Revelation Traditions

There are some traditions in how the Revelation is looked at or defined. But are they based upon Scripture? Let’s look at some of these traditions.

Perhaps the most prominent traditional prophetic doctrine is the “Seven Years of Tribulation.” The only mention of a seven-year period comes from Daniel chapter nine. The angel Gabriel came to Daniel as a result of Daniel’s prayers and informed him that;

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” – Daniel 9:24
These seventy “weeks” (Strong's H7620 - shabuwa) are almost universally accepted as representing weeks of years, or seven-year periods.

However, there are no seven-year periods in the Revelation, only three and one-half year periods (1260 days, 42 months, times, time and one-half time (3½ times)). Also, Gabriel makes an interesting statement in Daniel 9:27.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.”
The common interpretation is that the “Anti-Christ” will make a seven-year peace treaty. Scripture does not say that. The pronoun “he” in Daniel 9:27 does not apply, in my opinion, to “the prince of the people to come,” which is a previous descriptive phrase, but rather to the Messiah mentioned earlier. Did not Jesus Messiah confirm the New Covenant after three and one-half years of His ministry, or “in the midst of the week”? Jesus was the ultimate, perfect sacrifice. He caused sacrifice and oblation to cease.

So, it is possible that the “Great Tribulation” will only be 3½ years.

Now, let’s look at the traditions about the Anti-Christ. The Apostle John told us that there are many anti-Christs. (First John 2:18) Most people refer to the being that emerges from the sea in the Revelation 13:1-8 as the Anti-Christ. Scripture, however, calls him the Beast (Strong's G2342 – therion). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines therion as an animal, a wild animal or a wild beast. I am guilty of referring to this person as the Anti-Christ because that title is so widely used. More properly, this person should be referred to as the Beast.

The Apostle Paul also calls him the Son of Perdition. The Greek for perdition is apoleia, which means destruction. So, the “Son of Destruction” may be more appropriate. Paul told us that this person will “sit in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (Second Thessalonians 2:4) The angel of the bottomless pit is introduced in Revelation 9:11. His name in Greek is Apollyon, which means destroyer. Perhaps the Beast, the Son of Destruction, is related to the fallen angel of the Abyss, the Destroyer.

This raises the question of the humanity of the Beast and the False Prophet. Some think that the Beast is a human who offers himself to the Devil. The Greek word anthrops, meaning a human being, is only used by Paul in naming the Son (anthrops) of Perdition. Nowhere else in the Bible is the Greek word anthrops used in relation to the Beast or the False Prophet. Whatever the classification, the False Prophet is likewise described as therion, an animal.

Revelation chapter nineteen is, in my opinion, the penultimate chapter in the Bible, for it details the Return of the Lord Jesus with great power and glory. The Beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, will gather together to make war against the Lord Jesus and His armies. (Revelation 19:19)

Before the Lord Jesus destroys the armies facing Him, the Beast and the False Prophet are cast, tossed, flung alive into the Lake of Fire. There is no mention of judgment for these two. Judgment occurs with the Great White Throne judgment found in the next chapter. All men (anthrops) whose names are not found in the Book of Life face the Lord in judgment. The absence of judgment causes me to believe that these two animals, the Beast and the False Prophet are, at least in part if not totally, spiritual beings just like the Destroyer of Revelation 9:11.

There are many mysteries related to the End Times and the Tribulation. Praise the Lord that Believers, in my opinion, will not be here to experience those trials. Praise the Lord, forever!

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