The book of Revelation is a mystery to many Christians but it doesn’t have to be. God desires to reveal it to the earnest student. It requires diligent and methodical study that, frankly, few people have the time, or a thorough knowledge of the Word to tackle it.
The golden key to gaining a better understanding of the book of Revelation is to recognize that its prophecies are arranged chronologically in an orderly fashion. In other words, the events of Revelation follow one another in an orderly sequence. Recognizing orderly continuity will help the earnest student of the Word avoid arbitrary interpretations. Bible commentators that have a bunch of chronologies running through their expositions on Revelation are hopelessly confused.
Here then is the golden key: The book of Revelation is chronologically divided into 2 distinct parts that harmonize together as one: Rev 1-11 and Rev 12-22.
The first 11 chapters are one sequence of chronological end-of-the-age events, and the last 11 chapters cover many of the same events with additional details. For example, more is said about the Antichrist and his system in the second sequence. These two chronological sequences are in harmony with the entirety of the Scriptures including the Old Testament prophets. It coordinates, culminates, and concludes so beautifully the whole plan of the ages. These two chronological sequences of apocalyptic events are known as the double witness principle.
The double witness principle is seen in the case of Pharoah’s dreams. Both dreams if you’ll remember had the same meaning (Gen 41). The dream revealed 7 years of prosperity followed by 7 years of famine in Egypt. Joseph interpreted Pharoah’s dream making mention of this double witness.
“And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.” (Gen 41:32)
But notice that Joseph said that the dreams were also one.
“And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath showed Pharaoh what he is about to do.” (Gen 41:25)
This principle of the double witness is such a precious principle to me that I hesitated to share it in this blog that is read by many people I don’t even know. Even Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, revealing only pearls of hidden meaning to the earnest and sincere seekers in private. But we who freely receive must also freely give.
This double witness principle is a golden clue that unlocks the book of Revelation and helps to avoid arbitrary interpretations that are not in continuity, compatibility, and in the accurate timing of end time events. You will see that more clearly as I continue on in this blog series. The heart of the humble will rejoice and be glad.
The same principle of this double witness is also seen in the book of Daniel which harmonizes with the book of Revelation. For example, in Daniel 2 the rise of the 4 consecutive world empires are foretold in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the great image. Then in Daniel 7 there is a parallel prophecy foretelling the same thing, only with different symbols and additional details.
Now think about Revelation 11 and 12 in the light of this double witness principle. In Revelation 11 the plan of the ages comes to an end as the two witnesses are resurrected and raptured, the 7th trumpet commences the coronation of Christ, and then the saints are rewarded. But then in Revelation 12 it returns to the beginning of the period just before the rapture.
End time prophecy expositors have made a mess of Revelation 12, but you will soon find out that this is the most complete depiction of the first-fruits rapture of the Church in the entire Bible.
Stay tuned for it in Part 7. This is about to get super-duper exciting!