Welcome to a complete study of the Book of Revelation

This is a study that I prepared and taught many years ago to my church.
I based the study on the book by Dr. Ray Summers, “Worthy Is The Lamb.”
For more than 10 years, I studied all the different millennial studies, and still was not satisfied.
Before I went to college, I was still searching for the real meaning of Revelation, and I found
Dr. Summers’ book.
Then, Revelation came alive and real for me.

I pray that it will also become real to you, and you will come to see a message that many pastors
have never discovered.

It is important that you take time to study about Revelation before you get to the first chapter.

 -- Dr. Harold L. White

Outline of Book of Revelation

-- Things to keep in mind as you study Revelation.
-- Characteristics of apocalyptic literature
-- The recipients of Revelation
-- The condition of the Roman Empire

Methods of Interpretation

-- Methods of interpreting Revelation
-- The futurist method
-- The historical - Background method
-- The Continuous - Historical method
-- The Philosophy of History method
-- The Preterist method

Summer’s Outline of Revelation

Introduction to Book of Revelation -- Revelation 1:9-20

Revelation is a series of apocalyptic images given to John by the Holy Spirit to set forth Christ
as eternally victorious over all world conditions.
Also to encourage the Christians of John’s day and every succeeding day until the return of our Lord.

Letters to the Seven Churches -- Revelation 2:1 to 3:22

As you study the Letters to the seven churches, you will learn that conditions of every age
are illistrated by the conditions of those churches

The Reigning God -- Revelation 4:1-11

John’s first object of vision is a door standing open in heaven.
By means of this door he is able to see what is going on in heaven.
He is invited by the voice of Christ (1:10) to come to a place where he will be able to see things from God’s viewpoint.

The Redeeming Lamb -- Revelation 5:1-14

John’s first vision closed with this thrilling scene of the triumphant saints.
This scene was calculated to bring new courage and new hope to the heart’s of John’s readers,
the persecuted Christians of Asia, and it brings the same cheer to Christians in any age.

The Lamb Opens the Seals -- Revelation 6:1 to 11:19

The main action of the book begins with this vision.
The remainder of Revelation is an explanation of the seals of the little book of destiny.

Provisions for the Redeemed -- Revelation 7:1-17

The vision of sealing does not apply to Jewish Christians alone but to all Christians.
The 144,000 of the first vision represents the entire body of believers.
The sealing symbolizes their God-given protection under the judgments that are to fall upon the world.

Seventh Seal, Incense: Victory, 8:1-5
This prepares the way for what is coming in the next vision.
The transitional section is divided into two parts: the silence in heaven (verses 1-2);
and the incense of victory (verses 3-5).
The whole scene in verses 3-5 is a prelude to the seven trumpets which now begin to sound.

The Sounding of the Fifth Trumpet, Locusts: 9-1-12
The sounding of the fifth trumpet brought the scourge of locusts.
A huge star becomes personified and, having fallen exposes a yawning abyss.
The smoke which comes gives way to locusts and their effect.
The sounding of the sixth trumpet brings the second woe upon men (9:13-21).
The four angels are loosed and led a great cavalry host bent on destruction.

Announcement Of Retribution, 10:1 to 11:13
At this point the regular progress of the trumpet judgments is interrupted, precisely
the same manner as between the sixth and seventh seals, by two consolatory visions.
The first is contained in chapter 10.
The second is in 11:1-13.
At 11:14 the series of the trumpets is resumed, reaching from that point to the end
of the chapter.
This is the longest of the interludes regularly placed between the six and seventh symbols of a series.
It contains the announcements of swift retribution presented in four pictures.

The Lamb and the Conflict: Revelation 12:1 to 20:10 -
(Chapter12:1 through Chapter 14 is in this section)

In the light of all the evidence, it appears best to see this as an integral part of the whole message.
The seals lead to the trumpets.
These in turn culminate in the appearance of a little book which contains the truth of judgment
upon men.
This message is to be delivered by the prophet.
Here is the message.

The characters here are essentially the same.
The conflict is the same, but is presented under a different aspect.
The outcome is the same as been indicated in the beginning.

It is interesting to note that from here to the end of the book the action is much faster than heretofore.

Exultation of the Redeemed, 15: 1-8
The interlude between symbols six and seven in this section is very brief.
The last symbols pictured the opposing forces of righteousness and evil in readiness for deadly conflict.

The next series will picture the bowls of wrath of final retribution poured out on the enemies
of the gospel.
An interlude of praise and thanksgiving is inserted to picture the exultation of the redeemed as they sing
the song of Moses and the Lamb.

Johns saw "a sea of glass mingled with fire."
Such a view perhaps as may be made by the reflection of the rays of the setting sun falling on a body
of water and turning it fiery red.

In chapter four, it was observed that the crystal sea symbolized the transcendence of God
-- He could not be approached by a man.
Here in chapter 15, the sea is still present.

The Bowls of Wrath, 16:1 to 20:10
This has been called by some a wild and fantastic vision.
It is not a figurative setting forth of actual events which the Asian Christians had seen.
It symbolizes swiftly executed wrath of God as it falls on the Roman Empire in a mighty consummation.

The empire was as yet strong and evidently in no danger of falling.
But, to one enlightened as John was by the Spirit of God, the State was doomed.
So here the apostle leaves history behind and soars in imagination into the yet undiscovered future.
When permission is given, the angels go in swift succession to execute the wrath of God on the great
enemy of His cause and people.

