Tuesday, May 28, 2013


For years, I have taught that Bible Prophecy must be interpreted literally.  In fact, I believe every fulfilled prophecy has been fulfilled literally.  However, we only know this because the prophecies and their fulfillment have already occurred.  For example, when Isaiah wrote, "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel." (Isa. 7:14), no one had a clue as to what he meant until Jesus was conceived by a virgin named Mary (Mt. 1:18-25).  No one comprehended what the psalmist was saying in Psalm 22, until it was fulfilled in the trials and crucifixion of Jesus.

I believe this is true of the Book of Revelation as well.  "Prophecy experts" read what the Apostle John wrote concerning his vision, and they tell us what the text means.  Oddly enough, those same experts seem to be continually "adjusting" their interpretation, so that what they were certain of five years ago, is now obsolete.  That is why you and I need to buy their latest book; it contains the truth!  The fact is, ALL prophecy teachers are simply making educated guesses as to what the text means!

Much of John's Book of Revelation contains symbolic language.  For instance, John uses the term "as" sixty-eight times in describing what he sees in the vision.  He uses "like" twenty-one times.  So in other words, he uses a simile in trying to share what he sees and hears, eighty-nine times.  It is not too difficult to understand that he did not know what lasers, tanks, helicopters, etc. were, so he did the best he could in sharing what he saw.

Interpreting Revelation has been made somewhat easier by God's unsealing the Book of Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27; 12:4, 9).  Revelation 1:19 helps as well.  "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter," tells us that what John writes has to do with what he has already seen in his past, what he presently sees, and what the future holds for this world.  He has seen Chapter 1, he sees Chapter 2 - 3, and the rest of Revelation has to do with the future.  Chapter 4 begins with John "leaving his present world, and in heaven, he is shown the future.

Based upon Daniel 9:24-27, and Matthew 24:3-29, we understand that Chapters 6 - 18 of Revelation deal with the seven year period known as the Tribulation, Daniel's Seventieth Week, and The Time of Jacob's Trouble.  The middle of this seven year period is marked by the Antichrist breaking the treaty/covenant he made with Israel (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 12 and 13).  I believe the first half of the seven years is described in Chapters 6 - 11, and the last half is covered in Chapters 14 - 18.

We should not be dogmatic about Revelation, but we can be absolutely sure that it will be fulfilled literally!  God bless you in your study of His perfect Word!             

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