Have you avoided a study on the Book of Revelation, thinking it is simply too hard to understand or that it was written for First Century Christians and does not pertain to us today or having been told it is just too impossible to interpret? If any of those reasons (or others) have been your “excuse” for not reading and studying the one book of Scripture that promises a special blessing (twice) for those who DO take the time and make the effort to read and study it, I implore you to read this chronicle message on “The Importance of Studying Revelation”!
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Excitement in Revelation
As the Apostles gazed longingly toward Heaven after Christ ascended out of their view into the clouds, two angels in white apparel appeared, gently rebuking them with the words, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into Heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven” (Acts 1:10, 11). That God-sent message is exciting! It not only confirmed Christ’s promise to return and fulfill all the Old and New Testament passages about His Second Coming, but it means His Return will be visible, literal, and physical (“in like manner”)! His First Coming work on earth is finished. He led a completely sinless life as a Human. He also qualified in every Scriptural, Messianic way to be the perfect Lamb of God, the sin-Substitutionary Sacrifice for mankind. He qualified to be humanity’s only Kinsman-Redeemer and willingly paid-in-full the redemption price for our sins. He defeated death three days after His crucifixion, rising bodily from a borrowed tomb. Forty days later, He returned to the glory He enjoyed with His Father before time. As the angelic messengers informed the Apostles, it was time to stop gazing upward and to begin looking forward! Jesus would return, but they had a lot of work to do in the meantime (as do we)!
Exalted as King
In the Book of Revelation, we “see” Christ in His resurrected glory. We also “see” Him as the authoritative Head of His Church and as her Beloved Bridegroom Who finally takes her to be with Him forever. So, too, we “see” Christ as the powerful Lion of the Tribe of Judah, returning to earth to rightfully reign on David’s earthly throne. We “see” His holy and righteous indignation as He takes possession of the “title deed” to Earth (the scroll of chapter 5) and casts out the evil usurper, Satan. We no longer “see” our Lord Jesus as the submissive Lamb allowing evil men to reject, betray, brutalize, and crucify Him. In Revelation, He is the sovereign Judge of the universe! He is “Alpha and Omega” (Revelation 1:8),“the Ancient of Days” (1:13-15; Daniel 7:9), Possessor of “the keys of Hell and death” (Revelation 1:18), God’s “Faithful and True” Witness (19:11), “the Word of God” (19:13), and “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (19:16b)! Amen!
Revelation is a book to warm the heart of believers in Christ, for we “see” our Saviour as He is today in Heaven in His unveiled Deity and glorified Humanity. We learn how He has ministered to His Church through His Spirit the past 2,000+ years, and we hear His commendations, concerns, and condemnations about her condition. We also get glorious glimpses (through the eyes and pen of the Apostle John) into the Third Heaven, where the Son of God is worshipped and honored by myriads of holy angels, the four living creatures, the twenty-four elders, and all the redeemed souls of people who died believing in Him as Saviour, the Promised Seed of the woman of Genesis 3:15.
Exuberant Climax of History
The Book of Revelation contains the exciting climax of history. Its pages make it abundantly clear Christ Jesus is the ultimate Victor, regardless how mocked and scorned He was at His First Coming and is yet today. Consequently, those who put their faith in Him are likewise, ultimate winners! Christians are the “overcomers” of the world (I John 5:5; Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21)!
Encouraging Words for the Discouraged
Revelation finalizes all God’s wonderful purposes for His spiritual (human) children. It reveals His final plans for the world, so, as evil men wax worse and worse (II Timothy 3:13), and global corruption, immorality, and godlessness steadily increase, we need not fear or fall to despair. We can be confident in our faith, for God’s program for the full redemption of this world is right on schedule! The end-times’ prophecies of Revelation cast heavy shadows on today’s world, telling us their fulfillment is “at hand”. The course of the Church Age was prophetically “laid out” by Christ in His letters to seven Asia Minor churches in chapters 2 and 3 (the subject of much of this first volume), and history has proven how amazingly accurate it is! This book should encourage Christians to be prepared for the culmination of this age. We are not to be naïve or negligent about interpreting “the signs of the times”. We do not want to be caught ashamed at His appearing (I John 2:28). Revelation is the only book of Scripture to specifically promise blessing on the reader (Revelation 1:3; 22:7). It is a book written to give believers today, as well as those who come to Christ after the Church Age (during the horrific seven-year Tribulation Period), a more confident, bold faith with which to face the political, social, and religious chaos rapidly progressing around us (and will be unbound in the Tribulation).
