1. “The symbols are to be understood not visualized.” By this Stott explains. If you imagine robes that are washed in the blood of the lamb literally, it is a strange thing. We do not usually use blood to wash clothes. It is clearly to be understood that we are washed from our sins from the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. When Jesus has a sword in his mouth, that is hard to visualize, but when we understand that to mean that his word has power, then it is clear.
2. “Revelation addresses the past, the present and the future.” There are a variety of ways people interpret the book. Some try to fit all that happens into the 1st Century world of the early church. Others say that everything from chapter 4 to the end is all about the last 7 years of human history before the Kingdom of God. But we need to read the book as a reflection of the past (for example the victory of Christ in the Cross.) We need to see it in the present, not only in the letters to the churches, but in other parts of the book. And we do know that the book marches toward the final end of history, through troubles, wars and plagues until there is the judgment of God leading to a new Heaven and a New earth as well as an eternal Hell.
Prophecy has in view of a future victory of God.
Prophecy shows how this victory colors our present.
3. “Revelation celebrates the Victory of God.” This vision was sent to encourage us in times of trouble.
4. “Revelation focuses on Jesus Christ.” The main idea is not When these things will happen, but Who has won the victory.
5. This is my rule: “Be patient with other’s opinions and be cautious about your own.” I have seen Christians go to war over interpretation of Revelation. We can talk and discuss, but we need to be patient with each other. This book is for our encouragement, not for our division as a body.