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Jeanie C. Crain http://crain.english.missouriwestern.edu



  F. Just, S.J.      E. S. Fiorenza       A. Y. Collins       C. H. Talbert     W. J. Harrington      J. M. Ford  Oxford Companion to the Bible

Edwin D. Freed  J. Vernon McGee  Charles R. Williams H.A. Dobbs Catholic Encyclopedia


(I will follow the outline of the Oxford Companion to the Bible most closely.)


Edwin D. Freed, The New Testament: A Critical Introduction

I. Prologue

II. Letters to the seven churches (2-3)

III. The apocalypse proper (4.1-22.5)

    A. Introductory visions (4-5)

    B. Vision of seven seals and their opening (6.1-8.1)

    C. Vision of seven trumpets and their blowing (8.2-11.19)

    D. Seven visions of the dragon, woman, and beast (12.1-13.18)

    E. Seven visions of the lambs and angels (14.1-20)

    F. Visions of the seven bowls of the wrath of God (15.1-16.21)

    G. Seven visions of the fall of Babylon (17.1-19.10)

    H. Seven visions of the end of the age of Satan and the final victory of Christ (19.11-22.5)

IV. Epilogue (22.6-21).


Outline (Oxford Companion to the Bible, John Sweet)


Revelation 1–3.

Seven letters warning against deception and lawlessness (cf. Matthew 24.4; Matthew 24.5; Matthew 24.9–12)

Revelation 4–7.

Seven seals on a heavenly scroll, opened by the Lamb

Revelation 6

War, famine, plague (Matthew 24.6–8; birthpangs of the new age)

Revelation 7

God’s servants sealed: 144,000


Revelation 8–14.

Seven trumpets of warning

Revelation 8–9

Disasters modeled on the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 7–11)

Revelation 10–11

Counterpoint of witness (the little scroll)

Revelation 12–13

Victory in heaven, disaster for earth—Antichrist and false prophet (Matthew 24.15–24)

Revelation 14

The 144,000 over against worshipers of the beast. Judgment


Revelation 15–22.

Seven bowls of God’s final wrath

Revelation 16

Disasters for the beast’s worshipers and city (Exodus 7–11 again)

Revelation 17–18

Destruction of the whore, Babylon

Revelation 19–20

Coming of Christ, the millennium, and the last judgment (Matthew 24.27–31)

Revelation 21

Descent of the bride, New Jerusalem, in counterpoint with the fall of Babylon (Revelation 17.1 and Revelation 21.9)



Revelation 1–3.

Seven letters warning against deception and lawlessness (cf. Matthew 24.4; Matthew 24.5; Matthew 24.9–12)

Revelation 4–7.

Seven seals on a heavenly scroll, opened by the Lamb

Revelation 6

War, famine, plague (Matthew 24.6–8; birthpangs of the new age)

Revelation 7

God’s servants sealed: 144,000


Revelation 6

War, famine, plague (Matthew 24.6–8; birthpangs of the new age)

Revelation 7

God’s servants sealed: 144,000

Revelation 8–14.

Seven trumpets of warning

Revelation 8–9

Disasters modeled on the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 7–11)

Revelation 10–11

Counterpoint of witness (the little scroll)

Revelation 12–13

Victory in heaven, disaster for earth—Antichrist and false prophet (Matthew 24.15–24)

Revelation 14

The 144,000 over against worshipers of the beast. Judgment


Revelation 8–9

Disasters modeled on the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 7–11)

Revelation 10–11

Counterpoint of witness (the little scroll)

Revelation 12–13

Victory in heaven, disaster for earth—Antichrist and false prophet (Matthew 24.15–24)

Revelation 14

The 144,000 over against worshipers of the beast. Judgment

Revelation 15–22.

Seven bowls of God’s final wrath

Revelation 16

Disasters for the beast’s worshipers and city (Exodus 7–11 again)

Revelation 17–18

Destruction of the whore, Babylon

Revelation 19–20

Coming of Christ, the millennium, and the last judgment (Matthew 24.27–31)

Revelation 21

Descent of the bride, New Jerusalem, in counterpoint with the fall of Babylon (Revelation 17.1 and Revelation 21.9)


Revelation 16

Disasters for the beast’s worshipers and city (Exodus 7–11 again)

Revelation 17–18

Destruction of the whore, Babylon

Revelation 19–20

Coming of Christ, the millennium, and the last judgment (Matthew 24.27–31)

Revelation 21

Descent of the bride, New Jerusalem, in counterpoint with the fall of Babylon (Revelation 17.1 and Revelation 21.9)


In the three series of disasters there is both recapitulation—each covers the same ground—and development. The seals serve as overture, centering on the "beginning of the birthpangs" (Matthew 24.8). The trumpets lead up to the "desolating sacrilege" (Matthew 24.15), Rome and its emperor. The bowls set out their destruction and the "coming of the Son of Man" (Matthew 24.27)—bridegroom and bride over against beast and harlot.

Two further structural points are important for interpreting the book. Enclosing the scenes of destruction are the visions of God, creator and redeemer (Revelation 4 and Revelation 5), and of the new creation (Revelation 21): the destructions are not simply negative; the rebelliousness of earth is finally overcome. Enclosing all the visions is the epistolary opening and ending: the whole disclosure is a message to Christians of the day in their particular situations. Scattered among the visions are calls for discernment and fidelity (Revelation 13.9; Revelation 13.10; Revelation 13.18; Revelation 14.12; Revelation 16.15; Revelation 17.9).

This analysis suggests that the aim of John’s revelation was to warn the churches against compromise with the religious, social, and economic values of a world heading for self-destruction because of its idolatry, and to encourage them in the witness to God and purity of life which alone could defeat the deceptions of Satan and his minions. The letters to the churches show that some were sliding into a worldly lifestyle (Revelation 2.14; Revelation 2.20), while others were asleep (Revelation 3.2), complacent (Revelation 3.17), or lacking in love (Revelation 2.4). There is wholehearted praise only for Smyrna (Revelation 2.8–11) and Philadelphia (Revelation 3.7–13), where faithful Christians were suffering on behalf of Christ.



