John the Baptist 27 AD "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2) 27 AD "Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come?" (Matthew 3:7) 27 AD "The axe is already laid at the root of the trees." (Matthew 3:10) 27 AD "His winnowing fork is in His hand." (Matthew 3:12) 27 AD "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17) 27 AD "The kingdom of God is at hand." (Mark 1:15) 27 AD “Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come?” (Luke 3:7) 27 AD “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees. " (Luke 3:9) 27 AD "His winnowing fork is in His hand…." (Luke 3:17) Jesus the Christ 28 AD "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 10:7) 28 AD "You shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes." (Matthew 10:23) 28 AD "....the age about to come." (Matthew 12:32) 28 AD “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” (Luke 10:9) 28 AD “The kingdom of God has come near.” (Luke 10:11) 30 AD "The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds." (Matthew 16:27) 30 AD "There are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." (Matthew 16:28; cf. Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27) 30 AD "'When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?' '....He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.' '....Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it.' ....When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them." (Matthew 21:40-41,43,45) 30 AD "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place." (Matthew 24:34) 30 AD "From now on, you [Caiaphas, the chief priests, the scribes, the elders, the whole Sanhedrin] shall be seeing the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69) 30 AD "What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. ....They [the chief priests, scribes and elders] understood that He spoke the parable against them." (Mark 12:9,12) 30 AD "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Mark 13:30) 30 AD “What, therefore, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others." …The scribes and the chief priests …understood that He spoke this parable against them.” (Luke 20:15-16,19) 30 AD “These are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:22) 30 AD "This generation will not pass away until all things take place.” (Luke 21:32) 30 AD "Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us,' and to the hills, 'Cover us.'” (Luke 23:28-30; Compare Revelation 6:14-17) 30 AD "I will come to you. …In that Day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.' …'Lord, what then has happened that You are about to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?'" (John 14:18,20,22) 30 AD "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?" (John 21:22) The Disciples 30 AD "We were hoping that He was the One who is about to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:21) Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles 52 AD “…we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord… …We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds… …You, brethren, are not in darkness, that the Day should overtake you like a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15,17; 5:4) 52 AD “May your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23) 52 AD “It is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire.” (2 Thessaloniams 1:6-7) 56 AD “The time has been shortened.” (1 Corinthians 7:29) 56 AD “The form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:31) 56 AD “Now these things …were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11) 56 AD “We shall not all fall sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) 56 AD "Maranatha!" [The Lord comes!] (1 Corinthians 16:22) 56 AD “Godliness …holds promise for the present life and that which is about to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8) 56 AD “I charge you …that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Timothy 6:14) 56 AD “…storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for that which is about to come, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Timothy 6:19) 57 AD “He has fixed a day in which He is about to judge the world in righteousness…” (Acts 17:31) 58 AD “Not for [Abraham's] sake only was it written, that [faith] was reckoned to him [as righteousness], but for our sake also, to whom it is about to be reckoned.” (Romans 4:23-24) 58 AD “If you are living according to the flesh, you are about to die.” (Romans 8:13) 58 AD “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18) 58 AD "It is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand." (Romans 13:11-12) 58 AD “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20) 60 AD “There is about to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” (Acts 24:15) 60 AD “As he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment about to come…" (Acts 24:25) 61 AD "...not only in this age, but also in the one about to come.” (Ephesians 1:21) 61 AD “In the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self… …Avoid these men. For of these are those who enter into households and captivate weak women… …These also oppose the truth… …But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all…” (2 Timothy 3:1-2,5-6,8-9) 61 AD “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is about to judge the living and the dead…” (2 Timothy 4:1) 62 AD “The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5) 62 AD "The gospel …was proclaimed in all creation under heaven." (Colossians 1:23; Compare Matthew 24:14; Romans 10:18; 16:26; Colossians 1:5-6; 2 Timothy 4:17; Revelation 14:6-7; cf. I Clement 5,7) 62 AD “…things which are a shadow of what is about to come.” (Colossians 2:16-17) 63 AD “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.” (Hebrews 1:1-2) 63 AD “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who are about to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14) 63 AD “He did not subject to angels the world about to come.” (Hebrews 2:5) 63 AD “…and have tasted …the powers of the age about to come.” (Hebrews 6:5) 63 AD "For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near a curse, and it's end is for burning.” (Hebrews 6:7-8) 63 AD “When He said, 'A new covenant,' He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13) 63 AD “The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way of the [heavenly] Holy Places has not yet been revealed, while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.” (Hebrews 9:8-10; Compare Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 2:21-22; 3:17; 4:13) 63 AD “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things about to come…” (Hebrews 9:11) 63 AD “Now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin.” (Hebrews 9:26) 63 AD “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things about to come…” (Hebrews 10:1) 63 AD “…as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25) 63 AD “…the fury of a fire which is about to consume the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:27) 63 AD “For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.” (Hebrews 10:37) 63 AD “For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the one that is about to come.” (Hebrews 13:14) Peter the Apostle to the Circumcision 30 AD “This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 'And it shall be in the last days…'” (Acts 2:16-17) 62 AD “…salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5) 62 AD “He …has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.” (1 Peter 1:20) 62 AD “In the last days mockers will come. …For this they willingly are ignorant of…” (1 Peter 3:3,5) 62 AD “They shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (1 Peter 4:5) 62 AD “The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7) 62 AD "For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God.” (1 Peter 4:17) 62 AD “…as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is about to be revealed.” (1 Peter 5:1) 62 AD “We have the prophetic word …which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the Day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19) 62 AD “Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (2 Peter 2:3) 62 AD “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” (2 Peter 3:10-12) James 62 AD "Speak and so act, as those who are about to be judged by the law of liberty." (James 2:12) 62 AD “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. …It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!” (James 5:1,3) 62 AD “Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.” (James. 5:7) 62 AD “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James. 5:8) Jude the brother of James 62 AD “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation. …About these also Enoch …prophesied, saying, 'Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly…'” (Jude 1:4,14-15) 62 AD “But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, 'In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.' These are the ones who cause divisions…” (Jude 1:17-19) John the Apostle whom Jesus loved 62 AD “The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” (1 John 2:8) 62 AD “The world is passing away, and its desires.” (1 John 2:17) 62 AD “It is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18) 62 AD “Even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18; Compare Matthew 24:23-34) 62 AD “This is that of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” (1 John 4:3; Compare 2 Thessaloniams 2:7) 63 AD “…to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place.” (Revelation 1:1) 63 AD “The time is near.” (Revelation 1:3) 63 AD “Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.” (Revelation 2:25) 63 AD “I also will keep you from the hour of testing which is about to come upon the whole world.” (Revelation 3:10) 63 AD “I am coming quickly.” (Revelation 3:11) 63 AD “And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is about to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.” (Revelation 12:5) 63 AD "And in her [the Great City Babylon] was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth." (Revelation 18:24; Compare Matthew 23:35-36; Luke 11:50-51) 63 AD “…to show to His bond-servants the things which must shortly take place.” (Revelation 22:6) 63 AD "Behold, I am coming quickly. " (Revelation 22:7) 63 AD "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near." (Revelation 22:10; Compare Daniel 8:26) 63 AD "Behold, I am coming quickly.” (Revelation 22:12) 63 AD "Yes, I am coming quickly." (Revelation 22:20)

