Understanding the book of Revelation with Afolabi Dollars (5)
As we continue with the exposition on this series, I’d like to give us a BEREAN assignment, let everyone go back to Rev. Chapter 6 and read again from verse 1 through the entire chapter, so that it would help us to understand better the things I’d be declaring from now and in subsequent articles on the series.
If we individually and diligently like the biblical BEREANS, do this assignment I’m giving us, we’d realize that it’s NOT ALL the 4 living creatures at once that was calling John the visioner to “come and see”, rather, the Bible says “ONE OF THE 4 LIVING CREATURES”.
Four living creatures
So, my discovery 22yrs ago in my own BEAREAN assignment of the critical study of chapter 6 is that there are:
4 LIVING creatures,
4 HORSES of the apocalypse, and
I also in my discovery, observed that these 4 living creatures were calling John’s attention ONE AFTER THE OTHER; what I’m trying to make us see is this, THE LION face was the first to call John’s attention to THE SEAL of the WHITE HORSE and its rider/horseman.
Followed by THE CALF face which calls John’s attention to the RED HORSE and its rider/horseman. Followed by THE MAN face which calls John’s attention to the BLACK HORSE and its rider/horseman. Followed by THE EAGLE face(the last phase) which calls John’s attention to the PALE HORSE and its rider/horseman.
I want us to understand that this activity in John’s vision about HORSES OF THE APOCALYPSE is deliberate.
There’s a reason it’s NOT ALL the 4 living creatures in unison, but ONE OF THE 4 living creatures each calling John’s attention to THE SEALS of each horses and their riders/horsemen; they are all connected. But we won’t understand the connection if we don’t decode what the 4 living creatures represent, what the horses and their riders represent.
Before we talk about these representations and other symbols, let’s first of all decode what THE BOOK and THE SEALS represent because this would help us in decoding and understanding the representations of the 4 living creatures, 4 horses of the apocalypse and their 4 riders/horsemen.
Now, we need to understand that it’s in chapter 5 that the Lamb was found worthy to be the only one with the eternal jurisdiction to break/open the seals of the book, but it’s in chapter 6 that THE LAMB begins to open THE SEALS of THE BOOK.
This BOOK is not a literal book and it’s not referring to the Bible. THE BOOK represents THE ETERNAL LIFE/GOSPEL of Christ which has been in the archives of ETERNITY as it rolls into time and time back into eternity.
THE SEALS which are broken or opened represent the PERIODIC REVELATIONS/UNVEILING of the mystery which has been kept secret for ages past (Romans 16:25, 1Corinthians 2:6-10) to the end of a particular age in MANkind’s history.
So, since we can see from chapter6 that each of the living creatures in turn calls John to see a particular horse and its rider. We would now understand the correlation between what a living creature represents, and what the horse and horseman represents. That will be treated as we progress.
So, it’s the duty of ONLY the lamb to open the SEALS, it’s the duty of the living creatures to show the seals to John, it was John’s duty to come and see
Before we start unravelling SYSTEMATICALLY what each of the 4 living creatures and each of the 4 horses of the apocalypse and their riders represent, I’d like to give us COLLECTIVE REPRESENTATIONS of these different apocalyptic figures WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF JOHN’S VISION.
What I mean is, I’d briefly give a collective representation of the 4 living creatures, and the collective representation of the 4 horses and their horsemen, both within the context of John’s vision at Patmos.
Vision interpreted within a context
Why did I emphatically use the phrase “within the CONTEXT of JOHN’S VISION”? The reason is simply because as a seer myself with the gift of clairvoyance and interpretations which I’ve been operating in for over 2 decades, I’ve come to understand the PECULIARITY OF VISIONS, and even when 2 different persons have the same vision, we don’t stereotype visions, we don’t just have a fixed or monotonous interpretation for visions or dreams, even when there are similar elements or imageries, we must interpret within the CONTEXT of the provided elements/imageries in a SPECIFIC vision or dream, particularly putting into consideration how the dream went or how the elements of the vision played out in that vision.
For instance, snake doesn’t always mean evil, and white doesn’t always mean good in ALL dreams.
For those who may not know, GOD by His Spirit speaks to us through VISIONS, DREAMS, PROPHECIES, SCRIPTURES and SOME GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT, but all must be in alignment with His WORD, WAY and PATTERN, for accuracy of interpretation!
So, understanding this dynamics of vision/dream interpretations helps us to know when we should give a GENERIC INTERPRETATION and when to give a SPECIFIC INTERPRETATION to a vision/dream based on the available elements in that vision/dream, and how they played out in that particular vision or dream.
The reason for all these my story is because of the SIMILITUDE of visions between the prophet Ezekiel and the apostle John as touching the 4 living creatures, and also the SIMILITUDE of visions between Zechariah and John as touching the 4 horses.
We need to understand that SIMILITUDE doesn’t always define EXACTITUDE, so, we must know when to use CONTEXT to draw DISTINCTIVE LINES for accuracy of understanding and Interpretation; sometimes, one of the mistakes of eschatological hermeneutics is the inaccurate correlation of IMAGERIES especially when there’s a similitude of visions!
I already gave you the similarities and DISTINCTIONS between Ezekiel’s and John’s visions as regarding the 4 living creatures, in one of my previous articles on this series.
Zechariah in his book had about 8 visions, he saw the visions of horsemen and 4 chariots of horses in his 1st and 8th visions(zech.1:8-11, 6:1-8), but in my critical STUDY of juxtaposing it with John’s vision of the HORSEMEN of the apocalypse, I observed the following DISTINCTIONS; Zechariah’s vision was about 4 chariots, John’s vision is about 4 horses, Zechariah’s saw several horses of different colors but John saw only 4 horses of different colors, and in both visions, the horses appeared in different orders, etc.
What I am trying to declare here is that, though correlation is key in scriptural Interpretation, but when it comes to visions, Interpretations must be done WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE SEER’S VISION and the surrounding realities/stories!
Therefore, the four living creatures within the CONTEXT of John’s vision in Rev. Chapter 4 are COLLECTIVELY God’s agents and heavenly representatives of the created order, who worship and call every living thing to worship the Being qua being, and founder of the universal PANTHEON!
They also represent the different EXPRESSIONS of Christ incorporated in the eternal agenda for MANkind and history.
These 4 living creatures were covered with eyes all over, which COLLECTIVELY represent the universal vigilance of divine providence and the eternal wisdom and knowledge of Christ in the accuracy of judgements.
Each living creature had 6 wings like the ones the Prophet Isaiah saw in his vision about the Seraphims in GOD’S presence (Isa.6:2-3).
The SIX WINGS of the 4 living creatures simply represent all the fullness of Christ and his universal covering and authority.
Concerning the 4 HORSEMEN of the apocalypse, what they COLLECTIVELY represent in John’s vision are the apocalyptic harbingers of the LAST JUDGEMENT by setting a divine end time upon the world in sequential occurrences.
In my next article, we’d begin to look at the individual representation of each of the 4 living creatures and each of the 4 horses and their riders.