The Summary Of Revelation

The literary genres of the book of Revelation are an Apocalypse, a Prophecy, and an Epistle (or Letter). The Disciple/Apostle John, who followed Jesus Christ and witnessed His crucifixion, authored it.

John wrote Revelation while a prisoner on the Island of Patmos, approximately 85-95 A.D. Its purpose is to give encouragement and hope for all Christians to continue watching for the return and triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ. It also is to warn of the Final Judgment that nonbelievers will endure on that Last Day.

John wrote that Revelation is special because, “Blessed 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” (1:3).

•    In chapters 1-3, John describes the details of the setting as he received this revelation (unveiling of truth). John was elderly and imprisoned on the Island of Patmos when he received an apocalyptic vision from an angel. With this vision he was instructed to write to seven churches about what he had seen. Revelation 1:19, describes a basic outline of the entire letter written by John, “Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things” this is the pattern that is followed by John. He describes of the seven churches their qualities and/or their weaknesses and failings (such as Sardis and Laodicea).

•    In chapters 4-20, John depicts what he sees in his vision about the Spiritual Realm. He describes Jesus Christ as the “Slain Lamb” who is the only one able to open the book with 7 seals. Aside from the 5th seal, each will bring a judgment upon the populace of the Earth. The 7th seal introduces 7 angels who each possess 7 trumpets, another series of daunting judgments. Incredibly, after the 6th trumpet in which 1/3 of the Earth’s population is killed, John claims, “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, DID NOT REPENT’ (9:20).

After this, John receives visions of which include the antichrist and Satan who is aware of his looming end. Next, John describes 7 more angles that will each carry 7 bowls of plagues to be poured onto the Earth. Again, amazingly, while hail is raining from heaven during the 7th plague, humankind does not repent but instead,“men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe” (16:21).

These fierce plagues demonstrate the wrath of God’s holy judgment upon the still wicked Earth.

John describes the eternality of Hell, the final resting place of the unbelieving. In 19:20, the antichrist and the false prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire. One thousand years later after the millennium reign of Jesus Christ in 20:10, the devil is also cast into the Lake of Fire. We also see that the antichrist and the false prophet are still in torment, “day and night forever and ever” because John describes Hell as an eternal place of conscious torment.

• Finally, in chapters 21-22, John writes the last of the cannon of Scripture. Here he describes the New Heaven and the New Earth. In it is the holy city of New Jerusalem. There will no longer be any crying or tears, pain, mourning, or death because “the first things have passed away” (21:1). Only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life can enter this place to live eternally with Jesus Christ who sits on His throne. “Come.”And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (22:17).

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (22:12-13).

Summary Of Jude

The book of Jude is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). The author is Jude the brother of James, both of who are half-brothers of Jesus Christ. Jude wrote it circa 75 A.D. The purpose of this book is to address false teachings and to illustrate a contrast between the error of heresy and the truth of Jesus Christ. Jude consists of only one chapter.

•    In verses 1- 16, Jude identifies himself and quickly delves into the dilemma of false teachings. “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed” (vs. 4), heresy was obviously seeping into the region, disturbing the churches, and deceiving believers. He begins by illustrating similarities between false teachers and condemned individuals from the Old Testament citing Cain, Balaam, and Korah.

•    Verses 17-25, Jude urges Christians to “remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ”(vs. 17). He was referring to all of the apostles and disciples in the past, which had warned about false teachers and prophets that were coming to deceive. His advice is to focus on Jesus Christ and to watch out for each other so that no one is misled into error.

Those who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ are secure in salvation, not by their own good deeds, because no one is good enough to do that, but believers are secure by the vicarious work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It is only by, “Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (vs. 24-25).

Summary Of 2-3 John

The book of 2nd John is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). It is written by the Disciple/Apostle John around 85-95 A.D. Key personality is John. It was written to encourage all Christians not to lose focus of Jesus Christ and to warn against persistent heresy. His key purpose is that his children (the children of God) may abide in the truth and the truth may abide in them.

•    In verses 1-3, John sends greetings to “the chosen lady” (vs. 1, 4, 5), who is most likely one of the churches in his region. John is the “elder” who probably was still in Ephesus when he wrote this letter.

•    Verses 4-11, are the body of the letter. John supports the commandment to“love one another”. He cautions them to watch for the deceivers and the antichrists that are abundant and active in the world spreading false teachings. Key Thought: “Walk in the truth”. John is still dealing with “Gnosticism” which denied that Jesus had a real human body composed of the matter since they viewed the matter as being innately evil.

•    Those who do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ are false teachers and stretch the truth into heretical doctrine. John was writing to protect his readers from the evil deception of those who refused to remain in the teaching of Christ but were going beyond the truth of apostolic teaching (vs. 9). He makes it clear that these people are anti-Christ and do not know the Lord (vs. 7, 9). He also reminds his readers of their responsibility as Christians to love other Christians (vs. 5). Although, above all things he wants them to “walk in truth”. This truth is still consistent in our modern day. We must also “walk in truth” in this world of deception.

