Bible Discussion: Trying To Understand Revelation

Trying To Understand Revelation
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Stone
2004-11-04 13:03:41 EST
I worked in a warehouse and for seven years I listened to the King James
Bible, on tape, all day long with a
small tape player in my pocket and an ear phone in my ear. I covered the
whole new testament in about 4
days and the whole old testament in about 3 and a half weeks. I also
listened to it at home. After going through the book of Revelation, around
100 times (more or less) I started to understand it. The book of Revelation
seems to be a collection of visions that are not given in proper
chronological order. Example: A vision given at the beginning of the book
might show things that happen in the beginning, middle and end of the
tribulation period, and this vision ends. The following vision that is
recorded might contain things only about the first 31/2 years of the
tribulation period, then the vision ends. This can be followed by a vision
that might contain things about only the last 31/2 years of the tribulation
period, then the vision ends. This might be followed by a vision containing
things at the beginning, middle and end of the tribulation period, then the
vision ends. There may also be brief references to things that already
happened in the past. I am trying to give you an example of what I mean by
writing this. You need to compare all of the scriptures in Revelation with
one another to figure out the proper order that the events will happen.
Things stated near the end of the book might refer to things that will
happen at the beginning of the tribulation period. Things stated in the
middle of the book might refer to things that will happen at the end of the
tribulation period. Do you see what I am trying to say? This is why people
have so much trouble understanding the book of Revelation.
When I tried to understand it as if everything was given in the
chronological order that it is supposed to
happen, it always seemed to have contradictions. Therefore, I believe that
this is not the proper way to understand it.




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Psalmsmith
2004-11-04 16:41:24 EST
In article <418a6efd_7@news1.uncensored-news.com>,
"stone" <antiaging@ineedhits-mail.com> wrote:

> I worked in a warehouse and for seven years I listened to the King James
> Bible, on tape, all day long with a
> small tape player in my pocket and an ear phone in my ear. I covered the
> whole new testament in about 4
> days and the whole old testament in about 3 and a half weeks. I also
> listened to it at home. After going through the book of Revelation, around
> 100 times (more or less) I started to understand it. The book of Revelation
> seems to be a collection of visions that are not given in proper
> chronological order. Example: A vision given at the beginning of the book
> might show things that happen in the beginning, middle and end of the
> tribulation period, and this vision ends. The following vision that is
> recorded might contain things only about the first 31/2 years of the
> tribulation period, then the vision ends. This can be followed by a vision
> that might contain things about only the last 31/2 years of the tribulation
> period, then the vision ends. This might be followed by a vision containing
> things at the beginning, middle and end of the tribulation period, then the
> vision ends. There may also be brief references to things that already
> happened in the past. I am trying to give you an example of what I mean by
> writing this. You need to compare all of the scriptures in Revelation with
> one another to figure out the proper order that the events will happen.
> Things stated near the end of the book might refer to things that will
> happen at the beginning of the tribulation period. Things stated in the
> middle of the book might refer to things that will happen at the end of the
> tribulation period. Do you see what I am trying to say? This is why people
> have so much trouble understanding the book of Revelation.
> When I tried to understand it as if everything was given in the
> chronological order that it is supposed to
> happen, it always seemed to have contradictions. Therefore, I believe that
> this is not the proper way to understand it.
>

No, the Revelation is not in chronological order as we know it, but the
order of time is key to it's understanding.

The way I understand it, is that the seven letters to the seven churches
is the primary object being described, and then that singular
seven-sided object, is expanded out through the rest of the book in
tesseract (four dimensions).

Of course, that description is in fact simpler than the reality of what
the Revelation actually is, nevertheless for /me/ it is the best
description that can be put into (relatively) simple words.



What do I mean? Instead of considering the seven letters for a moment,
consider instead a simple cube. A cube is a three dimensional object
having length, width, and depth. A cube can be /tesseracted/ by adding
a fourth dimension, which is generally considered to be 'time.'

Several attempts have been made to depict a "four dimensional cube" on
flat (2D) paper or in volume (3D) space. These depictions are called
'tesseracts.' In 1955, Salvador Dal\ufffd actually depicted Jesus Christ
being crucified atop a tesseract in an attempt to convey how this action
transcends our conventional understanding of space and time.

