Parables, Anointings, Visions, and Dreams

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30 Great White Throne

Understanding God’s Mind in the Charismatic

Since signing on with Eschatology Today in August of 2001 the reader mails I’ve received have been mostly positive in response to the emphasis on biblical hermeneutics. “I like the concept of a develop your own eschatology study site,” say most.

Others, much fewer, have been less enthusiastic citing a valid contention over when to interpret Revelation literally, and when allegorical interpretation is necessary in John’s view.

As I point out in “Searching for Key Words the Inductive Way,” once you focus on the available literal revelation there is in the New Testament’s eschatological record, any free connected interpretations may apply to the event.

For example, the Spirit provides the literal key word rapture timing ingredient of a “last trumpet” in Paul’s eschatology. So any eschatology student has an obligation to run that clue down.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

My “midtext-pretrib” position is based on Paul’s last trumpet connection with John’s last trumpet recorded in their New Testament prophecies. It is “mid-text” because the last trumpet in John’s New Testament prophecy blows midway through his text. It is “pre-trib” because according to Jesus, the Abomination of Desolation will inaugurate the Great Tribulation, and its revelation in John’s revelation occurs chronologically in chapter 13 after the seventh trumpet blows.

Because the key word connection timing the event is literal, I also take free license in considering the other events that surround the last trumpet’s blowing in Revelation 11:15 as possible supporting activities accompanying the event.

The seven thunders forbidden by John in Chapter 10 may have said something about it.

Revelation 10:3-4
3 and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices.
4 And when the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken, and do not write them.”

I must add that because John was commanded to seal this angelic revelation, my position could either be confirmed or proven  wrong because of the timing of the revelation in reference to the seventh trumpet blown in Revelation 11. The events following the two witnesses resurrection/rapture corresponding to the last trumpet, including the Bema seat of reward for God’s faithful, and the explosive revelation of the ark (11:18,19, and really, what’s that really all about?) could both connect to the last trumpet rapture event. Like any evidentiary inquiry, circumstantial evidence surrounding the scene under investigation can add to the overall proof of the event.

You can argue about the specifics of these attending revelations. Because Pauline eschatology provides the “last” trumpet’s key word timing ingredient, you can’t logically argue with that. “Last” is “last.” But there is also a spiritual knowing, a charismatic anointing of God’s Spirit that both John and Paul possessed, which I believe helps the reader of Scripture fully comprehend their record. The anointing is commonly referred to as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Without this promise from on high that inspired the miracles and revelation of the New Testament Church, God’s prophetic anointing can fall on deaf, contriving ears. Everyone of God’s writing prophets were consumed by His Spirit. Their revelations came from God’s Spiritual core.  When Jesus told the disciples, who were saved when He breathed on them in John 20:22, to return to Jerusalem and seek the promise of the filling of the Holy Spirit (this is what Acts 2:4 says transpired), He wanted them to receive this deeper knowing that comes as a gift.

The need and reality of this vital relationship enhancing experience doesn’t alter the fact that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit hasn’t helped many Spirit-filled Charismatics in their navigation of Revelation’s prophetic texts. A lack of solid hermeneutics is the interpretive culprit here. So as in all things, balance is needed between the letter and the Spirit.

It is my hope to encourage you who have yet to receive the Holy Spirit’s miraculous infilling experience to simply believe the Father hasn’t withdrawn His presence that turned the world upside down through the first-century church (Acts 17:6 NKJV). Then, ask. Ask God for the “clothing with power from on high” Jesus promised His disciples in Luke 24:49.

So ask. What have you got to lose? He wants to open you up to the charismatic gifts of His Spirit and direct you personally in His prophetic flow.

Now let’s move on to the Holy Spirit’s stuff of revelation to discover how His charismatic gifts combine to unveil God’s prophetic text.

08 The Four Horsemen

Interpreting the Spirit’s Art

I like to use the interpretive analogy when speaking of prophetic revelation in terms of art.

The strokes of the Spirit’s revelation will change to the spiritually discerning from oil, to watercolors, to acrylics, to pastels.

One section may be brushed in a pure view of things transpiring in the Spirit at the time the prophet was gifted with the charismatic gift of the discerning of spirits.

Another view may unveil truth in a parabolic picture that presents in an instant of a moment what may take an hour to describe in the printed word.

So let’s take a brief look at all of these charismatic manifestations to prepare you for future studies in the Bible’s eschatological texts.

02b John Turning

Spiritual Anointings

The Revelation Gift of the Discerning of Spirits
1 Corinthians. 12:7,10
7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
10 …and to another the discerning (distinguishing) of spirits…

Scriptural examples of this charismatic manifestation (charismata, “divine endowment”) include:Joshua’s seeing of the Captain of the Lord’s host (Josh. 5:13-15).

