FACTS ON REVELATION

Author

The author of Revelation calls himself "John" (1:1,4,9, 22:8).  The only John who
would have been so clearly known to the seven churches of Asia would have been
John the Apostle.  There are many similarities between the Fourth Gospel and
Revelation which serve to confirm Johannine authorship.  Early church tradition
confirms this viewpoint.

Readers

The book is addressed to seven churches of Asia (1:4) which were leading
centers of the province and connected by major travel routes.    

Date of Writing

Irenaeus writes that Revelation was recorded "at the close of the reign of
Domitian [A.D. 81-96]" (Against Heresies V.xxx.3).  The weight of historical
evidence points to a date toward the end of the reign of Domitian, around A.D. 95-96.

Historical Setting

The Revelation was received by John while he was in exile on the island of
Patmos late in the reign of Domitian.  Patmos was a small, rocky island in the
Aegean Sea off the coast of Asia Minor, about 35 miles SW of Miletus.  The island,
measuring only six by ten miles, served as a place of banishment in Roman times.
It may have been John's refusal to submit to the imperial decree of emperor
worship that led to his exile.  Persecution of believers is reflected in the message
of Revelation (1:9, 2:10,13, 6:9).      

Purpose

The book of Revelation was written to encourage believers under the
shadow of Roman persecution by showing them the ultimate victory of Christ over His
enemies and to warn the churches of the dangers of spiritual lethargy and apostasy.
The book brings OT prophecy and promises to completion and presents the
glorious Christ directing the churches, judging the world, and ruling His
kingdom.   

Theme        The glory, judgment, and triumph of Christ (19:10).  

Outline

I.  THE THINGS SEEN  1

       A.  Introduction  1:1-3
       B.  Salutation  1:4-8
       C.  Vision of Christ  1:9-20


II.  THE THINGS WHICH ARE  2-3

       A.  Ephesus  2:1-7
       B.  Smyrna  2:8-11
       C.  Pergamum  2:12-17
       D.  Thyatira  2:18-29
       E.  Sardis  3:1-6
       F.  Philadelphia  3:7-13
       G.  Laodicea  3:14-22


III.  THE THINGS WHICH SHALL BE  4-22

       A.  The Divine Judge  4-5
       B.  Seven Seals  6:1-8:1
       C.  Seven Trumpets  8:2-11:19
       D.  Explanatory Prophecies  12-14
       E.  Seven Bowls  15-16
       F.  Judgment on Babylon  17-18
       G.  Second Coming of Christ  19
       H.  Kingdom and Judgment  20
       I.  Eternal State  21:1-22:5
       J.  Epilogue  22:6-21
Revelation