The Book of Revelation – Proper Interpretation

Interpreting apocalyptic literature is different than historical. The book of Revelation is apocalyptic and largely symbolic. For this reason, there have been many commentaries published with vastly different views.

The historical view claims that everything in it has already taken place and we are now living in the Millennium Kingdom.

The preterist view holds that the prophecies were fulfilled in Roman history and we are still awaiting chapters 19-22.

The idealist view says that Revelation is cyclical, meaning that it has already happened many times and will happen again.

The propheticist view holds that prophecies have both a short-term and a long-term fulfillment, believing that the prophecies are both historical and futuristic.

Others take the book out of sequence and claim that parts are historical and other parts are futuristic, and that all of these parts are intermingled together.

The problem with this type of interpretation as that it’s possible to make the prophecies in Revelation mean almost anything; and if it can mean anything then it doesn’t mean anything. Also, this type of interpretation doesn’t follow with the teachings of the Apostles.

I believe that everything in the book of Revelation after the 3rd chapter is still future. This is known as the futurist interpretation. This view holds that the rapture of the Church is the next event to take place, which will end the Church age and begin the events in chapter 4 of the book of Revelation. I believe this view is in harmony with Revelation 1:19, the key of interpreting the book of Revelation.

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; (Rev 1:19 KJV)

This is the view that I will follow in this study of the book of revelation.

Other key points about interpreting prophecy:

I don’t believe it’s possible to know:

— the date of the end before hand

— the seven thunders

— who the antichrist is before he is revealed in the end

— every detail of every prophecy

I will not make claims that the Scriptures do not clearly back up. I will attempt to show multiple views where the Scriptures are not clear. I will not be dogmatic where it is not clear in Scripture.

2 Comments

  1. There are lots of interpretations on Revelation. I guess we should review them all and be prepared for whatever version is correct.
    I like the version that interprets it as entirely symbolic (including the numbers) and cyclical.
    Summary:
    Seven is a common number in the Bible for perfection and authority (e.g. seven creation days). The approach is that there are seven “Biblical years” from creation to end of time. 3.5 “years” from creation to Jesus death and 3.5 “years” from Jesus death to his second coming. That is why the chapters use different versions of 3.5 year( i.e. 42 months, 1260 days, time-time-half time and even 1000 years (just represents a long period of time)). Its all symbolic for these things will happen from time Jesus died until he comes again. Its not something that’s going to happen. Its already been happening since Jesus death. The white horse is Jesus and the other horses represent the economic and other persecutions Christians have undergone since Jesus died. Same with Beast of the Sea, Beast of the Land, etc. Same chapter just repeats itself. Devil does experience periodic defeats but keeps rising back up(REV13:3) He is bound now so cant destroy us but can influence us.
    The other part of Revelation is God separating his people with those that are against him (anti-christ). This is also represented by Gods number 7. Jewish people used phylacteries which were two small square leather boxes containing slips inscribed with scriptural passages and traditionally worn on the left arm and on the head by observant Jewish men(google it). “7” is a heavenly number. “6” falls short. Three numbers are biblical (e.g. trinity). If your mind and thoughts are on God you would have a symbolic “777”. If your mind and works are on things of this world you would be against what Christ wants so you would be “anti Christ and have symbolic “666” in your phylactery. Its not a real person with a mark on his head. Its symbolic. Same with Babylon (city for men) vs Jerusalem(City for God) and the adultery. Just symbols to say same thing. There will be men focused on earthly things vs people focused on God and God will separate them. This has also been happening since death of Christ.
    The 144,000 is again just symbolic since it’s a multiple of 12 and just means Gods people. Same with dimensions in chapter 21:15-21). Just means dimensions that fit Gods people.
    Entire series is located: http://www.ccvsocal.com/media/theendofthebeginning/

  2. Let the Bible interpret the Bible !
    Two time elements months or moons children of darkness Satan’s kids, go back to the Garden, Eve did not eat an apple.Days are children of light those
    that believe in Jesus Christ.Twelve is government perfection, it represents twelve thousand from each of the twelve
    tribes,Dr.Bullinger published a book on numbers in scripture.”One day with the LORD is as a thousand years”Seven is the number of spiritual perfection.Six is the number of man.666 Satan’s (anti-christ) number he comes to earth as claiming to be Jesus,at the 6th trump the 6th seal and the 6th vile.The true Christ returns at the 7th t,7th s and 7th v.The new Jer.U.S.A.lem,read U,S.A.
    Israel of the Bible was never a geographical place, but a people. When the 10 northern tribes was taken captive and fled bondage they passed thru the Carcasses mountains when the emerged on the other side they were called Caucasians settled Europe and latter Canada and the U.S.Abraham was not a Jew,Issac was not a Jew, Jacob was not a Jew,Issac,s sons were known as Sax’s sons. Israel is God’s people of today,”as numerous as the sand of the sea” Hope this helps.

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