"All of creation has been hurtling to the moment of the actual completion of the Book of Revelation"
In this thorough examination of the Book of Revelation of the Holy Bible, author Heidelberg seeks to array and explicate issues that many, including himself, have pondered. The revelatory work was composed by John, a close disciple of Jesus and a writer of other notable Bible segments, who was exiled by the Romans to the island of Patmos. There, he was given the vision and the specific wording that comprises the Holy Bible’s final portion. These mystical predictions could, Heidelberg asserts, begin to unfold at any time. Understanding them, therefore, is essential, and recognizing their truths should cause anyone, whether of the Christian faith or not, to delve more deeply into their meanings as the author has done.
An important piece of the enigma is the role of the church. Drawing on scriptural references within and earlier than Revelation, Heidelberg points out that churches have duties, but like all humans, they may sometimes slip and fail in those responsibilities. Yet as end times approach, the task of the church is to alert believers and aid them in preparing for the looming time of tribulation, denoted by symbols such as beasts and seals, that will bring worldwide warfare, sins created not by God but by humanity, and nations and their leaders impelled by Satanic forces. The conclusion will be that for the faithful who have persevered on the righteous pathway, there will be a stunning vision of God, no more night, and no more sin. God’s name will be written on their foreheads. Throughout his treatise, Heidelberg stresses that the Book of Revelation is not sealed. All may access it, and the time to do so is short.
Heidelberg has written on other portions of the Holy Bible while avowing that much of his spiritual contemplation has focused on the stirring predictions of its final chapter. His zeal to share his thoughts in his role as author stems in part from his study at Baptist Bible College, in part from forty years of delving deeply into the Bible’s teachings—especially that found in the Book of Revelation, and, clearly seen in this dynamic presentation, from his personal, profound conviction of biblical truth. In sharing this thought process with his readership, he assiduously provides supporting materials from varying portions of scripture but has avoided quoting from other outside works. Each chapter of his lengthy book is designed to move smoothly verse by verse through the revelations of John transcribed from the apostle’s transcendent messages from God and Jesus concerning the coming apocalypse.
Heidelberg’s prose is precise, diligently organized, and, at times, quietly humorous, displaying a talent for gentle irony. His ability to connect and correlate knowledge gathered from various, appropriate portions of biblical teaching is admirable, as is his sensitivity to the needs of his readers as he maintains a stance as one of them—a seeker hoping for wider elucidation of the complex issues raised. Heidelberg’s work will doubtless be utilized for faith-based discussion across a wide spectrum of religious bodies, carrying as it does a distinctive range of biblical facts, a call for further study, and a solemn alert.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review
- Barbara Bamberger Scott, US Review of Books