Four Main of Revelation

How Revelation is Interpreted?

The first part of Revelation is fairly clear, extolling the Church for what it is doing and criticizing because of where it should be. Most of the debates lie in Revelation 6:1 through 18:24. Because of the aforementioned reasons, many people have come to varying conclusions. In the comming series, some of the main ones are as layed out for you.

First of all this is not an essential issue, as eschatology is debatable and has no real bearing on orthodoxy verses unorthodoxy.

Nor is this even an important issue, as God is far more concerned with our faith formation and practice than our debate techniques and quibbling. You can be a good deep-seated Christian of the Faith whatever view you subscribe too. Thus, if you hold to a Preterist view and your friend is a Futurist none of you are engaged in heresy, although one of both of you will be wrong! Just make sure you pray, research and think them through. What is wrong and distracting to both Christians and especially non-Christians is when we allow sensationalism and getting carried away with the latest captivating trends of popular or Christian culture. Why? Because the future has not happened yet, as Christ has not come back yet, thus it is foolish to be dogmatic on any human theory. Our sensationalisms will only serve Satan and scoffers and not give glory to Christ!

Each of the first four main views, as well as the others have both merit and deficiencies, all based on human logical reasoning. All of these views can be found in Revelation, but all have significant holes that other parts of Revelation, as well as the other Scriptures, contradict.

Each of these views is within the scope of biblical orthodoxy and can be debated academically without assault to faith and practice. It is fair to both faith and academics to seek each view, taking what is Biblical and merited and rejecting what is not, and still be rationally honest. In fact, this is the best approach that brings us to the fifth view. The fifth one is based on how open and honest we can be and how we obey the rules of Scriptural interpretation, especially word meanings and context. Thus, I believe the proper interpretation is not any of these views specifically or dogmatically. Rather, each one has its good qualities and can be incorporated in the passages where the context and purpose arises.

We are all human and all we know and see comes through our fallen filter made from depravity. We must still do the best we can do. It is always best not to bow to anyone’s reasoning, but take a clear look for ourselves.

It is most probable that each of these views will be in the tapestry of how the events have and will unfold before us. And, when they actually do, as Scripture indicates, all will be made clear to us (Matt. 24). But, whatever view we take (and no view is as important as the honor and reality that He is coming) will be dramatically expressed in due time, His timing, not ours (Thess. 2:1-12; Rev. 1:3; 22:20).

Thus, it is my endeavor to go into Revelation and bring you what it says, not what I or others think it says or should say.

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10 thoughts on “Four Main of Revelation

  1. I agree that one’s view of eschatology may not throw them out of the stream of orthodoxy but i must disagree when you say that it is not even an important issue. Several reason why:
    1. All Scripture is inspired by God and is therefore profitable…that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped unto every good work. thus, Revelation being inspired and the Word of God, it is essential for the Christian’s sanctification and is not to be ignored.
    2. The book of Revelation is full of principles and hope stemming from a glorious picture of Christ triumphing over His and our enemies. This gives great hope and confidence for our lives.
    3. belief leads to actions. What a man believes determines how he lives. If a person has an eschatological view that is defeatist – he will live and make decisions that reflect his defeatist beliefs.

    I make no bones about where I now stand. I am both Postmillennial and take a Preterist approach to interpreting the book of Revelation. I was raised a Dispensational Premill and was so confused by the charts and differing interpretations that commentators and preachers gave for the same passage even though they were in the same theological camp. None of it made sense until I was exposed to the good old Preterist interpretation that has stood for centuries as a clear message sent to be understood by the original audience for whom it was written.

    I thank you for this blog and hope the discussion is both gracious and beneficial for all who both participate and read.

    • I see your point, my point is, that our infighting and speculations distract us from glorying our Lord. Thus, what is important to me, is how we grow in Christ and reverence Him and we can do this by looking into His Word, pull our what He says and not read in what we want it to say… And Revelation gives us that, our speculations do not…

      And how important is this to me? I spent over fifteen yeas of my life with it….

      Great commits btw- thanks…!

      Be blessed!

  2. You are so right about the eisogesis rather than exegesis when it comes to Scripture. It is even more rampant with the book if Revelation because it is the only prophetic book in the New Testament and is filled with much imagery and visions. If one couples that with the prevalent ignorance of the Old Testament which is so pivotal to a correct understanding of this Book it is no wonder so many flawed and wild interpretations have been given to it.

    I believe that the best starting point for the discussion of Revelation would be it’s date of writing. This issue is more critical to my interpretational approach than that of any other. If it is correct that the book was written by John before AD 70 then the clearest interpretation is it’s reference to the Fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 and a natural, historical, grammatical, and YES literal approach can be taken for interpreting it. If however it was written after that date then my Preterist position is undermined as to referring to the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.

