Have you ever heard this? “I don’t interpret the Bible; I just take it for what it says.”
If there is any book in the Bible that needs to be interpreted, it is the Revelation.
The Revelation is a vision. The difference between a dream and a vision is that with a vision one is awake. What if we were to say we don’t interpret dreams? Joseph told his brothers about a dream he had about sheaves; his brothers rightly interpreted the upright sheaf as representing Joseph and the round about sheaves symbolized the brothers doing obeisance to Joseph. They did not argue about whether the sheaves were of wheat or rye or some other grain. Their focus was not on the symbols but what figures meant.
In another dream about the sun, moon and eleven stars, which Joseph told to his family. His father immediately understood that the sun was Jacob, the moon was Joseph’s mother and the stars his brothers, all of whom were bowing to Joseph. Jacob and the brothers did not speak of the brightness of the sun compared to the moon or starts. They did not speculate as to solar-centered universe as opposed to an earth-centered one.
So, should it be with the signs and symbols, which dominate John’s vision in the Revelation. We should not concentrate on the figures of speech more than on the meaning of the figures. For instance, our love is not so much for the American flag but for the independence and liberty for which the flag stands and flies.
In the Revelation, our interest is primarily on the number 666 as it is the degenerate character the mark of the beast represents. We should not spend much time on whether the mark is a microchip in the hand, or whatever other possibility, but the fact that manifesting the character of Satan dooms us to perdition.
Two wise men, Joseph and Daniel, came into prominence by their ability to interpret dreams. We need to be skilled in interpreting the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John, the Apostle, from preterist, historical, futuristic and most of all spiritual perspective. We ought to understand and apply the principles of this mysterious vision into the churches of our generation and to our individual Christian lives, that we might be prepared for the Final Judgment and Reconciliation.
Revelation is a contrast of the vision of the ideal heavenly realm (the New Jerusalem) with the worldly perspective and apparent reality of Babylon.
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