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About the Author
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Chapter 1. Keys to Unlocking Revelation
Ten-headed beasts, plagues, fire and brimstone, Armageddon, God's triumph over Satan; this is the picture that many people have of the Book of Revelation. But, while much has been written about Revelation, people have struggled for nearly 2000 years to understand this last book in the Bible. This was certainly the case for me. I knew that Revelation describes what will happen in the future; the glorious return of Christ, the fate of this world, and the beginning of the next. But, the story is so filled with symbolism and is so hard to understand that, for a long time, I believed that Revelation is something that simply must be taken on faith. And yet, Revelation begins with the charge that it is a message to show Jesus' followers "the things that must shortly take place". This clearly says that we need to understand the revelation message, yet it seems unclear. Why would God send us a message that we could not understand and then expect us to follow it? How could I understand the truth? This was the first challenge of Revelation to me.
A second challenge comes from the book of Matthew. Jesus said, ?See that no one misleads you? An example of how I might be misled comes from the very next verse in Matthew 24:5; "For many will come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ" and will mislead many." This verse can be interpreted two ways. One can read verse 5 to say that many will come in Christ's name claiming to be the Christ, or read it to say that many will come in Christ's name (acknowledging that He is the Christ) and will mislead many. The first interpretation leads you to believe that many falseChrists will arise, where the second means that people who acknowledge Christ as Lord will do the misleading. In other words believers could mislead believers without even knowing it. Therefore, it is not unexpected that people will interpret portions of the Bible in different ways. So whose interpretation should I believe and follow? And, if I become so certain of a particular interpretation could I be misled and set up for a fall when the end times come.
The bottom line, Jesus challenged me to try to understand the Book of Revelation and to not be misled. As I studied and prayed for a way to address these challenges a thought came to me; could it be that Jesus has left us the information we need to unlock the mystery of the Book of Revelation elsewhere in the Bible? This began my effort to assemble all the verses in the Bible that address the end times and, through the wonders of word processing, insert them into the Book of Revelations where they appeared to fit. As I began to bring similar subjects from across the Bible together, it occurred to me that similar subjects could be brought together within Revelation itself. This is what started me on the journey to write this book. Once begun, my spine tingled as each chapter finally fell into place. It is an amazing story that is different than what I expected when I began. Jesus has provided us what we need to unlock Revelation.
I have experienced a spiritual transformation by my interaction with the Bible while writing of this book and I think you will too by reading it. If you have struggled with the Book of Revelations let me be your guide. I will show you the keys that will transform Revelation into an easily understood message from God. I discovered these keys through a devotional journey to understand Revelation based on Jesus+ words in the Bible. I will take you along on my journey and share with you the understanding that Jesus' words opened up to me. But first, let me introduce myself.
As you can see from my biographical summary in the front of this book, I have spent my professional career in aviation. So, why is a pilot and government executive writing a book about Revelation? That story goes back to a trip home from high school in 1961 when Jesus first touched me. I have now retired from the government having completed a most amazing career in aviation that stated with flying as a C-141 transport pilot to Viet Nam and around the world, and ended as Senior Policy Advisor for Aviation at the White House. I use the term amazing not only because of the career opportunities I have had, but also because of how Jesus has worked in my life along the way. Major obstacles in my career turned into opportunities and "coincidences" became key events in the achievement of policy issues I was involved with. I believe with certainty that Jesus is actively involved in my life and has led me to see into the mysteries of his Book of Revelation while writing this book for you.
Writing this book was a devotional journey for me. As I progressed from rewrite to rewrite new insights emerged. I realized that understanding Revelation is vital for everyone living today. It is God's message to all mankind to tell us what will happen. It is, therefore, the only way to understand what is really happening in the world and to prepare ourselves for what we will face. I discovered that Revelation also answers many of the questions that have troubled mankind over the centuries such as; why are we born, why God lets good people suffer, what happens when we die, where is heaven, and others. So where to begin?
The easiest way for me to begin is to describe the conclusions that I have drawn from writing this book. These are the five keys to understanding Revelation. The first two Keys I have learned over my lifetime, the final three came to me during my devotional journey to understand Revelation. It is important to understand these Keys up front, because they are the underpinning for the discussion of Revelation that follows.
Key 1. God lives and loves us.
I mentioned earlier that Jesus touched me on my way home from high school. That was a defining moment in my life that I would like to share with you.
I was 15 years old and a member of my high school wrestling team. It was February, about 5:30 p.m., cold and dark. I was walking home about a half mile from the school on a lonely sidewalk. I could see my breath and my hair and ears were freezing having showered after practice. As I started to climb the hill before me, the cold and the fatigue from the practice started to get to me. Without even thinking I said a little prayer under my breath. ?Dear Lord, it sure is cold.? Then Jesus touched me. A wave of warmth spread across me from my toes to my head. I knew that Jesus had answered my prayer. I started to run. I couldn't contain myself. I thanked God and ran the rest of the way home. I burst into the kitchen where my mother was cooking dinner and announced, "I am going to be a minister"'. That event is as clear to me today as it was then. And, while I did not end up becoming a minister, I am sure that Jesus hears our prayers. He is concerned and involved in events here on earth. He lives and loves us.
But don't take my word for it. Revelation speaks about Jesus? direct involvement with people he cares about in his letters to the churches and elsewhere throughout the Bible. At the beginning of what Jesus tells the Churches in Revelation Chapter 2 verse 2 he says; "I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance,". Do you see it? Jesus is saying that he knows the deeds of this church at the time of John. In this and the following chapter, Jesus describes the issues with seven churches of John's day. He is telling John to write a letter to guide these churches years after he was crucified. These were real churches and John did write letters to them. The conclusion, Jesus was alive and loved us when John was on Patmos, when I was in high school, and will be forever. And, he loves you.
Key 2. The Bible is the word of God and he uses it to communicate with us.
As a Christian, I have been taught that the Bible is the word of God and that reading the Bible is key to learning about his laws and promises. But, what about all the Biblical commentators over the centuries who have interpreted the Bible to mean different things, dismissed it as allegorical, used archeological finds to support or change its meaning, debated its relevance to church doctrine, etc.? How could I know if all the right writings made it into the Bible, as we know it? How does God use the Bible to communicate with us? These questions plagued me for many years as I strived to get closer to God. The answer for me is that God uses the Bible to communicate with us in three ways; directly, through the words used, and through the Holy Spirit.
Is the Bible God's message? It has to be. What became clear to me is that in spite of all the questions that have been raised over the centuries, Bible scripture has been essentially the same since it was written thousands of years ago and word of mouth before that. Interpretations come and go, but the words in the Bible have remained essentially the same.
Table of ContentsIntroduction
Chapter 1. Keys to Unlocking Revelation
Chapter 2. God's Executive Summary & John's Preamble
Chapter 3. Act 1 - Prior to the End Times
Chapter 4. Act 2 - Beginning of the End Times
Chapter 5. Act 3 - God Intervenes
Chapter 6. Act 4 - Tribulation of Those That Remain
Chapter 7. Acts 5 - The Millennium
Chapter 8. Act 6 - The New World
Chapter 9. Is the Red Horse Riding?
Appendix A: Definitions from the Bible
Appendix B: Revelation Reordered