The Millennium Prophecy

 
 

The Interpretive Keys for The Revelation


1.) The Revelation is a prophecy.  It is not an allegory, an unsolvable mystery, a collection of interesting word pictures, apocalyptic literature, a myth, or some secret, secret, secret esoteric code of some sort.  Really!  It’s not.  It is a prophecy… a prophecy that accurately predicts a set of real events that will actually happen and become part of history.


2.) Some of the events and things described in the Revelation are written in symbolic form but those symbolic descriptions refer to real physical things or events.  In other words, what it "says" verbally on one level has to be interpreted in terms of what it "means" physically or realistically at another level.  For example: Revelation 19: 15, 21 says verbally that when Christ is about to do battle with the Beast at the Battle of Armageddon, that He has a sharp sword coming out of His mouth and that's how His enemies are destroyed.  So does that mean that He literally spits steel swords from His mouth?  Probably not.  It doesn't mean that He has steel teeth or bad breath either.  Then what does that symbol mean?  In the context of a large decisive battle like Armageddon it would mean that when He gives the order to attack and destroy the armies of the Beast that the order is obeyed and those armies are indeed destroyed.  The order to destroy them comes out of His mouth.  Then it happens exactly as He commanded it.  How do we know?  Answer: The prophet Zechariah describes a powerful beam weapon that destroys the forces of the Beast.  It is not a pretty picture.  The Beast's armies are literally destroyed where they stand and while they stand.  They are cooked by the beam weapon before they can even hit the ground.  (14:12) Now this will be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth.  So does Jesus have to spit millions of sharp swords from His mouth like it says verbally in the Revelation?  No.  He just has to give the order.  The weapons officer on the bridge lines up the beam weapon on the Beast's armies and fires the weapon.  The Lord's enemies are fried where they stand... before they can even hit the ground.  So the sword coming out of His mouth is a verbal symbol of His power and authority to give the command/order to destroy His enemies.  It is not a trivial description... especially if you happen to be on the receiving end of that beam weapon.  If you are, your brains get FRIED.




Revelation 19:12 says verbally that when Christ returns His eyes will be burning with a flame of fire.  Verse 13 says He will be wearing a robe dipped in blood.  Again we have verbal picture descriptions that convey meaning on another level.  His eyes will probably not be in need of a case of Murine or Clear Eyes because they are extremely irritated.  It refers to the anger He feels as He prepares to confront the evil that has defied God the Father and when that time comes He will do some serious damage to His enemies.  And the robe dipped in blood?  Will He actually have a vat of blood handy so He can dip a cape in it and wear a stinky bloody cape?  No.  It is referring to His authority grant deeded by God the Father (Revelation 5) to confront His enemies in battle and destroy them at will.  He is not coming back to argue with anyone.  He is coming back to take full and complete possession of Planet Earth.  No one can refuse.  Whoever does, dies.  He bears full authority to make it happen and anyone who resists will forfeit his life in the confrontation… guaranteed.  In other words, the robe dipped in blood is symbolic of the life blood of the losers who oppose Christ and die for it.  He bears full authority to clean house as necessary and if the blood of His enemies must be shed to get Earth’s house clean, so be it.  So the word picture shows that He bears… symbolically wears… the authority to slay God’s enemies at will.  He bears/wears the authority.  He has the power.  He has the motivation.  When the time comes to exercise the authority and the power, He exercises it just fine, thank you.  So be careful not to get sucked in by arguments about the simplistic level of what the Revelation “says” if they are not going to offer to interpret the meaning when it is called for by the description.  It "says" one thing at the surface level but if it has a deep structure meaning that needs to be interpreted, the person digging in his simplistic heels needs to give the interpretation.   Sometimes they can not do that so you can imagine the value of their opinions.