John Sweet
A Suggested Practical Outline:

PROLOGUE (1:1-8)

The Introduction of the Book (1:1-3)
An Epistolary Prescript (1:4-6)
Two Prophetic Sayings (1:7-8)
John’s Inaugural Vision & Commission (1:9 - 3:22)
An Audition and Vision of the Risen Christ (1:9-20)
Seven Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia (2:1 - 3:22)
        Ephesus (2:1-7);  Smyrna (2:8-11);
        Pergamum (2:12-17);  Thyatira (2:18-29);  Sardis (3:1-6);
        Philadephia (3:7-13);  Laodicea (3:14-22)
John’s First Cycle of Visions in the Spirit (4:1 - 11:19)
Worship in the Heavenly Court (4:1-11)
The Scroll, the Lion of Judah, and the Lamb (5:1-14)
The Seven Seals (6:1 - 8:5)
        The first four seals (6:1-8)
        The fifth and sixth seals (6:9-17)
        Two interrupting visions:
                144,000 Israelites sealed by God (7:1-8)
                Countless Gentiles robed in white (7:9-17)
        The seventh seal and the angel with a golden censer (8:1-5)
The Seven Angels with Seven Trumpets (8:2 - 11:19)
        The first four trumpets (8:2-12)
        The fifth and sixth trumpets (8:13; 9:1-21)
        Two interrupting visions:
                An angel with a small scroll (10:1-11)
                The temple and two witnesses (11:1-14)
        The seventh trumpet (11:15-19)
John’s Second Cycle of Visions in the Spirit (12:1 - 22:5)
Seven Symbolic Visions of the Past, Present & Future (12:1-15:4)
        The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon (12:1-17)
        The First Beast, from the Sea (13:1-10)
        The Second Beast, from the Earth (13:11-18)
        The Lamb and the 144,000 (14:1-5)
        The Three Angels with Messages (14:6-13)
        The Final Harvest and Vintage (14:14-20)
        The Victory Song of Moses and of the Lamb (15:1-4)
Seven Angels with Seven Plagues (15:1 - 19:10)
        The Seven Angels (15:1-8)
        The Seven Bowls (16:1-21)
        Elaboration on the Destruction of Babylon (17:1 - 19:10)
                The whore on the scarlet beast: Rome (17:1-18)
                The fall of Babylon: Rome’s destruction (18:1-24)
                The Rejoicing in Heaven (19:1-10)
Seven Visions of the Last Things (19:11 - 22:5)
        The Coming of Christ, the Word of God (19:11-16)
        The Invitation to a Great Banquet (19:17-18)
        The Final Battle (19:19-21)
        The Binding of Satan (20:1-3)
        The Millennial Reign (20:4-10)
        The Final Judgement (20:11-15)
        The New Heaven, New Earth, New Jerusalem (21:1-8)
                An Elaboration on the New Jerusalem (21:9 - 22:5)
CONCLUSION (22:6-21)
A Collection of Short Prophetic Sayings (22:6-20)
An Epistolary Benediction (22:21)


Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, "Revelation," in Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, Jude, Revelation (Proclamation Commentaries; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1977) 103-108.

1:1-8 - Introduction and Theme
    1:9 - 3:22 - Seven Prophetic-Apocalyptic Letters of the Resurrected Lord
        4:1 - 19:10 - Main Body: The Seven-Sealed Scroll; including:
                Seven Seals (6:1-8:1); Seven Trumpets (8:2-9:21; 11:15-19); Seven Bowls (15:1, 5-16:21)
                Babylon Visions (17:1-19:10) as an extension of the bowl septet
                Inserted: Small Scroll and miscellaneous visions (most of 10:1-15:4)
    19:11 - 22:5 - Visions of Judgement and Salvation
22:6-21 - Concluding Admonitions, Announcements, and Prayers

Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Invitation to the Book of Revelation (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981) 7.

A.   Prologue and Epistolary Greeting (1:1-8)
    B.   The Prophetic Messages to the Churches (1:9 - 3:22)
        C.   Christ: The Eschatological Liberator and Regent (4:1 - 9:21)
            D.   The Prophetic Community and Its Oppressors (10:1 - 15:4)
        C’.  The Trial and Sentencing of Babylon/Rome (15:5 - 19:10)
    B’.   Eschatological Judgment and Salvation (19:11 - 22:9)
A’.  Epilogue and Epistolary Frame (22:10-21)


Catholic Encyclopedia


The subject-matter of the Apocalypse required a threefold division. 

The first part comprises the seven exhortatory letters. 
The leading idea in the second part is the wisdom of Christ. It is symbolized by the book
with seven seals. In it are written the eternal decrees of God touching the end of the world,
and the final victory of good over evil. No one except Jesus, the lamb slain for the sins of the
world, is worthy to break the seals and read its contents. 
The third part describes the power of Christ over Satan and his kingdom. The lamb defeats
the dragon and the beast. This idea is developed in a drama of five acts. In five successive
scenes we see before us the struggle, the fall of Babylon the harlot, the victory, and final

The third part is not only the most important, but also the most successful from a literary point of
view. The drama of the lamb contains several beautiful thoughts of lasting value. The lamb,
symbolizing gentleness and purity, conquers the beast, the personification of lust and cruelty. The
harlot signifies idolatry. The fornication which the rulers and the nations of the earth commit with her
signifies the worship they pay to the images of Caesar and the tokens of his power. The second
part is inferior in literary beauty. It contains much that is taken from the Old Testament, and it is full
of extravagant imagery. The Seer shows a fanciful taste for all that is weird and grotesque. He
delights in portraying locusts with hair like that of women and horses with tails like serpents. There
are occasional passages revealing a sense of literary beauty. God removes the curtain of the
firmament as a scribe rolls up his scrolls. The stars fall from the heavens like figs from the fig-tree
shaken by the storm (vi, 12-14). On the whole, however the Seer shows more love for Oriental
splendour than the appreciation of true beauty (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01594b.htm)



