Fourthly, know that the book of Revelation expands upon itself. Early principles such as God's expectation for the church's perfection (see Revelation 2:4, 14, 20; 3:3, 15-16; 18:4) and God's glory (Revelation 4; 10:4; 11:13; 13:1; 14:7; 15:3,
8 etc.) are expanded upon so that the reader becomes more acquainted with God and his expectations as he moves further into the book. Fascinatingly, John expands upon God's plagues that are cast on the ungodly throughout the book by moving from one source of plagues to the next. We read of a book sealed with the seven seals out of which proceeds seven trumpets (see Revelation 511). The plagues of these early chapters have the objective of causing men to repent of sin (see Revelation 9:20-21). Chapter 12 begins a discussion of the warfare that exist between the saints of God and Satan. This war is expanded upon and comes to a climax at Revelation 20:7-9. John returns to the concept of repentance through plagues at Revelation 15 and 16. The bowls of God's wrath are plagues that have the intention of causing man to repent (see Revelation 16:9-11). The more one reads Revelation the more one realizes that the bowls of wrath are simply an expansion of the ideas portrayed through the seven trumpets which are an expansion of the seven seals.
Fifthly, approach the book of Revelation knowing that it deals with generational at warfare. The book of Revelation is just as applicable to you and I today as it was in for the Christians during the days of the Apostle John. Each generation of saints it are called upon to remain sanctified from the tempting filth of the world and o have no fellowship with their unfruitful works of darkness (Revelation 18:4).
Each generation of mankind must face great tribulation to mold them to the [ill image of Christ so that their hope of heaven may be realized (see James 1:2-3; s Revelation 7:13-14). The Babylon of sin falls and fails in every generation (see Revelation 14:8; 16:17-21; 17:8-11, 14; 18:2). They are given their one hour, in every generation, to ruin the lives of many yet the faithful will always overcome and be victorious by the blood of Christ (see Revelation 17:9-11).
Sixthly, take careful note of the many contrast in Revelation. There are seven major contrast given in this book. First, there is a contrast between the glory of God and the glory of Satan (see Revelation 4 and 12:3). Those enamored with the glory of God will fear him and keep his commandments. Those enamored with the glory of Satan will be deluded by the passing pleasures of sin. Secondly, there is a more precise contrast drawn between Christ and Satan. Each is described by four adjectives that depict their glory and fearful power (see Revelation 19; 12:9; and 20:2-3). Thirdly, there is a contrast between the life of sin as opposed to the life of righteousness (see Revelation 14:13). Fourthly, there is a more detailed contrast between the church or bride of Christ and Babylon or the world of sinners (see Revelation 12; 17:1-6 and 19:7). Carefully note the attire of each of these two classes of people. The attire of the faithful is that of righteousness (Revelation 19:8). The attire of the harlot Babylon is that of royalty and wealth (see Revelation 17:4). Fifthly, there is a contrast drawn between the number of the saints as opposed to the number of ungodly sinners (Revelation 20:8). Sixthly, there is a contrast between the super of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9) and the horrible supper of God's divine wrath (Revelation 19:17-18). Lastly, there is an unforgettable contrast between the eternal abode of the righteous in heaven verses the eternal abode of the unrighteous in hell (Revelation 21:10 through chapter 22).
Seventhly, approach the book of Revelation knowing that a clash between saints and sinners is inevitable. It should not surprise anyone today when the wicked hate the saints. The gospel of Jesus Christ brings immediate trouble to man's life by way of the wicked. The conflicting lifestyles of the righteous and wicked are destined to clash (see Revelation 6:5-6; 13:7, 17). The clashing of saint and sinner occurs for a figurative 1260 days, 42 months, a time, times, and a half time all of which depicts a generation of humanity (Revelation 11). During these generations of men's lives the gospel will be available and those who preach and hold to it will be outcast in this world. The lives of saints and sinners clash because they have very different approaches to life (see 2 Corinthians 6:14 through 7:1). The wicked are of one mind (Revelation 17:13) as is the saint (Romans 15:4). When the righteous voluntarily do acts of obedience the unrighteous think it strange (see 1 Peter 4:4). When the unrighteous live lives of sin the saints expose their dark deeds and are hated (John 7:7; Revelation 19:15). Satan cannot stand that even one man would have a mind that is opposed to his sinful ways (Revelation 12:17). Those who do not fall in with Satan and his beasts are killed and or made miserable. A clash of warfare is the consequences of these two classes of people going in two different directions (see Revelation 13:7; 16:16; 20:7ff). The entire picture of a clash between the powerful forces of God and Satan depicts the greatness of one achieving heaven.
John C. Robertson