"Why call it The Character Map?" This is what a friend asked me when I told her the title of this book. To her, it seemed like a strange moniker to hang on a book that opens an in-depth examination of Bible prophecy. Given the nature of its contents, I think it is perfect, for, like the book of Revelation itself, the title works on several levels at once.
As we examine the introductions that open Revelation, we will meet the hierarchy of persons that John's mysterious opus went through to get from God to us. Hence, on the first level, the concept of a character map applies to the narrators who will tell us all the things that God wishes to reveal to us in Revelation.
However, we will also begin to sort out who is who within the book of Revelation. Who are the children of the "earth" and the "sea?" What does Revelation tell us about the people who were there at the beginning of the world? What does it tell us about the people who will still be standing at the end of it? More important, what does it tell us about ourselves, right here, and right now? Hence, on a second level, the concept of a character map applies to the revelation of the collective players in Revelation.
Finally, we come to the most important reason I titled this book The Character Map: That is precisely what it is! Bit by bit, the first chapter of Revelation reveals the very nature of God Himself, as laid out in a hierarchical numerical system.
This character map, based on ever-expanding numbers, is a vital tool for reading Revelation, for it is the yardstick by which God measures us all. As such, it is a valuable instrument for understanding our times, our world, and even ourselves (which was God's purpose for giving us the book of Revelation in the first place).
This character map is so important that God based the very structure of Revelation on its elements. Having said that, let's begin.