The book of Revelation is a difficult book. It is also the last book of the entire Word of God and completes the message of God, through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. As I mentioned in an earlier post, many of the symbols and imagery used in Revelation have their foundation in earlier books of the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testaments. Therefore, to gain a better understanding of its message, one needs to become more familiar with the other 65 books of the Bible.
This dedication will, no doubt, lead to an increased knowledge and, hopefully, understanding of God’s Word; however, if we do not apply what we have learned, we cannot become the true children of God. Jesus was the ultimate example of making God’s Word alive and active. He was “the Word made flesh” (John 1:14). James tells us we need to be “doers” of the Word of God and not just “hearers”.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. (James 1:22-24, ESV)
How then are we to “apply” the book of Revelation to our lives? Here are some tips:
- Read the book of Revelation with a view to understanding it through the teachings of the other 65 books of the Bible. It is important to realize that the book of Revelation is the words of Jesus and he wants us to understand the prophecy of this book. We need to be dedicated to learn.
- Apply the instructions in the book of Revelation to your life. For example, the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 provide information for us to consider for reflection, correction and development.
- Learn about and apply the characteristics of the servants of Jesus to yourself and allow yourself to be corrected by turning away from the characteristics of those who are judged and condemned by Jesus in the book of Revelation.
- Consider the deep reverence and worship of the Lord God by the beings that are described as worshipping Him in the book. Consider what this means for your worship of the heavenly Father.
- By understanding our place in the book of Revelation according to the prophetic timing, how does this impact your life? We are close to the return of Jesus and Revelation describes the environment that exists as we get closer.
- Jesus instructs us to “stay awake and watch” for his coming. What are we doing to “stay awake” and how are be treating each other in this condition?
- Learn about the coming Kingdom of God that Jesus will establish when he returns. This information is found throughout the entire Bible, as it is a main theme. How does this alter and impact your way of thinking and behaviour?
Memorization is a discipline that keeps a person in tune with the information being memorized and helps one to more deeply reflect on what is being learned.
To assist in applying aspects of the book of Revelation to our lives, the following are verses from the book that you can memorize:
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3, ESV)
“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-7, ESV)
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:11, ESV)
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 7:12, ESV)
“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17, ESV)
“Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”” (Revelation 11:15, ESV)
“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!” (Revelation 16:15, ESV)
“’Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure’— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.” (Revelation 19:6-7)
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”” (Revelation 21:3-4, ESV)
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:12-13, ESV)
“’Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20, ESV)
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