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  • Properly understanding REVELATION

    Hello all,
    I just ran across this website during an episode of insomnia... (Hey, there are worse things that could happen... LOL!!)

    Anyway, I wanted to share some things that helped me gain more understanding of Eschatology. (aka End Times) Largely involving "Revelation". (But also the Bible as a whole)

    I'll have to periodically do this in several threads, over a little time... but it's worth it.

    I had been struggling with all the theories, opinions, time-frames, etc. and was beginning to get a little worried about when and how these things would take place. I also was worried about "The Antichrist / Mark of the Beast" & wondered if I should start watching for the arrival.....

    Sound like familiar events?

    Here's what helped me FINALLY understand the book of Revelation. (As well as the rest of the Bible)

    Firstly, this IS a form of literature, & communication. So read the Bible as you would read other forms of literature. Picking up the context of when something is "literal" or a metaphor / hyperbole, etc.

    Here we go-

    Now, how does REVELATION start? -
    John says it's to show what must SOON take place, or shortly come to pass
    To WHOM is REVELATION addressed to? - It's a letter to The seven churches in Asia.
    (Also remember that REVELATION was written Around 67 A.D. before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.)

    OK, stop there for a minute. Make sure you understand what John's meaning & context is...

    One other thing to remeber is, the Bible wasn't written to us (in the 21st Century) it was written TO the people, places, churches, etc in those times. The Bible WAS written for us however, & shows us God's love, promise, and redemptive plan for this world.

    After realizing REVELATION was written TO the Seven Churches in 67 A.D. (approx) and was a warning of things that must SOON take place, I was able to get a more clear outlook.
    John also describes himself as, their "fellow companion in tribulation".
    So, These should be your first big clues.

    I think by the time people get to REV 1:7 they're already confused, thinking it's about the 21st century. What happens from that moment on is, they misunderstand the context, as well as totally missing another key phrase. (I'll highlight)
    REV 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

    Believe me, there's nobody still alive today who was there to "pierce" Jesus. This obviously is about the people alive around the time of the Crucifixion.

    Another thing often missed or misunderstood is, "Coming on Clouds" or "Coming in Clouds" or "Coming with Clouds"....
    This is a COMMON metaphoric phrase used all throughout the Bible to indicate certain, impending judgement. It's origin is in the Old Testament.
    (Think back to the first time the world saw clouds, & how they represented judgement..... after Noah built the Ark & the rain came down.....)

    I think people often feel this reference to seeing him "Come with Clouds" means "The Second Coming / Return of Jesus". (I admit, I DID for a while...)

    OK,
    I hope this gives you a good start in understanding how to interpret REVELATION as it was meant to be, instead of like a 21st Century Sci-Fi story.

    I'll definitely be back to continue this, & to try answering any questions or comments you might have.

    And YES, I will get to the Rapture, Beast / Antichrist, Mark of the Beast, "Millennial Reign", Rebuilt Temple (or actually, why there WON'T be a Rebuilt Temple) etc. But it's important you have the foundational understanding, and being able to interpret scripture, based on scripture.

    That's all for now.
    Hope you start to see REVELATION more clearly. Just remember, start at the beginning & pay attention to CONTEXT.
    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!!!

  • #2
    markdrums,

    You struggled but now I would say you pretty much ruined it for yourself by consulting that website.

    Rev 1:7 is reference to Zech 12:10 which comes in the far future re: John.

    There is a time demarcation in Rev 1:19 -- write the things seen (what John just saw), things that are (Rev 2-3), and things that shall be (Rev 4-22).

    I don't want to discourage you and I do want to welcome you here for your further investigation. But in the "scientific method," one starts just as you have with a "model" or "proposition." In testing that model, one soon finds contradictions and so one restructures the model and tests it again. Much of "systematic theology" was developed that way. So let's "have at it!"

    skypair

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by skypair View Post
      markdrums,

      You struggled but now I would say you pretty much ruined it for yourself by consulting that website.

      Rev 1:7 is reference to Zech 12:10 which comes in the far future re: John.

      There is a time demarcation in Rev 1:19 -- write the things seen (what John just saw), things that are (Rev 2-3), and things that shall be (Rev 4-22).

      I don't want to discourage you and I do want to welcome you here for your further investigation. It's easy to think you have it all worked out when studying prophecy and then find out there are some "blind alleys" that don't exactly match up with scripture. I know -- I've been at it awhile.

      skypair

      Well you're right, in a sense... They refer to each other and are connected, but Zechariah 12 is an OLD Testament prophecy, which makes IT a more far off, future fulfillment.
      REVELATION However, was many years later, & referred to things that were AT HAND, & would SOON Take place. NOT, far off from John's time.

