“The study of the book of Revelation is often approached with fear or hesitation by many believers. Many simply chose not to approach it at all. But this attitude is neither correct nor spiritually healthy. We live at a time in the end of the age when enough information has been made available that Revelation can be understood (at the very least in its basics) by nearly all of the Harvest-time saints (the fully-consecrated). Because it is a very spiritual book and because its contents can be nothing less than very helpful to the Laodicean church it should be one of the most important objects of study at this time. Revelation is the only purely prophetic book in the New Testament writings. Surly this tells us something of its importance to the saints.”
It is important to remember that most of the prophetic utterances of the prophets of old (both those found in the Old Testament as well as the New) were written not for their benefit, but rather “for our admonition upon whom the ends of the Ages have come" (1 Cor. 10:10)
The prophets acknowledge their own ignorance of what they wrote, that it was not for themselves, but for the instruction of the Church, and especially for those residing at the time the two ends of the ages would over lapped, viz. the opening end of the Millennial age and the closing end of the Gospel age, i.e. during the harvest when the Lord of the harvest would be present.
Living as we do at the end of the age during the final or seventh stage of the church (The number “seven” representing perfection and or completion); we now have at our disposal the combined knowledge and understanding of all seven stages of the church. Those who lived in the earlier stages of the church would have died to have the knowledge we now have at our disposal.
But with knowledge likewise comes great responsibility, as it is written, "To whom much is given of him shall much be required." (Luke 12:48) The words of our Lord come to mind when he rebuked the much more enlightened residents of Capernaum because they refused to believe even after witnessing for themselves the various miracles he had performed.
"But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the Day of Judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day" (Matt. 11:22, 23— NIV).
But someone will say, ‘Yes, but we don’t have any of those miracles in which to witness and believe.’
This is true, but we have something much greater than that, we not only have the presence of the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, if we so avail ourselves, but we also have the complete written canon of scriptures. Likewise we live in the age in which many prophecies of old have been and are even now in the processes of fulfillment. So in essence we might say that we are witnesses of miracles, prophecy fulfilled.
“It is usual to begin the study of a book in the Bible at the beginning with verse 1 and progressing from that point. Revelation however is perhaps best approached differently.”
“Among the 13 chapters which form Section 1 of Revelation (1:9-14:5), Chapter 12, is one of the most complete units, thus being able to interpret it correctly is the key to interpreting the remainder of Revelation. It might even be wise for the student to begin with Chapter 12 and then work both directions (viz., Chapters 1 thru 11, and Chapters 14 thru 22) to understand the remainder of Revelation.”
Thus we will begin our study with Chapter 12 of Revelation.
If your desire here is for a smooth, fiction-style rendition you will be disappointed. As was stated in our blog post on “How to study the book of Revelation” our purpose is to satisfy the truth-seeker who desires details, explanations as to how we arrived at our interpretations and conclusions. Be it known from the start however that it is not our intention that we should convince any who have already given themselves over to the Adversary’s deceptions, concerning this chapter.
Only those who possess true spiritual enlightenment, (the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit) will be able to grasp the true significance of this chapter, others will most likely continue to believe the various imaginings of men as taught by the church nominal.
“Nevertheless there is always hope for those who have been led into the error of Christendom, indeed, it is our opinion that whoever in humility and meekness shall hereby find that his false view rested upon human misconceptions and misinterpretations will, at the same time, learn to trust hereafter less to his own and other men's imaginings, and, by faith, to grasp more firmly the Word of God, which is able to make wise unto salvation.”
Allowances however are made for the Lord’s little ones, “babes in Christ” those who have not yet been weaned from the breast who spiritually speaking are still feeding upon the “milk of the word”. Revelation unfortunately consist primarily of the “meat of the word”, the “deep things” of the word of God, and is therefore more easily digested by those who by reason of use (study and practice) have had their senses exercised to discern both good (truth) and bad (error). Heb 5:13-14
Thus it is for the sake of these we shall endeavor to proceed slowly, so as to thoroughly prove our conclusions based upon the word of God.
Since the book of Revelation is a symbolic prophecy it will be necessary for us to take special note of the various symbols used. If something is fairly easy to explain we will deal with it here, however in some instances a more thorough examination of a word or phrase may prove necessary, thus rather than add it to this study we will present our interpretation of the word or phrase under our blog post, “How to study the book of Revelation”, with a connecting link taking you directly to the item.
Continued with next post.
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