We know the New testament is a revelation of Jesus Christ and that it testifies and shows us the way we can receive salvation, also it reveals and gives us the knowledge of God’s will, by receiving Christ and obeying his commandments.
Establishing the veracity and authenticity of the New Testament is a paramount issue for anyone that considers themselves a student of Christianity. Critical analysis demonstrates that Biblical documents like the Papyrus 46 as well as hypothetical Q Document serve as companions that corroborate details found in the four gospels. These early Christian scriptures have survived through time to support the New Testament canon, and have revealed countless truths regarding Jesus Christ.
Many Christians are excited to learn more about the revelation of Jesus Christ and want to know what God has in store for them and the world. Some even hope that they will see reincarnations of members of their families spreading the word of God to various parts of the world. Here, we will explore the contents of chapters 4-22.
The New Testament revelation was a document written by the apostles of Jesus Christ. In this document, they described their vision of heaven, which included a description of God, Jesus Christ, and other religious figures. It also contained several stories about Jesus Christ’s life on earth and what he taught his disciples.
The New Testament revelation was written in Greek, but it was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic. It was first translated into Latin around 200 CE by St. Jerome (c. 347–420), who created the Latin Vulgate version of this text. The oldest Greek manuscript dates back to the sixth century CE.
In the New Testament, the word “revelation” is often used to refer to a series of communications from God to human beings. The word “revelation” comes from the French verb reveler, which means “to reveal.” The term was first used in English in 1526 as a translation of Latin révélation, which was in turn a translation of Greek apokalypsis.
The term “New Testament” refers to the first part of the Bible, which contains all 27 books that were written after Jesus’ death and resurrection and before his ascension into heaven. This section is distinct from the Old Testament, which consists of 39 books that were written before Jesus’ birth.
In the Book of Revelation, the apocalyptic hopes of the early Christian community find their clearest and most complete expression. Apocalypticism was not a new phenomenon among Christians; it was a well-established belief among Jews, who held that the coming of the kingdom of God would not be brought about by a gradual transformation but by a sudden intervention, when God would end the present age and establish his kingdom in the world made new. This conception of coming events is associated with the belief that prior to this future time, the struggle between the forces of good and evil will become more intense. As the evil powers grow stronger, they will inflict persecution and in some instances even death upon those who follow a course of righteousness. The struggle will eventually reach a climax, at which time God will intervene, destroy the forces of evil, and set up a new order in which the righteous will live for all time to come. The appearance of the Messiah will coincide with the coming of these events.
When the members of the Christian community affirmed their belief that the crucified Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, they necessarily revised their understanding concerning the work Jesus was to do and especially the way in which his work would be completed. Because they were convinced that the work of the Messiah must end in triumph and glory, they believed that this end could be accomplished only by a return of Jesus back to this earth from the heaven to which he had ascended. This second coming, occurring at the time when all the events connected with the apocalyptic program will take place, will inaugurate the coming of the new age, as well as the final destruction of all the forces of evil.
In writing Revelation, John follows the pattern that was used in older apocalyptic writings in the Old Testament (such as the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament, 1 Esdras in the Apocrypha, the Book of Enoch in the Pseudepigrapha, the Assumption of Moses), and many other well known writings, including sections of the Book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament and portions of the Synoptic Gospels. In all of these writings, events appear as though they were predicted long before they actually took place. The revelations are usually through dreams or visions in which coming events are symbolized by strange figures, the meanings of which are sometimes disclosed by an angelic messenger who was sent for that particular purpose. The apocalypses were produced in times of crises, and they were written for the benefit of people who were suffering hardship and privation at the particular time when the writing was done.
