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Reasons To Study The Book of Revelation

Rev 1:1-3

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 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.

One reason to study this book is because we will be “blessed.”

  • This is one of the most encouraging and reassuring books in the Bible.

Another reason to study the book is to clear up confusion.

  • This is one of the most misunderstood and misapplied books that there is.
  • People have built complete doctrinal systems from this book (Premillenialism).
  • Dooms Day prophets have confused people to the extent that they believe that events happening today are a fulfillment of the prophecy of this book.
  • By studying this book we, hopefully, can keep from being led astray by a lot of what is being taught today.


  • Many people ignore these “keys” and consequently they grossly misinterpret what this book is about.

First Key: Realize to whom it was written and when the events of the book were to be fulfilled.

Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place;

Rev 1:3

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 22:6

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 to His bond-servants the things which must shortly take place.

Rev 22:10

And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.

  • By saying this at the beginning and end of the book John is saying that everything mentioned in this book are things that are to “shortly take place…they are near.”
  • So, the first key to understanding this book is to realize that it was written for the people who lived during the time this book was written.
  • To apply the events of this book to a still distant date from the one we are now living is to contradict the fact that John said the things he speaks of will “shortly take place.”
  • If this book is talking about things that still have not taken place then what benefit was it to the Christians in the first century to whom it was written?
  • This book was written in its day for that day.

Second Key to understanding the book: You are to be able to “heed” the things written in this book.

Rev 1:3

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.

  • This book is not to be ignored…and we are not to “guess at its meaning.”
  • This book can be understood and when it is it will be a blessing to us.
  • Some of the details are extremely difficult to understand…but the principles and truths revealed can be understood…and are meant to strengthen our faith.


One: We must understand the historical background in which this book was written.

  • We must put the book in its first century setting.
  • The majority of scholars agree that this book was written somewhere between 78-95 A.D.
  • We must keep the book in its historical setting and the problems that existed at the time.

Second: Remember what the book is. It is a prophecy.

Rev 1:3

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 22:7

7 "And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book." 

Rev 22:10

10 And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.

Rev 22:19

…and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy,

  • Revelation is a “prophecy” given to the people of its time.
  • Because it is a prophecy, just like Jeremiah, Isaiah, and others:
    • It deals with the problems of its time.
    • It also calls the people to repentance.
    • It also pronounces a judgment and destruction on those who are enemies of God.
    • It also encourages the faithful to remain faithful.
      • This is the nature of a prophecy.

(Every single message of God’s prophets was a message of repentance. There was no need for a prophet if the people were keeping the word and will of God. The need for a prophet or prophecy was the people’s need to repent. At the same time this book will warn of the impending judgment and destruction of those who are enemies of God. It will also speak of the immediate deliverance of God’s people and their total and absolute salvation in Christ.)

We must remember that, by nature, this book is prophecy.

  • A prophecy addressing the problems of its time.
  • A prophecy regarding things that “will shortly take place. “

Third: Biblical Comparison.

  • Before you read a meaning into something let the Bible explain to you.


Rev 1:12-14

And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle.

  • In these two verses John, in a vision, sees seven golden lampstands…and one like a son of man…walking in the midst of those lamp stands.
  • There is no need to speculate as to what those lamp stands are because verse 20 tells you.

Rev 1:20

As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

  • Let the Bible explain things to you.


Rev 17:3-4

3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,

  • Many want to apply this “woman” to all sorts of things. (Iran, Iraq, China, Russia, N. Korea)
  • But, this same chapter tells you who or what this woman is.

Rev 17:18

"And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth."

  • At the time of the writing of this book what city ruled over the kings of the earth? Rome.
  • Let the Bible, along with the historical setting, and the fact that this book is dealing with “things that are to shortly take place” help you understand what the passage is talking about.


Rev 13:1-2

And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion.

  • Does John tell us who this beast is? No.
  • But look at Daniel 7.

Dan 7:2-8

Daniel said, "I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. 3 "And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another. 4 "The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it. 5 "And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, 'Arise, devour much meat!' 6 "After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. 7 "After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.

Here are the same beasts mentioned in Rev. 13.

  • Who or what are these beasts?

Dan 7:17

These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth.

Dan 7:23-27

"Thus he said: 'The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. 24'As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. 25'And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 26'But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.

  • We know that the fourth beast is a “kingdom on the earth.”

Now notice: Dan 7:13-14

13 "I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven

One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him. 14 "And to Him was given dominion,

Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language

Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion

Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.

In the midst of this 4th kingdom, “dominion will be given to the “One like a Son of Man” by the Ancient of Days.

  • And this dominion that is given will be “everlasting and will not pass away.”
  • When is this going to happen? Who are these kingdoms?

Dan 2:44-45

44 "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.

Here God sets up that kingdom or dominion “that will never be destroyed.”

  • Notice when it will take place: “In the days of those kings.”
  • What kings? Who are they?

Dan 2:40

40 "Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron;

Here is the fourth kingdom from which the dominion that “will never be destroyed” will come.

  • Who is this fourth kingdom?

Dan 2:36-38

This was the dream; now we shall tell its interpretation before the king. 37 "You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength, and the glory;

  • Daniel is talking to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon.
  • Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that he is the first king or kingdom.
  • Then:

Dan 2:39

And after you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.

  • Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that after him another kingdom will come up after Babylon…and then a third after that.

What kingdom came up after Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon?

Dan 5:31

31 So Darius the Mede received the kingdom at about the age of sixty-two.

And after the Medes and Persians came:

Dan 8:20-21

The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia. 21 "And the shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece,

  • And history shows that the kingdom that came up after the Greeks was Rome.
  • And, it was during the days of the Roman Empire that Christ’s kingdom was established.
  • That fits the historical context of when the book of Revelation was written.
  • Therefore, the conclusion drawn from Daniel and other passages of scripture is that the beast of Rev. 13 is the Roman Empire.
  • And that fits with John saying that the “things of this book must shortly take place.”

Let Bible comparison help you determine what is being talked about.

  • It is hard work but sometimes that is what is required to determine the truth of a matter.

The only way we are going to understand the book of Revelation is by:

  • Putting it in its historical context.
  • By understanding its nature: prophecy.
  • And searching the scriptures.
    • Let God explain it to us when we can.
    • No prophecy is a matter of one’s own interpretation.