Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Book of Revelation: It's really not so hard

Revelation has been considered the most difficult book in the Bible for centuries, but it really is easy to read and understand, as far as its structure goes.  The hard part comes in the interpretation of "what's in the middle," from the Four Horsemen in Chapter 6 to the final battle of Armageddon in Chapter 19.
However, if you look at it in outline, it's really pretty simple.
Revelation is a series of connected visions, which begin where John was (about 95 AD), and end with a "New Heaven and a New Earth;" it's really a prophecy of how we get to the end, and what happens then.  The problems come with the chapters I mentioned, because everyone is determined to interpret them as if his own generation is the final one.  Maybe so, maybe not.  We certainly will see.
The structure of Revelation is pretty much as follows (I'm going easy on the details, and more to follow in the next post):
1. Alternating scenes between Earth and Heaven:

  • down here, where (unfortunately) Satan and his demons have tremendous influence, and everything seems uncertain and confusing, whether in the churches (Rev. 2-3), or with the events taking place (4-18), or with the final battle (19)

And


  • Heaven, where God rules without challenge, and everything is settled ahead of time.
When you think about it, and look at the plan God has for His world, it's unlikely that anyone could come up with a better plan to do the following:
  1. Put an end to rebellion against God
  2. Institute true worship.
  3. Replace the rulers of "this world" with a Divine (I. E., God-Man) King
  4. Make certain that nothing EVER disturbs the good things God has planned.
One of the things that Revelation emphasizes is worship. God is exceedingly interested in our connection to Him in all ways, but particularly in worship.  While mankind thinks almost nothing about worship, it really is the key to the Kingdom of God.  Merely considering the many worship scenes in the book of Revelation tells us that. Worship is probably one of the least considered things in our religious life, yet it comprises ALL of the religious life in heaven.  God is very interested in your worship, and in your connection to Him in that worship. I could multiply passages, but for right now, take a brief overview of Revelation yourself and see what I mean.
Chapter 1...
Chapter 4...
Chapter 5...
and so on.  Just look for the acts and attitudes of worship, and how important this is in the Divine scheme of things.  Then look into your heart, and examine yourself.  How important is worshipping God to YOU? It is the most important thing to God, and not just because He deserves it.  It's because YOU need it to maintain your connection to Him. 
Worship is not...reading your Bible, or a religious book (although God can certainly lead us to Himself that way);
Worship is not...prayer (prayer is when you ask God for something, or call on Him);
Worship is not...good deeds.
Worship is putting Him at the center of your heart, of your thoughts, and connecting--then doing what comes most naturally to you once that connection is fully made.  It's one of the most difficult things people do, because it's so unfamiliar.  You might spend the majority of your worship time just making the connection, and then allowing the experience of worship to fill your heart and life.  Look at what happened to John, in Revelation 1: "I was in the Spirit...I heard...I saw...I fell...I was touched." It's from that point you can truly enjoy His presence, and Him.