At the beginning of Revelation, John tells us that while he was on the Isle of Patmos, where he was banished because of his religious faith, he heard a loud voice telling him to write what he saw and then to send the writing to the seven churches in Asia. The voice was that of Jesus Christ, who had been raised from the dead and who had ascended to heaven. Christ’s messages are addressed to seven angels, each one of which is the guardian for a particular church: Ephesus, Smyrna, Thyatira, Pergamum, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Christ commends these churches for the good works that they have performed, but for five of them, he also sends a message of warning and reproof. He is especially critical of those who tolerate the doctrines of the Nicolaitans, whose teachings he considers a real menace to the Christian community because they approve of the practice of eating meat obtained from animals that have been used as sacrifices to idols. Although the apostle Paul and other Christians maintained that this practice was not a matter of vital importance and that everyone should be permitted to follow the dictates of their own consciences, apparently John did not share this attitude. As he understands it, the crucial test for all Christians, as it is for Jews, is strict obedience to all laws, and the rules pertaining to forbidden food are no exception. Although it might appear to be relatively unimportant, people’s attitudes toward matters of this kind indicate the way in which they will behave toward weightier matters.
Christ commends those churches whose members have endured persecution and, in some instances, even death rather than declare their allegiance to Roman rulers, who proclaimed their own divinity and demanded that they should be worshipped along with the other gods of the empire. He refers to Pergamum as Satan’s home inasmuch as it was in this place that the cult of emperor worship was particularly strong.
Christ warns Christians to expect that their persecutions will be even more severe in the immediate future. Nevertheless, they are to remain faithful and regard these afflictions as tests of their character. Those who remain loyal will be delivered from the hands of their enemies, and in the new order of things soon to be established, they will be given a crown of life and the assurance that the new order will last forever. The persecutions that are now taking place will last for only a short time, for the hour of God’s judgment is close at hand.
Following Christ’s messages to the seven churches, John describes the seven seals, scrolls on which is written an account of the events that are about to take place. The risen Christ, who is referred to as the Lamb of God, is said to be the only one who is accounted worthy to open the seals. When the first seal is opened, there appears a white horse, whose rider goes forth to conquer. Other seals are opened, and three more horses — a red one, a black one, and a pale one — appear in rapid succession. These four horses and their respective riders symbolize the conflicts that will mark the beginning of the final destruction of the Roman Empire. When the fifth seal is opened, John is permitted to look upon the souls of those who, in the midst of their distress, cry out, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” They are told that the forces of destruction are about to be turned loose in the world, and they may have to endure even greater torment, but if they are faithful through it all, they will be among the redeemed whose names are written in the book of life.
The great catastrophic events that bring an end to all the kingdoms of earth will also be the occasion for the return of Christ on the clouds of heaven. As Christ approaches the earth, the wicked people will be slain by the brightness of his coming. For a period of a thousand years, Satan will be bound, and the earth will be desolate. During this time, the righteous will be made safe in the city of God, which is the new Jerusalem. At the end of the thousand years, the city of God will descend to earth. Then the wicked will be raised from the dead, and after making an attempt to overthrow the city of God, they will be destroyed in what John tells us is the second death. The closing chapters of Revelation present a glowing description of the new Jerusalem with its streets of gold, its walls of jasper, its gates of pearl, and the river of life, which will flow eternally from the throne of God. In this heavenly abode, neither sorrow nor crying will exist, for God will wipe away all tears, and there will be no more death.
Who wrote the book?
The author of Revelation mentioned his name, John, four times throughout the book (Revelation 1:1, 4, 9; 22:8). Christians throughout history have given almost unanimous affirmation to the identity of the book’s author as John the apostle, who had been exiled to the island of Patmos by the authorities for preaching the gospel in Asia. Some traditions say that the Romans dropped John into a vat of boiling oil, but when the apostle did not die, they instead banished him to the barren rock of Patmos.
The title of the book, Revelation, comes from the Greek word for apocalypse and refers to an unveiling or a disclosure of something as yet unknown. This title is certainly appropriate for the book, a work so interested in making known the events of the future.
Where are we?
