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  • Interpretation of the book of Revelation

    Hello friends! I am currently reading God's Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts and in the final chapter he is talking about the book of Revelation. He points out three different views to the book (and then his own) which are as follows:

    1) Preterist - says that all the symbols refers exclusively to people or institutions at the time John was writing

    2) Historicist - says that Revelation is a chronological account of the different eras throughout history from the first century to the second coming of Christ

    3) Futurist - says that chapter 4 onwards describes only the events at the very end of the world, in the short period leading up to the return of Christ.

    4) Author's view - Revelation describes what will happen in the whole of "the last days" between the ascension of Christ and his second coming. Revelation is not a time chart but there are sequences arranged in parallel. For instance, the seals, the trumpets, and the bowls do not follow on from one another; they all describe the same period. So, for example, the four horsemen have been active, and will be active, throughout the last days. They represent the imperialistic aggression, bloodshed, economic instability, and death that will mark every age until Christ returns.

    I personally believe that the book of Revelation is the "futurist" view. I cannot agree with his view because I take (as bulk) Revelation literally. I do not agree with him that it started at the ascension of Christ because I simply don't see, anything that Revelation describes, in our world today. What do you believe?

    Furthermore, what do you think about his idea of parallelism? Since I take Revelation more literally, I take it at face value, in order as the events are described, not being parallel to one another.

  • #2
    Originally posted by bhoup View Post

    Furthermore, what do you think about his idea of parallelism? Since I take Revelation more literally, I take it at face value, in order as the events are described, not being parallel to one another.
    Hey bhoup!
    Hope you had a good start to your New Year!

    Anyway, here's a question / comment for you.
    You say you take Revelation literally & at face value..... correct?

    Sooooo... How do you interpret John's writing when he says he's writing TO the seven churches in Asia, & that these things must SOON take place, and the time is AT HAND?

    Even from a LITERAL / Face Value position, it seems like the intended context meant soon & near & at hand.

    Know what I mean?

    Anyway, just a little something to think about during your studies.
    Hebrews 11:1 Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    _______________________________________________
    There was a time when I used to think Macro-evolution might be a possibility..... but then I GREW UP!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Meike & I have the same birthday! Na-na na, na-na!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by markdrums View Post
      Hey bhoup!
      Hope you had a good start to your New Year!

      Anyway, here's a question / comment for you.
      You say you take Revelation literally & at face value..... correct?

      Sooooo... How do you interpret John's writing when he says he's writing TO the seven churches in Asia, & that these things must SOON take place, and the time is AT HAND?

      Even from a LITERAL / Face Value position, it seems like the intended context meant soon & near & at hand.

      Know what I mean?

      Anyway, just a little something to think about during your studies.
      Rev 1:1 The 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:

      One thing about Revelation is clear, John was writing about things that had NOT happened YET. Whether it be the next day, week, month, or millenium, it was about things that were still to come.

      The "latter times" from the context of that phrases use is anytime "after" Yahushua ascended. Be that the next day, or today. The thing to keep in mind about John, is that he was in "the spirit." That which he was seeing was being given to him by God...who himself exists outside of time. So a statement like "must shortly come to pass" can really mean anytime after the writing.

      One thing that has stood out to me in Revelation is the line John writes in 15:2-

      "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God."

      If this event takes place in the desert, this can probably only describe a nuclear bomb. The heat so instense, the sand will melt and become as a sea of glass, with little pockets of fire here and there. This then leads me to conclude that at least in part, Revelation is dealing with issues and events post WW2.

      Peace.
      Ken

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by kenrank View Post
        Rev 1:1 The 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:

        One thing about Revelation is clear, John was writing about things that had NOT happened YET. Whether it be the next day, week, month, or millenium, it was about things that were still to come.

        The "latter times" from the context of that phrases use is anytime "after" Yahushua ascended. Be that the next day, or today. The thing to keep in mind about John, is that he was in "the spirit." That which he was seeing was being given to him by God...who himself exists outside of time. So a statement like "must shortly come to pass" can really mean anytime after the writing.

        One thing that has stood out to me in Revelation is the line John writes in 15:2-

        "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God."

        If this event takes place in the desert, this can probably only describe a nuclear bomb. The heat so instense, the sand will melt and become as a sea of glass, with little pockets of fire here and there. This then leads me to conclude that at least in part, Revelation is dealing with issues and events post WW2.

        Peace.
        Ken
        I appreciate the well put reply! Your views are explained quite clearly, and it's easy to know WHY you hold your view.

