General information about the book of Daniel and Revelation.
To me, the book of Daniel and Revelation are the two most interesting books in the Bible. It is not that the other 64 books are less interesting, but these two books tell us the story of the people of God in a very special way. Both the book of Daniel and Revelation are primarily about Jesus, what He has done and is doing for us today, and both books also show us both God the Father and God the Son.
In the book of Daniel, in chapter 1, we see how Jesus intervenes in the lives of the four young Hebrews, who had been selected to be given a higher education at the court of King Nebuchadnezzar after being taken captive to Babylon. These four boys, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, do not want to defile themselves with wine or with food sacrificed to the idols, which were considered unclean by the Jews. They got their wish fulfilled and God gives them better health, they appered fairer and fatter the those who eat the food of the king, and not at least they were more knowledgeable than everyone else who received the same education.
- In chapter 3 we see how Jesus intervenes and saves his servants Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah who were thrown into a fiery furnace, and it says in verse 25: … … Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
- In chapter 6, He intervenes and saves Daniel, and we find the following in verse 23: My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocence was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
- In chapter 7 we see both the Father, the Ancient of Days, and the Son, One who was like the Son of Man, in verses 9 and 13: 9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire … // … 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
- In chapter 8 verse 16 we see that Jesus, who is described as a man´s voice, asks the angel Gabriel to explain the vision to Daniel: And I heard a man’s voice between [the banks of] Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this [man] to understand the vision.
- In chapter 10 verses 5-7 once again we see Jesus giving Daniel a vision: 5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins [were] girded with fine gold of Uphaz: 6 His body also [was] like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. 7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
- In chapter 12 verse 1 we see Jesus return to earth to deliver his faithful people: «And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. Michael is another name used about Jesus and means Who is like God.
The same pattern is found in Revelation where John on the Lord’s day is told by the one who calls himself Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, who undoubtedly is Jesus Christ, to write what he has seen in a book and send it to the churches, (Revelation 1,10-11). In the Book of Revelation we also get to see into the very heaven where the Father and the Son are.
- In chapter 1 verse 13 where John sees Jesus walking among the seven candlesticks of gold symbolizing the churches: And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. The seven candlesticks refer to the candlesticks in the temple and this shows us that Jesus works in the heavenly temple.
- In chapter 4 and in verses 1 to 3 we see that God the Father sits on his throne. 1 After this I looked, and behold, a door [was] opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard [was] as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2 And immediately I was in the spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and [one] sat on the throne. 3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and [there was] a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
- In chapter 5 we see both the Son in verses 5, 6 and 7 and the Father in verse 7: 5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof . 6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
- In chapter 10 verse 1 we see Jesus again as a mighty angel: And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow [was] upon his head, and his face [was] as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire.
- In chapter 12 verse 7 we see the origin of the cosmic conflict where Jesus fought Satan and threw him out of heaven: And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.
When Jesus was here on earth for the first time, the Bible he used was what we today call the Old Testament. Jesus was diligent in his use of the Old Testament texts, referring to them all the time. Despite the fact that he referred to the Old Testament several times, it is probably only once that He emphasizes and refers to a named person who has his book in the Bible, and this we find in Matthew 24,15, where Jesus says : When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoso readeth, let him understand:
Also here we find a similarity in the two books. Seven times Jesus says to the seven churches: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
To hear what the Spirit says to the church, as John writes in Revelation, is not just a passive act. Not only should we sit passively in a church and listen to a pastor lay out the scriptures, we also hear what the Spirit says to us as we study the Bible in prayer. Therefore, Jesus urges us, the church, both in the book of Daniel and in Revelation, to read and study the scriptures so that we can prepare for His return, and so that we can avoid being seduced by the enemy, and it is against this seduction Jesus warns us in Matthew chapter 24 and in verses 4, 5, 11 and 24. I consider this warning to be very important because Jesus repeats it four times during a small paragraph of 21 verses.