But I personally believe that the Revelation uses the seven letters to
describe the plenary oblect -- i.e. a seven-sided solid (as opposed to a
cube's six sides) which has then been /teseracted/ across the remaining
pages of the Revelation itself.

Moshe
2004-11-04 21:41:31 EST
In article <418a6efd_7@news1.uncensored-news.com>, stone says...


>...This is why people
>have so much trouble understanding the book of Revelation.
>When I tried to understand it as if everything was given in the
>chronological order that it is supposed to
> happen, it always seemed to have contradictions. Therefore, I believe that
>this is not the proper way to understand it.

***********************

The main events listed in the book of Revelation are the 7 Seals and the 7
Trumpets and the 7 Bowl Judgements and the Millennium, which are listed in the
correct chronological order in which they will be fulfilled.

However, those main events in the book of Revelation are sometimes interrupted
by what I call "vignettes" or "picture stories".

As the main events are unfolding on the time line, a sudden "time out" will be
called to give a vignette, and that vignette is always a story which builds up
to and illustrates the *next* main event which is going to happen on the time
line.
When the vignette is finished, Revelation goes back to the main event time line,
giving the next event, the very event that the vignette had just predicted /
illustrated.

Therefore, the main events are prophecies, and the vignettes are prophecies
about the upcoming prophecies.

Rather than go into further confusing detail trying to explain the principle,
I'll just show what Revelation does so that the principle reveals itself:

---------------------------------

Revelation 6:1-2 = 1st Seal

Revelation 6:3-4 = 2nd Seal

Revelation 6:5-6 = 3rd Seal

Revelation 6:7-8 = 4th Seal

Revelation 6:9-11 = 5th Seal

Revelation 6:12-17 = 6th Seal

Revelation 7:1-17 = 1st Vignette that builds up to / predicts / illustrates what
will happen at 7th Seal

Revelation 8:1-5 = 7th Seal

Revelation 8:6-7 = 1st Trumpet

Revelation 8:8-9 = 2nd Trumpet

Revelation 8:10-11 = 3rd Trumpet

Revelation 8:12-13 = 4th Trumpet

Revelation 9:1-12 = 5th Trumpet

Revelation 9:13-21 = 6th Trumpet

Revelation 10:1-11:14 = 2nd Vignette that builds up to / predicts / illustrates
what will happen at 7th Trumpet

Revelation 11:15-19 = 7th Trumpet ( Resurrection and Rapture)

Revelation 12:1-15:8 = 3rd Vignette that builds up to / predicts / illustrates
what will happen at 1st Bowl Judgement

Revelation 16:1-2 = Ist Bowl

Revelation 16:3 = 2nd Bowl

Revelation 16:4-7 = 3rd Bowl

Revelation 16:8-9 = 4th Bowl

Revelation 16:10-11 = 5th Bowl

Revelation 16:12-16 = 6th Bowl

Revelation 16:17-21 = 7th Bowl

Revelation 17:1-19:10 = 4th Vignette that builds up to / predicts / illustrates
what will happen at the 2nd coming of Jesus

Revelation 19:11-21 = 2nd coming of Jesus

Revelation 20:1-6 = The Millennium

Revelation 20:7-10 = Final rebellion of Satan

Revelation 20:11-15 = White Throne Judgement

Revelation 21:1-22:21 = New Heaven and New Earth

---------------------------------

So there are 4 vignettes which interrupt the main events of the Seals / Trumpets
/ Bowls / Millennium time line.