      I agree that there are 3 distinct time frames in Revelation. Just as you mentioned.
      But, The events from Chapter One through part of Chapter 20 are HISOTORICAL now. They've been fulfilled. The Beast, the mark, the Tribulation, .... That was Nero Caesar, & The Roman Empire in their persecution of the jews.

      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


      • #4
        How do things end? Is there an end to things as we know it? If there is, what is that end, when does it come and how does it come about and what is it? What does it look like?

        Comment


        • #5
          markdrums,

          All I can say to that is you haven't tested that model enough to ascertain what you propose is true. Just for starters, there was no AoD circa 70 AD. There was no return of Christ in 70 AD -- and this last is why you are "hemming and hawing" about the clouds being misread by most biblicists and why you wonder about all this "literalism."

          In fact, let me point out a danger that needs serious consideration as you go about your study. Beginning with Origen and continuing right on down to teh 1600's, the favorite way to interpret scripture was ALLEGORICALLY (vice literally). Do you know what this did? Well, first off, religionists "destroyed" any future for Israel. Then they substituted the church in all Israel's prophecies and promises. Then it came to the conclusion that Satan is bound and that they were living in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ ( no doubt you have come to this conclusions yourself).

          NONE of these propositions is valid. Every one of them needs to be reconsidered in light of what we know now. And especially in light of what we know about Israel now.

          skypair

          Comment


          • #6
            Markdrums wrote:
            However, was many years later, & referred to things that were AT HAND, & would SOON Take place. NOT, far off from John's time.
            Have to agree, for the most part.

            Revelation 7 describes the 144,000 and they are called "firstfruits" in REV 14.
            Futurists interpret these "firstfruits" to be a group some 2,000 years into the future from the time of John.
            Of course they would then be "lastfruits", not firstfruits.

            Seems fairly clear to me that the 144k are the first to come to Christ when the gospel went out to Israel (12k from each tribe) and after that it multiplies into a multitude that no one could number (7:9)

            Jerusalem worked in concert with Rome to crucify Christ and I believe this is described in REV 17, with the whore riding the beast.
            The beast eventually turns against the whore:

            Re 17:16 and the ten horns that thou didst see upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her in fire,

            Rome accomplished this in AD70.

            Comment


            • #7
              The entire Revelation was given to John to show things - as in within that Revelation will occur some quickly events. Many things were given to watch for so as to recognize when the quickly parts will come.

              such as - the third woe cometh quickly


              Rev. 22:12
              Rev. 11:18
              reward time is when Jesus returns for the church; 7th trumpet
              http://prophecyinsights.com

              Comment


              • #8
                The whore city will be Tyre in Lebanon - see Isaiah 23:15.

                This city is to be punished once a certain king gets done with his seventy years to rule the world.

                Check out Jeremiah 25:11-13.
                Daniel 9:1-2,24,27
                http://prophecyinsights.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by skypair View Post
                  markdrums,

                  All I can say to that is you haven't tested that model enough to ascertain what you propose is true. Just for starters, there was no AoD circa 70 AD. There was no return of Christ in 70 AD -- and this last is why you are "hemming and hawing" about the clouds being misread by most biblicists and why you wonder about all this "literalism."

                  In fact, let me point out a danger that needs serious consideration as you go about your study. Beginning with Origen and continuing right on down to teh 1600's, the favorite way to interpret scripture was ALLEGORICALLY (vice literally). Do you know what this did? Well, first off, religionists "destroyed" any future for Israel. Then they substituted the church in all Israel's prophecies and promises. Then it came to the conclusion that Satan is bound and that they were living in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ ( no doubt you have come to this conclusions yourself).

                  NONE of these propositions is valid. Every one of them needs to be reconsidered in light of what we know now. And especially in light of what we know about Israel now.

                  skypair
                  Hang on there partner,
                  Where do you get Jesus saying he'll RETURN, (out of the statement "Coming on Clouds"?)

                  This is NOT the first time, nor is it the only time this phrase is used. Clouds are a metaphor for Judgement, and the Power & Glory of God. (You see this as far back as Deut.) A form of symbolism, to help get the bigger picture across.

                  There are definitely allegories in the Bible, but with discernment, you can tell when they occur, & when they're supposed to.

                  What you were trying to point out to me is the difference between Exegesis (getting from scripture what the real meaning is) & Eisegesis. (putting your own meaning into it)

                  To say Jesus is talking about his "RETURN" when he's on the mount, & talking to the Apostles is EISEGESIS.
                  I never said Christ would RETURN while they were still alive.... JESUS never said he's "RETURN" during their generation....
                  ....I never implied Jesus "RETURNED" in AD 70.....

