Willmington's Bible at a Glance

Revelation at a Glance

This book is totally centered around the Lamb of God. First we see the witnesses of the Lamb (the seven churches, Rev. 1-3), the worship of the Lamb (for His work in creation and redemption, Rev. 4-5), the wrath of the Lamb (the Great Tribulation, Rev. 6-19), the wonder of the Lamb’s reign (the glorious millennium, Rev. 20), and the wife of the Lamb (the church, Rev. 21-22).

Bottom Line Introduction


Facts Regarding the Author of this Book

1. Who? John. Known as the “beloved Disciple” (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20, 24), and brother of James (Luke 5:10). John was a follower of John the Baptist (John 1:35-37), before being called to become one of Jesus’ twelve apostles (Luke 5:10, 11; Matt. 10:2).

2. What? The books of John, 1, 2, and 3 John, Revelation.

3. When and where?

a. John: 90 A.D., from Ephesus.

b. 1, 2, 3 John: 92 A.D., from Ephesus.

c. Revelation: 95 A.D., from Isle of Patmos.

4. Why?

a. John: To present Christ as the eternal Son of God.

b. 1 John: A family letter from the Father to His children concerning the subject of fellowship.

c. 2 John: To an elect lady concerning the subject of truth.

d. 3 John: Concerning right attitudes in the local church.

e. Revelation: The final action on the stage of divine prophecy.

5. To whom?

a. John—to the world.

b. 1 John—to the Father’s children.

c. 2 John—to the elect lady.

d. 3 John—to Gaius.

e. Revelation—to the seven churches in Asia Minor.

Key Events

1. John’s vision of the ascended Christ

2. Addressing the churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, and Thyatira

3. Addressing the churches in Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea

4. Heaven’s song praising God for His work in creation

5. Heaven’s song praising God for His work in redemption

6. Breaking of the first six seals

7. The sealing of God’s servants on earth; the singing of God’s servants in heaven

8. Sounding of the first four trumpets

9. Sounding of the fifth and sixth trumpets

10. John is given two messages and a mission by an angel of God

11. The ministry of two witnesses and the sounding of the seventh trumpet

12. Satan’s war against Christ and Israel

13. Appearance of the antichrist and his false prophet

14. Song of the 144,000; a preview of Armageddon

15. John’s vision of the heavenly temple

16. Pouring out of the seven bowl judgments

17. The destruction of religious Babylon

18. The destruction of commercial Babylon

19. The wedding of the Lamb; the Battle of Armageddon

20. The millennial reign of Christ; the final defeat of Satan; the Great White Judgment Throne

21. Facts regarding the New Jerusalem (part one)

22. Facts regarding the New Jerusalem (part two)

Key Individuals

1. John, former fisherman and disciple of John the Baptist, brother of James, key apostle of Jesus, and author of five New Testament books including the Book of Revelation

2. Antipas, faithful church member in Pergamos who was martyred in the time of John

3. Balaam, false and greedy Old Testament prophet who attempted to corrupt Israel through immorality and idolatry (Num. 31:16)

4. Jezebel, false New Testament prophetess in the church at Thyatira who was encouraging immorality and idolatry among its membership

5. An enthroned king in heaven, a probable reference to God the Father

6. 24 elders, a possible reference to the 12 Old Testament tribal founders and the 12 New Testament apostles

7. Seven spirits, a possible reference to the seven angels who will pour out the seven seals of judgment during the Great Tribulation

8. Four living creatures, a reference to four special angels, appointed to worship God for His holiness and praise Him for His work of creation

9. A slain lamb and a sovereign lion, two titles used in describing the past and future work of Jesus

10. Four special horsemen, symbolic riders, assigned to usher in the first four seal judgments, with the first rider (on a white horse) being a reference of the coming antichrist himself

11. 144,000 sealed servants of God, consisting of 12 thousand men from each of Israel’s twelve tribes who may be assigned to preach the gospel during the Great Tribulation (Mt. 24:14)

12. Abaddon (also called Apollyon), angel of the bottomless pit, a probable reference to Satan

13. Four fallen angels, who are imprisoned (until their release) in the Euphrates River, assigned (by Satan) to lead a demonic invasion numbering 200 million to plague the earth during the Great Tribulation

14. Two special witnesses, a possible reference to Moses and Elijah who will successfully confront the antichrist for 3½ years before he is allowed to kill them and who will eventually be raised from the dead by God Himself!