The 1st vignette in Revelation 7:1-17 shows saints on Earth still dying in the
Great Tribulation so that they become absent from the earthly body and present
with the Lord, while God is sealing 144,000 unsaved Israelites to protect them
from harm during the upcoming Trumpets and Bowls.
When the vignette is over, Revelation resumes the course of regular events by
going to the 7th Seal.
That silence during the 7th Seal is exactly when the sealing of the 144,000
actually takes place on the time line.
The 1st vignette predicted and described what would happen in the 7th Seal.
[If the validity of that principle is not clear from the first vignette, it
becomes crystal clear in the subsequent vignettes]

The 2nd vignette in Revelation 10:1-11:14 shows the 2 witnesses preaching in
Israel for 1,260 days (or 42 months or 3.5 years).
At the end of those 1,260 days, the 2 witnesses are killed, then they rise from
the dead, then they ascend to Heaven.
When that vignette is over, Revelation resumes the course of regular events by
going to the 7th Trumpet.
The 7th Trumpet is the last trumpet of the Bible, which corresponds to the last
trumpet of the resurrection and rapture as stated in I Corinthians 15:51-54.
Revelation 11:18 confirms that by saying that it is time to judge the dead and
reward the saints.
The resurrection and rapture of the 2 saints in the 2nd Vignette predicted and
decribed the resurrection and rapture of all saints that would happen in the 7th
Trumpet.
The 7th Trumpet is when the 2 witnesses are actually resurrected and raptured on
the time line, at the same time as all the rest of the saints.

The 3rd Vignette of Revelation 12:1-15:8 traces history from the birth of Jesus
through the Great Tribulation and up to the winepress of the wrath of God.
When that vignette is over, Revelation resumes the course of regular events by
going to the 1st Bowl Judgement.
Sure enough, the 1st Bowl is the beginning of the wrath of God, when the
winepress of God's wrath actually starts on the time line (the trumpets had been
severe warnings regarding the upcoming wrath of God, but the trumpets had not
been the wrath of God themselves).

The 4th vignette of Revelation 17:1-19:10 describes Babylon the Great, then her
destruction by the anti-Christ, and then the announcement that it is time for
the bride to marry the Lamb.
When the vignette is over, Revelation resumes the course of regular events on
the time line by showing the 2nd coming of Jesus and the beginning of our reign
with him.

When one realizes that the 4 vignettes are momentary "time-outs" in the
unfurling of the time line, with each vignette giving a picture story building
up to and describing the *next* event on the time line, everything in Revelation
finally falls into place and makes sense in chronological terms.

By the way, if you know of anyone else who interprets Revelation the way I do,
please let me know.

Back in the mid 1980's when I first read many prophecies of the Bible and
discovered that the Great Tribulation only lasts 3.5 years (as the second half
of Daniel's final week), and that the Rapture takes place after the Great
Tribulation, I wondered if anyone else in the world had read and understood the
same thing in the Bible.
I had to wait until I got on the Internet in 1999 to discover that there *were*
other "post-tribbers" in the world.

Now it woud be nice if the Internet would enable me to find other people who
interpret the book of Revelation the way I see it.

Because, as Daniel 12 shows, these are the end times and God is finally
unsealing the books so that we can finally understand them just before the
events start to happen.

- moshe


R. Berry
2004-11-05 10:02:50 EST

"stone" wrote in message >

After going through the book of Revelation, around
> 100 times (more or less) I started to understand it. The book of
Revelation
> seems to be a collection of visions that are not given in proper
> chronological order.

Stone, buddy:

You should also read the Apocalypse of Peter, the Apocalypse of Paul, the
Apocalypse of Thomas. Maybe throw in the Apocalypse of Ezra and the
Apocalypse of Baruch.

It would give you a feel for the idea of an apocalypse, and the many ideas
of how the end time would be.

Then rather than waste time, trying to figure out the chronology of
something you will never see, you could just pick an end time to fit your
purpose.

Never limit yourself. Keep learning.

Smile.



