Revelation-Introduction and Drawings

By Stafford North


The Book of Revelation clearly stands apart from other books of the New Testament.  It makes great use of strange images:  a lamb with seven eyes and seven horns; a great, red, seven-headed dragon; a beast with seven heads and ten horns; a woman who stands on the moon with the sun around her shoulders and many more.  This book has had many different interpretations and has been a religious battleground.  While students have a great curiosity about the book, many teachers are reluctant to teach it because they don’t understand it and certainly don’t want to teach students something that might be wrong.

This series of lessons can enable you to teach the Book of Revelation to your students at the high school or adult level with confidence that they will come away from the study with a clear understanding of the basic message God wants us to get from the book.  While we will never, of course, decipher every symbolic reference in Revelation, we can certainly understand many of them and can, therefore, receive the blessing promised to those who read and hear the book (Revelation 1:3).

Synopsis of Lessons

These thirteen lessons review the five common interpretations of the book and then give five principles which show the interpretation most in harmony with what Revelation tells us about itself.  That interpretation is followed during a seven-lesson overview of the book.  The next four lessons compare with scripture the pre-millennial scenario which suggests that there are signs for the end of the world, a rapture, anti-christs, a period of tribulation, an end-of-the-world battle of Armageddon, and a thousand-year reign of Christ on earth.  The last lesson presents the Bible teaching on Christ’s second coming.

Objectives for the Course

Here are eight overall objectives toward which you should help the students. 

  1. The student can explain the circumstances of the writing of the Book of Revelation.
  2. The student can identify the main symbols in Revelation and complete a worksheet showing the book’s main storyline.
  3. The student can explain the meaning of often misunderstood passages in Revelation such as Revelation 16:16 and Revelation 20:1-6.
  4. The student can tell others about the hope of eternal life as presented in the book of Revelation.
  5. The student can demonstrate from the Book of Revelation Christ’s victory over His enemies.
  6. The student can draw a chart depicting the pre-millennial view about last things and can use key scriptures to show the fallacy of this view.
  7. The student can describe the nature of Christ’s return and the significant events which occur with it.
  8. The student can apply to himself/herself practical lessons from the Book of Revelation.


Your goal, as the teacher of this class, is to be a coach and teacher to help all your students reach these objectives.  While not all of you students will reach them, you should help as many as possible to come as near as possible to reaching them.  Don’t hold back your better students because some do not want to do as much.  Find ways to adapt to meet the needs of students that are at various places in their spiritual development.

Learning Strategy

Each lesson has a worksheet which students may use in class.  For the six lessons on the text of Revelation, these worksheets are in diagrammatic form and run as a continuous chart.  The student will have one with blanks to complete while you will have one with the answers all filled in.  Helping the students to complete the worksheet in class is an important part of the learning strategy for this course.  Our aim is for the student to be able, by the end of the study, to be able to complete much of the worksheet from memory.

Each class session after the first suggests that a brief quiz be given over previous lessons.  Far more learning will take place if the students feel some sense of accountability for their learning.  The worksheet done during each lesson becomes the notes to study in preparation for the quiz at the beginning of the following lesson.  After the quiz, you may have students grade their own papers or they may turn them in and you can grade them.  You can have them put their names on their papers or not.  It would be good, in any case, to average the grades of the class as a whole both to see how much they are learning and as a motivation to the class to do their best.  A grade sheet is included with Lesson 2, the first time you would need it, on which to record the class average each week.

A method for the quiz which I have sometimes used is to give out the quiz as people enter the classroom.  They may, then, take the quiz before class starts, thus saving time.  Sometime early in the class session, I then give the quiz answers as a review exercise and let students check their own papers.  The grades from each student can then be collected, either by name or anonymously, and then you can calculate the class average and announce it as motivation for the class to do their best.  In some classes, particularly at the high school level, you might want to offer an incentive, like a pizza party, if the class average for the course is 80 or higher.

You should think about motivation for the course.  Tell the class often the importance of learning what the course covers.  Encourage students to do their best.  Help students get answers to questions they have wondered about.  Urge the students to study each lesson before they come to class.  Suggest that they keep a folder of the materials you give them or, even better, provide a notebook in which they can keep the handouts.

Use of Class Meetings

The plan for the use of time in each class meeting requires you to keep moving pretty rapidly.  The lesson plans assume a 45-minute time period and closer to an hour would be even better.  You may have the opportunity to teach this material to both the Sunday morning and the Wednesday night class at the same quarter.  That would give you more time for devotionals and other class business and also allow more time for review, discussion, role-playing, and reporting on what students have been doing with what they have learned.  If you find you need more time than the class plan allows, you can make adjustments.  You may have to shorten the introductory things, leave a little out of each lesson, or leave out one or two of the lesson topics so you can take more time on fewer subjects.  Lessons 3 and 4 are probably the fullest and may need to be spread over three periods.  Lesson 7 is a little shorter and Lesson 8 is all review.  So these two would provide an opportunity for catch-up if you are running behind. If you have to omit any lessons, you could leave out one of the last four.   Maybe you or some other teacher might work in the lessons omitted in another way and at another time.   Another alternative, if you don’t have time to cover all the lessons, is just to teach the lessons on Revelation, Lessons 1-8, and spread them over the 13 weeks.  This would make a very good package and, if you have only 30 minutes of actual teaching time in the class, for example, that might be a good plan to follow. 