Revelation: Guidelines for Interpretation


By: Duncan McKenzie
His book can be purchased here:

Well, volume II of my book (The Antichrist and the Second Coming: A Preterist Examination) is finally out. Volume I looked at Daniel and 2 Thessalonians. Volume II focuses on the book of Revelation. It is 640 pages (540 pages if you don’t read the endnotes ;-) and is essentially a commentary on the second half of Revelation (chapters 10-22) and is very readable. I argue against both the two comings theory of partial preterism and the AD 30-70 millennial notion of full preterism (I see the millennium as beginning at AD 70, cf. Dan. 7:21-22).

Here is the table of contents.

I. Introduction to Volume II
II. The Date of Revelation
III. The Subject of Revelation
IV. How to Interpret Revelation
V. The Beast From the Sea (Revelation 13:1-10)
VI. The Land Beast/False Prophet (Revelation 13:11-18)
VII. The Beast and the Harlot (Revelation 17)
VIII. The Beast and the Destruction of Babylon (Revelation 18)
IX. The Marriage of the Lamb and Destruction of the Beast at the Second Coming (Revelation 19)
X. The Millennium I: Preliminary Considerations
XI. The Millennium II (Revelation 20)
XII. The New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21-22)
XIII. Israel and the Gog and Magog Invasion
XIV. Where Are We Now?

Here is something from the book on how to interpret the book of Revelation.
I propose the following guidelines for the interpretation of Revelation:

1. The events of Revelation were about to happen when the book was written: The events described in Revelation would “shortly take place” (Rev. 1:1); the time was “near” when John wrote (Rev. 1:3). This nearness applied not just to the first three chapters, but to the prophecies of the book (Rev. 22:6-10).

