Revelation- Preterist View


  1. Rev: 1, 3 – “soon take place” and “the time is near” – “soon” is “tachos” and means “quickly, at once, without delay, shortly.” – “near” is “engys” and spaks of temporal nearness. – “tachos” is again in 2:16; 3:11; 22:6, 7, 12, 20  -“engys” is again in 3:10 and 22:10
  2. Rev. 1:7 – Coming of Christ to be seen even by “those who pierced him.”
  3. Rev. 1-3 – show Jesus in history spiritually walking among the churches as ever present
  4. Rev. 4- 5  - John taken above history to God’s throne
  5. Rev. 5 – Jesus appears ready to judge those who pierced him. The scroll? Must be understood as 1- occurring in the first century, 2-refer to “those who pierced him,” 3-Understood from OT passages, 4-allign with the construction of Revelation. The scroll is God’s divorce decree against Israel. This is how the book begins. At the end God takes a new bride, the church.
  6. Rev. 6 – judgment on Jerusalem begins. There is parallel between Matt. 24 and Rev. 6.
    1. Rider on White horse is victorious Roman march toward Jerusalem to engage Jews in war in 67 AD
    2. Rider on Red horse is the disruption of pax Romana (the enforce peace of the Roman world.) The Jewish war temporarily interrupted Rome’s peace.
    3. Rider on Black and Pale horse are famine and death resulting from the Jewish war
    4. Fifth seal glances into heaven to see martyrs crying for vindication of Israel’s destruction for Matthew 23:24-24:2
    5. Sixth seal describes Israel’s world, or government, falling apart due to the wrath of the Lamb (6:16-17). This imagery is also used of the fall of Babylon in Isaiah 13:1, 10, 19; Egypt in Ezekiel 32:2, 7-8, 16, 18; Idumea in Isaiah 34:3-5 and Judah in Jeremiah 4:14, 23-24. The moving away of “every mouintain” is the Roman legions removing mountainous impediments that stood in their way or the building up of earthen structures
    6. 6:15-16 “hid in caves” refers to the Jews hiding in the gutters


7. Rev. 7 – angels hold back destruction. This occurred when Vespasians’ approach to Jerusalem was halted when Nero died in 68 AD and Vespasian returned to Rome to become emperor. 144,000 are Jews who accept Christ.

What is happening in the book of Revelation?

a.       these are first century events (1:1; 22:6; 22:10)

b.       judgment is on Israel and moving towards Jerusalem

c.       Christianity at this time focused on Jerusalem

d.      non-Christian Jews are "synagogue of Satan" (Rev. 2:9; 3:9)


8. Rev. 8 -9 - The Seven Trumpets - begins after the dramatic pause. Israel's devastation grows from 1/4 to 1/3. It is the reversal of the Exodus that shows Israel receiving the plagues similar to those sent on Egypt.

a.       8:5 - peals of thunder, rumblings. flashes of lighting" are all described by Josephus as he recounts a storm one night at this time saying, "storm in the night, with the utmost violence, and very strong winds, with the largest showers of rain, and continual lightings, terrible thundering, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth, that was in an earthquake."

b.      1/3 of trees burned up is the Romans cutting down the trees around Jerusalem for fire wood and siege works.

c.       Destroying ships and the seas filled with blood are the battles near bodies of water near Jerusalem and also the Mediterranean Coast and the Sea of Galilee.

d.      The bitter water was a result of the battles mentioned above.

e.       Fifth Trumpet - the Abyss. This is demonic response to the apparent coming of the Kingdom of God. Josephus nor anyone else mentions demons but they were clearly active among the Jews who fought barbarically amongst themselves during these days.

f.       Sixth Trumpet - four angels at the Euphrates River. Josephus gives no comment nor does anything parallel this, but this account from Josephus is mentioned: "Before the sun setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities." Tacitus writes: "In the sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of glittering armour."


