The book of Revelation is one of the most neglected and yet one of the most abused books of the New Testament today and in times past. This view point is expressed in various forms by many biblical scholars.

"It is regarded as the most difficult book of the New Testament by most Christians. It is the most 'turned back' book. Classes make their way through the New Testament, but when they get to Revelation they 'turn back' to Matthew." (1)

"Neglected, misunderstood, and grossly perverted, the Book of Revelation stands quite alone in the New Testament." (2)

The book of Revelation has also been used by many religious fanatics, who have preyed on the weak and ill informed to promote their wild and fanciful speculations and theories. Many Christians today are ill informed as to the content of the book of Revelation, with a general concept that it is a most difficult book and that it can only be understood by those who are Biblical scholars or by those who have some type of higher secular education. I believe that this attitude toward a portion of the Inspired Word of God to be un-acceptable to God and to all those who profess to be children of His. The word of God is given for many different reasons:

"(16) All Scripture {is} given by inspiration of God, and {is} profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2Timothy 3:16-17)

"as His divine power has given to us all things that {pertain} to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue," (2Peter 1:3)

From these two scriptures alone I believe that the child of God today must reach a decision that the message contained in the book of Revelation is as important to us today as it was at the time of its writing. I do not believe that the book of Revelation is any less important in content than any of the other inspired books of the Bible, yet it is one of two books that most Christians shy away from because of its pre-judged content. As much as I believe this, this in no way demises the fact that there are many difficulties with its content, nor do I portray the attitude of having come to a complete or full understanding of its message. It is my prayer to God and my desire for you to open our minds and hearts to receive the "implanted words of life". The day that we seize to study is the day of our death and the doorway to a better and more complete understanding of the things beyond this life. Study should be a constant way of life for the child of God. One needs to always keep in mind that we are to have an "OPEN MIND AND AN OPEN BOOK" if we are to come to a fuller understanding of God's Divine Will.

I. The Purpose and Theme of the Book of Revelation

For many the purpose of the book of Revelation served as only applicable to those of the First Century Christians. The purpose, as our Title of this book depicts, is a message of comfort during a time of conflict that ultimately results in a conquest and a victory over the oppressor. Although this message was directly written to the Christians of the First Century, I believe that we as children of God today can and must see the message applicable throughout the ages as well as the ages to come. From other plain Scripture we are told that Satan and His evil forces are at work trying to destroy that which belongs to God and that which is good. We see this attack begin in the Garden of Eden, and we still see this attack continuing today, believing the end to such an onslaught against the children of God to only seize at that Great Day with the coming of Our Lord and Savior in the Air. Peter warns us that Satan is constantly seeking for those whom he may devour:

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." 1Peter 5:8

Paul warns us that we are to be constantly aware of the evil devices that Satan will use to entrap and snare the children of God:

"(13) For such {are} false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. (14) And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. (15) Therefore {it is} no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works." 2Corinthians 11:13-15

Since the evidence is overwhelmingly clear, that Satan is in constant conflict with the children of God, the message that is contained in the Book of Revelation is applicable. Though the times have changed and the methods of Satan have taken on a new appearance the basic underlying aim is still the same. Satan wants all that is good to bow the knee unto him. To leave the Creator God and worship at His feet.

Let us now note in a little more detail the purpose of the book in regard to the First Century Christians. As one looks at the plight of the First Century Christians one cannot help but wonder what their state would have been, had such a book as Revelation not been written. In the minds of these Christians the overall result they foresaw must have been that they stood to be defeated and totally eliminated from the face of the earth by Rome who, at this point in time, was well armed and was recognized to be the mightiest army in the world. Against this army stood a small band of Christians who believed in a Risen Savior whose only weapon of war was the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit, cf. Eph. 6:17. How hopeless their plight must have looked to them and to others whom they were trying to persuade to believe. By the year A.D. 95 a Roman Law was proclaimed that it was a crime to be a Christian and that such was punishable by death. Emperor Worship was at its pinnacle and allegiance to the Caesar was demanded of all Roman subjects. It is under these circumstances that this struggle between the Church of Jesus Christ and the Evil forces of Satan is depicted in the Book of Revelation.

"The one proclaimed its allegiance to the Divine Christ, and the other proclaimed its allegiance to Caesar, who himself laid claim to divine rights. Christ versus Caesar! Who would finally win in the fight that lay ahead?" (3)

These two forces were diametrically opposed to one another. Two great Kingdoms went out into the world to capture the hearts of men, women and child. One empire subjected its subjects by physical force while the Kingdom of Christ subjected its followers with the spiritual message of God. The vast difference can be seen in the method of subjection:

1. Roman Empire -- Physical Domination with involuntary servitude, threats of death and destruction is one did not comply.

2.Kingdom of God -- Spiritual Domination with a voluntary servitude, with spiritual blessings to all those who would come.

The battle is between the Church of Jesus Christ and that of the Roman Emperor, between Good and Evil and between God and the Devil. To many without the words of comfort in the book of Revelation the cause for which they stood must have seemed hopeless. Yet in the visions of John the message is clear that the conflict which "soon is to come to pass" 1:1 the Christian is admonished and is comforted in knowing that the Lord Christ is God and is victorious over the Evil forces in the end. Surely the purpose of the book can be summed up in this one short statement -- "It is not over until it is over" or as one would say in the Afrikaans language "Vasbyte", being interpreted "Hang in there it is worth your while in the end." The optimism that is depicted by John is not arrogant stupidity but rather one that comes from the strength and the knowledge of the Power of the King that we serve. Listen to the words of David concerning this matter:

"(1) I will love You, O Lord, my strength. (2) The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (3) I will call upon the Lord, {who is worthy} to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. (4) The pangs of death encompassed me, And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. (5) The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. (6) In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, {even} to His ears." Psalm 18:1-6

The message and purpose of the book for Christians living today is basically the same. Though our enemy is not the Roman Empire and paganism, and though we are not subjected to bow the knee to any man by force, the enemy remains the same. Any object that demands that we must have absolute allegiance to it and thus deny the Deity of Christ and His absolute authority is in fact the same conditions under which the Book of Revelation was written. Though we may not have the savage persecution of the Roman Empire, the Child of God still faces persecution in the form of (1) Reproach and slander ; (2) cold looks ; (3) nicknames ; (4) social ostracism ect. thus the comfort given in the words of Revelation is applicable today as it was back at the time of its writing.

