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Steven Smith
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Understanding Bible Prophecy
Many have considered the book of Revelation to be a sealed book and unable to be understood. However, the word Revelation comes from the Greek name Apokalypsis, which means a disclosure, a revelation or manifestation and to be revealed. So we find that the book of Revelation is not only an open book but its contents are definitely intended to be revealed and understood by us if we take a little time to study it. It is in fact a revealing of Jesus Christ Himself. Note carefully these first three verses of Revelation.
Revelation 1:1-3 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3 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.”
So we see that this Revelation is the revealing of Jesus Christ and that the message originally came from God the Father but since the introduction of sin, all communication between heaven and earth has been through Jesus Christ as He is the only mediator between God and man. We also see that the events that are outlined in the book of Revelation were in the future at the time that they were given. The word of God is none other than Jesus Christ, the creator of all things who was manifest in human flesh and dwelt amongst us. So it is He that John bares record of here and thus this is a message from Jesus, not from John. Revelation 19:10 states that the testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy and so John is bearing record of the gift of prophecy as it is revealed through Jesus Christ. John saw the testimony of the Old Testament prophets concerning Jesus Christ fulfilled in Him and heard the words of life as they came from the Father through Jesus. Note that a blessing is pronounced upon those that read this book and those that hear the words of this prophecy and those that follow its teachings. Also, the time for the fulfilment of these messages is now at hand.
Note also that the book of Revelation ends with a severe warning telling us not to add or take away from the prophecies written in this book or there are very serious consequences.
Revelation 22:18-19 “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: 19 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.”
Adhering to the warning of these two scriptures will help prevent us from going to far wrong. These verses inform us that everything we need to know about end time events will be stated in the Bible and we will not have to add extra doctrine or our own interpretations or fill in the gaps, for we are told not to add to it.
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