Revelation is Easy...
...to find! It's in the back! That's about the only easy part of Revelation for most people, and if you find it confusing, you're not alone! However, Rev. 1:3 says, "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." We should read this book, and study it, even though it might not be clear to us.
Adam Clarke was a brilliant scholar who wrote one of the best Bible commentaries ever, and gave caution when interpreting the book of Revelation. He said, "My readers will naturally expect that I should either give a decided preference to some one of the opinions stated above, or produce one of my own; I can do neither, nor can I pretend to explain the book: I do not understand it; and in the things which concern so sublime and awful a subject, I dare not, as my predecessors, indulge in conjectures. I have read elaborate works on the subject, and each seemed right till another was examined. I am satisfied that no certain mode of interpreting the prophecies of this book has yet been found out, and I will not add another monument to the littleness or folly of the human mind by endeavoring to strike out a new course. I repeat it, I do not understand the book; and I am satisfied that not one who has written on the subject knows any thing more of it than myself."
He goes on to say, "After having lived in one of the most eventful eras of the world; after having seen a number of able pens employed in the illustration of this and other prophecies; after having carefully attended to those facts which were supposed to be the incontestable proofs of the fulfillment of such and such visions, seals, trumpets, thunders, and vials of the Apocalypse; after seeing the issue of that most terrible struggle which the French nation, the French republic, the French consulate, and the French empire, have made to regain and preserve their liberties, which, like arguing in a circle, have terminated where they began, without one political or religious advantage to them or to mankind; and after viewing how the prophecies of this book were supposed to apply almost exclusively to these events, the writers and explainers of these prophecies keeping pace in their publications with the rapid succession of military operations, and confidently promising the most glorious issue, in the final destruction of superstition, despotism, arbitrary power, and tyranny of all kinds, nothing of which has been realized; I say, viewing all these things, I feel myself at perfect liberty to state that, to my apprehension, all these prophecies have been misapplied and misapprehended; and that the Key to them is not yet intrusted to the sons of men.
My readers will therefore excuse me from any exposure of my ignorance or folly by attempting to do what many, with much more wisdom and learning, have attempted, and what every man to the present day has failed in, who has preceded me in expositions of this book. I have no other mountain to heap on those already piled up; and if I had, I have not strength to lift it: those who have courage may again make the trial; already we have had a sufficiency of vain efforts."
Therefore, if you find Revelation difficult to understand, you are not alone! I am always cautious of those who are dogmatic about certain things in this book and have full confidence that their particular interpretation. I am certain God will reveal all to us in due time, at which point the visions of Revelation will be plainly obvious.
However, sometimes it is easy to point out demonstrably false interpretations (such as the preterist view), and others make a lot of since. We'll likely have future blog posts about various sections of this book.