REVELATION – instruction, exhortation and encouragement
Although the book of Revelation belongs to the genre called “apocalyptic”, it was actually a letter written to seven churches in the province of Asia Minor. Apocalyptic is a distinct kind of literature which is highly symbolic. It makes no sense if we try to interpret it literally. The clues to understanding the symbolism are found in the Old Testament.
The Roman authorities were beginning to enforce the cult of emperor worship and Christians who believed that Christ, not Caesar, was Lord, were facing increasing hostility.
John wrote to encourage the faithful to resist the demands of emperor worship. He informed his readers that the final showdown between God and Satan was near. Satan would increase his persecution of believers but they must stand fast, even to death. They were sealed against any spiritual harm and would soon be vindicated when Christ returned, when the wicked would be destroyed forever and when God’s people would enter an eternity of glory and blessedness.