Revelation, the last book in the Bible, is in this position because it shows how all the prophecies, promises and covenants written in the previous 65 books are fulfilled. This book by God the Father, was delivered to His son, to show to His servants things that must shortly come to pass; Jesus Christ then signified it by His angel to His servant John, Revelation 1:1.
As John was instructed by Christ Jesus to write the things that he had seen, which are, and which shall be hereafter, and these things were addressed to the seven churches, which are in Asia, Revelation 1:4. It is important to understand to whom this book is addressed, who penned this book, and which of God's two plans does this book fall under, either His prophetic plan for Israel, the mystery program for the Body of Christ.
The book of revelation was written primarily to the believers in Israel for their preparation of the tribulation that would follow soon after they reformed as active churches, and not directly to the Body-of-Christ directly for the following reasons:
- John was the apostle, a pillar, to the circumcision, Galatians 2:8-9
- Peter opened the door of the kingdom of God to the Gentiles, Acts 10:34-46, Acts 15:7-11
- There was a division of effort and focus, where Peter and John would continue to minister to the circumcision (Israel), and Paul would continue to minister to the uncircumcision (gentiles), Galatians 2:7-9
- This is a prophetic book, Revelation 1:3, Revelation 22:7, 10, 18-19
- Revelation is addressed to the seven synagogues (churches) that were under John's apostleship
- The book is steeped in Israel’s history that the Body-of-Christ does not share in
However, all of the book of revelation is for the Body-of-Christ. Though the epistles written by Paul, from Romans through Philemon, were written directly to the Body-of-Christ, all other portions of scripture are written for our learning that through patience and comfort of the scriptures we might have hope, Romans 15:4. Paul also showed how the actions of Israel in the past led to God's judgments, 1Corinthians 10:1-5, serve as examples to the intent that we should not lust after evil things, as they did, 1Corinthians 10:6. Similarly, the letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation are also for our learning, understanding and discernment with respect to our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. From the book of Revelation, we can be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, to the end that we would walk worthy of the Lord, being pleasing to Him, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God, Colossians 1:9-10.
As with many of the other prophetic books in the Old Testament, there are descriptions of the New Testament church (first started by the little flock, then that part of the church faded away as God began His work with the Body of Christ, Romans 11:11-12). The Body-of-Christ will continue on earth until the snatching away (rapture), and then the Jewish church will resume during the tribulation, while at the same time the Body-of-Christ will be in the presence of God in His throne. The following graphic depicts the New Testament church from the resurrection of Christ Jesus until the time of the snatching away of the church. Afterwards, the Jewish churches emerge almost immediately, and continue to the tribulation.
Some believers in Christ Jesus will survive the tribulation to see the literal, physical and visible return of Christ Jesus. the book of Revelation is for the preparation of Israel to go through the tribulation. The New Testament church has been snatched up to be in the throne room of God during the tribulation on earth.
The book of Revelation can be divided into:
- Revelation 1 - The introduction to the book of Revelation
- Revelation 2-5 - Instructions and events for the young tribulation churches
- Revelation 6-19 - The tribulation
- Revelation 20 - The millennial reign of Jesus Christ
- Revelation 21-22 - Eternity future and the conclusion to this book
It is best to have a working knowledge of the entire Bible in order to gain a fuller understanding of the book of Revelation and receive the richest blessings from the study of this book. The purpose in the construction of these web pages is to provide a convenient means to the viewer to quickly access relevant passage from scripture that relate to the passages in Revelation being studied and aid the reader's understanding.