The plans for each class meeting are developed on the assumption that you will want to use the question/answer method for most of the classes.  Thus, frequent questions are given for you to ask the class—preceded by a "Q."  If you wish to do more lecture and less question/answer, then you can use fewer of the questions and put more in lecture format.  This will make the lesson go a little faster but will provide for less involvement by the students.  You will need to decide, as you prepare to teach each lesson, how you wish to balance the question/answer and lecture format.


Visuals are very important for the Book of Revelation because it is such a visual book.  Showing pictures of the symbols in the book can help student retention of the information and make the study more interesting.  The worksheets on most chapters in Revelation are in a diagram form and provide a few visuals.   Large copies of these visuals are available on the website so you can make copies large enough to post.  This way you can refer to them at appropriate times

Each lesson has PowerPoint slides you can use while presenting the lesson. The PowerPoint slides are set up with random transition from one slide to the next and random change from one point on the slide to the next.  Advance these by pressing the spacebar on the computer or with a remote unit.  Some of the PowerPoint slides have artist’s drawings of characters and events in Revelation.  These are used by permission of the artist, Pat Marvenko Smith.  She has a CD from which these were taken.  These pictures are also available as 11” x 14” color prints if you would like to order a set.  To order call 1-800-327-7330.   You may write her at Revelation Production, 1740 Ridgeview Dr., N. Huntingdon, PA 15624.  If you are not going to use the PowerPoint, I recommend that you order the color prints so you can point to selected ones of them as you are teaching. The visuals are also incorporated into your lesson text so you know when to show them or display them.  I particularly recommend that if you don’t use the PowerPoint visuals, you order the color prints and post the ones noted in the lesson text for reference at the appropriate time. 

General Suggestions

The following general suggestions might be helpful in teaching your class.

  1. Keep the students sold on the benefits of what they can learn in this class.  You will have to sell at the first and continue to sell all the way through the quarter.
  2. Encourage students to do some out-of-class study and preparation for the quizzes.  If the students will get into a good learning mode, this will be a very productive study.
  3. Keep the students involved in the learning as much as possible.  Let them answer questions, make reports on what they have studied, tell how they have shared what they have learned with someone, use worksheets, and whatever else you can think of to get them involved.
  4. Keep the class moving.  While you don't want to seem rushed, give the class a sense of pace.  If the lessons contain more than you can cover, plan in advance how you will handle this—leaving out something in a lesson, using fewer questions, leaving out an entire lesson.  Don’t leave things hanging as if you are taken by surprise that you didn’t cover it all.
  5. Be sure to make the most of a few minutes of practical application.  Sometimes this will happen in the middle of a lesson and sometimes at the end but be sure that students get specific ways to use this study to help them be more likely to go to heaven.
  6. You may want to meet with some of the opinion leaders in the class prior to the start of the quarter.  At this time you could ask for their help in building interest in the class, in being willing to do outside assignments, in accepting the idea of a weekly quiz, and in the general approach to the class.  If several key class members are taken "behind the curtain" before the class starts and you can get them on board, that will go a long way towards good acceptance by others.

Additional Resources

I would recommend four additional resources if you want to do some additional reading in Revelation:

  1. Commentary on Revelation by J. W. Roberts in the Sweet Publishing Company Series.
  2. Revelation:  Introduction and Commentary by Homer Hailey from Baker.
  3. Worthy is the Lamb by Ray Summers, Broadman Publishers.
  4. I have done a Teacher’s Guide to Revelation to be used with a fill-in-the-blank workbook for 13 lessons.  These lessons go into greater detail than this series does and you might want to use it instead of this set.  Whichever you use, the teacher’s guide for that workbook contains information that would be helpful to you.  This teacher’s guide is available from me at 2201 Reveille Rd., Edmond, OK 73013.  I also have written two books that would be helpful:  “Unlocking Revelation,” my six sermons on Revelation in printed form, and “Like a Thief in the Night,” a 150 page book examining various elements of the premillennial doctrine.  The latter book would be very helpful on the four errors on that topic.

I hope you will have a good experience with your teaching of the Book of Revelation—that it will be a great learning experience for you and your students and a time of great satisfaction to you that you are serving the Lord by sharing His message with others.

Click the links below to download illustrations to use alongside the weekly study guides. 

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