The apostle John wrote the book of Revelation around the year AD 95 from his exile on the island of Patmos. He addressed his work to seven Asian churches—Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Because John worked in Ephesus for so many of his later years, it would have been natural for him to communicate this vision to the churches under his immediate care and influence. Each of those seven churches received a message directed specifically to them (chapters 2 and 3) before John launched into his account of the future which he received in his vision from God.
Why is Revelation so important?
The book of Revelation provides the clearest biblical portrait of the events of the tribulation, dealing with the specifics of that terrible time (chapters 4–18). The tribulation will be a time of judgment, a time when those left on the earth after the rapture will suffer deeply for their nonbelief. John pictured this judgment as a series of twenty-one events—inaugurated by the breaking of seven seals, the blowing of seven trumpets, and the pouring out of seven bowls. This grand judgment on the sinfulness of humanity shows the seriousness with which God views sin—payment will be exacted from those not covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.
What’s the big idea?
While Revelation offers many details on the tribulation—even if they are often couched in the mystery of symbolic language—it is the final four chapters that dictate the overall message of the book. Revelation 19–22 portrays Christ’s future triumph over the forces of evil and His re-creation of the world for the redeemed. Ultimately, the book—and the world—end in a final victory for truth and goodness and beauty.
For the bulk of its sixty-six books, the Bible portrays a world deep in the throes of suffering. Human beings have had a problem with sin since the fall in Genesis 3, and verse after verse has recorded our problem in painstaking detail. The brilliance of Revelation is that it provides a final answer to this problem, a hope that Jesus will once and for all heal the wounds wrought by sin (Revelation 19), reign for a thousand years on earth (Revelation 20), and then re-create the world into a place that represents God’s original design (Revelation 21–22). The Bible’s narrative is a simple one: creation, fall, re-creation. Without the completion of the redeeming work of Jesus recorded in Revelation, we wouldn’t have the end of the story, leaving our hope for the future in
The Revelation of John is the one book in the New Testament that claims John as its author. By the time the writings that are now included in the New Testament were assembled in their present form, three letters and one gospel were also attributed to John. But in the case of these writings, the name of the supposed author was added at a later date, and their respective contents indicate that they were not written by the same John who wrote Revelation.
The Book of Revelation often has been regarded as a mysterious book, quite beyond the comprehension of the average lay reader. Its many references to angelic beings, its elaborate description of Christ as he appears in the heavenly courts, its use of such mystic numbers as three, seven, twelve, and their multiples, the accounts of strange beasts, symbolic names, and definite time periods — all suggest some hidden and esoteric meaning that supposedly can be detected only by an expert. For these reasons, many people have ignored the book, feeling that any attempt to understand it is futile. Other people have taken an opposite attitude and have found in this book what they believe to be predictions of whole series of events, many of which have already occurred and the remainder of which are about to take place in the near future. The basis for these views, many of which sound strange and fantastic, is found in the elaborate symbolism used in the book. The use of symbols has an important place in religious literature, for there is no other way in which a person can talk or even think about that which is beyond the realm of finite human experience. But there is always a danger that the symbols may be interpreted in a way that was not intended by the author who used them. Only in regard to the content in which the symbols are used can we determine what the author meant.
One source of confusion has been the result of a failure to distinguish between prophetic writing and apocalyptic writing. The prophets used a particular literary form in which they expressed their messages; the apocalyptic writers used a different literary form, one that was better suited to the particular purpose that they had in mind. To understand either group, one must interpret their writings by considering the respective literary form that they used. The characteristics of apocalyptic writing are fairly well known. In addition to the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation, a wealth of apocalyptic writing exists in the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. A careful study of these writings shows that they have a number of common characteristics: They were produced in times of crises; they describe the conflict between the forces of good and evil; future events are made known through dreams and visions; the end of the conflict is to come shortly; and those who remain faithful through persecution and trial are promised a reward in the messianic kingdom soon to be established. The messages are for the benefit of the persecuted and are usually conveyed by means of symbols that only the faithful can understand.