By Keith Leroy Brooks
Contents: The Patmos vision of John and the command to write.
Characters: God, Christ, Holy Spirit, John.
Conclusion: Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, speaks to believers through the Apostle John concerning things past, the things which are and the things which shall be hereafter. Blessed are they who make this Book their meditation and regard those things which are written therein, for they shall shortly come to pass.
Key Word: Revelation, v. 1.
Strong Verses: 3, 5, 6, 7, 18.
Striking Facts: This book is the only book having the Lord Jesus Himself as Author (v. 1). It is a "revelation," which means "an unveiling" or "disclosure," not a mystery, and the Lord Jesus has attached His benediction to it to encourage us to read, hear and keep (v. 3). Notice in v. 5 that He Who speaks from heaven is He Who "washed us from our sins in His own blood." Heaven's anthem magnifies the blood of Christ above everything else.
Contents: Message to Ephesus concerning things "which are." Their first love left. Message to Pergamos concerning false doctrines. Message to Smyrna concerning persecutions. Message to Thyatira concerning Balaamism and Nicolaitanism.
Characters: God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Messengers of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, and Thyratira, John, Satan, Antipas, Balaam, Balac, Jezebel.
Conclusion: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Holy Spirit would say to the Church, and let him beware lest by turning a deaf ear to the voice of the Spirit he lose his faculty of spiritual hearing and thus grow cold toward Christ, be without victory in tribulations or find himself an apostate carried away by every wind of doctrine. Those are bound to be overcomers under every test whose faith keeps them in vital touch with Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church (1 Jno. 4:4).
Key Word: Messages to Churches (Overcoming), vv. 7, 11, 17, 26.
Strong Verses: 4, 7, 10, 11.
Striking Facts: The letters to the Churches are Epistles of Christ dictated before the throne (v. 1) and with holy awe we should therefore read, then obey them. While these letters deal with Churches existing in John's time, it is believed that they are also symbolical of seven stages of the Church during the present Church age, because Jesus speaks of the "mystery" connected with them; because of the number "seven" connected with them, and always symbolical in this book; because the promises and warnings are continuous and because the prophetic view corresponds exactly with events thus far in the history of the Church.
Contents: Message to Sardis concerning their hypocrisy. Message to Philadelphia on hollow profession. Message to Laodicea on apostasy. Christ's attitude to the Church in its final stage in the world.
Characters: God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Messengers of Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, David, John, Satan.
Conclusion: Let the believer keep his spiritual ears open continually, for the voice of the Holy Spirit, lest he be found merely professing the name of Christian, and not having the power thereof, or lest he grow lukewarm toward Christ, and so be taken unawares, or even found to be a counterfeit at the sudden appearing of Christ in glory.
Key Word: Message to Church (overcoming), vv. 5, 12, 21.
Strong Verses: 3, 5, 10, 11, 12, 18, 20, 21.
Striking Facts: v. 20. Supper is the evening meal, the last taken before the morning breaks and the day dawns. This verse is a picture of Christ seeking entrance to the Church of the final state, and calling for individuals out of it who will sup with Him. "The night is far spent; the day is at hand." To sup with Him before the morning breaks is the foretaste of coming glory.
Contents: Things which shall be. Vision of the throne in heaven, the enthroned elders, the four living creatures and their worship with the elders because of creation.
Characters: Christ, Holy Spirit, John, 24 elders.
Conclusion: The day is approaching when there shall be a shifting of scenes in heaven and God shall prepare to execute all His purposes toward the earth. Thundering black clouds shall gather for His last judgment upon the earth, but even in the darkness of that day a bow in the cloud will be seen reflecting the glory of God in the storm and reminding that God has not forgotten His covenants. In that day the saints in heaven will contrast the perfect rest of heaven with the troubled waters of earth and will give great glory to Him.
Key Word: Things coming to pass, v. 1.
Strong Verses: 11.
Striking Facts: Christ is not seen here upon the throne, but as having risen for the execution of other purposes which effect the establishment of His Messianic Kingdom. Heaven is preparing to execute judgment prior to Christ's coming with His saints to reign. The elders are seen identified with Him in the judgment about to be executed. May they not be the united royal priesthood, redeemed and glorified? The answer as to how they got there is not given here, but will be found answered as we proceed.