15. A woman clothed with the sun, moon, and stars, a probable reference to Israel which nation will be persecuted by Satan during the Great Tribulation, but preserved by God

16. A great red dragon, a reference to the devil

17. A man child, referring to Jesus who will someday rule the nations with a rod of iron

18. Michael the mighty archangel of God, who will drive out Satan and his hosts from the very heavens during the Great Tribulation

19. A beast from the sea, referring to the coming antichrist

20. A beast from the land, referring to the false prophet who will force the world to worship the antichrist

21. Three unclean spirits, consisting of an evil trinity of demons, assigned by the devil, the antichrist, and the false prophet to gather all nations to Armageddon

22. A blasphemous and bloody harlot, referring to the antichrist’s false religious system, which system he will eventually personally destroy

23. Ten kings, probable leaders of the antichrist’s ten nation confrontation (i.e., the Revised Roman Empire)

24. An arrogant and greedy queen, a probable reference to the antichrist’s commercial system, which system God Himself will destroy with fire from heaven

25. King of kings and Lord of lords, two titles given to the returning and victorious Christ at the onset of Armageddon

26. Alpha and Omega, Root of David, Bright and Morning Star, final three names for Jesus in the Bible!

Key Places

1. Isle of Patmos: where John the apostle was banished and the place where he received from Christ the Book of Revelation

2. Seven churches in Asia Minor:

a. Ephesus: capital of the Roman province of Asia

b. Smyrna: important city on the western coast of Asia Minor

c. Pergamus: city in Mysia, known for its manufacturing of parchment

d. Thyatira: city in Asia and home of Lydia, Paul’s first convert in Philippi (Acts 16)

e. Sardis: capital city of the Kingdom of Lydia

f. Philadelphia: city in Lydia

g. Laodicia: city in the Lycus Valley

3. Heaven’s throne room: seen by John in vision fashion (Rev. 4, 5)

4. River Euphrates: present location of four imprisoned demons who will be released during the Great Tribulation, resulting in the death of one third of humanity. At the end of the Tribulation the Euphrates will be dried up.

5. Bottomless pit: possible present location of the antichrist and future prison house of Satan during the 1000 year millennium.

6. Sodom and Gomorrah: metaphorical names attributed to Jerusalem to illustrate the worldliness and immorality of the Holy City

7. Mt. Zion: heavenly location where John sees and hears the singing of 144,000 believers

8. Babylon: wicked city (to be rebuilt?) where Satan’s religious and commercial systems will be located during the Great Tribulation, which city will be destroyed by fire at the coming of Jesus

9. Armageddon: final battle which will begin in Megiddo in Galilee and terminate outside Jerusalem

10. Hell: final and permanent fiery imprisonment of both fallen angels and unsaved men and women

11. Great White Judgment Throne: place where all unsaved people will be judged in reference to their wicked works

12. New Jerusalem: name for the new Holy City and eternal home of both the holy angels and all saved people

Unique Features

1. The following statements regarding the book of Revelation came from various authors:

“Perhaps more than any other book in the New Testament, this book enjoyed wide distribution and early recognition” (Robert Mounce)

“The most prominent characteristic of Revelation is that it is misunderstood” (David Jeremiah)

There are two wrong approaches to Revelation:

a. Nothing in the book can be understood

b. Everything in the book can be understood

“More commentaries have surely been written and a greater variety of interpretations published about this book than any other in the canon of scripture” (Henry Morris)

It is fitting that Revelation comes last in the biblical canon, for it is the climax of all that has gone before as it foretells the ultimate fulfillment of God’s efforts to redeem lost humanity.

2. Revelation is the only prophetical book in the New Testament (in contrast to 17 books in the Old Testament).

3. Revelation is the only book in all the Bible that begins by promising a special blessing on those who study it, and ends by promising a special curse on those who add to or take away from it.

4. It also opens and closes with a reference to the second coming of Christ (1:7; 22:10).

5. It was written by the apostle John, who had already written four other New Testament books. They are: the gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John. The author had previously reached farther back into eternity than any other Bible writer (see Jn. 1:1-3).

