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First of all I realise that the book of Revelation is a book of prophecy. A book of prophetic visions. And like all prophecy, it needs interpretation and, any and all interpretations must concur and be faithful to other Scriptures in the Bible.

Secondly, I realise that Revelation is NOT written in chronological order starting at chapter one and ending at chapter twenty-two.

For instance it doesn’t take a theologian to see that chapter 12 is the start.

You cannot have a risen Jesus who was “the first to rise from the dead” and who “has freed us from our sins by shedding His blood for us” (Revelation 1:5) unless first He had been born (Revelation 12:2) and lived on earth.

Nor do you have satan and his demon angels on earth before they were cast out of heaven in the battle between Michael and his angels (Revelation 12:7-9).

And after Jesus overcame satan by the cross you then have satan making war against Israel and God’s children (Christians):

“And the dragon (identified as satan in chapter 12 verse 9) was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17)

The chronological order appears to be chapter 12, followed by chapters one, two, and three.

Likewise there are various chapters and verses that also seem to be out of chronological order.

This is natural because John was given a series of visions (Revelation 1:10 ; 4:2 ; 17:3 ; 21:10) – rather than one long  continuous chronological vision.

The “revelation” is something John “saw” while he was “in the Spirit.” This language identifies four distinct (but overlapping) visions.

“In the Spirit” appears in the following places in Revelation:

Revelation 1:10 — John sees the risen Christ on the isle of Patmos.

Revelation 4:2 — John watches events unfold from the heavenly throne room

Revelation 17:3 — John watches events unfold from an earthly wilderness

Revelation 21:10 — John inspects the New Jerusalem from a high mountain on the New Earth.

These visions structure Revelation into four visions:

Vision One – The Kingdom Begun: Jesus Has Overcome (Revelation 1:9-3:22)

Vision Two — The Kingdom Comes: The Heavenly Perspective (Revelation 4-16)

Vision Three — The Kingdom Comes: The Earthly Perspective (Revelation 17-21:8)

Vision Four — The Kingdom Fully Realized in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9-22:7)

The visions have many overlapping themes, shared language, and similar points.


Now to my personal beliefs:

The Letters to the churches:

The letters to the churches applied to the actual physical churches that existed at the time of writing. As well each particular letter applied in turn to a specific time period down through the centuries:

That is the letter to the church of Ephesus (the loveless church) applied to the church period AD31 –AD100, the letter to the church of Smyrna (the persecuted church) applied to the church time period of AD100 – AD313, the letter to the church of Pergamos (the compromising church) applied to the church time period of AD313 – AD538, the letter to the church of Thyatira (the corrupt church) applied to the church time period of AD313 – AD1500s, the letter to the church of Sardis (the dead church) applied to the church time period of AD1500s – AD1790s, the letter to the church of Philadelphia (the faithful church) applied to the church time period of AD1790s – AD1840s, the letter to the church of Laodicea (the lukewarm church) applies to the church time period of AD1840s – the second coming of Jesus.

Furthermore several other letters would have applied to various churches in each time period.

Therefore we would find churches that exist today in 2023 that one, or more, or all, that each of those seven letters applies to.



The subjects of tribulation and rapture are contentious issues that have divided opinions among churches, denominations and individual churches for the last few centuries.

The early church never looked toward tribulation, nor did they expect a rapture in the sense that Christians would be raptured ahead of any tribulation period.

In fact it was not until John Darby, (one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren), popularised the notion of rapture in the 1830’s that rapture started to become a tenant of Christian belief in some sections of Christianity.

The word translated as ‘rapture’ in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 in its original Greek form simply means: “to seize, catch up, snatch away”.

It could just as easily apply to being “caught up” in the clouds at the second coming of Jesus.

