Is the book of Revelation allegorical? Symbolic? If we come to it with new eyes...
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass;"
1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John: 2Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3Blessed [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.
"John to the seven churches which are in Asia:..."
4John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.
The Vision Starts
"I was in the Isle called Patmos"
"I was in the Spirit"
Is it a vision? NO.
Is it a dream? NO.
Heard the voice of God behind him.
"What thou seest, write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia"
Description of Christ, not symbol.
- Candlestick = Church
- Star = Angel
v20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
v19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter
It is a record of the things to come.
To The Churches
These were serious letters to the churches, to help them before the end.
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet [are] like fine brass;
1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is TRUE, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; (Isaiah 22:22)
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and TRUE witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
v29 "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
The Throne of God
"After this I looked, and, behold,..." a voice "Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit:" ...to the throne in heaven
1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door [was] opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard [was] as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold...
- a throne, with a rainbow and colors
- 24 elders on seats around the throne
- seven lamps before the throne (which are the 7 spirits of God)
- sea of crystal
- 4 beasts
- The beasts sing their song - "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come"
- The elders bow and worship God - "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
Who is Worthy?
"And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne..."
Continued experience from previous... NO BREAK
1And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
4And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book
5And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 ...in the midst of the throne/beasts/elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
9And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof:
12 Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
The Seven Seals (first six)
"And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals..."
Continued experience from previous...
1And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
All are events on physical earth.
Seal 1 - Rider on White Horse - with a crown, conquering
Seal 2 - Rider on Red Horse - remove peace on earth, war
Seal 3 - Rider on Black Horse - affects the value of money
Seal 4 - Rider on Pale Horse - Thanatos, Hades followed with him, to kill with sword, hunger, death, and animals
Seal 5 - Under the Altar - souls of the martyrs, "how long?", white robes given, "rest for a season... until the killed are fulfilled"
Seal 6 - Signs - earthquake, eclipse, blood moon, stars fall, heaven departs, kings and men hide, the day of wrath is come
Seal 7 - (chp 8) silence in heaven about the space of half an hour, Sabbath? Rest.
The Remnant Sealed
"And after these things I saw four angels ..."
1 ...four angels standing on the four corners of the earth
3 ...Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
4And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude..."
9After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
13And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
The Seventh Seal
"And when he had opened the seventh seal,..."
Seal 7 - silence in heaven about the space of half an hour, Sabbath? Rest.
3And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer [it] with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4And the smoke of the incense, [which came] with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. 5And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast [it] into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
The Seven Trumpets (first six)
"And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound"
"And the [nth] angel sounded..."
Trumpet 1 - hail and fire mingled with blood, third of trees/grass
Trumpet 2 - mountain of fire cast into sea, third part blood, sealife dies, ships
Trumpet 3 - star (Wormwood) from heaven, third of rivers/springs, men died from bitter water
Trumpet 4 - sun and moon and stars darkened, a third part of day/night not shone
Trumpet 5 -(WOE 1) star (angel) fall to earth, w/key to tartarus, locusts released, to hurt un-sealed, king "destruction"
Trumpet 6 - 4 angels loosed, armies kill a third of the men, by fire/smoke brimstone, the rest of men do not repent
Trumpet 7 - (Chp 11) Voices: Kingdoms of the Kosmos are God's and Christ's, Forever
Angel, 7 Thunders and the Little Book
"And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven ..."
Angel with little book.
Seven thunders utter their voices.
Seal up these things.
When the 7th angel sounds... the mystery of God would be finished.
Book is eaten, and bitter.
Tribulation and the 2 Witnesses
"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod:..."
11:2 - "the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months."
2 witnesses give testimony.
Beast wars against and kills them.
Dead 3.5 days, then resurrected.
Ascended to heaven in a cloud.
Trumpet 7 - Voices: Kingdoms of the Kosmos are God's and Christ's, Forever
The Kingdoms of this world are God's and Christ's.
24 elders worship.
The Nations were angry, wrath is come.
Time of the judgment of the dead is come.
Temple of God opened in heaven... lightning, thunder, earthquake, great hail.
Woman and the Child and the Dragon
"And there appeared a great wonder (sign) in heaven..."
A story given in signs.
This section (Chp 12) is a parenthesis, a section of explaination to help John understand the players and the sequence of events.
Not allegorical - "the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence"
Not metaphor - "a figure of speech that describes an object or action in a way that isn't literally true, but helps explain an idea or make a comparison"
Symoblogical - my definition: "Certain actors in a story are symbols for either persons or peoples, but the events and sequence of the story is real. Done to simplify a complicated narrative."
Woman = Israel
Child/Man = Christ
Dragon = Satan
Symbols are EXPLAINED.