Other than the Old Testament Genesis and Daniel, no book of Scripture has been as attacked, misunderstood, and criticized as the New Testament Book of Revelation. The one behind the far too successful attempt to keep people from reading and rightly understanding the final book of canonized Scripture is God’s ancient foe, Satan. Because Revelation predominantly deals with the future, it exposes Satan for being the devious, murderous fraud he is. For millennia, he has worked diligently to discredit Scripture, especially prophetic Scripture, because it is the best proof of the doctrine of divine inspiration. Satan uses every trick of his trade to deceive people into believing all manner of lies about Revelation. The last thing he wants is people acknowledging Christ’s true identity as the God/Man. Satan wants to discredit Scripture because it is his desire for all men to remain in his kingdom of darkness. He does not want anyone to turn to Christ for salvation. With incredible self-deception, he has even convinced himself he might yet overthrow God. He merely needs to prevent end-times’ prophecies from being fulfilled. Thus, Satan is intent on ridding the world of Israel, so Christ cannot return to it and reign from David’s throne (fulfilling the Davidic Covenant). He is focused on keeping people from the Books of Daniel and Revelation so they do not realize how the current push for immoral “progressive” social issues, globalism, godlessness, a cashless, one-world monetary system, and an ecumenically dead “church,” etc. fall into his plans to dominate the earth through his next world dictator, the Antichrist.
Events of Prophecy still in Progress
There are many other reasons, besides not giving heed to the devil and his schemes to discredit God and His Word, Christians should not avoid or ignore the Book of Revelation! One-fourth of Scripture is prophetic (or was at the time it was written). To avoid a study of Biblical prophecy, for whatever reason, is to neglect a fourth of the Bible! Even though a great portion of prophetic Scripture is already fulfilled, there are still approximately 1,527 Old Testament prophecies and 319 New Testament prophecies concerning the events and circumstances of the Lord’s Second Coming and the establishment of His Kingdom that remain unfulfilled. Revelation tells of their yet-future fulfillment.
Actually, of the 333 prophecies directly concerning Christ, only 109 were fulfilled at His First Coming! There are still 224 prophecies to be fulfilled at His Second Coming. Christ personally spoke of His Return 21 times, and there are over 50 New Testament warnings given to be ready for it!
End Time Signs
As never before, the “signs of the times” are pointing to the final days predicted in Bible prophecy. God’s prophetic clock is ticking in time-bomb fashion. Israel has become the “cup of trembling” predicted in Zechariah 12:2. The media is focused on her almost daily, for everyone fears (with good reason) that her struggle for survival may trigger World War III. The “lukewarm” state of Christendom (pictured by the church of Laodicea, which represents the final “stage” of Church history – 3:14-22), the increase in apostasy (the falling away from the truth of the Gospel), and the subsequent religious ecumenical movement are further evidences we are in the latter days (II Thessalonians 2:3).
The Prophet Daniel, 2,500 years ago, predicted a tremendous growth in knowledge at the end of the age (Daniel 12:4). The “Age of Cyberspace” has hit like a storm. Knowledge and its availability through the “data highway” of the Internet, has exploded with an impact that would shock the people of Daniel’s day – and even those of 100 years ago. The last few decades have brought such changes in the gathering and dissemination of knowledge, even the developers are amazed. The World Wide Web links even the most remote places on earth with instant communication capacity. Our planet’s population is networking into one world, as dreamy-eyed utopian hopefuls have long planned (without considering Jesus Christ, the only One Who will make an earthly “utopia” possible).
Evolutionary Progress is Deceiving
Because knowledge has increased at a pace beyond comprehension, secular man has deceived himself to believe his evolutionary progress to “godhood” is here. That false concept creates a nightmare, as each individual devises a world of his choosing and determines the parameters of his existence. Truth is whatever the individual wants it to be! The secular (and increasingly satanic) world of the Twenty-First Century is determined to rid itself of the moral absolutes of God’s Word and replace them with whatever seems right in its own eyes (Judges 21:25). Men without Christ are blindly and busily creating their own version of reality. Thus, sexual promiscuity and perversions of every possible imagination, crime, abortions (even infanticide), sex trafficking, drug and alcohol addictions, and other consequences of a self-gratifying society are at epidemic proportions.
