Can someone explain Revelations to me?

vanilla- “Where do you think you’re going, Young Lady!”

RandMcN- I should have noted that the Historicist interpretation is a radically Protestant one & somewhat anti-Catholic; I don’t know if there is a Catholic spin to that perspective.

What, you doubt?

Personally I think the world has ended three times, just like Hal Lindsey said…

Granted, I’m legally insane…

(j/k :wink: )

Rand there is plenty of evidence in Revelation itself that leads to the conclusion most of the book speaks to future events that have yet to transpire. The book of Revelations should not be read alone but as a companion book with the book of Daniel and Ezekiel.

The book of Revelations and Daniel serves God’s purposes in many ways but one of them is to get the Jews to honor the covenants he made with their forefathers, i.e. to acknowledge what Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, and other prophets that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Saviour. Most of the verses in Revelation refer to future events that have yet to transpire but serve the purpose of having the Jews recognize Jesus is Lord. If you read Ezekiel God permits the “little horn” of Daniel or the “Beast” of Revelation to persecute the Jews and invade their land, the land of Israel. He permits the Jews to be “trodden under the feet of the Gentiles” and the antichrist as spoken of in Ezekiel to place them up against a wall. The little horn or beast shall chase them out of Israel and they shall flee into Moab and Edom as spoken in Ezekiel. There in the wilderness God shall plead with them and deal with them and they shall come to know their Saviour came over 2000 years ago.

In my opinion Revelations does not refer to old “Rome” nor to Nero but to a future Revived Roman Empire (European Union) lead by the beast out of the sea, to persecute the Jews and the house of Israel.

OK, go on then.
What evidence leads you to believe that?
Btw, the EU doesn’t much look like the Roman empire, IMHO.
The beast from the sea leading it, would be the US then, I presume?

Jimmy1- I’ve also held to a futurist view. I was a HalLindseyite PreTrib Rapturist, PreMillenialist. Now I see the possibility of all positions having validity- every generation has its Beasts & Harlots, its Judgements & Plagues, the choice to be sealed by God or marked by the Beast, on & on till Christ returns. I’ll give what I see as a possible futurist outline in a post this weekend. I’d like to see the Ezekiel passages you refer to- that’s an aspect I haven’t heard.

Also, you refer to the Beast persecuting the Jews and the house of Israel- is that a reference to the Joseph’s Birthright nations?

Latro a good indication the major catastrophic events of Revelations have not transpired is perhaps best evidenced by the fact there hasn’t been any 1000 year millennium reign of Christ yet. Since Jesus ascended into heaven 2,000 years ago he has not yet returned as prophesied by himself and other prophets.

The Second Coming of the Son of Man, an event that prompts us into the 1,000 year reign of Christ, has yet to happen. Christ’s reign occurs at the end of the events in Revelations and if the events of Revelations have already transpired, then please indicate to me when Christ’s 1000 year millennium reign began?

Christ’s 1000 year millennium reign begins after he has returned to earth, sets his foot on the Mount of Olives, and slays those many nations attacking Israel. After this Satan is bound by an Angel for 1000 years. Since we have yet to experience 1000 year reign of Christ, then the catastrophic events preceding Christ’s second coming have yet to also transpire.

The anti-christ will do very particular things. He will worship a god his fathers knew not. He will make a seven year peace deal with Israel as was prophesied by the scriptures. He will break this peace deal at three and a half years and invade Israel and perform an abomination desolation of the future Jewish temple. No Roman Emperor has ever fit this description nor has any other world leader.

The Jews were never chased into Moab and Edom, modern day Jordan, but rather scattered about the earth by the Romans. Only now are they in a position to flee, as a nation, into Moab and Edom as prophesied in Ezekiel and Zeccharia.

I can go on further but the evidence demonstrating Revelations speaks to future events yet to transpire is volumous. I will spell more of it out if I have to.

Neither Daniel nor Ezekiel say anything at all about Jesus…and Revelation says nothing about an “Antichrist.”

Revelation was deliberately written in the style of Daniel and echoed some of the Messianic imagery in that book but Daniel was about Selucid occupation of Israel in the 2nd century BCE and makes no future predictions for anything after that.

