The book of revelation also called revelation to John or Apocalypse of John is the last book of the New Testament. It is one of the most controversial and most misunderstood books of the bible. The book of revelation is a letter written to the seven Christian churches in Asia Minor namely Ephesus (revelation 2:1-7), Smyrna (Rev 2:9-11), Pergamum (Rev 3:1-6), Thyatira (2:9-11), Sandis (Rev 3:1-6), Philadelphia (Rev 3:7-13) and Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22).
This letter was written through John as a revelation from Jesus Christ. It was written sometime around 96 CE, and the location according to the book is the island of Patmos. Because of the use of unusual symbolic language, the book of revelation is a very difficult read for modern people and the more reason it is controversial and misunderstood. However, the only way for a modern reader to understand and make sense out of is to read it wit ‘ancient eyes’ thereby understanding the context within which it was written.
Major Reason for the Book
The major reason for the book of revelation is to encourage the Christian churches then and today to stand firm in the faith that had been professed to them, in summary of how to remain faithful. The book stresses the need to avoid compromise with paganism, to persevere though persecution, adversity and martyrdom, to wait patiently for God’s promises, and show how God has triumphed over evil through His Son Jesus Christ. Therefore the Book serves both as a warning and encouragement to the churches to remain faithful to Jesus Christ especially in the foreseen difficult future.
Major Topics Covered
The book can be broken into five major visions, which include a prologue and an epilogue.
The prologue is covered from (Rev 1:1-3), where John introduces Jesus Christ as the sender of the message.
John’s “cover letter” Rev 1: 4-20
John here explains where and the circumstance he is writing the letter to the seven churches. It is also here that he receives the first vision of someone “like the Son of Man” a description of Jesus (Rev 1:13). When John saw the vision he fell on his feet but was reassured not to be afraid. Then Jesus commanded him to start writing. The seven letters to the seven churches in Asia. The letters are covered in Rev 2:1 to Rev 3:22 in the first letter to the church of Ephesus it acknowledges their hard work and perseverance yet holds one thing against them the forsaking on their ‘first love’.
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