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Revelation 13 Decoded

prophecy end times

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#1    Bluefinger

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:50 AM

So, after many years of research, I think I have come to a satisfactory interpretation of the 13th chapter of Revelation.  I will give a quick interpretation without explaining first, then if anybody disagrees or wants a better explanation, I can elaborate.

(vs. 1)The beast from the sea = The Ancient Roman Empire

(vs. 1) The ten horns with ten crowns = The first ten emperors of the Roman Empire

1. Octavian
2. Tiberius
3. Caligula
4. Claudius
5. Nero
6. Galba
7. Otho
8. Vitellius
9. Vespasian
10. Titus

(vs. 2) like a leopard, feet like a bear's, mouth like a lion's = massive dominion like the Greeks, military might like the Persians, and great authority like the Babylonians

(vs. 3)The wounded head = Roman Empire during the civil war also known as the year of four emperors, which began when Nero killed himself to appease the Senate.  

(vs. 3) The wound healed = Vespasian taking control of the empire and restoring it to order.

(vs. 4)  And they worshiped the dragon = War in Judea

(vs. 4) "Who can fight against it?" = Rome's victory over Judea in 70 CE and 74 CE.

(vs. 5-6) Mouth speaking blasphemous things = Domitian

(vs. 7)  it was allowed to make war on the saints and conquer them = Domitian persecuting Christians at the time the Apocalypse was written.

(vs. 8)  all who dwell on earth will worship it (the mouth) = Domitian's imperial cult-enforced tribunes

(vs. 10) Call for patience and endurance = The Roman Empire would persecute the saints for many years.  

(vs. 11) The second beast = Diocletian's tetrachy.

(vs. 11) Two horns like a lamb but spoke like a dragon = Constantius Chlorus and Galerius.  

(vs. 12) Exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence = Constantius and Galerius were both made Caesars but answered to Diocletian and Maximian.

(vs. 12) Makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast = Galerius pushed to restore the Roman Empire to its old ways and old religion

(vs. 13)  It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth = The Oracle of Delphi was instrumental in Diocletian accepting Galerius' push to issue strict decrees.  Upon the oracle's answer, Diocletian began issuing decrees that would persecute Christians

(vs. 14) told them to make an image for the beast that was wounded = Galerius pushed to restore the Roman Empire's old ways by enforcing pagan worship as an act of tribute

(vs. 15) And it was allowed to give breath to the image = imperial decrees as issued by Diocletian and enforced by Galerius

(vs. 15) and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain = first the persecution against the Manicheans and then against the Christians.  The Diocletian Persecution was the worst persecution against Christians recorded.

(vs. 16) Also it causes all...to be marked on the right hand or forehead = Certificate of worship issued by the Roman tribunal

(vs. 17) so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark = Certificate was likely warranted before anybody was allowed to sell or buy, as a method of curbing Christianity.

(vs. 17-18) the name of the beast or the number of its name...666 = The name of Nero, whose empire almost fell when he died.  Also first emperor to persecute Christians.


What do you think?

Edited by Bluefinger, 14 January 2014 - 02:52 AM.

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#2    taniwha

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:34 AM

.  

The beastly desire for world wide control and domination of humanity causes historical and ongoing turmoil, so that might be why it also mirrors the war machine and politics of today.


#3    thyra

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 10:20 AM

What is to say

9Whoever has ears, let them hear.
10“If anyone is to go into captivity,
into captivity they will go.
If anyone is to be killed[c] with the sword,
with the sword they will be killed.”[d]

isnt it like a formula upgrade? Saying one thing in way and repeating it in the exact understanding. It is very contrasting to what has just been stated above as an "interpretation". actually 9-10 is saying no interpretation is needed.
Could it be that John was in a spiritual state and has seen all of that and didnt need to or wasnt given a need to explain the details of that sight. Perhaps instead we shoud think how exactly someone can be in a state that he can not or will not fully explain its meanings. If he is given that sight why the further explanation is not given along with it directly.  


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#4    Bluefinger

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:05 AM

View Postthyra, on 14 January 2014 - 10:20 AM, said:

What is to say

9Whoever has ears, let them hear.
10“If anyone is to go into captivity,
    into captivity they will go.
If anyone is to be killed[c] with the sword,
    with the sword they will be killed.”[d]

isnt it like a formula upgrade? Saying one thing in way and repeating it in the exact understanding. It is very contrasting to what has just been stated above as an "interpretation". actually 9-10 is saying no interpretation is needed.
Could it be that John was in a spiritual state and has seen all of that and didnt need to or wasnt given a need to explain the details of that sight. Perhaps instead we shoud think how exactly someone can be in a state that he can not or will not fully explain its meanings. If he is given that sight why the further explanation is not given along with it directly.  