6. In Revelation he reaches farther on into eternity than any other writer (see Rev. 21-22).

7. J. Vernon McGee writes: “This book is like a great union station where the great trunk lines of prophecy come in from other portions of scripture. Revelation does not originate, but consummates. It is imperative to a right understanding of the book to be able to trace each great subject of prophecy from the first reference to the terminal” (Reveling Through Revelation, p. 4).

8. Some of the great subjects of prophecy that find their consummation here are:

The Lord Jesus Christ (Gen. 3:15; cf. Rev. 1:13; 12:5)

The church (Matt. 16:18; cf. Rev. 19:7-9)

The resurrection of saints (Dan. 12:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; Rev. 20:4-6)

The great tribulation (Deut. 4:30-32; Isa. 24; cf. Rev. 6-18)

Satan (Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:11-19; cf. Rev. 20:1-10)

The man of sin (2 Thess. 2:1-12; cf. Rev. 19:19-21)

False religion (Gen. 11:1-9; Matt. 13; cf. Rev. 17)

The times of the Gentiles (Dan. 2:37; Lk. 21:23; cf. Rev. 18)

The second coming of Christ (Jude 14-15; cf. Rev. 19:11-16)

9. There are at least four main interpretations to this last book in the Bible:

It is pure fiction—This is the view of the agnostics.

It is allegorical—This says no part of the book may be taken literally. It is simply a symbolic account of the age long struggle between good and evil. This is the view of most liberals.

It is historical—Here two kinds of history are in mind.

a. Past history—This is often called the preterist theory. “Preterist” is from a Latin word that means “past.” Dr. Charles Ryrie writes: “Thus, the preterist interpreters are those who see Revelation as having already been fulfilled in the early history of the church. Chapters 5-11 are said to record the church’s victory over Judaism; chapters 12-19 her victory over pagan Rome; and 20-22 her glory because of these victories. The persecutions described are those of Nero and Domitian, and the entire book was fulfilled by the time of Constantine (A.D. 312)” (Revelation, p. 8).

b. Continuous history—Again to quote Ryrie: “This interpretative viewpoint states that in Revelation there is a panorama of the history of the church from the days of John to the end of the age. It holds that the book has been in the process of being fulfilled throughout the whole Christian era. Those who hold this view see in the symbols the rise of papacy, the corruption of the church and the various wars throughout church history. Most of the reformers interpreted the book in this manner” (Revelation, pp. 8-9).

It is prophetical—This view sees those events from chapter 4 onward as yet to be fulfilled. This view alone does justice to the book. Revelation, like all other books in the Bible, is to be taken in the plain, normal sense of the words. To do otherwise is to dishonor Christ, the divine Author. Dr. David L. Cooper once suggested: “When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense.”

10. There were four separate steps involved in the writing of this book (1:1):

From the Father

To the Son

To an angel

To John

11. This book lists more titles for the Savior than does any other book in the Bible.

12. It begins and ends with the Lord Jesus at the center of things (1:13; 22:1-5). It contains more Old Testament references than any other New Testament book. H. B. Swete observes: “Of the 404 verses in Revelation, no less than 278 contain references to the Old Testament.”

13. Revelation is the only biblical book to open with a special dedication: “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Rev. 1:5).

14. The book has far fewer Greek manuscripts than any other New Testament book.

15. It conveys a sense of the sovereignty of God that no other New Testament book approaches.

16. Revelation pronounces blessings on:

“all who listen to [this book] and obey what it says” (1:3)

“those who die in the Lord” (14:13)

“all who are watching for [Christ]” (16:15)

“those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb” (19:9)

“those who share in the first resurrection” (20:6)

“those who obey the prophecy written in this scroll” (22:7)

“those who wash their robes so they can … eat the fruit from the tree of life” (22:14)

17. Key words in Revelation would include:

Throne (found 45 times)

King (37)

Lamb (27) more than any other New Testament book

Angel (74) more than entire New Testament combined

Seal (23)

Book (38)

Worship (24) more times than any other New Testament book

18. More symbols are to be found in Revelation than in any other biblical book. Dr. John Walvoord lists the following:

The seven stars (1:16) represent seven angels (1:20).

The seven lampstands (1:13) represent seven churches (1:20).

The hidden manna (2:17) speaks of Christ in glory (cf. Exod. 16:33-34; Heb. 9:4).

The morning star (2:28) refers to Christ returning before the dawn, suggesting the rapture of the church before the establishment of the Kingdom (cf. Rev. 22:16; 2 Peter 1:19).

