Prophetic speculation is rampant. Books dealing with the end times continue to flood the market. Is America part of Bible prophecy? What about Russia? Two recent books. Let’s not forget blood moons . . . earthquakes . . . ellipses . . . hurricanes . . . wars. Probably the most talked about and written about so-called end-time sign relates to Israel. We’ve been told to keep an eye on Israel. The book of Revelation is “all about Israel.” The thing of it is, Revelation is all about Israel. But you’ll be surprised to learn that the modern state of Israel is not the Israel Revelation is discussing.
Brian Godawa has been studying and writing and speaking on the topic of Bible prophecy for many years. The following article is his latest attempt to put the book of Revelation in historical perspective. — Gary DeMar
ONE LITTLE WORD CHANGES EVERYTHING
REVELATION IS SURELY ONE OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL AND DEBATED BOOKS OF THE BIBLE. IT IS VISIONARY, IT IS FANTASTIC, IT IS EARTH-SHATTERING IN ITS SIGNIFICANCE. AND I HAD ALWAYS ASSUMED IT WAS ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD IN OUR FUTURE. BUT I WOULD EVENTUALLY DISCOVER THAT IT WAS NOT ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD, BUT ABOUT THE END OF THE OLD COVENANT AND ITS EARTHLY ELEMENTS OF HOLY CITY AND TEMPLE IN THE PAST. IT IS EARTH-SHATTERING IN HEAVENLY SIGNIFICANCE, BUT NOT IN EARTHLY GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE.
AND I CAN PROVE THAT WITH ONE LITTLE WORD: EARTH.
You see, the word “earth” shows up a lot in English translations of Revelation, and it is that word that makes it so apparently obvious to modern readers that it’s about the end of the world, the earth.
Here are some examples of “earth” used in Revelation:
- The horsemen of the apocalypse “take peace from the earth” (Rev 6:4) and kill “a fourth of the earth” (Rev 6:8).
- The seven trumpets of woe are blown over “those who dwell on the earth” (Rev 8:13).
- The seven bowls of wrath are “poured out upon the earth” (Rev 16:1).
- God avenges the blood of his martyrs by judging those “who dwell on the earth” (Rev 6:10).
- The Two Witnesses call down plagues upon the earth (Rev 11:6).
- The grape harvest of wrath is judgment “of the earth” (Rev 14:18-19).
- The Great Harlot, Mystery Babylon, is guilty of the “earth’s abominations” (Rev 17:5) and the blood of “all who have been slain on the earth” (Rev 18:24).