Thanks for responding Thyra,

I believe that the passage is a quote from the Old Testament.  

Quote


And when they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord : “‘Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence, and those who are for the sword, to the sword; those who are for famine, to famine, and those who are for captivity, to captivity.’ (Jeremiah 15:2 ESV)

Jeremiah 15:2 was a statement toward the Jews because of what Mannasseh son of Hezekiah had done (how he sacrificed his firstborn, worshiped idols, committed injustice, and killed the prophets; especially Isaiah.)  

But the passage in Revelation 13:10 is stated to be a call for faith and endurance of the saints.  So the saints would be led captive and be killed by the sword.  The Church in Smyrna was called to patiently endure, even unto death.  So, its a dead give away that the mouth of the beast would persecute the saints.  But Smyrna was called to endure only ten days.  For Revelation 13:10, the saints aren't given a time frame, which leads me to believe that the persecution mentioned was going to go well beyond the mouth of the beast (Domitian.)  And that is one reason I jump forward to Diocletian's tetrachy when interpreting the second beast.

Domitian ruled from 81 to 96.  Diocletian ruled from 284 to 305.  Domitian's persecution was said to last about 3 years, so that places us around 92 or 93 CE.  The Diocletian persecution officially ended in 313 CE with the Edict of Milan.  So you're talking about approximately 221 years of opposition toward Christians.  Although typically sporadic in nature and dependent on location, the persecutions were persistent and consistent nonetheless.

Edited by Bluefinger, 14 January 2014 - 11:16 AM.

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#5    Frank Merton

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:22 AM

A lot of OT poetry is like that -- make a statement and then say the same thing again in different or even the same words.


#6    thyra

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:25 AM

Yes, I see that you understand them as historical facts. Could be. why not. god could also wish to talk about historical facts in a very covered manner. Still I would question the purpose. Instead of telling it openly, why this way? Thank you, I took your time.

Edited by thyra, 14 January 2014 - 11:25 AM.

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#7    green_dude777

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:40 PM

View Postthyra, on 14 January 2014 - 11:25 AM, said:

Yes, I see that you understand them as historical facts. Could be. why not. god could also wish to talk about historical facts in a very covered manner. Still I would question the purpose. Instead of telling it openly, why this way? Thank you, I took your time.

Freedom of speech wasn't an encouraged idea by those in power in those days.  What was JC's official charge?


#8    thyra

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:53 PM

View Postgreen_dude777, on 14 January 2014 - 05:40 PM, said:

Freedom of speech wasn't an encouraged idea by those in power in those days.  What was JC's official charge?

makes sense. so they wanted to protect john by delivering the message in a covered manner?

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#9    green_dude777

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:04 PM

View Postthyra, on 14 January 2014 - 05:53 PM, said:

makes sense. so they wanted to protect john by delivering the message in a covered manner?

I think it's a fair assumption to think the author of Revelations (John of Patmos) was protecting the message, maybe even himself.

Without getting into the specifics of BlueFinger's breakdown, I always tend to lean more towards Revelations being a political satire more than a prophecy that would apply to our current or future times.


#10    Merc14

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:43 PM

I think you have a very interesting theory here.  Most of the timeline would be relevant to John, the supposed author of revelations but he would've been a very aged man by the time of Titus so I have always thought the author was someone other than John?  If that is the case then this would be a very relevant timeline to the author but why write an apocalyptic book about historical events?

Believing when there is no compelling evidence is a mistake.  The idea is to withhold belief until there is compelling evidence and if the universe does not comply with our predispositions, okay, then we have the wrenching obligation to accommodate to the way the universe really is.  - Carl Sagan

Who is more humble, the scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us or somebody who says everything in this book should be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of the human beings involved in the writing of this legend - Carl Sagan

#11    green_dude777

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:56 PM

View PostMerc14, on 14 January 2014 - 07:43 PM, said:

I think you have a very interesting theory here.  Most of the timeline would be relevant to John, the supposed author of revelations but he would've been a very aged man by the time of Titus so I have always thought the author was someone other than John?  If that is the case then this would be a very relevant timeline to the author but why write an apocalyptic book about historical events?

To keep a truth from falling victim to revisionist history.  Some of those guys in that list were bat**** crazy.