*Joshuah’s view of the Captain of the Lord’s host (Josh 5:15)
*Elisha’s servant’s view of God’s angelic armies (2 Kings 6:15-17).
*Isaiah and Ezekiel’s view of God’s throneroom (Is. 6:1-7; Ezek. l 1:4-8).
*Daniel’s discernment of Gabriel (Dan. 9:21,22).
*Paul’s angelic instruction on the ship (Acts 27:21-24).
*The shepherd’s view of the heralding angels (Luke 2:13-15).
*Zacharias and Mary’s discernment of Gabriel (Luke 1:11, 26-28).
*Peter’s prison encounter (Acts 12:6,7).
*John on the Island of Patmos (Rev. 1:1).

Every one of these accounts describes a supernatural glimpse into the spiritual realm granted by the Spirit through His sovereignly dispensed discerning gift.

The Revelation Gift of the Word of Knowledge

1 Corinthians 14:24-25
24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all;
25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.

When the Holy Spirit imparts the charismatic gift of the word of knowledge, spiritually imparted facts concerning a person, place, or thing that only God could know are made known to the gift’s recipient. The knowledge of this prophetic gifting can be supernaturally revealed by angelic visitation or through direct divine impartation of an impressive spiritual thought. It can also be endowed through a vision or a dream.

Scriptural examples of this gift’s impartation include:
*Elisha’s knowing of Aram’s every move (2 Kings 6:12).
*Jesus’ ministry to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:29).
*Peter’s knowledge of Ananias and Saphira’s sin (Acts 5:1-10).
*John’s letters to the seven asia minor churches recorded in Revelation 1-3.

Revelation 2:10
10 ‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

The Revelation Gift of the Word of Wisdom
Wisdom to understand life’s new situations is one fruit of wise living. It can come through listening to the situational advice given the young by the more aged and through encountering life’s situations for yourself. Accordingly, the charismatic gifting of the word of wisdom is a supernatural impartation of the mind of God concerning a future event. It is a word involving something that hasn’t yet happened for the purpose of directing the actions of the one to whom it is addressed. When this revelation gift is imparted, facts concerning people, places, or things in the future are revealed.

Examples of this gift in Scripture include:
*David’s revelation of Jesus’ sufferings (Ps. 22:1-18).
*Isaiah’s revelation of the day of the Lord, Christ’s crucifixion, and the Millennium (Is. 2; 53; 65:17-ff).
*Daniel’s revelation of future nations and the Day of the Lord (Dan. 7-12).
*Ezekiel’s prophetic view of Israel’s restoration, Battle of Gog, and the Millennial Temple (Ezek. 37-40).
*Micah’s revelation of the Millennium’s “mountain of the Lord” and Jesus’ Bethlehem birth (Mic.4; 5).
*Zephaniah’s view of the Day of the Lord (1-3).
*Zechariah’s view of the Day of the Lord and Millennium (Zech. 12-14).
*Phillip’s angelically delivered word concerning the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26).
*Paul’s warning and encouragement concerning the ship’s voyage (Acts 27:10).
*Revelation’s disclosures of the end of the church age, including the Great Tribulation, Second Coming of Christ, Millennial Kingdom, and the new heavens and new earth (Matt 24; Rev 13, 16, 20-22).

 Prophetic Visions
The Holy Spirit’s revelation of prophetic symbolism is displayed throughout the Bible in the dreams and open visions God dispensed to His prophets. Prophetic snapshots and movies that reveal in an instant what a thousand words would take to explain, John’s Revelation contains the most in Scripture, revealing its things that were, are, and yet to come.

03 Christ Amidst theLampstands

Viewed in the center of His church typed as burning lamps, Jesus’ pure white hair, fiery eyes, face and loins, typed Him in an instant with the purging holy judgment and supreme righteousness of God. His golden girdle revealed Him in His High priestly attire. His white-wool hair and burnished, fiery being are allegorical of His purity and holiness. (Daniel saw the same in Daniel 7:9.) The sound of His thundering voice (like the sound of many waters) spoke of power. The sharp two-edged sword coming out of His mouth are typed by Paul in Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12 as the spoken Word of God.

Other impacting prophetic visions in Scripture include:
*Gods revelation of himself to Abraham as a smoking oven and torch when establishing the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15:12-18).
*Joseph’s nation impacting dreams in which Israel and Joseph were allegorized as sheaves of wheat; the sun, moon and stars (Gen. 37:1-6).
*Prophetic dreams given Pharaoh and his chief cup bearer and baker interpreted by Joseph giving him the favor needed to fulfill his prophetic dreams (Gen. 40; 41).
*Some twelve hundred years after Joseph, the prophet Ezekiel received an “interactive” prophecy concerning Israel’s national restoration through the parabolic picture of an assembling skeletal man (Ezek. 37:1-12).
*Daniel’s many symbolic visions of the nations surrounding Israel and their prophetic destiny (Dan 7, 11).
*Prophetic dreams given Nebuchadnezzar interpreted by Daniel, giving him the favor necessary to reveal God to Nebuchadnezzar and every other successive captivity king (Dan 2).