The term “Antichrist” is from the Epistles of John, not Revelation, and it’s used as a descriptive term for early Christian apostates not sume futeristic super villain. It often gets conflated with the “Beast” of revelation but they are two different things.

…or some futuristic super villain even…

I think there is a lot of things in Revelation that at first seem mystical, but they pretty much explain themselves, although some need to be cross-referenced… So to keep it simple, and I have heard a lot of different stories on it, the book is a revelation of Jesus through what has happened, is happening and will happen.

1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.

It really is an amazing book, and one study I did opened up a whole new dimension to it. But first the symbols:

1:12 Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands
1:16In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force.

Now what are they?
1:20As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Angels is also translated messengers, some say pastors. Now an interesting thing about the names Jesus uses:
1: 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of
Hades.

Then in chapter 2, when Jesus addresses the different churches, He specifically uses one of these names to describe Himself, depending on the situation of the church. One church was being persecuted unto death, Jesus said that He died, but now lives forever. It’s an amazing study, and I’ll try and get the name.

There are many different beliefs about some of the unclear verses, but first try and read it yourself and see if there isn’t an explanation of the symbols.

In chapter 6, verse 10: “They cried out in a loud voice, ‘How long will it be, holy and true master, before you sit in judgement and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?’”

Who are those people? Are they the ones that failed to go to heaven after the rapture, or has the rapture not happened yet?

Hello…hello…is this thing on?

There isn’t any “Rapture” in the Book of Revelation.

If there is no “Rapture,” then why do I hear about it? Where did people get the misconception that the rapture would happen?

I’m not being sarcastic, I really would like to know.

The whole “rapture scenario” was largely synthesized in the 19th century by John Darby. It is largely extropolated from this verse in Thessalonians:

“The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
The word translated as “caught up” is harpazo in Greek and rapiemur in Latin. “rapturus” is a participial form of the Latin.
Darby and others came up with the notion that this passage is predictive of a sort of preliminary parousia where the good people get taken up and the bad people have to fight it out on Earth for a while. Then there will be another second coming and a subsequent final judgement.

Rapture theology is limited to a relatively small minority of American fundamentalist Christians. The vast majority of mainstream Christianity does not, and never has believed in a “rapture” event as it is portrayed by the likes of the Left Behind books. It didn’t even exist as a coherent thesis until 1830.

9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

These are the people who have been killed for the gospel. I believe it represents all who have been killed, not just end time martyrs.

And rapture is taken from 1 Thess 4:7 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. As for the whole belief about it, that could take a while. The reason people believe it from Rev is the fact that the beginning of Rev is about earth, then John gets taken to heaven, and the rest is seen from a heavenly perspective. Whether it’s right or not is one thing I won’t argue for, as I believe when the time will come for God to come back, which way He chooses to take us will be the best way. I should say though that I tend to believe mid-trib, pre-wrath, but I wouldn’t die for this belief.

What’s mid-trib, pre-wrath?

Don’t get me wrong Diogenes, I agree with what you have to say about the revelation (you’re a pretty bright guy) and you’ve opened my eyes before on the matter-what I am having an objection to (perhaps a misinformed objection, but I digress) is the idea that only a small minority of Christians (fundamental or not) believe that the “rapture” (as in left behind style) is going to happen. Perhaps it’s just my area (northern VA), but a lot of the Christians I know believe in the whole “tribulation”, “rapture”, etc thing is going to happen (granted this is all anecdotal). Do you (or anyone) have any hard numbers on how many people adhere to this modern idea of the rapture?

Diogenes to the contrary Daniel does in fact speak of future events. Most biblical scholars concur that parts of Daniel speak of future events. This is why in Daniel God commands Daniel to seal up what he has revealed to him for later times.

The little horn in the Book of Daniel is the anti-christ. Most biblical scholars agree to this as well.

The “Beast” from the sea is the anti-christ spoken of in Daniel. Jesus wages a war with the “Beast” at his Second Coming and casts the Beast/Anti-Christ alive into the lake of fire.

This happens at the battle of Megido, or Armageddon. The Beast/Anti-Christ will invade Israel and come close to conquering it until Christ returns.

Finally, there are many passages in the bible where the name Jesus Christ is not used but some other name is used to represent him. While I cannot recall exactly the terms used in Ezekiel or Zeccharia both do speak to end times events.

