What is so special about Revelation? God reveals his plans for finishing human history. The overall prophetic vision centers on the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. God’s revelation comes through Jesus Christ to the apostle John, who testifies to everything that he was shown. The fulfillment of the prophetic vision has begun but awaits future final completion. Faithfull believers who hear and obey the prophecy will be blessed by God.
The main idea in John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ is that the Triune God wins! This New Testament book in the Bible tells us how the Sovereign ruler of the universe destroys evil, rescues believers, transforms creation, and lives among his people forever. Revelation provides a transforming vision of spiritual reality that encourages believers to follow Jesus faithfully. Revelation proclaims hope, hope made possible by Christ’s victory, hope that brings comfort to current believers who are now suffering or being persecuted, hope that calls for repentence from those who are comprimising their faith, and hope that one day God will judge evil and live among his people in a new heaven and new earth. Revelation is prophetic including both prediction about the future (foretelling) and proclamation about the present (forthtelling). Revelation is an apocalypse (apokalypsis), a term meaning unveiling or revelation. Apocalyptic assumes a crises situation where hope lies in the future. Through fantastic visions and strange images, God promises salvation for the faithful believers and judgement for the wicked unrepentant. Revelation lifts the covers off of a transcendent reality that emphasizes God’s sovereinty and overpowers our present situation of suffering and affliction in the temporal world.
How to Study the Book of Revelation
- Look for numbers, sequences, groupings, repetitions, clusters. Where appropriate, use simple math to calculate. Rocket science or quantum mathematics is not needed to discern God’s word. He made his word simple enough that people can figure out a simple mathematical reference.
- Ask the spirit to help you discern commonality vs. difference, literal vs. symbolic, who is speaking, meanings, insight.
- Logically and Wholistically. Like a text book. Look for themes, results, actions, cause and effect, understand terms and descriptions. Note other verses in the bible that support and reinforce Revelation’s concepts.
- Literally. Taking into account context, methaphors and analogies. In many (most) cases, the simple, literal interpretation is the best. When the Holy Spirit uses symbolism, it is done to a great point so that there is no mistaking the intent and use of symbolism. Parables, metaphors and analogies are used to put spiritual truth into the context of everyday life that readers would likely relate to and understand.
- From the perspectives of God the Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit and Angels. What are they saying? To whom are they saying it to? How intense are they saying it? When are they saying it? What are they trying to accomplish by saying it? How often do they repeat it? Is is spoken before, during or after some event? Why is God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit described and named in the manner that they are?
- From the perspective of sequence of time, events, participants. What are the plots?, who are the actors?, when do things occur? How dramatic are the events? What/where is the background scenery? When do the scenes of the story shift from one to the next? Is there a fairly discernable sequence of time? Who are the villians and why? Who is the supporting cast? What is the end to the story? What is the moral to the story or the “takeaway”?
- From the perspective of the Church/Bride of Christ, from your personal faith perspective and from that of John the Apostle’s perspective. Does your church resemble any of the seven (7) churches Christ addresses in Asia-Minor? Which side of the ledger might your church be on, based on Christ’s benchmarks of sin and righteousness, obediance and spirit-filled works? How do the answers to these questions apply to you on a personal level in your relationship with Christ? Will you be “naked and ashamed” at the Rapture/Harpazo? Or, will you be clothed in white and excited to meet your Savior? Will you receive one of the five crowns available from Christ, or, will your reward be witheld? Is there anything in your spiritual life to which the Holy Spirit is nudging you? Put yourself in the Apostle John’s sandals. How would you react to what he saw? How would you describe the things of today’s period that he couldn’t possibly have know about? How would you explain or describe the supernatural (heavenly or demonic)? How would you feel if you experienced what John experienced? Empathy, put yourself in another’s sandals and robe.
Based on our personalties, schooling, habits and biases, we all will skew towards one method of understanding the word of God, over other methods. That is O.K.! We are not perfect students or perfect, as Christians. But, it helps to employ some or all of these discerning strategies in understanding not only John the Apostle’s book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, but other books of the bible, as well. These strategies help immensely in understanding Revelation’s great symbolism and to get past its fantastical images, characters, events and outcomes to understand the glorious and wonderful future that is promised to Christ’s Bride and to the Tribulation Saints in eternity!
