Revelations is, as one of my colleagues has put it, a book of the greatest rejoicing and the great condemnation, death, and destruction. The book begins with John predicting the end of the world. The first part of his revelation is when Jesus comes before him as a character in completely white sashes and linen and tells the churches in different areas of the world what has become of them and what should become of them. He tells them that although they are saved, they still remain in much sin and must therefore make more efforts to overcome these sins. Jesus says that those who are able to conquer their sins through him are overcomers. All saints are saved but only a few are overcomers, or those who have overcome the destruction of their own pernicious attitudes. Jesus then presents several rewards to the overcomers. These rewards are the living water, eternal life, the right to sit at the right hand of the throne, etc. From this several scrolls are opened up and the throne of heaven is described as thousands and thousands of the heavenly host and the four great elders surround the throne and give thanks and praise to God. Revelations takes a dramatic twist as seven angels are given seven trumpets, each of which sound the coming of a great calamity or judgment on the peoples of earth. Throughout these curses on the earth, those that repent are saved and promised eternal life and those that will not do not have the name of God written on their foreheads and continue to curse God, acknowledging his existence but refusing to offer Him their allegience. These people are truly condemned. What happens then is that two witnesses prophesies for 1,260 days and tell the peoples to repent while using powers the Lord has allotted them to persecute those that do not receive the Lord. Satan the dragon rises from the abyss of the earth and overcomes these two witnesses whose bodies are left out in public for 3.5 days after which they are resurrected and brought up to the Kingdom of heaven.
There arrives then a woman who gives birth to the lamb of God and the dragon attempts to devour the baby but is unsuccessful as the Lord prevails. From the abyss rise two more beasts. One resembles the Holy Spirit and the other Satan in likeness. Thus, the evil trinity is complete and their number is 666. This is an ominous number which different scholars have likened to different rulers and events in world history. The Lord then releases seven bowls of wrath upon the earth, trying to get the people of earth to repent and have their sins forgiven and cleansed. Unfortunately they do not. Bablyon is then introduced. Bablyon is a woman prostitute, a large one and she is destroyed by the dragon himself and a great commotion goes up from all the merchants and the peoples who derived their wealth from babylon. They are understandably upset but upset over the wrong thing. Finally the book climaxes with the final battle. The army of heaven comes down and destroys the two beasts, enslaves the dragon himself and tosses him into the abyss for a thousand years, the milenia kingdom. The dragon returns to tempt the four corners of earth but is once again put down for good. From there the Lord judges the believers and the lamb is marries to the New Jerusalem, the final and redeemed land occupied by the 144,000. There, there is no darkness or night only the constant light of God’s love and righteousness there is not even a temple for the temple has been resurrected within the saints themselves. All is well and justice is finally returned.