The Revelation of Jesus Christ
The problem with the scientific view of the world in which we live is that it sees only what may be measured and quantified. This view is dominant in everyone’s thinking though we realize it or not; it is simply the air we breathe. People of earlier ages did not share our understanding of the world. And it is a fine and necessary view of the world if one is botanist or geologist. The problem comes when one assumes that this is the only way to view the world—that the only reality is material or made of matter. There is no spiritual world or world behind the material world. What you see is what you get; well, besides microbes and forces like gravity. But even microbes can be seen under a microscope and forces can be measured. Angels are not subject to measurement, and so they do not exist.
Well, such a view of the world is reductionist in the extreme. Christians “believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.” And the Book of Revelation is such a book to sharply remind us of this. The Greek word for “revelation” is αποκαλυψις (apokalypsis) which means, “unveiling” or “revealing things previously hidden.” The Book of Revelation “pulls back the curtain,” so to speak, so that we may see the REAL world behind the physical. It’s not that the physical world isn’t real; it certainly is. It’s just that there is another world behind this world that will still exist when this world finally decays—which as a physical creation it must eventually do.
So God revealed through His Son Jesus Christ (remember that in Trinitarian theology, he is the Son who always reveals to us the Father) who sent his angel to the Apostle John “to show the servants [of God] the things which must soon take place.” And we are told that John faithfully bore witness to this revelation from the Father and the Son, and that the one who reads and hears and keeps it will receive a blessing, “for the time is near.”
And so John will pull the curtain back so that believers will understand that they belong to another world in which graphic spiritual realities and even warfare takes place. They must understand that in this world they may and probably will suffer. They must further understand that God is still sovereign even when they do suffer, and must not use suffering as an excuse for compromise as they shall be tempted so to do. And as they learn to see God working behind the scenes, they will see His glory and yearn to further that glory through obedience—even martyrdom, if necessary.