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Prophetic Symbols

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

  • Revelation 19

The Book of Revelation is a remarkable book. Many say it is a concealed book, or a hidden revelation, not to be fully understood. While there are many incoherent and incomplete interpretations of this book today, the terms hidden and revelation are incompatible.

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

  • 1 Peter 4

Understanding the oracles of God is foundational to preaching the testimony of Jesus Christ, but to do this we need to be able to rid ourselves of our conventional way of thinking. There are many scoffers who hold the belief that prophetic scripture is entirely ambiguous and cannot provide a definitive interpretation. It is not our responsibility to interpret scripture, but to study it; just as Peter said:

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

  • 2 Peter 1

The prophetic scriptures already contain the necessary keys for us to unlock its symbolism. For example, in Isaiah we read:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

  • Isaiah 14

The beginning of this passage is easily understood, but where is the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north? This could be interpreted to be Russia, Tibet, the Rockies or perhaps just about anywhere, but the answer is revealed to us in the scriptures:

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

  • Psalm 48

This is how we are to study these prophecies; scripture explains its own symbols for us. Here are a few examples of the more prominent symbols we will find in the Book of Revelation:

DAYS = YEARS

After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.

  • Numbers 14:34

For I have assigned you a number of days corresponding to the years of their iniquity, three hundred and ninety days; thus you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; I have assigned it to you for forty days, a day for each year.

  • Ezekiel 4:5-6

WATER = NATIONS

The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

  • Revelation 17:15

WINDS = WAR

A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a contrtoversy with the nations, he wil plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.

  • Jeremiah 23:17

And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come. For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them.

  • Jeremiah 49:36-37

WOMAN = GOD’S PEOPLE

I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.

  • Jeremiah 6:2

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

  • Ephesians 5:23,24

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

  • Revelation 19:7

HARLOT = SATAN’S PEOPLE

How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water: Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies.

  • Isaiah 1:21-24

Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication… And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.

  • Revelation 17

BEAST = KINGDOM

These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth… The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

  • Daniel 7

HORN = KING/DOM

And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

  • Daniel 7:24

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