|At this point it
seems to most people that the three views of Revelation totally diverge. Here’s why:
|• The Futurist model
says that the church has already been raptured, as of Chapter 4, verse
1. As a result, anything from this
point forward is naturally somewhat speculative. “In my opinion” should be (but often isn’t)
the watchword of the futurist.
Unfortunately, the most popular authors for any opinion are those who
are absolutely confident of their opinions.
As we stated earlier, one of the attractive features of this theory is
the idea that we, the cognoscenti, are in on the secret. No matter;
the theory must, of necessity, become somewhat speculative at this
point. The essence of the matter
should be not, “I am sure I know what that is” but “look around you; doesn’t thus and such look an awful lot
like this portion of Revelation?” And
if it does, what should I do about it?
|•The Historicist model, on the other hand, says that the
history of the church has barely begun.
This, I submit, puts the burden of proof on the historicist view for
the next few chapters. We shall see
that eventually these two views come into coincidence; but now is the great divergence. The historicist says that these next few
chapters tell the story of the church, particularly the church inside the old
Roman Empire. The question then, is,
can this be shown to be reasonable?
|• The poetic view
laughs at this point. The poetic
interpretation is somewhat difficult when looking at a parade of horsemen,
trumpets, seals, vials and what have you.
It all sounds a little too specific.
But we shall see some contribution from this point of view as
well. We will not refer to it too often,
for its contribution tends to be at a larger level. Not each trumpet has a poetic
interpretation; all the trumpets,
etc.., taken together certainly do.