Two passages of Scripture can be given from the Book of Revelation to show this overall theme of victory for those who endure in the Faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

"Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw {some} of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10

"These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those {who are} with Him {are} called, chosen, and faithful." Revelation 17:14

The comfort of knowing that through out the trials and tribulations of God's Children, the hardships that are endured and the constant attacks of Satan and His Evil forces against that which is good is but a small frame in the overall picture. The whole picture depicts Christ and His Forces victorious over the forces of Evil and that which is contrary to God and His Will. May we today learn that the faithful in Christ are the ultimate victors for the body may be killed by those on earth, however, with the fear and the respect of God in Heaven the child of God is assured a place in the wonderful city of God eternally. Christ says:

"And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. (5) But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!" Luke 12:4-5

Let us learn to put our full trust in the Lord and in His might and power, and truly a home awaits us with the righteous whom have gone on before.


The child of God needs to note that the name of the book is "Revelation" and not "Revelations". Although the book is made up of many Revelations the books name is in the singular. Note this is also true of the Old Testament Book Psalm.

The name Revelation comes from the Greek word apokalupsis {ap-ok-al'-oop-sis} which Strong's defines as "disclosure: -appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation."

1. Thayer defines this as - "an uncovering; 1. prop. a laying bare, making naked" (4)

2. Vine says of this Greek Word - "an uncovering (akin to apokalupto)", which defined "signifies to uncover, unveil". (5)

The name Revelation {apokaluptis} classifies the type of literature the writer has used in his effort to uncover the message of God that was revealed unto him.

"Apocalyptic literature was always relevant to the historical situation of the day. Daniel and Ezekiel were written during the Babylonian exile to comfort the chosen people in their faithfulness and to prepare them for trails, even down to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes and to the Roman Empire. Revelation was written at a time when God's saints were being tried in the crucible called Rome." (6)

Apocalyptic writing found its roots in the situations and circumstances of the day. This style of writing many times was the direct result of troublous times often as a result of political upheaval. In the Old Testament there are three inspired Apocalyptic writings ie. Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah. Revelation is the only New Testament book that takes on this style of literature. It is with little doubt in this writers mind that the Christians of the first century were well acquainted with this style of literature and therefore the message possibly did not present to them a problem as it does to many us today. According to Ferrell Jenkins, in his book Studies in the Book of Revelation p. 1, most of the apocalyptic literature was written during the years 200 B.C and A.D. 100.

The purpose of the writer is not to cover up the message but rather through a series of visions, and symbols he makes the message of God more clear. Certainly as we have noted in the purpose and theme of the Book of Revelation the message one must see is that of the present Glory of Christ and the power He has to give victory unto those who endure the sufferings of this present life for the cause of Jesus Christ.

III. Authorship of the Book of Revelation:

This area along with many other sections within the confines of introductory material is one that is highly debatable. Since the author of the book of Revelation does not disclose who he is, apart from the four times he makes reference to himself as John cf. 1:1 ; 1:4 ; 1:9 ; 22:8, it is up to the student to speculate as to which John this might have reference to. The careful student will examine all arguments for and against various authors and determine which in his mind is the more plausible. However, one needs to be warned against the danger of making such an issue of fellowship, since the evidence is purely a gathering of facts made by fallible men who are in no position to assert the finality of their decisions upon those who differ. When one examines the issue of authorship of this Book and of other inspired writings one must look in various places as to his determining which author is the more acceptable. The areas to be looked at should include:

1. The Internal Evidence.

2. The External Evidence.

3. And the Grammatical Evidence.

Let us now carefully examine these various evidences in trying to determine who this John is, as the Author of Revelation.


The internal evidence of the authorship is limited to four passages in the entire Book of Revelation. It is in these four passages that the author refers to himself as "John".

"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," Revelation 1:1

"John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne," Revelation 1:4

"I, John, both your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 1:9

"Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things." Revelation 22:8

From these passages and other passages it is safe to assert that the writer of Revelation was:

1. A servant of Christ - 1:1

2. That he is a Christian, since he refers to himself as a brother and companion in this tribulation - 1:9

3. That he was a prophet - since he identifies himself as such in 1:3 ; 10:11 ; 22:6-10, 18, 19 ; 22: 9 ,19.

4. That he was exiled because of his testimony of Christ - 1:9

It is also safe to assert that the writer of Revelation was a Palestinian Jew, from his usage of the Old Testament and Targums and who also was steeped in the ritual of the temple and in the synagogue's. The fact that the very title of the Book includes in it the name John cannot be overlooked. This title "occurs in several MSS, including the Codex Sinaiticus" (7)

Since no mention is ever made by the writer as to his apostleship, this has led many to speculate that this John is not the Apostle of Christ, the son of Zebedee. However, the majority of biblical scholars hold to the authorship as that of "John the Apostle" of Christ. These conclusions are largely based upon the external and Grammatical evidence. Those who oppose the idea that John the Apostle of Christ as the author of the Book, suggest that the mysterious John the Presbyter who lived at Ephesus or the mentioning of John was only a pseudonym used by the original author to lend acceptance as though it were a letter of authority. It is the view of this writer that the evidence for John the Apostle as author of the Book, outweighs any evidence produced to adequately dispose of this conclusion. Apart from this evidence, it is recorded that the Apostolic viewpoint was widely received by the church and it was only in AD 264 that this was openly opposed.

"The earliest witnesses ascribe Revelation to John the Apostle, the son of Zebedee. Dionysius, the distinguished bishop of Alexandria and student of Origen (d.c. 264), was the first within the church to question its apostolic authorship." (8)

Homer Hailey states concerning this matter:

"Although a few relatively early writers raised the question of authorship, the Apostle John's composition of Revelation was never seriously questioned until modern nineteenth-century liberal criticism." (9)

Further internal evidence will be examined under the sub-title Grammatical evidence.


External evidence is that evidence which is gathered from secular writers who many times wrote according to the voice of tradition. As one examines this segment of history one needs to be reminded that the further away from the first century one gets the less reliable the voice of tradition might be.

