New Testament Survey – Book of Prophecy

New Testament—Book of Prophecy


The last book in the Bible is the book of Revelation.  The Apostle John, who wrote the fourth gospel, also wrote the three letters just before Revelation, and he is the author of this last book.  Revelation is the only book of prophecy in the New Testament, and to be frank, it is difficult to understand every bit of it.  It is written in apocalyptic language, which contains visions, symbolic language, the use of numbers.  Its focus is usually future events, the warfare of good versus evil, and the judgment of evil, and divine deliverance in time of persecution.

The Book of Revelation is open to different interpretations, and Christians of good conscience, have often parted ways, over their interpretation of this book.  This book not only describes events in world history, but its very title (Revelation) is literally the Revelation of Jesus Christ.  In chapter one, this book demonstrates his glory, wisdom and power; in chapters 2-3, it portrays his authority over the churches; in chapters 5-19, his power and right to judge the world.  Jesus is not pictured as timid or meek.  He is the conquering hero, the powerful Commander in Chief of Heaven’s armies, and The Book of Revelation declares that the day will come when He will prove victorious over the Anti-Christ, the False Prophet, over all of His enemies, and He will establish His Kingdom with justice and righteousness.

The number seven is very prominent in Revelation:  seven churches (chapters 2-3), seven seals (Rev. 6:1-8:1), seven trumpets (8:2-9:21), seven signs (chapters 12-14), seven bowls (chapters 15-16) and seven final events (chapters 17-22).

Many have had Revelation 3:20 presented to them as the voice of Christ in an evangelistic appeal:  “Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”  And Christians for centuries have been comforted by the words of chapter 21:1-4, where we hear this assurance about Almighty God:  “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Here is a somewhat abbreviated outline of Revelations:

I.                    The prologue (1:1-8)

II.                  The things past (1:9-10)

III.                The things present—Christ’s words to the 7 churches (chapters 2-3)

IV.                The things predictive (4:1-22:5)

A.       The tribulation period (4:1-19:21)

B.      The reign of Christ (the Millennium) and the Great White Throne (20:1-3)

C.      The eternal state (21:1-22:5)

D.      The epilogue (22:6-21)

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