Contents: Vision of the seven sealed books. Christ seen in His Kingly character. Angels, elders and living creatures exalt the Lamb who is King.
Characters: God, Christ, John, strong angel, elders, four creatures.
Conclusion: It will be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, Who as the Lamb of God was slain and rejected of men, Who will yet be manifested as the Lion of the tribe of Judah breaking the seals of God's wrath against sinners upon the earth. He Who alone was worthy to redeem mankind with His precious blood, is worthy to take man's judgment in hand. Happy are they who shall in that day be with the ransomed ones in heaven joining in the new song, associating with Him in judgment and preparing to reign with Him.
Key Word: Sealed book, v. 1.
Strong Verses: 9, 10, 12.
Striking Facts: The Lion and the Lamb are One (v. 5). The sacrifice of the Lamb made Him the Saviour of the redeemed, but He is yet to assume power as the Lion, for the execution of judgment when His purpose in the Church is perfected. Notice in v. 9 that it is the blood that the saints are still singing about.
Contents: The opening of the seals. Characters: Christ, John.
Conclusion: Woe to those who dwell upon the earth in the days of the great Tribulation, when the wrath of God is poured forth for the final cleansing of the earth. "Except those days should be shortened no flesh should endure." There will be terrible wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, disturbances in the heavens, and fear among men. (See Mt. 24:1-31.)
Key Word: Day of wrath, v. 17.
Strong Verses: 15-17.
Striking Facts: vv. 16-17. This will be the last great prayer meeting of earth, when men that have rejected Christ shall discover that the Lamb Whom they have slaughtered and insulted is the Judge of all.
Contents: A parenthetical chapter on the saved of the tribulation period. The remnant of Israel sealed.
Characters: God, John, four angels.
Conclusion: In the great time of unexampled trouble which is to fall upon the earth after the translation of the saints, there shall be a vast company of repentant Israelites sealed for preservation, and a multitude of the Gentiles, moved to repentance toward Christ, shall find salvation through His shed blood, but at the cost of martyrdom (v. 14. See 6:9-11).
Key Word: Remnant sealed, vv. 3, 13, 14.
Strong Verses: 9, 10, 14, 17.
Striking Facts: vv. 10. 14. The cry of these who come up out of the Great Tribulation is not the same as the cry of redemption (5:9). It is the cry of salvation from judgment. While it is the blood of Christ which has purchased them this release, yet they are not members of the Body of Christ, the Church which is to be completed by the Holy Spirit before the Tribulation begins. They are a separate company.
Contents: Opening of the seventh seal from which seven trumpets come. Four of the trumpet judgments announced.
Characters: John, seven angels, angel with censor.
Conclusion: Woe to those who, by their rejection of the Lord Jesus, will find themselves left upon the earth to taste the sufferings of the Great Tribulation. Satanic forces will be allowed abroad without restraint, bringing fear upon all men by reason of conditions in the earth and in the heavens above.
Key Word: Trumpet judgments, v. 6.
Strong Verses: 4.
Contents: Judgments of the fifth and sixth trumpets.
Characters: God, angels, John, Abaddon.
Conclusion: So fearful and unbearable will conditions be in the Great Tribulation days when Satanic powers are unrestrained, that men shall long for death and even try to commit suicide, but will find the power of self-destruction taken away from them. Happy are they who shall escape all these things, that shall come to pass, through true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Key Word: Trumpet woes, v. 12.
Strong Verses: 6.
Contents: Parenthetical explanation (to 11:14). The angel and the little book. The book eaten.
Characters: John, mighty angel.
Conclusion: The day is approaching when all those mysterious judgment pictures of God's Word shall be made real in action (v. 7). Apocalyptic studies are understood by those who walk in close fellowship with God and while they have their charm, to the true man of God, they have also their bitterness when really appropriated, by reason of the startling and terrible prospective they reveal (v. 9).
Key Word: Little book, v. 2.
Strong Verses: 9.
Contents: Times of the Gentiles to end in a period of forty-two months. Two heavenly witnesses will prophecy on the earth. The seventh trumpet judgment.
Characters: God, Holy Spirit, Christ, John, two witnesses, beast, elders.