The key of David (3:7) represents the power to open and close doors (Isa. 22:22).

The seven lamps of fire represent the seven-fold Spirit of God (4:5).

The living creatures (4:7) portray the attributes of God.

The seven eyes represent the seven-fold Spirit of God (5:6).

The odors of the golden vials symbolize the prayers of the saints (5:8).

The four horses and their riders (6:1ff.) represent successive events in the developing tribulation.

The fallen star (9:1) is the angel of the abyss, probably Satan (9:11).

Many references are made to Jerusalem: the great city (11:8), Sodom and Egypt (11:8), which stand in contrast to the New Jerusalem, the heavenly city.

The stars of heaven (12:4) refer to fallen angels (12:9).

The woman and the child (12:1-2) seem to represent Israel and Christ (12:5-6).

Satan is variously described as the great dragon, the old serpent, and the devil (12:9; 20:2).

The time, times, and half a time (12:14) are the same as 1,260 days (12:6).

The beast out of the sea (13:1-10) is the future world ruler and his empire.

The beast out of the earth (13:11-17) is the false prophet (19:20).

The harlot (17:1) variously described as the great city (17:18), as Babylon the great (17:5), as the one who sits on seven hills (17:9), is usually interpreted as apostate Christendom.

The waters (17:1) on which the woman sits represent the peoples of the world (17:15).

The ten horns (17:12) are ten kings associated with the beast (13:1; 17:3, 7, 8, 11-13, 16-17).

The Lamb is Lord of lords and King of kings (17:14).

Fine linen is symbolic of the righteous deeds of the saints (19:8).

19. The word “Almighty,” referring to God, occurs nine times in the New Testament. Eight of these are in the book of Revelation (1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:15; 21:22). For the other reference, see 2 Cor. 6:18.

20. God’s mortal enemy has more names in Revelation than can be found in any other biblical book:

Satan (2:24)

A fallen star (9:1)

Abaddon (9:11a)

Apollyon (9:11b)

Great red dragon (12:3)

Old serpent (12:9a)

Devil (12:9b)

Accuser of the brethren (12:10)

21. No other biblical book employs numbers like Revelation.

One fourth: Earth’s population to die during the fourth seal judgment (6:8)

One third:

a. The areas of Earth to suffer damnation during the trumpet judgments (8:7, 9, 10, 12-13)

b. Number of angels which joined in Satan’s revolt (12:4)


a. Two witnesses (11:3)

b. Two special songs (4:11; 5:9, 10)

c. Two demonic invasions (9)

d. Two beasts (13:1, 11)

e. Two wings (12:14)

f. Two Babylons (17, 18)


a. Three special angels (8:13)

b. Three frog-like evil spirits (16:13)

c. Three-fold division of Babylon (16:19)

Three and a half:

a. Years when Israel will be hidden by God (12:14)

b. Days following the deaths of the witnesses when they should be raised (11:11)


a. Living creatures (4:6)

b. Hellish horses (6:1-8)

c. Special angels associated with the 144,000 (7:1)

d. Special angels associated with the Euphrates River (9:14)

e. Four quarters of the earth (20:8)

f. Four square city of Jerusalem (21:16)

g. Four winds (7:1)

Five: Number of months when man will not be able to die (9:5)

Six: Number of wings on the living creatures (4:8)

Seven: This number occurs 40 times in the book, more than the rest of the New Testament combined:

a. Seven spirits (1:4)

b. Seven stars (1:16)

c. Seven lamps (4:5)

d. Seven seals (5:1)

e. Seven horns (5:6)

f. Seven eyes (5:6)

g. Seven angels (8:2)

h. Seven trumpets (8:2)

i. Seven thunders (10:3)

j. Seven heads (12:3)

k. Seven crowns (12:3)

l. Seven plagues (15:1)

m. Seven vials (17:1)

n. Seven mountains (17:9)

o. Seven kings (17:10)

Eight: A king, referring to the antichrist (17:1)

Ten: Horns on the beast (12:3; 13:1; 17:3)

Twelve: This number occurs 13 times.

a. 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes (7:4-8)

b. A crown of 12 stars (12:1)

c. 12 gates (21:12)

d. 12 angels (21:12)

e. 12 foundations (21:14)

f. 12,000 furlongs (21:16)