Summary of the Book of Revelation

By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs 

I. Introduction (1:1-20).
A. Writer and communicators of this book (1:1-9).
1. The writer of the book is John the apostle (1:1,4,9).
2. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ (1:1,5,9).
a. Given to Jesus by Jehovah (1:1).
b. For the benefit of the servants of Jesus (1:1).
3. The message was expressed in signs by an angel (1:1).
4. Qualifications of the writer of the book (1:2).
a. Bore witness of the word of God (1:2,9; 1 John 1:1-2)
b. Witnessed the testimony of Jesus (1:2,9).
B. Blessing on readers and hearers of this book (1:3).
C. Book written to the seven churches in Asia (1:4-6).
1. Grace and peace to the seven churches (1:4).
2. The grace and peace comes from Jehovah, and the seven-fold 
Spirit, and from Jesus (1:4-5).
D. Benefits coming to us from the Lord (1:5-6).
1. Jesus is the faithful witness, firstborn of the dead, ruler of the 
kings of earth (1:5).
2. Jesus removes our sins by his blood, and makes us a kingdom 
of priests (1:5-6).
3. Jesus comes with the clouds (a heavenly host) (1:7).
4. The coming will be public (1:7).
5. He is first and last and Almighty (1:8).
E. Revelation made to John on Patmos (1:9-16).
1. John was in the spirit on the Lord's day (1:10-11).
a. Heard a voice like a trumpet (1:10).
b. The voice told him to write what he was about to see and 
give it to the seven churches (1:11).
2. John saw Jesus walking in the midst of seven golden 
candlesticks (1:12-13).
a. John describes a spectacular vision of Jesus in his glory 
b. Jesus holds in his hand seven stars (1:16).
F. John's reaction was to fall like a dead man at the feet of Jesus 
1. John is comforted and told to write what he is about to see 
a. Jesus is the first and the last (1:17).
b. He is the living one, though once dead he is alive for ever 
more (1:18).
c. Jesus has the keys of death and Hades (1:18).
d. John is told to write this revelation and prophecy (1:19).
2. Mystery of the seven stars and candlesticks (1:20).
a. The stars represent angels (messengers) (1:20).
b. The candlesticks represent churches (1:20).
II. Letters to the seven churches of Asia (2:1 to 3:22).
A. To the church at Ephesus (2:1-7).
1. Addressed to the angel of the church (2:1).
a. Angel means messenger, or to deliver a message.
b. It is most often used of an order of created beings, 
superior to man and belonging to heaven (Heb. 2:7; 
Psa. 8:5; Matt. 24:36; Mark 12:25).
c. The devil has angels (Matt. 25:41).
d. Any messenger of God is an angel. The priest who taught 
the law is called a messenger (Hebrew: angel) of Jehovah 
(Mal. 2:7).
e. The evangelist of the various churches is called an angel--
messenger of Jehovah--because he taught the people by 
reading to them the word of God and explaining its 
meaning (2:1).
2. The message is from Jesus (1:5; 2:1).
3. The Ephesian church praised (2:2).
a. They worked (2:2).
b. They rejected evil men--false teachers (2:2).
c. They tried men who called themselves apostles and found 
them false (2:2). The Ephesians were too well informed to 
be carried away with false apostles. Many in our day can 
not detect a false apostle because they do not know what 
the true apostles taught.
d. They were not weary in well doing (2:3).
4. Complaint against the Ephesian church (2:4).
a. Left their first love (2:4).
b. Repent and do your first works (2:5).
c. Life needs changing toward God only to the degree it has 
changed from God.
d. The Ephesians were guilty of growing cold in the basic 
doctrines of the church. Having heard it often, they were 
tired of hearing it. They were to revive the old time zeal.
5. Terrible threat against Ephesus (2:5).
a. The demand to repent (2:5).
b. The warning of removing the candlestick (2:5)--the 
candlestick represents the church (1:20).
c. A faithful church can be rejected because of indifference to 
truth and be removed (2:5).
6. Continues praise (2:6).
a. They hated the works of the Nicolaitans (2:6).
b. Jesus hates the works of the heretics and so should we (2:6).
c. Jesus approves the first stand of the church at Ephesus 
against false teachers (2:6).
7. The victorious servant would be given to eat of the tree of 
life in the paradise of God (2:7; Gen. 3:22; Rev. 22:2,14).
B. To the church at Smyrna (2:8-11).
1. The authority of Jesus (2:8, Rom. 1:4).
2. Jesus knew about their suffering (2:9).
3. Though they had tribulation and poverty, they were rich in 
spiritual possessions (2:9).
4. The synagogue of Satan in Smyrna (2:9).
a. Jews who would not accept Jesus were not really Jews.
b. They did not walk after the example of Abraham (John 
5. Physical suffering is not to be feared (2:10).
a. They were to have tribulation 10 days (a full but brief 
period) (2:10).
b. Satan was about to throw them in prison--the devil is the 
source of all our misery (2:10).
6. Jesus promised to them a crown of life (2:10).
7. To overcome is to remain faithful and therefore not be hurt 
of the second death (2:11).
C. To the church in Pergamum (2:12-17).
1. Jesus wielded a sharp sword with two edges (2:12). He is 
capable of punishing the wicked.
2. Pergamum was the dwelling place of Satan (2:13).
a. A hotbed of sin and persecution. Antipas, a faithful servant, 
had been killed by forces of evil (2:13).
b. It is possible to be pure in a wicked environment (2:13).
c. The battle is the Lord's and the victory will be ours.
3. Some in the church in Pergamum tolerated the teaching of 
Balaam and followed his example, and the rest did not 
condemn them (2:14).
a. Balaam taught Balak to put a stumbling block in the way 
of the children of Israel (2:14).
b. In Numbers 21, 22, 23 we are told of his crime. He wanted 
money. When he could get it for placing a curse on God's 
chosen people, he instructed Balak to entice Israel with 
lewd carousing. They sat down to eat and drink and rose 
up to play. They committed idolatry and fornication and fell 
in one day three and twenty thousand (2:14).
4. The teaching of the Nicolaitans was like that of Balaam 
5. Repent or be destroyed (2:16).
6. Jesus promises those who overcome the hidden manna a 
white stone and a new name (2:17).
D. To the church in Thyatira (2:18-29).
1. Jesus has eyes like fire and feet like burnished brass (2:18).
2. Thyatira had a mixture of good and bad (2:19-24).
a. Some did good things and displayed love, faith, service, 
and patience; they were more zealous now than when first 
converted (2:19).
b. Others allowed the woman Jezebel to tempt the servants of 
Christ to commit fornication and worship idols (2:20).
c. She had not repented, though she had time (2:21).
d. Jesus would bring upon this Jezebel and her followers 
terrible destruction (2:21-23).
e. Each person is rewarded according to his works (2:23).
f. To those not seduced into "tasting the deep things of 
Satan" Jesus added no burden to their already faithful 
service (2:24).
3. Rewards promised to those who overcome (2:25-29).
a. Authority of the nations (2:26-27).
b. He shall receive the morning star (2:28).
4. Pay attention to what is said (2:29).
E. To the church at Sardis (3:1-6).
1. Jesus is the revealer of truth and the Lord of faithful 
ministers (3:1).
2. Condition of the church at Sardis (3:2-3).
a. Had a name for living, but was dead (3:2).
b. They had no perfected works before God (3:3).
3. A call to repentance (3:4). A warning of sudden destruction 
4. A few in Sardis were undefiled and would walk with Christ in 
white because they were worthy (3:4).
5. Rewards promised for the faithful few (3:5-6).
a. White garments (3:5).
b. Name not blotted out of the book of life (3:5).
