making the scriptures plain

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

An in depth study of the Bible based on
the book of Revelation

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The Revelation Chapters & Verses - Click here to navigate the study

1.1 - 1.10a - Prologue   

      Historical-Era Visions

            The Church Militant - Vision One
         1.10b - 1.20 - Victorious Intro Scene - One Like the Son of Man Appears to John on Patmos
         2.1 - 2.29 - Basic Prophetic Description Part 1 - Messages to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira
         3.1 - 3.22 - Basic Prophetic Description Part 2 - Messages to Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea
                 God's Ongoing Work of Salvation - Vision Two
               4.1 - 4.11 - Victorious Intro Scene Part 1 - The Throne in Heaven
               5.1 - 5.14 - Victorious Intro Scene Part 2 - The Book and the Lamb
               6.1 - 6.17 - Basic Prophetic Description - Opening of The First Six Seals
                    7.1 - 7.17 - Interlude - The 144,000 and The Great Multitude               
               8.1
- Eschatological Culmination - Opening of The Seventh Seal
                          Trumpet Warnings - Vision Three - "Exodus" / "Fall of Babylon" Motif
                          
8.2 - 8.6 - Victorious Intro Scene - Seven Angels with 7 Trumpets and The Angel with The Golden Censer
                          8.7 - 8.13 - Basic Prophetic Description Part 1 - The First 4 Trumpets
                   9.1 - 9.21 - Basic Prophetic Description Part 2 - The 5th and 6th Trumpets
                   10.1 - 10.11 - Interlude Part 1 - The Time of the 6th Trumpet
                          
11.1 - 11.13 - Interlude Part 2 - The Time of the 6th Trumpet
                   11.14 - 11.18 - Eschatological Culmination - The 7th Trumpet
                                    Evil Powers Opposing God and His Saints - Vision Four - "Exodus" / "Fall of Babylon" Motif
        
                     11.19 - Victorious Intro Scene - in God's Temple
                           12.1 - 12.17 - Basic Prophetic Description Part 1 - The Woman and The Persecuting Dragon
                                    
13.1 - 13.18 - Basic Prophetic Description Part 2 - The Leopardlike Sea Beast and The Two-horned Earth Beast
                           14.1 - 14.13 - Interlude - The Lamb, The 144,00 and 3 Flying Angels
                                    
14.14 - 14.20 - Eschatological Culmination - The Two-fold Harvest
      Eschatological-Judgement-Era Visions
                                    Bowl Plagues - Vision Five - "Exodus" / "Fall of Babylon" Motif

                           15.1 - 15.8
- Victorious Intro Scene Part 1 - The "7 Last Plagues" - The Song of Moses & The Lamb, & Seven Angels, Seven Bowls
                                    
16.1 - Victorious Intro Scene Part 2 - The Seven Angels Instructed to Act
                           16.2 - 16.14 - Basic Prophetic Description - The "7 Last Plagues" - Six Angels Pour Out The First 6 Bowls of God's Wrath
                           16.15 - 16.16
- Interlude - Christ is Coming and The Battle of Armageddon
                                    
16.17 - Eschatological Culmination - The 7th Angel Pours Out The 7th Bowl of God's Wrath
                          Evil Powers Judged by God - Vision Six - "Exodus" / "Fall of Babylon" Motif
                          
16.18 - 16.21 - Victorious Intro Scene Part 1 - God's Wrath upon Babylon and The Earth
                   17.1 - 17.3a
- Victorious Intro Scene Part 2 - John is Taken into The Wilderness to See The Judgement of Babylon
                   17.3b - 17.18
- Basic Prophetic Description Part 1 - The Woman on the Beast and The Victory of The Lamb
                   18.1 - 18.3
- Basic Prophetic Description Part 2 - Babylon's Corruption
                         
18.4 - 18.8 - Interlude Part 1 - "Come Out of Her"
                   18.9 - 18.19
- Eschatological Culmination Part 1 - The Fall of Babylon and Lament for Babylon
                   18.20
- Interlude Part 2 - "Rejoice over Her Destruction - The Destroyer Destroyed"
                   18.21 - 18.24
- Eschatological Culmination Part 2 - Babylon's Doom and Utter Desolation
                  God's Judgement Finale - Vison Seven
              
   19.1 - 19.10 - Victorious Intro Scene - Praise and The Marriage of The Lamb
              19.11 - 19.21
- Basic Prophetic Description Part 1 - Christ's 2nd Advent
                   
20.1 - 20.5 - Basic Prophetic Description Part 2 - The Millenium and The First Resurrection
                   
20.6 - Interlude - The Blessings of Sharing in The First Resurrection
              20.7 - 20.15
- Eschatological Culmination Part 1 - The End of The Millenium & Satan's Confederacy, & The White Throne Judgement
              21.1 - 21.04
- Eschatological Culmination Part 2 - The Establishment of The New Heaven & The New Earth
            The Church Triumphant - Vision Eight
            