It is a return to the day of the Babel builders of Genesis chapter 11 as men again attempt to create a world of their design. They even have a one-world language, generically known as “computerese“.
Establishing a One World Stage
On the geo-political stage, Russia is dangerously unsettled, restless, increasingly anti-Western, and predictably anti-Semitic. She looms as an ominous threat to Israel, especially with her strong monetary and military support of Iran. The War of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38 and 39) prophesies of a Russia-Iran alliance (with a number of Islamic nations) going against Israel to spoil and annihilate her. The world is set for such a scenario, and this should be sending strong warning bells to all that the Biblically predicted troublesome Tribulation times are just ahead.
Then there is China. After centuries of silence, China, the great dragon to the East, has woken up! With her Communist mindset of easy lies to get what she wants, China glares lustfully at Western wealth and power. Her hunger is felt. Although she possesses 22 percent of the world’s population, her people live on only 7 percent of its landmass, and her arable land resources are rapidly declining.
Also fitting into latter day prophecy, the European Union has as its “goal” not just a common market to establish easier trade and commerce for the well-being of Europeans, but total integration; one solid power bloc to reach world unity. A united Europe Biblically qualifies for the end-time world rule of the Antichrist. The unique system she has established corresponds precisely to Daniel’s prophetic words regarding the revived form of the ancient Roman Empire (the final Gentile world empire – 2:38-40).
Builders and proponents of the New World Order are also unwittingly setting the stage for the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy as they call for the end to nationalism, the removal of borders, and open immigration! The New World Movement proposes religious amalgamation. It preaches Satan’s age-old lie that there are many ways to God. Worship of “Mother Earth” (Gaianism) and other pagan practices (animism, Wicca, Satanism) are flourishing, fertilized by a re-born interest in psychic and occultic powers. The proliferation of drugs, alcohol, fornication, pornography, and all kinds of immoral activities, promoted by godless university systems, open the youth of our world to every kind of seducing demonic influence.
Ecology has Bad News
Add to this “bad news” the distrustful nations that either have or are working diligently to have nuclear or biological capability! Add the serious concern of astronomers about the increased number of asteroids and other heavenly debris approaching our planet in dimensions and numbers that present ever-deeper dangers to life on earth! Add the ecologists’ concerns that we are depleting our planet’s vital resources to maintain life. Add the notable increase in earthquakes, massive fires, locust hordes, political unrest, and global pandemics, and we realize why God’s Word predicts there will come a time when conditions on earth are so frightful, men’s hearts fail them for fear (Luke 21:26)
Encouraging Others as Christians
For Christians, however, there need not be fear! All these circumstances are only further proof of God’s sovereignty. He is in control. He knows the end from the beginning and will use even the evil of man for His good purposes (Isaiah 46:10; Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28). It is exciting to see events coming together in the way God predicted through His prophets, for these things indicate the Lord’s Return is very near at hand. Having a proper understanding of Revelation should motivate Christians to live steadfast in our dedication and service, ever mindful that our Bridegroom could come for us at any moment. Knowing His plan to remove His Church, while also knowing about the horrific Tribulation that awaits those who do not know Him should inspire us to be more concerned for the lost everywhere around us!
There are always “the last day” scoffers, “walking after their own lusts,”who sarcastically ask, “Where is the promise of Jesus’ Return those crazy Christians have talked about for 2,000 years! What a joke! As long as anyone can remember, everything remains as it was from the beginning! Jesus is not coming!” (paraphrased II Peter 3:3, 4).
If you are one of these scoffers, be warned! Those who perished in the Flood scoffed at Noah while he looked ridiculous building a huge boat nowhere near a large body of water. If you are one of the scoffers, there is a particular book in Scripture you ought to read! It contains warnings far more serious than you can imagine. It is called “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” and it predicts the climax of the ages and the sequence of events leading to the Lord’s Return. Since God’s predictions concerning His Son’s First Coming were fulfilled literally and with precision accuracy, you should be warned that God’s predictions of Christ’s Second Coming also will be fulfilled literally and with precision accuracy. The most solemn reason skeptics should read Revelation is because it reveals the two eternal destinies of men, and how they can and should make Heaven their eternal home.
