Most Christians have trouble understanding the Book of Revelation. If you’re confused about this complicated book, you’re not alone. One of the reasons is because of the apocalyptic language that is not commonly used today. Even though Revelation is confusing, it is still important to understand the meaning behind the book. One of the big things readers of Revelation should do is focus on the big themes. It also helps us to see the big truth that one day God will triumph over death and evil through Christ. When this happens, Satan will be defeated. Here are five common mistakes people make when reading Revelation.
They don’t realize it was written in apocalyptic language.
Too many Christians don’t know that Revelation is an apocalyptic prophecy. Most scholars will say that Revelation’s structure is apocalyptic. Writings written with an apocalyptic framework generally detail the author’s visions of the end times, which is often revealed by a heavenly messenger. This prophecy revealed through dreams and visions generally blends fantasy and reality. There is usually a divine interpreter present to help readers understand the complex nature of what they are reading.
In Revelation, John uses end-of-the-world language, which we commonly see in apocalyptic literature. The words used in the book speak to the people of biblical times but often go over our heads because we don’t understand who the book was originally written for. The language used by John was done in a way that would get a reaction. The book is also poetic, aiming to persuade the audience.
They don’t know the background of the book.
Many Christians have trouble understanding the complicated background of Revelation. While many people think the book is the Revelation of John, that isn’t exactly the case. Revelation 1:1 says, “The Revelation [is] from Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants what must soon occur. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John.” It is true that God talked to John in his dream, which gave him the revelations he wrote down, but the true author of Revelation is God. Jesus is the real author of the book, and He helped John record this message. One of the reasons John was perfect for this role was because of his close relationship with Jesus. As Jesus’ beloved disciple, He walked with Him for three years and truly believed in what Jesus said.
We can learn the truth about Jesus’ return.
Revelation should be read as an apocalyptic letter. It ultimately depends on symbols, visions, and Old Testament references that reveal God’s promise of fulfillment promised t us by Abraham in Genesis. People often try to pinpoint the date and time of Jesus’ return by going through Revelation, but we know from Scripture that we shouldn’t be doing this. Anyone who tries to figure out the date will fail. Matthew 24:36 reminds us of this truth, “No one knows about the day or the hour,” so it is impossible to pinpoint the exact day or time of his return. However, we are told by Jesus that we will know when His return is near.” What readers should ultimately take away from Revelation is that Jesus will return one day as King, and we should repent.
They forget about the message of hope.
What too many believers miss is the hope that is found in Revelation. It is a book about God’s victory. Throughout passages, you will read about the sufferings that we will experience. If you only think of it as a book about the dark days to come or the end times, you miss the whole point of the book. It is a symbol of hope. We can find assurance through its message that God will save us and that the enemy has no dominion over God. Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it because the time is near.” The book may be difficult to understand, but this wasn’t John’s intention.
They don’t understand the significance of certain numbers.
There is a reason that the number six is used in the Book of Revelation. Many people don’t even realize that the number 666 is the name of the coming antichrist. We know this from reading Revelation 13:8, “Let the One with understanding reckon the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of man. His number is 666.” This is not the only place that number six shows up. We also see the number six as the number of man. Think about it, man was created on the 6th day, and man only works six days.
In contrast, the number seven represents perfection and completion. The number six is imperfect because it can never be seven. John never intended for 666 to be the devil’s number even though it has become popular.
Revelation may be a confusing book, but if you take time to read it and understand the themes of the book, it will reveal information that will help you in a profound way on your Christian journey. Trust in God’s Word and you will never be forsaken.