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Six Articles on John’s Book of Revelation

Ceiling fresco

Ceiling fresco

The Apocalypse, a Difficult Book to Digest

The Book of Revelation (also known as the Apocalypse) is not an easy prophetic book to digest. That said, an inability to accurately unravel its mysteries can only leave the reader with a jumble of conjectures, misconceptions, and illusions. Under such circumstances, instead of a coherent, credible picture of how the Parousia (Second Coming) unfolds, the reader is left with unexplained gaps and inconsistencies in going through the Book.

Some Examples of Gaps and Inconsistencies in the Apocalypse

The Coming of Jesus With the Clouds

Let’s look at an example. In the very first chapter of the Book, we are assured that:

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him…. (Revelation 1:7)

If one’s understanding of this verse is that Jesus would literally swoop from the clouds during his advent and that everyone on earth would witness the unearthly spectacle (notwithstanding the spherical nature of the planet), one has to wonder why there is no detail or further mention of this otherworldly occurrence in the rest of the Book.

(Note: The King James Bible is the source of all references in this article)

The Birth of a Man Child

Instead, one comes across this other verse:

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. (Revelation 12:5)

One’s curiosity might induce one to wonder why this “man child” should have all the characteristics ascribed to Jesus in the following Old Testament prophecy:

Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. (Psalm 2:7-9)

While both Jesus and the man child of John’s Revelation are projected to wield “a rod of iron,” the subtle differences between them are that the man child is “brought forth” while Jesus is “begotten”; and he rules over “all nations” while Jesus takes “possession” of “the uttermost parts of the earth”.

As can be seen, the differences between the two lie mainly in the choice of vocabulary rather than in substance.

So, who can this man child be?

The "man child" is destined to "rule all nations" of the globe.

The "man child" is destined to "rule all nations" of the globe.

The Establishment of the Divine Kingdom

Before one could wrap one’s head around this anomaly, one might realise, with a start, that the promised Christ had, in fact, already arrived and established his Kingdom:

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

How could this have happened without the observable descent of the Christ from the clouds above? How come there had not been the rapture of the saints into the open skies? Are these not supposed to be the centrepiece of the Parousia?

The Dawn of a New World

But beyond that, how could a new world have taken shape without the pomp and ceremony, the sights and sounds, of the exalted angels accompanying the Christ on his long-awaited descent to earth? Instead, you are quietly told:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away…. (Revelation 21:1)

You are now utterly flabbergasted. What about the earthshattering blast of the trumpet to scare the living daylights out of the masses of humankind? Why is there no bodily resurrection of souls from their forgotten tombs? What happened to the anticipated queue of humanity in anxious wait for the stern business of a Judgment Day?

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The Unrecognisability of Jesus

Another issue that might have been gnawing at you is: if Revelation is all about the coming of the selfsame Jesus of Nazareth, why is he so distant and unrecognisable in the pages of John’s narrative? If he is the Lamb at the centre of the narrative, why does he have such strange features like “seven horns and seven eyes” (Revelation 5:6)?

And so on and so forth.

The Six Articles on John’s Book of Revelation

Here follows the list of articles written by the present writer. The aim of these articles is to throw light on the diverse, mystifying elements of John’s vision. They are meant to offer a more coherent and rational explanation of the scenes and episodes of the Book of Revelation.

Article 1: The Vision of St. John the Divine: The God John Did Not See in Heaven

John’s vision, as narrated in the Book of Revelation, mainly revolves around two holy Entities. One is described as Lord God Almighty seated on a throne in heaven. The initial impression one gets is that John had been favoured with a rare vision of God, the Infinite, Omnipotent Creator of the Universe.

This article has an alternative view of who the God on the throne is.

The top image for Article 1

The top image for Article 1

Article 2: The Vision of St. John the Divine: The Lamb in Heaven Who Is Not Jesus

The second holy Figure, after the One on the throne, is a Lamb that appears at first to represent Jesus. This article explores the true identity of this Lamb.

The top image for Article 2

The top image for Article 2

Article 3: The Vision of St. John the Divine: The Interrelationship of God and the Heavenly Lamb

This article explores the interrelationship between the two holy Entities and protagonists of John’s narrative—the One (God) on the heavenly throne and the Lamb.

The top image for Article 3

The top image for Article 3

Article 4: The Vision of St. John the Divine: The Twin Manifestations of God

While most Christians await the one and only Jesus Christ of Nazareth, they might not help noticing the allusions in John’s Apocalypse to the possible appearances of two holy personages. This question is discussed in this article.

The top image for Article 4

The top image for Article 4

Article 5: Armageddon, What, Where, When Is It?

Revelation 16:14 foreshadows the gathering of the world’s nations “to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” And the place of gathering, we are told, is Armageddon. But what exactly Is Armageddon? If it is indeed a place, where is it? And when is the battle? These questions are the subject of this article.

The top image for Article 5

The top image for Article 5

Article 6: The Logic of The Revelation of St. John, an Overview

This article offers a broad overview of a book by Stephen Beebe entitled, The Logic of The Revelation of St. John. The theme of the book is given by its author in these words:

This work is one more attempt to unravel the mysteries that lie hidden in the Book of Revelation.

The top image for Article 6

The top image for Article 6

Other Topics of the Apocalypse to Follow

But the themes of the Apocalypse are many and varied. So, expect many more articles to follow in this informal series—to throw light on other symbols, signs, and scenarios of the Book’s narrative. The topics that are under consideration include:

  • The Man Known by the Number 666
  • The Significance of the Euphrates River
  • The Meaning of the Wars in Heaven
  • The Identity of Michael in the Apocalypse
  • The Date of the Advent as per the Apocalypse
  • The Whereabouts of the New Jerusalem
  • The Beasts and Dragons of the Apocalypse
  • The Three Woes of the Apocalypse
  • The Meaning of Babylon
  • The Role of Jews in the Apocalypse
  • The City on Seven Mountains

Where to Find the Articles

The articles to be published will be accessible from the same page as the ones already published.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2023 Kobina Amissah-Fynn

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