symbolism



This story details the night when God spoke to me through one of the Bible's most prophetic books, the book of Revelation.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

I remember sitting on my living room floor, opening the Bible and reading this verse for the first time. These words were my first encounter with the scriptures that so many people claim to be the Word of God. I remember the Bible being an integral part of my life from an early age. I also remember attending church on Sunday mornings and having an absolute blast each summer at church camp. I had family, friends and church members who encouraged me to love God and to follow His commandments throughout my childhood and young adult life. I feel blessed to have had people that cared enough to teach me about the gospel before I made the decision to learn more about Jesus Christ and follow Him on my own.

One morning, the pastor at the church I was attending called me into his office to ask me questions about Jesus, Christianity and baptism. He asked questions like, "do you know what it means to be a Christian?" and "do you love Jesus Christ with all of your heart?". He proceeded to ask if I wanted to be baptized and explained the process and intention of the act. I answered each of his questions genuinely; however, at such a young age, I did not completely understand the uniqueness of these questions. I understood the basic concepts about being a Christian believer. I understood that Jesus died for our sins and that He rose on the third day, but at the time, I did not grasp what it would mean to turn my life over to Christ. With that said, I answered yes to the question about being baptized and decided to follow through, and so, I was baptized. From there I lived a pretty normal teenage and young adult life. I stayed out of trouble but looking back, I still made mistakes and bad decisions along the way.

The first exposure I had to end time Bible prophecy was when my mother, who was also a Christian, would watch a television program hosted by Jack Van Impe. I was not entirely impressed with this program during my youth, however, I was intrigued by Jack's concrete dedication to the memorization of Bible scriptures. Over time, I started to realize that the Bible included a plethora of fascinating material in terms of the Bible prophecy. I did not understand what Bible prophecy was until I began to pay more attention to this program, which seemed to be centered around end time Bible prophecy. Gradually, I developed a beginner understand of the concepts from the books in the Bible such as Revelation and Daniel. I was exposed to end time concepts such as the rapture and the second coming of Jesus Christ and eventually become curious about reading for myself what the Bible had to say about Bible prophecy.

Late one night, I was in my bedroom and decided to open my Bible, which was given to me years earlier, to do some reading. I opened the Bible and quickly turned to the book of Revelation. I already knew Revelation was the last book in the Bible, so I innocently skipped to the end to learn about the end times. I was certain that something in this book would stand out as interesting or grab my attention while reading, but I was not prepared for what was about to happen.

As I began to read the book of Revelation for the first time, there were several passages that initially peeked my curiosity. Namely, the seven churches, the seven spirits which are before his throne, the seven golden candlesticks and the seven stars that were in his right hand. I quickly noticed a pattern of introductions that seemed to emphasize the number seven. The book continues to explain that the seven candlesticks were the seven churches. Great, but I could not understand why this book used such strong instances of symbolism. Nevertheless, I was immediately hooked and wanted more, even after reading the first couple of chapters.

The book of Revelation appeared to be filled with wonders and mysteries, and the description of the four living creatures was no different. The throne of God is mentioned several times and something before the throne that is described with the appearance of a sea that is made out of glass. This is clearly symbolism, but this throne in heaven sounds beautiful and unique. The Bible says there are four living creatures that are on each side around the throne. The creatures are described as full of eyes on the front and back side. I read about the first creature, which was like a lion and the second creature was like an ox. The third creature was with a face like a man and the fourth creature was like an eagle in flight. Each of these creatures is described as having six wings and never cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come". Again, the words suggest at least some level of symbolism, but these creatures still sounded terrifying and majestic. As a side note, I wish these living creatures would be mentioned in more churches today.

The book of Revelation details four horsemen that are more interesting than anything I have read before. The horsemen each appeared to have a specific role concerning these prophecies, and the introductions seemed to be chronological in nature. The first horse was the white horse, who's rider had a bow and a crown. Knowing this book contained symbolism, I mistakenly assumed that the first horseman was about Jesus Christ and the second coming. I later realized that this was an impostor who would be an imitation of Christ before His return. The second horse was red, and the rider was given a great sword and power to take peace from the earth. The third horse was black, and the rider’s intention was to cause chaos and economic division throughout the world. The third horseman was clearly a result of the second horseman. The fourth horseman was riding a pale horse and was given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and through the spread of disease. After reading about the four horsemen, I realized that many terrible things are going to occur during the last days. However, little did I know that these horsemen, as terrible as they sound were only the beginning and more terrifying events would come to pass.

I continued reading about the next several events that would occur during the end times. There are too many individual events to include in a single post, but I plan on writing detailed information about these events in future publications. Some of these events are the seven trumpets, followed by the seven bowls of God's wrath that would be poured out onto an already devastated earth. To give you an example, I read about an event about a fallen star named "Wormwood" that contaminates water and kills many men. I remember finding this really disturbing the first time I read about the seven trumpets. One of ways that God pours out his wrath during the end times is by turning seas into blood and causing all the creatures in them to die.

Revelation 18 says that a powerful angel came down from heaven and that the earth was lighted with his glory. The angel cried out with a load voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen. This phrase struck me as something of significance, but I could not understand the meaning and was not sure what or who Babylon was at the time. There is so much happening in this chapter and I would love to dissect everything in another blog post, but for now, I am going to focus on my experience while reading the final chapters of this book; especially the passages that drew me closer to God than ever before.

I continued to read about heaven opening and a rider on a white horse who was called The Word of God. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns. It was Jesus! These descriptions surprised me because I had never heard the second coming of Jesus Christ detailed this way before. I remember hearing how glorious the second coming would be, and that Jesus would put an end to the Satan, and evil. These passages, however, were a true awakening that opened my spirit to something so much bigger than anything else I could imagine. In the book of Revelation, the return of Jesus Christ is described as something that will cause those who have sinned against Him to tremble and fear. Jesus is coming back for His people and He is angry because the sins of the world have reached up to heaven. After this, the world attempts to make war against Him in a battle named Armageddon, but the armies are slain and cast alive into a lake of fire and brimstone. Satan is bound to a bottomless pit for a thousand years while those who love God and did not receive the mark of the beast would reign with Christ during this millennium.

After the thousand years, Satan is set free and then cast into the lake of fire for eternity. This is when the new heaven and the new earth are revealed, and it is written that God himself will be with His people and He would be their God forever. The scriptures continue with unique and breathtaking details about the city that came down from heaven, new Jerusalem. Tired and reading with chills running through my entire body, I could barely continue but I kept reading until I victoriously reached the end of Revelation. After the final verse, I realized that I had been reading for several hours and though tired, I knew that my life had been changed. God spoke to me through this book, the book of Revelation. He gave me an assurance of peace and hope, and I knew that night He would be my God, forever.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Revelation 22:21

Thanks for reading,
Brandon