Not everyone who calls himself a Christian will be recognized by Jesus on the utter day. Unfortunately, there are far too many who are seduced by what itches in the ear, and who choose the path of least resistance when it comes to choices that will determine their fate. Even though salvation is absolutely free, it still costs us everything we have when we have chosen to follow Jesus. We must die from ourselves and let Jesus live in us and for us. Only then we can fully do His will and go where He goes. And it is only those who do the will of God that Jesus will count as his,because Jesus says in Matthew 7,21-23: 21 Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity!
In order to get to know Jesus’ will, it is a prerequisite that we spend as much time as we can with Him, because it is only through spending time with Jesus that we can get to know Him and His will, and that is just by doing His will that we may cling to the hope of the future: the second coming of Christ, the deliverance, and the eternal life in communion with our Creator. That is why it is so incredibly important to study the Bible in general and Daniel and Revelation in particular.
For us Christians, Daniel is one of the great prophets in the Bible. This is not the case in the Jewish Tanákh, where the book of Daniel not is placed together with the other prophetic books, but together with the scriptures. Daniel is thus not considered a prophet according to Jewish tradition. But we have Jesus’ own words that Daniel is a prophet of God. (See Matthew 24,15.)
The book of Daniel is perhaps the most important book we have in the Bible to be able to understand history, because this book gives us a glimpse into the history of the world, and we see how the wordly kingdoms affects God’s faithful people from the time of Daniel and to the second coming of Jesus. It thus gives us a perspective on the history from the year 605 BC. and to the end of this age, in other words, the book of Daniel spans over a time frame of more than 2600 years.
We are taken on a journey through the upheavals that are taking place in the Middle East and Europe that have a direct impact on God’s people. God’s people are here as always:
- Abraham’s carnal descendants until Israel (the Jews) as a nation rejected God by saying that we have no king but Ceasar (John 19,15), when they demanded Jesus crucified, and
- Abraham’s spiritual descendants, the Christians after the cross – regardless of ethnicity.
Many, not to say the vast majority, choose to divide the book of Daniel into two parts, a historical part, and a prophetic part, and they divide it in the middle so that the historical part makes up chapters 1 to 6 while the prophetic part makes up chapters 7 to 12. This is probably not of great significance, but we should keep in mind that chapter 2 contains the most important prophecy in the book of Daniel, and this prophecy is the foundation of the other prophecies in the book of Daniel and in Revelation which deal with the same subject.
The book of Daniel is a sequential book, that is; it repeats itself repeatedly, and chapter 2 is, as mentioned, the foundation of the other prophecies, and chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, repeat the story, complement it and develop it by providing new information from other perspectives such that a complete picture of history is given, thus making the book of Daniel a complete and harmonious book. In this way we get the story through different metals and different beasts, and finally we meet two kings, the king of the North and the king of the South who are in conflict with each other, but who really have the same goal; to destroy the faithful people of God which are those who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12,17) and they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14,12). The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, (Revelation 19,10).
I think it is absolutely crucial that we set the starting point for the prophecies in the book of Daniel to his contemporary, because Daniel sees history develop from his own time and all the way to the second coming of Christ. Ellen G. White and our pioneers also recognized the contemporary principle. Many of these prophecies are related to events that indicate the beginning and/or end of the prophecy. This is what we call time prophecies. One of these time prophecies is the prophecy of the 70 weeks in Daniel 9, which I believe is the most astonishing prophecy we have because it indicates the time when Jesus would appear, be anointed (baptized), which initiated his ministry, and points to his crucifixion and death with an incredible accuracy. Furthermore, one of these time prophecies tells us when we go from prophetic time to the end time. Although the book of Daniel is primarily seen as a prophetic book, it is also eschatological, i.e. it tells us about the last things.
