To attach sufficient weight and importance to the Book of Revelation, the reader must realize how carefully God guided and directed all the details. Such a realization not only gives confidence in the correctness of the prophecy—that not one jot or tittle shall fail until all be fulfilled—but also awakens a great interest in God’s plan, leading to a close examination and careful search for the meaning of those visions (Matt. 5:18).
To be devoid of such desires indicates a lack of interest in, and appreciation of, God’s purposes . . . of which salvation the apostles, the prophets, and the angels all desired and sought earnestly to know, “searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify” (1 Pet.1:10,11). This interest on the part of the Lord’s people is ever pleasing to Him. Though in times past God did not gratify such desires to any considerable extent because the due time had not yet come, He never chided such interest. On the contrary, He called the inquiring Daniel “greatly beloved,” and answered his inquiry so far as was consistent with the divine plan (Dan.10:11,12; 12:9).
Such inquiry, therefore, is not an improper prying into the secrets of God. His children are urged to manifest an interest in His plans, to search the Scriptures and take heed to the “sure word of prophecy,” thus assuming the proper waiting attitude for quickly discerning dispensational truth as it becomes due (John 5:39; 2 Pet. 1:19). To intentionally ignore this portion of God’s Word would be a derogatory reflection upon the character and judgment of its author. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever” (Deut. 29:29; cf. Matt. 13:10–12).
No explanation of the prophetic and highly symbolic Book of Revelation and its “secret things” can be heartily received with assurance, nor accepted by discriminating minds, unless all its component parts are taken into consideration and given a complete and harmonious application. This necessitates a step-by-step approach, that is, a verse-by-verse treatment and analysis of the content. Such an investigative pursuit in understanding helps to minimize both conscious and unconscious evasiveness on the part of the expositor, who is thus required to face up to and address the intricacy of detail.
The purpose of this publication, therefore, is to satisfy the truth-seeker who, being less interested in a smooth, fiction-style, sermonizing rendition, is more concerned with receiving an explanation of the vision in all its minutiae.