Justin Martyr (A.D. 110-165) in his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew (LXXXI) says. "There was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ,who prophesied by revelation," and then refers to the thousand years, the resurrection and the Judgment of Revelation 20. (10)

Irenaeus (A.D. 120-202), who had heard Polycarp, a disciple of John the apostle, wrote in his Against Heresies (IV. xx. 11), "John, also the Lord's Disciple ..... says in the Apocalypse," and then quotes profusely from that Book. (11) Having thus identified him as the "Lord's Disciple". Irenaeus says later: "In a still clearer light has John, in the Apocalypse, reveled certain things," which the writer proceeds to discuss (V.xxi 1). (12)

Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 153-217) in his treatise, Who is the Rich man that Shall be Saved? (XLII), writes of "the apostle John" who "returned to Ephesus from the Isle of Patmos" after "the tyrant's death." The tyrant is unnamed. (13)

Tertullian (A.D. 145-220), sometimes called "the Father of Latin Christianity," a voluminous writer, wrote five books Against Marcion. In book III. xxv, Tertullian writes of the Jerusalem let down from heaven. He quotes Paul, who called it "our mother" (Galatians 4:26), and he says, "the apostle John beheld" it, referring to Revelation 21:2. (14)

Origen (A.D. 185-254), in De Principiis says, "According to John, God is Light" (I. II. 7), unquestionably referring to the Apostle John. Then later he says, "Listen to the manner in which John [the John whom he had quoted above] speaks in the apocalypse". (I. II. 10). (15)

Surely Origen knew only one John who wrote Scripture, and that was John the Apostle.

For reasons of space, let it suffice that the evidence thus far produced in this segment stands to prove that the early church fathers accepted the authorship of Revelation as John the Apostle of Christ's work. For the diligent student Hippolytus (A.D. 170-236) ; Victorinus (Died in persecution A.D. 303) as well as the Muratorian Fragment, ect. all lend their support to the genuineness of Revelation and that of being from John the Apostle of Christ. It is with great surety that such an array of testimony can lead one to accept John the Apostle as the writer of Revelation. However, one must constantly keep in mind the fact that God in Christ is the Real author. This Revelation is not the mind of John revealed or the single work of the human John the Apostle but is the Mind of God revealed though the inspired pen of John. To this aim we can be assured.


This evidence is an internal examination of the grammatical structure, usage of certain words and the overall comparison with other works known to have been written by the Apostle John.

The use of certain words --- words which are almost unique to John in writings accepted as from John the Apostle point to his authorship of the Book of Revelation.
Word Gospel of John Epistles of John Revelation


John 1:1

John 1:14

I John 1:1

"Word of Life"

Revelation 19:13

"Word of God"



John 16:33 7 Times 17 Times


8 Times 4 Times 10 Times


John 21:15 28 Times of Jesus

1 Time of Earth Beast

Chart # 1. Chart by John Cripps from class notes on Revelation by Melvin Curry (Florida College 1987)

Code: * Exceptions --- Luke 11:22 ; Romans 3:4 ; 12:21

* Exceptions --- Luke 16:11 ; I Thess. 1:9 ; Heb. 8:2 ; 9:24 ; 10:22

The other internal grammatical evidence can be studied in the chart (listed # 2) below demonstrating the unique comparison between the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation in Organizational structure and thought.

Gospel of John Presents a Conflict between Jesus & Satan In the Book of Revelation the conflict is between the Church of Jesus and Satan
1. Introduction of Jesus 1. The Introduction to the churches - (chs. 1-3).
2. Conflict - The conflict is intensified. 2. The Throne of God. Conflict is evident. The Conflict intensified.
3. Climax - in the death of Christ. 3. Climax is reached. The church is prostrate.
4. Apparent defeat. Jesus represents a lost cause. 4. Apparent defeat. Christians are dying.
5. Triumph! The resurrection and ascension. Satan is defeated. 5. The church Triumphant! At Home with God. Enemies defeated.
In Satan's attempt to defeat Jesus, he used these methods: In Satan's attempt to defeat the Church, He uses:
1. The World - (lust of the flesh, of the eyes, pride of life). 1. Sea Beast - (Civil Power)
2. Religious powers - (Pharisees, Chief Priests, Ciaphas, Sanhedrin) .2. Land Beast - False Prophet - (Religious Power)
3. Civil Powers - (Pilate, Roman Government) 3. The Harlot - (the World)


Let us now note a few objections to John the Son of Zebedee as the possible author of Revelation.

As has been noted before, Dionysius of Alexandria (A.D. 265) a pupil of Origen, was one of the first scholars to disagree with the widely held traditional view that John the Apostle of Christ was the author of Revelation. According to the writings of Dionysius there where others who had disagreed with the commonly held belief of the authorship, however, no names are mentioned. Dionysius' objections where based entirely on the basis of grammatical and syntactical {ie. adj. of or relating to syntax or in accordance with the rules of syntax.}(17) difficulties. What needs to be recognized by the writings of Dionysius is the fact that though he disagrees with the commonly held belief of Authorship of Revelation, he does not outright deny the Authorship of John the Son of Zebedee as the author of the book. Rather, he states that, "he does not easily agree" with the traditional view. While the majority of Dionysius' argument comes from internal evidence there is some pieces of external evidence that needs to be given a closer examination. The external evidence comes from the pen of Eusebius as is quoted in his writing (18). The testimony is that of Papias of whom Eusebius wrote and made his decisions concerning the authorship of Revelation.

"If, then, any one should come, having followed personally the elders, I would question him concerning the words of the elders, what Andrew or what Peter said, or what Philip, or what Thomas or James, or what John or Matthew or any one of the disciples of the Lord said, and the things which Aristion and the elder John, disciples of the Lord, say."(19)

According to Robertson the mentioning of John twice in this paragraph, led Eusebius to believe that two John's where present in Ephesus and to make the wrong interpretation of authorship of Revelation. Let us note some objections made by Ray Summers in his book, (20)

1. In this quotation Aristion and the Elder John are pictured as still living at the time Papias referred to them. Papias used "say" and not "said".

2. Note that Papias called all the apostles names "elders".

3. Aristion is merely a "disciple".

4. In the New Testament John is called a disciple, an Apostle, and elder just as was also the case of Peter and the others.

5. There is nothing in this quotation that demands two John's but simply identifies John the elder as the John mentioned with the disciples already mentioned.

6. Thus we have not two John's but rather two types of testimony.

7. One needs to remember that Irenaeus (A.D. 140-202) lived much closer to Papias (A.D. 70- 140) than did Eusebius (A.D. 270-340). Irenaeus studied Papias and quoted him frequently but never did he come up with two John's in any of his work. Irenaeus never knew Papias personally but he did know Polycarp, who had John the Apostle personally.

