The symbols and imagery in the Book of Revelation can feel a little intimidating if you don’t know what they mean? Today I’m talking about symbols in the Book of Revelation and how you can understand what they mean!
The Book of Revelation: Study #2
What do the symbols in the book of Revelation mean?
Symbols. The Book of Revelation is filled with mysterious symbols. Why? For the same reason that Jesus spoke in parables. In Luke 8:10 Jesus says, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: ‘When they look, they won’t really see. When they hear, they won’t understand.'” NLT. The book of Revelation is clothed in symbols so that only those sincerely seeking truth will find it.
However, even though the book of Revelation is written in symbols, the Bible explains itself in a literal language. For example:
- A Beast in prophecy is explained in Daniel 7:23 “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” So, a beast in prophecy represents a kingdom.
- Water in prophecy is explained in Revelation 17:15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” So, waters in prophecy represent multitudes of people.
- A Day in Bible prophecy is explained in Ezekiel 4:6 “And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.” So, a day in prophecy is equal to one year.
Study the 88 Symbols of Prophecy
The study of prophecy is fascinating! I have an in depth chart of all 88 symbols of prophecy here.
We never have to wonder what the Bible means. God has provided the answer to our every question! All we need to do is look with an open heart. We can be sure that Bible prophecy is accurate.
“We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19 NIV. Peter goes on to say that “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.” 2 Peter 1:20 NIV.
Satan wants us to believe that the Words of the book of Revelation are hard to understand, that it is a closed book, and that we don’t need to worry about what is written there because he knows that when God’s people fully understand the Word of God their lives and hearts are changed! Satan wants us bound to a life of sin. He wants us to forsake eternal life!
As believers we can be sure that Scripture holds all truth because “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16. Scripture comes from the very mouth of God! Because of this, we need to understand that “spiritual things are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14.
If we are living a life of immorality, selfishness, and sin we can’t expect to understand prophecy. Our hearts need to be clean and ready to receive truth.We must have a “thirst for truth.” Revelation 21:6. We need to be like the Bereans and test the Scriptures to see if those things we believe are true. Acts 17:11.
John 7:17 says, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.”