Before the book of Revelation can be understood there are certain things that come to mind that makes it much easier to understand.
Some of the book is in symbols while some is not. It is not the symbol that is important but what the symbol teaches. As an example, are the horses real horses? Probably not but the teaching sure is real.
In my view the main theme of the book must be understood if we are to grasp the purpose of the book. What is the main theme? The main subject of the book? As God told John what to write, the main theme or subject of the book is declared immediately in the first two verses:
1 ¶ The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Revelation chapter 1.
More specifically the first 5 words stands out:
1 ¶ The Revelation of Jesus Christ
Notice it does not say the Revelations of Jesus Christ. The word Revelation is singular not plural. Though the book has many things to tell us there is one main subject and that subject is the revelation of Jesus Christ. In other words the book reveals Jesus perhaps like we have never seen before.
Let me explain:
Prior to the book of Revelation we came to know Jesus as the Lamb of God. The one who came to Save us from our sins. The book of Revelation completes the picture of who Jesus is. Yes, Jesus is meek, lowly and full of love. But He is much more than that. He also is the judge and when He comes again he will come in vengeance to judge the world and rule with an iron hand. The book of Revelation completes the picture of who Jesus is.
By understanding who Jesus is, the book of Revelation becomes much easier to understand. Jesus offers Grace but when Grace is rejected then vengeance is Gods method of making things right. That is why God says, “vengeance is mine saith the lord.” Romans 12:19
The first three chapters deals with the church both past and present. Seven churches God points out. Most have bad qualities but not all. When Jesus said He would build His church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail, it seems He was indicating those churches that were good churches could not be stopped.
I hear folk say they can not find a good church but the fact is they do exist. In my view good churches are scattered all over America and the world.
A good church can be determined by proper beliefs and proper practices. It is not good enough to believe correctly if they do not put the beliefs into practice. All Christians are flawed yet we are told to love the brethren. All people are not brethren or Gods children. In order to become a brethren it takes being born into Gods family by being born again. If you do not see the difference you have a big problem. Yes, we are to love everyone but we are supposed to have a special love for those who share our belief in the Saviour.
Next there is a special blessing to those who read, understand and obey what the book of Revelation teaches. For this reason alone the book of Revelation should be dear to the heart of every believer.
¶ Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Revelation 1:3
Beyond the special blessing God had Paul write:
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.11 Timothy 3:16-17
If these two verses are applicable they certainly are when it comes to the book of Revelation. To be confused and bogged down in the book of Revelation simply means you do not know all there is to know about the Saviour.
When we read and study the first three chapters concerning the church please understand the church is people. Study slowly what God says about the 7 churches to learn who you are as a Christian. Are you lukewarm? Do you believe every thing every church says? I hope not because us saying something does not make it so. Look the word “SAY” up in your concordance in both the book of Revelation and the book of James and we see that just saying something does not make it true.
We can say we are Saved but saying so does not make it so. A religion may say they pray in the name of Jesus but if they do not believe Jesus is God in the flesh they are NOT praying in the name of Jesus.
From chapter 4 of the book of Revelation to almost the end of the book we learn just how severe Gods judgment is on all of mankind who have rejected the Saviour. God judges each nation. God is love but He is also a God of wrath.
By studying and understanding all these things the book of Revelation stands out as a precious Jewel in Gods book. Read it, understand it and obey it. Read it as it applies to you as an individual. NOT simply as it applies to the world.
If you have never feared God this is a book that should put the fear of God in us. Someone says, “Only God can judge me.” That my friend should scare us the death.
If you are a Christian and have been forgiven realize that God is a serious God and should not be taken lightly. More later as I recall…….