The Book of Revelation with commentary by Dr. Henry M. Morris and paintings by Ramona Lowe
The paintings are a work in progress and the finished pieces are highlighted in red on Page 2

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The Book That Unveils the Future

Purpose of the Book of Revelation

The last book of the Bible has intrigued and fascinated multitudes of people throughout the centuries.  More commentaries have surely been written and a greater variety of interpretations published about this book than any other in the canon of Scripture.

The reason for such absorbing interest is that we are time-bound creatures and, as the days and years flow by, we want to know what future time will bring.  Will we become rich or paupers?  Will our home life be happy and fruitful or full of strife and defeat?  Will we all be destroyed in a coming war, or will the future be one of peace and prosperity?

And, even more important, what happens when death comes?  Is death the end of everything, as the humanists insist, or is it only the beginning of endless ages yet to come?  If there is life after death, what will it be like, and what should we do now to prepare for it?  What is the meaning and purpose of existence?

Speculations and would-be answers to such questions have been great in number and nature, but who is right?  As far as the immediate future is concerned, many competent and well-trained people actually make a good living by predicting the future (weather forecasters, market analysts and political pundits).  Such forecasts are based on sound scientific and statistical techniques but are only partially successful and only on the very short-range basis.

In addition to these, one of the most amazing phenomena of our so-called “age of science” is the burgeoning of occultistic and pseudosupernaturalistic cults and practices, much of their attraction being their supposed ability to predict or even to control the future.  The proliferation of astrologers, seers, mediums and other latter-day “prophets” is one direct result of widespread dissatisfaction with present circumstances and the wistful desire of millions throughout the world to know the future.  Feeling that “science” and “humanism” have failed, people shift their faith to pseudoscience and superhumanism, still desperately searching for meaningful answers for their future.

But these false prophets are still less reliable.  To illustrate this fact, consider the predictions made by the nation’s leading seers at the beginning of 1979, concerning the major events which would occur in 1979.  Each year the nation’s most-read newspaper, the National Enquirer, publishes their current predictions at the beginning of the year.  Significantly, however, they never publish their success ratios at the end of the year!

One prediction was partially fulfilled – namely, that “Ted Kennedy will make a bid for the Presidency” (almost anyone could have guessed this), but the same prediction also said that John Connally would be his running mate.  Another said that Ted Kennedy would announce his belief in reincarnation, and still another that Angie Dickinson would tell all about her secret affair with John F. Kennedy.

The most flagrantly unfulfilled prediction was that “inflation would be stopped dead in its tracks,” along with others that scientists would announce amazing discoveries that would cure cancer, tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, the common cold and the aging process itself.  Other notoriously unfulfilled prophecies include the following:

     President Carter injured in a hang-gliding accident

     Debbie Boone appearing in an X-rated movie

     Fabulous oil discoveries in East Texas

     Pope John Paul II announcing plans to ordain women priests

     An Eskimo girl elected as Miss World

     Food prices dramatically slashed

     A woman football referee in the NFL

     Spiro Agnew wining an acting award

     Ford Motor Company leaving America to protest taxes

     Ronald Reagan deserted by his wife

     California coastline reshaped by a fearfully devastating earthquake

     Idi Amin assassinated

     New planet discovered by the Venus probe

     Jackie Onassis appointed ambassador to an African nation

     Walter Cronkite appointed a U.S. diplomat in South Pacific

     Genuine Holy Shroud found in Egypt

     Muhammad Ali winning a seat in Congress

     First human, a red-haired boy, cloned in Kentucky

And on and on.  None of the psychics predicted such major 1979 events as the Iranian crisis, the Russian troops in Cuba, the tragic DC-10 crash in Chicago, the Nicaraguan revolution, the tragedies of the Cambodian genocide and Vietnamese boat-people, or any of the other really important events of 1979.  A similar record of failure resulted with the Enquirer’s 1980 prophecies.  It is amazing that so many millions of people continue to show any interest in such notoriously unreliable false prophets as these.

Even many Christians are overly impressed by such seers, attributing their psychic abilities to demonic powers.  If they were really supernaturally guided, however, even by demons, one would think their predictions would have a better percentage of success.

The fact is that neither angels nor demons are omniscient and therefore they know little more about the future than human beings.  It is true that men and women can – through planning and working – influence the future to some degree.  Also, through analyses and reasoning they could to some extent predict the future.  By virtue of their greater powers and greater knowledge, plus their ability to share such knowledge and abilities with other invisible spirits, it is no doubt true that angels and demons can both foresee and influence the future more than could human beings.

But only God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.  Since He created time, He stands outside time and thus knows and controls all events everywhere through all time.  He may, on occasion, choose to share some of this knowledge with His holy angels, or with chosen men.  To this extent – and only this extent – can we really know the future, which brings us to the purpose of the Book of Revelation.

This capstone on the wonderful structure of the written Word of God was written specifically to provide knowledge of the future.  This is made clear in the very first verse:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John (Revelation 1:1).

  What God desires us to know about the future is written for us in this book.  Its scope proceeds from the events of the immediate future (that is, for those who would read the book first, the Christians of about A.D. 100) on through the return of Christ to the establishment of His eternal kingdom in the new earth and new heavens which He would create.

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