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Copyright © 1977, 1989, 1996, 2000 by Walter R. Dolen
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"I am the BeComingOne [YHWH]; that is my name! . . . See the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you." (Isa 42:8-9)


PR5: Last War and God's Wrath

Simultaneous Events
Day of the Lord
Great City
Seventy Years
Two Witnesses
Pattern of Last War
Greater Detail
Seals
Trumpets
Vials

Faulty Translations

pr258» In PR5 we examine the book of Revelation. This book of the Bible is highly symbolic. It is a very difficult book to understand because of its symbolism. But the Bible does interpret its own symbols. In order to ascertain the meaning of the symbols of Revelation one must be knowledgeable of the rest of the Bible, for the symbolism can be found scattered throughout the Bible. For example, information on the Beast of Revelation can be found in the book of Daniel (see Beast Papers [PR2, PR3]). In order to understand the book of Revelation, one must understand the rest of the Bible. One must know something about type and antitype. One must know about looking for the higher meaning in scripture. The truest meaning in the book of Revelation is its antitypical or Spiritual meaning. The same can be said of the rest of the Bible, but it is especially important in understanding the book of Revelation.

Aorist Verbs & Other Timeless Verbs

pr259» One must also know that the book of Revelation is full of the aorist verbs. The aorist verb is a verb of action, not time. An aorist verb by itself tells us nothing about the time of the action. It speaks of action without denoting the duration of the action or time of the action:

  • "The aorist stem presents action in its simplest form (a-oristos 'undefined'). This action is simply presented as a point by the tense. This action is timeless ... The aorist is a sort of flashlight picture, the imperfect a time exposure" ( pp. 824, 1380 in, A Grammar Of The Greek New Testament, by A.T. Robertson; see also such books as, Do It Yourself Hebrew and Greek, by E.W. Goodrick, pp. 4.4-4.5).

pr260» In fact, in Greek, the aorist, present, and perfect is timeless:

  • "These ideas (punctiliar, durative, perfected state) lie behind the three tenses (aorist, present, perfect) that run through all the moods ... The present is also timeless in itself as in the perfect ... These three tenses (aorist, present, perfect) were first developed irrespective of time. Dionysius Thrax erred in explaining the Greek tenses from the notion of time, and he has been followed by a host of imitators. The study of Homer ought to have prevented this error" ( p. 824, A.T. Robertson).
  • "The terms aorist, imperfect, and perfect (past, present, future) are properly named from the point of view of the state of the action, but present and future are named from the standpoint of the time element. There is no time element in the present subjunctive, for instance. But the names cannot now be changed, though very unsatisfactory" ( pp. 825-826, A.T. Robertson).

Because of errors some Greek verbs were misnamed; many today read the idea of time into Greek verbs, when they should read the state of the action.

Simultaneous Events

pr261» We will in this paper make it plain that many events in the Book of Revelation (the seals, trumpets, and vials, etc.) do not depict sequential events. In a way the Book of Revelation was written in the same manner as the movie Mystery Train (1989, Directed by Jim Jarmusch).

pr262» The movie Mystery Train portrays three separate stories of people in a hotel in Memphis Tennessee during one night through three sequential movie scenes, but it does not tell its viewers that these three separate adventures happened on the same night. At first the viewers think they are separate adventures on separate nights.

pr263» The first story was about a Japanese couple's trip to Memphis to visit Graceland, the home of Elvis. The movie shows the Japanese couple coming to Memphis on a train and their escapades before renting a hotel room (27) and after leaving the hotel room. The second story was actually of two separate women, one from Rome, who was stranded in Memphis, and the other a woman who had just broken up with her boy friend. Both women by chance end up in room 25 in the same hotel as the Japanese couple, but the movie does not indicate that they were spending the same night in the hotel as the Japanese couple. The third story was about three men, one of whom happens to be the boy friend of one of the two women in room 25. They eventually hid that same night in room 22 after one of them shot a man at a local liquor store. It isn't until the movie gets into the third story that you begin to see that all three groups are in the same hotel on the same night.

