A Historicist Interpretation of Revelation — Continued – Part 2
Decline of the Papacy
Chapter 14 describes the decline and fall of the Papacy and the entire Babylonian system and the establishment of the Kingdom.
Revelation 14:1. “An hundred forty and four thousand” is not an actual number. It symbolizes completeness; Christ’s reign, his government, is complete. It also represents Israel, Protestant Europe in general and Britain in particular, coming out of the dark age into the light. The 144,000 are the ones who are completely in accord with God’s will (“Father’s name written in their foreheads”) and, therefore, who reign with Christ.
Mount Sion, Zion, is associated with the kings of Israel and with Jesus Christ, King of kings. It is associated with God’s righteous Kingdom on earth (Isa. 62:1). It is the seat of administration for the law of the Israel Commonwealth.
“Father’s name written in their foreheads” shows that they have surrendered their minds, intellect, and whole being to God. They understand and execute God’s will. Consequently, they are fit to rule with Christ.
Revelation 14:2-3. These verses show that the restoration of the Kingdom has been accomplished with Jesus as King and Jehovah as God.
“Harp” refers to David or the House of David (II Sam. 6:5). Thus, it represents the royal house of Great Britain, which is of the House of David. The lost kingdoms of Israel and Judah are restored. Moreover, via the Protestant Reformation, they are liberated from spiritual darkness. Thus, they sing “a new song before the throne.”
Revelation 14:4-5. These verses refer to a people or nation that was not defiled by Papal Rome’s pagan idolatry, such as the worship of the Mother of God. This nation or people is Protestant Britain-Israel. Others hold that the virgin described here is the 144,000 or the true Church, whom the Papacy has not corrupted.
Revelation 14:6-7. Great Britain opposes Rome. Having escaped from the power of Rome, Great Britain expands into a great empire and spreads the gospel throughout the world. The true Israel Church warns of God’s coming judgement.
Revelation 14:8. God now judges Papal earth and destroys the Pope’s power, power acquired with the claim of Divine authority. “Babylon” symbolizes the political, economic, and religious world system that wars against God. “Wine of . . . fornication” refers to spiritual fornication, e.g., the worship of images, holy pictures, holy relics, and demons, through Biblical names, characters, and associations, such as Jesus, Mary, angels, and saints. The Great Depression was the beginning of the judgement against the Babylonian economic system.
Revelation 14:9-11. Those who follow Papal Rome suffer along with Papal Rome in its destruction. They fall under the punishment of God’s judgement. This judgement starts with the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.
Revelation 14:12-13. Encouragement is given to the true Church and to Israel (not Jewry) — to everyone who has rejected at the mark of the beast, Romish rule.
Revelation 14:14-20. Christ, the Son of Man, comes to bring God’s judgement on Papal Rome (Matt. 13:30) — the political, economic, and ecclesiastical Roman world.
“Clusters” are the people of Israel who have obeyed God’s will and, therefore, who are “harvested” and protected from God’s wrath. The “vine” is most of Israel, who have disobeyed; they along with Judah are cast into the winepress where they are purified.
The Soviet Union is the sickle used to punish much of Papal Europe.
In verse 20, “city” could be Rome itself. If so, this verse is describing World War I and especially World War II. “City” could also refer to Papal Europe. If so, it suggests that God lead the European armies out of their own countries to destroy them. Such an event happens when the Soviet army defeats the Nazi army. If “city” refers to the holy city, it suggests that the destruction of the armies of Roman Europe take place outside Israel-Britain or the Anglo-Saxon nations.
Defeat of the Papacy
Chapter 15 describes the victory over the Papacy (the beast). It shows Israel freeing itself from the Papacy and then the fall and defeat of the Papacy. It introduces pouring out of the seven vials in Chapter 16.