Another external evidence that needs to be examined is the testimony, found in a fragment in the late part of the 19th. Century, of Georgius Hamartolus of the 9th. Century A.D. This argument exerts the possibility that John the Apostle of Christ died with his brother James in the year A.D. 44. This being the case then John the Son of Zebedee could not have written the Book of Revelation since the majority of scholars agree that the book was written approx. A.D. 95-96 {more to be discussed in the section entitled Dating of the book}. The testimony is as follows: "Then after Domitian, Nerva reigned one year, who having recalled John from the Island, permitted him to live at Ephesus. Being at that time the only one of the twelve disciples surviving after having compiled his Gospel he was honored with martyrdom. For Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, being a personal associate of the same, in the second book of his "Saying of the Lord," says that he was slain by the Jews, fulfilling clearly with his brother the prediction of Christ concerning them and their own confession and undertaking for Him. For when the Lord said to them, "Are ye able to drink of the cup of which I drink?" and they willingly consented and agreed: "My cup," he says, "Ye shall drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized shall ye be baptized." And so it came to pass, for it is impossible for God to lie. And thus also the much learned Origen in his commentary of Matthew maintains - that is, that John met martyrdom, contending that he had learned this from the successors of the Apostles. And then indeed also the well informed Eusebius in his church History says, "Thomas received by lot Parthia, but John Asia, among whom also he lived out and culminated his life in Ephesus." (21)

Note the clear weaknesses of this testimony. Hamartolus was confused and contradictory in his testimony.

1. He first opened by saying John was recalled from Patmos by Nerva having compiled his gospel and then was martyred.

2. He then goes on to site Papias as proof that John was martyred by the Jews, linking his death to his brother James'.

a. This being the case John's death would come several decades before the reign of Nerva.

3. To add to this he adds the testimony of Eusebius that John lived out his life in Ephesus near the turn of the century.

It has been suggested that Hamartolus was confused with the testimony of Origen and misrepresented it. Note now the testimony of Origen:

"The sons of Zebedee did certainly drink the cup and were baptized with the baptism, since Herod killed James, the brother of John, with the sword and the Emperor of the Romans, as tradition records, banished John to the Island of Patmos, for approving the word of truth with his testimony. John himself hands down in the Apocalypse .... the circumstances of his martyrdom." (22)

Summers lists the main arguments of Dionysius internal structure of Revelation as not to be that of John the Apostle as follows:

1. The Evangelist (writer of the 4th Gospel) does not prefix his name or mention it anywhere else, either in the Gospel or in His Epistles. On the other hand the writer of the Apocalypse mentions his name four times.

2. The writer of the Gospel claimed to be the disciple especially loved by Jesus. The writer of the Apocalypse makes no such claim.

3. There were tow other Epistles attributed to John and both were anonymously written by "the Elder." But in the Epistle included in the Apocalypse the writer boldly declares himself, "John to the seven ....." Revelation 1:4.

4. The form and complexion of the composition of the book of Revelation is very different from that of the Fourth Gospel. (23)

These arguments should suffice to note why this author is more ready to accept the testimony of John the Apostle as the author of Revelation, rather than try to ramble his way through material that is highly suggestive and incorrect.

As a concluding word of advise concerning the authorship of the Book of Revelation let me once again state that though one may not see eye to eye with a fellow brother on this particular point the fact remains:

"As the case now stands, criticism seems to have reached an impasse, and the plain reader may best use the book in disregard of questions of authorship, - a procedure the more justifiable because its teaching is independent of personal matters." (24)

Let us follow these words of advise in realizing that since the author himself did not specify who he was or what relationship he had with Jesus Christ, let us not emphasize what has not been revealed unto us.


"The inner significance of numbers was a kind of device which always had fascination for the Oriental mind. In that early day, when language was primitive and the vocabulary meager, one Hebrew word sometimes was compelled to do duty for a score of diverse meanings. Under such conditions men came naturally to use numbers as we use words. They were the symbols of moral or spiritual truth. A certain number would suggest a definite concept. The conceptions arose quite naturally through a certain primitive associations. Just as the sound of a given word by long habit calls up the corresponding idea, so a certain number, by acquired association, called up a definite concept. Such numbers become symbols and cannot be read with the literal exactness that we employ when interpreting mathematical formulae."(25)


ONE : Symbolizes unity or independent existence (not actually used in Revelation, but stands behind several others.)

TWO : Symbolizes strengthening, confirmation, redoubled courage and energy.

1. Two witnesses confirm the truth of God --- Rev. 11:3-12.

2. Two wild beasts supporting each other oppose the truth --- Rev. 13:1ff.

3. Note Eccl. 4:9-12 for the strength and power of two.

God has a twofold instrument of warfare: The conquering Christ and the sickle of Judgment. These defeat the beasts. Symbolism teaches triumph of good over evil.

THREE: Man found in his primitive home the divinest thing life could offer --- father love, mother love, filial love. He found God in the interplay of love and kindness in his home. Thus, "3" became the symbol of the Divine. For us today it is easier to see since there are three in the Godhood - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

GOD --- Revelation 1:4 -- ".... Him who is and who was and who is to come,..."

JESUS CHRIST --- Revelation 1:5 -- "and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth."

BELIEVERS --- Revelation 1:5c-6 -- " To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, (6) and has made us kings and priests..."

THREEFOLD DIVISION OF BOOK --- Revelation 1:19 -- "Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this."

THREE EVENTS --- Revelation 4:1 "... and behold, a door {standing} open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard {was} like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."

OCCUPANT ON THE THRONE --- Revelation 4:3 -- "And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and {there was} a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald."

TWENTY FOUR ELDERS --- Revelation 4:4 -- "Revelation 4:4 -- "Around the throne {were} twenty four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads."

OUT OF THE THRONE PROCEEDED --- Revelation 4:5 -- "And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices...."

FOUR LIVING CREATURES CHANT --- Revelation 4:6b,8,9 -- ".... and around the throne, {were} four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. (8) ...saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!" (9) Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,"

GOLD CROWNED ELDERS ASCRIBE HIM --- Revelation 4:11 -- "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created."

THREE WOE TRUMPETS --- Revelation 8:13 -- "And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!"

THREE FROG LIKE SPIRITS issue from the mouth of : --- Revelation 16:13 -- "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs {coming} out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet."

