I was amazed to hear from some believers that they do not want to study the book of Revelation, that it isn’t interesting to them, and I realized that they don’t understand some important things. In fact, I think you can fully understand them only after studying Revelation. I hope this brief explanation will motivate Christians to study this book.
Revelation 22:6 and 1:1 show the purpose of this revelation: to show to the servants of the Lord Jesus the things that are to come soon:
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John
And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.
Revelation is a difficult book, but it is a discovery, not a covering. This revelation comes to show His servants the things that are about to happen. However, in this book things are presented differently, as if more complicated. The first verse says, “He made them known,” referring to the revelation of Jesus Christ, sending His angel to His servant John, and then John wrote and confessed and told everything He saw. with verse 2. The word used here “to make known” is “semeion” and has the meaning of making known by signs, giving a sign to show. You can check using the biblezoom program. I use this program when I study the Bible to check the meaning of the word in the language in which it was written. So Revelation, the revelation of the Lord Jesus, reveals to us the things to come, but in a more special way, by signs. That’s why one of the keywords is SEEN.
In verse 16 of chapter 22, the purpose is presented again and reads as follows:
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you of these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
The purpose of this revelation is to prove to the church the things that are about to happen. To prove to the church, to assure them that it will happen, that the Lord Jesus will return.
Let us remember 2 Peter chapter 3. Peter sees the need to assure Christians that the Lord does not delay in fulfilling His promise, as some believe, but has a long patience and wants no one to perish, but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). If Peter still warned them that their faith would be disturbed in this way, and they would be told, “Where is His promise? For since our fathers fell asleep, all things remain as they were from the beginning of the building!” All the more so now that more than 2,000 years have passed since the ascension of Jesus to heaven.
Jesus saw it necessary to send this revelation to the Church, to prove to her the things that were to happen soon, to assure her that this would be the case. And what a wonderful way to get word out, and give us all the details on how and when all this is going to happen. All these details, when you study and understand them, give you so much peace and security! Moreover, it helps you to understand that it will happen “soon” and so you come to expect the Lord Jesus differently. And this is so important, because it determines our experience.
I was talking to my friend Tika and asking her why people before us used to live out their Christianity differently, and she said, “Because they were waiting for the Lord Jesus, they loved His coming.” Then I had another discussion with my friend Marcela, with whom we studied Revelation together in the Bible study group of our teacher, Anastasia Filat. I really liked Marcela’s impression and the way she connects with what Tika said. Marcela said that after studying the Apocalypse, you see yourself differently as a Christian, you look and wait for heaven. She said that before you study you only know in general that you are a Christian, that you are blessed, that you will go to heaven, but when you know all the details, you begin to have full joy that you are a Christian and with a different outlook you are waiting for the Lord Jesus. Thus the words that end Revelation, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20), may become the words of your heart. I often heard Marcela ask us when we were talking, “Girls, are you still waiting for the Lord Jesus?” You can see such a beautiful and sincere expectation in her life, full of love!
This joy that Marcela speaks of is promised right at the beginning of the book of Revelation, in verse 3, where happiness is promised to those who read, listen to the words of this prophecy and keep the things written in it, because the time is near:
Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of the prophecy and keep the things which are written in it; for the time is near. (Revelation 1:3 NASB)
The word “HAPPY” in this verse, from the Greek language, means to be blessed, it refers to a happiness that does not belong to the intellectual knowledge, nor even to the feelings, nor to the circumstances, but to the relationship with God. Such happiness, which results from your relationship with God, is promised to those who read, hear, and fulfill the words of this prophecy. So, your happiness depends on studying this book, because studying and understanding it will greatly influence your relationship with God and make it much more steady, much more secure, because that is why Jesus gave it – to prove it, to assure the Christians, the Church, of all that is to come soon.
It is also important for us to teach our disciples, to explain to them the whole plan of God. The apostle Paul said that he did not shy away from making known to them the whole plan of God, and he did not hide anything from them, and he was not guilty.
Translated by Didina Vicliuc