Daniel is an image of the end-time people, and we will face the same challenges in our encounter with modern-day Babylon as the challenges Daniel and his three friends faced in real Babylon. These friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, refused to comply with a royal order to worship a statue of gold despite the death penalty for not following the order. Daniel was denied by another royal decree to pray to his God for a month, but he also ignored this even though it was also a death sentence for those who broke this law. In both cases, Jesus intervenes and saves these men. These events are images (types) of future events (antityps) that soon will strike God’s faithful remnant. Soon an image will be set up (Rev 13,14 and Dan 3,1) that everyone must worship, and then it is implicit in the prophecy that it will be forbidden to worship God the Creator.
Many of the prophecies in the book of Daniel are fulfilled to the letter. This assures us that the word of God, and the prophecies He has given us through His servants the prophets, are trustworthy. When such large parts of the prophecies have been fulfilled to the letter, we can safely assume that the remaining prophecies also will be fulfilled to the letter. But we still must study the Bible and the prophecies so that we can understand what is happening around us, because through the prophecies God announces what will happen and thus God shows us through this that he has full control over history.
I believe that Daniel wrote the book when he was in Babylon, but many critics claim that the book could not possibly have been created in Daniel’s time and justify this with various claims. There are many who reject the early dating of the book, between 605 and 530 BC. and defends this by referring to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, claiming that the prophecies were written to encourage the Jews while he ravaged as worst between 174 and 164 BC.
Another argument that has been used against the book of Daniel is that it is inaccurate, and contains historical errors, such as King Belshazzar. This king was not known from other written sources than the Bible until some more of the pieces that were missing in the puzzle were found. In 1916, the scientist T. G. Pinches published an oath by the kings Nabonidus and Belshazzar (father and son), in which they appear equal, and in 1924 the last piece fell into place when it came for a day that Nabonidus handed over the kingdom to Belshazzar while he himself left to Theme. Nabonidus and Belshazzar were kings at the same time. They were co-regents.
A third argument against the writing of the book of Daniel in the sixth century BC. is that there are some Greek words in the text. One of the Greek words they came across was satrap, but it turned out later to be a Persian word that the Greeks had borrowed. Apart from this word, there are a total of 19 words borrowed from Greek in the Aramaic text, and common to the 19 words is that they are all ancient Greek words that were used until the 300s BC. In other words, they were not in use at the time the critics claim the book was written, approx. year 165 BC.
The history of the world from the time of Daniel until the return of Jesus.
The prophecies in the book of Daniel must be seen as a unit, which is gradually expanded and deepened. The core of the prophecies, which we find in chapter 2 and in the dream King Nebuchadnezzar had, is a prophecy that Daniel interprets for him. Each of the relevant chapters that follow Chapter 2 and which tells about this story gives us new information that complements the previous ones, and builds up a homogeneous story that gives us sure clues as to who is who in the story – and not least what God wants do in the end.
There are many who throughout history have asked the question of whether God has taken a vacation or asked why he is so far away and hiding. See Psalm 10,1; 44,24-25; 88,15. The book of Daniel gives us answers to this, and that God is present we see here in chapter 2 where God addresses a pagan king to make known to the world what he will do in the future. We also see that God is present in chapter 1, chapter 3, and chapter 5, where He helps His faithful servants when they face great difficulties because of their unwavering faith in God.
The chapters that are of greatest interest to us now are these:
Chapter 2 which is roughly about Nebuchadnezzar’s first dream, the dream of the statue, and that God reveals to Daniel both the dream and the interpretation of the dream, which tells the story of God’s people from Daniel’s time and to Jesus’ second coming in the form of this statue of four different metals, and a stone being cut loose, without hands.
Chapter 7 which expands Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, gives new information about the various kingdoms. The difference is that now we meet four different beasts instead of the four metals we saw in Chapter 2, which follow each other, one after the other, but they tell exactly the same story as the statue in chapter 2. Then follows God’s judgment, and an explanation of the vision.