    Where do you stand on the date of the book’s writing?

  3. To make this clear, what is not important is to have a view and be dogmatic with it, what is important is Scripture and what Revelation teaches us….

  4. I agree with you there. The wrong approach is to force a text or book to say what one wants it to say rather than let it speak for itself. My studies of the book have lead me to the early date because of the internal evidence that points to an early date. I was raised in church and taught from childhood that the book was written in 96 and even taught the book from that futuristic perspective. I was so confused when I came to texts like 1.1 and 3 as well as 22.6,7,12, 20 which speak of a near and quick coming of Jesus. The text in chapter 12 made no chronological sense from my futurist perspective. this was only the beginning of exegetical problems.

    Let me also say that I am not a Full Preterist. I strongly believe in the future, bobily return of Christ at the end of time and hold to a one time General Resurrection and Judgment of all men then.

    Are you a Preterist and if so; partial or full

    As to what it teaches us- that all stems from how one begins to approach it and understands it.

  5. My Position???? do I dare say-lol:

    Although I am a Reformed pastor and supposed to be A-mill, I have no allegiance or leaning to any of the theory’s. All have their merits and shortcomings as you will see when they are laid out against the backdrop of what the passage says from careful induction…

    But if pinned– the Partial-Preterist position makes the most sense, as, obviously Christ has not returned yet and many of the events described have taken place when you also read Matthew 24 and church history…

    But wait there is more.

    The Historicist position states these events in some form keep repeating and they do (read a history book) and the Spiritual position states these visions apply to our daily life struggles and it does- so there you go…

    Be blessed!

  6. There seem to be two major camps in Christianity with regard to the importance of eschatology. For one the study becomes a constant preoccupation. Every detail is woven into an elaborate system, which then becomes dogma. The other camp seems to be a reaction to the excesses of the first. They hold that all that is important to understand is that Jesus wins in the end, and to go beyond that is futility and folly. Since the Day of the Lord comes as a “thief in the night”, we will remain in the dark until history finally unfolds. (This view is of course reinforced by, but limited to, the post-modern idea that NO serious study of ANY doctrine is of any significance, and that to claim to know anything about anything is arrogance.)

    Certainly approaching eschatology from any particular dogmatic view is dangerous. It is unlikely that any particular system has it all sewed up. On the other hand, it also seems dangerous to assume that the total volume of scripture that is dedicated to the topic was written only to tell us that “Jesus wins in the end”. This flies in the face of the critical hermeneutical principle of “perspicuity”, that is that all scripture was written to be understood (though perhaps with difficulty and never completely). It is true that Daniel and those of his day did not understand what he was writing about; the “words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end”. However John is told “seal NOT the saying of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand”. The Bible says that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief (to most), but if you study and believe what the Bible does reveal about the end times, “you, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake YOU as a thief”. That said, it does not appear that understanding the book is to be left entirely to a future time. Knowing Jesus IS of paramount importance for that determines our salvation, but the understanding of eschatology is still important. How we view the unfolding of God’s plan can profoundly affect the way we live and view the world. The post-millennialist who believes it is the duty of the church to reform the world in order for it to be fit for Christ’s occupation will view the world and act differently from the pre-millennialist who expects the world to be a very bad place prior to Christ’s return. Similarly the pre-tribulationist who expects to be rescued before anything really bad happens will view things differently from the one who expects to have to endure the tribulation before Christ’s return. In short our eschatology does not necessarily determine our orthodoxy, but it IS important because it profoundly affects our world view.

  7. There is a typo at the end of the first paragraph of my previous post. It should say “This view is of course reinforced by, but NOT limited to..”

  8. Great thoughts!

    I have camped on both sides-lol

    We forget that the main thing is not what and how things will happen, but how well will we live for Him. Eschatology is just as much about giving us hope and motivation, inspiration, but what do we do? we fight over it- this is nuts!

    Not necessarily …The language usage and genre was well known and popular then, esp between 200BC and 200 AD. To us, it is metaphoric and unclear, but like today’s street language filled with colorful metaphors that do not make sense unless you lived there, so it is with apocalyptic languages. Yes, many features were not understood until the events unfolded before them and before us… but they knew what was being discussed, these were not secrets or hidden meanings. Thus, that does not mean they, as well as John’s readers 400 years later, did not understand; rather they did and to a high degree… We, as in most Evangelical or Reformed Christians, with a limited education (not knowing biblical languages and cultures) and most of us being biblically illiterate, will not understand it unless we are willing to research, dig and read…. And still we will not know it totally or well, after over 15 years engaged in this, I am clearer yet foggier…

    Be blessed!

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