Revelation Introduction Index
Introduction
Research Material

Title:

  • The earliest extant Greek manuscripts, as well as the writings of several Church fathers beginning with Irenaeus (A.D. 130 - 202), entitle this book simply "Apocalypse of John." Later, medieval manuscripts elaborated the title to "Apocalypse of John the Theologian and Evangelists" and "Apocalypse of St. John the Theologian."
  • The Greek word "apokalupsis," "apocalypse," "revelation," means literally, "an unveiling," and in religious literature, especially, an unveiling of the future.

Authorship:

  • The author of the Revelation repeatedly identifies himself as "John" (Chapters 1:1, 4, 9; 21:2; 22:8)
  • Various evidences clearly indicate that the name John was that of the author, and not a pseudonym... First: in identifying himself as John, the author of the Revelation makes no attempt to establish himself as holding any position in the church... Obviously the writer was so well known to the churches that his name alone was sufficient to identify him and to lead credence to his record of the visions he had seen.
  • Almost unanimously early Christian tradition recognizes (John) as the author of the Revelation. In fact, every Christian writer until the middle of the 3d century... attributes the Revelation to John the apostle. These writers are Justin Martyr at Rome (A.D. 100-165; Dialogue With Trypho 81), Irenaeus at Lyons (A.D. 130-202; Against Heresies iv. 20. 11), Tertullian at Carthage (A.D. 160-240; On Prescription Against Heretics 36), Hippolytus at Rome (died A.D. 235; Treatise on Christ and Antichrist xxxvi), and Clement of Alexandria (died A.D. 220; Who Is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved? xlii). These testimonies demonstrate the strong and widespread belief in the early church that the author of the Revelation was the apostle John.
  • It is essential for us to have a comprehensive grasp of the testimony of the leading churchmen of the early centuries relative to the Apocalypse. We need first to sense the commonly assigned place of the Apocalypse in the New Testament canon during the first three hundred years of the era. We must also understand the occasion of its temporary omission from certain fourth-century New Testament lists and its reinstatement later. (Froom 101)
  • It was usage that prepared the way for recognition of the authority of the various books of the New Testament. The reading of the writings of the apostles formed part of the weekly services of the early churches, and that treading was based on the conviction of the apostolicity of the various books, including the Apocalypse. The array of names we shall cite on this subject may at first seem a bit dry and formidable, like an assemblage of dry bones, but these names are destined to be clothed with flesh, as it were, in later chapters, for these are the very men we must bring forward as witnesses in our quest for the early interpretation of Bible prophecy, principally in the books of Daniel and the Revelation. So these men will soon take on a very real meaning and acquaintance. We now turn to the record of their convictions on the question of the New Testament canon. (Froom 101)
  • In the survey of the witness of the leading writers of the early church concerning the standing of the Apocalypse here given, the evidence will be seen to sustain Westcott's impressive statement on the canonicity of the Revelation: "From every quarter the testimony of the early Latin Fathers to the Apostolic authority of the Apocalypse is thus decided and unanimous." (Froom 101-103)
  • Westcott begins his comprehensive survey of the Apocalypse with Papias (probably early second century) in Phrygia, who maintained the "'divine inspiration' of the Apocalypse." Then follows Justin Marty, who was born in the Roman colony of Flavia Neapolis, but of whose actual race little is known. He cites the fulfillment of the prophecies of Holy Write as the unique proof of Christianity. In addition to the Gospels, the Apocalypse is the only other New Testament book Justin cites by name, and this he definitely ascribes to John the apostle:
    • "And further, there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem." (Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho, chapter 81, in ANF, vol. 1, p. 240) (Froom 102)
  • At the close of the second century, according to Westcott, the Apocalypse was acknowledged as apostolic and authoritative throughout the church except for its omission in the Syriac version. (Froom 103)
