05/16 Update - Corrected typos Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (Rev. 1:3). Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. (Rev. 22:7). The author of the book of the revelation is Jesus Christ (Rev. 22:16). The Lord intended that this book should be read and studied especially by His people (Rev. 1:3). It is not a sealed book, as many suppose, but one which is open and easy to understand (Rev. 22:10). Bearing these facts in mind, we find the study of Revelation to be fascinating, illuminating and deeply profitable, instead of difficult and confusing. The messages in this volume constitute thirty-five radio sermons which were preached first over the Mutual Network and by foreign and short-wave stations around the world, from August, 1945, to April, 1946. The response to these radio messages was so enthusiastic and the evident desire for light on the book of the Revelation so general that we soon decided to print these studies on one volume. Hence this book. No attempt has been made to present an exhaustive verse-by-verse exposition of the book, but, rather, we have tried to present the general outline, the basic structure and the framework. We have dwelt at length on certain passages because they constitute the pillars of the book. Our purpose is to present clearly the general outline and structure, and then the details will fall naturally into their proper places. If certain simple rules are followed in reading and studying it, the book of the Revelation becomes clear, logical and easily understood. We present here a few rules which should be observed before studying the book: 1. Revelation is not a dark book. It is a revelation. 2. It is not necessary for one to understand all the symbols and details if he is to gain a deeper knowledge of the book as a whole. One need not be able to identify every tree in the forest to appreciate the beauty of the forest as a whole. 3. Observe the rule of literal interpretation. The greatest curse of the Christian Church is the evil of spiritualizing the Bible. Although there are many symbols and signs in the book, as in every other book and in our daily conversation, the context indicates whether a passage is to be interpreted literally or symbolically. Interpret literally, except where the context or grammatical structure clearly indicates that the reference is a symbol or a sign. 4. Approach the Book with a fresh mind. Try to forget the views you have held concerning the Book because others have declared it to be mysterious and beyond our understanding. Thousands of believers never read Revelation, but carefully avoid it simply because someone told them it is a dark book and impossible to understand. Study the book for yourself. 5. Read the book prayerfully, realizing that the Holy Spirit who infallibly inspired the book is also the person Who must illuminate the book. Never read a portion of scripture without first asking Him for light and guidance. We submit for your help the following simple outline of Revelation. Remember these five rules as you study it. If you will memorize the outline thoroughly, and keep it clearly before your mind, you will have no trouble filling in the details. Grand Rapids, Michigan M. R. DeHaan
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