1A. “THE THINGS WHICH THOU HAST SEEN” - Christ In Glory, (1)

1B.    Title Of The Book (1.1)

         Defn:  Revelation (apocalypse) means to unveil or an unveiling.

2B.    Method Of Revelation (1.1-2)

         (God to Christ to angel to John to angels of Churches)

3B.    Beatitude Of Studying This Book (1.3)

Note:  John shows that this book is prophecy.  This indicates events of this book were dealing mostly with the future.   

4B.    Greetings From John, The Writer (1.4-7)

1C.   Grace and peace from the Triune God (1.4-5)

2C.   Description of Christ as prophet, king and priest (1.5)

3C.   Exalted believers (1.6)

4C.   The second coming glimpsed (1.7)

5B.    Greetings From Jesus Christ (1.8)

6B.    What John Saw (1.9-18)

7B.    The Outline Of The Book Of The Revelation (1.19)       

Chapter 1                     The unveiling of His Person (His glory)

Chapter 2 & 3              The utterances of His purpose (His grace)

Chapters 4-22              The unfolding of His power (His government)   

8B.    The Meaning Of The Seven Stars And Seven Lampstands (1.20) 


2A. “THE THINGS WHICH ARE” – The Church In The World, (2-3)   

1B.    Letter To The Angel Of The Church In Ephesus (2.1-7)

2B.    Letter To The Angel Of The Church In Smyrna (2.8-11)

3B.    Letter To The Angel Of The Church In Pergamos (2.12-17)

4B.    Letter To The Angel Of The Church In Thyatira (2.18-19)

5B.    Letter To The Angel Of The Church In Sardis (3.1-6)

6B.    Letter To The Angel Of The Church In Philadelphia (3.7-13)

7B.    Letter To The Angel Of The Church In Laodicea (3.14-22) 


3A. “AND THE THINGS WHICH SHALL BE HEREAFTER” –    The Scene In Heaven, (4-22)

1B.    The Church In Heaven With Christ (4 & 5)

2B.    The Great Tribulation In The World (6-18)

3B.    The Marriage Of The Lamb And Return Of Christ In Judgment (19)

4B.    The Millennium (20)

5B.    The Entrance Into Eternity, Eternity Unveiled (21 & 22) 


Some Matters of Interest 

The Greek Alphabet


Capital                  Small

Letters                   Letters                         Name                           Pronunciation


A                           a                                 Alpha                           a as in father or a as in bat

B                           b                                  Beta                             b as in ball

G                           g[1]                                Gamma                         g as in gift

D                           d                                  Delta                            d as in debt

E                           e                                  Epsilon                         e as in met

Z                           z                                  Zeta                             dz as in adz

H                           h                                  Eta                               e as in obey

Q                           q                                  Theta                            th as in theme

I                            i                                   Iota                              i as in magazine or i as in pit

K                           k                                  Kappa                          k as in kin

L                           l                                  Lambda                        l as in long

M                          m                                  Mu                               m as in man

N                           n                                  Nu                               n as in no

X                           x                                  Xi                                 x as in relax

O                           o                                  Omicron                       o as in omelet

P                           p                                  Pi                                 p as in pay

R                           r                                  Rho                              r as in ring

S                           s[2]                                Sigma                           s as in sing

T                           t                                  Tau                              t as in tale

U                           u                                  Upsilon                         u as in unity

F                           f                                  Phi                               ph as in phonetics

C                           c                                  Chi                               ch as in chemical

Y                           y                                 Psi                                ps as in taps

W                           w                                 Omega                         o as in tone


Breathing Marks

Breathing marks were added in modern copies of Greek texts to enable the modern Greek reader to approximate the pronunciation of first century Koine (common) Greek.  There are two breathing marks in Greek, with one breathing mark calling for an h-sound to begin a word, and the other breathing mark calling for no sound to be added.  Though the breathing marks of Greek words beginning with vowels, diphthongs or r are a part of the spelling of the word, breathing marks will not be included in the Greek words printed in this study due to matters related to type fonts beyond my control. 

Accent Marks

There are three accent marks in Greek.  Like the breathing marks these accent marks stand over vowels (never consonants) and over the second vowel in the case of a diphthong.  Because of matters related to type fonts accent marks will not appear over Greek words printed in this study. 

Study Helps

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance or Young’s Analytical Concordance[3]

Vine’s Expository Dictionary

Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible (King James Version)

A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature (3rd ed.)[4] 

Beginning Remarks: 

As we begin this study of the last book of the Bible, I want to share with you some of the reasons why many Bible teachers and Christians shy away or are opposed to studying this book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Some Bible teachers and Christians shy away or are opposed to studying this book because they insist that the book of the Revelation cannot be understood. But if the book of the Revelation cannot be understood then the Holy Spirit is failing in His ministry of illuminating the believers who search the Scripture. Remember what Jesus said to His apostles in John 16.13? 