c. To be confessed before the Father and the angels (3:5).
d. Listen to what is said (3:6).
F. To the church at Philadelphia (3:7-13).
1. Jesus is true and has the highest authority and power--the key 
of David (3:7).
2. Jesus alone can open and shut the door of blessing and 
opportunity (3:7).
a. If he shuts the door, no one can open it (3:7).
b. Be sure he does not shut the door against you.
3. The promise of the Lord to these saints (3:9).
a. I know your works (3:8).
b. I give you favorable circumstances (3:8).
c. You have a little power because you kept my word and did 
not deny my name (3:8).
4. They would prevail over the Jewish accusers and scoffers 
a. At the judgment these false Jews would worship at the feet 
of the faithful in Sardis (3:9).
b. They would then know whom Christ loves (3:9).
5. The reward (3:10-13).
a. You hold fast to me and I will keep you (3:10).
b. No man can take away your crown (3:11).
c. The victor will be a pillar in the temple (3:12).
d. He shall be stable and branded with the name of Christ 
Jesus (3:12).
e. Hear my words (3:13).
G. To the church at Laodicea (3:14-22).
1. Jesus is faithful and the true witness, the ruler of all creation 
2. The lukewarm church was not acceptable (3:15-16).
3. His plea to the tepid church (3:17-22).
a. They thought they were rich and had need of nothing, but 
were poor, blind, and naked (3:17).
b. Jesus advised them to "buy" from him gold, clothes, and 
eyesalve (3:18).
c. The rebuke of Christ is proof of his love (3:19).
d. Jesus begs admittance and promises blessings, including a 
royal crown and a place in his eternal throne (3:20-21).
e. He implores us to listen (3:22).
III. Visions (4:1 to 19:21).
A. The seals (4:1 to 8:1).
1. Invitation to enter the throne room of God (4:1).
a. Saw a door opened in heaven (4:1).
b. A trumpet voice saying, Come up here (4:1).
c. John to see in prophetic vision the things which will come 
to pass in the future of the world (4:1).
2. The vision of heaven (4:2 to 5:14).
a. John was in the spirit (4:2).
b. John saw Jehovah sitting on his throne--he was radiant 
and glorious and dazzling (4:2-3).
c. The 24 elders surrounding the throne (4:4).
d. The sevenfold Spirit (4:5).
e. The sea of glass and the four living creatures (4:6-8; see 
also Ezekiel 1:4-28).
f. The cherubim and elders worship the triune God (4:9-11).
g. Jehovah holds a book sealed with 7 seals (5:1).
h. No one in all the universe was worthy to break the seals 
and open the book (5:2-3).
i. John wept because the book was unopened (5:4).
j. The Lamb of God advances to open the book (5:5-8).
k. The heavenly host worships the triune God (5:9-14).
3. First seal opened (6:1-2).
a. A white horse and its rider appear (6:2).
b. The rider had a bow and a crown--he came to conquer 
(6:2; see Rev. 19:11).
4. Second seal opened (6:3).
a. A red fiery horse of war appears with his rider taking 
peace from the earth (6:4).
5. Third seal opened (6:5).
a. A black horse, representing economic hardship, appears 
b. Its rider has a balance in his hand--food is scarce and 
expensive (6:6).
6. Fourth seal opened (6:7-8).
a. A pale (livid or greenish) horse representing death 
followed by Hades appears (6:8).
b. People are killed by sword, famine and wild beasts--
suggesting persecution--others died of pestilence (death) 
7. Fifth seal opened (6:9-11).
a. The martyrized saints under the altar are crying for 
vengeance (6:10).
b. They are given white robes (representing purity) and told 
to wait for a little time until their brethren had fulfilled 
their course (6:11).
8. Sixth seal opened (6:12-17).
a. This vision represents the final judgment. It shows the 
atmosphere around the earth removed, the earth shaken, 
stars falling to earth, and people of every class terrified 
9. Seventh seal opened (7:1-17).
a. The destruction is suspended until the saints are sealed on 
their foreheads (7:1-3).
b. The number of saved includes many Jews from every 
tribe, but a limited number--not all (7:4-8).
c. In addition there was a great, uncountable multitude and 
of every nation and tribe (7:9-10).
d. The angelic host, the 24 elders and the cherubim again 
worship the triune God (7:11-12).
e. The saved, composed of a limited number of Jews and a 
great mass of Gentiles, having washed their robes in the 
blood of the Lamb, stand before the throne and are 
comforted (7:13-17).
f. There was a silence in heaven for about the space of half 
an hour (8:1).
B. The trumpets (8:2 to 11:19).
1. Preparation for the sounding of the trumpets (8:2-6).
a. The saints in tribulation and persecution pray. An angel 
added incense to the prayers of the suffering soldiers of 
Christ (8:3-4).
b. Fire from the golden altar is thrown upon the earth and 
there followed thunders, and voices, and lightning, and an 
earthquake (8:5).
c. "The seven angels that had the seven trumpets prepared 
themselves to sound" (8:6).
2. First trumpet (8:7)
a. A storm of fire and hail mixed with blood (8:7).
b. A third part of the earth, trees, and green grass were 
burned up (8:7).
3. Second trumpet (8:8-9).
a. A great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the 
sea (8:8).
b. A third part of the sea creatures and the ships were 
destroyed (8:9).
4. Third trumpet (8:10-11).
a. A burning star falls into inland waterways (8:10).
b. The water is no longer drinkable but is bitter and fatal 
5. Fourth trumpet (8:12-13).
a. Sun, moon and stars were smitten and darkened (8:12).
b. A flying eagle pronounces woe upon the inhabitants of 
earth because of the three trumpets that are yet to sound 
6. Fifth trumpet (9:1-12).
a. A star falls from heaven to earth (9:1; Luke 10:18). The 
star represents a being who has the key to the pit of the 
abyss (9:1; Luke 8:30-31). The fallen being is called 
Abaddon and Apollyon in verse 11, which means "the 
b. The fallen being opened the pit of the Abyss and there 
went up smoke, and out of the smoke came locusts 
c. The locusts were not permitted to hurt the earth or 
anyone who had the seal of God on their foreheads--the 
saved (9:4).
d. The locusts tormented the lost of earth (9:5-6).
e. The locusts were fierce and terrible to look upon (9:7-10).
f. The locusts were ruled by Satan (9:11), indicating they 
represent evil spirits--the devil's angels.
g. Two denunciations are yet to come (9:12).
7. Sixth trumpet (9:13 to 11:14).
a. A voice comes from the horns of the golden altar (9:13), 
commanding four angels bound at the river Euphrates 
(Babylon and Assyria--emblems of wickedness--were in 
this area. Also this was the site of Eden--the beginning 
place of sin) to be loosed (9:14). (These are the devil's 
b. The angels prepared for this purpose were turned loose to 
hurt a limited number of people (9:15).
c. They were many (9:16). (There are always more agents of 
evil than agents of good.)
d. They are frightful and hellish, and destructive--demons 
from the abyss (9:17-19).
e. Mankind did not repent, but continued to worship idols 
(self, animals, creeping things), nor did he repent of 
murders, sorceries, fornication and thefts (9:20-21).
f. John sees a mighty-rainbow-angel with one foot on earth 
and the other foot upon the sea, and in his hand he holds a 
little book open (10:1-2).
g. At the cry of the strong angel seven thunders uttered their 
voices (10:3). John forbidden to write the things which the 
seven thunders uttered (10:4).
h. Awesome oath that there should be no more delay 
(10:5-6). Judgment begins. Time ends. (10:7).
i. John ate the little book--it was sweet in his mouth but 
bitter in his belly (10:8-10).
j. The message must be preached (10:11).
k. Measuring of the temple of God, the altar, and the 
