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Here's the introduction to Roadmap Through Revelation. I've included it here because I think it best describes the purposes of the book and where I'm coming from on it. I hope it's a blessing to you!
A Personal Testimony and the
Purpose of this Book
I remember when I first decided to study this book of the Bible. I was eighteen at the time and my parents were running a missionary guest house in Papua New Guinea. This had opened up several opportunities, one of the most memorable being able to regularly teach and preach the Bible in public high schools as well as churches from time to time.
I had the desire to do a sermon off of Revelation, and so I sat down and read it one afternoon. I had heard bits and pieces of teaching about it, and when I read it all the way through I couldn’t help but get confused about a few things. Not the least of which was that fact that Armageddon kept happening over and over again.
That’s right; I used to think that the story of the Second Advent started at the beginning of Revelation and ended at the end of Revelation. What I mean is that I always assumed it to be chronological from beginning to end. What I learned is if you look closer you’ll see the story of Christ’s Second Coming is told four times in the book of Revelation.
I sat there very confused, wondering why there were multiple apocalyptic battles and why Christ showed up at them more than once. Then an idea came to my mind. I thought, “I should go ask someone older than me about this!” I know, I know, many of you are shocked that an eighteen year old would actually think of something like that. Regardless, the wise missionary that I asked about this told me something that would begin a long journey of study into Revelation.
He said something to the effect of, “Well, you know how there are four accounts of Christ's first appearance on Earth – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? Same thing with his Second Coming, only all four of them are in Revelation.”
Immediately, a previously sad and dim light bulb was illuminated in a thought cloud above my head as I unloaded a flurry of questions upon him. I think that’s when his eyes glazed over and he wished he had just originally said, “Beats me, kid.”
When I discovered that Revelation is divided up four times, I tried to find a harmony of it. By that I mean a book or commentary that takes all the accounts and examines them separately and then intertwines them. There are several harmony of the gospels available, so I thought I could find a harmony of Revelation. I couldn’t, and I still haven’t. There are several commentaries that touch on the subject, but to the best of my knowledge there are no harmonies of Revelation. That’s where this book comes in; it’s the book I looked for when I was eighteen, only thirteen years later.
There are three purposes of this book. The first reason is to be a harmony of Revelation. To understand the end times you must understand Revelation, and the best way to study it is to examine it in accordance with the four separate accounts.
Secondly, is to be an easy to read commentary. My desire is that you will find this to be more than a reference book that sits on your shelf and gets pulled out for a tough verse or passage. In trying to make this a book that you will read in entirety I have decided not to go verse by verse. There are several other good commentaries that go verse by verse already out on the market. This is more of an event to event commentary in order to keep things moving. Also, to help bring Revelation to life, there are mini stories interjected periodically that tie in to what is being studied.
Thirdly, to examine all of the major Second Coming events that may or may not be in Revelation. The format of this book is based in Revelation, but it is not limited to just that book of the Bible. Events such as the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Judgment of the Nations, Ezekiel 38 and 39, and appropriate passages in Daniel will also be examined.
Lastly, before I end this introduction, I want to touch on some tendencies people have when it comes to commentaries. People tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater. If they find one thing they disagree with, the book is useless to them.
I wrote this book so it could be used. I would never presume to write a book so it could be believed. What I mean by that is there is only one book that should ever be believed, and that is the Bible.
I hate to admit it, but I’m sure this book isn’t perfect. It certainly isn’t inspired, and because of that you shouldn’t believe it. You should use it. Examine what I say for yourself. When it comes to end time events, it’s very difficult to be absolutely right about every detail. I certainly believe everything I wrote here, but if there is something you don’t agree with, take what you can and throw the rest out.
What I’m getting at is perspective. If you read a book with the proper perspective, you can get something out of it. I read and studied many books while I was writing this one, and I can tell you that they didn’t all agree on the “finer points” of doctrine. I was still able to get something out of them – because I used them, I didn’t believe them.
I hope you can use this book to better help you understand Revelation. One of the reasons I don’t put every verse of Revelation in this book is because I hope that while you read this you will have the Bible, the book you’re supposed to believe, right there next to you.