Twenty-four: Number of elders (4:4)


a. Months the Gentiles to trample underfoot Jerusalem (11:2)

b. Months of antichrist’s total reign (13:5)

One hundred and forty-four: Height or width of the New Jerusalem’s wall (21:17)

Six hundred: Number of furlongs (200 miles) the blood will flow during the Great Tribulation (14:20)

Six hundred and sixty-six: Mysterious number of the antichrist (13:18)

One thousand: Number of years in the millennium (20:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Twelve hundred and sixty:

a. Days of the ministry of the two witnesses (11:3)

b. Days Israel will be hidden in the wilderness (12:6). See also number three and one-half.

Twelve thousand: Sealed individuals from each of the twelve tribes (7:5-8)

One hundred and forty-four thousand: Total number of those sealed from the twelve tribes (7:4; 14:1)

One hundred million: Number of heavenly angels praising God for His work in redemption (5:11)

Two hundred million: Number of the hellish army which will invade earth (9:16)

22. Apart from the Psalms no other biblical book features music and the singing of praise to the Creator as does Revelation.

23. Revelation employs various animals to symbolize both good and evil concepts:

Lion (4:7)

Calf (4:7)

Eagle (4:7; 12:14)

Lamb (5:6)

Horses (6:1-8)

Locusts (9:3)

Scorpion (9:10)

Dragon (12:3)

Leopard (13:2)

Bear (13:2)

Frogs (16:13)

Serpent (12:9)

Birds of prey (19:17)

Sheep (18:13)

Dogs (22:15)

24. It is the second of two biblical books offering a description of the Father (Dan. 7:9-10; Rev. 4:2-3).

25. It is the only biblical book to use that greatest of all praise words, Alleluia. (See 19:1, 3-4, 6.)

26. It is the only biblical book given almost in its entirety by vision form.

27. It is the only biblical book written from a small island (1:9).

28. In essence, the book of Revelation contains:

The last of three New Testament passages describing Balaam, the false prophet of the Old Testament (see Num. 22-25)—Peter speaks of the way of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15). Jude speaks of the error of Balaam (Jude 11); Revelation speaks of the doctrine of Balaam (Rev. 2:14).

The most detailed description of the ascended Christ in the Bible (1:9-20)

The last words of Christ to his churches (Rev. 2-3)

The most vivid description of heaven in all Scripture (Rev. 4-5, 21-22)

The only description of four specialized angelic creatures (4:6-8)

The most detailed account of heaven’s activities (Rev. 4-5; 8:1-5; 11:19; 15:1-8; 19:1-10)

The greatest prayer meeting of the unsaved in history (6:15-17)

History’s most severe judgments (chapters 6, 8, 10, 16)

The last New Testament listing of Israel’s 12 tribes (7:4-8)

The world’s greatest revival (7:9-17)

The only description of demons in the Bible (chapter 9)

The most descriptive account of the age old battle between Satan and Israel (chapter 12)

The only book referring to the three persons in the counterfeit trinity

a. First person—Satan

b. Second person—antichrist

c. Third person—false prophet

The fourth and final of history’s greatest announcements. These are:

a. Regarding the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:8-14)

b. Regarding the resurrection of Jesus (Matt. 28:5-7)

c. Regarding the return of Jesus (Acts 1:10, 11)

d. Regarding the reign of Jesus: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (11:15)

The only two occasions when a godly believer attempted to worship an angel (19:10; 22:8, 9)

The two most severe judgments on unsaved humanity since the universal flood (9)

The only occasion when heaven was briefly silent (8:1)

The only biblical book to describe both the antichrist and his false prophet (chapter 13)

The only biblical book to record the preaching of angels (14:6-7)

Scripture’s most frightening descriptions of hell (14:10-11)

The most vivid account of Armageddon and the second coming (14:14-20; 16:16-21; 19:11-21)

The world’s greatest earthquake and hailstorm (16:18-21)

The only biblical book to distinguish between the two Babylons:

a. Religious Babylon is described in chapter 17

b. Political Babylon is described in chapter 18

The only biblical book that gives the actual duration of the millennium (20:5)

The most detailed description of the great white throne judgment (20:11-15)

The last of three attempts by Satan to consolidate his religious system around a project

a. First attempt—A tower in Shinar (Gen. 11)

b. Second attempt—A statue in Babylon (Dan. 3)

c. Final attempt—A statue in the temple (Rev. 13)

29. Finally, and most important of all, Revelation is about a Lamb! John the apostle presents Him in a ten-fold light:

A Sin Cleansing Lamb

“And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14).

