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Hello and welcome to my Revelations study series. In this series, I will start off with a brief history of the book of Revelations and the purpose for studying the prophecy. In my following posts, I will do an overview of Revelations and then go into further detail by breaking down the book into separate sections. It’s important to note that I do not teach Revelations in numerical order from chapters 1 to 22, but instead I teach it in chronological order, meaning, in order of events. By teaching in chronological order we will still cover each area of the book but by doing so in the order in which each event will take place.
The book of Revelations is 1 of 4 of the prophetic books of the Bible that bring them all together. What makes Revelations a prophetic book is its use of apocalyptic literature, see WPNs “Understanding Eschatology” post for the definition of apocalyptic literature.
So now, lets look at the history of the book and the setting where the revelation took place.
The book of Revelations, also called “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” was written by the apostle John on the island of Patmos, see Rev 1:9, off the coast of Asia Minor, which is now a day Turkey. John was exiled to Patmos, by the Roman emperor Domitian, for his influence of the Gospel all over the region as he was pastoring at the church in Ephesus, also in Turkey.
Chapter 1 describes how John received the revelation on Patmos. God the Father gave the revelation to Jesus, who then sent the message by His angel to give to John. John was told to write all that he sees, Rev 1:11, including seven letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor, see above.
Lets now look at the purpose.
Verse 3 gives an astounding message from the Lord saying:
3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. Rev 1:3 –.NASB
The message in this verse is powerful! Out of the 66 books in the Bible, the book of Revelations is the only book that God promises a “blessing” for those who read and study it. Why is that? And with that knowledge, why is Bible prophecy, including the book of Revelations, one of the least taught subjects in the Church today?
The word “hear” in verse 3, is not just talking about “listening” to the book, but to actually be receptive, meaning accepting the message. To “heed the things which are written in it” simply put, is to study and understand the prophecy. Jesus was not saying that we are blessed because we “listened” to the prophecy, we are blessed because we accepted, studied, and understood the prophecy. The “blessing” we receive is the knowledge of how the end time scenario will play out, and with any knowledge comes the power of understanding.
For our generation, the generation before the Rapture, we have another blessing that most seem to miss. If we know how the events are going to play out by studying Revelations, we will also be able to see and understand what the events are going to look like leading up to the prophecy laid out in Revelations.
The events happening on the world stage today are essentially setting the stage for the prophetic end times to be fulfilled. By studying Revelations, you can see in our headlines today these events playing out, in our country, as well other regions around the world.
This is why on my homepage I list some of the top current events from around the world that are setting the stage for the prophetic end times.
As I said in the “About me” section: “I study Bible prophecy because it helps me see where we are at on God’s prophetic timeline, and when I see current events playing out in our world today in light of the prophetic passages, I am able find comfort and hope in a broken world knowing that His soon return is right around the corner.”
I’m not sure about you, but for me, this is a blessing in itself.
Thank you for reading Part 1 “History and Purpose,” of my revelation study. In Part 2, I will do a complete overview of the book of Revelations starting with chapter 4:1.
Please email me if you have any questions regarding the information I just shared. You can find my contact information under the “contact” tab on my homepage.
And always remember, why is it important to study Bible prophecy? Because never have we been closer than today..