Revelation Bible Prophecy

Bible Prophecy really can be understood

Revelation 1:3
“Blessed is he who reads and
those who hear the words of this
prophecy, and keep those things
which are written in it for the
time is near.”
Revelation 1:1-3

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

Revelation Chapter 4

Revelation 4: Insert A.

An Important Principle of Bible Interpretation
That Helps to Avoid Confusion and Error

Heavenly Kingdom of Glory

Earthly Kingdom of Grace

1. The Father – a literal Person. God is spiritual – the Holy Spirit – is God on earth.
2. Christ in heaven is present literally. Christ is present spiritually
(Matthew 28:20)
3. A literal Holy City
(Revelation 21)
A spiritual Holy City – the Christians church
(Revelation 11:2 Papacy treading down the Christian church for 1260 years)
5. A literal throne
(Hebrews 1:3; Revelation 22:1)
A spiritual throne – heart of the believer.
6. Literal stones
(Revelation 21:19)
Spiritual stones – individual Christians
(1 Peter 2:5)
7. Literal priesthood
(Hebrews 2:16-18; Revelation 5:8-10)
Spiritual priesthood of believers
(1 Peter 2:5, 9)
8. Literal intercessor “The man Christ Jesus”
(1 Timothy 2:5)
A spiritual intercessor – Holy Spirit
(Romans 8:26)
9. Literal altar of incense
(Revelation 8:3)
A spiritual altar – the heart.
10. Literal incense
(Revelation 8:3-4)
Spiritual incense
(Revelation 5:8 margin; Psalms 141:2)
11. Literal offerings of Christ's blood and righteousness in His person
(Hebrews 8:3; 9:12-13)
Spiritual offerings – prayer, praise, thanksgiving
(1 Peter 2:5; Hebrews 13:15-16)
12. Literal lampstands
(Revelation 1:12)
Spiritual lampstands – the seven churches
(Revelation 1:20)
13. Literal light in lampstands
(Revelation 4:5)
Spiritual light in the church – Holy Spirit.
14. Literal shewbread. Spiritual bread – Word of God
(John 6:51, 63)
15. Literal River of Life
(Revelation 22:1)
Spiritual River of Life – the Spirit
(John 7:38-39)
16. Literal Tree of Life
(Revelation 22:2)
Spiritual Tree of Life – Word of God.
17. Literal resurrection of believers
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Spiritual resurrection of believers – born again
(Ephesians 2:1; John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17)
18. Eternal life for believer, literally
(Revelation 21:4)
Eternal life for believer spiritually
(John 5:24)
19. God's law on literal table in literal temple
(Revelation 11:19; 15:5)
God's law on spiritual tables of spiritual temple of the believer
(Hebrews 8:10)
20. Believers will sit literally with Christ
(Revelation 3:21)
Believers sit with Christ in heavenly places, spiritually now
(Ephesians 2:6)
21. A literal Kingdom of Glory. A spiritual Kingdom of Grace.
22. Jesus will be King – literally. Jesus is king – spiritually now.

An Exposition of Revelation Four by Austin P. Cooke, pgs 18-19.

Revelation 4: Insert B.
Does this mean that the seven lamps are not really there at all, but it is actually the Holy Spirit that is present in the heavenly temple? This requires a detailed explanation. Since the day of Pentecost, 31 A.D., the Holy Spirit has resided on earth. This person, being divine, is omnipresent, but in a special sense He now resides upon this earth. Jesus said,

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (another Paraclete), that he may abide with you for ever.” John 14:16.

Abide means to dwell. The dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit is upon this earth. Jesus said,

I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you.” John 14:18.

We have a great Comforter with us continually. Again Jesus said,

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” John 16:7.

The Holy Spirit resides upon the earth as the Vicar of Christ. He is God on earth. He is the Director of the work of God on earth. Thus the seven literal lamps of fire in the heavenly temple represent the Holy Spirit upon the earth.

It is timely at this point to enunciate or repeat an important principle of interpretation. This principle of interpretation has been neglected, but we believe that if it is understood and applied it will save much confusion and error.