George Peatty
2004-11-05 14:41:31 EST
On 4 Nov 2004 18:41:31 -0800, moshe <moshe_member@newsguy.com> wrote:

>Revelation 6:1-2 = 1st Seal
>
>Revelation 6:3-4 = 2nd Seal
>
>Revelation 6:5-6 = 3rd Seal
>
>Revelation 6:7-8 = 4th Seal
>
>Revelation 6:9-11 = 5th Seal
>
>Revelation 6:12-17 = 6th Seal
>
>Revelation 7:1-17 = 1st Vignette that builds up to / predicts / illustrates what
>will happen at 7th Seal
>
>Revelation 8:1-5 = 7th Seal
>
>Revelation 8:6-7 = 1st Trumpet
>
>Revelation 8:8-9 = 2nd Trumpet
>
>Revelation 8:10-11 = 3rd Trumpet
>
>Revelation 8:12-13 = 4th Trumpet
>
>Revelation 9:1-12 = 5th Trumpet
>
>Revelation 9:13-21 = 6th Trumpet
>
>Revelation 10:1-11:14 = 2nd Vignette that builds up to / predicts / illustrates
>what will happen at 7th Trumpet
>
>Revelation 11:15-19 = 7th Trumpet ( Resurrection and Rapture)
>
>Revelation 12:1-15:8 = 3rd Vignette that builds up to / predicts / illustrates
>what will happen at 1st Bowl Judgement
>
>Revelation 16:1-2 = Ist Bowl
>
>Revelation 16:3 = 2nd Bowl
>
>Revelation 16:4-7 = 3rd Bowl
>
>Revelation 16:8-9 = 4th Bowl
>
>Revelation 16:10-11 = 5th Bowl
>
>Revelation 16:12-16 = 6th Bowl
>
>Revelation 16:17-21 = 7th Bowl
>
>Revelation 17:1-19:10 = 4th Vignette that builds up to / predicts / illustrates
>what will happen at the 2nd coming of Jesus
>
>Revelation 19:11-21 = 2nd coming of Jesus
>
>Revelation 20:1-6 = The Millennium
>
>Revelation 20:7-10 = Final rebellion of Satan
>
>Revelation 20:11-15 = White Throne Judgement
>
>Revelation 21:1-22:21 = New Heaven and New Earth

I am pre-trib, pre-mil, but what I've quoted above is sound exegesis, I
believe, and I can't say that about much of what I read here.


Randy
2004-11-05 15:42:14 EST

"moshe"
stone
>>...This is why people
>>have so much trouble understanding the book of Revelation.
>>When I tried to understand it as if everything was given in the
>>chronological order that it is supposed to
>> happen, it always seemed to have contradictions. Therefore, I believe
>> that
>>this is not the proper way to understand it.

> The main events listed in the book of Revelation are the 7 Seals and the 7
> Trumpets and the 7 Bowl Judgements and the Millennium, which are listed in
> the
> correct chronological order in which they will be fulfilled.

moshe, I really like the way you go on to describe how events are
interrupted by "vignettes." I think this is really true. However, I can't
say that the book of Revelation is chronological. It does, of course, flow
in that direction. But the book is a number of overlapping visions, some
describing the very same events in different ways in different contexts. In
other words, the book of Revelation has a *narrative* order, like a novel.
But the order is not always chronological, but rather, a set of visions
describing a particular period of time in a number of different ways.

I discovered this a couple decades ago when I studied the symbols and images
in the Revelation, as used in the OT. I discovered that nearly all of the
images used in Revelation can be applied in an apocalyptic context depicting
the return of the Lord. The whole book, then, can best be understood as
describing the context of Christ's coming itself, and not as a kind of
apocalyptic novel in chronological order. The variety of visions are meant
to fulfill the many issues concerned in eschatology, from judgment to
salvation, to Israel's national salvation, to the inclusion of the Gentile
nations in Israel's salvation.

> However, those main events in the book of Revelation are sometimes
> interrupted
> by what I call "vignettes" or "picture stories".
>
> As the main events are unfolding on the time line, a sudden "time out"
> will be
> called to give a vignette, and that vignette is always a story which
> builds up
> to and illustrates the *next* main event which is going to happen on the
> time
> line.
> When the vignette is finished, Revelation goes back to the main event time
> line,
> giving the next event, the very event that the vignette had just predicted
> /
> illustrated.

> When one realizes that the 4 vignettes are momentary "time-outs" in the
> unfurling of the time line, with each vignette giving a picture story
> building
> up to and describing the *next* event on the time line, everything in
> Revelation
> finally falls into place and makes sense in chronological terms.