There is an inherant logical and mathematical accuracy in the book of Revelation that has been historically overlooked and somewhat hidden within the context of the imagery and symbolism that is always front-and-center when someone reads Revelation. Few people (if any) understand the mathematics contained throughout verses, hidden in layers upon layers, truth upon truth and meaning upon meaning. In reality, reading and understanding the book of Revelation, from a mathematical viewpoint, actually makes understanding Revelation much easier and enables the reader to come away with greater insights and understandings of things of the end-times. Most people with very little understanding or insight regarding the meanings in this extremely important book of the bible, usually walk away frustrated and confused by the imagery suggested in Revelation’s verses. Many of us, at best, come away with incorrect interpretations, false assumptions and confused references. Ultimately, we put the cart before the horse in our interpretations. God did not intend for it to be this way. Unfortunately even a small amount of error can throw off the best interpretation. We are all human, no one (this side of heaven) has 100% accuracy. However, that is not to deter us from trying to understand this book. God has given us many tools, clues and methods to study his Word, and to be able to come away with a correct understanding of it. I believe the hardest challenge for most people is that they approach Revelation without a literal viewpoint. They have trouble discerning the symbolic from that which is literal. The extreme imagery is hard for most people to stomach and accept. By not taking a literal approach, things become much harder to understand and as students, we can become lost in a forest of meanings. Mathematics actually help confirm and validate the truth within God’s word. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or have a Ph.D. in math or stastistics. Elementary school level mathematics will suffice (2+2=4). The math I will be showing you is as easy at that. I promise!
As we march ever closer to the Tribulation period, I believe God is allowing us to gain more knowledge of the world around us, with an eye towards understanding how things and prophecy are evolving and coming to pass, right before our eyes. We live in fearsome times, but also very interesting and prophetic times. Unless you are student of bible propchecy (eschatology), you really have no idea how much prophesy is currently coming to pass, that has been prophesied for over 2,000 years and counting. These are prophetic times and the time to wake up and pay attention is now.
As a data scientist, I look for mathematical accuracy, trends, groupings and clusterings of data and information. We strive to segment data and organize information based on patterns, similarity and dissimilarity, reference, meaning, frequency and size or scope. Trend analysis looks at events, as they unfold, with an eye towards a future ourcome of one sort or another. Numbers have stastical meaning and relevance, a benchmark allows for comparisons between lesser and greater. Correlation vs. causation. God also uses mathematics and numbers with descriptive meanings. By the time you finish reading this book, you will (should) have an extremely clear understanding how God accomplishes his will by this divine method.
As an analyst, I dig into the details to find hidden meanings and insights in the data which is under scrutiny. We compare and contrast that which is before us. Logically and rationally, things have to make sense. (7>6) or (6<7). There has to be an order, a sequence a logical outcome of events and activities. The more you study the word of God, the more you will come to the correct conclusion that God does not act in a random, haphazard way as I do when it comes to me completing household projects, on time and not being screwed up. God is omnipresent and omnipotent in his control and structuring of his creation in heaven and on earth. Mathematics and logic are just two tools he gives us to undersand him and his plans for us and mankind.
As a technologist, I view the world systematically and wholistically. I keep abreast of the technological developments in communications, monitoring and surveillance systems, genetic research techniques and technologies, biometric scanning technologies, financial transaction technologies and ecommerce; digital computer technology like 3D manufacturing, voice and image digitization, computer generated imagery (CGI green screen technology), the algorithms behind artificial intelligence (A.I.). All of these are tools that will play a role in end time events. It not the tool that is evil or good, but the hand that uses the tool.
As a student of bible prophecy (eschatology), I look to discern God’s word as it applies to prophecy and his divine forecast of what is coming at us in the short term, near term and long term. How do the events of today compare or stack up to what God says, in his forecasting report known as the Bible. I attempt to look at things happening today and discern whether or not they fit into God’s consistent pattern of dealing with mankind.
Lastly, and most importantly, as a Christian, I look for the meaning within God’s word as to how it relates to our relationship with Christ, presently and in the future. I truly pray, and hope, that you will be blessed by this book and most importantly, by the book known as the Revelation of Jesus Christ.