As a younger minister I was never interested in the book of Revelation. It was all too confusing and scary, although I must admit, I was kind of drawn to the scary part – sort of like a horror movie. Speaking of movies, back in the early 1980’s when I was first saved there were movies out on the Beast and the future Antichrist system, and how people would miss the rapture of the Church and be left behind to suffer in the great tribulation. It was actually all pretty new and fascinating to me. But whenever I’d try to read the book of Revelation where it spoke of all these things it never made sense to me. Quickly over time I lost interest in it. I thought, like most, that it didn’t matter. I was living for God and that’s all that mattered.
Then a number of years ago I saw that Revelation is the book of my future. Ignorance of its message could adversely affect my place and position in eternity. I was quickened by the verse in Revelation 19:7 of the marriage of the Lamb and how His wife had made herself ready. I saw that the readiness was the responsibility of God’s people. In my studies the Lord began to deal with my heart about the absence of holiness and a real devotion to God in the Church, and how so many weren’t ready for His soon return. And so I developed a real burden for end time theology again and preparing God’s people for the coming of the Lord. It is extremely important that we believe and understand this book’s meaning and the significance of its prophecies.
Think about this. Revelation is the only book in the Bible that declares a blessing to those who read it, hear its words, and obey them.
“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.” (Rev 1:3)
The book of Revelation is meant to be understood. It is not a sealed book. We are closer to the fulfillment of its prophecies than any other generation has been.
And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.” (Rev 22:10)
The many complex symbols and prophecies in the book of Revelation are not meant to remain a mystery. You cannot, however, isolate this book from the rest of the Bible, but it must be interpreted in the light and context of the entirety of the Scriptures. A thorough knowledge of the Bible is required to interpret and understand this book.
It is now a time for the unveiling of these mysteries contained within the pages of this book for the time is short and the Lord comes quickly and His reward is with Him to give to every one according to his work (Rev 22:12).
It was very disconcerting to me at first when I began reading and studying the books of several popular end time prophecy teachers. I studied the different positions and views of each of them, burning the midnight oil at times. Although there were a few points they all agreed on, I uncovered many more contradictions than continuity in their writings. I kept asking myself, “Why are these learned and educated men who are fine ministers, and whom I held in high esteem, in such contradiction with one another when it comes to their end time theology?” After all, God is not a God of confusion. As I continued to carefully read, study, and reflect on the varied positions and views of these end time prophecy teachers the Holy Spirit helped me to identify three main areas of contradiction in their writings.
1. The timing of end time events
2. The accuracy of interpreting the symbolism
3. The incompatibility with the rest of Scripture
After much frustration and searching, one key helped to unlock a far greater understanding of this book than I’ve ever had. It also helped me to see the reason for the many errors and inconsistencies of end time teachers. By no means did I become an expert, but this key clarified many things for me that had been shrouded with mystery before.
What was that key? Tune in to Part 6 and find out. It will blow your mind!