Chapter 8 which continues to expand the prophecies in chapters 2 and 7. Here too the prophecy is given with new symbols, but now there are only three beasts and they are described as a ram, a goat, and a little horn. The first beast is now left out, but otherwise it is the same story that is told once again, and with a third angle. In addition, we get a time prophecy of 2300 days of prophetic days that corresponds to 2300 literal years. I think this time prophecy sets up the framework for some of the prophecies in the book of Daniel.
Chapter 9 which first gives us Daniel’s high priestly prayer before Daniel receives the most remarkable prophecy in the Bible, the prophecy of the seventy weeks, which gives us the time for the Messiah to appear, do his mission, and die on the cross, and that the gospel will be given to the Gentile.
Chapter 10 which is roughly about Daniel having a vision of a great war, which starts with the same kingdoms that Daniel saw in chapter 8. Here too it is the angel Gabriel who explains the visions Daniel has had.
Chapter 11 which is largely about the battle between the king of the north and the king of the south, a battle Daniel saw the beginning of in chapter 10. This battle will continue all the way down to the end-time, until the day God will put an end to evil. This chapter also gives us more and other information about the same story.
Chapter 12 which is about the final deliverance. In addition, this chapter gives us two new time prophecies that lead us to respectively 1798 when the pope was imprisoned (1290 days – counted from 508) and 1843 – which is in the middle of the great Advent movement (1335 days counted from 508). The Pope’s imprisonment and the emergence of the Advent movement are two of the signs we have received that usher in the end times.
When I write the whole world in connection with the prophecies in the book of Daniel and Revelation, this does not mean absolutely the entire world, but it is limited to the part of the world that the prophets care about, which is where God’s people dwell. From the time of Daniel until the end of the Middle Ages, this was in the Middle East and Europe. In John’s day it was still only in the Middle East and Europe, but when God’s people emigrate from Europe to America, and to the whole world literally, the prophecies apply to the whole world.
Revelation, or shall we call it what it is: The Revelation of Jesus Christ according to what appears in the first verse of the book: 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. Although the book was penned by John, the book is a revelation of Jesus telling us what He has done, is doing and will do for His people through all ages. The revelation is therefore first and foremost about Jesus Christ. Even though Revelation shows us beasts, horns, a harlot, and kings, yes, even a dragon, this is not the main focus of the book.
That these beasts, horns, kings and the dragon are given a lot of attention is solely due to the fact that they are part of the cosmic conflict, and that God wants us to know what forces we will face in our daily struggle, so that we can avoid being seduced by the beast depicted here in Revelation.
The revelation was originally written to Greek-speaking Christians, be it Jews or Gentiles, who considered the Old Testament canon to be God’s inspired Word, and who would interpret the new revelation in the light of the Old Testament.
When Martin Luther translated the Bible from Latin into German, he began with the New Testament. When he came to Revelation, he doubted that this book had anything to do with the Bible because it was so different from the other books in the New Testament. But he translated the book. Later, when he translated the Old Testament and came to the book of Daniel, he saw that Revelation really had its place in the Bible. When the first German Bible was published, all the illustrations, absolutely all, were taken from Revelation.
Lamb; referring to Jesus Christ,
the throne; which shows us where some of the events take place,
number 4; which symbolizes a whole, a totality as in the four corners of the world, the four winds, etc. (This is important to keep in mind when studying the seven seals.)
number 7; which is the symbol of the perfect,
number 10; which symbolizes the will of God and the Law of God, and which also symbolizes a least amount of something, (see Genesis 18,32; Amos 5,3; 6,9).
The number seven symbolizes the perfect, or the absolute. In the Book of Revelation, the number seven is related to 18 different words, and we find it 50 times, i.e. in connection with seven letters, seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials. Many believe that the seven letters represent the spiritual, or religious, history of the Church, the seven seals the political history, and the seven trumpets the military history, and that the seven vials are the last seven plagues. We will return to this later.