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 

As well, what about First Corinthians 2.9-14? 

9       But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10     But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

11     For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

12     Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13     Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14     But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

Based upon what we read elsewhere in God’s Word, John’s Revelation can be expected to be an exciting challenge to any Christian willing to prayerfully study, but should be a formidable obstacle to the religious man who does not have benefit of the Holy Spirit’s instruction.

A second group opposed to studying the Revelation insist that we should concentrate on the Gospels and focus on the teachings of Jesus. People who feel that way need to be reminded of Paul’s declaration to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20.27. As he suspected on his way to Jerusalem, it would be the last time he would ever see them. 

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 

If declaring to the Ephesian elders all the counsel of God was important enough for the apostle Paul to mention in his parting words to those men, then we should be suitably impressed by the importance the apostle attached to declaring the whole counsel of God’s Word. No preacher or teacher of God’s Word can make the claim Paul made who avoids this book of the Bible.

Noting the great age of the apostle John at the time that he wrote these words which we are about to read, some who are opposed to studying the Revelation say John’s writings are suspect because of senile dementia. My friend, it does not matter whether John was senile or not. Though there is not one whit of evidence that John was senile. Even if old John was senile, the God Who could make a jackass talk can use an old man to pen inspired Scripture. Those who use this argument hold a very low view of the inspiration of Scripture.

A third group opposed to studying the Revelation will say that the Revelation is written with such obscure symbolism that one can never be sure what John was writing about. Such a statement is simply not true. Symbols were not used by John to conceal truth but to reveal divine truth. Had God wanted to keep the truth from us He would not have inspired this portion of Scripture. But He did inspire John to write this capstone of Scripture. Why? So that He might show us things to come.

Finally, some people say Revelation is too deep. But what does First Corinthians 2.14 tell us about Scripture being too deep? That verse tells us that the only real barrier to a person understanding the deep things of God’s Word is the salvation experience. God wants His children to understand His Word and His will. Not that we will not have to study hard. Not that there are things we will not understand now that we will understand later. Not that we can possibly understand apart from the illumination of the Holy Spirit. And not that we could possibly understand everything in this fathomless book of the Bible. But we can surely know more by trying than by not trying. 


There have been many approaches to this book, but these can be divided into four major systems.

1.   Preterest Theory. This view holds that all of Revelation has been fulfilled in the past. It had to do with local references in John’s day. It had to do with the days of either Nero or Domitian.

2.   Historical Theory. This view holds that the fulfillment of Revelation is going on in history. According to this theory, Revelation is the prophetic history of the church.

3.   Historical-Spiritual Theory is a refinement of the historical theory, which was advanced by Sir William Ramsey. This theory states that the two beasts are Imperial and Provincial Rome. The point of the book is to encourage Christians. According to this theory, Revelation has been largely fulfilled and there are spiritual lessons for the church today. Amillennialism for the most part, has adopted this view. It dissipates and defeats the purpose of the book.

4.   Futurist Theory holds that the book of Revelation is primarily prophetic and yet future, especially from Revelation 4 on to the end of the book. This is the view of all pre-millennialists and is the view which I accept and present.[5]

Striking and Singular Features

1.   Revelation is the only book in the New Testament devoted to prophecy (in contrast to 17 prophetic books in the Old Testament).

2.   John, the writer, reaches farther back into eternity past than any other writer in Scripture (John 1.1-3). He reaches farther on into eternity future in the book of Revelation.

3.   Special blessing is promised the readers of this book (Revelation 1.3). Likewise, a warning is issued to those who tamper with its contents (Revelation 22.18-19).

4.   Revelation is not a sealed book (Revelation 22.10). Contrast Daniel 12.9. It is a revelation (apocalypse), which is an unveiling.

5.   It is a series of visions, expressed in symbols.

6.   This book is like a great union station where the great trunk lines of prophecy come in from other portions of Scripture. Revelation does not originate but consummates. It is imperative to a right understanding of the book to be able to trace each great subject of prophecy from the first reference to the terminal. There are at least 10 great subjects of prophecy which find their consummation here:

(1)       The Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 3.15).

(2)       The Church (Matthew 16.18).

(3)       The Resurrection and Translation of Saints (1 Thes. 4.13-18; 1 Cor. 15.51-52).

(4)       The Great Tribulation (Deuteronomy 4.30-31).

(5)       Satan and Evil (Ezekiel 28.11-18).

(6)       The “Man of Sin” (Ezekiel 28.1-10).

(7)       The Course and End of Apostate Christendom (Daniel 2.31-45; Matthew 13).

(8)       The Beginning, Course, and End of the “Times of the Gentiles” (Daniel 2.37; Luke 21.24).

(9) The Second Coming of Christ (Jude 14-15).