21.5 - 21.11a - Victorious Intro Scene - Christ's Victorious Ones, The New Jerusalem, The Lamb's Bride, Inherit All Things
         21.11b - 21.27
- Basic Prophetic Description Part 1 - The Holy City New Jerusalem
            
22.1 - 22.5 - Basic Prophetic Description Part 2 - The River of Life in The Holy City
    22.6 - 22.21
- Epilogue

Notes


The Book of Revelation, like the Book of Daniel, is written in a literary style known as apocalyptic prophecy. It takes the long view - both geographically and historically. Thus Revelation looks at major historical developments in the world from John's day up to the end of the world, rather than at specific local incidents or developments over a short period of time. And it gives reassurance and hope in times of distress as it emphasises and moves towards end time when God will destroy evil and establish righteousness. It is a dramatic style, rich in symbolism and striking contrasts. It puts heaven in close spiritual touch with earth and sees history as a smooth unfolding of events, a continuous outworking of God's plan for humanity.

For the purpose of giving structure to the Prophetic Verses study, the Book of Revelation is divided into ten sections. This is no arbitrary subdividing. Rather the outline emerges directly from the text of Revelation itself. The prologue is the first section and the epilogue the last. The remaining eight sections are divided up according to eight visions.

Now imagine a dividing line between the end of chapter 14 and the beginning of chapter 15. This line represents a 'turning of the tables' - chapters 1 to 14 describe the historic era, and chapters 15 to 22 the end time judgement. The visions before this watershed show a defective church, persecuted saints sustained and protected by Jesus, and evil apparently with the upper hand. By contrast the visions after it describe victory for the Lord and His people over sin, suffering and Satan, focussing on Christ's second coming.

This line between chapters 14 and 15 can also be thought of as a line of symmetry. Before it are a prologue and four main visions; after it are four main visions and an epilogue. The prologue mirrors the epilogue and each of the visions parallel its partner reflected on the other side of the line!

For example, in both the prologue (chapter 1.1 - 1.10a) and the epilogue (chapter 22.6 - 22.21) are mention of
- a message, sent by angel, that is relevant to the immediate future
- John receiving this message
- the seven churches
- a blessing on those who heed the words of Revelation
- Jesus' return as Righteous Judge and Victorious Conqueror of sin, suffering and death
- Jesus as always being there, as the Alpha and the Omega.

Then the promises to overcomers in the first vision of the militant church are fulfilled in the descriptions of the New Jerusalem and the new earth in the final 'church triumphant' vision.
Similarly, vision 2 and vision 7 both include a scene in God's throne room. In each of these sequences there are four living creatures, twenty-four elders and praise and worship of God and the Lamb.

Finally, in visions 3 and 4, the 7 trumpets sound on earth, sea, rivers, springs etc. whilst in visions 5 and 6, the 7 plagues fall on these same elements. The modest woman of chapter 12 contrasts with the brazen woman of chapter 17. And seven-headed, ten-horned animals appear in both pairs of visions, as well as news about the impending fall of Babylon.

Looking at chapters 1 - 14 as a whole, first the dragon appears (in chapter 12), then the sea-beast and the earth-beast (false prophet) (chapter 13), followed by Babylon (chapter 14.8) and the beast-worshippers (chapter 14.9-11). In the second half of the book, chapters 15 - 22, these entities are destroyed in exactly the reverse order - first beast-worshippers (chapter 16.2), then Babylon (chapter 16,19-18,24), sea-beast and false prophet (chapter 19) and finally the dragon (chapter 20).

Each vision is further divided into four subsections - a victorious introduction scene, a basic prophetic description, an interlude and an eschatological culmination, although not all the eight visions contain all four subsections. Each intro scene has a temple imagery setting.

We are exploring the Bible using itself as the map. As we study the Bible verses in Revelation word by word within the ten sections, and within their subsections, each word's setting within the structure of the Book will serve as an additional clue, guide or signpost, helping to lead us towards the truth. Enjoy the journey! And remember that Jesus is our ultimate Guide and Leader. Like David my hope is in Him all day long.


"Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you."
~Psalm 25.5


We have relied heavily on the work of Kenneth Strand* with regard to the structure of this study, and are indebted to him for it.

Julia Rosamund Brown
12 December 2008

*Kenneth A. Strand "The Eight Basic Visions in the Book of Revelation" AUSS 25 (1987)

An opportunity to explore the Bible using the Bible itself as the map

1. Find out what the Bible says about "Revelation", "Jesus Christ" and eventually every phrase in Revelation.
2. Allow the Holy Spirit to quicken your understanding.
3.Compare your views with the Scriptures

To get the most out of this experience, we recommend that you study reverently and spiritually rather than academically.

