Understanding the Book of Revelation
While all judgment prophecies are harsh and frightening, the Revelation prophecy stands out as the most terrifying. It ends in the cataclysmic destruction of the earth.
The entire book of Revelation is devoted to the end of the world and details God’s judgments unleashed upon the earth plague by plague.
Revelation is the last book of the Bible and is a prophetic book of the end of the age and the return of Christ. It also describes the world that will come into being after this earth is destroyed.
Revelation simply forecasts the apocalypse, which is a synonym for Revelation. The dictionary term for it means:
1. The complete final destruction of the world, esp. as described in the biblical book of Revelation.
2. An event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale.
While the creation occurred in seven days, the end of the world happens over a seven-year time frame. Seven is God’s number of perfection.
The book begins stating that it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants-things, which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.
The prophecy comes with a blessing, Revelation 1:3 states, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” Likewise, the Revelation prophecy comes with a curse, Revelation 22:18-19 states:
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
John begins the book by addressing the seven churches. While God spoke through the Old Testament prophets to talk to the 12 tribes of the children of Israel, the Revelation begins with Jesus communicating to the seven churches. Jesus appears to John in His glory, and He speaks directly to the churches. The language is the same as in the books of the Old Testament prophets, with references to Jezebel and Balaam as the seven churches are now grafted alongside the children of Israel.
John on the island of Patmos, received the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself instructed John to write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this (Rev. 1:19).
While Revelation’s language is similar to all other prophetic books, it differs in four major areas:
1. The word is given by Jesus Christ and has His claim of authorship and the equivalent of his signature at the end of the Revelation.
2. The entire vision takes place in God’s throne room. God’s throne
The throne room is seen by three other prophets, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Daniel. In Jesus’s revelation, He shows John the throne room in full detail and glory.
3. While the creation in Genesis describes what God made each day, the earth’s destruction is almost ceremonial with angels, trumpets and bowls.
4. The prophecy comes with a blessing and also a curse.
The book of Revelation lines with the book of Daniel and the prophets, including Joel’s Day of the Lord, which Isaiah also describes. It elaborates on and parallels Jesus’s discourse in the gospels concerning the earth’s last days. We even find the horsemen in the book of Zechariah and the lion, leopard, bear beast of Revelation 13 mentioned in Hosea.
One-third of Scripture is prophetic. History records the fulfillment of all biblical prophecies except the Revelation prophecy.
Simply, the Revelation details the seven year Tribulation period on earth. The “Great Tribulation” begins in the middle of the seven-year time frame (Dan. 9:25-27).
It ends at the battle of Armageddon; the most famous battle known to man, which will unite the world’s armies together in the war that ends all wars. Immediately, after God causes the cataclysmic finale of the sun darkening, stars falling from the sky and the powers of the heavens shaken (Matt. 24:29). This prompts the second coming of Jesus Christ, who returns in judgment with His heavenly battalion and marks the end of the world.