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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Revelation

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JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Revelation

Concerning the book of Revelation.

Is it a book of symbols or should it be read literally?

If part is literal and part is symbols then how does one determine which is which?

Should the entire book be understood to be symbolic? or should the entire book be understood to be literal.

An example of not reading Revelation literally: Jesus is referred to as a lamb (Rev. 5:6) This is understood to be symbol.

An example of reading Revelation literally:
Two witnesses will come and prophesy (Rev. 11:1-14) Some understand this to be literal men.

Why is some of Revelation read literally and some symbolically? Why not either all read literally or all read symbolically?

 2007/1/9 9:50Profile
MSeaman
Member



Joined: 2005/4/19
Posts: 772
Michigan

 Re: Revelation

These are all very good questions. I'd like to hear the answers too. I'll be watching this post.


_________________
Melissa

 2007/1/9 12:18Profile
lovegrace
Member



Joined: 2006/8/12
Posts: 313


 Re: Revelation

Out of my limited knowledge on this topic, I would like to still share what I feel that God has shown me about this book.

1. It's not a timeline.

Dispite many pre-tribulationists and mid-tribulationists (and even some post-tribers) may think. It's NOT a timeline. How?

Well. The bible was never written with Chapters and Verses, they were put in LATER. Even though it's handy, it's wasn't apart of the ORGINAL copies.

Second, and more of a solid defense for my statement. The writers and us (American/Europeans) have different thought processes or 'different WAYS' of thinking. Keep in mind NEITHER are bad, just DIFFERENT. Just like their are different ways of learning.

John and the middle eastern writers (which is 'kinda' what they are) are from the Orent(i think that's how you spell it), basically Asian. And us (American and European) are from the Greco-Roman decents.

The Orent are thinkers of seasons and events. Where Greco-Romans think more in a linar way; numbers, titles, etc.

Greco-Romans think '1 comes before 2 and 2 before 3 and so-on.' Where the Orent think in seasons or events, like walking up the stairs or going to the beach.

Example, Greco-Romans think January comes before December and such. Well, true but not if your IN December. Orent thinkers think Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. They focus more on EVENTS and not on numbers or titles.

Another example. To the Orent you could be in the 'winter' for years, if there is a plague or drought or something that hits them for a few years but in reality you went through January and December many times but again to the Orenty they still think their in WINTER till the next sight of SPRING.

2. It interupts a majority of itself.

Daniel and Revelation (as far as I've seen) tell you what each 'beast' or thing means.

If John, Daniel, or believer in the Word didn't understand something, someone (Jesus, Angel, or God the Father) revealed the meaning IN SCRIPTURE. For example the parable of the Sower. Honestly. I don't see how you get the interuptation from what He said RIGHT after He said it. Maybe your just more spiritual then myself. I don't know.

3. It's not American.

Enough said.

4. It's the future.

Therefore, it's something that we should all be dilgent on learning about. Let's not be ignorant on a topic that Christ Himself has given for us.

Rev. 1:3 (NASB)
3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

A few things that I've seen, by His everlasting grace, is the parellels in the Book of Revelation.

1. 7 trumpets and 7 bowls seem to line up almost completly. (the 1st and 5th don't line up completly. Like the 1st don't at all. But the 5th still mention torment from a enemy).

Check
[url=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev.%208:7-9:21,%2011:15-19;&version=49;]7 trumpets[/url] and [url=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev.%2016:2-21;&version=49;]7 bowls[/url]

2. The 2 witnesses, Women-Baby-Dragon, and Beast from the Sea inter-lock VERY CLOSLY with Daniel (and each other).

Check [url=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev.%2011:7,%2012:17,%2013:7,%20Dan.%207:21;&version=49;]inter locking[/url]

I have another 'revelation' but I can't reveal it till I have a more credable case.


Now. Just a few side notes:

When studying this book or ANY book:

1. Keep an open mind and heart to the Holy Spirit.

Just cause you think your theology is 'right'. It might be completly wrong according to His Truth.

2. Be willing for Him to change YOUR doctrine.

This goes back into the 1st one.

3. Don't hold history or 'popular' teaching ABOVE the Word of God.

Many people get wrapped up in popular teaching. For example "You need faith to be healed". Hmm, that's not what [url=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Kings%2013:21;&version=49;]2 Kings 13:21[/url] implies.

4. Be testing of any 'new'(to you) doctrine.

Test ALL things and HOLD fast to what is GOOD.