The prophecies contain symbols and images that must be understood correctly to get the correct understanding of the prophecies. In order to understand them, we must therefore interpret them, and that is probably why there are almost innumerable interpretations of Revelation, the book of Daniel and the Bible in general, which diverge in all directions. Common to many of the interpretations is that they are not based on sound interpretive principles, such as the Bible interprets itself, and such interpretations that not let the Bible interpret itself do more harm than good. Using the Bible as a basis for interpretation is the best, if not the only principle that holds in the long run. We must also take into account that the Bible was written at a time when culture and language were significantly different from the culture and language of our time, and that words that were obvious to the people of that time are not as obvious to us, and that many words do not mean the same thing in our day as they did when the Bible was written. The cultural and linguistic side of the matter is therefore a great challenge we must take into account when we read, and interpret, the Bible.
As the Reformers’ interpretation of the Book of Revelation, and especially Luther’s interpretation, began to gain terrain among Christians, we received three new interpretations, not only of Revelation, but of the entire Bible. This was the preteristic interpretation, the futuristic interpretation, and the dispensational interpretation, all three given by the Jesuits as a counterweight to the Reformers’ interpretation, and the purpose of these was to stem the Reformation and divert attention from the truth. These three models form part of what is called the counter-reformation. It is also these three principles of interpretation that have done the most harm to the sound, biblical interpretation.
Futurism places virtually all prophecies into the future, and it was Francisco Ribera, theologian, and Jesuit (1537 – 1591), who launched the futuristic model of interpretation in 1585. According to this model, the Antichrist will come from Israel and the tribe of Dan, the tribe of Dan became as we know cursed, and that is why Ribera claims that the Antichrist should come from this tribe. According to Ribera, the Antichrist will not appear until after the secret return of Christ and the secret rapture of the believers, and then the Antichrist will rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. This doctrine of interpretation is advocated today by many conservative Protestant Free Churches and Lutheran denominations. As we will see, futurism has a lot in common with dispensationalism.
Preterism, places virtually all the prophecies in the Book of Revelation and the book of Daniel to the past without connection to the present. Louis d’Alcazar, a theologian and Jesuit (1554 – 1613), was the man behind the preteristic model of interpretation. He launched the preteristic model in the work Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi (The Examination of the Secret in Revelation) which was published in 1614, the year after his death. According to this interpretation, therefore, the Antichrist cannot originate from the Christian church, but Louis d’Alcazar says that it is the political Rome that is the Antichrist, and connects this to the persecution of the Christians first and foremost under Emperor Nero, (Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus) who ruled from 13 October 54 until 9 (or 11) June 68 AD. and under Emperor Domitian, (Titus Flavius Domitian) who reigned from 14 September 81 to 18 September 96 AD. Many liberal Protestant theologians today advocate this doctrine of interpretation.
Dispensationalism, roughly speaking, is about dividing human history into seven periods. It is Robert Bellarmine, cardinal, and Jesuit (1542 – 1621), who is behind this model of interpretation. According to this interpretation, the Jews will receive the gospel during the millennium, which they count as the seventh period, following the secret rapture. In short, the doctrine is that God has two special peoples, Israel, and the church, and that the church has therefore not replaced Israel in God’s program and believes that the promises made to the Jews in Old Testament times will be fulfilled in the millennium. In other words, this interpretation makes God, who is a God of order, a God of disorder in that he first has one people, Israel, and after Jesus’ death on the cross, God has the church as his people, and then sometime in the future to have Israel as its people again. But then only after the secret rapture of the church.
Common to these three models of interpretation is that they completely destroy and disrupt the prophecies of the Bible, so that one loses the most essential of sight, that Jesus Christ soon will return – visible.
In addition to the three interpretations that the Counter-Reformation came up with, which are mentioned above, we have mainly three main interpretations of Revelation.
The eschatological interpretation, which interprets most of the book as a prophecy about the latter days.
The ideal historical interpretation, which states that Revelation was written solely to inspire the persecuted Christians at the end of the first century to endure the persecutions.
The church-historical interpretation, which gives a view of the church history from the first century to the second coming of Christ.
