If Revelation is clear, why do so many people have trouble with it? And why is it so controversial? We have trouble because we approach it from the wrong end. Suppose I start by asking, “what do the bear’s feet in Revelation 13:2 stand for?” If I start with a detail, and ignore the big picture, I am asking for trouble. God is at the center of Revelation (Rev. 4-5). We must start with him and with the contrasts between him and his satanic opponents. If instead we try right away to puzzle out details, it is as if we tried to use a knife by grasping it by the blade instead of the handle. We are starting at the wrong end. Revelation is a picture book, not a puzzle book. Don’t try to puzzle it out. Don’t become preoccupied by isolated details. Rather, become engrossed in the story. Praise the Lord. Cheer for the saints. Detest the Beast. Long for the final victory. The truth is, some teachers of the Book of Revelation have set a bad example. They turn the Book on its head; they turn it into a puzzle book. In their example they preach obscurity instead of clarity, and of course people end up feeling incompetent.

source: The Returning King, Vern Poythress, http://www.frame-poythress.org/Poythress_books/Returning_King/BRvCIntro1a.htm tags: Hermeneutics, Revelation, Book Of