THREE PLAGUES UPON BABYLON -2-- Revelation 18:8 ".... death, mourning and famine...." Three classes of men wail over Babylon's fall : KINGS (vrs 9), MERCHANTS(vrs. 11), SEAMEN (vrs. 17) --- See Ezek. 27.

FOUR : Cosmic number! The world in which men lived, worked, died! Supposed to be the number of creation. Usual reference made to the "four corners of the earth."

FOUR LIVING CREATURES with four faces --- Revelation 4:6-8 --- (6)four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. (7) The first living creature {was} like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature {was} like a flying eagle. (8) And {the} four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!"

FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH --- Revelation 7:1 -- "After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree."

FOUR ANGELS at river EUPHRATES. They watch --- Revelation 9:14-15 -- "saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. (15) So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind."

TRODDEN WINEPRESS --- Revelation 14:20 -- "And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs."

a) This is the square of 4 X 100.

FOUR SEALS --- Revelation 6:1-8 -- "(1) Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." (2) And I looked, and behold, a white horse. And he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (3) When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see." (4) And another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that {people} should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (5) When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." And I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. (6) And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." (7) When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see. (8) And I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth."

a) Four horses go forth at the call of four living creatures.

EIGHT descriptive EPITHETS touching the wicked : --- Revelation 21:8 --"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

a) 4 X 2 or 2 X 4

FIVE : Number of hands and feet (five fingers and toes). Frequently cut-off or maimed and crippled through disease, accident or warfare!

"A perfect, full-rounded man was one who had all his members intact" (Ibid. p.23)

"Five doubled to ten --- human completeness". (ie Parents look at baby's hands and feet!) "Whole duty of man" --- Ten Commandments!

"Complete authority or power in government" --- beasts with ten horns.

a) Dragon , chp 12 ; First beast, chp 13 ; Scarlet beast chp 17 --- all have ten horns.

TEN : Used in Combinations with other single numbers.

a) 70 --- sacred number --- Numbers 3 added to 4 = 7 multiplied by 10

1) Symbolizes God with His Creation is Completeness.

b) 1000 --- this symbolizes ultimate completeness, nth degree.

SIX : A sinister meaning! Six fell short of seven and failed!

"The charge that met defeat, with success just in its grasp" --- represented by six (Summers p. 24) This represents doom! Just as 13 does to many today.

SEVEN : Combination of perfect world number and perfect Divine number, therefore it was the most sacred number to the Hebrews!

"The number of completeness, of perfection, and of dispensational fullness."


a. Seven Churches (2-3)

b. Seven Candlesticks.

c. Seven seals (5-8:1)

d. Seven Spirits (1:4)

e. Seven Trumpets (8:2-11:16)

f. Seven Stars (1:16)

g. Seven Bowls (15:5-16)

h. Seven Sections to the Book.

Seventy members of Jewish Council. Jesus sent out seventy Disciples.

Fourteen songs in Revelation (7 X 2) : 4:8, 11 ; 5:9,12,12 ; 11:15,17,18 ; 12:10-12; 15:3,4 ; 19:1,2,5,6-8.

The Lamb has Seven horns and seven eyes (5:6), "which denote the almighty power, the supreme intelligence, and the perfect omni-potence and omniscience which He is endowed with" (Moorehead, p. 32).

Seven attributes of praise to the Lamb --- (5:12) --- to God (7:12). Chapter 19 --- six angels and One Like the Son of Man.

TWELVE : 4 X 3. In Hebrew religious thought 12 equals symbol of organized religion in the world. 12 Tribes, 12 Apostles, 12 Gates. 144,000 equals 12,000 X 12.

"The number of final and eternal perfection and duration" --- (Moorehead).

a) Note the Celestial City, the New Jerusalem (21:1-22:5)

1) 12 foundations.

2) 12 gates.

3) 12 Angel sentinels and guardians.

b) The city is a majestic cube, 12,000 furlongs being the measure of its form.

c) The tree of life yields 12 manners of fruits and yields them through 12 months of a cycle.


Seven cut in half! Symbol of incompleteness. Restless, longings unfulfilled; aspirations unrealized ; world awaiting for something.

Men of despair and confusion waiting for peace and light. Rev. 6:4

Two witnesses preached 3 and one half years --- indefinite period. Rev 11:3.

Court of Temple trampled by ungodly 3 and one half years. Rev. 11:2

Saints persecuted 42 months. Rev. 11:2

Church in wilderness 1,260 days. Rev. 12:6 & 14.

Sea Beast exercises his authority 42 months. Rev. 13:5.

TEN : "the number of secular organization and of power" --- (Moorehead, p. 32). See notes under number five.

"Ten joined with seven signifies the perfection of satanic force and worldly dominion. The Beast with seven heads and ten horns is the embodiment of devilish energy, and of apostate, imperial supremacy." (Ibid., p. 32)(26)

In understanding the imagery of John's Revelation one must also be aware that these are drawn from all of the realms known to man, ie. the heavenly, the spiritual and the material universe. Having looked at the symbols let us now consider the various realms that John draws from.


a. God the occupant on the throne:

1) Sparkling white diamond - (jasper)

2) And as a precious ruby - (sardius) --- 4:3.

b. Jesus the Son of God:

1) Is a lamb --- 5:6.

2) The lion of the tribe of Judah --- 5:5.

3) The Root of David --- 5:5.

4) The bright and morning star --- 22:16.

c. The Holy Spirit:

1) Seven Spirits.

2) Seven Lamps of Fire.

3) Seven Eyes which are the Seven Spirits of God --- 1:4; 5:6.


a. The revelations embraces heaven, hades, and the lake of fire (hell).

1. Includes a great Red Dragon.

2. A Serpent (Satan).

3. Angels.

4. Demons.

5. Unclean Spirits.

6. And Souls.

b. There are beasts that come from a variety of places:

1. One out of the Sea.

2. One out of the Earth.

c. The revelation also embraces:

1. Death.

2. And the Resurrection.


a. In this aspect the symbols and imagery are drawn from every realm of the natural world.

1. Geology to Astronomy.

b. Reference made to:

1. The Sun.

2. The Sun-Rising.

3. The Moon.

4. The stars.

5. Day and Night.

6. The Air.

7. The earth, earthquakes.

8. Sea and great waters, Rivers and fountains.

9. Clouds, lightening, thunder.

10. Great winds, hail and rainbows.

11. Fire, smoke and brimstone.

12. Of wilderness and an abyss.


a. Once again the imagery is drawn from every social aspects of human life.

1. Kings ,Princes and Captains.

2. Bondmen and Freemen.

3. Rich and Poor.

4. The Great and the Servants.

b. Our interests and understanding are challenged by:

1. References to , Nations

2. Thrones.

3. Diadems and Victory Crowns.

4. Keys.

5. A Rod (or Scepter) of iron.

6. Great Swords , two edge swords , Slaughtering swords.

7. A Bow.

8. A Prison.

9. And the wine press of judgment.


a. There is the ever on going conflict of war present.

1. Armies clash either to suffer defeat and destruction of winning in Victory.

a) Chariots and armor.

b) Wars and clashing forces.

c) Plagues and fears.

d) Suffering and Mourning.

b. Also drawn into the scenes are marriage:

1. The Bride and the Groom.

2. The marriage and the marriage supper.

3. Lamps, voices.

4. A thief.

5. A woman in childbirth.

c. Added to these are also:

1. Measuring Reeds.

2. Doors of Admission.

3. Doors through which we see and behold.


a. Most of these images are drawn from the Old Testament Religious system.

1. Prophets and Priests.

2. Altars of sacrifice and the Golden altar.

3. Lamp stands.

4. Sacrifice , blood and incense.

5. Synagogue , sanctuary, temple pillar.

6. The ark of the Covenant and trumpets.

b. There are also symbols of the heathen nations which depict the opposite of what is pleasing before God.

1. Seeks to seduce the faithful.

a) Idols and images.

b) Sacrifices to the idols and images.

c) False Prophets.

d) Sorcery.

2. False Teachers:

a) Balaam.

b) Jezebel.

c) Nicolaitans.


a. These places which were are flashed across the screen to convey ideas:

1. Egypt

2. Babylon the Great.

3. The Euphrates.

4. Sodom.

5. Mount Zion.

6. Harmageddon (Mount Magedo).

b. Specific Localities:

1. The Great City.

2. The Holy City.

3. The New Jerusalem for the New Heaven and earth.

c. Some of these would survive and endure the tests placed upon them others would be destroyed.


a. These are a array of people from every walk of life, each depicting an idea or telling a story or revealing a truth.

1. A radiant woman.

a) Arrayed in the sources of light.

1) Sun.

2) The moon.

3) And the Stars.

b) A man child born to her.

2. Virgins.

3. A Wife.

4. A Queen.

5. A Great Harlot and her daughters.

6. Those who have committed fornication with the Harlot.

b. Also listed in images are:

1. Children.

2. Servants.

3. Balaam.

4. Jezebel.

5. Gog and Magog --- cf. Ezek. 38:2 -- "Gog of Magog".


a. As is the case today, much can be determined by the manner of attire a person has on.

1. Kingly and Priestly garments.

2. White Robes.

3. Fine Linen.

4. Sackcloth.

b. Colors used to describe the garments worn:

1. Purple.

2. Scarlet.


a. Much of the anatomy of man comes into play of the great unveiling of Christ and Spiritual truth.

1. The Head:

a) Hair, forehead, eyes (and tears), ears.

2. The Mouth:

a) Tongue and teeth.

3. The Heart:

a) Blood, Reins (kidney or loins).

4. The Belly.

5. The hands and the feet.

b. These may be insignificant to the vision but play a supplementary role in the vision.


a. In this realm the writer introduces both the necessities as well as the luxuries.

1. Grains:

a) Wheat, barley.

2. Fruit:

a) grapes, figs.

3. Products:

a) Wine, oil from olive trees, honey, spices.

4. Natural elements:

a) Trees , wood, palms, grass and wormwood.

b. Equipment of Agriculture.

1. Sickle, winepress and vintage.

2. Harvest and Reaping.


a. Man has always had a fascination with the gleaming beauty of various precious stone and minerals. These precious stones find a place in the visions of Revelation.

1. Gold.

2. Silver.

3. Brass.

4. Sea of Glass.

b. Precious stones:

1. White stone.

2. Jasper.

3. Sardius.

4. Emerald.

5. Pearls and others.


a. In this section John uses and depicts both the greatest and the lowest forms of animals.

1. Those animals which are friendly to mankind.

a) Calf (or OX)

b) Lamb

c) Horses of Various Colors.

d) Frogs.

2. Those that are unfriendly:

a) Lion.

b) Bear.

c) Leopard.

d) Flying Eagles.

e) Vultures.

f) Wild Beast bristling with Horns.

g) Locusts.

h) Scorpions and their stings.

i) Serpents.

j) Sea Beast and "every created thing".

b. All of these pass before in visions in some meaningful and instructive way.


a. Ships:

1. Shipmasters, sailors, mariners.

b. Merchants:

1. Tradesmen.

2. Craftsmen.

3. Millstones

c. Trade:

1. Coins.

2. Goods.

3. Balances used in trade.


a. John is told to write in a book:

1. He writes of a book that is written within and on the book.

2. He writes of a little book.

3. He writes of the Book of Life.

b. John also writes of:

1. Seals.

2. Alphabet --- (Alpha and Omega).

3. And in Numbers --- Which we have already considered.


a. Music:

1. Both Vocal and instrumental.

2. Plays a part in the:

a) Emotional

b) Spiritual

c) and Physical life of the human family.

3. Trumpet blasts.

4. Harps.

5. Flutes

6. And Choirs.

b. Instruments:

1. Minstrels.

2. Harps.

3. Flutes.

4. Trumpets.


a. Various periods are designated:

1. half an hour.

2. One Hour.

3. 1/3 part of a day.

4. Three days and a half.

5. Ten Days.

6. Twelve Hundred and sixty days.

7. Forty-two months.

8. A Thousand Years.

9. A day and a Night.

b. Then beyond time:

1. Forever and Ever.(27)

What an array of images and symbols that we will encounter as we seek to learn the spiritual and eternal lesson that are contain within the messages of Revelation. This by far does not depict all the images or the realms from which they are drawn but will suffice to show the student that John draws his imagery from a variety of places and sources trying to conceal the message from those who seek to inflict harm on the body of Christ, but to reveal the truth of God to those who love His Word.