A Slain Lamb

“And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” (Rev. 5:6).

A Redeeming Lamb

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Rev. 5:9).

A Worthy Lamb

“Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Rev. 5:12).

An Overcoming Lamb

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Rev. 12:11).

“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (Rev. 17:14).

A Life-Giving and Protecting Lamb

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).

A Comforting Lamb

“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 7:17).

An Eternal Lamb

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (Rev. 5:13).

An Angry Lamb

“And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6:16).

A Shining Lamb

“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Rev. 21:23).

30. H. H. Snell has aptly summarized the position held by the Lamb in Revelation: “In the Revelation, THE LAMB is the centre around which all else is clustered, the foundation on which everything lasting is built, the nail on which all hangs, the object to which all points, and the spring from which all blessing proceeds. THE LAMB is the light, the glory, the life, the Lord of Heaven and earth, from whose face all defilement must flee away, and in whose presence fullness of joy is known. Hence, we cannot go far in the study of the Revelation, without seeing THE LAMB, like direction-posts along the road, to remind us that He who did by Himself purge our sins is now highly exalted, and that to Him every knee must bow, and every tongue confess.”

Comparison with Other Bible Books

1. Revelation may be compared to the book of Genesis.

In Genesis we read: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (1:1).

In Revelation we read: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth” (21:1).

In Genesis we see described the first Adam with his wife Eve in the Garden of Eden, reigning over the earth (1:27-28).

In Revelation we see described the last Adam with his wife, the church in the City of God, reigning over all the universe (21:9).

In Genesis we are told: “And the gathering together of the waters called he Seas” (1:10).

In Revelation we are told: “and there was no more sea” (21:1).

In Genesis God created the sun and moon, the day and the night (1:5-16).

In Revelation: “There shall be no night there” (22:5). “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (21:23).

In Genesis the Tree of Life is denied to sinful humans (3:22).

In Revelation the Tree of Life “yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (22:2).

In Genesis people hear God say: “Cursed is the ground for thy sake” (3:17).

In Revelation people will hear God say, “And there shall be no more curse” (22:3).

In Genesis Satan appears to torment human beings (3:1).

In Revelation Satan disappears, himself to be tormented forever (20:10).

In Genesis the old earth was punished through a flood (7:12).

In Revelation the new earth shall be purified through a fire (2 Pet. 3:6-12; Rev. 21:1).

In Genesis man’s early home was beside a river (2:10).

In Revelation our eternal home will be beside a river—“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (22:1).

In Genesis the patriarch Abraham weeps for Sarah (23:2).

In Revelation the children of Abraham will have God himself wipe away all tears from their eyes (21:4).

In Genesis God destroys an earthly city, wicked Sodom, from the sands (ch. 19).

In Revelation, God presents a heavenly city, New Jerusalem, from the skies (21:2).

Genesis ends with a believer in Egypt, lying in a coffin (50:1-3).

Revelation ends with all believers in eternity, reigning forever (22:5).

2. Revelation may be compared to the book of Daniel.

Concerning the indestructible Jewish nation (Dan. 3, 6; cf. Rev. 12).

Concerning the ministry of the antichrist (Dan. 3:1-7; 7:7-8, 24-25; 8:9-12, 23-25; 9:27; 11:36-45; cf. Rev. 13).

Concerning the length of the tribulation (Dan. 9:24-27; cf. Rev. 11:2; 12:6, 14; 13:5). Note, however, that Daniel was a sealed book (Dan. 12:9), whereas Revelation is not (Rev. 22:10).