worshippers (11:1).
l. Outer court unmeasured; the holy city trodden under foot 
42 months (11:2).
m. Two witnesses prophecy 1,260 days (11:3).
n. Two olive trees and two candlesticks (11:4; Compare 
Zech. 4:1-14).
o. Protection of the two witnesses (11:5-6).
p. The beast from the abyss shall kill them (11:7).
q. Their unburied bodies lie in the street (11:8-9).
r. Rejoicing over the dead bodies (11:10).
s. In three and a half days the two dead witness stand upon 
their feet (11:11).
t. Exaltation of the two witnesses (11:12).
u. Terror and punishment on earthlings (11:13-14).
8. The seventh trumpet (11:15-19).
a. Victory, rejoicing and worship in heaven (11:15-17).
b. The punishment of the wicked (11:18).
c. All things revealed and make known (11:19).
C. The dragon (12:1 to 14:1).
1. The woman, her son and the dragon (12:1-12).
a. A woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, 
and twelve stars upon her head (12:1).
b. The woman gives birth to a child (12:2).
c. The great red dragon stands before the woman ready to 
devour her child (12:3-4). (The dragon is Satan, see 12:9).
d. The child, who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron, is 
delivered (12:5). (The child is Jesus, see Matt. 28:18; Rev. 
1:12-16; Psa. 2:1-9; Rev. 2:27).
e. The child was elevated to the throne of God (12:5).
f. The woman flees to the wilderness (the world) where she 
is under divine providential protection for the entire 
Christian period (12:6).
g. A war in heaven that resulted in the dragon being cast 
down to earth (12:7-9).
2. A struggle between the woman and the dragon (12:10-17).
a. Ejection of the dragon from heaven anticipates salvation 
in the Christ (12:10).
b. The blood of the lamb, the word of their testimony, and 
their self-sacrificing love can overcome the dragon 
c. Heaven rejoices, but the earth grieves because of the woe 
the dragon brings down to earth (12:12).
d. Satan persecutes the woman (12:13).
e. The woman is supported by "two wings of the great 
eagle" for a time, times, and a half time, which amounts to 
3 1/2 years, which is 42 months, which equals 1,260 days 
(the entire Christian period) (12:14).
f. Serpent's mouth produces a destructive river (of lies) to 
destroy the woman (12:15).
g. The earth helped the woman by swallowing the lies from 
the devil's mouth (12:16).
h. Satan's anger is intensified as he tries to destroy the true 
church (12:17).
3. A beast out of the sea (13:1-9).
a. John sees a beast coming out of the sea having seven 
heads and ten horns (13:1-2). The beasts of prophecy 
often represent world governments (See Dan. 7:2-12). The 
ten horns and seven heads suggest completeness - John is 
picturing all corrupt government of all time.
b. The beast is wounded but revives (13:3). Corrupt 
government is often cast down, but rises again.
c. The dragon (Satan) gives his authority to the beast 
(corrupt government), and the people of earth wonder at it 
d. The beast continues 42 months--the entire Christian 
period (13:5).
e. The beast blasphemes God and his people (13:6).
f. The beast wars with the saints (church)--this identifies the 
woman as the church--and gained much power (13:7).
g. Earthlings adore the beast, the saints excepted (13:8-9).
4. A beast out of the earth (13:10-18).
a. The church accepts captivity or death - this is the patience 
and faith of the saints (13:10).
b. A harmless looking beast (like a lamb) comes out of the 
earth, but he speaks the devil's lies (13:11). This beast is 
later called the false prophet.
c. The beast out of the land cooperates with the beast out of 
the sea (13:12).
d. The beast does great deceptive signs and fools the people 
of earth (13:13-14).
e. False religion supports corrupt government (13:15).
f. Economic hardship comes to those who refuse to worship 
the beasts (13:16-17).
g. The number of the beast is 666, which is the number of a 
man (13:18).
5. A vision of Jesus and the redeemed standing on mount Zion 
a. Jesus and the 144,000 (earlier John saw, in addition to the 
144,000, an uncountable multitude - Rev. 7:2-10) stand 
victorious on the mountain (14:1).
b. The voice of God is heard (14:2).
c. The saved from earth, along with the inhabitants of heaven, 
praise God (14:3).
d. John sees the followers of the Lamb (called virgins 
because they had not committed spiritual fornication) 
presented to God and the Lamb. The unblemished saved 
tell no lie (14:4-5).
6. An angel flying in heaven and proclaiming salvation to all 
who fear God and give him glory (14:6-7).
7. A second angel proclaims final judgment (14:8).
a. Babylon the great (representing all corrupt nations of all 
time) falls (14:8).
8. A third angel announces the punishment of all who 
volunteered to worship the beast (14:9-11).
9. A vision of eternal reward for the blood-washed throng 
a. The saints are those who keep the commandments of God 
and the faith of Jesus (14:12).
b. The dead who die in the Lord are blessed (14:13).
c. John saw Jesus wearing a golden crown sitting on a white 
cloud with a sharp sickle in his hand--judgment is about to 
begin (14:14).
10. The judgment scene (14:15-19).
a. An angel announces that the harvest of the earth is ripe 
and calls for Jesus to begin reaping (14:15-16).
b. Angels come from the temple and from the altar to reap 
the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are 
fully ripe (14:17-20)
D. The seven plagues--bowls of wrath (15:1 to 16:21).
1. Vision of seven angels having seven plagues (15:1).
2. The redeemed in heaven worshipping God (15:2-4).
3. The seven angels having the seven plagues were given seven 
bowls full of the wrath of God (15:5-7).
4. Preparing to pour out the bowls of wrath (15:8-16:1).
5. First bowl (16:2).
a. Affected only those who had the mark of the beast 
b. It became a noisome (evil or bad) and grievous (painful) 
sore (16:2).
6. Second bowl (16:3).
a. Affected the sea (16:3).
b. The sea became like coagulated blood (16:3).
7. Third bowl (16:4-7).
a. Affected inland waterways and springs (16:4).
b. It, too, became blood (16:4).
c. The angel proclaimed the righteousness of the judgments 
of God (16:5-7).
8. Fourth bowl (16:8-9).
a. Poured out upon the sun (16:8).
b. Men were scorched by the sun (16:9).
c. They blasphemed God and repented not (16:9).
9. Fifth bowl (16:10).
a. Poured out upon the throne of the beast (16:10).
b. They gnawed their tongues for pain (16:10).
c. They repented not of their works (16:11).
10. Sixth bowl (16:12-16).
a. Poured out on the river Euphrates (16:12).
b. The water dried up (16:12).
c. John saw coming out of the mouths of the dragon, the 
beast, and the false prophet, three unclean spirits (16:13).
d. They work signs to gather the spiritual armies of 
wickedness unto the war of the great day of God (16:14).
e. Jesus comes as a thief (no forewarning). Blessed are they 
that watch for him (16:15).
f. They are gathered to a place called Har-Magedon 
11. The seventh bowl (16:17-21).
a. Poured out upon the air--final judgment of God (16:17).
b. Terrible destruction (16:18-21).
E. The fall of Babylon (17:1 to 19:21).
1. The great harlot (17:1-5).
a. Vision given by one of the seven angels that had the 
seven bowls (17:1).
b. Judgment of the great harlot that is sitting upon many 
waters to be shown (17:1).
c. The kings of the earth committed fornication with this 
great harlot (17:2).
d. The angel transported John in a vision to the wilderness 
where he saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored 
beast, having seven heads and ten horns (17:3; compare 
Rev. 13:1-9). (Representing the apostate church in 
alliance with corrupt earthly governments.)