How to read the Revelation?
The revelation primarily provides a panorama of the church’s history, and takes place mostly in the heavenly temple, something we see from the candlesticks in chapter 1 verse 12, the golden altar in chapter 8 verse 3 and the ark of the covenant in chapter 11 verse 19, which are all located in the heavenly temple.
Nor the Revelation is a linear book, that is; Revelation does not tell a story that begins in the first verse of chapter 1 and ends with the last verse in chapter 22. This book is also sequential, overlapping itself repeatedly just like the book of Daniel. In the book of Daniel chapter 2 we are presented with the whole history of the world from the time of Daniel until the second coming of Christ, later we get the same story told several times with constantly new and complementary information. So it is with Revelation too. It gives us, as I said, the history of the church through the seven letters, and the story is in a way retold with new information when the seals are opened. Many believe that we also see the history of the church through the seven trumpets. In addition, we can call Revelation a complementary prophecy to the book of Daniel, at least parts of Revelation.
There is no simple answer to how we should read Revelation, the book of Daniel or the Bible in general, nor is there a definitive answer to this, but in order to understand this book in the best possible way, we must take into account the fact that Revelation chapter 12 verse 7 which says: And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, is the starting point for the biblical history. From this verse, the book spreads outward in both directions. We must therefore read the book many times in order to understand the whole of it in a better way.
There may be many ways to read Revelation, the book of Daniel and the Bible, but there are three ways I would recommend. There are: 1 First with a telescope, to get an overview of the book by reading through the book many times so that we get to know the contents, then with 2 a microscope, to go in depth so we can begin to understand what it is all about, to finally use 3 a stethoscope, to listen to what God wants to tell us through His Word.
Furthermore, Revelation is written with diligence, care and thoroughness, and there is not a single little word that is superfluous or unnecessary either in Revelation or in the Bible in general. An indispensable key to understanding Revelation is to look at how John uses words and images from the Old Testament. In the Book of Revelation, all the books of the Bible meet and thus end the biblical canon. The book is in a special way a complement to the book of Daniel. Much of what was sealed in the book of Daniel becomes easier to understand if the book of Daniel is read together with Revelation, and it is therefore crucial that the two books are read and studied together.
The revelation contains quotations from, or allusions to 28 of the Old Testament’s 39 books. An allusion is a reference to another known text or event – and can be a partially hidden quote.
It is said that there is 505 such quotations or allusions, of which 325 come from the prophetic books – in the first place from Isaiah; Jeremiah; Ezekiel and Daniel, but also from smaller prophets like Zechariah; Joel; Amos and Hosea. From the other books of the Old Testament Exodus and the Book of Psalms are the most quoted. Some says that there are references to the New Testament books of Matthew; Luke; 1 and 2 Corinthians; Ephesians; Colossians and 1 Thessalonians.
Revelation is an apocalyptic book, and has its parallel in the book of Daniel, which also is apocalyptic, and both books give us an insight into future events. Therefore, we must also pay attention to what the book of Daniel tells us about the future, and about the conflict between good and evil. Apocalyptic literature is characterized by visions, pictorial language, and symbols. Fortunately, the Bible itself explains these symbols. That a book that reveals the future uses figurative language and symbols is probably due to the fact that God in his wisdom chose to hide from the rulers of the world what powers, authorities, systems and ideologies are in question with the help of these symbols.
When it comes to the prophecies in Revelation, and the rest of the Bible in general, there are also three perspectives we must take into account when we read these, and they are:
a) The past perspective: That we can read about prophecies, which we can see with the help of history have been fulfilled to the letter. Such prophecies could strengthen our belief that the Bible is the Word of God and that the Bible is credible. Many of these prophecies were given hundreds of years before they were fulfilled.
b) The future perspective: That we can read about prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled, but which we can know will be fulfilled, precisely because we through the past perspective know that the Word of God is reliable.
c) The present Perspective: where prophecy can help us to seek God’s wisdom, inspire us, strengthen us, and empower us to endure adversity.
