Selective Interpretation of the Book of Revelation
Jesus Christ (Rev 1:1)
Apostle John (Rev 1:2,4)
Approximately 94 to 96 A.D.
Different types of interpretations
Believes that things recorded in
Revelation pertain only to the generation of that time and have no bearing on
things taking place today.
Believes that Revelation is a
concise description of things that will occur from that time until the end of
the world. Each of the incidents
written in the book prefigures incidents that are to take place in the
future. However, scholars could not
agree if the historical interpretation is limited only to church history or is
also applicable to the history of the entire world.
Believes that things recorded in
and after Chapter Four will take place after the church has been lifted, when
the seven years of tribulation has come, and when the millennia has been
Spiritual interpretation (2 types)
The first type believes that
every incident recorded in this book serves to train us in our spiritual
life. The second type believes that each
of the recorded incidents reflect upon God's principle in coordinating
historical events and, therefore, is not actual prefiguration of the things to
come. This interpretation is also
termed "inter-pretation of principles", which is to mean that this
book was written to clarify God's principle in dealing with problems.
The Seven Churches (Chapters 2-3)
The Book of Revelation has been
divided into two sections. The first is
"things of the present" and the second is "things of the
future" (Rev 1:19). Things of the
present refers to the seven churches at that time and things of the future
refers to the coming of the latter rain of Holy Spirit, the realization of the
throne of grace, and the things pertaining to the second coming of Christ (Rev
The Seven Churches, scattered in Asia Minor, are
Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia,
which actually exist at the time when the book was written. With the exception of Smyrna
all remaining church were rebuked by Jesus.
The Seven Letters – written not only to the
seven churches, but to all the churches at that time, for it was written at the
end of every letter, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says
to the churches" (Rev 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22)
Contents of the Seven Letters – each letter
began with "I know your works..." (2:2,9,13,19; 3:1,8,15) followed by praises, rebukes, exhortations,
and promises. This may serve as the principle
in our conversation with others.
The Seven Letters and the Churches Today – the
seven letters were written to seven distinctly imperfect churches at that time
to encourage them to improve and to pursue perfection. Churches today which are still imperfect must
also accept the messages in the seven letters to reflect upon their own weakness
to change the bad things and to continue on with the good in order to
eventually reach the state of perfection. (Rev 2:4,5; 3:15,16; Ref. Rom 15:4; I
The Scroll with Seven Seals (Chapters 5-6)
The Scroll – John saw the scroll, sealed with
seven seals, in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. Only the Lamb is worthy of taking the scroll
and opening its seven seals for He has been slain and has redeemed the people
by His own blood in order that they may truly belong to God (Rev 5:9-10). The contents of this scroll, according to
Chapters 6 to 22, are in regards to the salvation and judgment of God. Only God has the authority to administer such
a great task for He has died for our sins and has completed the work of
salvation. After He ascended to heaven,
all authority has been given to Him on heaven and on earth (Mt 28:18; Jn 5:22)
The Seven Seals – The scroll is the main theme
in the book of Revelation. The opening
of the seven seals reveals God’s great plan in the last days. When the seventh seal was opened, seven
angels with seven trumpets appeared; therefore, the blowing of the seven
trumpets is also included in the contents of the scroll.
The First Seal: White Horse – In the New
Testament time God expanded His work through the church (Mk 16:15; Mt 28:18-20;
Eph 1:23; 4:10-11). The horse is
prepared for the day of battle (Prov 21:31).
The color white signifies holiness and the rider of the white horse is
Jesus (Rev 19:11-16). This white horse
has been cleanse by the the blood of Jesus and has the abidance of the Spirit
of God to obey the will of God in conquering the world. The white horse is the TrueChurch. It shall go out conquering and to conquer and
to accomplish God’s great work of salvation.
If it were the false Christ, it cannot conquer and be victorious for
The Second Seal: Red Horse – Red is the color of
blood; the rider of the red horse shall take away peace from the earth for the
people to kill one another. The red
horse is in instrument of Satan to shed the blood of mankind. The rider was granted a great sword,
signifying that he will cause great battles in the future. The red horse appeared immediately after the
white horse (Ref.: Rev 16:13-16; Jas 3:14-16)
The Third Seal: Black Horse – Its rider had a
pair of scales in his hand and there was a voice saying, “A quart of wheat for
a denarius...” One denarius is a day’s
wage, one quart of wheat is a day’s food for man. Which shows the lack of food supply and the
inflation of food price, which are signs of world hunger and poverty (Ezek
4:16; Lam 4:8-10)
The Fourth Seal: Pale Horse – The name of him
who sat on it was Death. Power was given
to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with
death, and by the beasts. Following the
great battles, there will be famines and pestilences in addition to slaying by
evil nations, the world at that time will fully immersed under the powers of
The Fifth Seal: Cry of the Martyrs – Before the
second coming of Christ, there will be great tribulations and disasters like
never before (Mt 24:21-22) and the church will also encounter great persecution
(Rev 20:7-10). Therefore, the second
coming of Christ will take place following the opening of the fifth seal.
The Sixth Seal: The Coming of Christ –
Occurrences in the sixth seal is similar in content to what was recorded in
Matthew Chapter 24. Events of His coming
are identically recorded – the sun became black, the stars of heaven fell to
the earth, and other cosmic disturbances (Rev 20:11). The day of Lord’s coming is the day of great
wrath for the Lamb for it will be the day of judgment for all mankind.