e. The woman on the beast with seven heads and ten horns 
is adorned with finery and jewels (17:4).
f. She is Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots 
and of the Abominations of the Earth (17:5). (Renegade 
churches in contrast with the true church.)
g. She is drunk with the blood of saints and John wondered 
with a great wonder (17:6).
2. The great harlot and the beast (17:7-11).
a. John is told the mystery of the woman and the beast 
b. The beast comes and goes--world empires wax and wane 
c. The seven heads are seven mountains and they are seven 
kings (17:9-11).
3. The ten horns (17:12-18).
a. The ten horns are ten kings who receive authority, with 
the beast, for a short time (17:12).
b. The ten kings give power to the beast (17:13).
c. They war against Jesus and his church--a war between 
false religion and true religion (17:14).
d. The waters from which the harlot came are "peoples, and 
multitudes, and nations, and tongues" (17:15).
e. The alliance between false religions and corrupt 
government will not last because the beast shall hate the 
harlot and punish her (17:16).
f. God providentially controls the outcome (17:17).
g. The woman is the great city that rules over the kings of 
the earth (17:18).
4. Another judgment scene (18:1-24).
a. A glorious angel announces the fall of Babylon (18:1-2).
b. She falls because she corrupted the earth (18:3).
c. The redeemed are called out of her--her sins and 
iniquities are heaped high (18:4-5).
d. She is rendered evil for evil (18:6).
e. Her arrogance will not prevent her sudden destruction 
f. The kings of the earth shall mourn over her destruction 
g. The merchants of earth shall weep and mourn (18:11-16).
h. Sailors laments her downfall (18:17-19).
i. Saints, apostles, and prophets, from their heavenly 
vantage point, rejoice over the destruction (18:20).
j. Her destruction is total, like a great millstone sunk in the 
depths of the sea (18:21-23).
k. In her was found the blood of prophets and saints 
5. Rejoicing in heaven (19:1-12).
a. God is praised and the 24 elders and the heavenly host 
worship God (19:1-6).
b. The marriage of the Lamb (19:7-9).
c. John forbidden to worship the angel, who is a fellow-
servant (19:10).
6. The glorious victor (19:12-16).
a. The white horse and his kingly rider coming forth in 
victory (19:11-13).
b. He is followed by a heavenly army on white horses 
c. The King and Lord of all comes forth in majesty to claim 
a final victory (19:15-16).
7. The great supper of God (19:17-21).
a. The birds of prey feast on the flesh of kings, captains, and 
mighty men (19:18).
b. The beasts and the kings of the earth attempt to resist 
c. The beast and the false prophet cast alive into the lake 
burning with fire and brimstone (19:20).
d. The rest were killed and the birds were filled with their 
flesh (19:21).
F. The last vision--the thousand years (20:1-15).
1. The binding of Satan (20:1-6).
a. An angel comes from heaven with the key to the abyss 
b. The angel binds Satan for 1,000 years (20:2-3).
c. Satan is sealed in the Abyss for 1,000 years (20:3).
d. Satan is to be loosed for a little while at the end of the 
1,000 years (20:3).
2. The sainted dead lived and reigned with Christ 1,000 years 
a. The 1,000 years is a symbol of the entire Christian period. 
It connotes a long but undetermined period.
b. The first resurrection is the burial and resurrection of 
baptism (John 5:25-27). The second resurrection is 
bringing souls out of the tombs (hades) at the 2nd coming 
of Christ (John 5:28-29).
c. The saved are living and reigning with Christ now (5:9-10). 
3. The rest of the dead (dead in sin--unsaved people) lived not 
until the 1,000 years are finished. (20:5).
4. The victorious reign of the saints (20:6).
a. The first resurrection makes one immune to the power of 
the second death (20:6).
b. They are priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign 
with him 1,000 years (20:6).
5. The loosing of Satan (20:7-8).
a. At the end of the 1,000 years (Christian dispensation), 
Satan will be loosed (20:7-8).
b. He shall deceive the nations (20:8).
c. Gog and Magog are the nations in the four corners of the 
earth (20:8). They represent all of the enemies of God 
(See Ezek. 38:1-7).
d. The enemies of God are many (20:8).
6. The destruction of Satan and his worshippers (20:9-10).
a. Gog and Magog (all the enemies of God) are destroyed 
by fire from heaven (20:9).
b. Satan, the beast, and the false prophet, cast into the lake 
that burns with fire and brimstone (20:10).
7. The final judgment--God on his throne (20:11-15).
a. All the dead assembled before God (20:12).
b. Books were opened, and the book of life was opened, and 
the dead were judged according to their works (20:12).
c. Sea, death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, 
and the dead were judged according to their works 
d. Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire, which is 
the second death (20:14).
e. Those not written in the book of life were cast into the 
lake of fire (20:15).
IV. Conclusion--last things (21:1 to 22:21).
A. The new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem (21:1-8).
1. New heaven and earth (21:1).
a. The first heaven and earth are passed away (21:1; 2 Peter 
b. The sea is no more (21:1).
2. The holy city (20:2).
a. New Jerusalem descending from heaven of God (21:2).
b. The New Jerusalem is like a bride adorned for her husband 
3. Eternal salvation--peace and happiness--granted to the 
faithful (21:3-7).
4. The wicked cast into the lake of fire (21:8).
B. The Lamb's bride (21:9-27).
1. One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls shows John 
the wife of the Lamb (21:9).
2. The angel showed John the holy city, Jerusalem, coming from 
the heaven of God (21:10).
3. The beauty of the Lamb's wife--the New Jerusalem 
a. The glory of the sun and the beauty of a diamond (21:11).
b. Twelve gates and twelve angels, having the names of the 
twelve tribes of Israel written on them (21:12-13).
c. Twelve foundations have the names of the twelve apostles 
written on them (21:14).
d. The city is immense and lies foursquare (21:15-16).
e. The wall of the city was splendid and beautiful, adorned 
with precious jewels (21:17-20).
f. The gates were pearls, the street was pure gold (21:21).
g. There is no temple--God and the Lamb are its temple 
h. The city has no blemish, and the glory of all nations are 
brought into it. No night is there. The evil are excluded 
4. The heavenly city further described (22:1-5).
a. The river of life, the street of gold, the tree of life on either 
side of the river (22:1-2).
b. The saved shall see God face to face and serve him 
c. No lamp and no night is there, for God is its light (22:5).
C. The prophecy is confirmed (22:6)
1. The words are faithful and true (22:6).
2. Jesus comes quickly (22:7).
3. John and all who keep the words of the New Covenant are 
fellow servants with the angels in heaven (22:8-9).
4. The book is not to be sealed because the time for the 
fulfillment is at hand (22:10-12).
5. Jesus' invitation (22:13-17).
a. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega (22:13).
b. The purified may enter the city of heaven (22:14).
c. The wicked are excluded from the city (22:15).
d. Jesus sent his angel to testify these things (22:16).
e. Jesus is the bright and morning star (22:16).
f. The great invitation (22:17).
D. The importance of the book (22:18-19).
1. The words of this book are to be neither added to or taken 
from (11:18-19).
E. Last words: "He who testifieth these things saith, Yea: I come 
quickly. Amen: come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus 
be with the saints. 

