Because of rapidly changing world in 21st century requires a second look at the Book.
Chaos, confusion, calamity and corruption grip the people of our times on a daily basis.
Unheard of things or impossible things are happening before our eyes.
The social fabric of human society is changing its color daily thus weakening its moral fiber.
Diminishing traditional family values, glorifying homosexual behavior and the institution of marriage being dismantled brick by brick.
Senseless killing of children in Newtown, Connecticut, USA and gang rape of a medical student in New Delhi, leads to one conclusion that we are living in terribly wicked and evil days.
We are hearing earthquakes, devastating storms, extreme weather patterns, threatening drought conditions reminding us that we are running out of our time.
The cellphone marvel of our times makes one wonder what is next.
The attack on Christianity by progressive thinkers, Media, political systems and persecution of the believers in Lord Jesus are similar to the days of 1st century readers of the Book of Revelation.
Serious students of the Bible feel in their hearts that we are living in the end times.
So this is my humble attempt to study the Book of Revelation with my Church.
My sources are mostly Evangelical and Conservative Scholars and the Word of God.
All statements or phrases in parenthesis are borrowed from their work.
So we begin a journey thru the Book of Revelation in 2013.
Every week we will study verse by verse and grasp the literal meaning along with the symbols used to explain the future.
First three chapters were specifically written to the Church in the 1st century.
From 4th chapter onwards the future end times are described to the present reader.
I approach this book from a literal point of view as many conservative scholars do.
The writer Apostle John was the same author who wrote ‘The Gospel of John’ and the three ‘Epistles John’.
The same disciple who witnessed crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ
Apostle John was imprisoned on Patmos a Greek Island (34.6 sq. miles) close to present day Turkey.
He was imprisoned because of his refusal to worship or call ‘Lord’ the Emperor of Rome.
The Church was quickly settling into second and third generation Christians as most of the Apostles and eye witnesses of Lord Jesus were dead.
It always happens that the initial fervor and enthusiasm tend to fade away and expectation of the Lord’s return goes to the back burner.
Calling Roman Emperor as 'Lord' challenged their faith.
False teachers and false doctrines tempted the church to compromise its moral integrity and to serve both Roman and God.
Apostle John was primarily writing to encourage the Asia Minor churches to stand firm in their faith.
Many scholars agree that Apostle John wrote this book around 95 AD during the reign of Roman Emperor Titus Flavius Domitian.
We have one more prophetic book in the Old Testament which is Daniel.
In Dan 12:4 & 9, he was instructed to seal the book of his prophetic recordings.
In Revelation we see the breaking of the seals by Lord Jesus to reveal what is hidden.
Revelation means simply ‘to uncover’, to reveal’ or ‘to unveil’.
It is like lifting the curtain to present the show on the world stage.
Pastor Wiersbe says, “The Holy Spirit pulls back the curtain and gives us the privilege of seeing the glorified Christ in heaven and fulfillment of HIS sovereign purposes in the world”.
Satan and his representatives cannot stop what God has planned and purposed from the creation of this world and to the end of times.
Today some people are responding to the grace of God and accepting the gift of salvation through the cross of Lord Jesus.
Some are rejecting the Gospel message and some opine that all roads lead to one God.
To study the Book of Revelation in our present makes it more essential and relevant.
“Revelation comes from the Greek word APOKALUPSIS”.
From which we have the English word ‘apocalypse’.
The whole book of Revelation is a message of sovereignty of God who holds the future of the world’s ongoing history in HIS hands.
Throughout the book we observe the ‘Trinitarian concept’of God Almighty.
One scholar puts it beautifully, “Our focus in studying this book should not be symbolism as much as the Savior. It’s not about the signs and wonders; it’s about the second coming. It’s not the mystery of ‘666’;it is the marvel of ‘holy, holy, holy.”
1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
Here John is writing this prophecy 60 years after the death and resurrection of Lord Jesus.
Apostle John is making an exclusive claim of the risen Lord Jesus Christ in glorified body.
Lord Jesus Christ revealing the things that were to happen in the future.
“Soon must take place” has no human time attached to it.
This can happen at any time of human history.
One thing is very clear that once it happens, they happen in ‘rapid succession’.
The prophetic writings had an immediate meaning to the original readers to encourage them to persevere in the midst of impending persecution.
2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Apostle John is saying to the 21st century believers what he told to the 1st century Christians.
3 Blessed is the one who reads aloudthe words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
Nowhere in the Scripture it is written that one will be blessed by reading the Bible except in the Book of Revelation.
God promised special blessings on those who read it aloud, who hear it and obey it.
If this book is too difficult to understand, why God did add special blessings for reading it?
So it is important that we study this last book of the Bible.
Not just reading it but to draw closer to the Lord and be ready for HIS coming that can take place any time now.
That is the blessing we will receive to obey and prepare for HIS coming.