•    Verses 12-13, John wraps up his letter with the intentions of making a visit and discussing many topics “face to face”(vs. 12). He sends greetings from “the children of your chosen sister” (vs.13), this is probably his church in Ephesus.

Summary of 3 John

The book of 3rd John is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). It is written by the Disciple/Apostle John around 85-95 A.D. The key personalities in this book is the Apostle John, Gaius, Diotrephes, and Demetrius. This book is the shortest book in the New Testament and was written to praise Gaius and Demetrius for their faithful service.

•    In verses 1-12, John praises two teachers for “walking in truth”. He wrote that nothing gave him more joy than to see Christians walking in truth and acting faithfully, “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God” (vs. 11). Next, He criticized a false teacher named Diotrephes. John tells of a previous letter (that we do not have) that he sent to the church. However, Diotrephes rejected the letter out of pride and discouraged anyone from accepting or accommodating any of the brethren of the church.

•    In verses 13-15, John brings to a close his letter with confident intentions of making a visit and discussing many topics “face to face” rather than by pen.

Summary Of 1 John

The book of 1stJohn is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). It is written by the Disciple/Apostle John around 85-95 A.D. probably from Ephesus. The key personalities are the Apostles Peter and Paul. Its purpose was to warn about the increasing threat of false teachings and to reassure Christians of their faith and love in Jesus Christ.

It was written to combat false teachings that had to do with the denial that Jesus had a genuine human body (1:1). This Gnostic view of matter as being evil led to two responses, asceticism or licentiousness. He very clearly writes to give the true tests of a true Christian. These tests also contradicted the Gnostic licentious approach to Christianity. He gives several means to measure the reality of one’s conversion experience.

•    Chapters 1-2, John reassures believers explaining, “God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1:5). He wrote that if sins were confessed He would cleanse them, because Jesus is the propitiation for “the whole world” (2:2). Because John was aware of the continuing attack of false teachings, he then urged believers not to love and follow after the world because it was not of the Father, and would ultimately pass away. Discernment is necessary to thwart the constant attacks of heresy.

•    In chapters 3-4, He teaches about the love of God and that through His love He sent Jesus, “To destroy the works of the devil” (3:8). Therefore, believers should love each other not only with words but also, “in deed and truth” (3:18), as Jesus commanded.

•    Chapter 5, John exhorts Christians to live by faith because through our faith in Christ we overcome the wickedness of the world. In addition, John writes one of the most powerful and assuring statements concerning the work of Jesus on the cross, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (vs. 13). John wanted all believers to know 100%, that because of their faith and trust in Jesus Christ they would spend all of eternity with Him.

Summary Of 2 Peter

The book of 2nd Peter is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). It was written to all believers in general. The author is Peter who wrote it about 63-64 A.D. The key personalities are the Apostles Peter and Paul. Its purpose was to warn against the increasing number of false teachers attacking the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

•    In chapters 1-2, Peter gives guidance and reassurance to the growing church and claims that the Gospel they are preaching is of Jesus Christ. He claimed, “We were eye witnesses of His Majesty” (1:16), and that men who were, “Moved by the Holy Spirit” wrote all of the teachings of Scripture (1:21). The trouble they were dealing with was the beginning of what we now know as “Gnosticism” a philosophical principal that was hurting the churches. Peter went on to teach that in the end God would judge all of the false prophets.

•    Chapter 3, Peter encourages believes with the coming Day of the Lord. The Earth will receive its punishment and the righteous will dwell in the “New Heavens and the New Earth”. His final warning is critical which he claims, “Be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men” (3:17).

“For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust” (1:4).

Summary Of I Peter

The book of 1st Peter is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). It was written to all believers in general. The author is Peter who wrote it about 60 A.D. The key personalities are the Apostle Peter, Silas, and Mark. Its purpose was to encourage suffering Christians and to call them to personal holiness; Peter’s central focus is persecution.

•    Chapters 1-2, Peter addresses the issue that believers are to live a life of personal holiness as God’s people, even during times of suffering and persecution. He teaches that all Christians are to expect suffering; it is normal and Scriptural for Christians to suffer persecution and even imprisonment and death. Peter explains that our salvation in Christ is secure and that He took our sin on the cross and, “for by His wounds you were healed” (2:24).

•    In chapters 3-5, Peter explains that in living holy lives the believer is to, “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (3:15). A part of living a holy life is obeying the commands of Christ and Peter claimed that we are obligated to preach the “Hope that is in you”.He expounds that believers should not be surprised when persecution comes upon them, “be on the alert” because Satan is continuously, “seeking whom he may devour” (5:8). In addition, if the believer does suffer persecution, they are to glorify God and entrust their souls to Him.

Summary Of James

The book of James is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). James the half-brother of Jesus wrote it approximately 48-49 A.D. It was likely the first New Testament book (letter) to be written. The key personalities of this book are James and Persecuted Christians. James wrote this book to Jewish believers to encourage them to endure and live bold Christian lives. James is a book about practical Christian living that reflects a genuine faith that transforms lives. In many ways, it is similar to the OT book of Proverbs.

