Summary: Revelation, the book of, is only as hard as we make it. And we make it hard by, 1, not reading it, 2, skimming through it, assuming it cannot be understood, 3, listening to teachers, without examining it ourselves. Here's a quiz and an intro to the book.
Some opening thoughts, and a quiz
How much have you gleaned from the Bible’s final book? What a wonderful treatise, filled with praise, and promises of His coming! Granted, some of the details of Revelation are not “important” compared to the cardinal truths of our salvation, but I contend that the least “important” matter of John’s book is infinitely more “important” than any ball game or TV program being aired by the enemy of our souls to distract us from the realities of Heaven. Only flesh keeps us away from God’s Book. And when added to our spirit by God’s Spirit, this Book can keep us from the flesh.
Would you take a minute to respond to the following statements, all of which are believed by sizable numbers of people? The answers are all in Revelation, and I’ll give you my answers following the quiz. Some of this may seem shocking in the light of popular Christian movies, but God’s truth has always eluded the masses. When you read my study of Revelation I believe you will see why I answered as I did.
Simply answer “true” or “false”.
Hint: the bold words are the heart of the statement.
1. The book of Revelation is all about the future.
2. The seven churches of Asia (chapters 2-3) are really seven epochs of time.
3. When John is caught up to Heaven (4:1), the whole church is caught up with him.
4. Jesus is an angel.
5. There is no “church” in Revelation after chapter 3.
6. The next world ruler will be antichrist.
7. Babylon is America.
8. The 144,000 preach the Gospel to the whole world.
9. The saints of Revelation are “left-behind” compromising Christians who finally get it together.
10. The book of Revelation is arranged chronologically.
11. Antichrist will be assassinated and then resurrected.
12. Antichrist will rise from the Middle East, and probably be Jewish.
13. The woman of Revelation 12 is Mary.
14. The saints must be taken to Heaven to avoid God’s wrath in the Tribulation.
15. The original Babylon fell just as God said it would.
16. Only saved persons can be resurrected .
17. The final state of man is as a spirit, dwelling with God in Heaven.
Are you ready for the answers? Are you sure? Well, at least one of the above statements is pure blasphemy. Others are clearly not true. Still others are mere speculations, and if true, are not obviously true from the written record. My personal belief based on years, and especially these last months, of study and prayer, is that not one of the above statements is provably the truth. Take some time to read Revelation, and if you feel so led, use this Revelation Study to help. God bless you as you discover His Word.
The enigma. The wondrous conclusion to Holy Scriptures has puzzled , yea baffled, earnest believers for many centuries. It still is enigmatic. Yet some have found it is also approachable, with prayer and much persistence. Though I make no claim to inspiration for my current discoveries, and I will gladly suffer the word of correction from brothers able to do such with love, still I trust that the following organization of thoughts will cause some to be able to “get a handle” on the subject matter of the Apostle. From that starting point, perhaps a few will be able to delve deeper.
My reader may recall that the book of Daniel was similarly sealed at one time, but unsealed, in the Spirit, in our day. Such a giant as Henry Halley of the famed Halley’s Bible Handbook seemed to throw up his hands in despair in trying to figure out the closing chapters of Daniel. But quite a few seem to understand Daniel well today. So too it is with the Apocalypse. More and more persons will unlock the unfolding of events as those events become so obvious, because at hand, around us. (Recall though, that in Revelation 22:10, the statement is made that revelation is not to be “sealed”. Therefore anyone who wants to know the contents of this book is allowed to do so, for “God is no respecter of persons.”)
On reading Revelation. Now, the Book of Revelation presents a severe challenge to one who desires to read a work from start to finish, and feel he has “got somewhere.” Try it as one might, there’s no place to “get”, except to chapter 22, by that method. Of course there are exceptions to the chronological problem: The first five chapters are “in order.” Towards the end of the book it would seem safe to assume that chapters 17-22 are, too . In between is a true chaos of times and places that will take repeated journeys to overcome .