"Then I Saw. . . " An Overview of John's Vision.
Note: the chapter and verse references and headings are not for reading aloud – they
exist to enable cross reference. The following is an over view of John's Vision
1. Worship in Heaven
I have a picture, a picture of another world. A world so real I can hardly describe it. But 4:1-11
come, come see, perhaps you can see it too…
See a door into heaven, and we are invited to come up. See in the centre of heaven, a throne,
far more precious than anything the Emperor sits on. And on the throne is One more powerful
than thunder, brighter than lightening. Around him are 24 Elders, powerful rulers in their own
right, yet before the majesty of the One they prostrate themselves as slaves. And around them
representatives of the entire created world, the lion of the wild animals, the ox of the
domestic, human beings and the king of birds all join in the song of praise and glory to the
One. And all was worship.
2. The Lion is a Lamb
Then I saw beside the One a scroll sealed tight and no-one, no-one seemed able to open it.
And I wept, was the world so out of control that no one could restore order and make peace?
And someone said to me, 'don't cry - look the Lion of Judah has conquered death and
ransomed all, he can open the scroll. And there in the middle by the throne was a lamb who
had been slaughtered and yet was alive. And everyone fell down and worshipped the lamb.
3. Seven Seals are Opened 7:17
And the lamb began to rip open the seals. And out seemed to come all the disorder of the
world. War, famine, earthquake and amidst them the martyrs crying out 'How long, sovereign
Lord, how long?' And an Angel came and held back the chaos and would not let it take
control until all the servants of God were marked and recorded, for God knows those who
hold true. And then I saw them, a great multitude from every nation and tribe, all those who
had stood firm for what was right now surrounding the throne and praising God for all their
sorrows were past. Then the seventh seal was opened and there was silence and the end.
4. Seven Trumpets are Blown 11:19
Then I saw another picture - seven trumpets were handed to the Angels and while the prayers
of the holy ones were offered as incense the trumpets were blown. And as each trumpet was
blown, life on earth seemed to get worse- fire, volcano, flood, epidemics. Yet those on earth
who weren't stricken paid little attention to those who were. They carried on worshipping the
gods they'd created, carried on their self-centred ways as if nothing was wrong. Then I was
given the words of God to eat and they were bitter-sweet. I was commanded to be like the
prophets of old, crying out for justice and repentance. And I was not alone, witnesses were
sent by God to proclaim justice and call people to repentance. Until their message had been
heard God protected them, but then they too were martyred for they pricked the consciences
of the people and were hated. And then the last trumpet was sounded and praise sounded
again in heaven for the end had come.
5.Battles on Earth and Heaven 13:18
And here's another picture of it: I saw the People of God as they should have been and the
best I can picture them is like a woman in labour and in anguish. For close by crouched evil
like a dragon to swallow up all the good she bought to birth. The women fled. And the angels
of God routed the dragon from heaven by the power of the Lamb and there was great
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rejoicing. But the dragon pursued the woman on earth, and when he could not reach her, he
turned on all her children. He turned on all those who kept God's commands and witnessed to
Jesus. It was the dragon who was behind the powers and authorities, beasts who ruled the
world with an iron grip, and made martyrs of the People of God.
6. Visions of Judgement 16:21
Yet while all this was going on, the Lamb came forward and received all those who were
killed for their faith and they formed a mighty chorus singing praise to the Lamb. And the
earth was warned once again, that such oppression and cruelty could not go on, for the
harvest time was approaching when all would reap what they had sown. Yet the chaos
seemed to get even worse, like the pain just before child birth.
7. The Fall of Babylon 19:5
And I saw all the evil cities, powers and rulers and all the abusers and oppressors and they
were like a great beast, like Babylon of old. And though Babylon had all power its time was
almost at an end. Angels came down from heaven proclaiming doom to Babylon and praising
God who sees injustice and will do something about it.
8. Final Victory 20:15
Then a Rider came out of heaven on a white horse – the Word of God, King of Kings and
Lord of Lords. The beast rose up against the Rider to fight him, but he was instantly
overthrown and all his followers killed. The dragon was bound and thrown into the Abyss for
a thousand years and those who had been martyred had a thousand years of peace. Then the
dragon was set free and tried to lay siege to heaven again, but he was thrown down yet again
and flung into Lake Fire and Brimstone. Then all the dead were raised and appeared before
the Throne and were judged according to what was written about them in the Book of Life.
9. A New Heaven and a New Earth 22:5
Then I saw a new heaven and earth, the old was gone, gone too was death and sorrow and
pain and tears. God had made his home with us and see everything was new. A new
Jerusalem, a new dwelling for God and the water of life flowed through the centre of the land.
So let the righteous hang in there for surely God will redeem them.
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