1. The context of these events: The Old Testament prophets when prophesying to the people of their day were referring to this time as a warning for Israel and Judah to repent and turn back to their One True God. However, in the midst of this there was also hope (Jr 30:7-24). Hope is hardly ever given in an allegorical manner; otherwise, it is not hope. Hope has to be on something that is tangible. Therefore, it seems that to these prophets, it was a literal occurrence because it brought hope to them and to their people. They did not see God’s revelation of this period of time in an allegorical manner. Since there are many parallels between the events described by John in Revelation and the events described by these Old Testament prophets, it would seem logical that the events in Revelation are also literal and not allegorical.
2. The purpose of these events: God promised He would restore both Israel and Judah back to their homeland (Is 11:11-12; Jr 16:14-15). What better way to have this occur than the world-wide events and persecution described in Revelation? They will flee to the only place on earth where they will not be persecuted: Israel.
3. The early church belief of these events: The early church leaders believed these events to be literal. Three of the Gospel writers all record Jesus talking about these future events that parallel those of the Old Testament prophets and the events outlined in Revelation (Mt 24:4-42; Mk 13:5-37; Lk 21:8-36). Paul believed in a literal interpretation (1Co 15:24; 1Th 2:12; 2Th 1:5) as well as did Peter (2Pt 1:11) and James (Ja 2:5). All of these early church leaders believed Jesus to be speaking of literal events and that they coincided with Old Testament prophecy.
Therefore, based upon these three points, a literal interpretation as presented in these posts seems relevant. These events are literal and still future to us today. If they are then literal, let’s understand them and take them to heart. We get a glimpse of a beautiful future awaiting us!
Fall Jewish Holidays - Part 3: Sukkot
Fall Jewish Holidays - Part 5: Jubilee
What is the Kingdom of God? - Part 2