•    In chapter 1, James teaches believers to test their faith and “prove yourselves doers of the word” (1:22). James encourages believers to put their faith into action, and to be servants of Jesus Christ.

•    Chapters 2-3, James describes the relationship between faith and works. He teaches that a person of faith without works demonstrates useless faith. What good is a person’s faith if they don’t present it to the world? A believer’s good works are evidence of their faith in Jesus Christ. He also teaches that everyone is a sinner and that if one of the 10 Commandments are broken, than that person is guilty of breaking every one of them, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all” (2:10).

•    In Chapters 4-5, James gives wise instruction to believers. He said, “Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you” (4:7). A faithful believer will desire to follow hard after God in service, obedience, and prayer. In the last chapter James stresses the weight and magnitude of prayer for every believer. He uses the word “Prayer” 7 times, signifying its importance. In the final verse of his book James expresses the magnitude of living faith in action saying:

“My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (5:19-20).

Summary Of Hebrews

The book of Hebrews is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). It was written mainly to the Hebrew believers. The author is anonymous, although either Paul or Barnabas was traditionally accepted as the author. It was written approximately 67 A.D. Its purpose was to present the Lord Jesus Christ as perfect and superior in comparison to anything Judaism and the old covenant had to offer. The author was writing to a group of Christians who were under intense persecution and some were contemplating a return to Judaism. He admonished them not to turn away from their only hope of salvation.

•    In chapters 1-10:18, the author repeatedly demonstrates Jesus Christ as preeminent over the angels, “let all the angels of God worship Him” (1:6); over Moses, “He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses” (3:3); over the Old Testament priesthood, “being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek” (5:10). The writer explains that the New Covenant is greater than the Old Covenant because Jesus was the perfect, permanent sacrifice, rather than the Old Testament sacrifices. The author also presents the power and authority of the Word of God, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (4:12).

•    In chapters 10:19-13, the writer explains that Faith is superior to the work of the Old Covenant. He writes, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (11:1). Chapter 11 is Faith’s Hall of Fame where all of the faithful individual’s from the Old Testament are highlighted in this chapter. Faith in Jesus Christ is our source of salvation because He is “the author and perfecter of faith” (12:2).

All are able to trust in Jesus Christ knowing that He is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (13:8).

Summary Of Philemon

The book of Philemon is a Prison Epistle (letter written while in prison), which Paul wrote circa 61 A.D. The key personalities of Philemon are Paul, Philemon, and Onesimus. It was written to Philemon as a plea to request forgiveness for his runaway servant Onesimus, who was a new believer in Jesus Christ. The book of Philemon consists of only one chapter.

•    In verses 1-7, Paul gives his greetings to Philemon and presents his appreciation and gratitude for Him as a brother and worker in Jesus Christ. Philemon was most likely a wealthy member of the church in Colosse. It seems Paul begins by softening up Philemon, as to prepare him initially, before mentioning Onesimus his runaway slave. Philemon was apparently angry with his absent slave. “I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake” (vs. 6).

•    Verses 8-25, consist of Paul’s appeal for Onesimus, “I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment, who formerly was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and to me” (vs. 10). Onesimus had run away and traveled to Rome where he met Paul. While there, Onesimus surrendered his life to Christ. Philemon, under Roman law, could execute his slave for fleeing however, Paul pleas with Philemon to accept his servant. Paul goes one-step further and asks Philemon not only to accept his slave, but also to accept him as a brother in Christ and to overlook his faults and errors. “For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever, no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord”(15-16). Onesimus would carry this letter back and give it to Philemon. Onesimus is later mentioned at the end of the book of Colossians as a faithful and beloved brother.

Summary Of Titus

The book of Titus is a Pastoral Epistle (letter from Paul to a church leader). The author is Paul who wrote it approximately 66 A.D. Key personalities include Paul and Titus. It was written to guide Titus, a Greek believer, in his leadership of the churches on the island of Crete, “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you” (1:5). As was the case with the letter of 1st Timothy, Paul writes to encourage and guide young pastors in dealing with opposition from both false teachers and the sinful nature of men.

•    In chapter 1, Paul gives qualifications about how to choose leaders in the church, “the overseer must be above reproach”. He also warned to be aware of the rebellious men and deceivers who “turn away from truth”, there were many to be aware of (vs. 10).

•    In chapters 2-3, Paul teaches how believers may live healthy inside and outside of the church. He told them to live Godly lives and to be prepared for the coming Savior Jesus Christ. Paul describes how Jesus rescues us from sin in chapter 2 verses 11-13. When a person first places their faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation they are saved from the penalty of sin, this is Justification, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men”. While the believer is worshiping and serving God on earth they are saved from the binding power of sin, this is Sanctification, “Instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age”. When a believer’s life comes to an end they go to be with Jesus Christ. Here they live with Him for eternity and are safe and protected from the presence of sin, this is Glorification,“Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus”.

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