Continued from part 3:.
STRUCTURE OF THE REVELATION
“Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. (Rev 1:17-19 NKJV)
- The Present:
- chpt 1. Vision of the Son of Man, the one ascended Lord
- chpt 2-3. Letters to seven churches (and for all churches)
- chpt 4-5. Vision of heaven, the Lion of Judah and the Lamb
- The Near Future:
- chpt 6-11. Judgments, great tribulation, martyrs and two witnesses
- chpt 12-16. Woman, child, dragon, beast 666, antichrist, false prophet
- chpt 17-19. Fall of Babylon, Messianic judgement of Armageddon
- THE RETURN OF ‘THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS’
- The Far Future:
- chpt 20. The Millennium, Satan rebels/defeated, Judgement, lake of fire
- chpt 21. New heaven and new earth, the Bride, the New Jerusalem
- chpt 22. River of Life from God’s throne, Tree of Life for healing the nations.
David Pawson explains that each future period has bad news and things get much worse, but the good news is that things will get very much better afterwards. Through it all Jesus encourages his people to ‘endure’ and ‘overcome’ until He returns.
“First, Jesus tells the churches they must deal with internal problems if they are to face external pressures. Compromise in belief of behaviour, tolerance of idolatry or immorality, weaken the Church from within. (LESSON FOR TODAY!)”
For the 2nd period He shows the worst that can happen but believers will not have to go through anything worse! “And the very worst time ahead will be at most a few years”.
Then, Jesus reveals the wonders that will follow in the 3rd period when all believers will be with Him.
On a personal note, what impresses me is the comparison of this closing book with the Bible’s first book, Genesis.
Revelation promises a full restoration not only for those who believe in God, to life with Him, but also and because of that for the earth too.
The Tree of Life is a main feature in the garden of Eden, in the beginning, but through it Satan perverted Adam and Eve’s relationship with their fatherly Creator and so they lost and fell from their glory. In the end that usurper gets his just desserts, the saved return to living in the glory of God in the New Jerusalem and the Tree’s leaves bring healing to all people, as it is written.:
But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honour into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honour of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 21 NKJV)
This short blog can never hope to do justice to the Book of Revelation. It is an awesome subject but you may wish to meditate upon it yourself along with suitable aids such as in the links below.
Acknowledgements – thank you to:
- David Pawson, for Unlocking the Bible and books & audio series here and here.
- Neil MacKereth, for several in-depth courses at Winchester Vineyard church using Chuck Missler’s and David Pawson’s extensive teachings.
PS – click to read about what happened after writing the above post!