Introduction

Revelation  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 14
The Revelation is the only book in the New Testament that is wholly given to prophecy. There were many prophets, in Old Testament days, who warned the people of God, and the nations, of the coming judgments on the wicked, and who foretold the final blessing for the world under the glorious reign of Christ. These prophecies, however, were confined to earth and limited to time. In contrast to these prophecies of old, the Revelation not only unrolls before us the future course of events in time, but also lifts the veil that we may look into eternity, and learn the blessings that await God's people in the eternal state.
In reading the Revelation, as indeed other parts of the Word, we do well to remember that one great difference between the writings of men and the word of God lies in the fact that all that God has recorded, whether by history or prophecy, has a moral purpose in view. For this reason many details are entirely omitted that men would carefully have recorded, while many incidents that God has seen good to record would have been passed over in silence by men.
Seeking to profit by this marvelous unfolding of the future, we have to beware, then, in reading the book, of doing so to gratify the natural love of prying into the future and seek rather that this wonderful and searching unfolding of the future may have a moral effect upon our lives in the present.
Further, we have to guard against the danger in reading Scripture, and very specially the Revelation, of drawing deductions from what is said in the endeavor to learn details of a future existence, as to which there is no direct reference in Scripture. Let us remember, as it has been pointed out, that the instant we begin to draw deductions from Scripture we open the door to every imagination of the human mind.
We cannot but feel how fittingly the Revelation is the last book in the Bible; for in it we are allowed to see the fully developed result of the lawlessness of all the ages. We see all the evil of the professing church, Israel, and the nations working to the terrible climax of rebellion and apostasy, and receiving its final doom in overwhelming judgment. We see the power of the devil forever broken, and death and hades cast into the lake of fire.
Moreover, we are permitted to look beyond the final judgment of all evil, and see all the purposes of God's heart fulfilled, the glory of Christ brought into display and the eternal blessing of His people secured.
How good then to humbly seek to “read,” “hear,” and “keep” the words of this prophecy, for the time is at hand when all will be fulfilled (Rev. 1:33Blessed 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)). Cherishing these communications we shall surely be kept in moral separation from this judgment-doomed world, while walking in the light of the glorious world to come with all the blessings of the eternal state.