By Nathan Jones
What surprises you the most about the book of Revelation?
To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy put together a panel of Bible prophecy experts. We invited Gary Fisher of the Bible prophecy ministry Lion of Judah Ministries from Franklin, Tennessee and Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries which focuses on evangelizing the continent of Africa.
Dr. Reagan: Let me ask you this. When you began to study the book of Revelation as a neophyte, just beginning to really get into it, what was the most amazing thing that you discovered in it? What surprised you the most?
Gary Fisher: For me, it was the Jewishness that is involved in Revelation due to all the quotes from the Old Testament, the Hebrew scriptures, that are in there.
Dr. Reagan: Revelation has more quotations from the Old Testament than any other book in the New Testament.
Gary Fisher: Yes, and then if you take the Jewishness out of Revelation, you wouldn't have much of Revelation left. It is written by a Jewish prophet named John. We've got chapter seven with the 144,000 Witnesses. We've got the Lion of the Tribe of Judah coming and rule and reign over the whole earth. Wow!
Dr. Reagan: That actually applies to the whole New Testament, because Jewish people are told today that if they read the New Testament they will actually be committing sin. They are told to never read the New Testament. And yet, when they do read it, the thing that amazes them the most is how it's so Jewish from beginning to end, even in the Gospels, everything.
Dr. Reagan: How about you, Dennis, anything that surprised you?
Dennis Pollock: There have been a couple of surprises down through the years. One of them that I think very few Christians even today really get is just how evangelical the book of Revelation is. A lot of people see it as mystical, esoteric and bizarre written for mystical, esoteric and bizarre people, and not of very practical use, and certainly not much related to the idea of receiving Christ.
But, we find Jesus all over the book of Revelation. For example, the "Lamb of God," that term referring to Jesus is found four times outside of Revelation. We find it 28 times in the book of Revelation. You can hardly turn a page without reading about the Lamb of God.
We find John starting out at the very beginning of the book saying, "To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood." Well, that's very evangelical language. We find an angel going out preaching the everlasting gospel.
So, it's not like Revelation is some separate book apart from the rest of the New Testament that doesn't emphasize Jesus and doesn't emphasize the need to be born again. It fits perfectly into the New Testament. Sure, it's a prophetic book, so yes its different, but the theme is still the same. Revelation is about Christ and ultimately His reign and rule over the earth.
Dr. Reagan: Nathan what about you? Anything surprising?
Nathan Jones: For me it's not what's in Revelation, but what's not in Revelation. What's not in it is much of a definition and description about the eternal state. I'm just shocked about how little we are told about eternity. This life is so short and eternity is so forever, so I thought God would give us more information on what our eternal lives will be like.
Dr. Reagan: God basically says two things" we are going to serve God forever and we'll see His face, which means we will have intimate fellowship with him.
Nathan Jones: But, more than that is not given. That's not much to go on.
Dr. Reagan: The thing that was most surprising to me when I started studying the book of Revelation was when I discovered that we're going to spend eternity on a new earth. I had never heard that in my entire life. We're not going to spend eternity in an ethereal place called Heaven floating around on clouds playing harps all day long. No, we are going to be in new bodies, on a New Earth and in a New Jerusalem. The afterlife is going to be a tangible existence.
Dr. Reagan: Gary, did you have something you wanted to add?
Gary Fisher: I do. Something that fascinates me still about the book of Revelation is the two pictures of Jesus in Revelation. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and yet He is also a Lamb. We know lambs as being gentle, but God's Lamb is full of wrath. The Bible says the people in the Tribulation call out to the mountains to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb and all the way through Revelation. I'm still working on that concept of a wrathful lamb.