5. Don't be afraid of history, it might reveal 'just how old is this doctrine'.

Just like the rapture. I think America is older than the doctrine. (Pretty young doctrine).


Have fun with this great book. I know I am!! :-P

 2007/1/9 17:49Profile
lovegrace
Member



Joined: 2006/8/12
Posts: 313


 Re: Revelation

Here are 37 commentaries on this book. Hmm funny that 25 out of the 37 believe that the '2 witnesses' are the church. Just kind of ironic. (No favorism in numbers, but kinda in a way 8-) )

[url=http://www.apocalipsis.org/rev-comp.htm]Comparisions[/url]

 2007/1/9 18:08Profile
allhavsinned
Member



Joined: 2005/8/1
Posts: 201
North West England

 Re: Revelation

From what I have heard and read on Revelation I personally believe we should take it as literally as we can and only ascribe symbols when it's clearly shown in other scriptures what those symbols mean. For example Jesus is a lamb, well we know from other scripture that He is a Man and so the lamb is a symbol. But when it says the two witnesses will spit fire on the mockers, there's no reason to think they will just 'speak harshly' but that two real people will actually spit fire on their enemies.

Remember the book of revelation is not for us to predict the future but that when events hapen we will be encouraged that God has already shown us that these things will take place. there are too many cults that use verses in Revelation to back up their false teachings, if you are going to study Revelation then study it in the context of the rest of the Bible, as a lot of symbolism is explained elsewhere.

Note a hundred years ago scholars argued what it meant when it said that Israel would become a nation again, most thought it to be symbolic because they didn't believe the Jews could ever reclaim their land, now we see that those verses were literal and all those ideas and suggestions were shown to be redundant.

Are the two witnesses Moses and Elijah? or the church of England and the methodists? ;-) Who cares! we will find out in Gods time, let us tell people about what we know, not debate what we are not yet to understand, If Jesus wanted us to know the answer He would have told John to explain it in clearer words, but I guess even then we would disagree with the meaning :-(


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Ste

 2007/1/9 18:51Profile
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Quote:
But when it says the two witnesses will spit fire on the mockers, there's no reason to think they will just 'speak harshly' but that two real people will actually spit fire on their enemies.



This is my point. Two men who spit fire on their enemies seems very far-fetched to me and I can't recall any other scripture mentioning fire breathing prophets. How can one take that scripture as literal?

 2007/1/9 21:28Profile
allhavsinned
Member



Joined: 2005/8/1
Posts: 201
North West England

 Re:

Quote:

JaySaved wrote:

This is my point. Two men who spit fire on their enemies seems very far-fetched to me and I can't recall any other scripture mentioning fire breathing prophets. How can one take that scripture as literal?



Far fetched, that's a may be but why should we take it symbolically and try to guess what it means when we can just believe what God says and see what happens, a God who can do many wonderful things never before seen can give us fire breathing preachers, locusts with horses heads and the most miraculous of all... He can save a sinner like me and call me righteous.

Proverbs 3 v 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heard and lean not unto thine own understanding.


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Ste

 2007/1/9 21:41Profile
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Quote:
From what I have heard and read on Revelation I personally believe we should take it as literally as we can and only ascribe symbols when it's clearly shown in other scriptures what those symbols mean.



Revelation 11
1Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, "Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, 2but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. 3And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth."

4These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed.

Zechariah 4
1And the angel who talked with me came again and woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. 2And he said to me, "What do you see?" I said, "I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. 3And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left." 4And I said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?" 5Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, "Do you not know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord." 6Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. 7Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of 'Grace, grace to it!'"

8Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9"The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. 10For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.

"These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth." 11Then I said to him, "What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?" 12And a second time I answered and said to him, "What are these two branches of the olive trees, which are beside the two golden pipes from which the golden oil[a] is poured out?" 13He said to me, "Do you not know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord." 14Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth."

Zechariah doesn't seem to give the impression that two witnesses will walk around and breathe fire on people.

 2007/1/10 13:37Profile
roaringlamb
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California

 Re:

Now if these two witnesses are "prophesying", in the N.T. isn't that "preaching"? If so,then here is your answer about the fire from their mouths
[b]"Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" Jeremiah 23:29[/b]


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patrick heaviside

 2007/1/10 14:10Profile
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Quote:
Now if these two witnesses are "prophesying", in the N.T. isn't that "preaching"? If so,then here is your answer about the fire from their mouths



Good point, thus the language in Revelation would by symbolic and not literal. Does Revelation itself say that some of the prophesy mentioned should be taken literally?

 2007/1/10 14:29Profile





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