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The New Testament | The General Letters


Things to know

Where does the book begin?

The book opens as John told us about his vision*.

Places to go

John saw one like a Son of Man
Revelation 1:9-18

A lamb* opens a scroll
Revelation 5:1-14

An angel plays the seventh trumpet
Revelation 11:15-19

God is the king of kings
Revelation 19:1-16

God makes a new heaven* and new earth
Revelation 21:1-822-27

Where does the book end?

The book ends with a promise and a prayer.

People to know

The Beast
The False Prophet*

The Story of Revelation

The last book in the Bible is Revelation*. It is a book of prophecy. John wrote the book. God gave John a revelation*, so John wrote this book to tell what he saw. The word 'revelation’ means something that God makes known. The book begins as John talks about his vision. John speaks about himself in the book. He writes about Jesus. And he also talks about many strange characters, like The Beast and The False Prophet. God showed John things that have not yet happened. But these things will happen in the future. Many of the stories are about the last days before Jesus returns to earth.

The book is not easy to understand. But you can understand it if you remember one thing. This book is about Jesus. Jesus is the hero of this book. Look for him as you read it.

John was a student of Jesus. He followed Jesus for the years he lived on earth. But now John saw Jesus in a new way. So he used picture stories to tell people what he saw. Some of the pictures are very strange. Many people have tried to understand all of the details in these stories. No one understands all of them. We do not know if all of these things will happen in the order John told us about them. But we can understand the big ideas in the book.

John talked about Jesus in many ways in this book. He called Jesus a ‘faithful* witness’. He called Jesus ‘the first born from the dead’. He called Jesus the ‘ruler of the kings of the earth’[1] Each of these names tells us something about Jesus.

John said that Jesus is one like the Son of Man in the first part of the book. This is the same name Daniel used to describe God’s ruler in his book. He will come to judge his saints*. [2] Then, he will set up his kingdom*.

Then, Jesus told John to write down what he said. Then, he was to send those words in letters to some of churches in Asia. Most people think that these churches existed during the time that John wrote. But one thing is certain. All churches can learn from these letters.

The middle part of the book has many strange story pictures. John saw a throne* room. He saw a scroll* with seven seals*. The seals can only be opened by the Lamb* of God. Every time one of the seals* is opened, a bad thing happens on the earth. Then, John told about seven trumpets. And many strange things happen on earth or in the heavens each time a trumpet sounds. Then, John told about a great battle. An evil* leader with a wicked army fights against God. [3] Seven troubles follow this battle. Then, John saw the powerful nation of Babylon destroyed.

The book is hard to understand. But it is not impossible. Other parts of the Bible can help us as we read this book. The books of the prophets* can help us understand this book. So can the words of Jesus in the last part of the book of Matthew.

Near the end of the book, John talked about another great battle. The army of heaven* comes to fight against the armies of the nations. The leader of the army from heaven rides a white horse. [4] His name is the ‘Word of God’. This is a picture of Jesus. He is the King of Kings and Lord* of Lords. [5] When he comes, he defeats all of the wicked kings. He defeats all of his enemies. He puts Satan* in chains and locks him away for 1000 years. At the end of those years, God lets him out. Then, Satan* gathers together the armies of the nations. They go to attack Jerusalem. But God sends fire from heaven*. Then, he catches Satan* and throws Him into a burning lake.

Then God gathers all of the living and the dead before him. He reads from the record books in heaven and judges them.

In the last part of his book, John told about a new heaven* and a new earth. This is a place that God has made for all of his people. He will live with his people there. John told of a great city, a new Jerusalem. A great river will flow through the city. The river will give water to ‘the tree of life’[6] The curse* that God put on human beings in the garden will be gone (removed). God will live with his people for ever in a kingdom* that will last for ever.

There are many things in this book that are a mystery to us. But some things are clear. People that trust* God may suffer now. But they will not always suffer. When Jesus returns to earth, everyone will know he is God. Satan* and evil* people have power now. But they will not always have power. God will reward the people who know him. He will punish those who turn away from him. The world will get worse before it gets better. But Jesus will return and solve every problem. He will make everything right.


[1] Revelation 1:5

[2] Revelation 1:9-3:22; see Daniel 7:9-10

[3] Revelation 12-14

[4] Revelation 19:11-16

[5] Revelation 19:16

[6] Revelation 22:1-2

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