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
- Mathematically. 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.
- Spiritually. 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 it 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?
- Dramatically. 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.
Paul E. Rolland
Night Watchman Ministries
7 Powerful Keys to Unlock the Book of Revelation
Kelly Needham CrossWalk
There’s an intersection near my house that’s known for peddling. Sometimes there are puppies for sale, other times it’s rugs. But sometimes it’s prophecy. Signs warning me about “the mark of the beast” and the end of the world accompany a man in an old truck selling a book that promises to keep me safe in these tumultuous end times. The book of Revelation can prompt very strange behavior.
Of all the books in the Bible, none produces such a plethora of interpretations and conclusions as Revelation. Maybe this is part of the reason we tend to avoid studying it. I mean, what are we to do with a book that speaks of locusts with scorpion tails (Revelation 9:10) and a red dragon with seven heads and ten horns (Revelation 12:3)? Yet no other book begins with such a direct encouragement to the reader:
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near” (Revelation 1:3).
Maybe, we assume, that by studying Revelation we will need to come to some final conclusion about where we stand on this big, confusing thing called eschatology (the study of end times). And since many of us are just trying to make it to the end of the day with a somewhat clean house and half our to-do list checked, we figure we just don’t have time for that.
But Revelation is part of the God-breathed Scriptures, “profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, equipping us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16)!” Therefore we need to study it. The question is, how do we tackle such an intimidating book?
Here are seven simple suggestions for studying Revelation.
1. Read it to get to know God.
Just like the rest of our Bibles, reading Revelation should be motivated by a desire to know and love God. Though it can be tempting to read this book of prophecy with end times in mind, we should read it with God in mind.
What does God love? What does He hate? How does He respond to mankind? How does He describe Himself? These are all great questions to ask as you read. We want to love the one true living God, not one we have made up and suited to fit our own preferences. Reading the Bible is one way we slowly compile an accurate character of the God who has saved us.
2. Notice the descriptions of Jesus.
Jesus is the central figure of this book, from the first chapter to the last. If you love Jesus, then you should be excited to read Revelation!
In the rest of our New Testament, we see Jesus stripped of His god-like qualities and humbly embracing the form of man to save us from our sins. But in Revelation we get the opportunity to see Him in glory, restored to His proper place as King! As you read, keep a list of every description of Jesus and ask yourself, “How does this characteristic of Jesus affect me today?”
3. Notice the nature of mankind.
Though we might not know when all of these things will happen (or have happened), there is much we can learn about the nature of mankind. Pay attention to those who refuse to repent, how they treat God and His people, and what happens to them. Notice all the descriptions of the saints, those who have responded to God’s offer of salvation with faith and repentance. What is their fate, and how does God speak of them? There is much we can learn about the fallen nature of mankind and the promises for the redeemed from this book.
4. Notice God’s patience.
One of the most surprising things I concluded from reading Revelation was how patient God is. As I read about the rebellion of mankind, of their refusal to repent from murders and demon worship (Revelation 9:20–21), I was ready to see God bring about their end. Yet in the next chapters God sends two witnesses (Revelation 11:3) and three angels to proclaim the gospel and warn of coming judgment to all who live on the earth (Revelation 14:6–11).
Even when the earth is full of the vilest offenders, God shows patience in holding back His wrath and His mercy in extending the gospel. It’s truly shocking to see God’s goodness on the backdrop of such wickedness. And immediately I am stirred to worship Him for how He has shown Himself to be just as patient and merciful in my own life.
5. Notice the end of Satan.
Though Revelation can seem like it highlights Satan’s power due to its graphic descriptions of him (i.e. a dragon with seven heads), it’s actually a statement about his weakness and doom. In more than one place we see the sure end of our foe. This is meant to be a comfort to us! A reminder that, as Martin Luther put it in the hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”:
The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure.
Because we are reassured that “the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down” (Revelation 12:10) and will be “thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur” (Revelation 20:10), we can walk confidently in this life because we are friends with the Christ who will defeat him.
6. Allow unanswered questions.
It goes without saying that we won’t fully understand all the meaning in Revelation in this lifetime. And that is okay. The Bible is worth reading no matter how many unanswered questions we have about it because the Bible reveals the character of our God!
Let go of the pressure to come to a conclusion about everything you read. There are plenty of clear, straightforward truths in this book that explain the character of God, the person of Jesus, the role of the Spirit, and the final end of those who trust Him for salvation. Don’t let the pressure to figure it out keep you from enjoying the richness this book has to offer.
7. Read prayerfully.
One of the roles of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to guide us “into all the truth” (John 16:13). If you have trusted in Jesus as your only hope for salvation from your sins, then God has given you His Spirit!
When you read, ask for help from the Spirit to understand what you read. When you see something confusing or something that makes you feel uncomfortable about God’s character, talk to Him about it and ask Him for eyes to see from His perspective. Let your reading of Revelation be relational, interacting with God as you read, not just intellectual.
If you’ve avoided this book of your Bible, it may be time to give it a chance. All of the Bible is God-breathed and profitable for us. Remove the pressure to figure it all out, and jump in seeking to know and love God more. Ask Him to open your eyes, that you may behold wonderful things in His Word (Psalm 119:18). It is a prayer He is sure to answer!
Kelly Needham hopes to persuade as many people as possible that nothing compares to simply knowing Jesus. She is married to Christian singer/songwriter, Jimmy Needham, whose ministry of sharing the gospel through song takes him all over the world. After spending many years traveling with her husband as his road manager and violinist, Kelly came off the road to be a full-time mom to their two young daughters. She writes at KellyNeedham.com.
8 References to ‘BE WATCHING or WATCHFUL.’ ‘8’ indicates that a new ‘era or epoch’ is arriving. Be it the rapture, the tribulation, the year of the Jews redemption or the year of the onset (2028) of the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ (2028-3028).
Matthew 24:42; Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Matthew 25:13; Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Mark 13:35; Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning.
Luke 21:36; Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man
Luke 12:37-39; Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
7 Verses to be ‘WATCHING, WATCHFUL and FAITHFUL.’
1 Thessalonians 5:2-4; For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (Be Watching and Faithful).
John 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
John 14:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
Luke 21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
Mark 13:29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Revelation 1:1 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: (Watch for that which will come to pass or occur, as I said it would.)
‘Increasing Like Labor Pains.’ ‘Fearful Sights.’ ‘Perilous Times.’ ‘Men’s hearts failing with fear.’ Great Convergence of Signs.’ REDEMPTION IMMINENT.
In His Service,
Night Watchman Ministries
Make Your Decision for Christ NOW!!!!!!! Time is Up!!!!!!!
Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:
The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)
A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.
. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).
. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).
. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).
B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.
. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).
C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.
. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).
. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).
. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).
. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).
. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).
. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).
. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).
. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).
. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).
. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).
True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:
Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
Romans 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Categories: Revelation of Jesus Christ