Revelation... Literal or Symbolical?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by tyndale1946, Mar 20, 2002.

  1. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    There is not one person on this board that doesn't have an opinion on this book. There is a series of books that are best sellers and there have been more books written on this one book than any book in the Bible. My question is the book of Revelation to be understood in a literal or symbolic line of thinking. Was it written literal, symbolical or was it a mixture of both?

    1 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:

    2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

    3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

    What are your thoughts on the book of Revelation?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  2. rlvaughn

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    I believe that the book is both literal and symbolic. The combination of these two elements and the varying interpretations of them causes wide differences of opinion on its overall meaning. In my opinion, we are given a key to intepretation when we come in the door: "...and he sent and signified (esemanen, to indicate by a sign) it by his angel unto his servant John...Rev. 1:1). This revelation by signs and symbols does not preclude literal interpretation or fulfillment. For example, the seven churches of Asia were real churches of the day. Yet the use of only or exactly seven probably has some symbolic reference (but I don't subscribe to the seven ages of the church theory). Also symbolic picturing can have literal fulfillment, such as the angel binding Satan For example, while I do not expect that Satan is bound with a literal iron chain, I would expect that he is bound in some very real sense; and while I do not expect that the 1000 years has to be a literal exact 1000 years in a symbolic book, I would expect that he is bound for a very real period of time.

    Just some vague ramblings, Glen, that may not help much.
     
  3. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    I agree with that Brother Robert and would like to add some of the pictures in the book have to be of a symbolic nature. I do not expect to see a great red dragon in the future or a woman sitting upon a scarlet coloured beast with seven heads and ten horns. Then further on in the chapter it explains what it represents and I believe it can be applied to various other portions of scripture in harmony... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  4. Christopher

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    99.99% of the book is composed of symbols representing realities.
     
  5. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    I definately believe people will be running to the mountains, & begging for death. I believe the earth will convulse, mountains will fall, water turned bitter, people dying by the millions, stars being thrown at earth.

    But I don't plan on being around then.
     
  6. Sularis

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    I believe Revelations is a singularly unique book in that it was designed with the spiritual gifts in mind.

    Revelations was designed to be interpreted and understood in several ways. And each of those ways tend to adhere to a viewpoint that would be espoused by someone strong in a singular gift.

    In that way Revelations is symbolic - but it also literal
     
  7. Bible Believing Bill

    Bible Believing Bill
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    My answer would be I Don't Know . I am currently reading Revelation for the first time. So far I would have to say that I agree with Bro. Vaughn, but I reserve the right to change my mind as I continue to study.

    Bill
     
  8. Chris Temple

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    Symbolic truth to portray the spiritual reality behind human history from the First Advent to the Second Coming.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Literal and symbolic both ... in different places obviously.
     
  10. Brutus

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    both literal and symbolic;Bro.Vaughn,why don't you agree with the 1000 yrs.?
     
  11. tyndale1946

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    The Old Testament is filled with symbolism and it is said that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.

    The book of Revelation is filled with this same type of symbolism and that is how this book is written by John on the isle of Patmos. It is definately literal as the Seven Churches really did exist and the ruins of the cities they existed in are found today.

    The new believer like the one who is just now reading Revelation for the first time has to beware as there are interpretations a plenty that run the gamut in the christian community. He has to be careful because although each and everyone may mean well, its their motive I question.

    I read Revelation for only one reason and that is for further understanding of the belief I already have in Christ Jesus. I don't believe this book is intended for anyone else but the child of God. I myself have been reading and studying this one book for a very long time. This book was never intended to scare anyone into accepting Jesus. That is not its purpose.

    This tactic has been used in the past by various others and many false churches have been started because of it. Church Of Christ, Mormons, Jehova Witness just to mention a few. Brutus I also do not believe in a literal 1,000 year reign you want to discuss it email me and we will talk about it... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ March 21, 2002, 02:51 PM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  12. JAMES2

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    I read in a recent publication (which escapes me at the moment) that there are currently 30,000 different interpretations of Revelation in existence. I guess that should tell us SOMETHING!
    James2
     
  13. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    I thought there were basically four... Pre, Post, Ah and Preterist!... I never heard that!... Where did you get it... Brother Glen :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: ... Whoa Momma!
     
  14. Christopher

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    Revelation is not only about the future, but also the past and present.

