The book of Revelation was written for a people under pressure - a people who knew all too clearly that the world was against them. Nearly all their early leaders, the apostles, had gone: most of them had been martyred. Although the gospel had spread throughout the Roman Empire, it had not taken it over. Persecution was looming and the law was against them. It is in that context of suffering and oppression that the Lord gives John the series of visions which he writes down in the form of this book.