H. A. "Buster" Dobbs, email: had@worldnet.att.net 


Charles R. Williams

A Brief Outline of Revelation 

A. Purpose of book and blessing announced to those who hear (1:1-3)
B. Address to the seven churches (1:4-8)
C. John's commission to write (1:9-11)
D. The first vision (1:12-20) 
1. Christ among the candlesticks (1:12-18)
2. John's commission repeated (1: 19)
3. Explanation of symbols (1:20)
A. Ephesus: left her first love (2: 1-7) 
B. Smyrna: the rich poor church (2:8-11) 
C. Pergamum: where Satan's throne was (2:12-17) 
D. Thyatira: home of Jezebel (2: 18-29) 
E. Sardis: a dead church (3: 1 -6) 
F. Philadelphia: church with an open door (3:7-13) 
G. Laodicea: the lukewarm church (3: 14-22) 
A. Door opened for John (4 :1) 
B. Appearance of the throne (4:2-3) 
C. Description of those before the throne (4:4-8a) 
D. Worship before the throne described (4:8b-11) 
A. A book in heaven (5:1-14) 
1. The book with seven seals (5:1-5) 
2. The Lamb takes the book (5:6-7) 
3. The worship of the Lamb (5:8-14) 
B. The opening of six seals (6:1-17) 
1. First seal: white horse - conquest (6: 1-2) 
2. Second seal: red horse - war (6:34) 
3. Third seal: black horse - famine (6:5-6) 
4. Fourth seal: pale horse - death (6:74) 
5. Fifth horse: souls under the altar - persecution (6:9-11) 
6. Sixth seal: great earthquake - judgment (6:12-17) 
C. Interlude for the sealing of God's saints (7:1-17) 
1. The 144,000 on the earth (7:1-8) 
2. The great multitude in heaven (7:9-17) 
D. The seventh seal opened - angels of retribution (8: 1-2) 
V. THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (8:3-11:19) 
A. Preparation for sounding the trumpets (8:34) 
1. Angel with the prayers of the saints (8:3-5) 
2. The seven angels prepare to sound (8:6) 
B. The first four trumpets (8:7-12) 
1. Woe on land (8: 7) 
2. Woe on sea (8:8-9) 
3. Woe on land waters (8:10-11) 
4. Woe on heavenly bodies (8:12) 
C. The flying eagle (8:13) 
D. The fifth trumpet: locusts (9:1-12) 
E. The sixth trumpet: horsemen (9:13-21) 
F. The episode of the little book (10:1-11:2) 
1. The strong angel (10: 1 -7) 
2. The little book (10:8-11) 
3. Measuring of Temple, altar and worship (11: 1-2) 
G. The two witnesses (11:3-14) 
H. The seventh trumpet: conflict and triumph (11:15-19) 
A. The woman, child and dragon described (12: 1-6) 
B. The war in heaven (12:7-12) 
C. The woman in the wilderness (12:13-17) 
D. The first beast (13:1-10) 
E. The second beast (13:11-18) 
A. The Lamb and the 144,000 (14:1-5) 
B. The first angel: good tidings (14:6-7) 
C. The second angel: fall of Babylon (14:8) 
D. The third angel: fate of those who worship the beast (14:9-11) 
E. The state of the righteous dead (14:12-13) 
F. The fourth angel: harvest of earth (14: 14-16) 
G. The last angels: fire and vintage (14:17-20) 
A. An introductory vision (15:14) 
B. The seven angels commissioned (15:54) 
C. The first bowl: earth (16: 1-2) 
D. The second bowl: sea (16:3) 
E. The third bowl: fresh waters (16:4-7) 
F. The fourth bowl: sun (16:8-9) 
G. The fifth bowl: throne of the beast (16:10-11) 
H The sixth bowl: Euphrates River (16:12-16) 
1. Three unclean spirits (16:12-15) 
2. Armageddon (16: 16) 
I. The seventh bowl: air (16:17-21) 
A. Vision of the "Mother of Harlots" (17:1-6) 
B. Mystery of the beast explained (17:7-14) 
C. Mystery of the harlot explained (17:15-18) 
D. Fall of Babylon described (18: 1-24) 
E. Thanksgiving over the fall of Babylon (19: 1-10) 
F. Vision of the victorious army (19:11-16) 
G. Doom of the beast and false prophet (19:17-21) 
A. Binding of Satan (20: 1-3) 
B. The Thousand-Year Reign of Christ (20:4-6) 
C. Satan loosed and destroyed (20:7-10) 
D. The final judgment (20:11-15) 
A. A vision of the new Jerusalem (21:14) 
B. The inheritance promised (21:54) 
C. The holy city described (21:9-22:5) 
XII. CONCLUSION (22:6-21) 
A. Validation of the book (22:6-9) 
B. Warning to heed its message (22: 10-20) 
C. Benediction (22:21) 


J. Vernon McGee 


WRITER: John the Apostle

DATE: About a.d. 95


There have been many approaches to this book, but these can be divided into four major systems (Broadus lists seven theories of interpretation; Tragelles lists three):

1. Preterist theory: 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. The view was held by Renan and most German scholars, also by Elliott.

2. Historical theory: Fulfillment of Revelation is going on in history, and Revelation is the prophetic history of the church, according to this theory.

3. Historical-spiritual theory: This theory is a refinement of the historical theory and was advanced by Sir William Ramsay. It 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: This 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 premillennialists and is the view which we accept and present.


· It is the only prophetic book in the New Testament (in contrast to 17 prophetic books in the Old Testament).

· 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.

· 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).

· Revelation is not a sealed book (Revelation 22:10). Contrast Daniel 12:9. It is a revelation (apocalypse), which is an

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

· 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 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 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

KEY VERSES: Revelation 1:18, 19

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell [hades] and of
death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. 


I. The PERSON of Jesus Christ—Christ in glory, Chapter 1

A. Title of the book, v. 1

B. Method of revelation, v. 2

C. Beatitude of Bible study, v. 3

D. Greetings from John the writer, and from Jesus Christ in heaven, vv. 4-8

E. The post-incarnate Christ in a glorified body, judging His church (the great High Priest in the Holy of Holies), vv.

F. Time division of the contents of the apocalypse, v. 19

G. Interpretation of the seven stars and seven lampstands, v. 20

II. The POSSESSION of Jesus Christ—the church in the world, Chapters 2, 3

A. Letter of Christ to the church in Ephesus, 2:1-7

B. Letter of Christ to the church in Smyrna, 2:8-11

C. Letter of Christ to the church in Pergamum, 2:12-17

D. Letter of Christ to the church in Thyatira, 2:18-29

E. Letter of Christ to the church in Sardis, 3:1-6

F. Letter of Christ to the church in Philadelphia, 3:7-13

G. Letter of Christ to the church in Laodicea, 3:14-22

III. The PROGRAM of Jesus Christ—the scene in heaven, Chapters 4—22

A. The church in heaven with Christ, Chapters 4, 5

…I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:3)

1. Throne of God, 4:1-3

2. Twenty-four elders, 4:4, 5

3. Four living creatures, 4:6-11

4. Book with seven seals, 5:1-4

5. Christ: the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the Lamb

which has been slain, 5:5-10

6. A myriad of angels of heaven joins the song of praise

and redemption, 5:11, 12

7. Universal worship of the Savior and Sovereign of the

universe, 5:13, 14

B. The Great Tribulation in the world, Chapters 6—18

1. Opening of the seven-sealed book, Chapters 6:1—8:1

a. Opening of the first seal, 6:1, 2

(Rider on a white horse)

b. Opening of the second seal, 6:3, 4

(Rider on a red horse)

c. Opening of the third seal, 6:5, 6

(Rider on a black horse)

d. Opening of the fourth seal, 6:7, 8

(Rider on a pale horse)

e. Opening of the fifth seal, 6:9-11

(Prayer of the martyred remnant)

f. Opening of the sixth seal, 6:12-17

(The Day of Wrath has come—beginning of the last half of the Great


g. Interlude, Chapter 7

(1) Reason for the interlude between the 6th and 7th seals, 7:1-3

(2) Remnant of Israel sealed, 7:4-8

(3) Redeemed multitude of Gentiles, 7:9-17

h. Opening of the seventh seal, 8:1

(Introduction of seven trumpets)