I base my belief on the definitive words of Jesus rather than a concept by John Darby:

When the disciples asked Jesus “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” in Matthew chapter 24 Jesus did not speak in parable form but gave a direct answer:

“30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send out His angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather His chosen ones from all over the world – from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven”. (Also in Mark 13:24-27 and Luke 21:25-28)

I read nothing in Revelation that changes this. There is mention of the souls under the altar who were martyred for their faith (Rev 6:9-11); and there is mention of a great multitude who died in the Tribulation worshipping God (eg: Revelation 7:9-14) – but no mention of ‘raptured’ Christians.

I believe that ‘rapture’ will simply be getting “caught up” in the clouds at the second coming of Jesus.



I know that there are three main views on tribulation: Pre-tribulation, Mid-tribulation, and Post-tribulation. If I had to fall into one of those positions it would be Post-tribulation.

If anyone was to ask Stephen when he was being stoned (Acts 7:54-60) if he was in tribulation for his faith – what do you think the answer would be?

If anyone was to ask the early New Testament church if they were in tribulation for their faith – what do you think the answer would be? They were persecuted, hunted down, jailed, whipped, stoned, tortured, and killed by Roman soldiers and by Jews.

If anyone was to ask genuine disciples of Jesus during the ‘Dark Ages’ if they were in tribulation for their faith – what do you think the answer would be? They were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the Roman Catholic Church, an amalgamation of church and State.

If anyone was to ask genuine disciples of Jesus who are hunted down, jailed, tortured and killed (often by stoning or beheading) by Muslims today if they were in tribulation for their faith – what do you think the answer would be?

I believe that the figure of “seven years” tribulation is a purely symbolic and figurative time period.

And that tribulation of Christians started with the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus, the stoning of Stephen, and Saul’s persecution of Christians (Acts 8:1-3 ; 9:2) and has continued ever since – and will only get progressively worse.


Mark of the Beast:

Revelation chapter thirteen deals with satan (the dragon) and the two beasts – the sea beast (the antichrist) and the earth beast (the false prophet) – and ‘the mark of the beast’ 

Verses 15-17: A mark on his right hand or on his forehead.

Note: Compare Rev 20:4, which says “and” not “or”: “those who had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received the mark on their foreheads and on their hands.”

This “mark of the beast” (16:2. 19:20; also 14:9-11) also mimics the sealing of the 144,000 (Revelation 7:2-3).

Some suggest that this “mark” refers to a computerized credit-card system coupled with a transmitter-identifier implanted in people’s foreheads and hands or some other high-technology development.

Regardless of whether such speculations are true or fanciful, the mark points to a time of complete totalitarian control over economic life by religious elements.

Those who have the ‘mark of the beast’ on the forehead are those who have an evil ‘beastly’ view of God in their minds. They believe God coerces and so mark themselves in their thinking, represented by the forehead.

Those who have the ‘mark of the beast’ on their right hands are those who practice evil. They practice beastly methods of coercion and sin.  

Christians are sealed with the Spirit when we believed.

“…….. you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people.” (Ephesians 1:13-14) 

The “mark” or “seal” of Christians is the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14 ; Ephesians 4:30 ; 2 Corinthians 1:22 and 5:5).

So in a sense the “mark of the beast” are those who are without the Holy Spirit; because every Christian believer who is a true disciple receives the Holy Spirit at salvation through acceptance of Jesus sacrificial atoning death and resurrection.

As far as not being able to ‘buy or sell’ goes (Rev 13:17), we are already seeing how this could come about.

Australia and other countries around the world during Covid-19 were a classic example.

During Covid-19 everywhere we went, by law, we had to scan a QR code on our phones before we could enter any commercial or business premises.

Australia was also looking at introducing “Covid Passports”, and in certain Australian States were stopping unvaccinated people from gaining entry to that State.

Examples from that time in Australia in 2021:

“Businesses which allow unvaccinated customers through their doors or hire staff who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will face ‘significant fines,’ the NSW government has warned.

The state is set to emerge from its gruelling lockdown in mid October when vaccination rates hit 70 per cent coverage, but the long-awaited freedoms will not be made available to anyone who has not received the jab.