Conclusion: The Tribulation days which close the times of the Gentiles shall culminate in a period of intense troubles lasting 42 months (3% years). When these days shall come, God will send two messengers to earth to give warning. They will be despitefully treated and killed as was our Lord and the prophets before Him. Woe to those who shall see these days, but happy those who through Jesus Christ are safe with Him and engaged eternally in His praises.
Key Word: Tribulation, witnesses, v. 3.
Strong Verses: 15, 18.
Striking Facts: vv. 3, 15. As the days of Christ's reign approach there will be increased announcement of the apocalyptic truths which will be scoffed at by the majority. (2 Pet. 3:3-4) The final announcement will be made in the midst of the great Tribulation by heaven-prepared witnesses, as His first advent was announced by John the Baptist. With this testimony rejected and the witnesses killed, men will be abandoned to the terrible days of the last half of the Tribulation, after which Christ will come to reign forever.
Contents: The woman clothed with the sun (Israel). Satan drawing the stars. The man-child (Christ) caught up to the throne. The arch-angel and his angels fighting Satan. Satan and Israel in the great Tribulation.
Characters: God, Christ, Michael, Satan.
Conclusion: Israel out of which came the Messiah Who was rejected, will in the midst of the great Tribulation suffer terrible anguish because of Him, and will be subjected to terrors of Satan himself, who will then be unrestrained and knowing that he has but a short time. However, those whom God shall seal of Israel will be brought through those terrible days, though many will suffer martyrdom, but they will then die willingly for Him, acknowledging Him their King, their sacrifice and their Lord.
Key Word: Satan's wrath, v. 12.
Strong Verses: 9, 10, 11.
Striking Facts: vv. 9-10. In the midst of the great Tribulation, Satan will be cast out of the heavenlies and will be free in the earth. This will be a happy time for those who are in heaven by the blood of the Lamb, but a time of terrible trial for Israel and eternal woe for the Gentiles who submit to the mark of the beast. The only salvation in those days will be bold confession of faith in the blood of the Lamb, which will mean martyrdom to all except those sealed for physical preservation.
Contents: The beast out of the sea and the beast out of the earth.
Characters: God, Christ, John, false prophet, anti-christ, Satan.
Conclusion: In the midst of the Tribulation period there shall rise up two great world leaders, one a political leader inspired by Satan himself, the other a religious leader to deceive the people with strong delusions and either lead them or force them to worship the anti-christ as the long expected world-ruler. These two Satanic deceivers shall prevail upon all except those who risk all to boldly acknowledge their belief in the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.
Key Word: Two beasts, vv. 1, 11.
Strong Verses: 18.
Striking Facts: v. 8. Salvation in the great Tribulation is still based on the blood of Jesus Christ. Those who are then saved, however, must boldly confess their faith before a world of hostile witnesses, which will mean nothing short of martyrdom, except to those few sealed in Israel. May God help every reader of these words to make sure their calling and election while the days of grace are still lasting!
Contents: Vision of the Lamb and the 144,000 sealed Israelites. The angel with the everlasting gospel. Fall of Babylon. The doom of the beast worshippers. Blessedness of the holy dead. Vision of Armageddon.
Characters: God, Christ, Holy Spirit, John, angels, anti-christ.
Conclusion: There shall be preserved during the great Tribulation period a great company out of Israel, who will follow the Lamb and give glory to Him at whatever cost. There will be also a multitude of Gentiles redeemed by their acceptance of the everlasting Gospel, but at the cost of martyrdom. Woe to those who worship the beast and receive his mark, for they shall be tormented in hell forever.
Key Word: Tribulation saints and sinners, vv. 1,9.
Strong Verses: 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 13.
Striking Facts: vv. 14-15. He who bears the golden crown is none other than the Lord Jesus, who will a short time after this be found wearing the crown of universal sovereignty (Rev. 19:12). At the close of the great Tribulation He will thrust in the sickle to cut down the earth's harvest of evil (this will be at Armageddon) which will then have come to its culmination (see Mk. 4:29).
Contents: Vision of the angels of the seven last plagues and the bowls of the wrath of God.
Characters: Christ, John, 7 angels, Moses, 4 beasts.
