OceanSide church of Christ
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A STUDY OF REVELATION
Victor M. Eskew
A. If a class is asked which book of the Bible they would like to study, many would request the book of Revelation.
B. At the outset, let’s make three points.
1. The title of the book is Revelation, not Revelations.
2. It will be impossible for us to come to absolute agreement on this book.
3. There is a blessing pronounced on those who read the book (Rev. 1:3).
C. After the introduction to Revelation, we will be studying the book chapter-by-chapter.
D. Let’s begin with an Introduction to Revelation.
I. THE NAME OF THE BOOK
II. THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK
III. RECIPIENTS OF THE BOOK
IV. THE PLACE OF WRITING
V. THE THEME OF THE BOOK
VI. THE KEY VERSE: Revelation 17:14
VII. THE PURPOSE OF THE BOOK
A. The purpose of the book is to encourage Christians to remain faithful to God in the face of all conflicts with the forces of evil.
B. A war is raging.
1. The word “war” is found eight (8) times (Rev. 11:7; 12:7, 17; 13:4, 7; 17:14; 19:11, 19)
2. The word “battle” is found four (4) times (Rev. 9:7, 9; 16:14; 20:8).
3. The word “fight” is found one (1) time (Rev. 2:16).
4. The word “fought” is found two (2) times (Rev. 12:7, 2x).
C. The war is between God and His forces and Satan and his forces (Rev. 12:7-11).
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was there 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 I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 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.
D. Satan is not as powerful as God. God’s majesty and power are seen through two words.
a. It is found 42 times in the book.
b. “The throne stands for the rightful reign of God over the course of history” (Nelson’s, “Revelation of John,” p. 1085).
a. The word is found nine times in the book.
b. Once it is translated omnipotent (Rev. 19:6).
c. “Almighty means ‘without contenders.’ No matter how fierce and wicked Satan may be, he cannot defeat God. In God’s time and in His way He will fulfill His promises and accomplish His sovereign purpose in history” (Nelson’s, “Revelation of John,” p. 1086).
E. Jesus is portrayed as the commander of the righteous forces (Rev. 19:11-16).
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 the Almighty God. And he had on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
F. God’s enemies will be defeated.
1. The beast and the false prophet (Rev. 19:20)
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 the image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
2. The devil (Rev. 20:10)
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever.
VIII. NUMEROLOGY IN THE BOOK
A. When we read of numbers in the Bible, they can be used in two ways: literally and figuratively.
1. In the Revelation, we have many numbers that are used figuratively in the book (See Rev. 1:1, “signified it”).
2. “The exact meaning behind the numerology in The Revelation might not always be as clear to our generation as it once was to the generation to whom is was first given. Nevertheless, enough is understood to get the essential meaning for a panoramic understanding of The Revelation”’
3. “Conservative scholars remain cautious about assigning too much importance to the meaning of numbers in the Bible. Such attribution has led some groups to mystical and theological extremes, believing numbers can reveal the future or uncover hidden information. These groups delve into the dangerous realm of divination”
B. In the book of Revelation, there are at least 20 different numbers that are mentioned.
1. 2 (Rev. 11-3-4)
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
a. Two involves support (Eccl. 4:9; Luke 10:1).
b. It takes two witnesses to establish a matter (Deut. 19:15).
2. 3 (Rev. 21:13)
And on the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
a. Three is symbolic of perfection and completion.
b. Those who enter in through the city gates are those who have been perfected by God.
3. 3-1/2 (Rev. 11:9)
And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
a. Three and a half is half of the complete number seven.
b. Thus, this is a number for incompleteness.
c. The witnesses were dead three and a half days, but this was not the end. More involving these witnesses was to come.
4. 4 (Rev. 4:6)
And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
a. Four is the number of the earth.
1) The four corners of the earth (Isa. 11:12)
2) The four soil types (Matt. 13:3-9)
3) The four seasons (Gen. 8:22)
4) The four directions on the earth (Gen. 28:14)
b. The four living creatures represent all of the creatures upon the earth: calf, beast, man, and flying eagle (Rev. 4:7).