 

If the Lord had revealed the Revelation visions to someone in the 21st century, the event visions might have been delivered in different visual form but He decided to reveal the information to the Apostle John in the 1st century.  By definition, John would not have 21st century understanding or terminology to describe the real physical events… if indeed that is what he actually observed.   With a 1st century mind set the Apostle John would have described any real events he observed in a manner consistent with the level of knowledge available to 1st century people.  It is also very likely that some of the event visions that were shown to St. John in symbolic image form and John wrote down the symbol and left it at that.  If you could imagine communicating with people here on Earth 20 centuries into the future you might get a little insight into time/knowledge/mind set gap between yourself and the people living in that future era.  How would you communicate with them?  What would you say?  Did the Apostle John know that he was communicating with people 20 centuries into the future?  Probably not.  He received visual images of events and symbols of events in our time zone of history but he had to record them the best he could with his 1st century mind set.  He did a good job.  His descriptions of the events and the symbols do indeed make very good sense when you think them through.  They can be a bit troubling the first few times you read them but that is one of the challenges that we face when we read the book.  We have to transform John’s 1st century descriptions/idiom into 21st century descriptions/idiom that describe real events.  The Revelation is a prophecy.  For a prophecy to be true, one day it must come true and actually happen.  So the events St. John describes have to be interpreted to refer to real things and real events.  I try to do that for you in this book but if you want to enjoy the discovery process on your own, that is one of the interpretive issues that you will confront.


3.) For the most part, the events of the Book of Revelation as written are in the correct linear timeline event order in which they will actually occur when the events of the prophecy finally come to pass.  If you start reading from Chapter 1 and read straight through the book, the first verse that appears to be out of its correct linear event order is Rev 11:3… the story of the Two Witnesses in Jerusalem.  With some quick arithmetic you  can properly position the ministry of the Two Witnesses in Revelation event order so that even though the story of the Two Witnesses appears in the event order at the conclusion of their ministry… for special emphasis… their correct position in the full Revelation event order is not that difficult to determine.   I explain that in The Tribulation Prophecy chapter.


Chapter 12 is a thumbnail overview of the history of Israel… some background information… but at the end of Chapter 12 the linear event order continues.  Chapters 17 and 18 also take time out to explain background information but at the end of Chapter 18 the destruction of the city of Babylon continues the linear event order up to the Battle of Armageddon (which is described in Chapter 19).  Again, in my opinion, the linear sequential timeline order as given… for the most part… is best way to interpret the Book of Revelation.  It took me many months of reading and rereading to come to that conclusion but you can now bypass that tedious discovery process and understand the Revelation much more easily.  Oddly enough, there are many commentators…and some of them are very strong men of faith… who do not accept the order of events as given by Christ to the Apostle John. 


In some respects you can think of the Revelation prophesy as a big linear event puzzle.  By assembling the parts of the puzzle together correctly… the meanings of the various plagues and judgments… and the order in which they occur… a better picture emerges about the fate of mankind and planet Earth.  Also, some of the pieces of the puzzle are missing from the puzzle box… ex: the explanations of the plagues/judgments.  Once you know that the Book of Revelation is already in an approximate linear order, it’s like seeing the flat edges on regular puzzle pieces… you know ahead of time that they belong on the outside edge of the puzzle assembly.  It’s easier to figure a puzzle out if you assemble the outer edges first… which is what most of us do.  So the linear order of the Revelation creates a similar type of “framework” to correctly view the event pictures of the Revelation.  Jesus didn’t make any mistakes in presenting the various pictures of the Revelation to the Apostle John.  He gave them to John in a specific order for a reason.  The reason?  Because that’s how the event order would play out… generally.  Also, from God’s point of view, history past, present and future is like a map on a wall with vertical yellow line called “now” moving slowly from left to right… (pardon my bad illustration but it’s the best bad illustration I can think of to illustrate this concept of God’s foreknowledge).  He knows all the events of history before they happen but it is His divine power that allows Him to make changes or adjustments on the map and then make them play out in Earth’s history.  Jesus had plenty of time to study that map on the wall in Heaven.  When He revealed the event order to John for transcription as the Book of Revelation, He didn’t make any mistakes.  He was very familiar with the event order… that history map on the wall at home.  When the apostles asked Him what was to be the sign of His second coming, He gave them the short condensed version in the gospels… Matthew 24 and 25, Mark 13 and Luke 21 (except for verse 12 which is out of event order… and so noted by Luke).  The event order of the gospels, except for Luke 21:12 all track parallel with the event order of the Book of Revelation… with some really BIG   G  A  P  S   that are filled in by the Revelation.  Jesus is quite familiar with that linear event order.  He knew about it before His arrival here on Earth, during His ministry here and after His resurrection and ascension.  What we have to do is assemble the word puzzle correctly… figure out what the word pictures mean… and keep them in their proper order.  Knowing that the Revelation is already in correct linear event order helps us assemble the event puzzle much faster and easier.  Jesus got it right in His presentation of this information to the Apostle John.  John wrote it down correctly.  For the most part, we need to follow the event order just as Christ presented it.