Well, there are an awful lot of Christians. I say “small minority” relatively speaking. I don’t know exact numbers but I do know that the rapture is not accepted by Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican/Episcopalian and many other mainstream churches.

As I said, it’s primarily an American evangelical phenomenon (and it does tend to be more prevalent in the southern US) but comparatively speaking, it is a minority view in the context of worldwide Christianity and it didn’t exist at all less than two hundred years ago.

It speaks of future events relative to when it was written. It actually predicted that Judgement day would come about three years after a statue of Zeus had been erected in the temple by Antiochus in 167 BCE. Daniel was written during the Maccabean rebellion subsequent to that but the events which it predicted would occur in 164 BCE never occurred. It makes no predictions for anything later than that.

Most Biblical scholars do not agree to that. Jewish scholars and most Christian scholars agree that the “ten-horned beast” is the Greek empire and that the “little horn” is Antiochus.

Incorrect. The Beast of Revelation, while a deliberate allusion to the horned beast in Daniel, is th Roman emperor Domitian. The ant-christ is not in Revelation (and certainly not anywhere in Hebrew scripture). “Antichrists” (plural) was a term used in the epistles of John to refer to apostatic Christians and enemies of Christianity in general. It was never intended to refer to a singular individual and has no relationship with the beast of Revelation.Jesus wages a war with the “Beast” at his Second Coming and casts the Beast/Anti-Christ alive into the lake of fire.

This happens at the battle of Megido, or Armageddon. The Beast/Anti-Christ will invade Israel and come close to conquering it until Christ returns.

Finally, there are many passages in the bible where the name Jesus Christ is not used but some other name is used to represent him. While I cannot recall exactly the terms used in Ezekiel or Zeccharia both do speak to end times events. **
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There is no mention of Jesus anywhere in the Hebrew Bible. That would, of course, be impossible. I’m well aware of the many passages that are taken by some Christians to be predictive prophesies of Jesus. Suffice it to say that all of them have prosaic interpretations when read in their proper context.

Digenes

No I am going to disagree. The “ten horned beast” represents the revised Roman Empire of the future. Each horn represents a future king in the revised Roman Empire that will be subdued by the “little horn” aka the Anti-Christ. I have never heard a Christian scholar, nor read it anywhere, to claim the ten horned beast ever represented Greece, the Greek empire, or some future revised Greek empire.

I will reference the teachings of biblical scholar Finis Dake. Dake worked 100,000 hours in 43 years in biblical studies and research and has provided nearly 9,000 informative headings, 500,000 cross references, 35,000 notes and comments, as he poured all of this labor into the King James Bible.

Biblical Scholar Finis Dake interprets Chapter 8 verses 9-12 to reference the future Anti-Christ.

You are partly correct and partly incorrect. Daniel Chapter 11 verses 36-45 is speaking of future events yet to happen. It is referencing the future anti-christ. The reason for the story of Antiochus preceding these verses is because the anti-christ will behave similar to Antiochus and when they see such a man behaving in such a fashion as Antiochus they are to be made aware for the son of perdition, the anti-christ, has arrived.

Some biblical scholars have gone so far to say the parallel extends even further alerting us as to what country the anti-christ will come out of, namely Syria. Finis Dake makes this contention.

Now I watch Trinity Bible Network, I have heard the many preachers on the station like Vanimpe preaching about the end times, and I have yet to hear one profess the ten horned beast is Greece. All I have heard and read agree the ten horned beast is the future revised Roman Empire that the Anti-Christ will subdue.

Nothing could be further from the truth and again on this point most biblical scholars share my interpretation, including Finis Dake. Revelations is very clear on this point. Revelations chapter 19 verse 19 "And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to make war against him that sat on the Horse (Jesus) and against his arm. Verse 20-And the beast was taken and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image, these both were cast into alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

These verses are very clear. The beast is a human being and not some prior Roman Emperor. Jesus, at his Second Coming, will wage a batte against the beast and his false prophet and cast them both alive into the lake of fire. Jesus has not yet returned, no Roman Emperor was ever cast alive by Jesus into the lake of fire, and so the Beast of Revelations was not some prior Roman Emperor.