Warning: Do Not Fail to Learn the Revelation
Discover the origin of the most comprehensive end-times prophecy ever revealed to man and learn why Christians must read, learn, and obey it.
If you're a Christian, then you must not fail to learn the Revelation foremost because God wants you to learn the Revelation.
It's true that the prophetic book is comprised of complex symbols and images that make it more difficult than casual reading. Nonetheless, it is God's intention for the Church to read, understand, and obey the sayings of Revelation for it is clearly stated that the vision is that "which God gave...to show His servants" (1:1).
Before we dig in to the purpose for the prophecy though, it would be helpful to understand its origin.
Late in the first century, the Apostle John was arrested by Rome for his testimony of Jesus Christ and imprisoned on a small rocky island in the Aegean Sea called Patmos. Then on one given day around 95 AD, the aged apostle, while in worship, was visited by Jesus Christ and subsequently escorted into the future by an angel to bear witness of and to document the vision.
Accordingly, from his first encounter with Jesus through his subsequent journey into the future and back again to Patmos, John arduously recorded every word of God, every testimony of Jesus Christ, and every word picture and symbol just as he heard it and saw it. Then he presented it to the Church.
What you and I regard as the last book of the Bible called "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" is that selfsame account, exactly as it was presented first to the congregation at Ephesus nearly two thousand years ago.
Okay, let's consider the vision.
Arguably, the most complete prophecy of future events recorded in Scripture, it should be noted that the Revelation is not John's vision. The vision belongs to Jesus Christ. God the Father gave God the Son the vision then it was revealed to John that he would record and reveal it to the servants of Christ. That Christians in every generation might know the "things which must shortly take place" (1:1).
In other words, God want us to learn the Revelation because He wants us to know about the future.
But let's be clear. God has given us the Revelation to learn, yes, so we would understand what's coming, yes, but not for reasons some would suggest. The Revelation was not given so we can set a date for Christ's coming for the Bible is adamant that of that day and hour no one knows, except the Father (Matt. 24:36). Or was it given so we can identity the Antichrist for the Church has been instructed only to watch for Jesus Christ, never for the Antichrist.
The Revelation has only one purpose: To unveil Jesus Christ so we may know how God will accomplish all His work and purposes through Him in the last days.
In other words, it is the final work of Christthe destruction of all that is evil and the restoration of all that is goodthat God wants us to understand.
But there's more. A blessing is promised to those who learn the Revelation. Listen to the Apostle: "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it" (1:3).
What an encouragement this is for any of you who have been apprehensive about reading this vision. A built-in "guarantee" that both reader and hearer (those taught by hearing) will be blessed.
Finally, observe that Revelation is intended for "His servants" (1:1), which is to say, the "bond slaves" or devoted followers of Christ. In other words, the prophecy is intended for Christians.
This is special because Jesus told His followers years earlier, "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends..." (John 15:15). In other words, knowledge is for insiders. Think about it.
We aren't given a mandate from God to learn the Revelation. Instead, we've been given a blessed opportunity to behold and comprehend the future because we are friends with God.
Oh, how sweet the words, "Your words were found and I ate them and your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart" (Jer.15:16).
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