(10) Israel’s Covenants (Genesis 12.1-3), five things promised Israel.[6]


In the book of the Revelation, even the most casual reader is impressed by the use of symbols. The symbols used by John can often be explained also by usage elsewhere in Scripture. John Walvoord provides the following useful list:[7]

The seven stars (1:18) represent seven angels (1:20).

The seven lampstands (1:13) represent seven churches (1:20).

The hidden manna (2:17) speaks of Christ in glory (cf. Exodus 16:33-34; Heb. 9:4).

The morning star (2:28) refers to Christ returning before the dawn, suggesting the rapture of the church before the establishment of the Kingdom (cf. Rev. 22:18; II Peter 1:19).

The key of David (3:7) represents the power to open and close doors (Isa. 22:22).

The seven lamps of fire represent the sevenfold Spirit of God (4:5).

The living creatures (4:7) portray the attributes of God.

The seven eyes represent the sevenfold Spirit of God (5:8).

The odors of the golden vials symbolize the prayers of the saints (5:8).

The four horses and their riders (6:1 ff.) represent successive events in the developing tribulation.

The fallen star (9:1) is the angel of the abyss, probably Satan (9:11).

Many references are made to Jerusalem: the great city (11:8), Sodom and Egypt (11:8), which stand in contrast to the new Jerusalem, the heavenly city.

The stars of heaven (12:4) refer to fallen angels (12:9).

The woman and the child (12:1-2) seem to represent Israel and Christ (12:5-6).

Satan is variously described as the great dragon, the old serpent, and the devil (12:9; 20:2).

The time, times, and half a time (12:14) are the same as 1,260 days (12:6).

The beast out of the sea (13:1-10) is the future world ruler and his empire.

The beast out of the earth (13:11-17) is the false prophet (19:20).

The harlot (17:1) variously described as the great city (17:18), as Babylon the great (17:5), as the one who sits on seven hills (17:9), is usually interpreted as apostate Christendom.

The waters (17:1) on which the woman sits represent the peoples of the world (17:15).

The ten horns (17:12) are ten kings associated with the beast (13:1; 17:3, 7, 8, 11-13, 16-17).

The Lamb is Lord of lords and King of kings (17:14).

Fine linen is symbolic of the righteous deeds of the saints (19:8).

The rider of the white horse (19:11-16, 19) is clearly identified as Christ, the King of kings.

The lake of fire is described as the second death (20:14).

Jesus Christ is the Root and Offspring of David (22:16).

Walvoord continues, “In many instances, where symbols are explained in the book of Revelation, they establish a pattern of interpretation which casts a great deal of light upon the meaning of the book as a whole. This introduces a presumption that, where expressions are not explained, they can normally be interpreted according to their natural meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. The attempt to interpret all of the book of Revelation symbolically ends in nullifying practically all that entails the book and leaving it unexplained . . . .”


As we actually begin our verse-by-verse study through the Revelation, please notice that it is the Revelation, not Revelations. That error is a common one and to be avoided. Though there are many revelations in this book, it should be referred to as a single revelation of Jesus Christ.

This last book of the Bible was also the last New Testament book to be written.[8] I point this out in case some of you remember that the first book of the New Testament, Matthew’s Gospel, was not the first New Testament book to be written.[9] Recall that the book of James holds the likely distinction of being the very first of the New Testament books to be written.[10] The Revelation was probably written between 95 and 98 AD.[11]

While in Ephesus John was exiled to Patmos, an island on which a penal colony was maintained off the coast of Turkey.[12] When the Roman emperor Domitian died John returned to Ephesus.[13] It is likely that John actually penned his Revelation of Jesus Christ after returning to Ephesus.

An interesting tradition concerning John has been handed down by Jerome, the translator of the Latin Vulgate Bible. “It says that when John was evidently an old man in Ephesus he had to be carried to the church in the arms of his disciples. At these meetings he was accustomed to say no more than, ‘Little children, love one another!’ After a time the disciples wearied at always hearing the same words and they asked, ‘Master, why do you always say this?’ ‘It is the Lord’s command,’ was his reply. ‘And if this alone be done, it is enough.’”[14] 

[1]  Before another g, or before k or c, g is pronounced ng, i.e., aggelos (angel).

[2]  The typical form of the letter Sigma that is used at the end of the word will not be used in this document due to font limitations.

[3] A concordance of this type is an alphabetical index of the principle words of the Bible, with references showing the Hebrew or Greek word from which the English word in the Bible is translated.

[4] Unlike the other study helps, this resource requires some familiarity with the Greek language.

[5]  Adapted from J. Vernon McGee’s Reveling Through Revelation, Part 1, page 3.

[6]  Ibid., pages 3-4.

[7] John Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1966), pages 29-30.

[8]  Ibid., pages 13-14

[9] Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible, page 1003

[10]  Ibid., page 1326

[11]  Ibid., page 1357

[12]  William Steuart McBirney, The Search for the Twelve Apostles, (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1973), page 110.

[13]  Ibid., page 112.

[14]  Ibid., pages 117-118.

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