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This week, in our Bible study looking at the ‘end times’ or ‘last days’, we started looking at the book of Revelation. This last book in the Bible seems daunting to most of us, full of symbolism and imagery that we struggle to understand and interpret. Nonetheless, if all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for us (2 Tim 3:16), we cannot afford to ignore a whole book of the Bible just because of these difficulties. Moreover, Rev 1:3 promises a blessing to all those who hear its words and take them to heart.

The nature of the book is such that it belongs to the genre of apocalyptic literature, which is very different to the historical writings of the Old Testament or the poetry of Psalms, for example. This genre, which is also seen in parts of Daniel and Ezekiel, cannot always be interpreted literally, and uses symbolism, imagery and numerology in places. We may feel we do not fully understand what Armageddon, the Beast, the great tribulation, the woman or the ‘Millennium’ mean, but the overall message of the book of Revelation is clear: God is in control and ultimately, all evil will be defeated, and all wrongs will be righted. This message is positive, and God has much to say to His people through this book (see Rev 2-3). We look forward to investigating further in weeks to come!