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An Introduction to Revelation
Revelation, chapter 1, beginning with verse 1: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants - things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the Word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the Words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (NKJV)
Consider, for a moment, about what comes to your mind when you think of the book of Revelation. Is it a book that you know a great deal about? Is it one that you read and think about often? Or is it a book that you shy away from? Consider the irony that the book, that many people think is quite confusing and is surrounded with much misunderstanding and even controversy, is called “The Revelation.”
The very term itself, “revelation,” is the Greek word “apocalypsis.” It has been commonly defined, and understood to mean an “unveiling.” In other words, “revelation” is the very opposite of some sort of concealment.
One man who was teaching in Revelation equated it to an “uncovering.” He said that it is as if we are given an opportunity to uncover and look inside of something, or to “unveil” or “peer” into something.
Revelation can be understood. We can know what is in there. It’s not something that we should “keep at arms length,” or that we should shy away from. As a matter of fact, several writers, point out that it is a contradiction for us to resist delving into Revelation when, in fact, God has provided it to us through His Holy Spirit, through His Son, and it was given to us to be understood. And, this is the only book in the New Testament, actually in the entire Bible, where there is a specific blessing associated with reading and obeying it.
Revelation is a divine message. It was divinely given by God. What a cruel God He would be if He were to give us something that we could not comprehend or understand.
Along with all the other books of the Bible, it is a vital message. It is a timely message, because it was greatly needed in the time it was written. But it still has application for us today. The message that is contained in Revelation is one that will continue to be needed as long as time stands, because the message of Revelation is truly timeless.
Revelation is the epitome of symbolism in Scriptures. It brings together many symbols, both in the Old Testament and New Testament, and holds a tremendous cohesiveness with all of the symbolic language throughout the Bible.
However, many who seek to interpret the book of Revelation give the symbols such fanciful meanings that they cannot possibly have any scriptural foundation. The symbols of Revelation must be interpreted by other scriptures. Their meanings must be rooted in the truth of God’s word.
It is impossible to interpret Revelation correctly without first having a proper understanding of the New Testament and God’s plan of salvation for man. Revelation is inspired by God and we must treat it accordingly. We must not arbitrarily apply meanings to the symbols in Revelation without some biblical or historical authority.
Join us as we study Revelation.
Note: Much of the information for this Study of Revelation was taken from the book “Revelation for Christians Today” by Lonnie Woodruff. Other sources: “The Living Word, Study of Revelation, Parts I & II” by Dr. Frank Pack; “Revelation” by Jim McGuiggan; “Commentary on Revelation” by Homer Hailey; “Commentary on Revelation” by Burton Coffman; “The Book of Revelation - Spiritual Sword Lectureship, October 18 - 22, 1998”; “Revelation Through First Century Glasses” by W. B. West; “Commentary on Revelation” by Howard Winters; “Unlocking Revelation” by J. Stafford North.
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