                  They Saw his Glory, power, & judgement "in the clouds" with the destruction of the Temple.

                  So, no hemming & hawing here.

                  **Can you explain why the "literal at all costs, whenever possible interpretation" of dispensationalists fails to see words like SOON, and AT HAND, and NEAR, and THIS GENERATION as literal???
                  They are the most obvious, straightforward examples of what should be taken "literally", but people want to change them to mean far away, & a long time, & a "far future generation".

                  Also, What DO we know about Israel now?

                  You can't read EVERYTHING in a stiff, strict, literal way. You have to know a metaphor is still a metaphor, even in the bible.

                  It's like when someone says, "It's raining cats & dogs!".
                  Do you assume that either, A: they're wrong because no cats or dogs are falling from the sky?
                  Or B: that they mean it's raining REALLY HARD?

                  So, again, I'll ask the question;
                  **Why isn't the aforementioned set of examples taken literally, if everything else is?
                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by markdrums View Post
                    Hang on there partner,
                    Where do you get Jesus saying he'll RETURN, (out of the statement "Coming on Clouds"?)

                    This is NOT the first time, nor is it the only time this phrase is used. Clouds are a metaphor for Judgement, and the Power & Glory of God. (You see this as far back as Deut.) A form of symbolism, to help get the bigger picture across.

                    There are definitely allegories in the Bible, but with discernment, you can tell when they occur, & when they're supposed to.

                    What you were trying to point out to me is the difference between Exegesis (getting from scripture what the real meaning is) & Eisegesis. (putting your own meaning into it)

                    To say Jesus is talking about his "RETURN" when he's on the mount, & talking to the Apostles is EISEGESIS.
                    I never said Christ would RETURN while they were still alive.... JESUS never said he's "RETURN" during their generation....
                    ....I never implied Jesus "RETURNED" in AD 70.....

                    They Saw his Glory, power, & judgement "in the clouds" with the destruction of the Temple.

                    So, no hemming & hawing here.

                    **Can you explain why the "literal at all costs, whenever possible interpretation" of dispensationalists fails to see words like SOON, and AT HAND, and NEAR, and THIS GENERATION as literal???
                    They are the most obvious, straightforward examples of what should be taken "literally", but people want to change them to mean far away, & a long time, & a "far future generation".

                    Also, What DO we know about Israel now?

                    You can't read EVERYTHING in a stiff, strict, literal way. You have to know a metaphor is still a metaphor, even in the bible.

                    It's like when someone says, "It's raining cats & dogs!".
                    Do you assume that either, A: they're wrong because no cats or dogs are falling from the sky?
                    Or B: that they mean it's raining REALLY HARD?

                    So, again, I'll ask the question;
                    **Why isn't the aforementioned set of examples taken literally, if everything else is?
                    Jesus comes back only once, so wether he comes or returns there should be no confusion.

                    Mt 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

                    Mt 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

                    Mt 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

                    1 Cor 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

                    1 Thess 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

                    1 Thess 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

                    1 Thess 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

                    1 Thess 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

                    Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

                    Where in the scripture does it say that Jesus "returns" ?

                    2 Thess 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Firstfruits View Post
                      Jesus comes back only once, so wether he comes or returns there should be no confusion.

                      Mt 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

                      Mt 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

                      Mt 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

                      1 Cor 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

                      1 Thess 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

                      1 Thess 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

                      1 Thess 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

                      1 Thess 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

                      Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

                      Where in the scripture does it say that Jesus "returns" ?

                      2 Thess 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

                      Matthew 24- the context is not necessarily end of the WORLD / END OF TIME, but the end of The AGE. The Age being, the former sacrificial system, the old Mosaic laws & ceremonies.

                      Again, "coming" does not ALWAYS refer to "coming again" in the sense of his Second Coming. (or in essence his retun & gathering of his people).
                      The "coming on clouds with power & Glory" refers to Judgement.

                      You can't read single verses & understand what they mean on their own.
                      You have to read ENTIRE PASSAGES, & sometimes ENTIRE CHAPTERS, to know what the context is.

                      The mistake is, assumming that EVERY time "coming" is mentioned it means "Second Coming".

                      Also, to say there's a Pre-Trib Rapture, followed by tribulation, & then a literal 1000 year reign on Earth, only to be followed up with "THE battle" & then the final return, to establish the New Heaven & New Earth presents a couple problems....
                      That requires a THIRD & FOURTH Coming....
                      (First =Birth. Second ="Rapture". Third =1000 year reign. FOURTH= New Heaven & new Earth.)

