The Book of Revelation is called “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”, and yet it is treated by so many as a side issue or a secondary matter. Why? Is it really something that we can agree to disagree on, as is commonly believed?
Those who are of this persuasion are ignorant of how the New Testament is indispensably completed by this revelation of Jesus Christ. In other words, the revelation of Jesus Christ, as we know it, communicated to us by the testimony of Holy Scripture, is incomplete without this revelation that was given to the apostle John: what we call the Book of Revelation. Herein is the Person and work of Christ so needfully revealed that, without it, the New Testament as we know it would be radically different. The Book of Revelation provides closure to the past, a revelation of Jesus Christ at present, and a perfect fulfillment of all prophecy in the future. This, if you only knew, is a cause for great celebration in heavenly places! On earth, however, these things go unappreciated by most; and that’s a modest portrayal of things! Fearfully, the Book of Revelation is dealt with contemptuously by many who feel threatened by it! They are speechless at its witness and suppressive of its message; they promote their own ministries instead. Why?
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” – Prov. 1:7
Human depravity naturally suppresses things that are felt to be personally threatening. The truth be told: this Book, going unaccounted for by modern day “Systematic Theology”, threatens to overthrow the faith and practice of pseudo Christianity! Modern Christianity deems the Book essentially expendable to faith and practically irrelevant to ethical living. With the false prophets holding sway over the common people, the Book of Revelation seems irrelevant and non-problematic to today’s Christianity. However, the time is coming – which now is! – that men of God will arise to herald the message of the Book of Revelation to the overthrowing of status-quo Christian faith and practice!
I have long believed that mankind will never be able to understand the Book of Revelation except we, through grace, masterfully understand every other book in the Bible. Only through them will we know the meaning of it. In other words, if we don’t comprehensively understand the testimony of Holy Scripture revealing the progress of human redemption from Covenant to Covenant throughout all ages, how shall we understand the disclosing of all mysteries at the End of the Age? Or, if we don’t understand was has transpired in history, how shall we understand what is declared in futurity? For, if we haven’t had the heart to studiously comprehend what God has revealed in the past, we’ll never have the mind to think upon what God is revealing in the future through the Book of Revelation. “Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?” (Prov. 17:16).
However, through a thorough understanding of the aforementioned in due order, we will discern and appreciate the closure that is provided in the Book of Revelation. Through understanding divine things leading to the present day, when the Book of Revelation was written, we will be enabled to see what is so vital and necessary about the revelation of Jesus Christ herein provided. In joining with the prophets of old, in sharing in their painful longings – in understanding what hasn’t been fulfilled pertaining to the prophecies of the future, we shall discover the perfection and relevance of all mysteries disclosed in the Book of Revelation. Even so, the saying shall be fulfilled,
“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.” – Prov. 1:5-6
The Book of Revelation is the Proverb of Proverbs. It is the Darkest of the Dark Sayings of the wise. It is, therefore, the hardest counsel of the wise to be attained unto. For this, one must steadily, consistently, and increasingly learn the Writ of Holy Scripture Covenant by Covenant, generation by generation, dispensation by dispensation, and doctrine by doctrine – line upon line.
To aid the process, I have labored to present the following; and though I would like to begin with the framework of prophecy from the very beginning, I fear I would tire the attention of some aspiring learners of the Book of Revelation. So, for simplicity’s sake, I hereby give a more concise account of things which are vital to understand if we aspire to comprehend the Book of Revelation. Notwithstanding, if it is lawful for me to say it… I do plead for caution: for, if the Song of Solomon is “the Song of Songs” (Song 1:1), rightly so called, then the Book of Revelation is the Mystery of Mysteries!