I will place Revelation’s seven blessings under this category, for blessings can be a source of strength, power, inspiration, and life, and tell us that blessed is he that or blessed are those who …
• … die in the Lord from henceforth … (14,13)
• … watcheth, and keepeth his garments … (16,15)
• … are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb … (19,9)
• … hath part in the first resurrection … (20,6)
• … keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book … (22,7)
• … do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city ... (22,14)
John wrote in Revelation that I became in the Spirit on the Lord´s day… … (Revelation 1,10 Darby Bible 1884/1890). Many people want this to be a special day of the week, and Christians in general say that this is Sunday. Among Adventists in general, it is claimed that the Lord´s day is the Sabbath. A third alternative is that the Lord´s day refers to the day of judgment and then in the broadest sense as the end of the end time.
But which interpretation is correct, and does it have any significance
Considering that Revelation reveals the events that lead to what happens before and in connection with Jesus’ return, we can interpret the expression in the Spirit on the Lord´s day so that John in the spirit is led down through time to the Lord´s day (Joel 3,4), and find himself in heaven before the Lord’s throne in the end time, as an extended term. The throne of the Lord here is the throne of God the Father. One can also interpret the Lord´s day in a traditional way, that it is the Sabbath in question. Those who interpret the Lord´s day in this way claim to find evidence for their vision in chapter 4 and verses 1 and 2, where John sees an open door in heaven and heard a voice saying … Come up here, and I will shew thee the things which must take place after these things … Although many believe that the Lord´s day is the special day that John received the Revelation when he sat on Patmos, we must not forget to put it all in the right context. There are certain things we must take into account, and they are:
a) where John is, (verse 9) b) the reason why he is right there, (verse 9) and … c) in what condition he was when he received the revelations (verse 10).
John was thus on the island of Patmos, and the reason he was there was for the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus, and that he became in the spirit.
We can therefore state that it is not the day of the week on which John receives his visions that is of interest, but the reasons why he receives them, and this is what leads to the first interpretation of the Lord´s day, as the day of judgment in the broadest sense.
What else do we find in Revelation?
The book is about the second coming of Christ (1,7), and the seven letters exhort the individual reader to the proper preparation for the Lord’s return, (2,7; 2,11; 2,17; 2,26-29; 3,5-6; 3,12-13; 3,21-22).
The revelation is also in many ways a book of values; God’s values, and how God solves the great controversy. All the way through Revelation we hear an echo from the Old Testament, from the fall of Lucifer (12,7) and creation (14,7), and Revelation tells us that God will one day restore all that went wrong when Adam and Eve were deceived and fall. The conclusion of this book is in stark contrast to the first part of Genesis. At the end of Revelation we read about a world that will be as it was when it came from the Creator’s hand when it was new before sin entered.
1) Man lost the right to the Tree of Life when they fell into sin, Genesis 3,22. After the resurrection, they will again have access to the Tree of Life, Revelation 2,7.
2) When man fell into sin, they also fell under death, Genesis 2,17. After the resurrection, the people will have eternal life again, Revelation 2,11.
3) After the fall, man had to eat his bread in the sweat of his face, Genesis 3,19. After the resurrection, they will receive the hidden manna, Revelation 2,17.
4) After the fall, people were naked, Genesis 3,7. After the resurrection we will be clothed in white robes, which is Jesus’ righteousness, Revelation 3,5.
5) Sin led to man being banished from God, Genesis 3,23. After the resurrection, we will be reunited with God and see him as he is, Revelation 3,12.
All that people lost when they fell into sin, God will eventually restore, and thus the ring will be closed. All sin, which over time has been confessed, will be placed where it rightfully belongs, on the originator of sin, and everything that reminds of sin will be annihilated and God and man will again walk together in all eternity in a world where death, sorrow, or crying exist.
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. Revelation 21,1-5
Who will not live in such a place forever?