Conclusion: In the hours when the unexampled wrath of God is being poured out upon the earth there will be a faithful redeemed company, who in spite of all their sufferings for Christ's sake, will be enabled to join in the great chorus exalting Jehovah their Deliverer and the Lamb, their Saviour.
Key Word: Wrath of God, vv. 1, 7.
Strong Verses: 3, 4.
Striking Facts: v. 3. "King of saints" is literally "King of ages, or nations." Jesus is never represented as King of the saints, or the Church, but as their Lord. The relationship of the Church saints in the present age is a nearer relationship than that of subjects of a King. He is the Bridegroom. These Tribulation saints, however, will be related to Him as subjects and they exalt Him as "King of Nations."
Contents: Vials of God's wrath poured out.
Characters: God, Christ, John, 7 angels, beast, 3 demons.
Conclusion: There shall, in the great Tribulation period, be poured out such manifestations of the wrath of God against Satan and sinners as man has never conceived. The terrors of those days will surpass anything known in the earth before those days, and shall never be known thereafter. Woe to those who choose, by their rejection of Christ in the Gospel day, to be left to that time.
Key Word: Vials of wrath, v. 1.
Strong Verses: 5, 6, 15.
Striking Facts: v. 15. Even in the great Tribulation there is an advent hope held out to keep the remnant looking up. Before Christ's first advent believers in the promises were inspired and kept by the expectation of His coming. Until the rapture of the Church, His second coming is held out as the "blessed hope." In the great Tribulation, the one and only hope of relief will be His return in glory with the saints to cleanse the earth and to reign.
Contents: The doom of Babylon, the last great ecclesiastical order.
Characters: Christ, John, 7 angels, beast.
Conclusion: There will be in the Tribulation period a great apostate ecclesiastical system headed up under a powerful religious leader, drawing after it thousands of deluded worshippers, who in reality are worshipping the devil and the beast. This enormous world-system will be brought to a fearful end and all those connected with it will share its fate.
Key Word: Mystery Babylon, v. 5.
Strong Verses: 14.
Striking Facts: Many Bible students believe that we have here the Roman Catholic system headed up in a fearfully apostate state. A woman is symbolical of "church" (2 Cor. 11:12). This woman (v. 5) stands in contrast to the Church of Christ, which is a "chaste virgin." The true Church is "espoused to one husband;" this one is given up to the kings of the earth. The Church is the "mystery of godliness;" this one is "mystery Babylon." The Church offers "the cup of Salvation;" this one offers "cup full of abominations." Mystery Babylon is rich, and it has its seat on seven hills (Rome).
Contents: Last form of apostate Christendom and the warning to God's people. The human and the angelic views of Babylon.
Characters: God, John, angels.
Conclusion: As there is to be an ecclesiastical Babylon ("confusion") heading up in the great Tribulation period, so there is also a great political Babylon, the pride of the great men of the earth, which shall likewise come to a terrible and an everlasting end, when Christ shall return in glory. This great system, back of which is anti-christ, will bitterly hate any who would glorify any god but materialism and the beast and will be guilty of the blood of many prophets and saints who have stood true to the everlasting Gospel.
Key Word: Babylon's fall, vv. 2, 21.
Contents: Parenthetical chapter on what is taking place in heaven while the Tribulation rages. The alleluias, marriage of the Lamb, second coming in glory, Armageddon, doom of the beast, False Prophet, and kings.
Characters: God, Christ, John, 24 elders, 4 beasts, angel, beast, False Prophet.
Conclusion: During those days when the wrath of God is poured out upon the earth, the Bride of Christ will in heaven celebrate the long looked for marriage festivities, and arrayed in her cleansed garments shall be eternally united with Him Who is to be recognized in all the universe, and for all time, as King of King and Lord of Lords. When He comes forth to make an end of all evil, His Bride shall come with Him, associated in judgment, and later to rule with Him.
Key Word: Marriage supper, v. 9. Armageddon, v. 15.
Strong Verses: 5, 7, 8, 9.
Striking Facts: vv. 11-16. We have here a vision of the departure from heaven of Christ with His saints (previously caught up to be with Him 1 Thes. 4:13-18) and with His angels preparatory to the catastrophe in which all world powers shall be smitten (Dan. 2:34-35). On Christ's head here we see many crowns ("diadems") (cf. 14:14) for the hour is now at hand when He is to be exalted and enthroned in His Kingdom, to "sit upon the throne of His father David."