pr264» You begin to see that each group was in the hotel on the same night by subtle hints in the movie:

  • the repetition of the same song by Elvis (Blue Moon);
  • the reiteration of events and conversation between the manager and the bellhop
  • the same train passing by in each story
  • the Japanese couple being overheard by the two women
  • and then the gun shot from room 22 that all the separate groups re-act to in different ways, all without any interaction between the three groups of people renting different rooms in the same hotel the same night.


pr265» The three stories were told sequentially, but they occurred in parallel time periods. This is what is happening in the Book of Revelation. Again and again with subtle hints Biblical evidence projects to us that the seals, trumpets, and vials happen all at once. This was one reason John used the aorist verb in describing events in the book of Revelation. The use of the aorist verb and other timeless verbs (verbs of action not time) helped John to describe many simultaneous events. Under the subtitle 'But Simultaneous Action is Common also,' A.T. Robertson in his Grammar states: "Indeed this simultaneous action is in exact harmony with the punctiliar meaning of the aorist tense." And he states, 'in many examples only exegesis [interpretation] can determine whether antecedent or coincident action is intended ....' Many events in the book of Revelation were written sequentially, but they actually transpired in parallel time periods. The Greek text of the Book of Revelation superficially appears sequential only as the movie Mystery Train superficially appears sequential. An understanding of the Greek aorist verbs (and other timeless verbs) and the discernment of the reiteration of simultaneous events in the Book of Revelations makes it plain that the Book of Revelation describes many simultaneous events not just sequential events. In the rest of this paper we will make this plain.

Day of the Lord

pr266» Furthermore, the whole vision of John was concerning the "day of the Lord." The "day of the Lord" has two senses: the regular seventh day -- the weekly Sabbath; or the antitypical seventh day -- the 1000 years. John was in Spirit "in the Lord's day," and was told to "write the things which you [John] saw and the things which are and the things which shall be after these things" ( Rev 1:10,19). In John's vision he saw things that occurred in the 1000 years -- the antitypical Sabbath (Rev 20:2-3). He also saw things that happened before the 1000 years (Rev chap. 2 & 3). And he saw things that happened after the 1000 years (Rev 5:13, 20:7, 21:1,4,6 & note Pss 148, 150 & "All Saved" paper [NM 13]; etc).

pr267» In order to understand the book of Revelation we need to synthesize most of the Bible. Why? "Son of man, what is that proverb that you have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision fails? Tell them therefore, Thus, says the Lord GOD; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision" ( Ezek 12:22-23). All the visions of the Bible will be fulfilled in the last years of the old system of man. Visions in the past that appeared to fail will come true soon.

pr268» The vision of the Beast in Revelation and Daniel are for the end time (Dan 12:4,9). But we know the time is truly near when we truly hear and understand all the book of Revelation (Rev 1:3, 22:10).

Here Some, There Some

pr269» Another principle a person needs to understand is related in Isa 28:9-10: "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little." The truth of Revelation is scattered throughout the Bible. We must put all these scriptures together. This is much like the truth of Jesus Christ's first coming. Scripture on this event is scattered throughout the Bible. When all the prophetic scriptures on Jesus Christ are put together we see just how much of the Bible pointed to Jesus Christ (see, Messianic Prophecies of the Bible, by Lockyer; etc.). Yet the Jews in Jesus Christ's time could not see these prophecies as pointing to Jesus Christ. We must not be like those Jews. We must be the Jews with the New Mind that see all the scriptures that point to the Last War and the return of Christ.

