He was old in years, in fact very old. A rumour had spread that he would not die. He survived the mother of his Lord, for whom he had cared, and he lived longer than his companions, the other disciples, who all died of a violent martyrdom. He was known as the apostle of love. Brotherly love was so important to him that he repeatedly wrote about it in his letters, and of course he was the one who lay at the breast of Jesus during the last supper. In his gospel about the eternal word of God which became flesh, the disciple whom Jesus loved spoke on his behalf in the third person, for he never wanted to exalt himself. And yet he was the sincerest and most important leader of the churches in Asia Minor. He was one of the last witnesses who had heard, seen, and touched the word of life. His personal reports were full of strength – a power of the Holy Spirit, which convicted of sins and healed the sick. Despite all worldly bans he did not stop to obey the Great Commission of his Heavenly Master. Therefore, he was forced to join violent criminals on the prison island of Patmos. Despite, or perhaps because of all the adverse circumstances, the prophet went by habit on the Sabbath to prayer. Yohanan was about to receive the biggest revelation of human history. The Book of Revelation is the last, most difficult, and most controversial book of the Bible. There are so many different interpretations and theories about no other prophecy. Best, the author John speaks himself, starting with his introduction:
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
The Apocalypse (Greek: apokalupsis = revelation, unveiling) is not as claimed in some headings the “Revelation of John”, but it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
John is clearly confirming this as he writes in Revelation Chapter 1 verses 10 and 11:
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, what thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia …
In my view, John is not a psychopath who spreads his own fantasies about the end of the world. The 22 chapters of the Book of Revelation fit perfectly in the canon of the 65 remaining books of the Bible. My following explanations of the Apocalypse should encourage the reader to deal with the awe-inspiring body of history. Because it is his story (history), the story of the Alpha and Omega, the Lamb of God, and the Lion of Judah.