Also Suetonius’s contemporary Tacitus wrote in his Annals (23:2,25,32) that after A.D. 54, “Pomponia…a distinguished lady…from Britain…was accused of some foreign religiosity” – widely regarded as Christianity. During A.D. 64, “a disaster followed…to this city [of Rome] by the violence of fire…. At the very time when the city was in flames, the Emperor appeared…and sang about the destruction…. Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a hated class…called ‘Christ-ians.’ Christ, from whom the name had its origin, had suffered the extreme penalty during the [A.D. 14-37] reign of Tiberius at the hands of…Pontius Pilatus…. An immense multitude was convicted, not so much for the crime of firing the city [sic], as for hatred against mankind [sic]…. They…were nailed to crosses, or doomed to the flames and burnt to serve as a nightly illumination…. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle.” Ib. 15:38-44. Per aspera – ad astra!
– 6 –
How can the true teaching of the book of Revelation (or of any other work) be understood in depth? How can such a work rightly be understood?
First, one needs to take a look at the author who wrote it. Second, one must investigate the date of its composition. And third, one has to survey its contents.
Accordingly. Section 1 (and cf. too sections 265 to 290) below, deals with John as the human author of the book. Sections 432 to 74 below deal with the date of the composition. Sections 314 to 432 below deal with the book’s contents. And sections 432 to 450 below give a brief summary and a conclusion about the book’s author, date, and contents.
It is very important for us rightly to understand the very last book of the Bible. Who wrote it? When was it written? What does it teach?
Revelation was apparently written by the Apostle whom Jesus loved. John 21:20-24; Revelation 1;1,4,9 & 22:8. It was written to Christ’s servants in the first century A.D.’s seven churches of Asia Minor. Revelation 1:1-4,9,19f; 2:1-3:14f; 10:11f; 22:6,10,16f.
Too, it was definitely written at the dictation of Christ Himself. Rev. 1:1,11; 2:1 to 3;14f; 22:16-20. Let us then seek to obey the commands of Christ Himself in His last book of the Holy Scriptures, and to understand all of His very Own predictions! Revelation 1:1,18,19; 2:lf ; 19:10; 22:16.
Now the book of Revelation was probably written down just before the A.D. destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies. Some of John’s prophecies do seem to have foreboded that destruction. Revelation 2:9-10; 3:9-10; 11:1-8. However, the Apocalypse predicted also subsequent destructions down through Church History, and even the later reconstruction of society in the ultimate christianization of all the nations in the whole World. Revelation 10:11; 15:4; 21:24f.
In John’s Revelation, there is no trace of a ‘modern global holocaust’ resulting in ‘the late great planet Earth.’ To go and funnel the contents of the Apocalypse into specifically an ‘end-time keg of nitroglycerin’ – is to slight the Spirit Who wrote the book. Indeed, the book was originally written especially for John s contemporaries. Revelation 1;4,10; 2:7f; 4:2; 5:6- 10; 22:17-19.
Again, the book is of importance not just to 20th- and 21st-century Christians (whom Hal Lindsay quite wrongly calls ‘the terminal generation’). Even more so, it is important also for all Bible readers in all of the Christian centuries prior to the time of the still-future very end of World History.
Many modern misconceptions about the book of Revelation would doom Christian civilization in our own day. Some do not seem to believe God’s promises to revive His Church through His life-giving and revival-promoting Spirit. Nor do they seem to believe the