2. Revelation was written around AD 65 under Nero—the sixth Caesar of Rome (Rev. 17:10): The historical context of Revelation is as follows: In early AD 67 Nero would send Vespasian and Titus to Judea to subdue the rebelling Jewish nation (cf. Rev. 6:1-2). This was the beginning of the end for Israel. Titus was the prince to come (Dan. 9:26); he would bring the covenant curses and fulfill God’s promise to destroy the Jewish nation for not keeping the covenant (cf. Deut. 28:49-53, 63-64). In June of AD 68 Nero would commit suicide and the whole Roman Empire would be thrown into crisis; the empire would be like a ship without a rudder for the next year and a half (Rev. 16:10-11). Rome would recover from its death throes in December of 69 (Rev. 13:3). At that time, Vespasian would go to sit on the throne at Rome while Titus returned to Judea (from Egypt, cf. Dan. 11:40-45) to finish his three-and-a-half-year destruction of the Jewish nation. The forty-two-month period (March/April of AD 67 to August/September of AD 70) that it took Titus to destroy the Jewish nation (Rev. 13:5) is the historical context of Revelation (Rev. 11:2; cf. Dan. 7:25; 12:7).

3. Revelation is a tale of two cities (Babylon and New Jerusalem) who are two wives (the harlot and the bride). It is obvious that the bride is a wife, as she is about to become married. Notice, however, that the harlot is also a wife—a widowed wife (Rev. 18:7). Unfaithful Israel went from a queen to a widow when she had her husband killed (cf. Matt. 21:5). These two women/cities represent the two covenants and those who were part of them. (Galatians 4:21-31 provides the basic narrative of Revelation.) The old covenant harlot (centered in Jerusalem, cf. Ezek. 16) is destroyed at the time that the new covenant bride (New Jerusalem) becomes married (Rev. 19:1-9; cf. Matt. 22:1-10). The covenant curses spoken of in Leviticus (26) and Deuteronomy (28-32) were about to come on the unfaithful Jewish nation as a result of their ultimate breaking of the covenant when they had Jesus killed (cf. Matt. 21:33-45). The four references in Revelation to sevenfold judgments (the seven seals, trumpets, thunders, and bowls) are based on the four sevenfold judgments that were to be Israel’s punishment for breaking the covenant (Lev. 26:18, 21, 24, 27-28). These covenant punishments culminate in the beast’s destruction of the harlot in Revelation 17-19. As God had said, the children of Israel would “rise and play the harlot” in the last days (of the old covenant) and be destroyed (Deut. 31:16-17, 29).

4. The Greek word gē—commonly translated as “earth” in Revelation—is often better translated as “land”: The symbol of the land usually refers to the land of Israel, although it also carries the wider meaning of the domain of God’s covenant people (cf. Rev. 5:10). The covenant curses in Revelation would focus on Israel—the unfaithful dwellers on the land. The great tribulation that was about to happen would come upon the whole world (the Roman Empire would almost collapse in AD 69), but it would be focused on those who dwelt on the land (Rev. 3:10; cf. Dan. 11:40-12:7; Matt. 24:15-21). With the AD 70 full establishment of the kingdom of God (Rev. 11:15-18) the whole world would become the land—the domain of God’s new covenant people (Rev. 21:1-2; see Isa. 65:1-19 where the new heaven and new earth speaks of the full establishment of God’s new covenant people at the AD 70 destruction of Israel, cf. Rom. 10:20-21).

5. The book of Revelation is an unveiling of the spiritual realm: Revelation is making the invisible realm of the spirit visible by way of symbols (Rev. 1:1). Although the images in Revelation are symbolic, they often contain physical referents to help one identify the historical events they are associated with (e.g., the merchandise of Babylon is the merchandise of the Temple, Rev. 18:12-13). The eight kings of Revelation 17:9-11 are ultimately spiritual rulers (cf. the kings and princes of Greece and Persia in Dan. 10:13, 20-21). The fact that the eighth of these kings comes out of the abyss confirms this (Rev. 11:7; 17:8). What was destroyed in the lake of fire at AD 70 (Rev. 19:20) was not a man, nor the Roman Empire, but the demonic beast from the abyss that worked through Titus in his destruction of the Jewish nation (cf. Dan. 9:26).

