Richard D. Draper
Given the circumstances in which the Saints were living in John the Revelator’s day, the Lord needed to bolster their trust in Him. At this very moment conditions for the Christians were moving from bad to worse. They were entering an intensified period of distress as two ugly forces escalated against them, apostasy and persecution. The revelation, therefore, brought consolation, encouragement, and understanding to help the Saints get through the period of tribulation (see 2:10; 3:10; 17:3). To do this, the vision broadened in scope and vista. The revelation expanded John’s understanding so that he comprehended that God was in full command of the course of human history. “On the plain of history the church appears unable to resist the might of hostile worldly powers, but the course of history is not determined by political power but by God enthroned and active.” John understood that when God determined the time was right, he would hand to the Lamb the scroll of destiny. At that moment, the Savior would execute his Father’s plans in bringing telestial history to an abrupt close and usher in his millennial reign. The vision of the celestial realm served to assure John’s readers that they could place their trust in God. The message still resonates with us today.
(This is an excerpt from The Revelation of John the Apostle).
 Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1977), 131.