(The article below is an answer I composed to a question poised on the Christian Chat forum and presented here for the visitors to my sight to read also.)
[QUOTE=samuel23;2970438]Just some off hand things about Revelation. If you start from chapter 4 and try to read the rest of Revelation as you would any other written description of events you will be confused. There are to be 144,000 Jews, 12,000 from each of the tribes of Israel when the tribes of Israel ceased long ago. At the final battle vultures will eat the bodies of horses when horses are not used in battle today. Don’t get the wrong idea, I believe that Revelation is inspired of God, however do we assume the 144 thousand Jews just meant consecrated Jews and the horses meant machines? Also, why is Rev written in such an unorthodox manner that it cannot be understood in the traditional way? Anyone have any good answers?[/QUOTE]
Thank you for your question. What a wonderful way for me to start my social campaign for the research life work I started working on over 50 years ago. The questions you have asked here are questions which have been asked repeatedly for the past 2000 years and answered by scores of scholars, theologians and laymen alike; those claiming to have the gift of prophecy given by YHWH, God, himself, or through a multitude of years in theological schools and other intensive study. Most of the answers you have received in this forum thus far have been well thought out and mostly provable points generally taught by the “dispensationalists.” I especially appreciate the points made by tanakh who referred you to find direction toward understanding The Book of The Revelation in the Bible’s Old Testament prophetic writings, and the opening statement made by Stunnedbygrace who stated that: “I think Revelation is written in a form that is so confusing to the human mind that no man will figure out any part of it without the Holy Spirits help.”
I asked for that help when I was but still a teenager and had an experience which ended up in an intensive Biblical study which lasted about 25 years with a self-published rough draft of a book explaining the process I went through and the basic understanding of the prophecy as given in The Revelation. This book answers the type of questions you have asked here in this forum and many others, but it does not follow conventional dispensational thought, nor specifically any other theory/theology being promoted by the current day theologians. Room and courtesy does not allow a detailed accounting for how the prophecies are best interpreted here in this forum, however you can read my book free if you have a Kindle Unlimited membership. The book is for sale on Kindle also at a low price which I mention only to let you know at risk of being censored by this Web-sites managers for breaking the forum’s marketing rules. This is mention of my book is for your information only and not intended to specifically promote the sale of my book. You can find it by entering “Robbins REVEALED” into the Amazon.com search engine. However if this answer to the question is censored or not allowed to post due to the marketing rule, I understand as I am in full agreement with that rule.
Now, let’s look at a few of your questions. I am going to approach your last question first. . . “why is Rev written in such an unorthodox manner that it cannot be understood in the traditional way?” The answer to this has been partially answered by previous commenters. Jesus stated clearly that there were some things that were given for his disciples and other believers to know, but not the unbelievers. Thus, Jesus explained that he taught in parables. When the disciples stated however that they did not understand the parables Jesus showed some surprise that they did not know how to interpret the parables. Jesus was Rabbani, meaning “master teacher.” Once I realized this I decided to search diligently into the way Jesus said to understand parables and prophecies and not so much what denominational teachers said. The search started with the teaching Jesus gave the disciples about the “Parable of the Sower” which essentially, if viewed logically and systematically, is a vocabulary lesson of how each word is defined by another until the whole of the parable is taken from figurative to literal wording – much more understandable.
This one lesson then lead to attempting to find other parables to understand in this way, and indeed the lessons of the parables began opening a spiritual path and universe that many are only able to talk about and hope for. Then came the realization that prophecies are nothing more than the recording of dreams and visions which are but spiritual parables and can be interpreted in the same way. So I set forth to attempt to prove this by setting a goal to remove the book of The Revelation from its alliterative state. Easier said than done. It took several years with the help of many students and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to find enough words to make the story found in the recordings by the Apostle John more usable, and several more years to put it in a presentable form.
Now understand, this has not been done to show off my knowledge nor to make claim of having a gift of prophecy. What I have done could be done by anyone with the fortitude to stick to a specific, while difficult, goal and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Nearly all of the words of The Revelation, and all other prophecies and parables, are defined in the Holy Bible as we know it. All we need do is set our hearts toward finding them and “rightly dividing the word of God” to make them useful
For instance, the idea of horses in modern combat. First we see surprising pictures from the middle east battles where some of the militants do indeed ride horses in battle even in today’s modern mechanized warfare. This is because in some areas the sandy dessert conditions can cause extreme mechanical problems making most machinery unusable. But that’s really not the issue here. When you look up the word “horse” in the scriptures to find its alliterative meaning you eventually find that a horse, in ancient battle, was essential to the armies of that time as recorded by Ezekiel (28:4), and that the word horsemen referred to soldiers (NEH 2:9). Therefore the literal word for the spiritual word of “horse” would be “army.” When one substitutes the word into the prophecy, along with the many other words found in the vision, the meaning becomes much more understandable and timely.
Please understand, this systematic study of the prophecies is not one to be taken lightly and cannot be done effectively without dedicating one’s self to the study of the Holy Word of God. The confusion over the meanings of the alliterative language has come simply because a great many of well-meaning theologians have interpreted many of the words from figurative to literal, but when they could find no more they declared the rest of the words undefinable and tried to mix the literal with the figurative; causing confusion.
After the alliterations are interpreted, the next step must be to understand how such visions can be shown to fit into Earth’s history. One person stated correctly that the book of The Revelation was as a completion of Daniel’s prophecies. As such, since Daniel always correlated the dreams and vision he spoke of as being fulfilled by history, the same would be true of the book of The Revelation. Most people understand this but the question is how does one know which historical event is to be correlated with which prophetic event? This is where the guidance of the Holy Spirit is of utmost importance, but the facts must be clear, points cannot be skipped nor ignored, and historical accuracy and witnesses must be demanded.
Why were the prophecies put in this hidden language? To protect it. To protect us as believers. But now its prophecies are all but completed, provable by time; and once proven they cannot be denied.
To learn more please visit my blog at espirational.org. This article has been reprinted there along with the question presented here.
Blessings on your studies of God’s Word.