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The book of Revelation Research Project:

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posted on Oct, 31 2005 @ 07:43 PM
This thread is the very reason i joined ATS at all, and i look forward to exploring the information all of you may provide, as well as learning while making my own contributions.

**waves wildly!! HI!!!**

there is an extensive study of the book of revelation online which i have been taking time to research on my own, and the author attempts to interpret the text and relate it historical views of Jewish concepts and customs which may seem mysterious to those who are not versed in the culture (myself included). i have found it to be an excellent source for related historical background, and the author has referenced many extra-Biblical texts which are accepted within Jewish and Messianic-Jewish communities for comparative study. These are all referenced at the bottom of each 'section' and the majority seem to be in the english language. The assertion being, and i agree, that in order to gain a complete understanding of new testament writings, a proper historical context must be established.

can anyone tell me the time-frame involved in the research? will it be limited to two months? six months? one year? the ENTIRE book is an extensive undertaking, and even dedicating as much time as humanly possible, i could see myself requiring an entire month to get through the first few chapters alone! there is SO MUCH information available within the one source i've pointed out above, that a full and thorough research could be extremely time consuming- this doesn't even consider more detailed exploration of commentaries, articles, comparison to similar prophecy from other sources.

an easier approach, similar to the post by the user who shared their research on 'gog' and 'magog', may be to choose one subject or aspect of the book of revelation that i find appealing and follow that, if time allows, choose another topic within the book- take on that one as well... does this sound feasible?

i'm very excited about being involved in this research, having others participating in the same thing will keep me motivated, and cover more ground than i ever could alone!! please feel free to include me in u2u's to the group!!


posted on Dec, 3 2006 @ 09:10 PM
Welcome. The Book of Revelation is indeed very complex, and it takes a lot to glean any understanding from it. I have a bit of advantage because I was raised in church, often three services a week, so I'm something of a natural when it comes to the Bible. However, Genesis and Revelation have always remained my favorite books, and there have been many times that I read Revelation over and over, trying to decipher new meaning from the prophecy.

I doubt that one would have much luck studying the book alone if one doesn't already have a decent knowledge of the Bible, as much of it is intertwined. If you are merely studying Revelation and don't know much about the rest of the Scriptures, first, you should begin reading other books, and second, you should get a chain-reference Bible that allows you to easily go from one verse to another pertaining to related subjects. Strong's Concordance is invaluable as well, as you can look up every single word in the Bible with a reference, including words like "a" and "the".

posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 03:19 PM
I am going to endeavor to go through the Book of Revelation, or at least as far as I can with the time that I have, and detail some thoughts on the individual chapters. This first chapter is, of course, one of the shortest, and has the least to discuss in the subject of prophecies.

Revelation I primarily concerns itself with two things: the fact that the book is addressed to Seven Churches, which are named, and the appearance of the Son of Man, or Jesus Christ. The book is written by John, at the direction of Jesus.

I'm not going to deal with the Seven Churches because it would be very time-consuming, as well, there does not seem to be an easily recognizable connection to prophecy. However, it may well be that the descriptions of the Seven Churches, which are often skipped over by prophecy-seekers, are just as vital to the understanding of the end times as the rest of the book. So let's begin with the appearance of the Son of Man.

Verse 11: "...I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

The Alpha and Omega refers to the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. It indicates that the speaker is the first and the last, the beginning and the end. As well, notice that John is specifically directed to write the book of what he saw. Therefore, it is clear that the Book of Revelation is not merely John making guesses at the future; he is the scribe of God himself, writing divinely inspired scripture about a vision that he was given by Jesus Christ. It establishes that this book is true, beyond a doubt.

Verse 12: And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
Verse 13: 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.

Now, these seven golden candlesticks represent the seven churches that John has already spoken of. We will be told this at the end of the chapter.

It is interesting that John says "like unto the Son of man", rather than simply identifying him as "the Son of man." This may be because Jesus had died and resurrected. Yes, he was alive, but not in a human form. It was rather his glorified body which John saw. I have heard some mention that what Christ took upon himself was eternal, he will always have the glorified body of a human being. However, that's another topic.

He is clothed with a garment down to the feet, and with a golden girdle. I don't see any immediate significance in this, except for it may be the attire that humans wear in Heaven.

Verse 14: His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
Verse 15: And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace, and his voice as the sound of many waters.
Verse 16: And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Again, the description of a glorified body. White hair, with eyes of flaming fire. It may be that the look in Jesus's eyes was due to the importance of the message that he was about to share with John. We also see seven stars in his right hand. These represent seven angels, who are assigned to the seven churches that we have already read about. We are also told this at the end of the chapter.

Verse 18: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

This establishes the fact that it is indeed the Son of man, or Jesus Christ, and not merely "one like unto the Son of man". He lives, and had died, but tells us that he will live forever. As well, he has the keys of hell and death, which he took away from Satan in the place of death. This is an interesting topic, but not necessarily directly related to Revelation.

Verse 20: The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Thus, Jesus eliminates the need for guesswork on our part regarding the seven stars and seven candlesticks. He plainly states that they represent seven angels, who are assigned to the churches, and the candlesticks represent the churches themselves. It is interesting to think that perhaps all churches have an angel assigned to them. Frank Peretti uses this idea in his Christian fiction novels concerning angels and demons, This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, both of which are extremely good reads. As I have suggested, the seven churches might have more significance, but it would take an in-depth study to reveal any hidden truths that the seven churches might hold. From all appearances, it is merely specific messages that Christ wants John to relay to the churches, regarding their faith and other matters important to them.

posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 04:22 PM
I have taken the liberty of skipping Chapters II and III as they appear to deal exclusively with the seven churches that I have already mentioned. Chapter IV is where things begin to get exciting. John is swept away to Heaven and is granted a view of the Throne Room of God himself.

