hell)."
This gave rise to "a new heaven and a new earth" (with no seas!), then "the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God..." (The Revelation 21:1,2) And, "...Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (The Revelation 21:3,4; from King James' Version) Further, God said:
- "...It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the Water of Life." (The Revelation 21:6)
- "But ... cowardly...unbelieving...vile...murderers...sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts...idolaters...liars -- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (The Revelation 21:8)
John was shown the holy New Jerusalem, with 12 gates (names of the 12 tribes of Israel written on them) guarded with 12 angels ; with 12 foundations with Jesus Christ's 12 apostles' names on them. The city was a cube, 1400 miles per side and high, with 200 ft. thick walls -- with the city itself described as "pure gold, as pure as glass" and having precious stones everywhere. The great (i.e., main) street was also "pure gold, like transparent glass." There was NO TEMPLE, since the Lord and Lamb are the Temple; no sun or moon since the Light is from God and the Lamb; gates never closing, and no night. Nothing impure can enter: those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life are the only ones present. The River of the Water of Life and Trees of Life (with fruit each month) were described. There everyone worships God, with His name on their foreheads: they see His face. Everyone is repaid according to what he has done.
John is told that, until the new earth comes, "...Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes let him take the free gift of the Water of Life." (The Revelation 22:17)