Revelation 15:1-4. “Gotten the victory over the beast” depicts British Israel freeing herself from the Papacy (the beast). This liberation is completed by Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
Two songs of Moses are given in the Bible. One is in Chapter 15 of Exodus, which was sung after Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. The second is in Chapter 32 of Deuteronomy, which was sung when Moses gave Israel the Law of Sinai.
Revelation 15:5-8. These verses reveal the temple. “The temple of the tabernacle” (verse 8) symbolizes the center of God’s heavenly judgement and the reigning of the resurrected Church.
In verse 6, “white linen” depicts God’s perfect righteousness in judgement. Unlike the normal position around the waist, here the girdle is around the heart (“breasts girded with golden girdles”). This shows loving restraint.
The end of the age is reached with God pouring out his righteous judgement (verse 8). The seven plagues, seven vials, end with God’s Son establishing his Kingdom and the resurrection of the Church occurring (the first resurrection). The temple symbolizes Christ’s government with the Church (Body of Christ) ruling with him.
The Millennium and Beyond
The last three chapters of Revelations describe the Millennium and Post-Millennium Age. Chapter 20 describes the Millennium. The “Little Season” occurs just before the Millennium begins. Chapter 21 describes the new heaven and new earth. Chapter 22 describes the Post-Millennium Age.
Revelation 20:1-3. The dragon, old serpent, devil, and Satan refer to the Roman System of Papal Europe (see Rev. 12:3, 9; Rev. 17:8) The dragon or the “revived fourth beast” has its origin from the “bottomless pit.” Here the Papal Roman System is relegated back to the bottomless pit from which it came. Most identify the “old serpent” as the serpent that beguiled Eve in the Garden of Eden.
The present age ends in two 40-year cycles or generations. These cycles start with World War I in 1914-1918. They end in 1994-1998 when the millennial kingdom begins. The “Little season” may be the last 40 years of the Millennium.
“Loosing of the ‘Adversary’ for a little season” may mean that the Roman earth (Roman Continental Europe) reverts to self-centered rule and shows manmade unrighteousness again. Or it may symbolically depict a final worldwide challenge to return to manmade rule. According to others, Satan is bound for a thousand years to give mankind the opportunity to receive the Gospel during Jesus’ Kingdom rule without interference from Satan.
The Millennium: The First Resurrection and the Kingdom Age
Revelation 20:4. Jesus transforms those who have proved themselves sufficiently in love with him to be worthy to share his glory and to be transformed into his image at the first resurrection. They are the overcomers, who are the true Church. They “lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
Revelation 20:5. All the rest of the dead, good or bad, Jew or Gentile, who failed to become chosen or elected by God for the “prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” i.e., the first resurrection, will not reappear until after the Millennium when the general resurrection of all mankind takes place (see John 5:28).
Revelation 20:6. Those who are in the first resurrection are free from the second death.
End of the Millennium
Revelation 20:7-9. At the end of the Millennium, Satan is released to test mankind. Through his temptations, he separates true born-again followers from those who have only been pretending to be followers. Thus, the adversary-system attacks the “beloved city.” God now comes to destroy and finally eradicate all opposition to His Son’s earthly rule of righteousness.
“Gog and Magog” may symbolically refer to a general worldwide uprising at the end of the millennial age of all who have not given wholehearted allegiance to Jesus. Here Gog and Magog are not the Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38 and 39, who fought in the Battle of Armageddon.
Revelation 20:10. This final insurrection is judged as the “beast and the false prophet” were dealt with a thousand years earlier. Satan, the devil, is cast into the lake of fire. The lake of fire symbolizes destruction (Dan. 7:11).
Revelation 20:11. The “great white throne” is the throne of Jesus. Jesus judges the world in righteousness for a period (see Acts 17:31, John 5:22). “White” represents purity and holiness.
Revelation 20:12. The resurrection of all people who are not resurrected in the first resurrection occurs. It may take place in stages instead of all at once. They do not stand before God, but before the Throne (the KJV is a mistranslation). This is the great white throne of Christ.
