By Pastor Doug Stauffer
I have taught Revelation several times and written several books on the subject. Starting in March, we will study the Book of Revelation verse-by-verse at 7 p.m. each Wednesday. Everyone is welcome to attend or watch online.
High-Level Overview of Revelation
Revelation 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
Verse 19 offers an overview of the book of Revelation from John’s first-century perspective. It is a high-level – past, present, and future – viewpoint.
PAST: The things which thou HAST SEEN
PRESENT: The things WHICH ARE
FUTURE: The things which SHALL BE HEREAFTER
The simplified outline: Verse 19 first points to the things which “thou (John) hast seen,” with verse 20 pointing to what John already saw. Revelation chapters 2 and 3 chronicle what John saw.
Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
The Past: John writes in verse 20 that he already saw the seven stars and seven golden candlesticks. He records what he saw in chapters 2 and 3, making these chapters already past. Verse 20 defines the candlesticks as the seven churches. It designates the seven stars. These stars are the seven angels of each of those seven churches. The first verse of each church epistle addresses the angel of each of the seven churches.
“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus” (Revelation 2:1-2:7)
“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna” (Revelation 2:8-2:11)
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos” (Revelation 2:12-2:17)
“And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira” (Revelation 2:18-2:28)
“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis” (Revelation 3:1-3:6)
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia” (Revelation 3:7-3:13)
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans” (Revelation 3:14-3:22)
The two words following chapter 3 in Revelation 4:1 reveal the passage of time: “After this.” After what John saw (the churches of chapters 2 and 3, the last one mentioned in Revelation 3:22), John is now revealed as being in the present as he is transported to Heaven (Revelation 4:1). It is essential not to miss this point: John moved from speaking of the past to writing concerning the present!
The present: the book of Revelation reveals the present as John appears in heaven. The timing indicates he has been transported thousands of years into the future. A door in heaven opens. God transports (or raptures) John from the earth. John shows up in the present, where God reveals the “hereafter”—the future.
Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
The future: Notice the keyword at the end of Revelation 4:1—“hereafter.” This word links the event to the outline delineated in Revelation 1:19—the “hereafter” ending that verse. One might view hereafter as after here since John pictures the Rapture of the New Testament Church after revealing the entire 2,000-year Church Age in chapters 2 and 3.
The “hereafter” divides further into three sections: These divisions run from:
2nd Viewpoint — God transports John to heaven (from Revelation 4:2 to Revelation 17:2)
Revelation 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
From heaven, John views the 21 judgments on earth during Daniel’s 70th week.
3rd Viewpoint — God transports John to the wilderness (from Revelation 17:3 to Revelation 21:9)
Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
From the wilderness, John views God’s destruction of the world powers and the end of all that offends God.
4th Viewpoint – God transports John to a great and high mountain (from Revelation 21:10 to Revelation 22:21)
Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
From the mountain, John views Eternity.
Note: The 1st Viewpoint was skipped but it was from Patmos (Revelation 1:9), where John views the Church Age. He describes what these seven churches are doing right and wrong and God’s expectations of each. The Spirit speaking to the churches happens before God transports John to the other three locations.
All first-time visitors at Faith Independent Baptist Church, 1309 Valparaiso Blvd, Niceville, will receive a free book. If you have any questions: (334) 221-1611. You can also tune in live or archived: Facebook.com/douglasstauffer1611; youtube.com/@FaithIndependentBaptistChurch/streams; www.FaithNiceville.com; Sermonaudio.com/docdoug45. Let’s study to show ourselves approved unto God!
Dr. Doug Stauffer is pastor of Faith Independent Baptist Church. He was saved July 6, 1980, in Niceville, while stationed at the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base and has now been in the ministry for over 35 years. He has written 20 books including the best selling “One Book” trilogy (“One Book Rightly Divided, One Book Stands Alone, One Book One Authority”); along with several devotionals (“Daily Strength” series); and prophecy books (“Reviving the Blessed Hope, When the End Begins”).
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