4.) The Seven Seals in Revelation Chapter 6 are not actually “judgments” like the other judgments that are divinely ordained in Chapter 8 and Chapter 16.  The first 6 Seals are “event markers” to alert the Church that the Tribulation time period is approaching. The judgments that will be imposed on Planet Earth are enumerated inside The Book of Judgments and Worldwide Rulership Rights that God the Father personally hands over to Christ… see Rev 5:7.  Jesus then coordinates the breaking of the first 6 Seals that hold the book closed so that the breaking of each Seal in Heaven corresponds to an observable event here on Earth.  We can’t see Him breaking the seals in Heaven but we can see the order of events unfold here on Earth. Six times He breaks a Seal and six times He points to an event or event set that takes place on Earth.  The 6 events (event sets) that happen here on Earth give us a kind of “heads up” or countdown to the Tribulation.  They are in a specific order and they tell us what to look for as the Tribulation era approaches.


5.) With current science one of the Seal events, four of the Trumpet Judgments and six of the Bowls (Vials) of Wrath Judgments can be tied to solar system events that seriously affect the Earth.  These kinds of events do not happen very often but when they do the results are devastating to the Earth and its inhabitants.  When the background spiritual issues/conflicts are added into the mix of events, the list of prophecies is transformed from simple predictions of disaster to prophecies on steroids.  It gets very messy.  These solar system-related events are explained in this book in reasonable detail.  With the relevant science as background information, these events can be more easily understood.  They will not be easy to survive and when you read explanations you will see why.  


6.) The “Beast” only becomes physically visible and viable as the “Beast” when Abaddon, the Destroyer… a very evil fallen angel (first introduced in Rev 9:11)… is allowed to resurrect the dead body of a slain political leader from the New World Order administrative zones and then live in it for three and a half years.  Rev 13:3 and 17:11 clear up the confusion about the “beast making” process.  The political leader is one of three heads of state who are deposed or assassinated.  It may be that all three are assassinated… not just “deposed”.  The one you have to worry about is the one that comes back to life.  He is the Anti-Christ.  The two politicians who stay dead are just two more dead politicians.  But when “he” comes back from the dead, it’s a different “he” living in the resurrected body… a different consciousness.   (Rev 17:11 “The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction).  This is discussed in greater detail in The Tribulation Prophecy chapter.

      

7.) Because the breaking of the Seals in Chapter 6 and Chapter 8 are “event markers”, it follows that there are not 21 judgments as many writers and speakers have been teaching.  As it turns out, there are actually only 13 real “judgments”.   We should expect there to be at least 14 judgments since there are 7 Trumpets and 7 Bowls of Wrath.  However, if you look closely when the 7th Trumpet sounds off, there is praise and joy in Heaven, a spectacular light show in the sky (lightening), a nice hail storm with lots of ice coming down… maybe a few busted windshields and dented cars… and a pretty big earthquake but no mention of any death or real major destruction as with the other “judgments”.  For all practical purposes, the sounding of the 7th Trumpet calls attention to an important announcement.  (See Rev 10:5, 6, 7; and Rev 11:15 – 19)

 

8.) The “Raptures” are explicit events not implicit events.  There are 2 “raptures”, an ascension and a massive in-gathering.  The 1st Rapture… the one that removes the Christian Church from the Earth… does not have to be “synthetically inferred” as taking place in Chapter 4 as many commentators have asserted.  It actually takes place in Chapter 7 after the marking of the 144,000 Israelite replacements.  This means that there is no such thing as a “pre-Tribulation Rapture” per se… for all you hair splitting types out there.  The 7-year Great Tribulation clock starts “ticking” when the first mark is laid on the first forehead of the first member of the 144,000 Israelite replacement witnesses.  That marking process takes about two weeks.  The Philadelphia Church gets to see the replacement witnesses with God’s name on their foreheads.  We get to meet some of them personally.  As soon as the marking process is complete, the Philadelphia Church is “Raptured” (removed physically from Planet Earth) (Rev 7:9 – 17).  At that point the Church age is finished and the Tribulation has already begun.  For the next 7 years the right (and the honor) to speak in God’s name reverts back to Israelite people.  The Christian Church is gone.    


