A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: John has a revelation from God in a dream.


St John the Evangelist on Patmos by Hieronymous BoschMany years after Jesusascension back to heaven, his disciple John received a symbolic vision which was in two sections.

The first part concerned the members of seven churches in different parts of the then known world. God had a different message for each one of the churches; some messages were encouraging, some were rebukes, but all contained words of instruction and exhortation. God wanted all of them to remain faithful in their love and their obedience to their calling as followers of Jesus.

The second part concerned events which, according to the Bible, are to happen when world history comes to an end and the present earth ceases to exist. In those last days, evil will be conquered and banished forever. God will judge all humanity. Those who have rejected him and his Son will be ejected from God’s presence, and the source of all evil, the Beast or Satan, will be destroyed. Those who have followed and loved God on earth will be incorporated in God’s new heaven and new earth, living with him for ever. Jesus is depicted as the Lamb of God, symbolising his sacrificial death to redeem those who believe in him. The celebration in heaven is depicted as a wedding feast, with Jesus as the bridegroom and all who have loved him symbolised as his bride. There will be nothing but joy, celebration and worship of God for all eternity.

The story illustrates:

  • The Christian belief that current human history will one day come to an end
  • That God will judge all humankind, past and present
  • There will be a lasting separation of good and evil, and the latter will be permanently defeated
  • Those who have followed Jesus Christ will be with him in God’s new creation, which will be a place of eternal joy, glory and worship.

Related topics

Big ideas from the Bible: Dreams, visions and prophesy, Sheep, shepherd and lamb, Serpent, Devil, Satan, Beast, Judgement, Bride and marriage, Apocalypse, Revelation, the End Times, the Second Coming

Bible references

Revelation 1:9-20; Revelation 2:1-29; Revelation 3:1-22; Revelation 5:6-14; Revelation 19:11-21; Revelation 20:10-15; Revelation 21:1-4 

Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.