Revelation 19: Who is the Audience?

In Revelation Articles

We have faced many challenges in Revelation 17 and 18, looking at the beast as the state (political power) and the woman as the church (religious power). Perhaps the most intriguing is the depiction of the beast turning against the woman and burning her with fire. In the interpretation we …

Revelation 18: Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

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Before moving into Revelation 19, a historical review of the unhealthy and coercive relationship that has existed between church and state — a subject of much concern in the book of Revelation. Echoes of this are seen in the reign of Jeroboam who changed dates, times and the place of …

Revelation 18: Who Destroys Babylon?

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We are now moving ahead to Revelation 18, which seems to portray scenes of socioeconomic collapse amid images of much worse problems. The sins of Babylon are that she has become unfaithful, a medium for the demonic and that her “trade” is based on predation and exploitation. Fire is described …

Revelation 17: War Theme and Harmagedon

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Despite our difficulties with the 17th chapter of Revelation, I am hopeful that we will emerge from this chapter with an improved grasp of some of the details and with the momentum intact with respect to the big picture. The book says that there was a war in heaven. Will …

Revelation 17: The Devil is in the Details

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We have slowed to a crawling pace in Revelation 17, but an Arabic saying says that speed is of the devil. At least we cannot be accused of speeding.  The present chapter offers an opportunity to put forward a new position on at least one issue that has confounded interpreters. …

Revelation 17: Divine vs. Demonic Identity

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We are on the hook in the maze of detail in Revelation 17.  Will our reading choke, or is it possible to emerge from this chapter with renewed momentum? Will we be amazed (appalled) for the same reason John was, or will we merely be confused? Will we be able …

Revelation 17: Embrace of Church and State

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A chapter that is so full of specifics will also demand specific commitments from the interpreter. That is to say, the interpreter cannot play hide-and-seek with the demands of the specifics in the text (if we have been doing that). So what is it, the beast “that was, and is …

Revelation 17: John is Appalled

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Even though much of Revelation 17 repeats scenes that have been described earlier, it is not strictly repetition. Why is John carried into the wilderness, of all places, in order to understand the mystery of the woman sitting on the beast? And why is he so amazed when he sees …

Revelation 16: The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath

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For the last two years Dr. Sigve Tonstad has led a class on the book of Revelation at Loma Linda University. During that time, we have eagerly looked forward to each class as Dr. Tonstad has slowly unfolded Revelation as a book that reveals the cosmic confict between God and …

Revelation 11: One-Tenth and Seven Thousand

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At that very moment there was a violent earthquake; a tenth of the city was destroyed, and seven thousand people were killed. (Rev 11:13) Dates, times, and numbers are plentiful in the book of Revelation and there is an almost overwhelming temptation to “decode” all of these into a literal …