For many people when they hear someone mention “the Book of Revelation”, it strikes fear in their hearts. Principally, that’s because they believe it is the one book in the Bible that talks about little more than the end of the world. Actually, that could not be further from the truth. It’s true that it is a book filled with symbolism, striking contrasts and extremes mired in confusion and misunderstanding. In reality, it is a book of hope that authenticates the Word of God, assures believers that God’s promises are real and encourages readers to live pure and righteous lives.
General Information about the Book of Revelation
To attempt to provide the Book of Revelation summary is difficult in that its complexity often generates multiple interpretations. The first question is often, “Who wrote the Book of Revelation?”. It is believed that the Apostle John wrote the Book while in exile on the island of Patmos. Scholars believe it was written between 85-95 A.D. after an angel brought John an apocalyptic vision.
In Chapters 1-3, John wrote to the seven churches in Asia Minor about what he had seen, as described in Revelation 1:19. It states, “Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things”. As it turned out, he followed that framework exactly.
In Chapters 4-20 John described the Spiritual Realm when Jesus, the only individual that could open the Book with the 7 seals, returns. Each seal was designed to represent a judgment for the wickedness on Earth except for the 5th. With the 6th seal, it was predicted that 1/3 of the Earth’s population would die. With the 7th, 7 angels with 7 trumpets each would bring one of the worse judgments yet.
John further wrote, “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by the plagues, did not repent” (9:20).
The plagues are designed to demonstrate God’s wrath as a result of the continued wickedness on Earth. John described the eternity of Hell where the disbelievers would be sent. The prediction went on to say that once the Antichrist was thrown into the Lake of Fire, Jesus would reign for 1,000 years (20:10).
In Chapters 21-22, John described the New Earth as well as the New Heaven. He explained that the New Jerusalem would become the Holy City. He also stated that crying, tears, mourning, pain and death would no longer exist for those whose names appeared in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Finally, in Revelation 22:12-13, he wrote: “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done”
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Interesting Facts about the Book of Revelation
The average person has yet to completely comprehend that the Book of Revelation predictions outlines the plan God designed for the Second Coming of Christ as well as Satan’s punishment. Sometimes knowing something about the times and intentions help clarify the text. Here are 12 interesting facts about the time period when the Book was written as well as some trivia.
1. Apostle John’s Punishment and Exile
Before John was exiled to the Greek island of Patmos where he supposedly wrote the Book of Revelation, the Roman Emperor Domitian ordered he be boiled in oil. He miraculously survived the ordeal. It is believed he was around 90 years old at the time.
2. More About Patmos
Patmos was used by the Romans as a penal colony. It is located near what today is Turkey in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Asia Minor.
3. John’s Vision
Scholars believe that one reason people have so much trouble interpreting the Book of Revelations is because it was based on a vision John received from an angel. As a result, it is filled with an excessive amount of imagery. The symbolic language used in the letters to the churches was actually a type of encryption. John knew that the churches would understand the meaning behind the imagery, whereas if the Romans intercepted the transmission they would not. There are a total of 21 symbols such as the seven churches being represented by the “seven lampstands.”
4. A Question of Language
Although many people believe the word “rapture” appears in English Bibles, it actually doesn’t. In English rapture means “the transporting of believers to heaven at the Second Coming of Christ.” The word “rapture” is actually an anglicized version of “raeptius” which is a Latin word meaning to “seize, snatch, tear away.”
5. Praise to God
The Book of Revelation is the only one in the New Testament that mentions “Praise to God” by using the word “Alleluia.” It only appears four times in the Bible and only in Chapter 19.
6. The Battle of Armageddon
The Battle of Armageddon is to be fought in the Valley of Megiddo in Israel. Napoleon once called it the “ideal battlefield”. The Book of Revelation explained that there will be so much carnage that the blood of the evil army will flow as high as the horses’ headgear.
7. The Power of Jesus
Jesus is to demonstrate his power over evil with the help of only one angel that binds Satan and flings him into a bottomless pit for 1,000 years. Jesus then rules Earth during the time Satan is gone.
8. The New Relationship with God
In Revelation, it is predicted that there will no longer be a need for temples and churches. They are currently used as a means to have a fellowship with God. It has been predicted that such places will not be required in the future since man will be able to develop a companionship directly with God.
9. The Tree of Life
The Garden of Eden will no longer be the only place that has a Tree of Life. A restored version will appear in the New Heaven as well.
10. The Ups and Downs of Christianity
For many years during this period, few people recognized Christianity as a religion. In fact, the Roman government believed it was an offshoot of the Jewish faith. When they found out otherwise they declared it illegal.
11. A Book of Sevens
The Book of Revelation contains multiple sets of sevens (the seven churches in Asia, the seven seals, the seven angels with seven trumpets each and the seven bowls of wrath). Even scholars are unsure of the significance of that fact.
12. The Reign of Domitian
The Reign of Domitian took place between 81-96 A.D. He was the one that “bathed the [Roman] Empire in the blood of Christians.” The people of the time frequently worshiped deceased emperors, but Domitian was the first ruler that demanded he be worshiped while he was still alive.
The Book of Revelation is the last book of the New Testament. It is a book of prophecy and hope and filled with symbolism that many find vague and difficult to understand. The purpose was to let the churches and humanity know what to expect when God issued his final judgment on Satan and the world. It also set forth what was to be expected by the world after the final judgment.
The Book was written by the Apostle John after he was exiled to Patmos and received a vision that also instructed him to record everything. It was meant to be a warning of the need for peace as well as about the outcome of history. Just as with other Books in the Bible, there are some fascinating facts surrounding the period of history when it was written as well as why it was written the way it was.
Due to the complexity involved, it’s always important to share articles with friends and coworkers that might also be interested in the topic. There are many articles on the Book of Revelation online that should be reviewed. Although there may be contradictory thoughts on the subject, it’s always a good way to become enlightened so a personal ideology can be developed.