                      Not only that, But with the dispensational view, You have "Raptured" people back on a STILL CURSED Earth, in their Glorified, resurrected bodies, living amongst "unsaved" people??
                      Also, why would animal sacrifices be necessary when we're in our Glorified, eternal bodies?
                      Some things don't make sense..... see what I mean?

                      When the day comes and we ARE Raptured, it'll be The LAST day / Judgement Day / Jesus establishes New Heaven & New Earth.
                      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 markdrums View Post
                        Matthew 24- the context is not necessarily end of the WORLD / END OF TIME, but the end of The AGE. The Age being, the former sacrificial system, the old Mosaic laws & ceremonies.

                        Again, "coming" does not ALWAYS refer to "coming again" in the sense of his Second Coming. (or in essence his retun & gathering of his people).
                        The "coming on clouds with power & Glory" refers to Judgement.

                        You can't read single verses & understand what they mean on their own.
                        You have to read ENTIRE PASSAGES, & sometimes ENTIRE CHAPTERS, to know what the context is.

                        The mistake is, assumming that EVERY time "coming" is mentioned it means "Second Coming".

                        Also, to say there's a Pre-Trib Rapture, followed by tribulation, & then a literal 1000 year reign on Earth, only to be followed up with "THE battle" & then the final return, to establish the New Heaven & New Earth presents a couple problems....
                        That requires a THIRD & FOURTH Coming....
                        (First =Birth. Second ="Rapture". Third =1000 year reign. FOURTH= New Heaven & new Earth.)

                        Not only that, But with the dispensational view, You have "Raptured" people back on a STILL CURSED Earth, in their Glorified, resurrected bodies, living amongst "unsaved" people??
                        Also, why would animal sacrifices be necessary when we're in our Glorified, eternal bodies?
                        Some things don't make sense..... see what I mean?

                        When the day comes and we ARE Raptured, it'll be The LAST day / Judgement Day / Jesus establishes New Heaven & New Earth.
                        Jesus only comes back once, so when it says he comes at a particular point there can be no mistaking what it means, unless you believe he comes back more than once.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Firstfruits View Post
                          Jesus only comes back once, so when it says he comes at a particular point there can be no mistaking what it means, unless you believe he comes back more than once.
                          Exactly,
                          He's already come once.. at his birth.
                          The next time he comes (to restore creation) is the LAST time he'll come.

                          But when he's speaking about "coming with power & Glory" in the clouds in The Olivet Discourse, & pertaining to The Apostles will see these fulfilled in Their Generation, he is not speaking of his "Second Coming".

                          That's why a pre-trib, pre-millennial rapture, & 1000 year earthly reign doesn't fit.

                          That would require more than ONE LAST "COMING" as in Returning.
                          No, I don't believe there are more than one to go.

                          ;o)
                          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


                          • #14
                            (Also remember that REVELATION was written Around 67 A.D. before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.)

                            If Rev was written in 67AD, ,then why isnt the Jerusalem Church addressed?
                            Seeing that its addressed to the gentile world (asia) suggests that it was written after 70 AD...as the whole church is now in Asia.

                            If every kindred see him coming, this seems to point to his second coming---and reminds me that the gospel must first be preached the whole world---every tongue and race...and then the end will come.
                            This couldnt apply to the 1st century as not all races had heard the gospel at that point.
                            And those castles made of sand....fall into the sea......eventually

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by markdrums View Post
                              **Can you explain why the "literal at all costs, whenever possible interpretation" of dispensationalists fails to see words like SOON, and AT HAND, and NEAR, and THIS GENERATION as literal???
                              First, the "rule" is "If the literal makes good sense, seek no other sense." Your accusations are misinformed.

                              Second, Christ was DEFINITELY offering His kingdom at the first advent. Of course the kingdom had come, was "at hand," etc. You know the 70 disciples? They went out under the PROTECTION of Jesus KINGDOM! Why do you think that the Pharisees couldn't take and stone Jesus "at will?" Same reason. His kingdom was "operative" then but not now!

                              But what happened to that kingdom? It was REJECTED and Jesus was crucified. It became a spiritual kingdom - not a phyical one!

                              You can't read EVERYTHING in a stiff, strict, literal way. You have to know a metaphor is still a metaphor, even in the bible.
                              You're learning.

                              **Why isn't the aforementioned set of examples taken literally, if everything else is?
                              Nero was dead when Jerusalem was razed. Domitian was on the throne and Titus was the one in charge of the "Jerusalem slaughter."

                              Please, mark, take off the mortar board and go back to class.

                              skypair

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