How Not to Study Revelation

“After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea” (Revelation 7:1-2).

The Bible class gathers on Wednesday night and they open their Bibles to Revelation 7. There are right, productive ways to do things and there are wrong, counter-productive ways to perform the same functions.

Here are some wrong ways to spend class time studying these two verses.

  1. Debate the names of the angels.
  2. Debate why these verses claim that the earth has literal corners.
  3. Debate how you can hold wind in your hand.
  4. Talk about strong winds you have seen and how many trees you’ve seen blown down.
  5. Debate the language that the angel spoke and his accent.

My point is that we can completely miss the points made in Revelation by focusing on the wrong things. The symbolism in the book points to the power of God and His glory and our responsibilities in terms of salvation and obedience. The book is about victory.

However, we can drown in the symbols and details and miss all of the valuable material. In essence, we strangle John’s message and God’s teachings do not get into our hearts.

Too many congregations never study Revelation and I wonder how many ignore it for the reasons stated above. We don’t need to be afraid of Revelation. However, we must remain focused on the true lessons of the book and never lose sight of the overall picture John is painting.

#revelation, #teaching