        I still have trouble seeing how the majority of Revelation deals with events that are still in the future.

        When we look at Daniel's vision, he was told to seal up the prophecy because the time was far off, and that turned out to be a few hundred years.

        John however, was told NOT to seal up his prophecy because the time was at hand.... So I don't see how 2000+ years could mean soon, near, at hand when a couple hundred years was far-off.

        Hebrews 11:1 Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
        _______________________________________________
        There was a time when I used to think Macro-evolution might be a possibility..... but then I GREW UP!
        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Meike & I have the same birthday! Na-na na, na-na!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          bhoup, here's what I had to do to make it make sense. My measley mind needed a visual once I saw they weren't linear or concurrent! I wrote up the seals, bowls, trumpets vertically on a piece of paper in columns. Cut them apart into their strips, and matched up events in each by sliding the strips to do so. It gave me a new starting point to grasp Revelation.

          See what you get.
          Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
          Not second or third, but first.
          Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
          when He is the source of all hope,
          when His love is received and freely given,
          holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
          will all other things be added unto to you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by markdrums View Post

            John however, was told NOT to seal up his prophecy because the time was at hand.... So I don't see how 2000+ years could mean soon, near, at hand when a couple hundred years was far-off.

            In God time it's days. That's soon.
            Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
            Not second or third, but first.
            Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
            when He is the source of all hope,
            when His love is received and freely given,
            holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
            will all other things be added unto to you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by markdrums View Post
              I appreciate the well put reply! Your views are explained quite clearly, and it's easy to know WHY you hold your view.

              I still have trouble seeing how the majority of Revelation deals with events that are still in the future.

              When we look at Daniel's vision, he was told to seal up the prophecy because the time was far off, and that turned out to be a few hundred years.

              John however, was told NOT to seal up his prophecy because the time was at hand.... So I don't see how 2000+ years could mean soon, near, at hand when a couple hundred years was far-off.

              True, but Daniel lived before the manifestation of Messiah. John lived in what were already deemed to be the last days. (Again, anytime after Messiah's ascension) Plus, much of what Daniel wrote dealt with the Day of the LORD, which isn't Sunday per say...but the entire end time event which actually covers a number of years. John wrote of a similar time and event.

              Prophecy is not my thing Markdrums, simply because there are too many ways to take things. But remember this, the OT prophecies of Messiah's arrival were pretty clear, and yet many Yahudim (Jews) rejected him because they did not understand his arrival was to free us of eternal bondage, and the bondage of sin. Instead, they expected a warrior, one who would free them from Roman captivity. So is it any wonder that the Apostles expected Messiah's return during their lifetime? Not really, they were still veiled to the things which Daniel had sealed and that John was writing about in the spirit. John knew what he was writing was to take place after he wrote it. He described a few things that actually needed MANY years for technology to catch up. The description of what is likely a nuclear bomb, the mark on the hand without which we can't buy. While I see the mark in part to be spiritual, not being able to "buy or sell" without it means it has some physical conotation as well. The chip we hear about today? Something else like it? It does fit.

              Peace.
              Ken

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by threebigrocks View Post
                In God time it's days. That's soon.
                Well, I could ALMOST give that one to ya..... but John wasn't writing Revelation to God. LOL!!

                I also realize that God is OUTSIDE of time & space, and to HIM everything is near, or now.... or... well.... the beginning AND the end...

                But John was writing TO the seven churches in Asia.
                And I think he was explaining to them that these things are just about here.
                (He also refers to himself as their brother & Companion in Tribulation.)

                Wouldn't it be a bit confusing to those seven churches if John was writing TO THEM, but describing something that would have zero to do with them, because it would be thousands of years later?



                Just a thought.
                Hebrews 11:1 Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
                _______________________________________________
                There was a time when I used to think Macro-evolution might be a possibility..... but then I GREW UP!
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                Meike & I have the same birthday! Na-na na, na-na!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Right, but if God said soon, it's still soon, right? John recorded what he was told.

                  2 Peter 3
                  7But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
                  8But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
                  9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

                  Psalm 84
                  9Behold our shield, O God,
                  And look upon the face of Your anointed.
                  10For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
                  I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
                  Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

                  Psalm 90
                  3You turn man back into dust
                  And say, "Return, O children of men."
                  4For a thousand years in Your sight
                  Are like yesterday when it passes by,
                  Or as a watch in the night.
                  Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
                  Not second or third, but first.
                  Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
                  when He is the source of all hope,
                  when His love is received and freely given,
                  holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
                  will all other things be added unto to you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by markdrums View Post
                    Hey bhoup!
                    Hope you had a good start to your New Year!