Higher Meaning

pr270» Furthermore one must understand that the Bible is dual -- there is a shadow/physical/type of the real/Spiritual/antitype. This is manifested by comparing the following verses (Rom 1:20; Heb 8:5,9,23-24, 10:1; and all of Heb 8:1-10:21). And this is proven by the repeated consistency of duality throughout the Bible (see "Duality Paper" [BP4]). God through the Bible asks us to look for and seek after the higher or spiritual or real or antitypical meaning in the Bible. Compare the usage of "heaven," "earth," and "spiritual" in Isa 55:9 with 1Cor 15:44-49; Phil 3:18-19 with Col 3:1-2. Thus, "heaven" = spiritual, and we should look to the above/heavenly or spiritual meaning of scripture (see "Duality Paper" [BP4]).

pr271» What is an example of taking the higher meaning? Notice in the book of Heb 12:22-23 where it calls the Spiritual Church: "mount Zion," or the "city of the living God," or the "heavenly Jerusalem." In other words, these terms are metonymical for the Church. Most of the time when we read Zion, Jerusalem, or city of God we know it means literally a city, as well as Spiritually, the Spiritual city or Church. This is duality: type (the physical city) and antitype (the Spiritual city or Church). Also the Church is called the holy temple (Eph 2:21), thus, anytime the Bible uses the word "temple" (meaning holy temple) we know it can mean the physical and/or Spiritual temple. The Spiritual temple is the Spiritual Church of God. But God wants us to look to the heavenly, or Spiritual, or antitypical meaning (John 4:24, 6:63; Col 3:1-2). When Rev 11:1 says to measure the temple of God, we then know it means antitypically to go measure the Church or count its members.

pr272» Now God's wrath and the day of the Lord are mentioned throughout the Bible. We need to tie-in the events of the Old Testament with the things in the book of Revelation because of the principle in Ezek 12:22-23, and because we would be taking Revelation out of context from the whole Bible if we did not use the rest of the books to amplify the book of Revelation.

Great City

pr273» In Rev 11:8, speaking of a few days before Christ's return, it says the two witnesses "shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually [or antitypically] is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." Now we know the Lord was not crucified in the physical Sodom or Egypt; it was near physical Jerusalem. Yet Christ was killed in the antitypical Egypt, or Sodom, or great city which is Satan's spiritual kingdom. Therefore the physical Jerusalem was in the spiritual kingdom of Satan, for all the kingdoms and lands of the world are now, in this old age, Satan's kingdoms (Mat 4:8-9).

pr274» Notice that the spiritual or antitypical Sodom and Egypt are both called "the great city" ( Rev 11:8). The spiritual Sodom, Egypt, and the great city are each just different names for each other. They are metonymical terms. Each term speaks of the same thing. What is the great city?

pr275» "And the woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth" ( Rev 17:18). The antitypical woman who sits on the Beast is the great city (Rev 17:1,9,18). Who is the Beast? The Beast is Satan's kingdom (see the "Beast-Man Paper" [PR3]. Thus, the woman is metonymical to the spiritual great city, which is the antitypical Sodom and Egypt. Yet we know women are symbolical to churches (Eph 5:22-25). Thus, the woman on the Beast symbolizes the church essence of the church/kingdom of Satan, and she is metonymical to the spiritual great city, Sodom, and Egypt.

pr276» Notice also in Rev 14:8, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all the nations ..." Babylon is also the "great city."

pr277» Therefore according to the book of Revelation, the spiritual great city, Babylon, Sodom, Egypt, and the antitypical woman on the Beast are metonymical for each other.

pr278» Notice after it says the woman is the great city, that it describes the great city as Babylon (Rev 17:18-18:24). In describing Babylon in chapter 18 it says, "and saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!" (Rev 18:16) Compare this with the description of the woman in Rev 17:4, "and the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls." The city and the woman are clothed alike. This is another proof that the antitypical woman and Babylon are one and the same -- each term merely adds more detail to the other term.

pr279» Just as the Bible uses many terms to describe Satan (the devil, dragon, serpent, etc.), it has used many terms to describe the same system of Satan. These terms are metonymical names for Satan's "Beast" system.

Metonymical Names For The Antitypical Beast, Or The Kingdom of Satan

pr280»

  • Woman or Whore (the great city) [Rev chap 17; 17:18]
  • All Kingdoms Are Satan's -- The Beast


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