Every single book, in the Bible, is relevant to the church throughout history. We may not think so, or understand how portions of certain books are relative, but they are.

Modern church teachings would have Revelation to be an absolutely un-relative book to the church. The modern teaching of Revelation being fulfilled during a seven-year tribulation period at the coming end of Earth, and the church being raptured out before this time, as this book completely useless. What is the purpose of the book of Revelation?

While end day prophecy consists ’s of future events, that is not the purpose of prophecy. What were the purposes of the prophets in the Old Testament? They were for correction. That is the purpose of prophecy - correction. Prophecy is the revealing, or wake up call, to the actions of an individual or country, then a warning of what will happen if they do not correct their actions or a foretelling of a blessing they will receive if they do correct their action. Revelation is no different. Let’s look at what it’s telling us. 

The book of Revelation is a constant comparison. It starts out with seven church ages and what they will look like. Christ is revealing problems within these churches. He’s telling the outcome if they correct and if they don’t. The seals and the trumpets are parallels to these seven churches, which gives us a full perspective. We’re told of a mark of God on the faithful and of the mark of the beast on the unfaithful. We are given the image of a pure church, in Rev 12, and an un-pure church, in Rev 17, called Babylon. We are being warned to come out of her. All through Revelation, we are given a comparison of the faithful to the non-faithful. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, it’s about two forms of worship in the church. Everything about Revelation is a parallel with what Christ is warning us in His parables. In the church, there are two roads, one which is narrow and difficult one which is wide and easy. There are wheat and tares together, sheep and goats together. So we see Revelation, the part before Christ’s return, is a warning of the pure verse the un-pure church. 

Modern teaching of or at least the manner in which we look at or live upon the book of Revelation would have the book directed to a people or church a seven-year span at the end of time on Earth. Because of this, most people try to decipher the symbolism with modern times. When it comes to the number, the mark, the beast's, horns, etc. We try to decipher the meaning of these by modern understandings. The number has been linked to a man that John wrote to the Johannine church about, the mark to a bar-code or microchip. Unless we fully understand who the book was written to and when the prophecy started being fulfilled, we can not fully understand what is going on here.

Each book of the Bible was written to a specific people addressing specific things in their culture, time, language, etc. Revelation is no different. Revelation was NOT written to us and NOT written to a people still to come. Revelation was written to seven churches in Asia Minor close to 2000 years ago.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “ I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “ What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea
(Revelation 1:10-11 NKJV)

The foundational purpose of Revelation is to inform seven persecuted churches in Asia that this is not going to end, nothing will stop it, though future persecution and deception will continue, in the end - God wins.

What does this mean when it comes to studying of this book? Since God does not hide His truths from His people, all the symbols we see in the book would have meant something to THEM. This means they would have understood what most of these symbols mean. Why? Because there's a blessing for them to read, understand, and do what is written in the book (Rev 1:3).

The reason there is such confusion over the book is multifaceted:
1. Revelation is taught on a scale of "What is it saying" rather than "How do you find out what it's saying"
The worse thing we could do is depend on another person to tell us what it says. Some may think, is that not what you're doing? I fail at times but what my efforts are is to show HOW to study and HOW I came up with what I see. What YOU need to do is not walk away saying, "it's true" or "he's a wacko". YOU need to make sure YOU know how to study the Bible properly and YOU look at what it says; and do so without looking through the glasses of popular teachings.

2. People have no idea how to properly study the Bible
One of the biggest crimes in the church is that it does not teach people HOW to study the Bible properly. Honestly, most pastors don't know how to study the Bible properly. What usually happens is that sermons are passed from one to another and no real research is done. If "research" is done, it usually consists of listening ONLY to those who the person trusts or doctrines they support. One thing is for certain, every denomination has the truth; yet every denomination has error. Unless we take off our denominational glasses and look at Scripture properly, not rejecting others teachings until we researched SCRIPTURE exhaustively, we will never come to the truth. This should scare us because of the seven churches in Revelation 1 and 2, four had something right but it was what they had wrong that was keeping them from Heaven.

3. This means we have so many teachings that are merely repeating what they have heard or learned from another.
I look at all this like the telephone game. Virtually every one of us will remember playing the game where a person whispers a phrase in the ear of the person next to us then that person whispers that same phrase in the ear of the person next to them, and it continues until it's made it around the room. Once the phrase is told by the last person that phrase is drastically different than what the first person said. When the last person says the phrase, the first thing everyone does is look to the first person to see if it is right. When they hear that it is wrong, they start trying to figure out where it went wrong. In the church, the Bible is the first person. Each person is a new generation. As the Word is being passed to each generation it's getting more and more distorted. Problem is, no one is looking back to the first person - not honestly. When there is a discrepancy, no one asks questions - they just keep on believing the "phrase" they were whispered. No one wants to figure out where it went wrong either. This is very dangerous as Christ said the majority of people in the church will not make it when they thought they would (Matt 7:13-23)

4. People are not seeing the book as a teaching for ALL to know
Revelation 1:3 gives a blessing to ANYONE who reads, understands, and does what's in the book. Once we understand this truth, we understand that this book is relative to us. If this book is relative to the churches of Asia 2000 years ago, relative to people through all time until today, then that means that the mark of the beast, the number 666, the beasts, and such are not something that will happen but something that either has been happening or growing over time.

5. People have no idea of where the modern teachings come from
Going back to the telephone game, the modern teachings are SO FAR off from Scripture that it's not even funny. Where did it go wrong? You can find that study here.