the Mystery of the Book of Revelation
The Mystery of Prophecies of God
In the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, God sent many prophets, like Isaiah and Jeremiah, to
prophesy about the future events. God also showed the visions of future events to some prophets like Daniel and Ezekiel. But none of them
witnessed as many visions as John did on the Island of Patmos. Only the Book of Daniel could come close to what the Book of Revelation reveals through all these visions. Although
it does not cntain as many visions as the Book of Revelation , the Book of Daniel does provide a guideline on how the prophecies of God were
Therefore, to correctly understand the prophecies of God in the Book of Revelation, people need to understand the nature of prophecy and learn the lesson from history
regarding how the prophecies in the past were fulfilled.
1. The Nature of Prophecy
Many people in the past have tried to use prophecies to predict the future. But most of
the time they were wrong, because the prophecies are not for people to predict specific future
events, but only to confirm the Word of God when it is fulfilled. For God does not want people to predetermine what He
will do or how He will fulfill his prophecies, the fewer people aware of it, the more precisely prophecies are fulfilled.
While most people expect
prophecies to be fulfilled in certain ways, God reserves the right to change the prophecy or alter the way of fulfillment in the
end, just like the way He changed the prophecy of the City of Nineveh in the book of Jonah. And it’s the same way about the prophecy on the birth of Messiah as Jesus was born into this world as the son of a carpenter rather than a prince in
a royal family as most Jews anticipated. Those who tried to use the prophecy to predetermine what God should do would mostly face disgrace in public when their predictions failed to come true because they tried to force God to follow their predictions, which is not right. The best way to handle the prophecy of God is to let God fulfill His prophecy in His way and we just confirm it through the historical testimony.
In the past couple of centuries, many people tried to predict how the “Second Coming” should be fulfilled and they all failed with no exception. The same phenomenon happened two thousand years ago when the Jews tried to predict the “First Coming” of the Messiah. At that time, those well-educated religious leaders, priests and teachers thought they were sure about how the prophecy of God should be fulfilled and how the Messiah must come as a prince from a royal family. So when Jesus came as a son of carpenter and claimed
to be the Son of God, they rejected and crucified Him. And eventually, the whole nation paid the hefty price for their
mistake. Only those “uneducated” fishermen and a tax collector accepted
what God gave them and followed Jesus, becoming the great apostles in Christian history.
Therefore, at this critical time in the beginning of the New Millennium, it is important for people to understand the nature of prophecy and to be open-minded to see how God fulfilled His prophecies according to His Word, not according to the human interpretations in the past. When the prophecies
are fulfilled, the mystery of the prophecies will be decoded and confirmed by the historical testimony and people will learn how God
intervened throughout human history as the ultimate judge of the world and also
as the merciful father of His children on earth.
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