9.) The next removal of good guys is the ascension of the Two Witnesses in Jerusalem (Rev 11:11, 12, 13).  These two men are sent directly to Jerusalem from their sanctuary ministry in heaven before God’s throne as special envoys to prophesy the return of Christ as King.  They do this during the first half (3½ years) of the Tribulation… not the second half… the first half.  They appear in Jerusalem the day that the Christian Church is raptured/removed from the Earth.  To make sure the world pays attention to them, God equips them with special powers to inflict judgments on various places around the world.  Their ministries are extremely powerful and they regularly call down droughts, turn rivers and streams from flowing water into flowing blood and numerous other plagues at will on various cities and geographical areas around the world to make sure that people pay attention to what they have to say.  Evidently there will be lots of media coverage of their pronouncements and specific prophecies because their specific prophecies always come true.  They cause quite a stir and numerous assassins are sent to try to kill them.  The assassins always loose.  Some time after the fallen angel, Abaddon the Destroyer, is released from the abyss but a few days before the midpoint of the Tribulation he attacks and kills the Two Witnesses.  Their dead bodies are left out in the open where they fall during the attack… an extreme offense in Middle Eastern culture.  No one wants to bury them.  In fact, most of the world is glad that they are dead and they start celebrating.  But three and a half days later the Two Witnesses are resurrected and “ascended” up into a cloud (verse 12 “Come up here”) in front of a large crowd of onlookers.  Their three and a half days of temporary biological death are a sign to the world that the first three and a half years of the Great Tribulation time period is finished and that the second three and a half year period still remains to be fulfilled.


10.) There is a 2nd Rapture… the removal of the 144,000 witnesses shortly after the midpoint of the Tribulation.  (Rev 14:1 – 5, esp. vs. 3)  Just as the Beast starts consolidating his power and locking down the worldwide banking and commerce systems, Jesus takes the 144,000 witnesses home with Him.  One minute they are gathered together on Mt. Zion with Christ next to Jerusalem but the next scene shows them in Heaven before the throne of God.  Thereafter these 144,000 special ambassadors become Christ’s personal entourage.


11.) Rev 14:13 – 15 describes the massive in-gathering of slain believers as the Beast requires people to accept a tattoo UPC code… the mark of the Beast… to be able to do banking and go shopping or they can accept beheading.  Many people get the message and accept the beheading rather than bow down to the demands of the Beast.  Probably millions or maybe even hundreds of millions of people believe the message preached by the witnesses and the angels and come to accept Jesus as Lord.  Because they will not accept the UPC code “mark of the Beast” they are beheaded.  God gathers all the souls of the martyred tribulation saints right in front of His throne (Rev 15:2 – 4).


12.) The nature of the game… the contest of wills between God and Satan.  The Book of Revelation shows us something very interesting about the nature of Satan and his unusual attitude toward mankind that is not clearly shown anywhere else in Scripture.  It is a surprising insight when you see it clearly for the first time.


From the best that I can tell, these are the “keys” that unlock the main doors of understanding to the Book of Revelation.  By approaching your study of the Revelation using these interpretive keys, you will find that the book makes a great deal more sense.  It is like a road map of history future.  You can see that these events are coming your way before they arrive.  It took a lot of patient digging to find these interpretive keys but when taken together with other prophetic references and related science, but you can now bypass that tedious discovery process and gain a better understanding of the Revelation much more rapidly.  And for those of you who take the time to understand the Revelation, maybe there will be a special blessing for your efforts especially if you can help others to understand this very important book.  For those of us at the front end of the 21st Century… “the time is near."