Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Revelations - Literal or Symbolic

There was a discussion on a one of the groups about whether Revelation was supposed to be a literal or symbolic prophecy. Here's my answer.

The problem I have with this absolute "literal" interpretation is that how does one handle the following scriptures?

Rev 9:7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.


Rev 9:8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.


Rev 9:9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

Rev 9:10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

Rev 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

You can't have it both ways. John was describing 21st century technology with 1st century understanding. For example:

Rev 8:8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; Here is "something" that resemble a mountain that's burning cast into the sea...that sounds more like a "planet X" burning as it enters the atmosphere.

Rev 8:10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;

Rev 8:11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Is there really a "white horse", or a "red horse" that we're going to see? I don't think so. I think much of Revelation must be looked at in light of current events and recent history.

Imagine if you were John and the vision you were given showed a light as bright as the sun "falling" to earth... "burning"...what if what you were seeing was a nuclear missile "burning" as it headed to it's target? What if the reference to Wormword isn't referring to a planet but to a time when mankind develops the ability to destory the entire planet with the same by-product produced at a place called Chernobyl? Just an idea.

I think much of Revelation can only be deciphered as one looks back on the 19th and 20th centuries. I believe each seal covers specific events, eras, governments, etc. that have occurred in those time periods.

White horse - covers the most time and I believe is directly tied to the era when the British government was at the height of it's empire...it conquered a number of lands claiming them for the "crown"

Red horse - In the 20th century Communism has definitely "taken peace" from the earth. It came into power around 1917 and resulted in massive deaths.

Black horse - Perhaps the time of the Great Depression, which then led to the WWII

Pale Horse - is already riding, as the 20th century has seen the greatest number of deaths worldwide due to war, famine, and even bacteria and viruses

The 5th seal...had a thought the other night that this seal could already have been open, as the 20th century into the 21st century as seen the greatest number of Christians, worldwide, killed for their faith.

Therefore, I believe we are waiting for the opening of the 6th seal.

I believe the trumpets cover events that are much shorter in duration, but are significant enough to be noticed as being a fulfillment of scripture and therefore a sign of the times. I do believe they happen concurrent with the opening of the seals.

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