The visions given in Revelation can stand alone, but are a part of a
narrative sequence, which is often chronological (but not necessarily so).
As Daniel received a number of different visions, and heard from angels on
different occasions, so does John see different angels appearing and giving
different visions. The book of Revelation can be seen as a single unit, or
as a series of visions complete in themselves.

> By the way, if you know of anyone else who interprets Revelation the way I
> do,
> please let me know.

I agree with your basic concept of general chronological sequence, but not
necessarily so. I really like how you describe the visions as they use
"vignettes." This is a very original way of putting it.

> Back in the mid 1980's when I first read many prophecies of the Bible and
> discovered that the Great Tribulation only lasts 3.5 years (as the second
> half
> of Daniel's final week), and that the Rapture takes place after the Great
> Tribulation, I wondered if anyone else in the world had read and
> understood the
> same thing in the Bible....

I became a postribulationist in the early 70s when my older brother insisted
I memorize Scriptures. One of the first books I memorized was 2
Thessalonians, because I loved prophecy. I was astonished to realize I had
been memorizing postrib doctrine! I had been taught pretribism almost
exclusively in my church.

In the late 70s I moved to S. California and had a little crisis over my
beliefs. I listened to Chuck Smith (of Calvary Chapel fame) on the radio, as
he commented on the book of Revelation and prophecy. The climate in that
region was very very pretrib. As I pondered if I was being obstinate or
what, I began to search out a bookstore at Melodyland Christian Center,
Anaheim. I stranger walked up to me and offered help. After explaining my
dilemma he recommended two books, which turn out to be postrib standards on
the subject, George Eldon Ladd's "The Blessed Hope," and Robert Gundry's
"The Church and the Tribulation." Then I felt the Lord convict me that I had
not simply believed in what I already knew from 2 Thessalonians. In the
interest of Christian objectivity I had been willing to sacrifice truth, to
somehow find a middle ground that pretribbers might accept. I became a
steadfast postribulationist forever.

> I had to wait until I got on the Internet in 1999 to discover that there
> *were*
> other "post-tribbers" in the world.

I was also surprised how many postrib voices had not been given a hearing,
except by internet!
Interestingly, moshe, I think it was I who was able to convince the famed
Walter Martin to make a tape favoring postribism before he died. I could be
wrong, but I think so.

> Now it woud be nice if the Internet would enable me to find other people
> who
> interpret the book of Revelation the way I see it.

;) I love it.
Throughout my life I've had to make so many modifications that anytime I
hear somebody say they've held their position consistently through the
years, I know they're deaf and can't hear God! ;) I appreciate your honesty,
quite sincerely.

> Because, as Daniel 12 shows, these are the end times and God is finally
> unsealing the books so that we can finally understand them just before the
> events start to happen.

And that is true. Just read the newspapers.
randy



Mark T
2004-11-05 18:47:35 EST
"R. Berry" wrote:

> After going through the book of Revelation, around
>> 100 times (more or less) I started to understand it. The book of
> Revelation
>> seems to be a collection of visions that are not given in proper
>> chronological order.
>
> Stone, buddy:
>
> You should also read the Apocalypse of Peter, the Apocalypse of Paul, the
> Apocalypse of Thomas. Maybe throw in the Apocalypse of Ezra and the
> Apocalypse of Baruch.
>
> It would give you a feel for the idea of an apocalypse, and the many ideas
> of how the end time would be.
>
> Then rather than waste time, trying to figure out the chronology of
> something you will never see, you could just pick an end time to fit your
> purpose.
>
> Never limit yourself. Keep learning.
>
> Smile.


You are trying to get a fundamentalist to think. This is attempting a minor
miracle!

The books mentioned above (and more) can be found at
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/.

The Apocalypse of Peter was almost put in the bible instead of John's
revelation.


--
#################################################
My Testimony at
http://www.alt-christianlife.com/testimonials/mark_tindall.htm

***********************************************************

'As rare as a Fundamentalist who loves his enemy.