The place of the writing takes on two distinct questions. (1) Did John Receive the Revelation one place and write in another? (2) Did John write the Revelation in the same place that he received the Revelation. I believe that the answer to the first question is an absolute No! The text tells us that John wrote the things as he was seeing them cf. 1:11 ; 1:19. At certain times he was instructed not to write: 10:4. Three times after this he was instructed to write: 14:13 ; 19:9 ; 21:5. The scriptures clearly show that John wrote while still on the Island of Patmos.

According to some the island of Patmos is a "rocky and uninviting island located about seventy miles southwest of Ephesus, about forty miles from Miletus, and twenty four miles from the shore of Asia Minor."

One must not confuse the Asia known today as the Asia Minor of the Bible. The province of Asia was a Roman colony in the region that is now known as Turkey. The Island Patmos is about ten miles long and at its widest point about six miles across. There is an area where the sea almost pinches off the Island forming a natural harbor. Tradition says that exiles were sent here to work in the mines. Eusebius, relying on tradition says John, was exiled here during the reign of Domitian.


Most probably it was written during the years A. D. 91-96 during the reign of Domitian. The background of the development of the Roman attitude offers strong supporting evidence for the later date. Philip Schaff, who accepts and defends the earlier date (A.D. 64-68), has said of John's exile to Patmos and the disputed date, "External evidence points to the reign of Domitian, A. D. 95; internal evidence to the reign of Nero, or soon after his death, A.D. 68."Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. I. page 427.

VII OUTLINE OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION Taken from Homer Hailey's Commetary p. 53-55

Part One

Conflict and Judgment Within and Without the Church - Chapters 1-11

Chapter 1. Christ among the lampstands

The Superscription, vv. 1-3

The Salutation, vv. 4-7

The Seal, v. 8

John's Charge to write, vv. 9-11

The Vision: Christ's Majesty and Glory, vv. 12-16

The Charge to Write, vv. 17-20

Chapter 2. Letters to the Churches

Introduction to the Letters

Ephesus, vv. 1-7

Smyrna, vv. 8-11

Pergamum, vv. 12-17

Thyatira, vv. 18-29

Chapter 3. Letters to the Churches, Continued

Sardis, vv. 1-6

Philadelphia, vv. 7-13

Laodicea, vv. 14-22

Chapter 4. The Throne Scene

The Throne of God the Almighty

Chapter 5. The Lamb and the Book

Chapter 6. The Opening of the First Six Seals

The First Seal, vv. 1-2

The Second Seal, vv. 3-4

The Third Seal, vv. 5-6

The Fourth Seal, vv. 7-8

The Fifth Seal, vv. 9-11

The Sixth Seal, vv. 12-17

Chapter 7. An Interlude

Sealing the 144,000, vv. 1-8

The Victorious Multitude, vv. 9-17

Chapter 8. The Seventh Seal and the First Four Trumpets

The Seventh Seal: Prayer and Response, vv. 1-5

The First Four Trumpets, vv. 6-12

The Eagle: Herald of Woes, v. 13

Chapter 9. The Beginning of the Woes

The First Woe, vv. 1-12

The Second Woe, vv. 13-21

Chapter 10. The Angel and the Little Book

Chapter 11. The Vision Continues

The Measured Temple and the Two Witnesses, vv. 1-13

The Third Woe--The Seventh Trumpet, vv. 14-19

Part Two -- War and Victory! Chapters 12-22

Chapter 12. The Woman and the Dragon

The Woman, the Dragon, the Man Child, vv. 1-6

The Great Spiritual War, vv. 7-12

Persecution of the Woman, vv. 13-17

Chapter 13. The Two Wild Beasts

The Beast Out of the Sea, vv. 1-10

The Beast Out of the Earth, vv. 11-18

Chapter 14. Righteous Judgment

The Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion, vv. 1-5

Angels' Messages and a Voice of Warning from Heaven, vv. 6-13

Twofold Vision of Harvest and Vintage of the earth, vv. 14-20

Chapter 15. The Seven Bowls of Wrath

The Seven Angels Introduced, vv. 1-8

Chapter 16. The Bowls of Wrath Poured Out

Bowls Involving Nature, vv. 1-9

Bowls Involving the Moral and Political, vv. 10-21

Chapter 17. The Infamy and Fall of Babylon

The Babylon Harlot Identified, vv. 1-6

Explanation of the Mystery of the Woman and the Beast, vv. 7-14

Further Identification of the Harlot, vv. 15-18

Chapter 18. The Fall of the Harlot

Heaven's Decree: "Fallen is Babylon," vv. 1-8

Lament of the Earthlings over Babylon, vv. 9-19

The Voice of Rejoicing, v. 20

The Silence of the Tomb, vv. 21-24

Chapter 19. Victory

Hallelujahs of Victory, vv. 1-10

The Warrior-King: Defeat of the Two Beasts, vv. 11-21

A. The Warrior-King Revealed, vv. 11-16

B. The Angel's call to "The Great Supper of God," vv. 17-18

C. The Decisive Battle and Defeat of Evil, vv. 19-21

Chapter 20. The Thousand Years and the Final Judgment

The Thousand Years, vv. 1-10

The Final Judgment, vv. 11-15

Chapter 21. The Eternal Glory

"All Things New, " vv. 1-8

The New Jerusalem, vv. 9-27

A. Exterior of the City, vv. 11-21

B. Interior of the City, vv. 22-27

Chapter 22. The New Jerusalem, continued

C. Its Life, vv. 1-5

Conclusion: The Divine Witness, vv. 6-21


A. General Methods of Interpretations

1. Futurist-- This view is held by millennial and dispensational groups who consider that it is unfulfilled prophecies about future history. They place chapters 4-19 as just before the coming of Christ, then the millennial reign, 20:1-10; judgment, 20:11-15; then the final state. Most futurists are literalists in their interpretation.

2. Continuous--Historical-- This view presents the book as a forecast, in symbols, of the history of the church. This system makes the book prophesy in detail the apostasy of the Roman Catholic Church, then the Reformation.

3. The Philosophy of History-- This interpretation considers the events as not necessarily occurring but as symbolic of forces at work. It is a book setting forth the principles on the basis of which God deals with all men in all ages.

4. The Preterist (Completed or Past)- This view maintains that the book was written for the people of John's day, fulfilled then, and now has little or no value to us. There are two groups who hold this view; the "right wing" who consider Revelation as inspired and the "left wing" who do not respect it as inspired.

5. The Historical-Background -- This method of interpretation seeks to find the meaning that the book had in the day of its origin. As it was written to the people of that day, it is fulfilled in the events of the first two centuries (some extend it longer) but in this back-ground is seen a message for all time.