5. 6 (Rev. 4:8)
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him…
6. 7 : churches of Asia (Rev. 1:4), golden candlesticks (Rev. 1:12), and horns and and eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God (Rev. 5:6), and seven seals (Rev. 5:1).
a. Seven is the number of perfection, completeness, and totality (3+3+1=7).
b. Seven churches indicate the literal seven addressed, but also involves the totality of the local congregations that make up the church.
c. Seven Spirits represent the Holy Spirit.
7. 10 (Rev. 17:12)
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
a. Ten is another number symbolizing completeness.
b. It is often associated with human governments.
8. Twelve (Rev. 12:1)
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.
a. This number also relates to perfection and completeness.
b. It is often associated with divine government.
9. 24 (Rev. 4:4)
And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
a. The leaders of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant
b. The twelve sons of Jacob and the twelve apostles
10. 42 (Rev. 11:2)
But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under food forty and two months.
a. Forty-two months is 3-1/2 years lunar time.
b. This symbolizes incompleteness. It will be for a long time, but it is not the end.
11. 144 cubits (Rev. 21:17)
And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of man, that is, of the angel.
a. It is symbolic of perfection (12 x 12=144)
b. It is emblematic of all the redeemed in the city of God.
12. 666 (Rev. 13:18)
Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
a. Man was created on the sixth day of the creation (Gen. 1:26-27, 31).
b. Six is one less than seven, the perfect number. Thus, man is less than God.
c. The increase of the number to 666 indicates a man who seeks to set himself up as God.
13. 1000 (Rev. 20:2)
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.
a. 10 x 10 x 10 = 1,000
b. This indicates fullness and completion.
c. Depicting the fullness of the time God has appointed
14. 1260 (Rev. 11:3)
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
a. Again, this is 3-1/2 lunar years indicating a period not full or complete.
b. More will follow this period of time.
15. 1600 (Rev. 14:20)
And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
a. 4 x 4 x 10 x 10 = 1,600
b. Four represents creation, the creation under the Old Testament and the creation under the New Testament
c. The creation paying double for its sins
16. 7,000 (Rev. 11:13)
And the same hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
a. 7 x 10 x 10 x 10 = 7,000
b. The number of men slain as desired by God.
17. 10,000 (Rev. 5:11)
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.
a. A great multitude that cannot be numbered
b. Some translations say “…numbering myriad of myriads and thousands of thousands.”
18. 12,000 (Rev. 21:16)
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.
a. The length times the width indicates the fullness of God’s people.
b. 12,000 x 12,000 = 144,000
19. 144,000 (Rev. 7:4)
And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
a. Here is that perfect number again.
b. It indicates the entirety of those who are saved.
20. Two hundred thousand thousand (Rev. 9:16)
And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
a. The magnitude of God’s army
21. There are some fractions used in the Revelation:
a. One tenth (Rev. 11:3)
b. One fourth (Rev. 6:8)
c. One third (Rev. 8:7)
d. Half an hour (Rev. 8:1-3)
IX. OUTLINES OF THE BOOK
A. Homer Hailey, Revelation: An Introduction and Commentary
i. Conflict and Judgment Within and Without the Church (Rev. 1-11)
ii. War and Victory! Rev. 12-22)
B. Tom Wacaster, John’s Vision on Patmos
i. The Church Vigilant (Rev. 1-11)
a. Christ in the Midst of the Seven Golden Lampstands (Rev. 1-3)
b. The Seven Seals (Rev. 4-7)
c. The Seven Trumpets of Judgment (Rev. 8-11).
ii. The Church Victorious (Rev. 12-22)
a. The Woman and Man Child Persecuted by the Dragon (Rev. 12-14)
b. The Seven Bowls of Wrath (Rev. 15-16)
c. The Judgment on the Dragon Followed by New Heaven and New Earth (Rev. 17-22)
C. Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary
i. The Things Which You Have Seen (Rev. 1)
ii. The Things Which Are (Rev. 2-3)
iii. The Things Which Will Take Place after This (Rev. 4-22)