"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Revelation 1:3
The Bible says, blessed is he (or she) who reads this book and keeps the words of this book. The Bible also says the time is at hand. When John wrote this, it was at hand. The time wasn't two thousand years away because the book of Revelation covers the past, present and future. Many teach that it is the future and that we will be "raptured" up, so we won't be here for this. That is not true. God wants us to know ALL of the Bible, including the OT, NT and the prophecy books. We see here that God tells John to:
"Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter" Revelation 1:19
We see the past, present and future in Revelation. We see the fall of Lucifer in Revelation when the red dragon wipes 1/3 of the fallen stars from the sky (Lucifer takes 1/3 of angels from heaven with him and they are the fallen angels) Lucifer wanted to have Jesus killed as soon as he was born when Herod had all babies under two years old destroyed.
"And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." Revelation 12:4
Yet, we see that in chapter 12 but that is in the past! This shows as an example that the timing is also one of the puzzle pieces in Revelation. The timing seems to overlap and we will understand things better once we realize that Revelation covers history from our past, our present and our future.
Also, many who read expect giant, scary beasts coming out of the ground with many heads and crowns. I used to before as well. Looking back, that image reminds me of claymation monster movies.
We need to realize that everything is in code and that it takes dedicated study and the Spirit of God to help us understand. Here are answers to unlock some of these codes:
There is a Great Whore that rides on a beast that sits on many waters in Revelation 17:1-6
Code for Waters: Waters represent many people, languages, and cultures.
"And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Revelation 17:15
Code for Woman/Whore: It is a city that reigns over the kings of the Earth.
"And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." Revelation 17:18
Code for the Beast: The Beast is a kingdom and in Daniels there are four. The last will be a global empire.
"Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces." Daniel 7:23
Code for Seven Heads: The seven heads are the seven mountains on which the woman (city) sits upon.
"And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth." Revelation 17:9
Code for Ten Horns: The ten horns are kings which receive their power from the beast (kingdom) within one hour.
"And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast." Revelation 17:12, 13
Code for Days: Peter gives us the code for days and each day written equals a thousand years.
"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." 2 Peter 3:8
Here we show you the code with scripture to explain each code. We must read both the Old Testament and the New Testament because they are both just as important to unlock the whole picture. There is no "Before and After" in these books, and we see many prophectic books in the OT and many OT books reveal our future in their stories. We cannot understand the New Testament without understanding the Old Testament. We cannot understand Revelation with only one half of the map.
Only through the Holy Spirit, with his guidance and teaching will we be able to read and understand the Bible deeper than we ever have before. We all need to ask God to remove the veil off our eyes and to allow us to see what has dumbfounded wise men for centuries. We must read the Bible in the Spirit and not the flesh. Ask God for truth and he shall give it to you, one by one.