LET STUDY REVELATION # 2
By Ken Blue
In our last study of Revelation, we mentioned the importance of understanding looping parallelism. In this study we will give a few examples of that principle. I believe most of them will be clear to the reader.
The Rule of Looping Parallelism: Looping parallelism is demonstrated where the first account of an event gives the quick “scope” or overview of the subject matter. The first account will be very general and broad. The second account loops back to a particular beginning point; will cover the same time period and give additional details or information of the same event.
Examples of looping parallelism:
1. Genesis chapters 1 & 2:
Genesis 1 begins in the dateless past and moves forward through the six days of creation. Genesis 2:4 corresponds to the original creation in Genesis 1:1. Genesis 2:4 gives a second account, which is complete in itself to a great extent. Thus, Genesis 1:3-2:4 summarizes the six days of creation. Genesis 2:5-25 gives a more detailed account of the work done on day two, day three, day five, and day six. The first account is a general statement of all things created. The second enlarges on the work done on the afore mentioned days.
2. Book of Daniel:
In Daniel 2 we are given the five steps in the course of prophecy for Daniel’s people and of Gentile dominion. Those steps are in the book of Daniel beginning with:
1. The head of gold: Babylon-Daniel 2:37.
2. The breast and arms: Medo-Persia-Daniel 2:32, 35, 39.
3. The belly and thighs of brass: Greece-Daniel 2:32, 35, 39.
4. The legs of Iron: Old Roman Empire- Daniel 32, 35, 40.
5. The feet and toes of iron and clay: The revised Roman Empire- Daniel 2:33, 35, 44.
In chapter 7 Daniel gives those five steps again, but in more detail. In chapter 8 he gives those five steps once again, but in greater detail. In chapter 9 he gives the five steps again, still in greater detail. Chapters 10-12 give even greater detail (especially in the fifth step).
In Matthew 24 the Lord Jesus outlines the Day of the Lord. The three important questions are
in verse three. “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Matthew 24:3.
Verses 4-14 give a sweeping account of the Day of the Lord. However, in verses 15-28 He loops back to the mid-point of the first account with additional information. Then, He loops back again at verses 29-31 for a more detailed account of the end portion of the Day of the Lord.
Now with that understanding, let us consider the six parallel accounts in Revelation chapters 6 through 22:5, which are the historical account of the Lord’s Day:
1. Chapter 6:1-17. The Holy Spirit gives a quick scope of the entire “Day of the Lord.” (This is seen in the seven seals). The writer then loops back in 7:1-17 to the beginning and goes through it another time with added details. These two chapters take you through the Day of the Lord from its beginning to its end! “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Revelation 6:17. “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17.
2. Chapters 8:1-10:7. This section loops back to the middle of the “Day of the Lord” or the 3-1/2 year mid-point. This is where the “Great Tribulation” begins. The scope of the Great Tribulation is given here. The seven trumpets take you through the hour of judgment. Chapters 10:8-11:19 loop back to the same mid-point as above and go through it again, giving greater details of the tribulation concerning the city of Jerusalem. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” Revelation 10:7. “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” Revelation 11:1.)
3. Chapters 12:1-14:5. This section loops back to the beginning of the satanic plan against Israel and her Seed. It takes you back to Genesis 3. After a quick overview, the writer brings you back to the mid-point of the tribulation and takes you through the Great Tribulation one more time with the satanic plan in view. This gives the Scope of the satanic plan and explains the mystery of iniquity and Israel’s continuous sufferings. Chapter 14:6-20 loops back and goes through it one more time with details of the satanic plan. This is the third looping parallelism. “And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Revelation 14:5. “And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” Revelation 14:20.
4. Chapters 15:1-16:21. This section gives the fourth looping parallelism. Here, the writer returns to the beginning of the last quarter of the Great Tribulation. He gives an overview of the great and terrible “Day of the Lord.” There we see the seven vials judgments. Chapters 17:1-18:24 loop back, way beyond the Day of the Lord to the beginning of Babylon, in order to give the reader an understanding of what is about to happen. He resumes at the same quarter point mentioned above. He then gives the details of her destruction in chapters 17 and 18. “And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” Revelation 16:21. “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” Revelation 18:24.
5. Chapter 19:1-21 loops back and gives the scope of the final and great day of God’s wrath. Chapter 20:1-3 loops back and go through it again, but with more details.
“And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:21. “And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” Revelation 20:3.
6. Chapter 20:4-15 loops back and gives the scope of God’s purpose for Israel by giving them the kingdom. Chapters 21:1-22:5 loop back to the beginning of the kingdom. There is no end to it.
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15.
“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 22:5.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.