#12    Dark_Grey

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:14 PM

Ya know, sometimes I completely understand critics of Christianity: who would want to join a religion where the followers can barely understand their own sacred texts? Heck, they can't even agree on what it says after how many centuries? :unsure2:

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#13    Bluefinger

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:27 PM

View PostMerc14, on 14 January 2014 - 07:43 PM, said:

I think you have a very interesting theory here.  Most of the timeline would be relevant to John, the supposed author of revelations but he would've been a very aged man by the time of Titus so I have always thought the author was someone other than John?  If that is the case then this would be a very relevant timeline to the author but why write an apocalyptic book about historical events?

The book, I think, addresses the reason. because the end (an end to something) was near.  The audience is also divided into two groups of people - Jews and Gentiles.  The book addresses first the Jewish Nation from chapters 4-9.  Then, in chapter 10, it begins talking about the mystery of God and then talks about John being commissioned to prophecy again, but this time about the Gentiles.

Revelation 12 alludes to this when it shows a woman with twelve stars clothed with the sun and having the moon beneath her feet, which is the ethnic Israel (see Genesis 37:9-10.)  She ends up going to the wilderness where she isn't mentioned again for the rest of the book, leaving her offspring to deal with the dragon.  The offspring, of course, are the Gentiles that believed the message of the apostles.  

So perhaps John was the last of the sealed 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7 and was turning everything over to the Gentiles that believed the message of the elect remnant of Israel.  Perhaps that was the end that he said was near.  The end of the times of the Jews.

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#14    green_dude777

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:31 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 14 January 2014 - 08:27 PM, said:

The book, I think, addresses the reason. because the end (an end to something) was near.  The audience is also divided into two groups of people - Jews and Gentiles.  The book addresses first the Jewish Nation from chapters 4-9.  Then, in chapter 10, it begins talking about the mystery of God and then talks about John being commissioned to prophecy again, but this time about the Gentiles.

Revelation 12 alludes to this when it shows a woman with twelve stars clothed with the sun and having the moon beneath her feet, which is the ethnic Israel (see Genesis 37:9-10.)  She ends up going to the wilderness where she isn't mentioned again for the rest of the book, leaving her offspring to deal with the dragon.  The offspring, of course, are the Gentiles that believed the message of the apostles.  

So perhaps John was the last of the sealed 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7 and was turning everything over to the Gentiles that believed the message of the elect remnant of Israel.  Perhaps that was the end that he said was near.  The end of the times of the Jews.

I personally think these type of interpretations to be far more likely than the 'doom and gloom' scenarios.  Not as popular, but far more likely.


#15    Merc14

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 08:34 PM

View PostDark_Grey, on 14 January 2014 - 08:14 PM, said:

Ya know, sometimes I completely understand critics of Christianity: who would want to join a religion where the followers can barely understand their own sacred texts? Heck, they can't even agree on what it says after how many centuries? :unsure2:

I think many theologians find revelations to be a very enigmatic book and many have questioned why it was included in the

View PostBluefinger, on 14 January 2014 - 08:27 PM, said:

The book, I think, addresses the reason. because the end (an end to something) was near.  The audience is also divided into two groups of people - Jews and Gentiles.  The book addresses first the Jewish Nation from chapters 4-9.  Then, in chapter 10, it begins talking about the mystery of God and then talks about John being commissioned to prophecy again, but this time about the Gentiles.

Revelation 12 alludes to this when it shows a woman with twelve stars clothed with the sun and having the moon beneath her feet, which is the ethnic Israel (see Genesis 37:9-10.)  She ends up going to the wilderness where she isn't mentioned again for the rest of the book, leaving her offspring to deal with the dragon.  The offspring, of course, are the Gentiles that believed the message of the apostles.  

So perhaps John was the last of the sealed 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7 and was turning everything over to the Gentiles that believed the message of the elect remnant of Israel.  Perhaps that was the end that he said was near.  The end of the times of the Jews.

I can see that.  I think you have a pretty good theory but I am most definitely not a scholar of the bible and look forward to the more knowledgable than myself debate it with you.

Believing when there is no compelling evidence is a mistake.  The idea is to withhold belief until there is compelling evidence and if the universe does not comply with our predispositions, okay, then we have the wrenching obligation to accommodate to the way the universe really is.  - Carl Sagan

Who is more humble, the scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us or somebody who says everything in this book should be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of the human beings involved in the writing of this legend - Carl Sagan




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