Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. [Revelation 1:3 NASB]
John, the author of Revelation, boldly declares his writings to be prophetic. As such he says that a blessing comes to the one who reads, hears and heeds what he writes. I think that this verse separates this book from every other New Testament writing in it's scope and purpose. The book is not a gospel account nor is it an epistle but an accounting of a spiritual experience.
Since 1975 I have been involved in all sorts of Charismatic and Pentecostal groups. For many years I spoke in a prophetic fashion to thousands of people. Most of what I proclaimed embodied what Paul said about prophecy. That it is meant to encourage and build people up. Perhaps that is how we should read this book? Perhaps we should not see prophecy as prediction but as proclamation?
In reality much time is wasted trying to understand what Revelation is predicting. I have not found eschatological charts and timelines to do anything but scare people about end time wrath. In contrast I have seen prophetic words heal and encourage. My purpose is to find those words as I read Revelation. My desire is to understand the prophetic heart of the book. And allow it to inspire me.
Open my eyes Lord that I might see your prophetic work in the world around me.
... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Revelation.