    (Rev. 1:19) Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

    To interpret Revelation as pertaining to future events only is incorrect and makes void some of the already fulfilled events about which John was writing (The birth of Christ in ch. 12:1-6).

    It's funny to me some futurists take the whole book and pack into a seven-year period. :eek:

    By His grace, Christopher
     
  15. Michael D. Edwards

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    Yes, it would certainly seem illogical to cram ALL of hte book into 7 years, for already stated reasons (Rev. 12).

    However, one issue is whether or not the 1,000 years is literal. The new testament is ABSOLUTELY silent anywhere but Rev. 20 on the term 1,000 years.

    I think I'll start a thread on that.

    In Christ,
    Michael
     
  16. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    If there is going to be a literal 1,000 year reign and if I'm not mistaken the Jehova Witness teach of a paradise on earth. Is Eden according to scripture going to be restored? When the Lord returns is he going to set up an earthly kingdom and rule from Jerusalem? That is exactly what the basic believe is here and do we have scripture to support it? If you say there are then what are you going to do with these two scriptures?

    John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

    2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

    3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

    Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you that where I am there you may be also. Not only that but he also say I will come again receive you unto myself. Now keeping that in mind compare that with the word of Peter.

    2 Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

    6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

    7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

    8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

    9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

    11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

    12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

    13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

    Looking at verse eight we see the thousands years mention but God is not limited to time like we are and the comparison was to the days of Noah when the world was destroyed by water. According to the word of God they had time to repent but didn't and were destroyed.

    The next time the world will be destroyed by fire and according to scripture the heavens will pass away with a great noise(there's your BIG BANG)and the elements shall melt with ferverent heat, the earth also, and all the works therein shall be burned up!

    According to scripture these verses harmonize and since I'm a firm believer in the doctrine of Unconditional Election, Jesus Christ will return when all has been fulfilled. He will come when we least expect it...and every order of completion will be put into action. He will come and raise those from the dead, changing all those in a moment the twinkling of an eye, judge all mankind separating his sheep from the goats. The goats who are not his will go to the place of eternal torment.

    Those who are his sheep he will take home with him in that place prepared by him, for them, where there are many mansions. Where they will bask in his love for not 1,000 years but for all ETERNITY ... Brother Glen... [​IMG] Where can I get harp lessons? :D

    [ March 22, 2002, 06:16 PM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  17. rlvaughn

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    I wouldn't say that I don't agree with the 1000 years. I just don't agree with some interpretations of it. I agree with what the Bible says, and am willing to consider that this could possibly mean one-thousand 365-day earth years (or 360 or however one wants to count it). But I think that it is more probable that in a highly symbolic book that this number is also symbolic. I am also dissatisfied with all literal interpetations with which I am familiar on this passage. For example, if taken literally, it would seem that this reign does not refer to that normally pictured by most premillennialists, but rather a 1000 year reign of martyred (body-less) saints.
     
  18. Eric B

    Eric B
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    From Revelation "Day of the Lord"/Destruction of earth by fire; replaced by new heavens and earth. Much confusion caused by this passage, since Day of the Lord is seen as pre-millennial (6:17), and the destruction by fire and new earth is post-millennial. A-millennialists like Harold Camping, citing this, completely dismiss the whole idea of a thousand year period altogether). But Peter is most likely including the entire thousand year period as the "Day of the Lord", beginning with the pre-millennial wrath, going through the whole 1000 years of His government on earth, and ending with the final judgment. Significantly enough, it is in this very context that he continues with the classic phrase "with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years, as a day" (v.8)
    One big proof for a literal 100 years is the explicit order of resurrection described in Rev. 20 v.4ff: "And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Now when the thousand years shall be finished, Satan shall be loosed from his prison...

    With all its numbers and images, one way to know which are literal and which are figurative is to see how they are used. When you see numbers used like this, this is a clue that they are literal, else the scripture is filled with meaningless words. (just like the 7 days of creation as they are cited by Jesus).
     
  19. Ray Berrian

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    The allegorical and/or symbolic interpretation of Revelation leads to a contemporary Bible teacher who believes that the church age is over, and that there is a former and later rain. Why do some Bible teachers use a literal interpretation for most of the New Testament but when it comes to much of the Old Testament and Revelation they divert to allegorizing away much of God's holy truth? Part of the answer is they try to patch up their eschatological views because a more literal interpretation conflicts with their predisposed Augustinian and Reformation theological understanding of God's Word.

    Dr. Berrian
     

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