Effective in the Present
Revelation reveals God’s future plans, and understanding the future helps us live more effectively in the present. But this book is not just revelation of the future; it is “the revelation of Jesus Christ”. We cannot divorce the Person from the prophecy, for without Christ, there would be no fulfillment of the prophecy. When Christians study Revelation, they get to better know its Author, and to know Him better is to love Him more; to love Him more, is to serve Him more wholeheartedly.
It is estimated that more than two-thirds of Revelation’s verses contain quotations or allusions to the Old Testament, particularly from the Books of Isaiah and Daniel. There is nothing strange about the final book of Scripture. It is merely the consummation and capstone of God’s program for history. Without it, the Bible would be an unfinished book.
Envelope of Blessings
Although there are blessings received from reading any portion of God’s Word, Revelation is the only book in Scripture to specifically promise a blessing on those who read and hear (heed) its words! Ironically, of the 66 books of Scripture, Revelation is the least understood and studied, yet it begins (1:3) and ends (22:7) with a promised blessing for its readers. The Book of Revelation is not a mystery, as many believe. It is given to us by God for our instruction in righteousness and our edification (II Timothy 3:16). The Christian who avoids studying it, robs himself of God’s blessings!
It is tragic, and truly a work of Satan that so many churches have done exactly what God told them not to do. He said, “Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand” (Revelation 22:10). Unlike God’s instruction to Daniel to seal his book, even to the time of the end (12:4), Revelation was not to be sealed. Thus, of all the books for today, Revelation is the one book in particular that should be read and studied!
Local and National Ladies Bible Study Groups
If you would like to host a Bible study on Revelation in your home, please let us know! Several have begun already, so if you are interested in learning more, contact Terry Doby. It does not matter where you are located, you have access to our lessons on the podcast (they are totally free), which you can find at: www.caldwellcommentaries.podbean.com AND you can get the accompanying study books from Scripture Truth Book Company: www.scripturetruth.com
Personal Note from Katherine
I would encourage you to study the Book of Revelation even alone or with a spouse, friend, neighbor, co-worker, etc. Our time here is getting shorter and shorter, and all the signs of the end indicate that is not just a “theory,” but a fact. This final “chapter” of Scripture will help you understand a lot of things you likely never “put together” before in your mind. Let us be ready for Christ at His Return by having a proper comprehension of His full redemption plan for mankind and for earth.
It has been a long time since I wrote a “Caldwell Chronicle,” and that is partially because I did not want to burden you with too many of these. I know I tend to be “long-winded” once my fingers hit the keyboard! Another reason for not having written lately is because I have been very busy with other projects! I am finishing our newest commentary on “CHRIST in EXODUS” and just completed working with my designer on the cover for the book. It is beautiful! I will let you know when we publish (I have a few more chapters to write). Also, I am helping homeschool one of my grandchildren (wow! I really commend you young Moms! It is quite an undertaking!). Furthermore, I am re-editing Revelation Vol. I (much, much improved – getting help from Mercedes Dean), and finished re-editing Life of Christ Vol. 4. I have long wanted to re-write all my “older” books, so this “stay-at-home” thing has given me that time!
Caldwell Commentaries Podcast Growing
A big project has been the Podcast. With the immense help of Marty Rathburn and Natalie Fullmer (both in our Moore County Bible study), we have now (as of today) edited, downloaded, written summaries for, and posted 420 one-hour long Bible messages! This takes time and a unified effort (based on past work of many other women, as well – including Terry Doby and Louise Mann, plus many who worked on our sound system for the past 35 years!) The GREAT NEWS is that TOGETHER we have now (as of today) 10,170 downloaded messages, which have been heard by people from the following countries (from six continents): U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, Lithuania, Japan, Singapore, Norway, France, South Africa, Ireland, Germany, Romania, India, the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, Israel, Jamaica, Brazil, the Philippines, New Zealand, Chile, Australia, Czech Republic, and Hong Kong (one other unidentified country)!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY, GREAT THINGS HE HATH DONE! This is truly His work; His Spirit using His Word about His Son to reach “the uttermost parts” of the world. We sow the Seed; He multiplies!