Contents: Satan bound for the Kingdom age. The first resurrection. Satan loosed at the end of the millenium, and his final doom. Judgment of the great White Throne.
Characters: God, Christ, John, angel, Satan.
Conclusion: When the Tribulation days shall have run their course, Christ shall come with His saints, and having cast down all opposing powers, will fling Satan into the bottomless pit for a thousand years, during which time He, with the saints, shall rule over the earth. At the end of the millenium Satan will be temporarily released, but he and his quickly gathered followers will be cast into the final hell forever. At that time also the unsaved dead of all the ages will be resurrected and after being judged according to their works will be given their portion in perdition.
Key Word: Judgment, vv. 2, 11.
Strong Verses: 4, 6, 12.
Striking Facts: vv. 4, 6. Christ is seen in this chapter as the Judge and then as the millenial King. Those who are associated with Him in this Kingdom are the Church and the Tribulation saints. Those who are now being called unto Christ are therefore appointed, not to be subjects of the Kingdom, but co-rulers, priests of God and of Christ, and will have their specific work in connection with the work of His universal empire.
Contents: The seven new things of the Kingdom age earth, peoples, Jerusalem, temple, light, Paradise (Chap. 22).
Characters: God, Christ, John, 7 angels.
Conclusion: It will be the perfect happiness of the saints, when Christ returns to reign, to have God's immediate presence with them, His love fully manifested to them and His glory fully put upon them. No remembrance of former sorrows shall remain and all causes for future sorrow shall be removed. Whatever is excellent and valuable in this world will be there enjoyed to a far greater degree, and Christ will be the everlasting fountain of knowledge and joy to His people.
Key Word: Heaven, v. 1.
Strong Verses: 2, 4, 6, 7, 23, 24, 25.
Striking Facts: vv. 9, 23. The peculiar glory of the Lord Jesus to all eternity is as the "Lamb" which will ever remind of His sacrificial act upon the cross. This title is applied to Him 27 times in Revelation. In the presence of "the Lamb," there will be no need of sun nor moon, any more than here we need to light candles at noon-day, for "the Lamb is the light thereof."
Contents: The New Paradise and its river of the water of life. The last exhortation of Christ to be ready for His second coming.
Characters: God, Christ, Holy Spirit, John, angel, David.
Conclusion: The Paradise lost by the first Adam shall be restored by the Second Adam, and in this Paradise there shall be multitudes saved through the Lamb, to behold its beauties and to taste its pleasures forever. Let all men labor to understand the prophecies of these things shortly coming to pass that they might be prepared to meet the Lord Jesus, having embraced His salvation, yea, and earnestly longing and praying for the hour of His appearance. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
Key Word: Imminent return, vv. 7, 12, 20.
Strong Verses: 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.
Striking Facts: The Bible closes with emphasis on the fidelity of the Scriptures (v. 6) on salvation by grace the free gift of the Lord Jesus (v. 17) - and on the doctrine of the pre-millennial return of Christ (vv. 7, 12, 20). The great "peace prayer" of the Bible, and the last prayer of the Bible, is "Come, Lord Jesus," and Jesus' last recorded words are, "Surely, I come quickly. Amen." This is the thought He would leave with us. May God open the eyes of every reader to the "blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." Tit. 2:13.
Genesis begins with creation. Revelation ends with the New Creation.
In Genesis we have the first Sabbath. Revelation closes with the holy rest in the new creation.
Genesis gives us the first Adam, head of the old humanity. Revelation leaves us with the second Adam, head of the new humanity.
Genesis gives us Eve, the wife of the first Adam, sinning, condemned and sorrowing. Revelation leaves us with the second Eve, the Bride of Christ, exalted, holy and glorious.
In Genesis we have exclusion from the tree of life. Revelation leaves us with access to it and authority over it.
In Genesis we have an earth cursed. In Revelation we have the earth fully delivered from the curse.
Genesis gives us Satan tempting and bruising. In Revelation we leave him bruised and in the lake of fire forever.
In Genesis we have the first sob and tear. In Revelation all tears and sighing are forever gone.