"the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world"
"the power of his Christ"
"the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed"
The narrative of the event sequence from the birth of Christ, to the "last days" judgment of 70 AD.
The Beast of the Sea and the Beast of the Land
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea..."
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; ..."
Beast of the Sea = Fallen Angel 1, Power behind Nero, and Rome
- description matches Dan 7:4-6
- power given by Dragon (Satan)
- one head wounded, Nero, but Rome survives
- 42 months, makes war against the saints (holy)
- number of the beast is that of a man, 666 (neron kaiser)
Beast of the Land = Fallen Angel 2, Power behind Simon Magus
- like a lamb (Christ), spake as a dragon (Satan) - had claimed to be Jesus
- caused people to worship Rome/Caesar/Nero
- did wonders, levitation, spirit-infusion of statues to talk (image of the 1st beast)
The Redeemed and the Gospel
"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion..."
Chp 14: 1-13
14:1 - the 144,000 standing with Christ on Mt. Zion (heaven), with God's mark (not the beast's)
Singing before the throne.
The firstfruits unto God and Christ.
14:6 - the everlasting gospel goes out to every nation, every people
14:8 - "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."
vs 9-11 "If any man worship the beast... and receive his mark... shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God ... fire and brimstone ...forever"
vs 13 - those who die in the Lord from now on will rest from their labors and their works will follow them
"And I looked, and behold a white cloud,..."
Christ reaps His saints from the earth.
Another angel reaps destruction on the wicked Jews "vine of the earth".
The Seven Vials or Plagues
"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues;..."
Chp 15, 16
Seven angels from Rev 1:4, from before the throne.
The ark of the covenant in the temple in heaven was opened.
Vial 1 - earth: sores upon those with the mark of the beast
Vial 2 - sea: became blood
Vial 3 - rivers: became blood
Vial 4 - sun: power to scorch men
Vial 5 - throne of the beast: kingdom full of darkness, pain
Vial 6 - Euphrates: water dried up, way of the kings (principalities of the east) prepared. Unclean spirits from Satan and the beast, gathered them into the place Har-Meggido.
Vial 7 - air: "It is done." Great earthquake. Babylon divided, nations fell.
Woman and the Beast Explained
"And one of the seven angels talked with me, saying, 'Come, I will show you the judgment of the great whore'"
"The angel said, 'Why did you marvel? I will tell you of the woman and the beast'"
- fornication, harlot
- dressed in purple and scarlet, with gold and precious stones
- Mystery (Secret) Babylon the Great
- the great city... Israel? Spiritual Place/Babylon?
- 7 heads are mountains (7 hills of Rome)
- 7 kings - 5 fallen, one is, one to come for a short time (current state as of 65 AD, Nero in power)
- the beast is in all seven caesars, and the eighth
- 10 horns are the kings/caesars, each has power for a time with the beast (ends with Vespasian)
- 10 horns - principalities, who make war with the Lamb
(ARE HORNS ALWAYS SPIRIT-POWERS?)
- multitudes of all nations
Babylon is Fallen and will be Thrown Down (Judgment)
"And after these things I saw another angel..."
- "habitation of devils," unclean spirits
- all nations have drunk the wine of her fornication
- the "kings of the earth"
18:4 - a voice, "come out of her, my people"
18:21 - " with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. "
- not Jerusalem, it is found.
"the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee"
"by thy sorceries were all nations deceived."
"in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth"
The Defeat of Babylon
"And after these things I heard a great voice..."
v1-2 "Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For TRUE and righteous [are] his judgments"
v7 " the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready"
v8 "arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
Jesus "doth judge and make war" - eyes of fire, many crowns, "The Word of God"
Armies of heaven on white horses
Smites the nations and rules them with a rod of iron (Isaiah)
"KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS"
Beast, false prophet, and kings of the land
Beast and False Prophet thrown in Lake of Fire
All the rest slain, and the air spirits (Gk. orneon) feed on thier flesh
After These Things, Satan Bound, Millennium
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven,..."
The First Resurrection
- the martyrs resurrected, reigned and judged during the 1,000 years, with Christ
- Angel binds Satan for 1,000 years
- nations not deceived during the 1,000 years
- deceive nations
- Gog/Magog battle
- thrown in the lake of fire
Earth & Heaven fled away
- dead, small & great, judged
- thanatos and hades thrown in lake of fire
- wicked thrown in lake of fire
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:..."
New Heaven and Earth
"10And he carried me away in the spirit..."
River of Life
"And he said unto me..."
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed [is] he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Do not add or take away from this book.
Surely I come quickly.
I have studied the Bible for over 40 years. I focus on the Scripture itself, and study the surrounding writings with the same veracity. Bringing literary and historical context to Bible study.