Year of the Bible – Revelation 4 – 11:19




Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. – Revelation 5:8

An angel was sent from God to help the Apostle John testify to the world about Christ and about “what must soon take place.” John’s testimony came directly from Christ Jesus Himself, in His resurrected and glorified state. John received from Christ a series of exhortations to be delivered to the seven churches of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). Each of the congregations was struggling with intrusions of false doctrine, with heresies and false prophets who were attempting to corrupt the pure doctrines and teachings of Christ. For each congregation, Christ gave both warning and encouragement, reminding them that perseverance and faithfulness would be richly rewarded. Beginning in Chapter 4, John receives permission to see into the future, to see what would happen in his own time and in the coming generations. He is given a scroll with writings on two sides (Law and Gospel), with seven seals (things that no man could know or understand or have the authority to determine). As each of the seals is broken, John receives a vision of the judgments of God upon the world, the unbelieving world that refuses to repent and worship the Lamb of God. In Chapter 7 John sees the Church of heaven and watches as they worship before the throne of God. They are singing the words of our liturgy. They are distinctly seen and known for who they are: These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation, who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (7:14) John is witnessing the totality of all saints as they worship God in the new creation. Contained within the event of the final seal being opened are seven trumpet blasts, each one bringing forth a judgment from God upon the earth. The trumpet blasts make clearer the things that God is doing in bringing the world into judgment, climaxing at the end of time. Finally, when the seventh trumpet sounds, the end of time comes and the Kingdom of the Messiah “begins”—that is, brings to an end the rule of sin and evil in the world.

Questions – Revelation 4

  1. Who was sent to John to help him testify to Christ?
  2. Who did John see when he entered into his vision?    
  3. What are the names of the cities where the seven churches were located? 
  4. What does the number 7 represent?
  5. Seven seals and seven trumpet blasts – what do they represent?

© John W. Fiene | Artwork by Brian McFarland