|Understanding Bible Prophecy
Many ministers and people declare that the prophecies of Daniel and the
Revelation are incomprehensible mysteries. But Christ directed His
disciples to the words of the prophet Daniel concerning events to take place
in their time, and said: "Whoso readeth, let him understand." Matthew
24:15. And the assertion that the Revelation is a mystery, not to be
understood, is contradicted by the very title of the book: "The Revelation of
Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things
which must shortly come to pass. . . . 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." Revelation 1:1-3.
At the end of the book of Revelation, verse 22:10 tells us plainly: "And he
saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time
is at hand. And the prophet begins his book with "Blessed is he that
readeth" -- there are some who will not read; the blessing is not for them.
"And they that hear" -- there are some, also, who refuse to hear anything
concerning the prophecies; the blessing is not for this class. "And keep
those things which are written therein" -- many refuse to heed the warnings
and instructions contained in the Revelation; none of these can claim the
blessing promised. All who ridicule the subjects of the prophecy and mock at
the symbols here solemnly given, all who refuse to reform their lives and to
prepare for the coming of the Son of man, will be unblessed.
In view of the testimony of Inspiration, how dare men teach that the
Revelation is a mystery beyond the reach of human understanding? It is a
mystery revealed, a book opened. The study of the Revelation directs the
mind to the prophecies of Daniel, and both present the most important
instruction, given of God to men, concerning events to take place at the close
of this world's history.
To John were opened scenes of deep and thrilling interest in the experience
of the church. He saw the position, dangers, conflicts, and final deliverance
of the people of God. He records the closing messages which are to ripen the
harvest of the earth, either as sheaves for the heavenly garner or as bundles
for the fires of destruction. Subjects of vast importance were revealed to
him, especially for the last church, that those who should turn from error to
truth might be instructed concerning the perils and conflicts before them.
None need be in darkness in regard to what is coming upon the earth.
Why, then, this widespread ignorance concerning an important part of Holy
Writ? Why this general reluctance to investigate its teachings? It is the
result of a studied effort of the prince of darkness to conceal from men that
which reveals his deceptions. For this reason, Christ the Revelator,
foreseeing the warfare that would be waged against the study of the
Revelation, pronounced a blessing upon all who should read, hear, and
observe the words of the prophecy. It is to this end that we present the