Peter’s vision of unclean animals that opened his heart to the inclusion of Gentiles is the best example of this peculiar mode of revelation in New Testament texts. It appeared three times, included a soundtrack, and was immediately followed up by a visit from a Roman centurion’s servant who was instructed to contact Peter by an angel.

What God Has Declared as Holy
Let No Man Declare Now as Unclean

Acts 10:9-16
9 And on the next day, as they were on their way, and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray.
10 And he became hungry, and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance;
11 and he beheld the sky opened up, and a certain object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground,
12 and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air.
13 And a voice came to him, “Arise, Peter, kill and eat!”

17 Woman and the Dragon

Anatomy of a Vision

The best teaching seminar on prophetic symbolism in John’s prophetic text is the vision he received in Revelation 12. The vision is a brief study of church history, including some of our eschatological end.

It is only in this prophetic movie that the church is given allegorical insight into Satan’s heavenly rebellion that banished a third of heaven’s angels. We are also shown their eschatological banishment from the “heavens” that will signal Satan’s waning time on earth.

The woman the vision surrounds is clearly Israel. Clothed brightly in the sun, John views her standing over the moon in a symbolic representation of Israel’s chosen calling as God’s earthly light. She is crowned with the twelve Abrahamic tribes, represented as stars (messengers), as she agonizes in the pangs of labor to birth Israel’s Messiah. Study the movie carefully and you will see Satan’s infamous identification with the dragon; the third of his angels who followed him; the birth of Jesus and Herod’s attempt to murder Him; the Messiah’s resurrection; and a view of future events concerning the Great Tribulation and deliverance of the woman during it.


Revelation 12:1-17
1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;
2 and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.
4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she might be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war,
8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.

18 War in Heaven
9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.
11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.
12 “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.
14 And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.
16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.
17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

Key Words in verse 6 are also a significant component of this revelation. Three and one half years is a consistent amount of time repeated in eschatology determining the time-span of the Great Tribulation.

One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty Days (3 1/2 Years)
Study the midtribulation rapture position and you will discover that it will be in the middle (3.5 years) of Daniel’s last prophesied seven years (Seventieth Week) that the “one who makes desolate (antichrist)” comes on the scene (Daniel 9:27). Roughly three and one half years (1,290 days or 43 months) will then transpire until the antichrist’s Abomination of Desolation is fulfilled (Daniel 12:11). After that “ever- lasting righteousness” will commence (Daniel 9:24). And John’s New Testament Revelation helps us date the week.

The Witnesses and the Woman
3.5 in Daniel
A week in Daniel’s prophetic language interprets out to seven years. A time in both Daniel and John’s revelations equals out to one year; times two years; a half a time, a half-year.

Daniel 9:27
27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
Daniel 12:7
7    And I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.

Revelation 12:14
14 And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

A time, times, and half a time therefore equal three and one half years. Connect key words in chapter 12 with Revelation 11 and you discover God’s witnesses will be granted authority to prophecy twelve hundred and sixty days, or three and one half years. They will lie dead in Jerusalem before their resurrection/rapture for three and one half days.

3.5 and the Woman
And now in Revelation 12:6 Jesus Christ’s Tribulation era church is shown to be protected for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, or three and one half years.

Protected from what? From Satan, who has now come into prominence in John’s prophetic book.

15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.
16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.
17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

The symbolism in verses 15 and 16 of the serpent pouring out water to sweep away the woman is cosmological. That is, we see the earth created for man manipulated by its Creator to stay off Satan’s drowning flood.

Isaiah 59:19
19 When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

John sees the earth open its mouth to absorb Satan’s attempts at destruction, typed as water, which enrages him even more. But the woman will be supernaturally protected as Satan rages forward during the 3.5 year time frame of her protection, because the vision reveals it to be so.

Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls 
When the Book of Revelation’s infamous seals, trumpets, and bowls are opened, a combination of literal and symbolic figures jump out on the canvas, which again, can be distinguished when you know by the Spirit what the Spirit is allowing John to see.

We take a look at the eschatological significance of these charismatic revelations in the opening of Revelation’s infamous seals the article, “Apocalypse Now.” If you’ve boned up on the Holy Spirit’s Charismatic revelation gifts and studied His prophetic snapshots in this article. And, if you’ve studied our previous interpretive articles: “Interpreting the Rules of Revelation,” and “Hunting for Key Words the Inductive Way,” you are ready to take an intelligent look.

So come on. Look.

Eschatology Today Publisher, Mark Norris BA, MA


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