As we consider this last book of the Bible, we would do well to bear in mind the strategy of the enemy which has long sought to undermine a plain acceptance and understanding of this capstone of Gods revelation. The confusion which exists concerning the interpretation of the book of Revelation is one of many evidences which reflect his desire that this important part of Gods Word might not have its intended effect among the saints. In fact, the two bookends of the Bible, Genesis and Revelation, are of foundational importance in revealing the purposes and plan of God.
If the authority of Genesis can be unseated, then the rest of Gods Word which is constructed upon it, will also be seriously eroded. This, then, is a key aspect of the admittedly clever but unsupportable theory of evolution which substitutes random events for the Grand Designer. If evolution were true, then the entire gospel of Jesus Christ collapses.
As one atheist has observed:1
Without Adam, without the original sin, Jesus Christ is reduced to a man with a mission on the wrong planet. Sin becomes not an ugly fate due to mans disobedience, but only the struggle of instincts. Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god. Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing! Christianity, if it is to survive, must have Adam and the original sin and the fall from grace or it cannot have Jesus the redeemer who restores to those who believe what Adams disobedience took away. 2Similar spiritual elements which are at work attempting to undermine the trustworthiness of the book of Genesis are also busily attempting to undermine the message of the book of Revelation. Morris observes the importance of both Genesis and Revelation as antidotes for existentialism and postmodernism which now characterize secular philosophy:
It is small wonder that the great Enemy of Gods truth has directed his most intense attacks against Genesis and Revelation, denying the historicity of the former and the perspicuity of the latter. With neither creation nor consummationneither beginning nor endingall that we would have is the existential present, and this unfortunately has become the almost universal emphasis of modern philosophy and religion.3Not only do the books of Genesis and Revelation serve as important moorings for understanding our place in the scheme of Gods universe, but the book of Revelation serves also as Gods unveiling to His saints of important future events. The master deceiver is well aware of this and has specially targeted this book for attack.
The Apocalypse not only reveals much concerning the person and work of the Man of Sin, but it describes his doom, as it also announces the complete overthrow of the Trinity of Evil. This, no doubt, accounts for much of the prejudice which obtains against the study and reading of this book. It is indeed remarkable that this is the only book in the Bible connected with which there is a distinct promise given to those who read and hear its prophecy (Rev. Rev. 1:3+). And yet how very rarely it is read from the pulpits of those churches which are reputed as orthodox! Surely the great Enemy is responsible for this. It seems that Satan fears and hates above every book in the Bible this one which tells of his being ultimately cast into the Lake of Fire. But we are not ignorant of his devices (2Cor. 2Cor. 2:11). Then let him not keep us from the prayerful and careful perusal of this prophecy which tells of those things .which must shortly come to pass.4What may be surprising to the newer believer is the source of these attacks: from both outside and within Christianity. Of these two, the latter is more damaging.5
1 How one might wish that all believers had as good a grasp of the essential relationship of Genesis to the gospel as this enemy of the cross!
2 Bozarth, G. R., The Meaning of Evolution, American Atheist, 1978, 20:30.
5 This is due to the fact that most believers automatically know to test unbiblical philosophy and teaching by Gods Word. What is more damaging, are teachers who appear to fall within the pale of Christianity, but whose views concerning Revelation deny essentials of the faith or its prophetic relevance for the future.