At the close of the Millennium the names and deeds of all men are found “written in the books.” One set of books contains all the good and bad deeds that each person has done. Another book, the “book of life,” is opened. This book contains the names of the saved.
Revelation 20:13. All the dead are raised whether they lie in the earth or in the sea. Jesus has been ordained to restore all to life by resurrection (John 5:28). Christ judges all according to their works.
Revelation 20:14-15. All that is contrary to God and to life is cast into the lake of fire. Even death and the grave are conquered and finally annihilated by God.
The second death cannot hurt these who have put on perfection in the first resurrection. They have already died unto sin and by perfect resurrection become clothed in Christ’s image; there is nothing left in them which the Spirit of God can oppose.
All others are imperfect and therefore come under God’s fire of righteousness and holiness (see Deut. 4:24, Heb 12:29). Anyone whose name is not written in the book of life is cast into the lake of fire. What happens to these people then is greatly disputed.
According to the universalists, they are not tormented “forever and ever” but are tried “unto the ages of the ages” until all things are put under Christ’s feet, and he hands his perfected Kingdom to his Father (see I Cor. 15:24). During these ages, Christ corrects and perfects people who have opposed the building of his Kingdom (see Col. 1:19-20; Eph. 1:10).
Like the universalists, the annihilationists claim that those cast into the lake of fire are not tormented forever and ever. They cease to exist. Thus, man is not innately immortal. He becomes immortal through faith in Christ.
Most follow the Romanist teaching that those cast into the lake of fire are really tormented forever and ever. Although Catholicism offers away out of eternal torment through Purgatory, Protestantism denies this out. This belief is based on the pagan doctrine that man is innately immortal independent of God and Christ.
New Heaven and New Earth
Revelation 21:1. The new heaven and new earth occur at the beginning of the Millennium. Therefore, the events described in Chapter 21 fall between Revelation 20:6 and 20:7.
None remain to oppose God and His Son as symbolized by “no more waters (or seas).” Agitation, turmoil, and strife are absent from the new earth.
Three “heavens” are mentioned in the Bible: the atmosphere, outer space, and God’s abode, which is beyond the first two. The new heaven of Revelation 21:1 deals with the first two.
The world is not destroyed. It is cleansed and restored.
Revelation 21:2. This verse depicts the new-glorified “Israel” with all nations. Here “bride” symbolizes Israel. New Jerusalem, the holy city, is the capital of the Kingdom over which Christ rules.
Revelation 21:3. God’s new covenant is announced to Israel. He will again “be their God” (Heb. 8:10). He also fulfills his promise and sets His sanctuary in their midst (Ezek. 37: 26-28).
Revelation 21:4. Those in God’s Kingdom are immortal and without sorrow. This promise applies first to converted racial Israel and then to people of other nations who have entered the Kingdom through the new birth (Isa. 51:11, 65:19). This verse covers from the beginning of the Millennium to its end and beyond.
Revelation 21:5-6. Jesus becomes not only the “Alpha,” the first, but also the “Omega,” the last: In the fulness of his resurrection and glory, Jesus is truly “the first-born of every creation” (Col. 1:5,18). This verse also affirms that Jesus gives life and makes all things anew.
Revelation 21:7. “He that overcometh” refers to Israel (not Jewry). (In Revelation 3:21-22, it refers to the Church or first elect.) Overcoming means obedience to God. Jesus not only shares his glory with his true Church; he also shares it with overcoming Israel.
Revelation 21:8. All sins are destroyed in the lake of fire as part of the second death. Some of the worst sins are listed. “Fearful” heads the list. It even surpasses unbelief, which is second. Thus, those who fear man more than God are the most despicable and are cast into the lake of fire (see Matt. 10:32-33).
New Jerusalem and New Light
Revelation 21: 10-22. A description of new Jerusalem is given. “The holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” (Rev. 21:10) symbolizes the rebirth of Israel as a nation. The description of the gates in Revelation 21:13 parallels Israel’s order around the tabernacle in Numbers 2 (see also Ezek. 48:30-35).