...In the Christian era – the Dispensation of the Spirit – the things of the kingdom of God have two main applications. In the heavenly realm they have a literal application but in the earthly realm of the kingdom of grace, they have a spiritual application.

Today we find that this principle has been reversed. Often when the heavenly temple is spoken of, it is spoken of as a spiritual temple. Things in heaven are described as being spiritual or wholly symbolic. The reverse is true. According to this law of interpretation, things in heaven have a literal application the dispensation of the Spirit, and on earth they have a spiritual application. In heaven we have God the Father, a literal God, but we also have God's presence on earth through His Holy Spirit. In heaven Jesus Christ is present literally, but on earth Jesus Christ is present spiritually. “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

Again, in heaven we have the Holy city – a literal city, but on earth now we also have a 'Holy City'. The Scriptures speak of it in Hebrews 12:22-23 and Revelation 11:2, where it says that the Holy City was trodden underfoot forty and two months, referring to the time of Papal supremacy. Is it a literal city, or a spiritual city? It is a spiritual city, the city of the Christian church. Again, in heaven there is a literal temple, on earth a spiritual temple – of believers. (Ephesians 2:20-22) In heaven there is a literal throne. On earth there is a spiritual throne, the throne of the heart. In heaven there are literal stones comprising the Holy City. On earth there are spiritual stones forming the Christian church. (1 Peter 2:5)

In heaven there is a literal priesthood of Christ and the 24 elders. On earth there is a spiritual priesthood – the priesthood of believers. In heaven there is a literal intercessor – Jesus Christ – “the one mediator between God and man.” On earth, however, there is a spiritual intercessor, the Holy Spirit, Who makes “intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26.

In heaven there is a literal altar of incense. On earth there is a spiritual altar of incense, the altar of the human heart. In heaven there is a literal incense, on earth there is spiritual incense. In heaven there are literal offerings of Christ's blood and righteousness. He pleads before His Father: “My blood, My blood.” His blood and character are literally in His person. His righteousness is literally in heaven – a living righteousness.

On earth, now, there are spiritual offerings – the offerings of prayer, of praise, of thanksgiving. (1 Peter 2:5 and Hebrews 13:15) The righteousness is a spiritual righteousness received through the Holy Spirit.

In heaven there are literal lampstands, or lamps. On earth there are spiritual lamps, or candlesticks. They are the seven churches, in other words, the Christian church. (Revelation 1:20)

In heaven there is literal light in the lampstands. On earth there is spiritual light in the lampstands – the light of the Holy Spirit – the light of truth.

In heaven there is literal shewbread. On earth, in the spiritual temple, there is spiritual bread – the Word of God by which man alone can live. In heaven there is a literal river of life. On earth there is the spiritual river of life. According to John 7:38-39, it is the Holy Spirit.

There is a literal tree of life in heaven. On earth now, there is a spiritual tree of life – the Word of the living God. In the Kingdom of Glory at the Second Coming there will be a literal resurrection of believers. On earth now, there is a spiritual resurrection of believers – the spiritual rebirth – being “born again”.

In heaven there is eternal life for the believer, literally. Now, on earth there is eternal life for the believer, but in a spiritual sense. In heaven, God's law is inscribed on literal tablets in the literal ark in the literal temple. On earth, God's law is inscribed on the spiritual tablets of the human heart, in the spiritual temple of the believer.

Again, believers in heaven, will sit literally with Christ (Revelation 3:21) “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” But, according to Ephesians 2:6, believers now sit with Christ in heavenly places in a spiritual sense. There is a literal Kingdom of Glory in heaven and there is a spiritual kingdom of grace on earth. Jesus is a literal king in the Kingdom of Glory, but on earth He is a spiritual King.

Here we believe is a great principle which is very relevant today. When it is properly applied, it will help one to avoid error and confusion, particularly in the regard to the heavenly sanctuary and the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ. In order to make the above principle more clear it is set out overleaf showing the comparisons between the two applications.

An Exposition of Revelation Four by Austin P. Cooke, pgs 13-16.

Revelation Bible Prophecy Chapter Chapter 5...