The Three Frogs: Satan's Recruiting Agents, 16:13-16

This interlude is placed in the vision between the sixth and seventh symbols just as in the other visions.
When the sixth bowl was emptied, the way was made open for the coming of the Parthian enemy of Rome.
This is, of course, symbolical of the army-host in the hand of God to do battle with Rome.
When the three allies of the evil forces see this possibility, they realize that they must gather the kings
of the world to defeat these Parthians.

John sees three unclean spirits in the form of frogs make their appearance.
They make their appearance out of the mounts of the dragon, the first beast, and the second beasts,
which is here called the false prophet.

a. The Scarlet Woman: Rome, 17:1-18

Such great importance was attached to Rome as the center of the persecuting power of the first century that three whole chapters are given to portray her doom.
This is a series of scenes in the pageant to show the fate of Rome as it had already been foreshadowed
in 14:8 and 16:19.

Here Rome is pictured as a great harlot who sits upon many waters and practices her fornication
with the kings of the earth.
She is guilty of spiritual fornication in her idol worship, and she entices the kings of the provinces
as she conquers them to partake of the evil with her.

b. The Oracles of Doom: Rome's Allies, 18: 1-20

(Also this section includes: c. The Stone: Destruction of Municipal Rome, 18:21-24)

All through this section the main thing in the writer's mind is the fall of Rome.
He views it from different points and repeats for emphasis.
Much of chapter 18 is Old Testament language in regard to the ancient city of Babylon.
In John's day it had already been fulfilled.
It is used here to picture the destruction of the Babylon of the New Testament, Rome.

d. The Rejoicing Saints, 19: 1-10

The symbolization of the complete destruction of Rome ushers in the fourth of the triumphs
of the consummation.
This triumph pictures the exultation of the redeemed saints.
The scene opens with a great host in heaven singing a hallelujah chorus.
It is a song which attributes deliverance and glory and power to God because of His righteous judgments
upon wicked, persecuting Rome.

It is not a song of rejoicing over the evil which has fallen upon Rome as much as it is a song of rejoicing
over the triumph of righteousness and truth.
Above the wails and lamentation of fallen kings, merchants, and mariners, and above the noise of crashing
walls and flaming streets is heard the song of the rejoicing saints that righteousness has triumphed over evil.

e. The Victorious Warrior: Christ, 19:11 to 20: 10

(Below also is: (a) Victory over the First and Second Beasts, 19:19-21
and also (b) Victory over the Allies of the Beasts, 19:21)

The next triumph in the series is that of Christ.
Up to this point He has been pictured as Lion, Judge, and now, He is a victorious Warrior.
There appears to be little doubt that He is the One symbolized here.

The Christians who view the pageant see the curtains drawn to reveal one riding on a white horse,
symbolical of victory.
The rider is called " Faithful and True," " The Word of God," and on His garment is written " King of kings,
and Lord of lords."
These names identify Him as the Christ.

(c) Victory over Satan, 20:1-3

This victory is pictured in the chaining of Satan for a thousand years.
From chapter 12 to this point three enemies have been allied in their opposition to Christ and His people.
Of these three, the first two were overcome by the Victorious Christ in 19:19-20.
There can be no full, complete victory so long as this third part of the alliance is at large.
In this paragraph, his fate is indicated.

John is not entering upon a new subject at this point.
He is continuing the previous discussion.
This is another point at which the modern device of chapter divisions is a hindrance rather than a help.

(d) Victory with the Martyrs, 20: 4-6

(Also below is (e) Victory Complete: The Overthrow of Satan, 20:7-10

What did John and the Christians see in the scene which had to do with the saints reigning with Christ
a thousand years?

They saw the triumph of the martyrs who had died as a result of the work of the devil, the first beast,
and the second beast.
Just as the devil was completely bound, the martyrs were completely victorious.
The thousand-year-period is not to be taken literally.

The martyrs are not under the throne crying for vengeance as they were in chapter 6.
They are on thrones reigning with Christ.
The cup of God's retributive wrath has been filled.
It has poured over the sides upon the oppressors of his people.

The oppressors are defeated.
The oppressed are glorified.
They reign with Christ a thousand years -- a picture of perfect blessedness.

The Lamb and Eternal Destiny: Revelation 20:11 to 22: 5

(Also below is The Destiny of the Unredeemed, 20:11-15; 21:8, 27; 22:15)

The last act in the pageant of redemption pictures God's judgment and the final destiny of man.
Just how this was related to the total picture in John's conception, we are not told.
The writers of the New Testament, following the Lord's injunction to "watch," expected His second coming
and kingdom consummation in their own day.
This is the proper Christian attitude in every age.

Destiny Of The Redeemed, 21:1 to 22:5

In contrast to the few verses which describe the destiny of the wicked, John gives a lengthy passage
to describe the destiny of the redeemed.
This was the main thing which the Christians of that day as well as those of subsequent days desired to know.
This destiny is pictured in three symbols to show the perfect condition of the redeemed.
Heaven is revealed from three different angles.

Conclusion, Revelation 22: 6-21

The pageant is over, and the final curtain has been drawn.
John has seen and has shown to his audience a picture of God's care over them in their conflict,
the certainty of their triumph over the terrible conditions of the day, and the gory which is beyond the grave
which is opening before them.

All that remains is the necessity of impressing upon their minds once again the importance of this message.
Now the Redeemer steps in front of the curtain to issue His final word.

In verses 6-7, He assures the hearers that this is a message of divine authority.
It is a message which announces upon the authority of God a speedy rescue for His distressed people.
Blessings are pronounced upon those who in obedience to Him live the overcoming life set out in this book.

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