From the book
SURPRISING THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GOD
Revelation. The longest of all the New Testament letters, "The Revelation to John" was addressed to seven specific communities, all located in Asia. There is overwhelming evidence that this book was written by the apostle John, the son of Zebedee. Like Hebrews, this book is built upon quotations and allusions to Old Testament passages (hundreds of references).
Patmos is where John wrote this final book. This small island is located off the coast of Turkey and is thought to have held a Roman penal colony. John was exiled there for his activities as a missionary of Christ.
Revelation was written just as Christians were entering an intense period of persecution. The second half of Nero's reign (A.D. 54—68) and the late years of Domitian's reign (A.D. 81-96) are mentioned several times. Most scholars date Revelation around A.D. 95.
John wrote mainly in response to the continuing growth of emperor worship being enforced by the Romans. Christians were naturally being pressured to proclaim Caesar as Lord, but John wrote to encourage them to resist such demands since they were signed and sealed in Christ and would be vindicated when Christ returned, an event John expected was imminent. He could not visit the churches in Asia Minor, as he had been exiled to the island of Patmos, so he wrote them a letter instead.
Revelation's theme. Perhaps a story of goodness and evil waging a cataclysmic battle in which goodness wins the decisive victory, Revelation is more often seen as a prophecy of end times. The use of bizarre, conflicting images was a practiced style in ancient times. It was called "apocalyptic," so the book is sometimes called the Apocalypse instead of Revelation. The meaning is actually the same, only "apocalypse" comes from a Greek root while "revelation" comes from a Latin root word.
There are four interpretations of Revelation. Preterists believe Revelation's events have already taken place; they understand Revelation exclusively in terms of its first-century settings. Futurists see John's visions primarily coming to fruition in the end times. Historicists believe it is a book meant to describe history from John's time in Patmos to the end times. Idealists view Revelation as a symbolic story of timeless truths, especially of good conquering evil.
[IT IS A BOOK ABOUT THE “DAY OF THE LORD” - AN END TIME PERIOD OF ABOUT ONE YEAR, BUT 42 MONTHS, 1260 DAYS ARE MENTIONED - THE LAST 42 OR SO MONTHS OF THIS AGE - Keith Hunt]
"Apocalyptic" writing is very symbolic. As a result, it is important that readers understand Revelation as a distinct book of the Bible. To understand what is being said, readers must recognize symbols: stars are angels, "the great prostitute" is Babylon (possibly Rome?), lampstands are churches, and the heavenly Jerusalem is the wife of the Lamb, Christ.
A unique feature of Revelation is the frequent use of the number seven. This happens fifty-two times! The number seven is a symbol for completeness; there are references to the seven churches, seven seals, seven signs, seven crowns, and many other items numbering seven.
The extraordinary prophetic vision of the second coming of Jesus and the last judgment were given while John was exiled on Patmos, an Aegean island, used as a Roman penal colony. The author had been banished there for his preaching most likely during the reign of Roman emperor Domitian (A.D. 81-96).
Apocalypse is the Greek name for the Book of Revelation. The word literally means "to unveil" or "to reveal something that has been hidden." The early church had numerous books claiming to reveal future events, and it wasn't until the fourth century that John's apocalypse was recognized as the one inspired version.
John heard a voice telling him what to do before he viewed the speaker (1:10-12). The voice told John to write down what he saw and then to send it to the seven churches. When John turned around, he viewed "someone like a son of man'" speaking to him. The person, Jesus Christ, is described as having hair that was white like wool and even snow, with eyes blazing fire. The speaker was dressed in a robe with a gold sash around his chest.
John was given direct instruction as to whom to address his account: the seven churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Each of the seven receives individual instructions tailored to their particular problems and weaknesses.
The pattern for these individual instructions is generally the same for all seven churches: commendation for their current efforts, expressions of disappointment for weakness or sin, and straightforward direction on how to correct the situation.
The churches are chastised and warned for forgetting to show love to Christ and one another, for failing to stand strong in the face of persecution, for allowing dissidents and religious heresy to exist in their churches, for being "dead" in their faith and refusing to repent, and for being lukewarm in their faith and not taking a solid stance within their surroundings.
Interestingly, all seven churches are given a promise if they will "overcome" the current situation. The promises all include being one with Christ through salvation, yet there is also mention of eternal reward, having authority over other nations, and being seated with Christ on his heavenly throne.
John discusses the throne in heaven where God sits. There is lightning, thunder, and great light. Brilliant color surrounds the Lord, his light reflected in gemlike beams. Surrounding the throne are twenty-four other smaller thrones with an elder seated in each one. The elders are in a constant state of worship of the Almighty.
The four living creatures behind the throne are truly monstrous visions. They too worship the Lord. They are covered with eyes, in order to see every detail. They each have six wings, though their images are all different—a figure like a lion, one like an ox, another with a face like a man, and the last resembling an eagle. Their job is to guard the heavenly throne as well as lead the others in worship. Revelation says that "day and night they never stop saying: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come'" (4:8).
A scroll bearing seven seals is held by Christ, but there is no one worthy to open it anywhere on earth. John says he weeps at the sight because he desperately wants to see what the scroll has to say. Yet there is one worthy to open the scroll. A Lamb that was slain appears, bearing seven horns and seven eyes (symbols of the seven spirits God had sent out into all the earth [5:6]). The lamb is a symbol of Christ—the righteous figure who was the atoning sacrifice for all people.
[IT DOES NOT SAY IT IS CHRIST ON THE THRONE OR IT IS HE HOLDING THE SCROLL. THE THRONE IS THE THRONE OF HEAVEN; ON THAT THRONE SITS THE SUPREME ONE - THE FATHER - THE LAMB - CHRIST IS THE ONLY ONE WORTHY TO OPEN THE BOOK - Keith Hunt]
The Lamb is the only figure worthy to open the scroll. All in heaven fall down to worship him. It is undeniable that God and the Lamb are the Father and the Son and deserve equal reverence and awe. As the Lamb opens the seals, many terrible things happen on earth. John speaks openly, understanding that such things are inescapable for those who have not turned to the Lamb in repentance. Each seal represents a source of destructive power that is unleashed on the earth. The fourth seal unleashes Death and Hades, who are given power over one quarter of the earth to kill, whether with a sword, by famine and plague, or with wild beasts (6:8).
[THIS THRONE IN HEAVEN SHOWS NO INDIVIDUAL SEPARATE PERSON AS THE HOLY SPIRIT; NOR DO ANY OTHER VISIONS OF THE THRONE IN HEAVEN IN OTHER PARTS OF THE BIBLE - Keith Hunt]
Mention is made of the 144,000 believers who are sealed. Though Revelation says they were from the twelve tribes of Israel (7:4), it is uncertain if this is a symbolic number of those who withstood the last days of tribulation as Christians. Whoever they are, they are given seals on their foreheads to claim them as Christ's own so they are not harmed.
[PLAINLY THEY ARE AS IS STATED FROM THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL, ALL BUT THE TRIBE OF DAN; WHY NOT DAN, WE ARE NOT TOLD - Keith Hunt]
Those who have believed are sealed in the Lamb and joyfully present in heaven. John says they were dressed in white robes and were waving palm branches and praising God and the Lamb. Their numbers are too great to count, according to John, and they are from every corner of the earth and speak every tongue imaginable.
[HUMMMM…..YES, THEY PRAISE GOD AND THE LAMB. WHY NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT, IF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A PERSON? JUST COULD NOT BE IF THE GODHEAD IS THREE PERSONS - Keith Hunt]
Those remaining on earth are tortured violently for five months by plagues, natural disasters, and warfare. Revelation 9: 6 says, "During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them." It is a terrible picture, and though there will be a third of mankind who will die, the remaining people will still be unrepentant. The Bible states that this is the period of the first woe, and that two more will follow, correlating to the angels blowing their trumpets.
Two witnesses are mentioned in Revelation 11. It is unknown exactly who these two figures are. It is believed they are modeled after Moses and Elijah, two major prophets of the Old Testament. However, it is possible that these are actual believers who testify in the last days before the return of Christ. Another possibility is that these two witnesses will suffer martyrdom for their testimony. In any case, they are eventually overcome by a beast, and their deaths are heralded as a victory for those still on earth. But God will raise the two witnesses, and they will come to heaven.
[HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL HERE—— HEAVEN DOE NOT AUTOMATICALLY MEAN THE HEAVEN WHERE GOD LIVES; AS WAS ALSO THE CASE WITH ELIJAH—- THERE ARE THREE HEAVENS MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE—— HEAVEN WHERE THE BIRD FLY, HEAVEN WHERE SPACE IS, HEAVEN WHERE GOD IS - Keith Hunt]
A terrible earthquake occurs after the witnesses are raised. Revelation 11:13 says seven thousand people are killed. The survivors are terrified and recognize that this is Christ acting against them. They are terrified and yet do not repent. This is the end of the second woe.
The turning point of the Book of Revelation comes in chapter 11. It is loudly proclaimed that the kingdom is Christ's, and he will reign forever. Yet the war is not over between good and evil. A battle is to be waged in heaven. Chapter 12 opens with a woman giving birth in heaven, and all eagerly looking on at this wondrous sign—she will birth the Messiah. But then a red dragon appears, and he tries to eat her child. However, he is not successful. The male infant is brought to God, who is on his throne. The woman is taken to a place of spiritual protection for a period of 1,260 days.
A battle is then waged in heaven. Christ's angels, who are led by Michael, and the devil (the red dragon) and his angels wage a brutal war. The dragon is not strong enough to succeed. Satan is thrown to earth with his angels following. The dragon is so enraged at his loss that he goes after the woman who birthed the Messiah.
The devil is unsuccessful in his pursuit of the woman, so he turns to her children who remain on earth: those who love and obey God. He is determined to kill them all or turn them from their God. He calls upon a beast to help him.
This beast, though he is powerful, has a limited amount of time to reign: forty-two months. This beast comes out of the sea and is given all the power that Satan has. He will take over the earth, subject God's people to tyranny, and gather the worship of all those who are not signed and sealed with Christ's blood. Most consider this figure to be the true and final antichrist.
Interestingly, forty-two months is considered a symbolic length of time—three-and-a-half-years. The period of forty-two months is also mentioned in Revelation 11:2. Many people believe the premise for this belief comes from a time when Jews were suffering persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes around 175 B.C. Others say this is a natural division of the number seven into two equal parts, each being equally good and evil.
[42 MONTHS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH B.C. TIMES—— IT IS ALL TO DO WITH THE LAST 42 MONTHS OF THIS AGE - Keith Hunt]
Another beast emerges from the earth. This beast makes everyone on earth worship the antichrist. This beast has great power and is able to kill all who do not worship the antichrist. The earthly beast's greater claim to fame, however, is that he forces everyone to have a mark on his or her forehead or right hand. Those who refuse the mark are not allowed to buy or sell anything from anyone and will presumably suffer greatly. The beast is known by his number 666.
The identity and meaning of the mystical beast numbered 666 has deeply concerned Christians throughout history. Its symbolism has been assigned to Satanism in popular culture and to such notorious figures as Napoleon and Hitler. Some scholars believe that while Satan is a major player in Revelation, the meaning of 666 was clear to the people of the time of its writing. In both Greek and Hebrew, letters doubled as numerals.
One solution to the 666 puzzle. The number is produced by adding up the Hebrew letters of "Kaisar Neron," or Emperor Nero, which reaches an equivalent of the number 666. Other possibilities have been other persecuting leaders, such as Euanthas and Lateinos. Still others believe 666 is significant as a symbol of triune evil, as each of the three digits are one number short of the perfect number seven.
[666 IS THE NUMBER OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE—— ROMULUS THE FOUNDER OF ROME ADDS UP TO 666. THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE IS THE POWER IN HISTORY TO PERSECUTE THE TRUE SAINTS OF GOD, AS WELL AS BRINGING FORTH GREAT CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS DECEPTION - BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION - THE WOMAN WHORE THAT HAS CHILDREN—- THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND PROTESTANT CHILDREN - Keith Hunt]
Those who have the mark of the beast suffer great misery in the end times. The beast is felled and they are left on their own. Seven plagues are waged on them by seven different angels. These plagues are also referred to as the "seven bowls of God's wrath." Through these dreadful days, the people still refuse to repent. They curse God and continue to follow the beast.
Kings are gathered from all corners of the world to gather at the place called Armageddon (a Hebrew word), presumably for the final battle. John then sees a vision of a woman riding a beast—Babylon is her name; the beast is the antichrist. Babylon will fall, much to the fear and sadness of those people who associated with her. Those with the mark of the beast had worshiped her, even adored her.
God's army will do battle under the leadership of a rider on a white horse. Revelation 19:13 says, "his name is the Word of God." The rider leads victoriously forward, and eventually the beast and his false prophet (presumed to be the beast numbered 666) are cast into the fiery lake of sulfur.
[THE BEAST MILITARY LEADER OF A MIGHTY EMPIRE, THE LAST RESURRECTED HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, AND THE POPE FALSE PROPHET, WILL BE DESTROYED - Keith Hunt]
Satan is then bound for a thousand years. He will be allowed out for a time following this period, according to Revelation 20. Those who suffered during the reign of the beast as Christians and did not succumb and did not receive the beast's mark are raised and seated with Christ for the thousand-year time period. This is called the first resurrection, since only those recently killed are raised from the dead; the rest will wait until the final resurrection.
[THOSE IN THE SECOND RESURRECTION ARE ONES FROM ADAM WHO NEVER HAD A CHANCE FOR SALVATION - Keith Hunt]
The final judgment is covered in Revelation 20. God sits on his throne with the Book of Life and judges all who have died. All the dead, from the earth and the sea and Hades, are judged by what they had done (v. 12). All whose names are not in the book are thrown into the lake of fire, as are death and Hades.
[THIS WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT IS COVERED FULLY IN MY STUDY CALLED “THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT” - Keith Hunt]
God proclaims the old order completed and promises an end to "death or mourning or crying or pain" (Rev. 21:4). Everything will be new, perfect, and forever, because God has conquered death and Christ has vanquished sin.
The New Jerusalem, according to some interpreters, is another name for the holy city and has a mixture of elements from Jerusalem, the temple, and the Garden of Eden.
John describes in vivid detail its gold and precious stones, and the beauty of this holy place. He even measures the city with a gold measuring rod! Others believe this term is a metaphorical allusion to heaven in general, connoting the place where God and his people reside in holy communion.
[IT IS AS STATED THE HOLY CITY OF GOD COMING DOWN FROM HEAVEN WITH THE FATHER TO THE NEW EARTH; THE NEW EARTH WILL BE THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE FAMILY OF GOD….GLORIOUS ETERNITY….. WHO KNOWS WHAT THE FATHER MAY WANT TO DO. THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS EXPOUND FOR YOU IN MY “NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE STORY” - Keith Hunt]