“…the things of the Spirit of God 
…are spiritually discerned.”
1 Corinthians 2:14

How to use the Prophetic Verses online Bible study site

1. From the Revelation chapter in the left hand column, click the word or phrase you are interested in studying. This will take you to the first page of the study related to that word or phrase.
2. Many of the words occur more than once in the Book of Revelation. If the word you select appears earlier in the Book of Revelation, then you will always be taken to the FIRST occurence of that word.
3. Click a Bible book in the left hand column to go directly to the verses from that Book in which the word or phrase occurs.
4. You can always get back to the beginning by clicking 'home' near the top right hand corner.
5. The verses are divided into groups with a picture for each group. The picture illustrates one or more of the verses in that group.
6. The notes, in the left hand column below the list of Bible books, relate to the specific page on which they appear. They aim to clarify the meaning and significance of the word or phrase within the context of the verses on that page.

From papyrus bark to scrolls

The Bible began as an oral record of God's interractions with man - until Moses, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, began to write it down on papyrus. In fact the term 'biblos', from which the word 'Bible' comes, refers to the inner bark of the papyrus plant. By Jesus' time the Bible had grown, into what we now call the Old Testament, and been transfered onto scrolls. To get to a particular passage it was necessary to unwind one side and wind up the other side until the desired passage was reached - rather like using an old audio tape to access a piece of music. Some papyrus scrolls were 35 feet long.

In that same era, papyrus was giving way to parchment (made from leather) as the material chosen for writing down Scripture. Around the second century, scrolls were replaced by codices - each hand-written codex was a book made up of folded sheets or leaves. However parchment scrolls continued to be used in Jewish synagogues.


From scrolls to the printed page

Movable clay type was first invented in China in 1041. But the first printing press was invented in Germany in 1440, by Johannes Gutenberg. The very first book that Gutenberg printed was the Bible, known as the 42-line Gutenberg Bible because there were 42 lines on each page. The development of the printing press revolutionised not only printing but also the sciences, arts and religion, making written material, including the Bible, available to the masses for the first time.

During the centuries, many newer printing technologies were developed based on Gutenberg's printing machine e.g. offset printing. But it has basically remained the standard right up to the 20th century.

Gutenberg's printing machine

Luther's German New Testament was published in 1522. The first complete printed Modern English translation of the Bible (Old and New Testament) was compiled by Myles Coverdale and published in 1535. The Authorized King James Version is an English translation first published in 1611.

The Bible continues to be the most translated book in the world. It is currently thought to be translated into about 2,500 languages. This enables about 98% of the world's population to read it in a language in which they are fluent.

The stones would cry out

As Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, his followers began to shout and sing “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!” Some Pharisees from the crowd told him to keep them quiet. His reply?

"I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."
Luke 19:40

Silicon is a stone

The electronic revolution of the late 20th century brought in the first new Bible medium for five and a half centuries. Silicon, the mainstay of computer chip making, is a stone - its name comes from the Latin silex, or silicis meaning flint or hard rock. In the 21st century the stones themselves can indeed shout God's praises. Today we are in a unique position not only to study the Word of God electronically but also to use these new tools to give the message more clearly.

We can speak to others of God's love and purposes, as the patriarchs of old did. We can read from the Holy Scriptures like the children of Isreal. We can share the Bible book as missionaries have been doing for centuries....

This electronic age

But in this electronic realtime world, we can also do much more. We can study the Bible using electronic search facilities. We can share our conclusions to the world at the press of a button. We can communicate with each other in ways never envisaged a few decades ago. It is God who has given us this increase in knowledge in the last days.

"...to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."
Daniel 12:4



Our vision

Our vision is to use this knowledge for His glory and purposes.

And so we are delighted and awed to continue developing the Propetic Verses on-line Bible study. Delighted because we receive such a blessing from compiling these pages, and awed because God has seen fit not only to put it into our hearts to do this work but also to give the resources to complete it.

The Prophetic Verses study uses the principles established by Scripture itself

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus went through the Bible expounding on those verses that spoke of Himself

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Luke 24:27


He was using a thematic approach. And when God spoke to Habakkuk, He told him to write the vision down plainly so that people 'on the move' could spread the message. He wanted the meaning to be presented in as clear a manner as possible.

“… the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”
Habakkuk 2:2

Precept upon precept

This Prophetic Verses study, based on the book of Revelation, uses the Bible to interpret itself using these methodologies. It is divided into phrases, each with a particular theme or thought. The study of each phrase ‘unpacks’ what the Bible says about that topic and is used to make up a book, or table, of Bible verses that ‘make plain’ the topic.

For example, the all-important phrase “Jesus Christ” inspires a table which tells us what the Bible says about Jesus, clearly revealing His loving ministry to the people of the world.

In the Book of Isaiah, the prophet predicts a time when even the remnant of God's people will err in vision because of 'drunkenness'. A time when they despise the simple way the Lord is trying to teach them - here a little, there a little, rule upon rule.

“… precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little…”
Isaiah 28:13

What shall our response be?

Although He is seeking to relieve their burdens and give them peace, they resent His efforts. And so they get caught up, trapped and lost. This Prophetic Verses compilation uses the simple technique of studying the Bible word by word as each word appears in its pages, 'here a little, there a little' 'rule upon rule'. What shall our response be?


 
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