Book of Revelation is written in symbolic language.
1:1 - The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him,
to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass;
and he sent and signified it by his angel unto
his servant John.
- The Greek
word for signified is semaino, which means "expressing
by signs, to make known, to give a sign."
- Webster's New
World Dictionary states
that a sign is a "mark or a symbol having a specific
- The word sign
comes from the Latin word signum, and the original Anglo-Saxon
word means "token." A token is something serving as
a symbol. Thus, the word signified means "made known
by symbol and figure."
- Symbolic language
is used because men in a lost condition, according to the Bible,
are deaf and blind; they cannot comprehend spiritual things. First
Corinthians 2:14 tells us, "But the natural man receiveth
not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness
unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually
discerned." If God ever gets spiritual truth to a natural
man, He has to use a parable. He
has to bring spiritual things down to an earthly level where man
- Figurative language
is not confined just to the Revelation. It is used throughout
the Bible to teach spiritual lessons. This is how we answer all
the symbols in Revelation. For every symbol there is another Scripture
in the Bible that will let us know what the symbol represents.
- Words may be interpreted
in many different ways, but symbols cannot. There is only one
meaning when a symbol is used.
The above excerpts are from the following study materials:
to the Revelation by Bro. Emerson Wilson
to Pour Out the Vials by Bro. Emerson Wilson
Book of Revelation Explained, Volume 1 by Earl R. Borders