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Book of Revelation: A Divine View of the Cosmos

  Book of Revelation: Divine View of the Cosmos —

7 Reasons Why Reading Revelation Matters

1. It is the last book of the Bible; you can’t understand the rest of the Bible without reading Revelation.

The Apostle John* wrote this final book of the Bible near the end of the first century and near the end of his life. Much of his life’s ministry was to the Jews and he knew the Old Testament well.

As the last of the Apostles, he was the “elder” of the newly formed churches and knew too the Gospels (the last of which he wrote} and the epistles. As a written collection they were powerful and diverse but provided no unifying conclusion tying them all together.

* indicates there is a short biography of this person in SPIRITUAL LIVES.

We find this unifying conclusion and finale to the scripture by reading Revelation. This wonderful, prophecy and overview of all of God’s inspired Word ties all together and wraps things up with these warnings in the final chapter of the Bible:

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. – Revelation 22:18-19

2. Jesus* is its author and John promises 7 blessings to those reading Revelation:

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. – Revelation 1:3

He promises the one commissioned (John) to write with these words:

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;Jesus in Revelation 1:17-19

Notice here that the blessing is in the reading, hearing, and keeping what’s written, not understanding them all. My Dad told me he had read Revelation 240 times by his early 70’s, and God blessed him enormously for this. I am staggered at such an accomplishment and a long way off from even approaching it, but I will say that I am blessed every time I read it or even a portion of it. This promise is true!

(You can read the other 6 blessings in 14:13: Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; 16:15: Blessed is he that watcheth; 19:9: Blessed are they who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb; 20:6; Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: 22:7: Blessed is he keepth the sayings of this Book; 22:14: Blessed are they that do His commandments.)

3. Most importantly, this final Book of the Bible reveals Jesus as He is now and what He will be after His return.

You cannot understand this at all without reading Revelation.

We know Jesus through the Gospels. Although we understand that He is God incarnate or “veiled in flesh,” we see the human nature of Jesus of Nazareth*.

We rejoice at His miraculous conception and angel-heralded birth. We see how He was baptized, tempted, and tested as He ministered to His people for three years.

Of course, the crescendo appears in the apex of human history, His atoning death on the cross to save us from our sins. His flesh perishes but is raised from the grave in a miraculous resurrection with a new body in which that veil of the divine is partially removed.

But we see Him no more as He ascends to heaven and sits at the right hand of God. Stephen saw Him there as he was martyred, and Saul of Tarsus* was blinded by His divine glory, but these glimpses are expanded in Revelation, where the veil is completely done away with and we see Him as He is now, a mighty King and Conqueror and a Judge whose authority is eternal and unlimited.

He is now seen as the “King of glory” we read about in Psalm 24 and can now understand how He is with us always and has been given all power in heaven and earth. Praise God!

4. Reading Revelation will deepen and perfect your relationship with Jesus. John’s response is remarkable! What will yours be?

John* was known as “the disciple Jesus loved.” It was John, you will remember, who was lying on Jesus’ breast at the last supper. It was John to whom Jesus entrusted the care of His mother, the apostle of love whose relationship with Jesus was personal and close. But what happens when John sees Him now?

Here is John’s testimony:

And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.– Revelation 1:17

What changed? Was this another Jesus? No! It was the very same Jesus, wholly human and wholly divine, but now the veil of flesh was lifted, and John saw Jesus as the King of Glory:

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. Revelation 1:14-16

5. What does Revelation reveal?

As we have just seen, Revelation reveals the Lord Jesus Christ* as the Lamb of God (lamb, 29 times in 27 verses). He is indeed the Lamb “slain from the foundation of the world,” on earth led innocently to slaughter, meekly.

But now we see another aspect of Him: the wrath of the Lamb (6:16), so terrifying and fierce that the kings of the earth cried for the rocks and mountains to fall on them to hide them from His righteous judgment.

Revelation reveals God’s cosmic view of eternity and the Spiritual Warfare that we are a part of. Revelation also reveals the Bride of the Lamb (21:9) and the coming of His marriage feast. We are His bride along with all of those faithful Believers of the past, and we will rejoice as the wicked are overcome by the blood of the Lamb.

Of course, the devil's and his followers' judgment is horribly shown as they are cast into the lake of fire. But then, our glorious future is revealed as Jesus promised during His ministry on earth:

Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Matthew_13:43

6. Revelation fulfills and explains the rest of the Bible.

If you are familiar with Bible at all, you will see how directly Revelation fulfills the prophecies of Ezekiel* and Daniel*. This is perhaps to be expected because Revelation is in the literary genre of those two books, apocalyptic that is, describing end times.

And yes, here we learn about Jesus' Second Coming, Judgment Day, the New Jerusalem, and His eternal kingdom. But there are more than 500 references or allusions to the Old Testament. I count 22 books besides the two mentioned above.

Revelation’s interchanges with the Old Testament shed light on both helping us to a fuller understanding of the whole Bible. And this linkage points to common themes and unity of purpose, namely that the scriptures are inspired and meant to teach and perfect us in the faith.

Revelation is the conclusion of the greatest narrative ever told and without it the Bible is incomplete, and the grand finale of God’s Word is missed. It is the last act of a great drama the inspiring and successful culmination of God’s eternal plans and the opening of His everlasting kingdom, where the Lord Jesus Christ will rule as King of kings and Lord of lords, forever and ever, hallelujah. And where He is preparing a place for us.

7. Final Take-Away and Warning:

So what do we do with all of this? What’s the next step? Read Revelation and you will be blessed. Live by it and see yourself as a soldier in this universal war between good and evil. Each time you read, your blessing will increase. But here is one word of warning: do not try to figure out dates and times or you will end up confused and deceived.

Jesus said But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. -Mark 13:32

Let’s keep ourselves from foolishness. Avoid like the plague anyone who claims to know what Jesus says no one knows. Just listen to what He says and be ready!

the Holy City

listen to André Rieu HERE

Last night, I lay a-sleeping, there came a dream so fair

I stood in old Jerusalem, beside the temple there

I heard the children singing and ever as they sang

Me thought the voice of angels from heaven, in answer rang

Me thought the voice of angels from heaven, in answer rang

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, lift up your gates and sing

Hosanna, in the highest, Hosanna to the king

And then me thought my dream was changed

The streets no longer rang

Hushed were the glad hosannas, the little children sang

The sun grew dark with mystery, the morn was cold and chill

As the shadow of a cross arose upon a lonely hill

As the shadow of a cross arose upon a lonely hill

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, lift up your gates and sing

Hosanna, in the highest, Hosanna to the king

And once again the scene was changed

New Earth, there seemed to be

I saw the Holy City beside the tideless sea

The light of God was on its streets

The gates were opened wide

And all who would might enter and no one was denied

No need of moon or stars by night, nor sun to shine by day

It was a new Jerusalem that would not pass away

It was a new Jerusalem that would not pass away

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, lift up your gates and sing

Hosanna, in the highest, Hosanna to the king

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