2. Blowing of the seven trumpets, Chapters 8:2—11:19

a. Angel at the altar with censer of incense, 8:2-6

b. First trumpet—trees burnt, 8:7

c. Second trumpet—seas become blood, 8:8, 9

d. Third trumpet—fresh water becomes bitter, 8:10, 11

e. Fourth trumpet—sun, moon and stars smitten, 8:12, 13

f. Fifth trumpet—fallen star and plague of locusts, 9:1-12

g. Sixth trumpet—angels loosed at river Euphrates, 9:13-21

h. Interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets, 10:1—11:14

(1) The strong angel with the little book, 10:1-7

(2) John eats the little book, 10:8-11

(3) Date for the ending of “the times of the Gentiles,” 11:1, 2

(4) Duration of the prophesying of the two witnesses, 11:3-12

(5) Doom of the second woe—great earthquake, 11:13, 14

i. Seventh trumpet—end of Great Tribulation and opening of temple in heaven, 11:15-19

3. Seven performers during the Great Tribulation, Chapters 12, 13

a. The woman—Israel, 12:1, 2

b. The red dragon—Satan, 12:3, 4

c. The child of the woman—Jesus Christ, 12:5, 6

d. Michael, the archangel, wars with the dragon, 12:7-12

e. The dragon persecutes the woman, 12:13-16

f. Remnant of Israel, 12:17

g. Wild beast out of the sea—a political power and a person, 13:1-10

(1) Wild beast, description, vv. 1, 2

(2) Wild beast, death-dealing stroke, v. 3

(3) Wild beast, deity assumed, vv. 4, 5

(4) Wild beast, defying God, vv. 6-8

(5) Wild beast, defiance denied to anyone, vv. 9, 10

h. Wild beast out of the earth—a religious leader, 13:11-18

(1) Wild beast, description, v. 11

(2) Wild beast, delegated authority, vv. 12-14

(3) Wild beast, delusion perpetrated on the world, vv. 15-17

(4) Wild beast, designation, v. 18

4. Looking to the end of the Great Tribulation, Chapter 14

a. Picture of the lamb with the 144,000, vv. 1-5

b. Proclamation of the everlasting gospel, vv. 6, 7

c. Pronouncement of judgment on Babylon, v. 8

d. Pronouncement of judgment on those who received mark of the beast, vv. 9-12

e. Praise for those who die in the Lord, v. 13

f. Preview of Armageddon, vv. 14-20

5. Pouring out of the seven mixing bowls of wrath, Chapters 15, 16

a. Preparation for final judgment of the Great Tribulation, 15:1—16:1

(1) Tribulation saints in heaven worship God because He is holy and just, 15:1-4

(2) Temple of the tabernacle opened in heaven that seven angels, having seven golden bowls, might proceed forth,

b. Pouring out of the first bowl, 16:2

c. Pouring out of the second bowl, 16:3

d. Pouring out of the third bowl, 16:4-7

e. Pouring out of the fourth bowl, 16:8, 9

f. Pouring out of the fifth bowl, 16:10, 11

g. Pouring out of the sixth bowl, 16:12

h. Interlude: Kings of inhabited earth proceed to Har-Magedon, 16:13-16

i. Pouring out of the seventh bowl, 16:17-21

6. The two Babylons judged, Chapters 17, 18

a. The apostate church in the Great Tribulation, Chapter 17

(1) Great harlot riding the wild beast, vv. 1-7

(2) Wild beast destroys the great harlot, vv. 8-18

b. Political and commercial Babylon judged, Chapter 18

(1) Announcement of fall of political and commercial Babylon, vv. 1-8

(2) Anguish in the world because of Babylon’s judgment, vv. 9-19

(3) Anticipation of joy in heaven because of judgment on Babylon, vv. 20-24

C. Marriage of the Lamb and return of Christ in judgment, Chapter 19

1. Four hallelujahs, vv. 1-6

2. Bride of the Lamb and marriage supper, vv. 7-10

3. Return of Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords, vv. 11-16

4. War of Armageddon, vv. 17, 18

5. Hell opened, vv. 19-21

D. Millennium, Chapter 20

1. Satan bound 1000 years, vv. 1-3

2. Saints of the Great Tribulation reign with Christ 1000 years, vv. 4-6

3. Satan loosed after 1000 years, vv. 7-9

4. Satan cast into lake of fire and brimstone, v. 10

5. Setting of Great White Throne where lost are judged and follow Satan into lake of fire and brimstone, vv. 11-15

E. Entrance into eternity; eternity unveiled, Chapters 21, 22

1. New heaven, new earth, New Jerusalem, 21:1, 2

2. New era, 21:3-8

3. New Jerusalem, description of the eternal abode of the bride, 21:9-21

4. New relationship—God dwelling with man, 21:22, 23

5. New center of the new creation, 21:24-27

6. River of the water of life and tree of life, 22:1-5

7. Promise of return of Christ, 22:6-16

8. Final invitation and warning, 22:17-19

9. Final promise and prayer, 22:20, 21


Barnhouse, Donald Grey. Revelation, An Expository Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan:

Zondervan Publishing House, 1971.

Gaebelein, Arno C. The Revelation. Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1915.

Hoyt, Herman A. The Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Winona Lake, Indiana: Brethren

Missionary Herald, 1966.

Ironside, H. A. Lectures on the Book of Revelation. Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers,

1960. (Especially good for young converts)

Larkin, Clarence. The Book of Revelation. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Published by the author,

1919. (Includes fine charts)

Lindsey, Hal. There’s a New World Coming. Santa Ana, California: Vision House Publishers,


McGee, J. Vernon. Reveling Through Revelation, Vols. 1 and 2. Pasadena, California: Thru the

Bible Radio Network, 1979.

Newell, William R. The Book of Revelation. Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1935.

Ryrie, Charles C. Revelation. Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1968. (A fine, inexpensive survey)

Seiss, J. A. The Apocalypse, Lectures on the Book of Revelation. Grand Rapids, Michigan:

Zondervan Publishing House, 1957.

Strauss, Lehman. The Book of Revelation. Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1964.

Walvoord, John F. The Revelation of Jesus Christ. Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1966.

(Excellent comprehensive treatment)

These notes, prepared by J. Vernon McGee, are for the purpose of giving assistance to the listeners of the THRU THE
BIBLE RADIO program. They are to be used with the Bible and will be more meaningful as you look up all the Scripture
references. Due to the necessary brevity of both notes and broadcasts, a list of recommended books is included for those
wanting a more detailed study. These books may be obtained from a Christian library or bookstore or ordered from the



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