B. The reason The Historical--Background Method Seems best.

1. It met the needs of the people of that day.

a. The Futurist idea is inconsistent with the time element stated in the book; "the time is at hand" (Rev. 1:3; 22:10); "must shortly come to pass" (1:1; 22:6); "I come quickly" (Rev. 22:7, 12, 20)

b. The Futurist and Continuous-Historical ideas leave Revelation altogether out of relation to the needs of the churches to which it was addressed. They needed spiritual encouragement, and these events were to come to pass shortly in order for God's oppressed people to see His arm revealed and His comfort given in a time of seeming disaster.

2. It continues to meet the needs of Christians in every age.

a. We should appeal to Revelation in the same manner as we would to the book of 1 Corinthians. Its primary lesson was to correct errors in the day that it was penned, but its truths are valuable for all ages.

b. The book met a need at the time of its writing as it dealt with a historical situation, but its message is applicable to all time. Its message is that of the triumph of the Kingdom of God and of Truth. Satan is destined to complete destruction, and so falls his cause with him.

C. Rules For Study and Interpretation

1. Remember that Revelation was written by John primarily for the encouragement and edification of the Christians of his own time.

2. Remember that Revelation is written largely in symbolic language,thus it cannot be taken literally. One can ill afford to be dogmatic in interpreting the symbols which are not easily understood.

3. Remember that Revelation uses Old Testament terminology with New Testament meaning. John has used much of the terminology of Ezekiel Daniel, and Zechariah but has adapted them to suit his own message. An understanding of the O.T. prophets, and their use of symbols would be helpful, for over 400 allusions are to Old Testament.

4. For the true meaning of Revelation, one must seek to grasp the visions or series of visions as a whole without pressing the details of the symbolism.

5. Understand difficult passages in the light of clearer passages. Make all interpretations consistent with the teaching of the whole Bible.

Hendriksen comments: "On my desk lies a recently published commentary on the Apocalypse. It is a very "interesting" book. It views the Apocalypse as a kind of history written beforehand. It discovers in this last book of the Bible copious and detailed references to Napoleon, wars in the Balkans, the great European War of 1914-1918, the German ex-emperor Wilhelm, Hitler and Mussolini, the N.R.A., etc. -- Our verdict? Such and kindred explanations must at once be dismissed....Tell me, dear reader, what good would the suffering and severely persecuted Christians of John's day have derived from specific and detailed predictions concerning European conditions which prevail some two thousand years later?" (28) (29)

IX. Caesar Worship

"By the time of the Revelation Caesar worship was the one religion which covered the whole Roman Empire; and it was because of their refusal to conform to its demands that Christians were persecuted and killed.Its essence was that the reigning Roman Emperor, as embodying the spirit of Rome, was divine. Once a year everyone in the Empire had to appear before the magistrates to burn a pinch of incense to the god-head of Caesar and to say: "Caesar is Lord." After he had done that, a man might go away and worship any god or goddess he liked, so long as that worship did not infringe decency and good order; but he must go through this ceremony in which he acknowledged the Emperor's divinity...To refuse to burn the pinch of incense and to say "Caesar is Lord", was not an act of irreligion; it was an act of political disloyalty. That is why the Romans dealt with the utmost severity with the man who would not say: "Caesar is Lord". And no Christian could give the title Lord to any one other than Jesus Christ.This was the center of his creed....Caesar worship began as a spontaneous outburst of gratitude to Rome..The provincial under Roman sway found himself in a position to conduct his business, provide for his family, send his letters, and make his journeys in security, thanks to the strong hand of Rome..There was an inevitable development. It is human to worship a god who can be seen rather than a spirit. Gradually men began more and more to worship the emperor himself than the goddess Roma..This worship was never intended to wipe out other religions. Rome was essentially tolerant.. A man might worship Caesar and his own god..But more and more it became a test of political loyalty..until it recognized the domination of Caesar over a man's life and soul." (30)

1. (Introducing the Book at the End of the Bible, by Ferrell Jenkins. p. 1)

2. (Revelation - "Victory in Christ", by Robert Harkrider. p. 1)

3. 0 (The Seven Churches of Asia by James M. Tolle. Tolle Publications, Box 13. Fullerton, California. 1968. p. 5)

4. (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament by Joseph H. Thayer. Baker book House Grand Rapids, Michigan. 15th printing 1987 p. 62)

5. Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words by W.E. Vine edited by F.F. Bruce. Fleming H. Revell Company Old Tappan, New Jersey. 1981 p. 292)

6. 0 (Studies in the Book of Revelation by Ferrell Jenkins. p. 1)

7. Hastings Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by James Hastings, D.D. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. January 1989. p. 797).

8. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Vol 2. Edited by Walter A. Elwell. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. December 1989. p. 1847)

9. Revelation An Introduction and Commentary by Homer Hailey. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. November 1987. p. 21)

10. (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 1. p. 240 as quoted by Homer Hailey in his book Revelation an Introduction and Commentary pp. 21-22)

11. Ibid., p. 491-492)

12. Ibid., p.554)

13. Ibid.,Vol II, p. 603).

14. Ibid., Vol III, p. 342).

15. Ibid., Vol IV, pp 248, 250)

16. Chart # 2. Chart Information Taken from Studies in the Book of Revelation by Ferrell Jenkins. p. 3

17. Webster's Dict. of the English Language Lexicon Publications, INC. NY. 1988 Edition p.1004)

18. (Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History Baker Book House. Grand Rapids, Michigan 49516. 1991 edition. p. 125)

19. {As Quoted by Eusebius ibid., pp. 125}

20. {Worthy is the Lamb Ray Summers, Broadman Press. Nashville, Tn. 1951 p. 68}

21. ibid., p.70}

22. {Ibid., 71}

23. {Ibid., 73-74}

24. (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible. p. 797).

25. (Worthy is the Lamb by Ray Summers. p. 21)

26. {Notes taken from Revelation Class Taught by Melvin Curry at Florida College 1987)

27. {Notes Taken from Homer Hailey's - Revelation and Introduction and Commentary p. 37-41}

28. Hendriksen, Interpretation of the Revelation, p. 14.

29. (Material From Robert Harkrider - Revelation "Victory in Christ" p. 5-7)

30. Barclay, Revelation, Vol. 1, pages 15-18

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