Kurt Willems posted this excellent guide for reading the Book of Revelation as it was intended to be read. As Kurt points out, this is the most misunderstood and misinterpreted book of the Bible. If you were weaned on A Thief in the Night or the Left Behind series of books, this will be refreshing information for you.
From Kurt’s blog:
Revelation is a book that continues to be used as “trump card” against Christian nonviolence as it posits a future tribulation and war in which Christ comes back to lead people into a battle, one that apparently contradicts everything he taught during his earthly ministry. And of course there’s the baggage of the “Left Behind” series that imagines a rapture followed by the rise of an “anti-Christ” and a literal 7-year tribulation which fuels a mentality that the book is mostly about what will happen and how to escape that fate. I want to suggest that most of what you have been taught about Revelation, especially if you watched the cheesy Christian movies or grew up in conservative/fundamentalist expressions of evangelicalism, is wrong.