Session 1 : Principles of Interpretation
At first sight Revelation can seem bewildering and even impossible to comprehend. We need to realise that it was written to “ordinary” Christians like you and I, for our instruction and encouragement.
Session 2 : Overview
Revelation contains many strange visions in unfamiliar shapes and forms. They can seem bizarre and disconnected from one another. We need to approach it as a single book and see how the theme develops and grows and sits within a clear structure.
Session 3 : The Eternal God, the Glorified Jesus and His Church
Revelation begins by introducing the authors of the prophecy – none other than the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. It is not an epistle from Paul or Peter or even John himself, but from the Triune God.
Session 4 : Letters to Ephesus, Smyrna & Pergamos 2v1–17
The first church, Ephesus, is one where there is much activity and resistance to heresy and immoral practices, and He commends them for this. Nevertheless, there is a fatal flaw – they have left their first love, for Him.
Session 5 : Letters to Thyatira & Sardis 2v18–3v6
The fourth church, via Thyatira, is living under a dangerous deception. They are a very loving and serving church, but there is a major problem, even more serious than in Pergamos.
Session 6 : Letters to the Churches part 3 3v7–22
Following this cycle of letters to earthly churches, John is transported to the heavenly Court, to understand where ultimate power rests.
Session 7 : Letters to Philadelphia & Laodicea – Chapter 3 v 7 – 22
The scene now shifts to earth. It is clear that what happens in the visible world is a consequence of initiatives taken in Heaven. The first of three cycles of judgement is about to take place on earth.
Session 8 : The Lamb Opens the Seals Chapter 6
The first four seals release the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, resulting in conquest, war, famine, and death. These effect are widespread but limited in severity…
Session 9 : The Sealing and Security of God’s people Chapter 7
This vision is still part of the 6th seal but there is a break, revealing another aspect of the same story…
Session 10 : The First Six Trumpets Sound – Chapters 8–9
The Trumpets release judgements on “The inhabitants of the earth”. The first scene in Heaven is the key to understanding what will follow…
Session 11 : John the observer becomes part of the action – Chapter 10 v 1–11
The mighty angel with the “little” scroll 10:1–11. A number of symbols emphasise the importance of the verbal message he is bringing…
Session 12 : Witness, persecution, and Vindication Chapter 11 v 1–18
Chapter 10 flows seamlessly into chapter 11. This is a difficult section to interpret but the former Scriptures provide us with the keys. John, acting under the authority of God, (see v3) is to perform the symbolic act.
Session 13 : Daniel as a Background to Revelation
There are very few quotations in Revelation from the other Scriptures but around 500 allusions are present in the text…
Session 14 : The Woman and the Dragon – Chapter 12
We are introduced to the central characters in the drama of history. Who is this dreadful dragon? Who is this glorious woman who is pregnant with a male child? Who are her children?
Session 15 : The Two Beasts – The Servants of the Dragon – Chapter 13
The dragon calls forth his servants to attack God’s people and attempt to destroy His Kingdom. They are described as monsters or beasts, one fashioned after himself and the other a counterfeit lamb. Who, or what, are these beasts?
Session 16 : Worship, Proclamation, and Judgement – Chapter 14: 1–8
Chapter 13 described a situation of war on earth. In that sphere there was intense pressure to conform and give allegiance to the dragon through his servants, to the point of death. Now we are transported to Heaven to see the from a different perspective.
Session 17 : Review/Rest for the Saints – Judgement for the World – Chapter 14:9–21
We pause for breath and recap on the journey so far. As Revelation gains momentum towards its awesome and glorious conclusion we need to have a clear picture of the way in which the whole book is structured…
Session 18 : The Victorious Saints and the Bowls of Wrath – Chapter 15 vs 1 – 16:9
Once again we are transported to the heavenly realm to witness a scene of rejoicing, one that recalls the Exodus event and final deliverance from that oppressive situation.
Session 19 : The Process of Judgement is Complete – Chapter 16:10–21
The first four bowls revealed God’s ultimate power over creation, demonstrating human vulnerability and the foolishness of man’s independence and rebellion against the Creator…
Session 20 : Babylon and the Beast – Chapter 17 vs 1 – 18
The 5th and 6th bowls portrayed the assault on the throne of the beast and the last great battle. The destruction of Babylon was briefly mentioned in a previous section.
Session 21 : Babylon ripe for Judgement : Chapter 17 v 15 – 18 v 8
Babylon, comprising all that is wicked, unclean, and ungodly in human society will be disgraced, desolate, and destroyed…
Session 22 : Great Babylon is Fallen – Hallelujah! – Chapter 18:11–19:7a
Several groups of people have a strong vested interest in Babylon, the source of their wealth and luxury. They stand afar off in fear and sorrow – all that they lived for has gone up in smoke.
Session 23 : The Bride is ready – The Bridegroom is Regal – Chapter 19v7–16
Suffering is past and now there is a joyful anticipation of the wedding, a wedding that has been awaited since the beginning of creation. The bride is beautiful and has made herself ready.
Session 24 : The beasts and dragon are destroyed – Chapter 19 vs 17 – 20 vs 15
Before the marriage supper of the Lamb takes place there will be another gruesome feast, following the final battle. In a sense there is no battle; the beasts and their followers are defeated by “the word of His mouth” and the beasts are consigned to the lake of fire.
Session 25 : Final Judgement – New Heaven and Earth – Chapter 20:11–21:8
The goal of the New Heaven and New Earth has almost arrived. Babylon, the beasts, and the dragon have disappeared from the scene. The final phase of judgement is about to take place…
Session 26 : The New Jerusalem – Like a Bride – Chapter 21:9–22:5
We make the astonishing discovery that the Bride is also a City and the city is like a bride. There is an obvious contrast with Babylon – both city and harlot. Again we note that the New Jerusalem descends out of heaven from God…
Session 27 : Total Restoration – Even so come Lord Jesus – Chapter 22
We look in more detail at the symbolism of the street and the river and the trees and their connection to the throne – the source of all blessing. His presence with His people is at the very heart of the vision…