6. Symbolism is the primary means of communication of Revelation: If one analyzes the way Jesus is revealed in Revelation, it is always by way of symbols. Jesus does not have white hair, nor seven literal stars in his hand, nor a sword coming out of his mouth (Rev. 1:12-16). No one will ever see him as a lamb with seven eyes and horns (Rev. 5:6). No one will see him as a male child on the throne of God (Rev. 12:5). No one will see him on a flying white horse (Rev. 19:11-21). One should expect the images in Revelation to be symbolic. The less absurd images in Revelation (e.g., the two witnesses) are just as symbolic as the more absurd images (e.g., the beast with seven heads and ten horns). This is in contrast to the so-called literal interpretive approach to Revelation. The “literal” approach relies on absurdity as the main criterion for what is literal and what is symbolic. This literal approach is inadequate. Although the mode of communication of Revelation is by way of symbols, the spiritual events and truths that the symbols represent are profoundly real.

7. To find the meaning of the symbols used in Revelation one has to examine Scripture (especially the OT)—allow Scripture to interpret Scripture. Below are examples of this that relate to the interpretation of harlot Babylon:

a. Examine how a given symbol is used in the book of Revelation: Some symbols are defined in the passage in which they occur; other symbols are defined in other places in the book. In Revelation 17:1 we are told that the harlot “sits on many waters.” This is explained in verse 15 where we are told that the waters are symbolic of “peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues.” For Jews, Jerusalem and the Temple were the spiritual center of the world. Jews from every nation of the world congregated there (cf. Acts 2:5).
Some symbols are not defined in their immediate context but in other places in Revelation. In Revelation 17:18 and 18:21 we are told that harlot Babylon is “the great city.” We have already been told in Revelation 11:8 that “the great city” is where Jesus was crucified. One has to pay close attention to connections such as this. Many interpreters discount this connection, acknowledging that the great city in 11:8 is Jerusalem but saying the great city in chapters 17-18 refers to something else.

b. Examine how a given symbol is used in the NT: In Revelation 18:24 harlot Babylon is said to be guilty of the blood of the “prophets and saints.” In Matthew 23:35 Jesus said all the righteous blood shed on the earth would be required of the generation that rejected him. It was Jerusalem and her leadership that was responsible for the death of the prophets and saints (Matt. 23:34-37).
The subject of Revelation (two women/cities that are two wives) is shown in Galatians 4:21-31. There we are told that “these things are symbolic” of the two covenants and those who are part of them. The Jerusalem above in Galatians equates with the New Jerusalem in Revelation (which comes out of heaven, Rev. 21:2). Similarly, physical Jerusalem in Galatians equates with the “great city” of Babylon in Revelation (Rev. 18:21)—the city where Jesus was crucified (Rev. 11:8).

c. Examine how a given symbol is used in the OT: This is especially important. The meaning of many of Revelation’s symbols is found in the OT. Probably the biggest reason that Christians have difficulty in understanding Revelation is because we do not know our OT as we should. For example, the image of the harlot (Rev. 17:1) is not found in the NT outside of Revelation (although the concept of spiritual unfaithfulness is briefly touched on in a few places, e.g., James 4:4). While the NT does not use the image of the harlot, the OT often does; with two minor exceptions it always refers to God’s unfaithful old covenant people (e.g., Deut. 31:16-17; Ezek. 16, 23; the book of Hosea, etc.). Deciphering the meaning of OT passages is not always an easy task. Revelation usually makes allusions to OT passages, not direct references—often condensing and/or making reference to more than one passage at a time. I find the following from Beale on the relationship between Revelation and the OT to be helpful:

. . . the place of the OT in the formation of thought in the Apocalypse is that of both a servant and a guide: for John the Christ-event is the key to understanding the OT, and yet reflection on the OT context leads the way to further comprehension of this event and provides the redemptive-historical background against which the apocalyptic visions are better understood; the New Testament interprets the Old and the Old interprets the New.1

Being mindful of the subject of Revelation (the destruction of God’s unfaithful old covenant people and the full establishment of his new covenant people) provides a useful guide in evaluating how OT references are used in the book. While there is some universalization of the OT images used in Revelation, most retain an essential connection with their OT usage. As Beale notes, “John uses OT references with significant degrees of awareness of OT context.” 2

d. Often one has to go through these steps (a-c) to get the full depth of meaning of a given symbol or group of symbols in Revelation.

1. Beale, Book of Revelation, 1999, 97.
2. Ibid., 51.


By: Duncan McKenzie
His book can be purchased here: