The Book of Revelation:
- 1:1-8 Opening and Blessing
- 1:9-22:9 John’s vision
- 1:9-2:22 Risen Christ Described and Churches Addressed
- 4:1-16:21 The Throne Room and the Judgments to the Earth
- 4:1-5:14 Throne Room
- 6:1-17 Six Seals of Judgment opened
- 7:1-17 The Sealing of the Saints in Worship
- 8:1-5 Final Seal of Judgment Opened
- 8:6-9:21 Six Trumpets of Judgment Blown
- 10:1-11:14 Prophetic Witness
- 11:15-19 Final Trumpet of Judgment Blown
- 12:1-14:20 Conflict Between Descendent of Eve and Descendent of the Serpent
- 14:20-16:21 Seven Bowls of Wrath
- 17:1-22:9 Fall of the Harlot, Return of the King, and Decent of the Bride
- 22:10-22 Closing and Blessing
Check out our sermons of Revelation here.
This is a great guide to direct you as you read through the book of Revelation. Most are intimidated by the book because it uses some figurative language and some strange images. Don’t be. Keep in mind John’s intention as you read it. The reason John wrote Revelation is to encourage and strengthen God’s people even in difficulty. The big point of the book is that Jesus wins the victory and in the end, we will be presented to Jesus spotless on the last day if we repent and cling to Him. This focus comes out clearly for us in the text I am preaching on today, (Revelation 1:9-20) so I will not elaborate much here.
This means when we read Revelation, we don’t need to overthink every little detail and try to fit the different images and events into current events. People have sought to do this throughout history and it has only distracted from the message Jesus is teaching us. Trying to make obscure connections between the images in Revelation and what is on the news every day is not at all the intention of the book of Revelation. If the book of Revelation is leading you to search the news to help you understand the book, then you are missing the point. Revelation should cause you rather to be strengthened as you look forward to the day Jesus comes with the clouds and remain a faithful witness until that day Jesus comes to judge those who do not obey the gospel and gather his people to himself, whether it is today, tomorrow, or after your lifetime.
A Note from the Pastor
I am very excited to be in the book of John and I am confident that you will be enormously blessed by it! The entire book of John portrays Jesus as the fulfillment of every part of the Old Testament Scriptures.
John 5:39 says: “You search the Scriptures (OT) because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me”
Jesus is portrayed as the fulfillment of the scriptures as:
- The word made flesh (John 1:14 from Psalm 33:6; 107:20; 147:15, 18; Isaiah 55:10-11)
- The new temple (John 2:21)
- The tabernacle (John 1:14 from Exodus 25:8)
- The Passover lamb slain for the people (John 1:29, 19:14 from Exodus 12:13)
- The steadfast love and faithfulness of God’s name displayed (John 1:14,17 from Exodus 34:6)
- The manna that came down from heaven (John 6:51 from Exodus 16:4)
- The year of Jubilee (John 8:32 from Leviticus 25:10)
- The one lifted up in the wilderness who delivers all who look to him (John 3:14 from Num. 21:9)
Let us keep in mind John’s motive in writing these signs and witnesses to Jesus:
John 20:30-30 “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Here is the book of John from 10,000 Ft.
The First Half: The Book of Signs Chapters 1-12
- Jesus performs seven signs
- Jesus appeals to seven witnesses
- Jesus is rejected by his people (the Jews)
The Second Half: The Book of Glory Chapters 13-21
- Jesus Prepares his disciples for his death and departure
- Jesus turns to the cross where he will glorify the Father
[This outline was adapted from John by Andreas Köstenberger (2004) and The Gospel According to John By D. A. Carson (1990)]
In Revelation 2, Jesus addresses the church at Ephesus, some 30 years after Paul had written his letter here. The church at Ephesus loved the truth; they shunned evil; but Revelation 2 tells us that Jesus had this against them: they had abandoned the love they had at first. What had happened? We saw at the beginning of Paul’s letter (in Eph 1:15), that he heard of their faith and their love toward all the saints. He commended them for it. Yet 30 years later, it seems they kept their faith, but lacked a certain love. And John MacArthur is helpful here; he says, “The current generation was maintaining the church’s teachings, but it had left its first love. They had sunk to the place where they were carrying out their Christian responsibilities with diminishing love for their Lord and others.” They loved the truth; but perhaps they lost their love for proclaiming it.
My friends, I believe that we love the truth; but I wonder if we love to proclaim it. I wonder if we’re more concerned what they’ll think of us, rather than what God thinks of us, when we let opportunities pass by. And I’m not just talking about inviting them to church; that’s a given; that’s fairly easy. Invite them into relationship with Christ Jesus. Speak of the manifold wisdom of God and all that He has done for you and what He will do for them. And suffer ridicule if need be. Maybe we need some unpadded, contact sport suffering in our Christian life. We certainly need to live out and share our faith boldly, making known the manifold wisdom of God. Do you know what happens to churches when that’s not the case? The Apostle John warns the Ephesian church what will happen if they stay on that path of abandoned love to God and others in Revelation 2:5, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” We’ll stop shining as a light in this community; we’ll be a social club. That would be more tragic than closing our doors: to have the appearance of godliness, all the while denying its power (2 Tim 3:5).