The book of Revelation was probably written about the year 90 by the evangelist and apostle John. This book is addressed to seven churches in Asia (Rev 1:1111saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send [it] to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”) in the first place, but is also intended for the whole Christian church.
Revelation takes an own, unique place among the twenty seven scriptures which the New Testament contains. After the five historical books and the twenty one letters in which also prophetic portions appear, Revelation is in total a prophetic book (Rev 1:33Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.). This last book of the Bible reveals our future and is in that way a nice counterpart of the first book of the Bible that declares our origin.
In Revelation it is about the future of the Lord Jesus. And His future determines the future of the world, of Israel, of the church and of the devil and his henchmen. In this Bible book the Lord Jesus is in the center. It is about His Person, about His redemption work, His resurrection, His glorification and His return.
This book is the great terminus where all trains that have started to run in the Old Testament, reach their final destination. Somebody has found at least two hundred and seventy eight verses, which calculation I have not checked, among the four hundred and four verses that this book counts, that is to be connected in one way or another with a verse or a portion of the Old Testament. That is of course not strange when you consider that Christ is also the subject of the prophecy of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament we are being pointed ahead to Him as the One Who is coming. In the book of Revelation He has come and as the revealed Christ He is the Center of all events.
It is the book of contrasts. You will discover how the moral powers like light and darkness and good and evil stand against one another. In the same way God and Christ stand on the one hand and satan on the other hand against one another. Other contrasts are people who are saved and people who are not saved, and also holy and unholy angels. All these persons are actors who are performing on the world stage. You will see how the stage changes and transforms from time to eternity and vice versa. The decor of the exhibition is shaped by heaven and earth and the abyss and the lake of fire.
Everything is supported by music and songs and other expressions of feelings. The song of the victory and the ‘woe’ cry of the defeated cause happiness and also sadness. But the outcome is that God triumphs and that the glories of the Lord Jesus in both the millennial kingdom of peace and in eternity shine in undimmed and immortal beauty and splendor.
There are various possibilities to subdivide this book. The simplest and clearest one is supplied in the book itself and to be found in Revelation 1 (Rev 1:1919Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.). It is a subdivision in three parts:
1. what you have seen (Revelation 1:1-20),
2. what is (Revelation 2:1-3:22) and
3. what will happen hereafter (Revelation 4:1-22:21).