Book of Revelation: Discipleship Lessons

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Pastor Ralph F. Wilsonn
About the Teacher
Statement of Faith
I'd like to invite you on an 8-week JesusWalk to study the Book of Revelation with me.

An Explanation

But before you sign up, let's clarify a few things.

  • Our goal is to learn the powerful message of the Book to Christians today, and learn what its message was to churches at the end of the First Century.
  • Revelation cannot be taken literally. It is symbolic, not literal teaching. This doesn't mean it isn't true, only that it must be understood differently than the narrative of the Gospels and Acts, or the letters of Paul and other Apostles. It is full of symbols and thus can only be understood if the meaning of the symbols is probed and understood.
  • The timing of the Tribulation and Rapture is only a minor theme. If these areas are your main interests, please don't enroll for this study. (Incidentally, I am pre-millennial, mid-trib, though I see a good case for amillennialism. I think that the "secret rapture" taught in the Left Behind series rests on a pretty shaky interpretation of scripture.) We'll explore the various views, but frankly, they aren't very central to understanding Revelation. We will not be debating different views of the rapture.
  • The Book of Revelation: Discipleship Lessons, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
    All lessons are available as an e-book or paperback
  • My interest is to help serious disciples understand and heed the message of Revelation, not to tickle your intellectual curiosity. I want you to come away a changed person -- sobered some, since Revelation is a pretty sober Book -- but more than that, filled with a zeal to be a faithful witness to Christ in your generation.

Having said that, I hope you will put away your preconceived doctrines, open your mind, and plumb with me the depths of Revelation. I don't understand everything in this Book -- no one really does. But I'll help you understand its basic message and pray that you will be gripped by it -- now and for the rest of your life.

How the Study Will Work

Here's how the study will work:

  1. 8 free charts to study the Book of RevelationStudy Notes. I'll supply study notes rather than a full exposition of each section. You'll find places to take notes, look up scriptures and record your answers, though these you won't be posting on the Forum for others to read. These are meant to be printed out and written on. For your convenience we have included "Printer-friendly versions" that will help you get the most on a page.
  2. Color charts that help you study Revelation and take notes on what you find. 
  3. Bible Study Forum. Each lesson will contain about five questions designed to help you grapple with the meaning and application of the section you're studying. I ask you to formulate an answer and then post it to the Joyful Heart Bible Study Forum. You can read others' answers, too, and learn from them. The process of formulating your own answer, however, is central to your learning and internalizing the principles of this Book.

You can sign up for this study at any time and it will begin the following Friday. When it first began on September 13, 2003, 2150 people from 85 countries had registered for the first lesson. Since then, thousands have taken the course. Countries include:
United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Netherlands Antilles, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegowina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Congo, Switzerland, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Egypt, Eritrea, Spain, Ethiopia, Fiji, Micronesia, France, Gabon, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, HongKong, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, India, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Mali, Mongolia, Macau, Mauritania, Montserrat, Malta, Mauritius, Malawi, Mexico, Malaysia, Namibia, Nigeria, Netherlands, Norway, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Pakistan, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sweden, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovakia, Suriname, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Bible Study Forum Guidelines

I've been hesitant to teach on Revelation, since some people get so adamant and dogmatic about their views that they forget love and grace when talking to those who don't agree with them. However, I am willing to trust you to observe these Bible Study Forum Guidelines

Outline of Lessons

Get your Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF documents now! If you don't already have Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, you can download a FREE copy here. You'll find you'll use it a lot.

If you need to open the Zipped version, you'll need to install a program like WinZip. Unfortunately I can't answer questions about these tools. I just don't have the staff.
(If you need a free Acrobat Reader to open the PDF format charts, get it here.). Please also open and print out the Introduction. The lessons will be e-mailed to those who register week by week over the course of eight weeks.

  1. Christ in the Midst of the Lampstands (Rev. 1)

  2. Letters to the Seven Churches (Rev. 2-3)
    7 Churches Comparison chart (PDF, print out)

  3. The Lion That Is the Lamb (Rev 4-5)

  4. The 144,000 (Rev. 6-10)
    7 Seals chart (PDF, print out)
    7 Trumpets chart (PDF, print out)
    Parallelism chart (PDF, print out)

  5. By the Blood of the Lamb (Rev. 11-13)
    7 Mystic Figures chart (PDF, print out)

  6. Alas, Babylon!(Rev. 14-18)
    Visions of Final Judgment chart (PDF, print out)
    7 Bowls chart (PDF, print out)

  7. The Millennium (Rev. 19-20)
    Chronologies of the Millennium and Christ's Return chart (PDF, print out)

  8. We Shall See His Face (Rev. 21-22)

Sign up now!

To sign up, start by clicking on your e-mail frequency preference:

You'll receive your first lesson the Friday after you sign up. There is no cost to participate in the study, though donations are encouraged so we can create more studies and reach more people.

We respect your privacy and never sell, rent, or loan our lists. Please don't subscribe your friends; let them decide for themselves.

Please don't sign up for more than one of my Bible studies at one time. There's no penalty, but each of them is pretty intensive. If you try to do too many studies at the same time without adequate reflection, you'll miss out on God speaking to you.

Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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