Some notes on the Book of Revelation
John wrote Revelation in the isle of Patmos, and there is a debate of which John. Many think it was the John of the four gospels. Verse 9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Chapters 1 through 3 are understandable to those reading it that have some knowledge of the bible, but as the other chapters unfold metaphors come into play and need help to understand.
It was written for a reason as The persecutors left it alone as they couldn’t understand what was written.
It is a highly symbolic and figurative book, Christians could read it without fear of being persecuted.
Revelation makes sense if you have a knowledge of history, and it took time for history to develop.
Chapter 2 and 3 of Christ’s criticism on seven churches is easy to follow as noted, but the rest of the book for the most part is highly figurative. The rest of the book mostly is written in metaphors.
The Book of Revelation was written mostly in highly figurative language.
So the persecutors of Christians couldn’t understand What was in its contents, so take this into consideration when reading what’s in the book.
Going back, a thousand two hundred and threescore days from 1798, which is a metaphor probably meaning years, Looks like sometime in the 5th century when we can go back 1300 years, and place the metaphor as starting then in that time period.
It must be something significant that happened though.
In A.D. 533 Justinian, the emperor of the eastern part of the empire issued a decretal letter solemnly recognizing the Roman bishop as “head of the churches.”
Although this may not be the correct answer the starting time did occur around then according to the metaphor.
The foregoing facts, Justinian, the emperor of the eastern part of the empire, have been gleaned from Elliott’s commentary, Vol. 111, pp. 151 to 160. Elliott was a church historian.
A thousand two hundred and threescore days is a metaphor, and may not be that critical on the 1260 years. 1260 days, actually means years.
In Chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation verse: 6, we read, A thousand two hundred and threescore days,
In verse 14, for a time, and times, and half a time, In Revelation 13 (KJV) forty and two months, These three all mean the same, 1260 days, but, this metaphor A thousand two hundred and threescore days, in order for it to conform with history, needs to actually mean years, Which figuratively then can be assumed as, 1260 years.
Note in 2 Peter 3:8 (KJV), “One day with the Lord is as a thousand years” Link There are Three Theories on the Book of Revelation pertaining to the 1260 days
1. It all happened in a Short Time Period After the Early Church had Been Established and functioning This theory is assumed to have taken Place Towards the End of the Third and into the Fourth Century.
This is too short of a time period for the prophecy to have taken place and too short a time in history coincides with the period when the church was corrupted by worldly and human tactics.
2. The Day For a Year Theory
The Day for a Year Theory Comes from these verses in Revelation: Revelation 11:3 A thousand two hundred and threescore days.
This metaphor A thousand two hundred and threescore days, in order for it to conform with history, needs to actually mean years as too much has transpired to only mean 1260 days. Which figuratively then can be assumed as, 1260 years from the departure of the New Testament teachings in the second century to the gradual formation of the church of Rome , or Catholic church, around 350 AD.
From this say starting of the Catholic church in 350 AD to October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 page thesis to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg Saxony now Germany, is credited with starting the Reformation movement.
In this time period the “dark ages” of history were ruling, the true church went into hiding.
Note, Revelation 12:6 (KJV):
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
The woman is the true church.
The countless changes introduced in the government and worship of the church served to render the New Testament completely ineffectual until the 1260 years came about.
The true and only one Church stayed hidden until around this time period in 1798 or a few years sooner. At this time men in various church groups decided on going back to only what the New Testament taught, withdrawing from churches they were associated with and being involved in new ones.
This became known as the Restoration Movement.
Here’s a list of five men who had a part in the restoration , their efforts were to go back to the fundamental teachings of the New Testament.
- James O’Kelly (1757 to 1826)
- Elias Smith and Abner Jones at this time period
- Barton Warren Stone (1772 to 1844)
- Thomas Campbell (1763 to 1854)
- Alexander Campbell (1788 to 1866)
3. [The Premillennialism Theory, another Belief Held By Countless Churches, but totally false. Millennial means a thousand years, premillennial means before the thousand years.
The concept of Premillennialism is one of three main theories in Revelation.
They use Revelation 20:1-6, and somehow interpret these 6 verses into meaning Christ living back on earth for a thousand years.
This is a highly figurative passage which is the foundation passage of the Premillennialism theory.
- “And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.
- And he laid hold on the dragon, the old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,
- and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years should be finished: after this he must be loosed for a little time.
- And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as worshipped not the beast, neither his image, and received not the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they lived, and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
- The rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years should be finished. This is the first resurrection.
- Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: over these the second death hath no
- power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” cannot be taken literally, but a literal one thousand years is insisted.
As we see the advocates of this theory read many things into the passage that are absolutely not there. Note for instance these five assertions about Revelation 20:
- There is no mention of a second coming
- No mention of a bodily resurrection
- No mention of a literal throne of David
- No mention of Jerusalem or Israel
- No mention of Christ returning and reigning for a thousand years on earth
They give Christ’s home on earth to live in is at, Jerusalem in Israel.
Eternal Life in the New Heaven, Revelation 21:1-8 (KJV)
- And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
- And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
- And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
- And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
- And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
- And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
- He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
- But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is
- the second death.
Those not found written in the book of life won’t have eternal life in Heaven
Note, according to their works on earth
According to the New Testament the Gospel must be obeyed why all are living.
Revelation 20:10-15 (KJV)
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
We don’t know when this day is coming, 2 Thessalonians1:7-9 (KJV)
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
Note the unbelieving and all liars, Revelation 21:8 (KJV)
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
A highly recommended commentary on the book of Revelation is:
A Commentary on the Book of Revelation By JOHN T. HINDS
Gospel Advocate Co. Nashville, Tennessee.
I believe it is available in hard cover and paperback.