This exposition of the prophecies and visions of Revelation was presented for the first time in the "School of Advanced Bible Studies of the Church of Christ in Puerto Rico" during the years 1995 and 1996.
I had the privilege of continuing to teach the course to a number of groups of students during the following years, to May 2007. Thus, I was provided many opportunities to continually improve the text and the graphics. A substantial percentage of the students had 2, 4, or more years, of university studies, and our goal in the “School” was to present university level courses.
In 2007, Brother Jorge Ginés López, of the Church of Christ in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, completed the two-year course on Revelation (144 classes), making excellent grades, as did also his wife, Wanda, demonstrating a really admirable grasp and understanding of the wide-ranging subject matter of the course. Already one of the teachers and preachers of the Bayamon church, he accepted my proposition to impart the course, a work he continued with impressive excellence through 2015. Jorge has served as a deacon, as well as teacher, preacher, and treasurer, of the Bayamon congregation from 2015 to the present (2021).
From 2007 on, I have continued expanding somewhat the original exposition and polishing its presentation in printed and Internet formats, especially in its formatting. Still implementing these tasks as I translate the material from Spanish to English. Through all the teaching of the material and improvements to printed and Internet versions, I have not confronted information or reasons that would lead me to change the basic, original interpretations of Revelation first presented in 1995 and 1996, after very extensive, in-depth preparation of my own. Students, unanimously, have found them logical. Thousands have read parts of the commentary, and some, all of it, in Spanish, on the Internet (http://www.editoriallapaz.org/salon_apocalipsis.htm), with only a few Pentecostals objecting to some parts, reflecting the typical interpretations of Pentecostal leaders. One Pentecostal pastor in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico requested permission to use the commentary as a guide to teach his congregation.
For the exegesis of the prophecies and visions of Revelation, I set myself the following goal:
To develop a clear, logical explanation, free of internal contradictions, that would harmonize with the text itself of Revelation, the rest of the prophetical texts of the Bible, and be consonant with events already transpired during the Christian Age, as well as also with significant happenings and circumstances of the present time (the first half of the 21st century).
This implies I was not convinced
by interpretations given by writers who had already published their works, and that is the truth. Until I was challenged to teach Revelation in the School of Advanced Bible Studies and carried out my own very extensive personal preparation for the task, when asked about certain prophecies and visions of the book, I usually replied with some
generally accepted explanation by this or that respected author, all the while with my own unspoken reservations, for I did read Revelation without studying it deeply, and those lines of interpretation and explanation often did not seem to jive with the text of the book.
I possess a large number of commentaries on Revelation, both in English and Spanish. They contain an astonishing amount of different, contradictory interpretations. From the most sensational, modern day applications to pedantic, historically inaccurate expositions. I do not pretend to point out and refute every interpretation in them contrary to what I hold to be more accurate. With a few exceptions, such as some critical parameters where I have considered it necessary to reveal distortions of history and obvious disregard for precise textual statements in Revelation that result in faulty applications of some prophecies and visions.
“Revelation: Its Ongoing Relevancy and Fulfillment” is not then a mere recompilation or comparison of interpretations already published but almost entirely the fruit of my own personal studies and investigations.
Our world moves inexorably along the timeline to its destiny.
Surely any perspicacious, studious person would appreciate the importance of also studying, himself or herself, patiently and objectively the interpretations presented here, before making any evaluation.
Though I have developed strong convictions about the meaning and application of the prophecies and visions, never do I pretend that my explanations be accepted as definitive or exhaustive.
Far from declaring this analysis “finalized once and for all” on my behalf, I continue to examine current events and ever evolving developments in the moral, religious, social, philosophical, and political scenarios of our world as it moves inexorably along the timeline toward its destiny. Also comparing other interpretations with the one I humbly offer.
My fervent desire and prayer are that this commentary on Revelation my be of value to those who read and study all of it, or parts of it. There are “eight blessings” in Revelation for those who read, hear, and obey its teachings. Personally, the time and work I have invested in the book have been very much worth it to me and I do feel, indeed, blessed by its amazing content.
Homer Dewayne Shappley, evangelist
July 1, 2021
Chapter 1. Part 1. The Origin of Revelation