Apocalypse is Greek for the word revelation. An apocalypse is a type of literature found in the Old Testament, the New Testament and non biblical writings. Until now, I thought an apocalypse was a very bad event, a horrific disaster of colossal proportion. Apparently I bought into Hollywood’s portrayal. Apocalyptic writing reveals new or hidden information, is often prophetic, and uses enigmatic and symbolic language and imagery.
Revelation surely fits into this genre. It isn’t surprising that early Christians preferred to communicate in code. Caesar and the rest of his cronies were definitely not onboard with a strategy making God sovereign over the Roman Empire. Most apocalyptic writers remained anonymous but since Jesus’ apostle John was already in exile, he had nothing to lose by claiming authorship of Revelation. The challenge to readers now, however, is that we just don’t get most of the references; much of the language is lost to us.
Numbers are used quite frequently throughout the Bible and Revelation is no exception. Numeric symbolism is of interest to me because I personally use this language to interpret messages and have written about it in previous posts. There is much speculation about the meaning of the numbers prevalent in Revelation. Are they meant to be symbolic or literal or both?
The number twelve, as in the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve disciples, is literal based on old and new testament documentation, but what about the number 144,000 (12 tribes x 12,000 Israelites) which refers to the number of God’s servants with seals on their foreheads (Revelation 7:3-4)? Who are they, what does it mean?
In numerology, twelve reduces to three (1+2=3). For me, the number three represents a catalyst of some sort. It can’t be argued that the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve disciples facilitated profound historical events. I think the number 144,000 holds the energy of some kind of catalytic change expedited by a critical mass of people who will raise the collective consciousness of humanity. Literal or symbolic, it really doesn’t much matter. We can be certain change is coming and the characteristics of that change depend on our actions now.
Seven is another seemingly ubiquitous number. Revelation talks about seven churches in the Roman province of Asia, seven lamp stands, seven angels, seven stars, seven horns, seven eyes, seven seals, seven scenes, seven trumpets, seven bowls, and seven blessings. Outside of Revelation we have seven colors on the visible spectrum, seven notes on a musical scale, seven chakras, etc. I have always associated seven with divinity, wholeness, and perfection.
The most repeated number in Revelation is 7, which in some contexts represents completeness and perfection.
It was a pleasant surprise for me to read this in the class notes, not only was it validating, but in my opinion, a little outside the box for the curriculum writers. Bravo! The thing about Revelation is that no two scholars on the subject align perfectly with interpretation; this is precisely what makes it so fascinating.
Over the past four days, I have spent something like twenty-six cumulative hours on the phone with tech support personnel working on laptop problems I experienced after downloading Windows 10. A week ago, I would have called it an apocalypse. I mention it because the language of tech support, for me, is like apocalyptic writing. I often don’t get the references and need to have them slow down and spell things out for me. The five different people helping me approached solutions from five different angles. Is one path better or faster than the other? I don’t know. All I care about is the end result; fixing my problem. I am grateful for their expertise.
It’s sort of like all the interpretations for Revelation. There are many paths to understanding the hidden meaning, but in the end, what matters is getting to the truth. Sometimes these things take a while. Maybe it will take a thousand years, but we’ll get there eventually. Not getting too worked up over the process will probably move things along a lot faster.
Circumstances in the world constantly change even situations and relationships that appear solid.
I read this statement in the notes and it got me thinking about how things change and what my responsibility is in that process. Perfectly acceptable operating systems get upgraded and rather than stay stuck in the past, I must address the challenges of the upgrade to move forward and grow with technology. When it comes to relationships, never underestimate the diminishing power of a bruised ego and how it impacts loved ones. Times of discord are times for self accessing one’s personality, ego, and soul to find the flaws that wreck havoc with happiness. I can choose the way I react to the ever changing world. My preference is to choose the most loving course of action.
Revelation is basically the happy ending in the story about God. The moral of the story is that if one loves God by following the golden rule, one will live happily ever after in the kingdom of God. Since we are human, we will be navigating the realm of our souls until the second coming. My truth is that the second coming is when humanity transitions to divine perfection, or God-consciousness, which is synonymous with heaven and the kingdom of God by the way. It will take time; enjoy the process.