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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 7

The Book of Revelation
 

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Let’s pray together:

Our Lord and God,

After the book of Daniel and the Chapter 24 of the Gospel according to Matthew, we now move on to the third main part of Your prophetic word: the book of Revelation.

We ask once again for Your presence, so that we may better understand the organization of this book, knowing that this will help us to fully grasp its message.

In Jesus Christ.

Amen.



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Revelation 1:1

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him, to show to His servants things which must shortly come to pass.

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Thus begins the book of Revelation, possibly the most famous prophetic work.

Strangely, although it has the reputation of having mystified men for centuries, the book begins with the words «The Revelation»...

It is interesting to note that «Revelation» comes from the Greek «apokalupsis» which means «an unveiling» (from «apo», meaning «away from», and «kalupsis», meaning «veil»).

Therefore it is possible to understand its content.



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Just like the other Bible books, Revelation is a source of truth:

«And [the angel] said to me, “Write, Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”» (Revelation 19:9)

«And He that sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write: for these words are true and faithful.”» (Revelation 21:5)

«And [the angel] said to me, “These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show to His servants the things which must shortly be done.”» (Revelation 22:6)



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Revelation 1:3

Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.

For the time is at hand.

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A special blessing is granted to us as students of the book of Revelation.

In addition to finding help in better preparing ourselves, «for the time is at hand», we will discover the extraordinary richness of this book whose structure and content, highly organized, will surely fill us with wonder.

Let’s begin with a short outline.



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A short outline of the book of Revelation, in seven points



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Revelation 13:18

Here is wisdom.

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A careful study of the book of Revelation’s structure discloses a big surprise...

The first and last halves perfectly reflect each other as if a mirror had been placed in the middle of the book, except for a clever twist (or cross-over) at the very center!

Now let’s take a look at this amazing architecture. (The following tables are based on the work of C. Mervyn Maxwell, as presented in his excellent book «God Cares».)



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Mirrorlike organization of Revelation with a cross-over at the center



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Revelation 22:10

And [the angel] said to me,

«Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.»

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Let’s take a few moments to scrutinize each one of the sections of the book of Revelation, so as to parallel the historical part with the eschatological part («eschatological» means «about the end times events»).

We will then see more clearly the richness and complexity of this mirrorlike organization.



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Mirrorlike organization of Revelation: Prologue and epilogue



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Mirrorlike organization of Revelation: Chapters 1-3 and chapters 21,22



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Mirrorlike organization of Revelation: Chapters 4-7 and chapters 19,20



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Mirrorlike organization of Revelation: Chapters 8-11 and chapters 15,16



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Mirrorlike organization of Revelation: Chapters 12-14 and chapters 17,18



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Revelation 22:12

And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

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All this splendid literary architecture must not make us lose sight of the main purpose of the book of Revelation, which is the same as that of the other prophetic books: to help us properly prepare ourselves for the day of the glorious return of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Jesus keeps a reward which He will grant to each one of us on the day of His return, according to the work accomplished for Him here on earth.



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Revelation 1:3

Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.

For the time is at hand.

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Revelation 22:7

Behold, I come quickly.

Blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

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This twofold blessing, at the beginning and the end of the book of Revelation, testifies to the importance of this prophetic text in the sight of God.

We will thoroughly study this book in the next lessons.



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«The smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God.» (Revelation 8:4)

Heavenly Father,

We thank You for having revealed to us, in this lesson, the fascinating organization of the book of Revelation.

Please grant us Your Holy Spirit, as we go deeper into our study of this important prophetic book, not only to know what the future keeps in store for each of us but, above all, to better know and serve You.

Help us to prepare ourselves for the soon return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In His name we pray.

Amen.


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