#################################################
... quoting from James Barr's book "Fundamentalism" on the three
distinguishing features of the Fundamentalist '... an assurance that those
who do not share their religious viewpoint are not really true Christians at
all.' - Peter Cameron "Heretic" (Doubleday; Sydney: 1994) p. 178
#################################################




Moshe
2004-11-05 22:49:48 EST

....

>You are trying to get a fundamentalist to think. This is attempting a minor
>miracle!

**********

By definition, a fundamentalist remains faithful to the fundamentals of the
faith.

A non-fundamentalist abandons the fundamentals of the faith.

Any idiot can fail to see and so not believe.

It takes insight and courage to believe and to put your life on the line.

- moshe


Moshe
2004-11-05 22:59:48 EST
In article <2v26tbF2fegl2U1@uni-berlin.de>, randy says...


>...But the book is a number of overlapping visions, some
>describing the very same events in different ways in different contexts.

*******

I agree, since that is what I claim about the vignettes.

A vignette overlaps the next event on the time line and shows that event from a
different perspective so as to give a better understanding of it.
The vignette is a type of close-up shot of what is going to happen next on the
time line.

The vignette in the 1st half of Revelation chapter 11 overlaps the 7th Trumpet
resurrection and rapture in the 2nd half of Revelation chapter 11, because they
are talking about the same event, when all the saints get resurrected and
raptured.
But the vignette describes it in a more personal way, from a different
perspective, in a close-up shot, by focusing on how it happens to 2 specific
individuals, even though those 2 witnesses are resurrected and raptured at
exactly the same time as everyone else.
It is like the vignette is a close-up shot of what will happen next on the time
lime.
When the vignette is done and the time line is rejoined, the camera pulls back
and gives the wider shot, the big picture this time.

- moshe


Roy Mock
2004-11-06 02:29:03 EST

"stone" <antiaging@ineedhits-mail.com> wrote in message
news:418a6efd_7@news1.uncensored-news.com...
>I worked in a warehouse and for seven years I listened to the King James
> Bible, on tape, all day long with a
> small tape player in my pocket and an ear phone in my ear. I covered the
> whole new testament in about 4
> days and the whole old testament in about 3 and a half weeks. I also
> listened to it at home. After going through the book of Revelation, around
> 100 times (more or less) I started to understand it. The book of
> Revelation
> seems to be a collection of visions that are not given in proper
> chronological order. Example: A vision given at the beginning of the
> book
> might show things that happen in the beginning, middle and end of the
> tribulation period, and this vision ends. The following vision that is
> recorded might contain things only about the first 31/2 years of the
> tribulation period, then the vision ends. This can be followed by a
> vision
> that might contain things about only the last 31/2 years of the
> tribulation
> period, then the vision ends. This might be followed by a vision
> containing
> things at the beginning, middle and end of the tribulation period, then
> the
> vision ends. There may also be brief references to things that already
> happened in the past. I am trying to give you an example of what I mean
> by
> writing this. You need to compare all of the scriptures in Revelation
> with
> one another to figure out the proper order that the events will happen.
> Things stated near the end of the book might refer to things that will
> happen at the beginning of the tribul ationperiod.Thingsstatedinthe
> middle of the book might refer to things that will happen at the end of
> the
> tribulation period. Do you see what I am trying to say? This is why
> people
> have so much trouble understanding the book of Revelation.
> When I tried to understand it as if everything was given in the
> chronological order that it is supposed to
> happen, it always seemed to have contradictions. Therefore, I believe that
> this is not the proper way to understand it.

The explanation that makes best sense to me is this: It is a literary genre
common of the period and draws on imagery and allusion to convey its
message. It would make more sense to the NT reader than to us today. For
example, I have no chance understanding grid-iron since I don't have an
insight in the rules nor jargon the commentators use.

I wouldn't get bogged down about the finer details for most of the
revelation. The big picture provide enough insight of things to come.
Pivotal moments appear to be revisited or expressed in different terms -
like watching different camera angles of the same football moment - or
adding layering upon layer to build up a picture.

I'd be hopeless in trying to explain electricity to a native tribesman in
the deep forests of South America. John is trying to convey indescribable
heavenly things in familiar earthly terms. Savour the imageries as we wait
the Day.

Cheers.


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