9. Rev. 11:1-2 - Measuring the Temple - which is in Jerusalem focusing on the time of the Gentiles as did Jesus in Luke 21:24. Jerusalem is called Sodom, Egypt and the place where Jesus was crucified in 11:8. The mention of 42 months refers to the Roman invasion which began in late 66 AD and ended in August of 70 AD (66 AD = Oct, Nov, Dec.; 67 AD = 12 months; 68 AD = 12 months; 69 AD = 12 months; 70 AD = Jan-Aug, 8 months....this is a total of 47 months, but Rome withdrew for a brief period after Nov. 66 AD and returned in spring of 67 which would equal 42 months. In chapter 11 the temple is not destroyed but protected. The Temple is not overrun by the Gentiles (Romans) because chapter 11 is talking about the spiritual temple in heaven similar to Paul's imagery in Galatians 4:22-26 when he compares "Jerusalem below" with "Jerusalem above" and Hebrews 12:18-21 which compares Mount Zion in heaven with Mt. Sinai on earth.


10. Rev. 13 - The Beast - This is Nero for these reasons:

a.       These events occur during the first century during the Jewish war with  Rome

b.      Rome comes from the sea in their ships to Israel.

c.       The beast has great authority and power as did Rome

d.      The beast was blasphemous and demanded worship as did Nero and other emperors

e.       The beast number is 666...Nero Caesar's name, NRWN QSR, written in Hebrew adds up to 666.

f.       The seven heads, mountains and kings are the seven famous hills of the city of Rome.

g.      Five kings have fallen (Juliuis, Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius), one is (Nero) and the seventh will come and remain a little while (Galba followed Nero's 13 year reign in June 68 AD, but died in 7 months in Jan. 69 AD)


11. Rev. 13:5-7 - Persecution by the Beast - 42 month persecution is Nero's persecution which began in November of 64 AD and continued until Nero died in June of 68 AD. November 64-June 68 AD would equal 44 months, but give or take a few weeks and you have 42 months of persecution by the beast Nero.


12. Rev. 13 - the Death and Resurrection of the Beast - Tacitus writes concerning the Roman world after Nero's death: "
The history on which I am entering is that of a period rich in disasters, terrible with battles, torn by civil struggles, horrible even in peace. Four emperors were felled by the sword; there were three civil wars, more foreign wars and often both at the same time." Tacitus states that Galba's last year was almost the last year for Rome. Historian Suetonius writes: The empire, which for a long time had been unsettled and, as it were, drifting through the usurpation and violent death of three emperors, was at last taken in hand and given stability by the Flavian family." Josephus' account agrees and sounds similar.

13. Rev. 14-16 -  The Continuation of Israel's Judgment - blood filled the land and the sea from the Jewish war with Rome. Jerusalem was divided in to 3 parts by the strife and division among the Jews. The huge hailstones weighing 100 pounds were the 100 pound stones that Rome launched at Jerusalem as described by Josephus


14. Rev. 17-18 - The Prostitute and the Beast -

a.       The prostitute is Jerusalem portrayed as "Babylon"

b.      Old Testament imagery of Israel as a prostitute who forsook God

c.       The Jews killed the Christians and so shed the blood of the martyrs

d.      The prostitute's clothes are those worn by the High Priest of Israel and the gold cup is a Temple vessel.

e.        The drunken prostitute will be replaced with the coming bride.

f.       The prostitute on the beast is Jerusalem's dependence on Rome (the beast). The prostitute will be strong until the beast turns on her.





15. Rev. 19 - Marriage supper and the Bridegroom -

a.       The saints in the true heaven, true Jerusalem, true temple rejoice when earthly Jerusalem falls

b.      With the falling of the prostitute wife, Jerusalem, God announces his new, pure wife, the church. Jesus spoke of this day when he told the Sanhedrin that they would see: "the  Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matt. 26:64

c.       The bridegroom appears after his divorce and capital punishment of his adulterous wife. (Rev. 19:11-18).

d.      Nero's death is mentioned in Rev. 19:19-21


16. Rev. 20 - The Millennium - The Millennium began in the first century, but continues into the distant future when seen by John in 66 AD. The use of 1,000 years is symbolic of the long, long reign of Christ on the earth of which we are now part of. Satan was bound by Christ during his ministry while he was on the earth.


Two Resurrections - 1) spiritual and present (Rev. 20:4-6), this is salvation,  2) physical and future, resurrection of our bodies (Not mentioned here in Revelation but alluded to)


17. Rev. 21, 22 - Bride from Heaven - The Preterist interprets these chapters more like the idealist than like the futurist.