Verse 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 show thee things which must be hereafter.

This is the introduction to the prophecy of Revelation. What John is to be shown are the things that "must be hereafter". The use of the word "must" also insinuates that there is no way to avoid the hereafter, that no matter what these prophecies will come true. John is literally going to see the future.

Verse 2: And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

John being in the spirit seems to mean that his physical body was left behind on Earth, and it was instead his soul, or spirit, that traveled to see Heaven and the rest of the events in Revelation. Some might see this as a kind of "out of body experience". Still others might connect it with an alien abduction, though that's not entirely appropriate for this discussion.

John avoids naming the one on the throne, but it is apparent that it is God. The third verse of the chapter describes that there was a rainbow around the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. I'm not sure if the rainbow was in sight like an emerald (a green rainbow?) or if the throne itself is described as being like an emerald.

Verse 4: And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

It is difficult to determine exactly who these twenty-four elders are, and there's a number of different viewpoints on the matter. Some believe that these twenty-four elders must be human, as angels are not described as "elders". They may be either Old Testament believers, or Christian church leaders. One viewpoint states that the twenty-four elders represent the raptured church of the future. Another believes that the elders are actually angels, because supposedly no human has been in the throne room of God. It is difficult to say which is true, however, it does not seem to have a special prophetic significance, so we will move on.

Verse 5 tells us of seven lamps of fire, which are said to be the seven Spirits of God. What are these seven Spirits of God? Some believe that because these Spirits were sent out to all the earth, as is told to us in Chapter V, there may be one Spirit for each of the seven continents. Another explanation is that these Spirits are not God himself, but are Spirits belonging to him, to do his will.

Verse 6 tells us of four beasts, full of eyes, around the throne of God. We get a more detailed description in Verse 7.

Verse 7: And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
Verse 8: And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

These four beasts have been the subject of much speculation. For example, some have said that they might each represent a country of the world. I read this idea on ATS once. It was suggested that the Calf represented India, the beast with the face of a Man represented China, and that the Flying Eagle represented, of course, the United States of America. However, I believe this to not be the case. Verse 8 tells us that these beasts worship God day and night. As well, the six wings and eyes tell us that they are most likely Cherubim. Other descriptions of Cherubim in Ezekiel and Isaiah include similar features. Some regard the description in Ezekiel as a helicopter of some sort. However, in this instance, I believe that the beasts are just what they are, Cherubim worshipping God.

Now, there is another issue with the beasts. They do correspond with cardinal points of the Zodiac. I believe I saw once where the Zodiac wheel should have an extra point on it, corresponding to the Winter Solstice, which is an Eagle. I looked online for this source and was unable to find it, but I will continue looking. The beast with the face of a Man represents Aquarius, or the Spring Equinox. The Fall Equinox is represented by Leo the Lion, while the Summer Solstice is represented by Taurus the Bull. There is an extremely complicated process through which this wheel can be manipulated in a system of Platonic Years, and supposedly the points of the Zodiac align at years critical in history. I'm no astrologist, and barely even understand the concept, so I certainly won't attempt to expound upon it. However, if you're interested in this, you should be able to find resources about it online or elsewhere.

Getting to the end of Chapter IV, we are again told that the beasts have six wings and are full of eyes, and their purpose is clarified. They exist to give honor to th eone on the throne, or the Lord God. Again, this is what causes me to reject the notion that the beasts might represent Earthly forces (such as nations).

posted on Jan, 1 2007 @ 09:04 PM
Just a note to anyone that's following the project; the past week the History Channel did quite a few shows about Armageddon, the Antichrist and the like, I suppose as a kind of "End of the World" special series. You can learn quite a bit from watching these shows, and although nothing replaces personal research, it's always nice to see a dramatized account in which the research has already been done for you. If you should happen to see such a show airing, you might want to take an hour and check it out.

Meanwhile, the Revelation research shall continue soon.

posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 04:20 PM
Just checking in to say that I'm still here and hoping to continue with the project soon. I've been busy with work and life.

I'd like to recommend a series of books to anyone interested in End Times prophecy. Not just Revelation, but all of it. And no, I'm not talking about Left Behind.

The books are by Joel Rosenberg, who used to be involved in government or something, and spent a considerable amount of time in Israel. I have to admit that I don't really remember much about him in the way of specific details, but he's no schmuck that just decided to write a book. He knows quite a bit about foriegn policy and international relations, and it comes through in the books.

Like Left Behind, the series focuses on the events of the End Times, based on many prophecies from Daniel and Revelation. However, LB is more of a "When we look at the Bible we get this picture of some time in the future", whereas the series in question is directly tied in to current events such as 9/11, the Iraq War, and Iran. In fact, Rosenberg seems to be something of a prophet himself, as many of the events that he predicted in the earlier books have actually come to pass. I was particularly impressed by the books because they can stand alone in the world of fiction, whereas many Christian books are strong on religion and weak on plot. If you just happened to pick up The Last Jihad in the store, it's quite possible that you would never realize it to be a Christian novel until near the end of the book.

So far, the books are:

The Last Jihad
The Last Days
The Ezekiel Option
The Copper Scroll

I have not read the last one on that list, and don't know if it's the end of the series or not. Still, I recommend them to anyone interested in this sort of thing.

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