For those receiving these articles, I started writing these to go along with our daily reading program that many of us have followed this year. As we come to the end of our reading of the New Testament, we will read the book of Revelation.
Many will admit that understanding this book is fraught with difficulties. To put it bluntly, for 21st-century people of a different society and culture, this book is difficult. It is steeped in Old Testament prophetic language as well as what is known as apocalyptic language (where things are written in symbols and grand word pictures).
Most people are very self-centered and of course, try to interpret this book as being about our generation and our problems. For many reasons, I believe that the bulk of this book was to instruct, warn, and comfort the early Christians in their struggle against the persecution that was waged against them. The principles that guaranteed their victory of such enemies are the same principles that will provide victory for us against our struggles. Yet, principles are different from the original intent and meaning of the book.
There are many great lessons that are taught in this book and some of the most striking are the things revealed about the nature and character of Jesus and of the Father. I have concluded that the best summary of the book is found in 17:14 which reads: "They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful." (Revelation 17:14). Whatever enemy one would identify, the end of the story is the same - Jesus Wins. No matter how strong and terrible the enemy of God’s people is, in the end - Jesus wins. We, as His people, will win by being faithful unto Him and His calling us unto holiness and godliness.
Thus earlier we read: "Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Revelation 2:10).
Our victory will come when we stand before Him and hear him say unto us: “Well done, thy good and faithful servant. Enter into the joys of your Lord.”