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Most books on Revelation have scary covers - pictures of beasts, dragons, dark forbidding skies and morbid mediaeval artwork. This turns a lot of people off and makes evil the primary theme. The scary covers do not agree with the 3rd verse in the opening chapter: "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy". Our cover emphasises joy. Revelation is all about Christs victory at the Cross and His ongoing victory over evil. Revelation offers a happy outcome for those who choose Jesus. Covers portraying doom and gloom miss this point. Two keys to understanding Revelation Some people excuse their bewilderment with Revelation by accusing the author of being on drugs when he wrote it. Some are so ignorant about the book, they incorrectly call it the book of ,,Revelations. Ask any Christian to explain it to you and chances are most havent got a clue. Revelation is for Christians living just prior to Christs return. The bookstores bulge with paperbacks dealing with end times and wild and woolly interpretations of Revelation. Millions of people buy these "best-sellers". We offer you two keys that not only unlock Revelation but which also protect you against weird interpretations. Old Testament key The first key is The Old Testament. Churches that dismiss the Old Testament as ,,Jewish or ,,Old Covenant stuff have thrown out a crucial key to understanding Revelation. Theyve thrown out the Bible that Jesus used. The Book of Revelation uses many expressions straight from the Old Testament. Find those expressions in the Old Testament, understand the circumstances in which they were uttered there and then apply the principle to what Revelation is saying.

Literary structure1 key The second key is the literary structure of Revelation. Revelation is not written in chronological order. The theme of the entire book is the great controversy between Christ and Satan. This theme appears in vivid detail in the centre of the book, chapters 12 and 13. Chapters 1 to 11 lead up to this central theme and chapters 14 to 22 repeat what the first 11 chapters laid down, but in reverse order. It looks like this: A. Prologue (1:1-8). B. Promises to overcomer (1:9-3:22). C. Gods salvation work for humanity (48:1). D. Gods anger with mercy (8:2-9:21). 11:18). E. John appointed to prophesy (10-

Chs 12 & 13 F. Great controversy b/t Christ & Satan. 20). E. Church proclaims end gospel (14:1-

D. Gods final anger, no mercy (1518:24). C. Gods salvation work ended (19-21:4). B. Promises to overcomer fulfilled (21:522:5). A. Epilogue (22:6-21). Please grasp this. Do you see how the Prologue (A) at the beginning of the book is repeated as an Epilogue (A) at the end of the book? Do you see how the promises to the overcomer (B) in the first half of the book are repeated as fulfilled promises to the overcomer (B) in the second half of the book? Grasp that together with the Old Testament and you have the two keys that unlock Revelation.


Our indebtedness to Dr Ranko Stefanovic's superb commentary `Revelation of Jesus Christ' Andrews University Press 2002.



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