As we study the Book of Revelation and other prophetic books in both the Old and New Testaments, we must take care not to take symbolic language we study and try to make it literal nor should we take literal language we study and try to make it symbolic. Revelation is highly symbolic. For instance, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is portrayed as a Lamb in much of the book. Is He a lamb? In chapter 5 v5 the Lamb is the only one found worthy to take the scroll from the Father’s hand and open it. When John sees Him, he describes Him as a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. This cannot be taken literally….
All of this is symbolic language. Therefore, it is very dangerous to build doctrines from symbolism unless we are very careful to maintain the symbolism for what it represents.
We left Revelation in the last post as the Lamb had opened the sixth seal. We looked at the details from scripture as each seal was opened. Each described the birth pangs that set the stage for the following seal. The first seal showed a rider on a white horse that was seen as a man of peace, but he went out to conquer. He did not use war to conquer, but used intrigue, covenants and agreements. This is the one who will be revealed later as The Beast or the Lawless One or the Antichrist. However, he is shown here as one who became powerful all over the Earth because it had been granted to him. Then we looked at each succeeding seal and what each symbolized. The Second seal brought violence to the Earth in the form of terrorism, assassination, or just plain slaughter. The Third seal brought famine, the Fourth Seal brought death and Hades, and the Fifth seal revealed all of the Christian martyrs who had been killed since the Church began. The emphasis here is upon their prayers to God for vengeance for their blood. This is a clue for us to understand one of the reasons God is preparing to judge the World and the World system. Then the Lamb broke the Sixth seal. Here we see that this scroll is not a one-dimensional book at all.
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