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Bible prophecy Biblical doctrines pandemic Trials and temptations vaccines

Name, number and mark of the beast

Over the past 40 odd years I have heard an enormous amount of discussion and read books and literature on the ‘coming mark of the beast’ of the Book of Revelation. I was once a believer in the futurist interpretation of the books of Daniel and Revelation. But sometime back I realised that that interpretation was not correct. (See my studies on Daniel’s Seventy Weeks and in particular on Daniel 9:27 and who ‘he’ is in that verse.)

I now hold to an historical interpretation of scripture. At first I studied what Martin Lloyd-Jones would have classified as Historical: Continuing. However I found that that is very confining, trying to hang a label and only one label on every event through the Book of Revelation. In this blog many of the published studies on Daniel and Revelation use this method.

However, now I am convinced that the correct way to read the book is with the method of Historical: Spiritual.  This is the method where we allow the scripture to be living. It is the idea that there are spiritual principles behind the battles and events encountered by Christians through all ages from Christ until the final Judgement, but not that each description in the book of Revelation applies to uniquely only one event. The scriptures belong to all believers through all generations and can speak to them for their time, and even their place.

Bill Gates
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Bible prophecy Church History

Revelation 6

The last chapter described the throne room in heaven where we saw the book with seven seals given to the Lamb.  Only the Lamb of God was able to open the seals, resulting in the events which were foretold from John’s time on, as the pages of the book were opened. These seals were opened in succession and with the opening of each seal John saw and recorded an impressive vision. No system of interpretation that doesn’t represent these as chronologically successive events is reasonable. The vision following the opening of the first seal must portray a period of events nearest to the time of John, and the rest follow in order describing the history of the church and of the fate of the world.

The first four seals, that follow here, are all similar in their imagery and can only be reasonably explained as symbolic references to events in the history of the fall of the Roman Empire. The Horsemen are not representative of individuals, but of great epochs, periods in history.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Conquest, War, Famine & Death, an 1887 painting by Victor Vasnetsov. The Lamb is visible at the top. Credit
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Conquest, War, Famine & Death, an 1887 painting by Victor Vasnetsov. The Lamb is visible at the top. Credit: Wikipedia

The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, opens the first seal (v.1)

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Bible prophecy Biblical doctrines Church History

Revelation 1-3

The following is the first of a series of posts with my notes on the visions/prophecies in the book of the Revelation from Jesus Christ to the Apostle John, given on the isle of Patmos.

Revelation 1

The Revelation, not of John, but of Jesus Christ. It was given to John by an angel speaking on behalf of God. This chapters have Jesus Christ speaking to the Revelation to John (v.11,17,18; 2:18).  Verses 13-15 correspond very well with Daniel 10:5,6.

It is a record of what will shortly come to pass from John’s perspective and  begins at the time of John the Apostle. It is not a futurist prophecy of events all compressed into some far future End-time period long past the centuries that followed the Early Church. The Revelation (and warnings from God) are for events that will occur from the time soon after John received it (v.1,3),  not reserved for some future time. The church endured great tribulation in 70 A.D. and has suffered tribulation ever since (v.9).  John wrote his gospel in 62 A.D. and the Revelation after that time. There is no mention of the 70 A.D. Roman invasion of Jerusalem (and the abomination that makes desolate) in the gospel of John, which supports this. Some date this book to AD 95-96, during the last part Domitian’s reign. “It appears to be the certain result of historical evidence that the Apostle John was banished to the island of Patmos during the reign of Domitian (A. D. 81-96) and in the fourteenth year of that reign, and was recalled from Patmos to Ephesus by the Emperor Nerva in A.D. 96.

Alpha-Omega

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega (v.8,11), the first and last letter in the Greek alphabet, ‘the beginning and the ending’ representing Christ as Creator of the Universe and Judge of all. He is YHWH, Jehovah, “I AM”, and the Creator of the Universe. He sees the beginning from the end.