Events recorded in first through the sixth seal
will take place after the establishment of the TrueChurch
of latter rain, but before the second coming of Christ. Events of the Seven Trumpets and Seven Bowls
will take place immediately following the opening of the Sixth Seal, before
the coming of Christ.
The Beast with Seven Heads and Ten Horns
The Beast – A beast rising up out of the sea,
having seven heads and ten horns. The
heads signifies the kings and their kingdoms (Rev 17:9-10). The number seven here should not be taken
literally, for it represent vast and great numbers. They, being many nations, gather as one
group. The horns signify power and
strength. Ten horns signifies the
fullness of power He had the appearance
of a leopard – quick in motion; feet of a bear – full of strength; mouth of a
lion – roaring and thundering. It was
given power by the dragon – an instrument of Satan in the last days (Rev 13:2).
His Deadly Wounds Healed – he had been mortally
wounded but was later healed; therefore, people of all nations followed him and
gave him power and authority that no one can make war against him (Rev 13:3-4)
Persecute the church – blasphemy against God,
against God’s name, Jesus (Jn 17:11), against God’s tabernacle, the church (Heb
8:2), and against those in heaven, the spiritual saints (Eph 2:6; Heb
12:22). He willfully persecutes the
church for forty-two months and was victorious.
Conquer all nations – He was granted authority
to make war and to conquer every tribe, tongue, and nation (Rev 13:7; Dan 8:24)
The Beast from the Land – he had two horns like
a lamb and spoke like a dragon. He is
the false prophet and false Christ. He
caused the people to worship the first beast and exercises its powers to
destroy the earth. However, his ending
is like that of the first beast – being thrown alive into the lake of fire (Rev
The first beast is the “little horn” as
prophesied in the book of Daniel, the anti-Christ who does the evil deeds. His appearance is one of the signs of the
last days (Dan 7:7,8,11,25,26; 8:9-12,23-24; 11:31,36,37; Mt 24:15-22).
The One Hundred Forty-Four Thousand (Chapter 14)
MountZion – an
alternate name of Jerusalem. MountZion is spiritual, the
True Church of God (Heb 12:22-24; Gal 4:26).
The TrueChurch is the spiritual holy temple, the
throne of God. Within it are the Lamb,
the Four Living Creatures, the twenty-four Elders, the 144,000 chosen people,
and countless multitudes of angels (Rev 14:1; 4:4,6; 5:11). This wonderful assembly and gathering in
heaven should also be evident in the True Church of God on earth (Heb 8:5;
The 144,000 – they were bought with a
price. This is the total number of
people who were redeemed (the number 144,000 is not to be taken literally, it
is merely a figurative number set by God).
They have the likeness of Christ (Eph 4:21-24; I
Cor 11:1; Gal 4:19), and have been through the great tribulation and are worthy
to be regarded a perfect saints. Their
foreheads are sealed with the name of God - Jesus (Jn 17:11; 10:30). Their characteristics are:
Holiness – have not defiled themselves, for they
are virgins (Rev 14:4; II Cor 11:2)
Submission – they follow the Lamb wherever He
goes (Rev 14:4; Phil 2:8)
Honesty – in their mouth was found no guile (Rev
14:5; Jas 3:2)
Blameless – they are without fault (Rev 14:5;
Eph 5:27; I Thess 5:23-24)
The Great Babylon
the Great – the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth (Rev
17:5); the great city which reigns over the kings of the earth (17:18); the
mother of all abominations (17:6); the dwelling place of Satan (18:2-3). “The waters which you saw... are peoples, multitudes,
nations, and tongues.” (17:15)
Her Sins – blasphemy against God, shed the blood
of prophets and saints (17:3,6; 19:2; 18:24) and all who were slain on earth
(18:24), arrogance, fornication, and indulgence (18:7,3,9,; 17:2).
Her Ending – she will be hated by her beast and
by the ten horns to make her desolate and to make her eat her flesh and burn
her with fire (17:16). Within a day’s
time she will be be burned and destroyed (18:8,10,17,19). Finally, she will be like a great millstone
being thrown into the sea and not be found again (18:21).
The Calling of God – “Come out of her, my
people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” (Rev
The New Jerusalem (Chapter 21)
Descend from heaven – the new Jerusalem
descending from heaven (Rev 21:1,2) on top of a great mountain (21:10; Is
She is the bride of the Lamb – the holy city of Jerusalem that descends
from heaven to be the bride of the Lamb (21:9-10; Gal 4:26; Heb 12:22)
The New Jerusalem – the characteristics:
A pure river of water of life (22:1) –
signifying the river
of Holy Spirt (Jn
7:37-39). A church without Holy Spirit
does not belong to Christ (Rom 8:9; Eph 1:23).
Twelve foundations with the names of the twelve
apostles (21:14) – the foundation of the church must be firmly established upon
the teachings of the apostles (Eph 2:20).
It shall not set any other foundation and it shall not preach any other
gospel (Gal 1:6-9; II Cor 11:4).
A great and high wall (21:12) – signifies God’s
secure protection and also to be clearly divided from the world outside and be
sanctified (Ref.: I Kg 9:3; II Tim 2:19).
Twelve gates (21:13) – three gates each on the
east, north, south, and west signifying the spread of the Gospel in all directions
to save the souls of mankind (Mk 16:15; Mt 28:20; Gen 13:14-17; Rom 1:16).
No need of sun or moon to shine (21:23) – there
is no need for material things and physical joy and satisfaction. By the glorious light of God and the
spiritual joy, our hearts will be fully satisfied.