    • Tertullian of Carthage (d. c. 210?) continually quotes from the Revelation, which he ascribes to "the Apostle John," and which he dates about the end of the reign of Domitian.
    • Clement of Alexandria (d. c. 220) quotes often and refers to (the Revelation) as an unquestioned work of John.
    • Origen of Alexandria (d. 254) declares that it was John the apostle, evangelist, and prophet, who wrote the Apocalypse.
    • Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage (d. 258) receives the book (Revelation) as Holy Scripture but does not mention authorship.
    • Hippolytus, called bishop of Porto (d. c. 236), and Victorinus of Pettau (d. c. 303) both ascribed [Revelation] to John the apostle, and each wrote a commentary on it. (Froom 103)
  • ...even until the fourth century the book of Revelation was almost universally received, no writers of credit calling it in question, and most of them ascribing it to John the apostle. (Froom 104)
    • Methodius (d. 309) sometimes referred to as bishop of Tyre received the Apocalypse as of "the blessed John" and as possessing undoubted authority.
    • Pamphilus (d. 309), presbyter of Caesarea and friend of Eusebius, in the commencement of a work which bears his name, indicates his belief that the Apocalypse as the work of John. (Froom 104)
    • Westcott summarizes the status of the Apocalypse at the end of the third century:
      • "But one of the disputed books was still received generally without distinction of East and West [the Greek and Latin Churches]. With the single exception of Dionysius all direct testimony from Alexandria, Africa, Rome, and Carthage, witnesses to the Apostolic authority of the Apocalypse." (Froom 104)
    • Eusebius of Caesarea (d. c. 340), sometimes called "the Father of Church History," after listing the acknowledged New Testament books, names "if it really seem proper , the Apocalypse of John" at the close of the "accepted writings," but says that opinion is somewhat divided concerning it; some question it but others reckon it among the "accepted books." Constantine's personal reading of the Scriptures led him to charge Eusebius with preparing fifty copies of the divine Scriptures. These were written on prepared skins, by skilled artisans, for use in the new capital. Constantine's zeal exerted a powerful influence upon the Greek church. The distinction between the controverted and the acknowledged epistles had largely ended; only on the Apocalypse did doubts remain with some. But Athanasius soon gave a clear judgment; otherwise the canon of Eusebius and that of Athanasius are the same. Thenceforth the question was practically decided. (Froom 106)
    • Athanasius' Easter epistle of A.D. 367 enumerates the books of the New Testament and includes the Revelation. (Froom 106)
    • In [A.D.] 393 the North African council of Hippo included the Apocalypse in the New Testament... (Froom 106)
    • The third council of Carthage, in [A.D.] 397, at which Augustine was present, re-enacts the canons of Hippo, listing the books of Holy Scripture, closing the list with "the Apocalypse of 'John,'" and declaring this to be the catalogue of books "received from our fathers," to be "read in the Church." (Froom 106)
    • The same canon listing [of] the Scriptures was renewed in canon 24 of the Codex Canonum Ecclesiae Africanae by the sixth (sometimes numbered seventeenth) council of Carthage in 419 [A.D.] This, be it noted, is the voice of a general African synod on the content of the canon. (Froom 106)
    • In Rome, Innocent I listed the New Testament (405 A.D.) as we have it. (Froom 106)
    • A canonical list appears in three different forms, bearing the names of Damasus (366-384), Galasius I (492-496), and Hormisdas (514-523), all including the Apocalypse. (Froom 106-107)
  • By the fifth century all doubts concerning the canonicity of the Apocalypse seem to have disappeared not only in the West but also in Asia Minor. (Froom 107)
    • Gregory of Nyssa (late 4th century) refers to the Apocalypse as Saint John's and as a part of Scripture. (Froom 107)
    • Basil of Caesarea (d. 379) calls the book [the Apocalypse] a work of John the apostle. (Froom 107)
    • Andrew, bishop of Caesarea (5th century), prefaces his commentary on the Apocalypse with the statement that he need not prove the inspiration of the book, which had already been attested by Papias, Irenaeus, Methodius, Hippolytus, and others. (Froom 107)

Historical Setting:

  • ...The testimony of early Christian writers is almost unanimous that the book of Revelation was written during the reign of Domitian. Irenaeus... declares of the Revelation, "For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign" (op. cit. v. 30. 3: ANF, vol. 1, pp. 559, 560). Victorinus (died A.D. 303) says, "When John said these things he was in the island of Patmos, condemned to the labour of the mines by Caesar Domitian. There, therefore, he saw the Apocalypse" (Commentary on the Apocalypse, on ch. 19:11; ANE, vol. 7 p. 353; see on rev. 1:9).
  • Eusebius (op. cit. iii. 20. 8. 9) records that John was sent to Patmos by Domitian, and that when those who had been unjustly banished by Domitian were released by his successor, Nerva, the apostle returned to Ephesus.
  • Such early Christian testimony leads the authors of this commentary (Seventh-day Adventist Commentary, 1957 ed.) to place the writing of the Revelation during the time of Domitian's reign, or about A.D. 96.
  • It was under (Domitian) that the question of emperor worship became, for the first time, a crucial issue for Christians. Nowhere was this more true than in the Roman province of Asia, the area to which the letters to the seven churches were first directed.
  • Emperor worship was common in the Near East even before Alexander the Great. He had been deified, and so had his successors. When the Romans conquered the East, their generals and proconsuls were often hailed as deities. This was especially true in the province of Asia, where the Romans had always been popular. It was common to build temples to the goddess Roma, a personification of the spirit of empire, and with her worship was associated that of the emperors. In 195 B.C., a temple was erected to her at Smyrna. In 29 B.C., Augustus granted permission for the building of a temple at Ephesus for the joint worship of Roma and Julius Caesar, and of one at Pergamum for the worship of Roma and himself. This was the first instance of a cult for a living emperor. Augustus did not urge the worship of himself, but in view of the desires of the local people he doubtless coincided such worship a wise measure from a political point of view. Gradually, in these cults, the worship of Roma became less important and that of the emperor became the salient feature. Worship of the emperor by no means replaced that of the local gods, but was added, and served as a means of uniting the empire. Rituals in worship of the emperor were not always easily distinguishable from patriotic ceremonies. At the same time the worship of a living emperor was discouraged at Rome, although the Senate did officially deify certain dead emperors.
  • Gaius Calyculi (A.D. 37-41) was the first emperor to urge the worship of himself. He persecuted the Jews for refusing to worship him.... His successors were more lenient on the question and did not persecute for nonconformity.
  • The next emperor to make an issue over the worship of himself was Domitian (A.D. 81-96). Christianity was as yet without legal recognition by the Roman government... but even such a religion as that was not likely to be persecuted by the Romans unless it ran afoul of the law. Now Christianity did just that. Domitian zealously sought to establish his claim to deity in the minds of the populace, and to force his subjects to worship him. Suetonius records that he issued a circular letter in the name of his procurators, beginning with the words, "'Our Master and our God bids that this be done'" (Domitian xiii. 2; Loeb ed., Suetonius vol. 2, p. 367).
  • An intriguing passage from the Roman historian Dio (Roman History lxvii. 14. 1-3; Loeb ed., vol. 8, p. 349) seems to throw some light on this persecution:
    • "And the same year [A.D. 95] Domitian slew, along with many others, Flavius Clemens the counsel, although he was a cousin and had to wife Flavia Domitilla, who was also a relative of the emperor's. The charge brought against them both was that of atheism, a charge on which many others who drifted into Jewish ways were condemned. Some of these were put to death, and the rest were at least deprived of their property. Domitilla was merely banished to Pandateria."
  • Such conditions of persecution for refusal to worship at the emperor's shrine doubtless constitute the immediate background of John's exile to Patmos, and thus of the writing of the book of Revelation. Apparently all the twelve apostles but John were dead, and he was an exile on the isle of Patmos. Christianity had entered its second generation. Most of those who had known the Master were now in their graves. The church was faced with the fiercest external threat it had yet known, and it needed a new revelation of Jesus Christ. Thus, the visions given to John met a specific need in their own time. Through them heaven was opened to the suffering church, and Christians, who refused to bow to the pomp and circumstances of the emperor, were given reassurance that their Lord, now ascended and standing at the throne of God, infinitely transcended in majesty and power any earthly monarch who might demand their worship. (AA 581-583)...

Theme:

  • At the very beginning [of Revelation 1:1] this book announces itself as an apocalypse, an unveiling of the mysteries of the future culminating in the triumph of Jesus Christ. Apocalyptic writings had been a prominent type of Jewish religious literature for more than two centuries. Indeed, the first-known apocalypse, the book of Daniel, appeared at the time of the Babylonian captivity in the 6th century B.C. When the Maccabean wars once more brought political independence to the Jews 400 years later, Messianic expectations looking toward the expected new Jewish kingdom ran high, and gave rise to a body of apocalyptic literature that drew to a greater or less degree on the literary form and symbols of Daniel. When, in the following century, Roman conquest dashed the hopes of the Jews for the realization of a Messianic kingdom through the Hasmonaeans, Messianic expectations became, if anything, more intense as the Jews anticipated a messiah who would overthrow the Romans. During the 1st century B.C., and the 1st century A.D., such hopes continued to provide the incentive for more apocalyptic works...
  • It is not surprising, then, that in the NT, written largely, if not entirely, by Jews for a church that was chiefly Jewish in its religious background, God would place an apocalypse setting forth the Christian view of the events that would lead up to and usher in the Messianic kingdom. In His messages to men through the prophets God expresses His will in human languages and in literary forms with which the people to whom His messages were originally addressed were familiar.
  • Although apocalypse is, indeed, prophecy, it differs from other Biblical prophecy (such as that in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Minor Prophets) in several important aspects, and these distinctive features are the earmarks of apocalyptic literature. Particularly significant among these distinguishing characteristics are the following:
    • 1. The Cosmic Sweep of Apocalyptic: Whereas most prophecy is concerned largely with national and international problems centering chiefly in the history of Israel and the glorious future that might have been hers..., apocalyptic plays upon the grander stage of the universe, and takes as its central theme the great controversy between God and Christ on the one hand, and Satan on the other.
    • 2. The Basis of Apocalyptic in Visions and Dreams: The apocalyptic writer records the dreams and visions granted him while "in the Spirit" (Revelation 1:10). He is often snatched away and carried to distant places, where he beholds scenes of majesty and grandeur that defy adequate description in human language, and where he converses with angels. Although such experiences are found repeatedly in the other prophets also, they are particularly characteristic of apocalyptic writings; so much so, in fact, that they form virtually the whole content of the apocalyptic sections of Daniel and of the Revelation.
    • 3. The Use of Allegory in Apocalyptic: In prophecy... the symbols are concrete object lessons from everyday life... In apocalyptic prophecy... the symbols employed are almost always creatures never seen as such in actual life, such as multiheaded beasts, angels flying in heaven, and animals that speak and act with intelligence. Similarly, time periods, though rare in conventional prophecy, are generally given there in literal years, whereas in Daniel and in the Revelation, time periods repeatedly are used, and usually are to be understood on the basis of the year-day principle.
    • 4. The Literary Form of Apocalyptic: Much prophecy is in poetic form, whereas apocalyptic prophecy (and similarly noncanonical literature) is almost entirely in prose, with only an occasional insertion of poetry, particularly in the case of hymns...
  • These considerations give point to the rule that to be rightly interpreted apocalyptic writing must be understood in terms of its characteristic literary structure and theological emphasis. Central to its message is the theme of the great controversy, with particular focus upon the cataclysmic end of this world and the establishment of the new. All this is portrayed in highly symbolic language, which may not always admit of exact interpretation (Ezekiel 1:10). In speaking of supernal things, literal language is sometimes utterly inadequate to convey the subtler realities of heaven. In some respects the figurative language of apocalyptic is similar to that of parables, and the same precautions are to be taken in interpreting both.
  • The book is a revelation of Jesus Christ at work perfecting a people on earth so that they may reflect His flawless character, and guiding His church through the vicissitudes of history toward the accomplishment of His eternal purpose. Here more completely than elsewhere in Holy Writ the curtain that separates the invisible from the visible is drawn aside in order to reveal, "behind, above, and through all the play and counterplay of human interests and power and passions, the agencies of the all-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will." (Ed 173)
  • Revelation consists of four major divisions, or lines of prophecy:
    • (1) the seven churches, Revelation 1-3
    • (2) the seven seals, Revelation 4 to 8:1
    • (3) the seven trumpets, Revelation 8:2 to 11
    • (4) closing events of the great controversy, Revelation 12-22
  • Particularly in view of the fact that the language of the book is often highly figurative, it is essential to discover the intent and purpose of the inspired writer, and the meaning the book conveyed to the readers to whom it was originally addressed. Otherwise, the interpretation of its figures, and thus its message, may reflect mere personal opinion. Those first intended readers were Greek-speaking Christians who, whether Jew or Gentile, considered the writings of the OT canon to be the inspired Word of God (John 5:39; Acts 24:14; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17), and who would be disposed to interpret the new revelation in terms of the old... the following observations and principles will be found useful in an interpretation of the book.
  • "In the Revelation all the books of the Bible meet and end," and in a special sense, it "is the complement of the book of Daniel" (AA 585). Much of what was sealed in the book of Daniel (Daniel 12:4) is unsealed in the book of Revelation, and the two must be studied together. The Revelation contains citations from, or allusions to, 28 of the 39 books of the OT. According to one authority there are 505 such citations and allusions, some 325 of which are to the prophetic books of the OT - Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel... Of the Minor Prophets, references to Zechariah, Joel, Amos, and Hosea are most common. Of the Pentateuch, greatest use is made of Exodus, and of the poetic sections, Psalms... Some also find reflections from the NT books of Matthew, Luke, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, and 1 Thessalonians...
  • A clear understanding of these citations and allusions in their historical setting is the first step toward understanding the passages where they occur in the Revelation. Study may then be given to the context in which John uses them, to ascertain their adapted meaning. In particular this applies to the names of persons and places, and to things, incidents, and events. Since many of the symbols of the book of Revelation were already known in extant Jewish apocalyptic literature, this literature is sometimes helpful by way of clarifying these symbols. Those familiar with contemporary Roman history will also observe that John's language is often descriptive of the Roman Empire and of the experiences of the church under its sway... a study of Roman history of the period clarifies some otherwise cryptic passages. Finally attention should be given to contemporary modes of thought and expression, in light of the cultural background of the time.
  • In determining the import of the successive scenes that passed before John in vision, it is well to remember that the Revelation was given to guide, comfort, and strengthen the church, not only in his day, but throughout the Christian Era, to the very close of time (AA 581, 585). Herein the history of the church was foretold for the benefit of, and vital counsel was addressed to, believers of apostolic times, to Christians of future ages, and to those living in the last days of earth's history, in order that all might have an intelligent understanding of the perils and conflicts before them (AA 583, 584). For instance, the names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of history. The local church at Ephesus accordingly became a symbol of the entire Christian fellowship in apostolic times, but the message addressed to it was placed on record for the encouragement of believers in every age (AA 578, 585).
  • It is reasonable to conclude that the characterization of, and admonition to, the church at Ephesus was particularly appropriate to the needs of that church at the time the message was written. It was similarly appropriate to the needs of the entire Christian church in the apostolic age, and thus, in brief, represents the experience of that period of the history of the church. It was recorded for the inspiration of that period of the history of the church. It was recorded for the inspiration and encouragement of believers in every age, for under similar circumstances the same principles apply. By analogy, the same is true of the messages to the other churches. In view of the fact that the focus of each of the four major lines of prophecy is on the closing scenes of earth's history, the messages of the book of Revelation have a particular import for the church today.
  • That a single prophetic passage may embrace more than one fulfillment is evident (Deuteronomy 18:15). Some such prophecies have both an immediate and a more remote fulfillment, and in addition contain principles that are generally applicable to all times. Furthermore, "it should be remembered that the promises and the threatenings of god are alike conditional" (1SM 67).
  • Thus certain predictions that might have met their complete fulfillment at an earlier stage of earth's history have been deferred because of the failure of the church to measure up to its privileges and opportunities...
  • The Revelation like Daniel, is a book of symbolic prophecy -- in other words an apocalypse. This medium for conveying truth was not a new deice, but was then already a familiar form in Jewish literature. John's Revelation, however, stands out in sharp contrast to the various apocryphal apocalypses devised by human ingenuity. And like Daniel, the Revelation is a multiple prophecy, with the same pronounced characteristics of:
    • 1. CONTINUITY: extending from John's day to the end of time, and the subsequent setting up of God's everlasting kingdom, or the earth made new.
    • 2. COMPREHENSIVENESS: based on the framework of world events as these form the setting for the life of the church and accentuate the conflict between Christ and Antichrist.
    • 3. REPETITION: going back and covering the same general outline seven times, through the line of the seven churches, then the seven seals, the seven trumpet, the two witnesses, the dragon, the beast, and the mystery woman on the scarlet beast; and finally comes the millennium and the New Jerusalem in the new earth forevermore. (Froom 95)
  • As the crowning prophecy of the Bible, John's Revelation, the complement and unfolding of Daniel's prophecy, gives the most complete New Testament outline of the divine plan of the ages, and forms the climax of the divine canon. It begins with a blessing on him "that readeth" (Revelation 1:3), and those "that hear the words of this prophecy" (Revelation 1:3), and closes with the warning to "seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand" (Revelation 22:10). Spanning the Christian Era through several repetitive line, this vast, multiple prophecy, returns line upon line to give amplification and emphasis, beginning with the sevenfold church of the true followers of Christ, spanning the centuries, form John's day to the second advent. (Froom 95-96)

5. Outline.

  • I. Prologue
  • II. The Letters to the Seven Churches, 1:4 to 3:22
    • A. Salutation 1:4-8
    • B. Introduction: the vision of Christ, 1:9-20
    • C. To Ephesus, 2:1-7
    • D. To Smyrna, 2:8-11
    • E. To Pergamum (Pergamos), 2:12-17
    • To Thyatira, 2:18-29
    • G. To Sardis, 3:1-6
    • H. To Philadelphia, 3:7-13
    • I. To Laodicea, 3:14-22
  • III. The Throne of God and the Book With Seven Seals, 4:1 to 8:1
    • A. The heavenly throne, 4:1-11
    • B. The triumph of the Lamb, 5:1-14
    • C. The first six seals, 6:1-17
      • 1. The first seal: the white horse, 6:1, 2
      • 2. The second seal: the red horse, 6:3, 4
      • 3. The third seal: the black horse, 6:5, 6
      • 4. The fourth seal: the pale horse, 6:7, 8
      • 5. The fifth seal: the plea of the martyrs, 6:9-11
      • 6. The sixth seal: the day of God's wrath, 6:12-17
    • D. The sealing of the 144,000, 7:1-8
    • E. The great multitude, 7:9-17
    • F. The seventh seal: the controversy ended, 8:1
  • IV. The Judgments of God: The seven Trumpets, 8:2 to 11:19
    • A. Introduction, 8:2-6
    • B. The first six trumpets, 8:7 to 9:21
      • 1. The first trumpet: fire, hail, blood, 8:7
      • 2. The second trumpet: the burning mountain, 8:8, 9
      • 3. The third trumpet: the falling star, 8:10, 11
      • 4. The fourth trumpet: sun, moon, stars smitten, 8:12, 13
      • 5. The fifth trumpet: locusts, 9:1-12
      • 6. The sixth trumpet: the angels in the Euphrates, 9:13-21
    • C. The angel with the little book, 10:1-11
    • D. Measuring the temple, 11:1, 2
    • E. The two witnesses, 11:3-14
    • F. The seventh trumpet: the triumph of God, 11:15-19
  • V. The Final Conflict of the Great Controversy, 12:1 to 20:15
    • A. Satan makes war upon the remnant people, 12:1 to 13:14
      • 1. The role of the conflict, 12:1-1
      • 2. Satan's declaration of war, 12:17
      • 3. Background of the leopard beast, 13:1-10
      • 4. The role of thee two-horned beast, 13:11-14
    • B. Issues involved in the last conflict, 13:15 to 14:20
      • 1. Satan's ultimatum to the people of God: the image and mark of the beast, 13:15-18
      • 2. Triumph of the 144,000 over the beast, its image, and mark, 14:1-5
      • 3. God's ultimatum to the people of earth: the three angels' message 14:6-12
      • 4. Defeat for those who reject God's final appeal, 14:13-20
    • C. The seven last plagues: divine judgments upon the wicked, 15:1 to 17:18
      • 1. An affirmation of divine justice, 15:1-4
      • 2. Preparation for the wrath of God, 15:5 to 16:1
      • 3. The seven last plagues, 16:2-21
      • 4. The arraignment of Babylon the great, 17:1-18
    • D. The extermination of evil, 18:1 to 20:15
      • 1. An affirmation of divine mercy; a final call to leave Babylon, 18:1-4
      • 2. The end of organized religious opposition: the desolation of Babylon, 18:5-24
      • 3. The coronation of Christ as King of kings, 19:1-10
      • 4. Christ's second advent and conquest of this earth, 19:11-21
      • 5. The millennium: the extermination of sin and sinners, 20:1-15
  • VI. The New Earth and Its Inhabitants, 21:1 to 22:5
    • A. The New Jerusalem, 21:1-27
    • B. The river and tree of life, 22:1, 2
    • C. The eternal dominion of the saints, 22:3-5
  • VII. Epilogue: Admonition and Invitation, 22:6-21
    • A. Reception of the book and its message, 22:6-10
    • B. An appeal to be ready for the coming of Christ, 22:11-21

(from Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, pp. 715-727)

Chapter Outline by Kenneth Cox:

  • Revelation 1 (KC 20)
    • 1:1-2 = The Revelation of Jesus Christ
    • 1:3 = How to Find Jesus in Revelation
    • 1:4-6 = John's Greeting to the Seven Churches
    • 1:7-8 = The Alpha and the Omega
    • 1:9-11 = The Lord Tells John to Write
    • 1:12-16 = Jesus, Our high Priest and King
    • 1:17-20 = The Mystery Revealed
  • Revelation 2 (KC 31)
    • 2:1-7 = Message to Ephesus
    • 2:8-11 = Message to Smyrna
    • 2:12-17 = Message to Pergamos
    • 2:18-29 = Message to Thyatira