dave_l — 2017-03-25T08:49:31-04:00 — #1
This is an excerpt from a letter I sent to a Dispensationalist showing how I understand the Book of Revelation and the Old Testament Kingdom Prophecies. I would like to hear your views as well.
"I’m glad you understand what I’m talking about in Revelation. Many miss the meaning of the passage looking for the symbol to occur. They should look at what the symbol represents, trying to see the results taking place around them now and in history. A simple illustration might be a TV game show. The host shows a picture of an egg. And then he tells the audience “it will cross the road”. We know eggs cannot cross roads any more than dragons can float around in space. So we say the egg must be the symbol for “a chicken or a bird that crosses roads”. And we win the jackpot. What is the Beast? What is the Dragon? They are also symbols you will recognize by their fruits.
We won’t see any red dragons, but if we look for John’s description of what the Dragon or Beast does, we see it throughout history in totalitarianism. If we look for the symbol 666 to appear, we will never see it because it is a symbol. But if we look at how John describes conditions that develop around it, we can see the mark now. Christian businesses that refuse it cannot buy or sell unless they cater to the sodomites. And those in favor of the Laws wear it. And especially we see it developing around us in the yawning abyss of Islamic fanaticism. And the Christian martyrdom following in its wake.
This is also why so many of the Jews missed Jesus as the Messiah. Without God opening their eyes, they didn’t know many of the Kingdom Prophecies were symbols. And looking for the symbols, they missed what the symbols meant. Jesus fulfilled all the symbols they still look for physically. Jesus is the Temple, God would raise up, made without hands, and so are we. Peter says we are Israel. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1 Peter 2:9) They look for David’s Throne while Jesus now reigns on it in Heavenly Jerusalem.
“Therefore [David] being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” (Acts 2:30–31) And; Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all” (Galatians 4:24-26; see verses 21-31 for a fuller context). I can provide more on this if you want. But it shows how God does not fulfill the symbol with the symbol. He fulfills the symbol with what it represents."
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-03-25T13:19:02-04:00 — #2
I would contend that any ideas concerning the meaning of the content of the Book of Revelation which do not take into account the clear sayings at the beginning as well as at the end of the book are bound to be in error and therefore false.
Rev 1:1 (AV)
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John:
Rev 22:6 (AV)
6 And he said unto me, These sayings [are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed [is] he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Rev 22:10 (AV)
10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
I would further contend that the "quickly", "shortly" (or "soon" as in other translations) must be understood from the perspective of the time of writing of the book, and not from the time a person reads it perhaps hundreds or thousands of years later.
dave_l — 2017-03-25T14:20:01-04:00 — #3
When do you expect to see the next red dragon floating by? Or any of the other monstrosities John uses symbolically?
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-03-26T01:10:27-04:00 — #4
Your question demonstrates exactly the kind of error and false ideas which I was contending to be the result of not taking the opening and closing verses of the book into account.
Why should I expect such when the book already told me in its opening statement and its closing passages that what is mentioned in it would come to pass soon, shortly, quickly and was at hand almost 2000 years ago?
At the time of writing this post, Easter is almost at hand, will be shortly, quickly .... would it be true to claim at this time of year that Christmas was near, shortly, at hand? or would it be true to say now at this time that Christmas -- which in early December last year was indeed near, at hand, coming shortly or quickly - has already happened?
dave_l — 2017-03-26T05:03:53-04:00 — #5
I explained that God does not fulfill the symbols with symbols.
This is true. If you re-read Revelation, the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Bowls are 3 views of the same judgements. All begin in John's day and remain in process until the end of the world. Try reading it again with this in mind. It's there if you look for the beginning and the end of the world in each of the 3 judgements.
The Seal judgments (Revelation 6) begin in John's day and continue picturing conditions in history up till the end of the world in Revelation 6:16.
The Trumpet Judgments (Revelation 8:2) do the same. Beginning in John's day, these continue picturing conditions throughout history resulting in the end of the world in Revelation 10:7.
And the seven last plagues in Revelation 15. The Bowl or Vial judgments begin in John's day, picture conditions throughout world history. And climax in the end of the world in Revelation 16:20.
These judgments all follow the timeline Jesus gave in Matthew 24.