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Interpreting a Sign-i-fied Revelation


    Many texts and words in the book of Revelation have literal meanings and applications. When no interpretation of the texts appear, it is because it was thought best to be taken literally. Also, when texts are interpreted, it does not always preclude their having a literal meaning as well.

    In interpreting the Word of the Lord, judgments must be made within the text,  context, and the truths of the harvest message to determine what seems the best way to harmonize the whole. When one viewpoint is given, it does not mean other viewpoints may not have merit or be viable.

    This work is an attempt at truth and harmony with the constant realization of human fallibility and weakness of judgment. The goal, however, is to provide a reasonable and consistent basis for understanding Revelation within the paradigm of the harvest message and to provide increased light to meet our increased responsibility to revealed truth. There are still loose ends that need the passing of time to bring greater clarity.

    These notes were started while studying with Bro. Ludlow Loomis.   Much  contained herein is the result of his guidance and direction. This work also includes wisdom and judgment from many brethren collected through the years.  Placing explanations within the biblical text seems to be the most efficient way to help the student gain a grasp of the meaning of a Revelation verse or chapter. Where further insights are needed, we have provided more detailed explanations under chapters addressed to specific subjects.

   We trust this will help the student gather a working knowledge of Revelation. Please remember that Revelation is an unfinished study.  The mistakes are always ours, never the Lord's.

John Class
February 16, 2001


(King James Version is used throughout because most brethren use this version.)


1. The Revelation [or unveiling] of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his saints things which must shortly come to pass [be done speedily]; and he sent and signified [showed by signs] it by his angel [messenger, Bro. Russell] unto his servant John [the John Class, who are in the spirit-begotten condition on the Lord’s Sabbath day]:

2. Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

3. Blessed [or happy] is HE that readeth [or interprets], and THEY that hear the words [or interpretations] of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time [of fulfillment] is at hand.

4. [The Apostle] John to the seven [stages of the] churches which are in Asia [Diaglott, Appendix, muddy or boggy condition]: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is and which was, and which is to come [Jehovah, clearly referring to Revelation 4:8, but in reverse order in saying "was" and "is"]; and from the seven Spirits [promises of the Spirit later given to all seven churches through the Lamb] which are before his throne [see Revelation 4:5 and 5:6];

5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and first begotten [born] of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth [those who are to be the future kings of society, his faithful church]. Unto him that loveth us, and washed [freed] us from our sins by his own blood [sacrificed life],

6. And hath made us kings [a kingdom] and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen [So be it].

7. Behold, he cometh with clouds [clouds of trouble upon the earth]; and every eye [understanding] shall see [discern] him, and they also which pierced him [See John 19:37 and Zechariah 12:10Vol. 2, p.130.]: and all kindreds of the earth [society] shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen [So be it].

8. I am the Alpha and Omega, 00GoldSquare.jpg (706 bytes) the beginning and the ending [Jesus], saith the Lord [most MSS also add God], which is [alive], and which was [dead, Revelation 1:17,18], and which is to come, the Almighty.

9. I, John who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

10.  I was in the Spirit [the saint class in the spirit-begotten or spiritually minded condition] on the Lord's day [during his second presence], and heard behind me [from the past] a great voice [testimony], as of a trumpet [proclamation],

11.  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, [All preceding words of this verse are not in the Sinaitic and Alexandrian Manuscripts]. What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia: unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. [The meaning of what each church symbolizes will follow later.]

12.  And I turned [the John Class, the saints living during the Lord's second presence look into the past] to see [discern and understand] the voice [message] that spake [that of the risen Lord] with me. And being turned [as they looked into the Holy Writ of the past], I [the John Class] saw seven golden candlesticks [stages or periods of the church of the Gospel age];

13. And in the midst [as the central figure] of the seven candlesticks [seven periods of the churches], one like the Son of man [Jesus with his glory manifested by his own ministry and that of his apostles], clothed with a garment down to the foot [the glory of his earthly ministry becomes veiled through the ages until the time of his second presence when it is again manifested], and girt about the paps [his heart] with a golden girdle [dedicated to the divine service].

14. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow [he is intellectually pure and venerable]; and his eyes were as a flame of fire [penetrating omniscient wisdom or discernment];

15. And his feet [those representing him on earth] like unto fine brass [purified or justified], as if they burned in a furnace [exposed to fiery experiences]; and his voice [message] as the sound of many waters [people].

16. And he had in his right hand [for guidance, protection, care and favor], seven stars [messengers]: and out of his mouth [mouthpiece giving divine truths] went a sharp two-edged sword [Old and New Testament judgments]; and his countenance [favor] was as the sun shineth in his strength [illuminating and cheering].

17. And when I [the John Class] saw him, I [they] fell at his feet as dead [humbled to the dust lost in wonder, love and praise]. And he [Jesus] laid his right hand upon me [favor upon the saint class of the harvest time], saying unto me, Fear not; I [Jesus] am the first and the last [of God’s direct creation, having pre-eminence in all things]:

18. I [Jesus] am he that liveth, and was dead, and, behold, I am alive forevermore; Amen [So be it]; and have the keys [power or authority] of hell [the death state] and of death [the dying condition].

19. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter [must shortly come to pass];

20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my [Jesus’] right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the seven angels [messengers] of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks [successive periods of the churches] which thou sawest are the seven churches.



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