Titles for and Types of Jesus

1. Jesus Christ (1:1)

2. The faithful witness (1:5a)

3. The first begotten of the dead (1:5b)

4. The Prince of the King of earth (1:5c)

5. The alpha and omega (1:8a)

6. The beginning and the end (1:8b)

7. The Almighty (1:8c)

8. The first and the last (1:11)

9. The son of man (1:13)

10. The holder of the seven stars (2:1a)

11. The sustainer of the seven churches (2:1b)

12. The one with the two-edged sword (2:12)

13. The one with eyes of fire and feet of brass (2:18)

14. The one possessing the key of David (3:7)

15. The Amen (3:14a)

16. The ruler of God’s creation (3:14b)

17. The Lion of the tribe of Judah (5:5a)

18. The root of David (5:5b)

19. The smitten Lamb (5:6)

20. The God of heaven (11:13)

21. Lord God Almighty (11:17)

22. The man child (12:5)

23. The all-powerful Christ (12:10)

24. The reaper (14:14)

25. King of saints (15:3)

26. Lord of Lords (17:14a)

27. King of Kings (17:14b)

28. The spirit of prophecy (19:10)

29. Faithful and true (19:11)

30. The Word of God (19:13)

31. The great God (19:17)

32. The universal Judge (20:11)

33. The bridegroom (21:9)

34. The bright and morning star (22:16)


A Summary of the Key Events in this Book

This will involve a brief twelve-stage pilgrimage, highlighting the key acts and events. As has been previously noted, the book of Revelation is about a Lamb—the Lord Jesus Christ! The following overview has been prepared with this in mind.


Questions: Whatever happened to Jesus? Is He still alive? If so, where is He and what is He doing? Verse 18 in chapter one answers the first question:

“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

The remaining verses answer questions two and three where Jesus is seen dressed in His high priestly garments in heaven ministering to His churches and people.


These who bear testimony to the Savior are described as follows:

1. Seven golden candlesticks, or lampstands (2:1), a reference to the seven key churches in Asia Minor.

2. The servants of our God, and the first fruits unto God and the Lamb (7:3; 14:4), a reference to 144,000 Jewish evangelists.

3. The two olive trees and lampstands (11:4), a reference to the two prophets of God later martyred by the antichrist.


1. The personalities involved (who they were)

—24 elders

—4 special living creatures

—a great multitude of angels

—all the redeemed

2. The reasons involved (why they worshipped)

—thanking God for His great work in CREATION (4:11)

—thanking God for His great work in REDEMPTION (5:9, 10)

Note: Someday even the fallen angels and unsaved human beings will acknowledge both the sovereignty and eternal reign of the Lamb!

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (5:13).


“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:15-17)

No doubt the most vivid example of a divine oxymoron can be seen, repeated twice, in these verses, namely, THE WRATH OF THE LAMB! By simple definition an oxymoron is in essence a contradiction of terms, such as jumbo shrimp, Christian atheist, cold heat, etc. In other words, it cannot be both. But not so in Rev. 6. This gentle Lamb who once came providing salvation for man, NOW becomes the angry Lamb, pouring out judgment upon man!

This wrath unfolds itself in a five-fold manner:

1. As seen by the seal judgments (6)

2. As seen by the trumpet judgments (8, 9, 11:15)

3. As seen by the vial (or bowl) judgments (15, 16)

4. As seen by the judgments upon Babylon (17, 18)

5. As seen by the Great White Throne Judgment (20:11-15)

Never before or never again will the full, unchecked fury of an angry God be poured out in such measure upon this sinful world! The following passages perhaps say it best:

“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev. 6:15-17).

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Rev. 14:9-11).

A brief summary of this five-fold divine punishment would include:

1. As seen by the SEAL judgments—

First—Cold war, unrest among the nations

Second—Open war, blood and death

Third—World-wide famine

Fourth—25% of humanity killed by the sword, pestilence, and wild beasts

Fifth—Cry of the martyred for God to avenge their deaths

Sixth—Great earthquake, resulting in every mountain and island being moved out of place, the sun to be blocked out, the moon to become as blood, the sky to be torn apart like a scroll

2. As seen by the TRUMPET judgments—

First—Hail and fire, causing one-third of the earth to be burned

Second—Falling meteorite (or asteroid) destroying one-third of sea life and ships

Third—Another meteorite to poison one-third of the rivers and springs of water

Fourth—One-third of the light from the sun, moon, and stars to be diminished

Fifth—The first of two demonic invasions, resulting in all unsaved being tortured for five months

Sixth—The second demonic invasions releasing 200 million of these hellish creatures; one-third of the unsaved to die

3. As seen by the VIAL or BOWL judgments—

First—Grievous, malignant sores to plague the bodies of the unsaved

Second—The death of all sea life

Third—The (probable) death of all fresh water life

Fourth—Sun flares so intense so as to scorch human bodies

Fifth—An unnatural darkness to fall upon the domain of the antichrist bringing with it some kind of pain

Sixth—The drying up of the Euphrates River in the Middle East in preparation for Armageddon

Seventh—The greatest earthquake of all time, accompanied by the greatest hailstones, with each hailstone weighing 100 pounds!