Twelve is the number of completion and perfect rule or government. It also identifies New Jerusalem with Israel, “names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel” (Rev. 21:12).
Revelation 21:23-26. These verses describe the new light, which is eternal. Saved nations will dwell in the light of the new Jerusalem (see Mic. 4:2 and Isa. 49:18).
Revelation 21:27. God justifies His covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Glory of the Post-Millennium Age: Paradise Restored
Revelation 22:1-6. These verses describe the glory of the Post-Millennium Age. They illustrate that God has kept His promise. Through Israel (not Jewry), the gentile nations have been blessed. Like Israel (Amos 3:2, Hos. 1:10, John 10:34-46, and Rom. 8:29), they can become sons of God (1 John 2:2). The curse that Adam brought upon creation is forever removed (Rev. 22:3). Man is now immortal. He has obtained physical and spiritual perfection.
(Others place Chapter 22 in the Millennium Age and as a continuation of Chapter 21. Things described in Chapter 22 are pertinent to the Millennium and not the Post-Millennium Age.)
Revelation 22:7-11. These verses contain the last message of the Bible. God never compels anyone to love or obey Him. He offers His love to all. His door is open to all to come in.
Revelation 22:13. Jesus is the “first-born of the dead,” the “resurrection and the life,” and the “door” of the sheepfold. From the time of his resurrection, he is the perfect immortal “image of the invisible God,” the “first-born of every creature” (see Col. 1:15,18).
Revelation 22:14. God blesses those who obey Him. His blessings are available to all.
Revelation 22:15. Those who do not turn from their sinful ways remain outside the City. Thus, no pardon can be given without repentance.
Revelation 22:16. Jesus declares himself to be both the root (ancestor) and offspring (descendant) of David.
Revelation 22:17. “Bride” refers to Israel (not Jewry). God through His Spirit and Israel (not Jewry) invites all men to come into the Kingdom.
Revelation 22:18-19. These verses declare the unchangeable nature of God (see also Isa. 66:22). They warn against following manmade systems and laws.
One of the many problems of the historicist explanation of Fox, Neser, and Rand is that they focus on the Papacy. Babylon probably refers to Jerusalem instead of Rome.
Although the Papacy is probably part of the beast, dragon, etc. that Revelation condemns and casts into the lake of fire, it is most likely a minor part. The major part is the descendants of Pharisaism. Judaism, Jewry, is the primary descendant of Pharisaism. Other descendants and close relatives of Pharisaism are Freemasonry, most new age religions, the occult, secular humanism, Marxism, communism, fascism, socialism, welfare-warfare statism, Zionism, etc.
Historicism suffers from many of the flaws that futurist explanation suffers. So far, both have failed at predicting the Second Coming. Whereas futurists interpret Revelation based on newspaper headlines, historicists interpret Revelation based on history books. Moreover, historicists, like futurists, must continuously update their explanation as more time passes (history occurs) without the end of the age arriving.
The historicists whose explanations given in this article are adherents of the British-Israel doctrine (the Anglo-Saxon and other Germanic people are the lost tribes of Israel). They claim that the royal house of Great Britain is the House of David, i.e., it is a line of kings and queens descended from David. It may be. However, history of the last 250 years strongly suggests that the royal house of Great Britain is anti-Christ and has been in the forefront of man’s war against God and His Christ. One cannot be steeped as deeply in Freemasonry and other descendants of the Mysteries as members of the royal house are and be part of God’s true Church.
The royal family of Great Britain may or may not be the blood kindred of the ancient kings of Israel. One thing that is sure is that they are the spiritual kindred of Israel’s kings. Instead of being practitioners and followers of the religion that God revealed to and through Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the prophets, the kings of Israel were practitioners and followers of the Mysteries. Likewise, the religion that the royal family practices and follows is a descendant of the Mysteries.
Copyright © 2011 by Thomas Coley Allen.
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