Revelation is Written in SYMBOLS – The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, Revelation 1:1 – The word signified means “shown in signs or symbols”. – Think about some of the images in Revelation: Dragon, Sea Beast, Land Beast, Riders on Horses, Rome the Harlot.
Revelation is Written in SYMBOLS – Revelation is an example of apocalyptic literature (Apocalypsis-unveiling—Deut. 29:29) – This type of writing was designed to reveal the message to some while veiling it to others. – These images would have been reminders (usually from Old Testament) to Christians who were suffering.
Revelation is written primarily about things that would “shortly take place” The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, Revelation 1:1 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. Revelation 1:3
Revelation is written primarily about things that would “shortly take place” Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. Revelation 3:11 Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. Revelation 22:6
Revelation is written primarily about things that would “shortly take place” – Too many people approach Revelation with an eye toward the present. In reality we need to read Revelation with our “first-century glasses on”. – Revelation is not dealing with Hitler, or Social Security Numbers or wars of today. – All but a few passages in chapters 20-22 happened in a short historical timeframe. – Also, when we see passages in Revelation about Christ coming shortly or quickly, we need to understand those are not 2 nd coming passages.
Revelation was Given to Comfort Persecuted Christians The theme of persecution is one of the most obvious in the book. Consider the following passages: – Rev. 1:9 – Rev. 2-3 – Rev. 6:9 – Rev. 7:14 – Rev. 11 – Rev. 12 – Rev. 13:15 – Rev. 17:6—19:2 – Rev. 18:24
Revelation was Given to Comfort Persecuted Christians – Christians were suffering greatly during the writing of Revelation. Illustrate: taken from home thrown to lions. – God knows your suffering and cares. If you endure you can win the battle (Rev. 14:13). – Romans 8:18
Revelation discusses a Spiritual, NOT a Physical Kingdom In Revelation 1:6 this kingdom is present (Mk. 9:1). John and Christians were currently in the kingdom (Rev. 1:9) Jesus said My Kingdom is Not of This Earth (John 18:36). The Book of Revelation is all about Christ’s kingdom being victorious over all other kingdoms…especially ROME (Rev. 11:15).
The Battle of Armageddon Hal Lindsey and others would have us believe this is some literal battle between Israel and Russian or something like that. As often as we hear about this, one might think this is mentioned frequently in Scripture. Actually, it is only mentioned once: Rev. 16:16
Mt. Megiddo in Bible History Much of the Book of Revelation is based in history of the Old Testament and it’s background. The Battle of Megiddo is no different. In Scripture there was a battle that occurred in Megiddo. This battle was a perfect one to choose to represent the downfall of God’s enemies. For in this battle in Judges 5:19-21, it is in essence over before it started and God’s people win!
What Was the Battle of Armageddon A battle that took place in the first century (Rev. 1:1-3) Between the forces of good and evil (Christian/God & the enemies of God—Rome/Romans Government) The battle was victoriously won by God and Christians…as is proven by the power of Christianity and the downfall of Rome.
Revelation 20 & Premillenialism Often Revelation 20 is used to support a thousand year reign of Christ and Christians. Let’s notice the text. Now let’s notice some things not in the text: Christ on this literal earth Christ actually reigning on this earth The reigning of beheaded saints on this earth The bodily resurrection The second coming of Christ The literal throne of David The city of Jerusalem in Palestine The Jews as a physical nation of people
Understanding Revelation 20 The truth of the matter is this text does not even mention or include you and me. This passage is talking about martyrs who died for the cause of Christ in the early centuries of the church’s existence. Premillennialism assumes that all of these things and more are included in the text when they just simply are not there. We must interpret Revelation by the Bible and not the Bible by Revelation.
666: The Mark of the Beast Revelation has been full of symbolism with its number usage. We have read many “sevens” in this book. We have seen seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven thunders. We will read about seven bowls. The number “seven” has a symbol of perfection based upon seven days of creation. It is repetition for emphasis and to show how intensely false this beast is.
The number “six” is used for incompleteness, coming up short of perfection. This symbol works with the characteristics of the false prophet who is trying to look like the Lamb, but is not. The triple use of the number 6 is used for the intensity of the incompleteness. This is the reason why John says that this image calls for wisdom and understanding. John is calling for Christians to be smart and not be taken in by the deception of the beast. Have wisdom and see through the deception. Have spiritual perception and recognize the imperfect, unholy nature of the beast.
Revelation identifies the Dragon and the Two Beasts The Dragon is Satan, the Devil. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:9 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; Revelation 20:2
Revelation identifies the Sea Beast – Given it’s power by the Dragon—Satan (13:2, 4) – People worshipped the Beast—(13:4) – Only those written in the Lamb’s Book of Life Do not worship him (13:8). – Rev. 17:9-12 identifies the seven heads as seven hills and seven kings. What would Christians naturally have thought of? Rome & Her Rulers. – Rev. 13:7—Identified as a persecutor of the Saints and as the dominant world power—Rome and Her Rulers (Caesars).
Revelation identifies the Sea Beast The First Beast or Sea Beast is none other than Rome and Her Rulers/Ceasars. What about the Second Beast or Land Beast?
Revelation identifies the Land Beast – Exercises the authority of the First Beast (Rev. 13:12) – Makes people worship the First Beast (Rev. 13:12) – Makes people think the First Beast is a God (Rev. 13:13-14) – Gets people to make an image to the First Beast (Rev. 13:14) – Kills those who do not worship First Beast (vs. 15) – Identifies those who do worship the beast by a mark on hand or forehead (vs. 16-17) – Is identified as “false prophet”. The first beast is the militia who enforced Emperor Worship.