Revelation is the story of Christ conquering the lower ethical nature of man.
The book of Revelation pushes to the limit the imagination of the mind of man. Unlike most books, if not all, it can be said that the pages of the story of Revelation carry the thinking of man far beyond the expanse of normal reasoning. It has a fabulous word pictures of a great red dragon, a women clothed with the sun, a slaughtered lamb standing, and many other allegorical phenomena. The recording of the visions in Revelation by its seer far surpasses the normal expectations of its readers.
Revelation contains many allegorical phenomena.
For example, John records that two hundred million cavalry will be used in the killing of a third of the population of the earth. He recorded, “And the number of the army of the horsemen [to slay the third part of men] were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them” (Rev. 9:16). Also, after the “grapes of wrath” were thrown into the “great winepress of the wrath of God,” blood ran as deep from the ground to the horse’s bridle for two hundred miles. He wrote, “And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs” (Rev. 14:20).
In addition, New Jerusalem coming down out of the clouds is expressed (length, width, and height) as a cube of 1500 miles. In other words, the distance between Washington DC, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is shorter that the length, the width, or the height of New Jerusalem. John recorded it as “And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal” (Rev. 21:6). The Bible in Basic English simply recorded that verse as “And the town is square, as wide as it is long; and he took the measure of the town with the rod, one thousand and five hundred miles: it is equally long and wide and high.” Also, when John saw in his second vision God setting on the throne, he described God not as the gods of the Greeks and the Romans with their human characteristics. He described God as light, a translucent fiery red with a brilliant green circled round about his presence. He wrote, “And he that sat [on the throne] was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald” (Rev. 4:2-3).
Revelation is the story of a great apocalyptic event.
In what is now known as the shortest chapter in Revelation, John also recorded another indication of a great and marvelous panorama of the heavenly realm. He recorded, “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God” (Rev. 15:1). In a final graphic word picture, “the Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto him to show to his servant things that must shortly come to pass” will reveal the final scene of its disclosure. In keeping with the statement of Jesus, ” Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:20), the final picture of Revelation will be a great apocalyptic event. The fleshly thinking of man (the dragon) in his attempt to control (the beast) through his many religious activities (the false prophet) must be taken down before man can experience the coming of Jesus in the clouds of glory with his conquering Spirit and his city of refuge, New Jerusalem.
Revelation reveals the beast as the imperial power of Rome. It discloses the image of the beast as the religious structure of that imperial power. Finally, it reveals the mark of the beast as the fleshly thinking and activity of the followers of that imperial power of Rome. Ultimately, Revelation reveals the beast, his image, and his mark will be conquered with the coming of Christ. The physical aspect of that conflict will play out in the generation between the resurrection of Christ and the death of Old Testament Judaism in the destruction of Jerusalem. The ultimate battle, however, between good and evil will be for the control of the soul within the mind of man. It is the need of every man in every generation to be set free from any controlling authority, any religious structure, and any self endeavor generated by, through, and in the flesh of man. For the temple of God is no longer the physical temple in Jerusalem for the metamorphosis from the old to the new has been completed: the Temple of God would now forever be in the heavenly realm of the spiritual.