In Part 2 we will look at these few things:
(see Part 1 here:The Beautiful Letdown - Part 1)
- Is The Book of Revelation pointing to a Future Time?
- Are the things that John sees in Revelation Symbolic or Literal?
Through out the book of Revelation we see some descriptions from John of some really mind blowing things like Dragons, creatures covered with eyes, a spectacular floating Golden City, lamp-stands, Slain Lambs, a Lake of fire, Horses riding across the sky and other things.
The questions often asked on these things is, "are these images real or only symbolic?", "When will all this happen?"
lets jump in:
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:
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, " is the first part of this verse and is also the subject of the book. "Revelation"(apokalupsis) means "disclosure" - To reveal or make known something that has not been realized.
then: "which God gave unto him,"
So the book of Revelation reveals the Disclosure that Jesus received from the Father.
" to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass;"
This is the next part and is often read to mean that the things contained in the Book are still needing to take place based on the phrase "which must shortly come to pass" as in "Shortly" meaning shortly after John had written the Book.
We do this because we do not see a world of Peace with our eyes currently, so we conclude that the events shown in Revelation are still to come. (But scripture says: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he..." If we still believing an unfinished work, we will still be living it.)
However, this is incorrect. it says God gave this "Disclosure" to JESUS in order for Him to share it with his disciples regarding the things which were to take place shortly - from their point of view in time, not ours - ie: The things that were to shortly take place BACK THEN.
"and he did SIGNIFY it , having sent through his messenger to his servant John,"
Q: who had this Revelation/Disclosure first? Jesus or John?
A: Clearly Jesus was given this Disclosure first from the Father.
John is now about to receive better clarity of the Disclosure the Father gave to Jesus. It says here that John will receive this Disclosure from an Angel/messenger and it will be SIGNIFIED to him: ie: the Angel will use SIGNS/Symbols to show John.
The word used for "Signify" here is sēmainō . It means "To make known using a Sign or a Symbol"
So, lets get back to the other often asked question about the Book of Revelation:
Q: Is the vision John sees in this Book literal or Symbolic?
A: Without a doubt, it is Symbolic.
(Like I mentioned in Part 1, this is a Beautiful Letdown for those who wholly embraced a Fantastical Dramatic future for the earth and her inhabitants, ie: Giant multi-headed creatures, flying horses, Lake of Fire, A woman clothed with the sun and the moon under his feet... and much more. We will cover these things as we go.)
Lets ReCap: We see in very first verse of this famous book, that which John is about to make known to us is the Revelation that the Father gave to Jesus, to share with his disciples, regarding the events that were about to happen, back then in Jesus' days.
An angel was going to make these things known to John by way of signs and symbols - sēmainō.
Regarding how John came to receive this Revelation,, the 1912 Weymouth Translation puts it like this:
Rev 1:10 "In the Spirit I found myself present on the day of the Lord,.."
"The Day of the Lord" is more specifically translated as "The day that belongs to the Lord". So John, by the power of the Spirit is taken back to the Cross, the Day that belonged to the Lord, and is given a revelation/disclosure of events by an Angel (and Jesus himself) by using symbols. and most of the time the meaning of these symbols is actually explained to John - this is something that modern Churchianity has completely overlooked and concocted up a fantastical "end times" theology theory.
We will get into these things in the next part.
Ok, so now that we can see that the Book of Revelation is about historic events, and NOT future events, lets look at a couple scriptures that further prove this:
In Matthew 24:3 the disciples asked Jesus, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age? (Note: "Age", Gr: "aion " - means a time frame with a beginning and an end.)
Jesus answers them by describing some of the events that are also described in the Book of Revelation:
Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven (Gr: ouranos - as in the sky, as a mountain lifted above the plain.... Like Jesus on the cross, "When I am lifted up.." ): and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming (Gr: erchomai - to find place of influence, be established, become known.) in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the heavens to their ends.
Mat 24:32 But learn the parable of the fig tree: When its branch becomes tender and it puts out leaves, you know that the summer is near;
Mat 24:33 so also you, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
(FYI: There are a few written accounts recorded in history of this event which say that the moon had an actual red hue at that time - possibly as a result of a dusty atmosphere after the earth quake.)
That's right, Jesus believed that the end of the age would happen when they saw all those signs (Earth Quake, The sky going dark, Moon turned to blood, resurrection from the death - as in "signs in the earth below").
These things all happened surrounding the events of the Cross!!!
Q: Did Jesus get it wrong?
Q: Was Jesus' announcement of "It is Finished" a bit premature?
Perhaps, rather, the events of the Cross are a lot bigger than modern Christianity has believed?
I believe it really is Finished as Jesus said and that the Book of Revelation reveals this Disclosure.
I hope you can begin to at least question the modern traditional view of the book of Revelation which points to another future judgement, which, can only then cast doubt on the finished work of Jesus.
So far, we have seen that according to the first verse of Revalation, that the book is about the revelation that Jesus received from the Father, that he shared with his disciples regarding the accomplishment of the Cross. - its a Past tense event.
John was taken by the Spirit to the day Jesus was crucified and is shown the finished work through Symbolic scenes. - the depictions in the Book are symbolic, not literal.
In the next few parts I hope to convince you further that the Book of Revelation is all really about Jesus and the Good News of the Finished work.
The Beautiful Letdown - Part 3 (Click Here)