4. As seen by the judgment upon Babylon—

It is the opinion of this author that ancient Babylon will be rebuilt and eventually become the headquarters of the antichrist. Furthermore this city will serve as the center for two godless systems, the religious (described in Rev. 17), and the economic (referred to in Rev. 18). Both systems will eventually be destroyed by God, the religious indirectly and the economic, directly.

5. As seen by the Great White Throne Judgment—

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:11-15).


John had probably never witnessed anything exactly like this before. The scene was both fascinating and frightening. Here is his actual eye witness account in regard to what he saw:

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him; And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:1-9; 11-17).

1. Many evangelical Bible students would identify the persecuted woman as Israel. She is seen as being persecuted while awaiting the birth of her Messiah, who came, died, rose again, ascended, and now awaits his future rule over all nations. The woman will however continue to suffer throughout the ages but will be divinely protected, especially during the last part of the Great Tribulation.

2. There is no doubt in regard to the identity of the great red dragon who hounds the woman, namely, Satan himself! He will however be eventually defeated and cast out of heaven, never more to persecute either Israel or any single believer!


Revelation 13 gives us the most descriptive overview of the coming wicked antichrist that can be found in all the Bible. We are told regarding:

1. His source of power: Satan himself

2. His racial background: Many believe he will be a Gentile

3. His hellish helper: the false prophet

4. His universal influence

5. His persecution of the elect

6. His obsession to be worshipped as God

7. His statue: placed in the Jewish Holy of Holies

8. His mark: 666


“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God” (Rev. 19:7-9).


“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh” (Rev. 19:11-21).


“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).


He is the architect, builder, and owner of that shining city among the stars!

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst; And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 21:1, 2, 9-20; 22:1-5).


“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last; I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star; For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:13, 16, 18-20).


A Summary of the Great Hymns of Praise in this Book


1. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (4:11).

2. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever” (5:9-14).

3. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen” (7:9-12).

4. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned” (11:15-17).

5. “And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth” (14:3).

6. “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and arvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest” (15:3, 4).

7. “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God; And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (19:1, 6).


1. 24 elders

2. Four living creatures

3. Hundreds of millions of angels

4. All of creation

5. A great multitude who will be saved during the Great Tribulation

6. 144,000 Israelite servants

7. Those who were victorious over the antichrist

8. All of heaven


1. For His work in creation

2. For His work in redemption

3. For His wisdom and power

4. For His eternal reign over all the nations

5. For His holiness and justice

6. For judging the false church

7. For avenging the blood of the martyrs

Their grand and glorious future celestial celebration is perhaps best summarized by the words of hymn writer John Kent’s beautiful song:

‘Tis the Church Triumphant Singing

‘Tis the church triumphant singing, Worthy the Lamb!

Heav’n thro’out with praises ringing, Worthy the Lamb!

Thrones and pow’rs before Him bending, Odors sweet with voice ascending

Swell the chorus never ending, Worthy the Lamb!

Ev’ry kindred, tongue and nation—Worthy the Lamb!

Join to sing the great salvation; Worthy the Lamb!

Loud as mighty thunders roaring, Floods of mighty waters pouring,

Prostrate at His feet adoring, Worthy the Lamb!

Harps and songs forever sounding Worthy the Lamb!

Mighty grace o’er sin abounding; Worthy the Lamb!

By His blood He dearly bought us; Wand’ring from the fold He sought us;

And to glory safely brought us: Worthy the Lamb!

Sing with blest anticipation, Worthy the Lamb!

Thro’ the vale of tribulation, Worthy the Lamb!

Sweetest notes, all notes excelling, On the theme forever dwelling,

Still untold, tho’ ever telling, Worthy the Lamb!

Copyright © 2007 by Harold L. Willmington

Dr. H. L. Willmington
Founder & Dean, Willmington School of the Bible
Founder & Dean, Liberty Home Bible Institute
Professor, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Copyright © 2007 by Harold L. Willmington. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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