Customers and patrons at non-essential venues including pubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms and hair salons, will need to prove their vaccination status via QR code when checking in using the Service NSW app, with anyone who doesn’t get the ‘green light’ refused entry.”

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that businesses can deny right of entry and service to unvaccinated Australians.

“That’s a legitimate thing for them to do. They’re doing that to protect their own workers, to protect their other clients,” he said in Parliament on Wednesday.”

“The government has backed the use of a QR code-style vaccination pass that would verify a person’s vaccination status using information from the Australian Immunisation Register. The type of pass is often referred to as a vaccine passport.

“A business under property law has the ability to say ‘no, you can’t come in’, and they can ask for that [proof of vaccination], that’s a legitimate thing for them to do, and they’re doing that to protect their own workers, to protect their other clients,” Morrison told 2GB radio on Wednesday.”

I firmly believe that the mark of the beast mentioned in Revelation is symbolic and spiritual for all those who do not have the seal (mark) of the Holy Spirit in their lives.



I believe that Babylon is the wicked world religious and political system, ruled in the spiritual realm by satan and ultimately in the physical world by the antichrist.

Viewing Babylon allegorically as the evil world-system concurs with the extensive description of the rule of the antichrist in Revelation chapters 12-13 and the return of this imagery in the immediate context (Rev 14: 9-11).

Babylon is a symbol of human works in contrast to God’s grace – a symbol of human traditions in defiance to God’s commandments.

Mingling truth with error, distorting the Gospel, changing God’s laws, and substituting man-made decrees for Biblical truth.

satan’s counterfeit system, termed “Babylon”, is a distortion of truth by both the ‘religious world systems’ and the ‘political world systems’.


The Four Horsemen, Trumpets, and Bowls:

God’s judgements on sinful humanity.

I, like many Bibles scholars, believe that it is entirely possible that the ‘four horsemen of the Apocalypse’, the seven seals, seven trumpets, seven signs and seven bowls of Revelation are various ways of looking at the same events – with each succeeding view even more terrifying than the previous.

Although I remain very open to the possibility that, if these events have not been occurring through-out the history of the Christian church then, they will all happen in extremely quick succession, one after the other – and very soon.

Personally though I believe that right now (2021) we are living in the time of the Seventh Trumpet (Rev 11) and the bowls of God’s wrath are about to be unleashed. (Rev 16)



The final battle between the forces of satan and God.

Armageddon is a battle in which all the people of the earth must give allegiance to either God or satan.

Some believe that just Jesus and His angels are only involved in the battle. Some believe that Jesus and His followers and the angels are involved. And some believe just Jesus Himself is involved.

I can even go as far as to agree with some theologians and Bible scholars who believe the battle of Armageddon will not even be a physical battle but a purely spiritual battle.

The final battle, whether physical or spiritual, is likely to take place in or near Jerusalem.

The battle of Armageddon represents satan’s final determination and last attempt to destroy God’s people and prevent the establishment of God’s Kingdom on the earth.

Revelation portrays the final battle as part of the cosmic conflict between Christ and His arch-antagonist “the Devil or satan, the one who deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12:9).

Christ’s followers need spiritual discernment as they face the deceptions of the final crisis.

I personally believe that it is the battle when Jesus first returns.


Millennial Reign:

I do not believe that satan will be released at the end of the Millennial rule, and I see the Millennial rule as figurative and agree with Reverend Doctor Geoff Waugh below:

“Millennial reign is symbolic I believe, as is much of Revelation. On His return, I believe Jesus’ eternal kingdom is established. No more evil. The Kingdom is now with evil present while looking for His return and it’s completion, forever.” – Reverend Doctor Geoff Waugh (Author of “Renewal Journal”, Overseas Missionary, and Charismatic Baptist Theologian and Seminary Lecturer)

For anyone interested there is a full commentary on the whole Book of Revelation, in Microsoft Word format, available for download on the “Teaching Series” page of my ministry web site.

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