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The Revelation: a simple outline

The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the capstone of the Old and New Testaments. It draws everyone’s focus to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Deliverer (Romans 11:26; Revelation 19:11-21), the King of Kings who will reign on the throne of his father David for one thousand years (Revelation 19:16; 20:4), the Judge of all men (Revelation 20:11-15) and the Lamb of God who, with God the Father, will reign for ever and ever (Revelation 22:3-5).

Many outlines have been offered by men in their studies of the Revelation. The best outlines, however, are the natural outlines found within the book itself. One such outline is found in the seventh verse of the opening chapter, sandwiched between the Apostle John’s responses of Amen and Even so, Amen.

Revelation 1:7 reads — Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

John had just finished declaring that, as a believer in Christ, we will be made kings and priests unto God and his Father. For this, we rejoice with the Apostle: to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. That is the good news, glad tidings to a weary saint in a wicked world. But, then, the mood changes. John is reminded of the judgment of God and the severity and finality of his judgment. You see it in the outline given in verse 7, and the seriousness of these events require the Apostle to pause for a moment. Thus we find these words: Even so, Amen.

Here is that simple, four point outline: (1) He cometh with clouds. (2) Every eye shall see him. (3) They also which pierced him shall see him. (4) All kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.

(1) He cometh with clouds — The Lord Jesus Christ is coming again. His return to this earth, when he sets foot upon this soil, will be to deliver Israel from the beast, the kings of the earth and their armies (Revelation 19:19). Seven years prior to the day of deliverance, the Lord Jesus Christ will descend on the day of the resurrection and the rapture, when the saints who have died in the Lord will have their bodies resurrected and the saints who are alive will have their bodies changed. He will meet them in the air, and so shall they ever be, with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).

When the Lord comes with “clouds,” it will be with that great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1), the armies of heaven (Revelation 19:14). They are clothed in fine linen, white and clean. Like the “cloud” that received the Lord when he was taken up out of the sight of his disciples (Acts 1:9), he will so come in like manner (Acts 1:11).

(2) Every eye shall see him — God does not need man’s technology to accomplish his ends. The reference to every eye seeing the Lord Jesus Christ is in relation to judgment. Every eye shall see him on the day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).

Verse 10 of Philippians 2 actually says should bow and should confess. You see, God also hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name (Philippians 2:9) because Jesus Christ made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:7-8). For that reason, men should and men will bow to him and confess who he is to the Father’s glory!

This bowing and confessing will take place at the great white throne (Revelation 20:11-14), where those who refuse to acknowledge Jesus will be sentenced to the second death: the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). All who bow to him in this life, trusting in his sacrifice for their salvation, will not be touched by the second death. They will have been resurrected (staring with the Old Testament and New Testament saints on the day of the rapture of the Church) before the White Throne judgment, as the start of what the Bible calls the first resurrection. They are blessed because the second death has no power over them. They have passed from death unto life (John 5:24). Instead, they shall be priests of God and of Christ through the Millennial Reign (Revelation 20:6) and throughout Eternity (Revelation 1:6).

(3) They also which pierced him shall see him — among the judgment of all of the wicked men you can name, there will be a special session of judgment where the Lord Jesus Christ will gather before him those that pierced him. From the high priest and the chief priests to the elders and rulers of Jerusalem, from Pilate to the least Roman soldier who mocked or beat or abused the Son of God. That is a most sobering thought.

(4) All kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him — The torment of Hell is revealed by the Lord Jesus when he tells us of a rich man and his conversation with Abraham. The rich man is in Hell, Abraham is in Paradise below, the place Jesus called Abraham’s bosom. And, a great gulf is fixed between them (Luke 16:20-28). The scope of the White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:12-13) and the eternal torment of the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10) should cause men to flee to the cross of Christ (John 3:16) and to receive forgiveness of their sins (Romans 3:21-26).

By the grace of God, the work the Lord Jesus Christ did on the cross of Calvary, men and women shall be saved by his blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation (Revelation 5:9).

The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth in him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:8-13).