                    Anyway, here's a question / comment for you.
                    You say you take Revelation literally & at face value..... correct?

                    Sooooo... How do you interpret John's writing when he says he's writing TO the seven churches in Asia, & that these things must SOON take place, and the time is AT HAND?

                    Even from a LITERAL / Face Value position, it seems like the intended context meant soon & near & at hand.

                    Know what I mean?

                    Anyway, just a little something to think about during your studies.



                    markdrums, have you ever noticed verse 8 of Revelation 1? Of course you have, but that's not what I mean.

                    Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

                    The part I have in bold can be and is linked to verse 7. Now if verse 7 has already transpired, then how does one explain verse 8 where it states 'and which is to come,'? Isn't Christ yet to literally return in these last days?

                    Isn't the way you're interpreting verse 8 something such as this?


                    Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come and then come again after that, the Almighty.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by threebigrocks View Post
                      Right, but if God said soon, it's still soon, right? John recorded what he was told.

                      2 Peter 3
                      7But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
                      8But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
                      9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

                      Psalm 84
                      9Behold our shield, O God,
                      And look upon the face of Your anointed.
                      10For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
                      I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
                      Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

                      Psalm 90
                      3You turn man back into dust
                      And say, "Return, O children of men."
                      4For a thousand years in Your sight
                      Are like yesterday when it passes by,
                      Or as a watch in the night.
                      I know whatcha mean.

                      And I think the main differences between views start branching out right at this point.

                      The question becomes, Was John describing soon for the churches in "Our regular time / space"?
                      Or, was it just a general statement saying, "Well, it's going to be soon... eventually, ......if not sooner.."


                      I couldn't resisit!


                      God Belss!!
                      Hebrews 11:1 Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
                      _______________________________________________
                      There was a time when I used to think Macro-evolution might be a possibility..... but then I GREW UP!
                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Meike & I have the same birthday! Na-na na, na-na!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by divaD View Post
                        markdrums, have you ever noticed verse 8 of Revelation 1? Of course you have, but that's not what I mean.

                        Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

                        The part I have in bold can be and is linked to verse 7. Now if verse 7 has already transpired, then how does one explain verse 8 where it states 'and which is to come,'? Isn't Christ yet to literally return in these last days?

                        Isn't the way you're interpreting verse 8 something such as this?


                        Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come and then come again after that, the Almighty.
                        Diva D....just some food for your thought. "Which is, which was, which is to come," is the Hebrew definition of the name YHWH. So in a sense, that verse could just as easily be translated, "says the Lord YHWH the Almighty."

                        Peace.
                        Ken

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by markdrums View Post
                          Or, was it just a general statement saying, "Well, it's going to be soon... eventually, ......if not sooner.."


                          I couldn't resisit!
                          eventually, if not sooner. Sheesh!
                          Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
                          Not second or third, but first.
                          Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
                          when He is the source of all hope,
                          when His love is received and freely given,
                          holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
                          will all other things be added unto to you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by markdrums View Post
                            I know whatcha mean.

                            And I think the main differences between views start branching out right at this point.

                            The question becomes, Was John describing soon for the churches in "Our regular time / space"?
                            Or, was it just a general statement saying, "Well, it's going to be soon... eventually, ......if not sooner.."


                            I couldn't resisit!


                            God Belss!!
                            Not to walk on 3Rocks...but I was about to sign off and wanted to give my 2 cents on this. I think John was in the spirit...but he is/was still a man. In his mind, in the mind of all the Apostles, Yahushua was going to return in their lifetime. One can be inspired to do something and not be perfect in execution. Look at Paul (I believe it was Paul) in Hebrews:

                            Heb. 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

                            Even Paul refers to those days as the last days...but we know they weren't because we have 2000 years worth of well recorded history to prove otherwise. At least, the last days don't necessarily refer to the very last days, the time of the wrath, the revelation of the man of sin, etc. The "last days" refers to anytime after Messiah and until his return. So John saw a future event, records it for us as it was given to him, but he does so through his perspective, which was, that Messiah could or probably would, return before he died. His message was correct, his conclusion was wrong.

                            Peace.
                            Ken

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, Paul saying these last days - they have been. Two, give or take a bit, to be exact. Just for us it's 2000 years.
                              Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
                              Not second or third, but first.
                              Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
                              when He is the source of all hope,
                              when His love is received and freely given,
                              holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
                              will all other things be added unto to you.

                              Comment

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