E. W. Bullinger (1902).


The scope of the Apocalypse is the most important, of all the preliminary subjects connected with its interpretation. Apart from its true scope, no correct interpretation is possible. This scope is best gathered from its structure (to see remarks on the preface of Bullinger and of Kregel, editors of the edition of 1935, called the 3rd Edition, go to the end of this Page).

Before we proceed further it may be well to set out these Divine divisions more fully*.

  A | 1.   Introduction
     B | 2, 3.   The people on the earth
         X | i .  {H 1 | 4, 5.   In Heaven.   (The Throne, the Book, and the Lamb.)
                 E | 6. 1-7. 8.   On Earth.   (The Six Seals and 144,000.)
                | ii . {H 2 |   7. 9-8. 6.   In Heaven.   (The Great Multitude and the Seventh Seal. )
                 E | 8. 7-11. 14.   On Earth.   (The Six Trumpets.)
                | iii . {H 3 | 11. 15-19-.   In Heaven.   (The Seventh Trumpet.)
                  E | 11. -19.  On Earth.   (The Earthquake, etc.)
                | iv .  {H 4 | 12. 1-12.  In Heaven.  (Woman, Child and Dragon.)
                       E | 12. 13-13. 18.   On Earth.   (The Dragon and Two Beasts.)
                | v .   {H 5 | 14. 1-5.  In Heaven.  (The Lamb and 144,000.)
             E | 14. 6-20.  On Earth.  (The Six Angels.)
                | vi .  {H 6 | 15. 1-8.  In Heaven.  (The Seven Vial Angels.)
                     E | 16. 1-18. 24.   On Earth.   (The Seven Vials.)
                | vii . {H 7 | 19. 1-16.   In Heaven.   (The Marriage of the Lamb, etc.)
                 E | 19. 17-20. 15.   On Earth.   (The Final Five Judgments.)
         B | 21. 1-22. 5.   The People on the New Earth.
A | 22. 6-21.  Conclusion .

* In this electronic translation we have colored the verses according to this structure.


E. W. Bullinger (1902).


A. – Alford’s Greek Text

Ab – That the reading is put by Alford in brackets, and so with the other Editions.

Am - That the reading is put by Alford in the margin, and so with the other Editions.

Acc. – Accusative case.

A.V. – Authorized Version of 1611 (KJV).

B. – Beza’s Edition of the Greek Testament (1568-1598).

E. – Elzevir Edition of the Greek Text, 1624.

Gen. – Genitive case.

Gr. Griesbach’s Greek Text.

LXX, or lxx, or Sept. – The Septuagint Greek version of the Old Testament (fourth century BC).

L. – Lachmann’s Greek Text.

m., or marg. – A marginal reading.

P.B. – Prayer Book, or Coverdale’s version of the Psalms.

R.V. – Revised Version.

S. – Stephen’s Greek Text, is the Textus Receptus (1550).

T. – Tischendorff’s Greek Text.

Tr. – Tregelles Greek Text.

W. H. – Westcott and Hort Greek Text.

Note: Verses in brackets denote the number of the verses in the original (Hebrew or Greek) when they differ from the A.V.

Most expositions of the book have proceeded on some plan formed according to the expositor's own idea. These are, for the most part, clever and ingenious; but, after all, they represent only the opinion of each individual writer; and are accepted or rejected according to the opinion of each individual reader. The fact that there are scarcely two alike out of the vast number of these analyses shows what a poor foundation these human opinions are to rest upon; and also that there is room for a serious attempt to search and see whether there be not some Divine plan in the structure of the book; or whether God has left us thus at sea, without chart, compass or helm.

Our answer is that God has not thus left us to interpret the book; but He has given us the book as His own interpretation of what "The Day of the Lord" is to be. There is a Divine plan in the structure of the book; and, if we follow this and proceed on its lines, believing what God says, all will be clear, simple and easy. But if, whenever God says on thing we immediately assume and assert that he means another thing, we shall, obviously, have as many different interpretations as we have interpreters! And who is to direct us in such a chaos of conflicting opinions.

Were it our aim to enumerate these opinions, and help to [make] a choice between them, our task would be greater than we could undertake or carry out. But, as our aim is to treat the book as God's own description and explanation of the events which are to take place when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven, our task will be a happy one; for it will be to try to understand what God says and not what man thinks.

We shall find ourselves giving little more than a translation of God's own words, first setting them forth according to His own plan.

That this plan is correct and true is not open even to question. It is so simple that a child will be able to understand it.

After the Introduction (chap. 1), which corresponds exactly with the Conclusion (chap. 22. 6-21); and the Instruction for people on the earth during that Day (chap. 2, 3.), which corresponds with matters concerning people on the New Earth, in chap. 21. 1 - 22. 5, we find that the whole body of the book is divided for us into seven pairs of connected events.

Perhaps the simplest form in which to exhibit this structure will be the following:—

        A | 1. Introduction.
| 2, 3. The People on Earth.
| 4. 1 - 20. 15. Visions.
         B | 21. 1 - 22. 5. The People on the New Earth.
     A | 22. 6-21. Conclusion

Now, the Holy Spirit has divided the central number, which we have marked "X," and which occupies the larger part of the book, into seven parts. Each of these seven parts consists of two scenes: The former of which takes place "in Heaven," and the latter "on Earth."

If we examine these more closely, we shall find that they are correlative: i.e., the scene "in Heaven" is preliminary to, and explanatory of, the events which follow "on Earth." Things are seen "in Heaven," and words are there uttered which show the nature and object of what is about to take place "on Earth."

When God has described a scene as taking place "in Heaven," and caused Heavenly voices to give the key to what is to follow in another scene which immediately takes place "on earth"; and this is done seven consecutive times; is it not strange that writers on the Apocalypse should overlook this exceedingly simple arrangement; and proceed to elaborate some complicated analysis of their own; and thus wholly ignore and break up the division which God has Himself made and given and marked off so clearly by the repeated expressions "in Heaven" and "upon the Earth," on purpose to guide us in understanding His book?

How can we trust any analysis, however clever it may be, if these divisions are broken into, and the Heavenly and earthly scenes are mixed together? All must be confusion. And any such division of the book, or any which proceeds on the lines of the chapter-divisions, as given in the authorized version (AV), will be found useless for the purpose of gathering the real scope of the book.

The more intently we look on its structure, and the more carefully we study it, the more shall we be struck by its beauty and simplicity. How clear, compared with man's complicated division made according to his own fancy! So clear that the humblest child of God cannot fail to grasp it. It requires no explanation; but it will itself explain all things to us if we have ears to hear.

It is remarkable that in each of these wondrous scenes "in Heaven" voices with utterances and songs are heard. Not one Heavenly scene is without some Heavenly voice or utterance. Indeed, there are, altogether seventeen of these distributed in these seven scenes "in Heaven"; and this distribution helps us to discover the order and arrangement of these seven pairs respectively.

No. 4. evidently is the great central pair; both from actual position as well as from its subject matter. As to position, it occupies, literally and actually, the central part of the book; while as to its subject matter, we shall see (when we come to consider it) that it is as important as its position declares it to be.

Then, Nos. 1. and 7. are marked off as corresponding, by the fact that out of the seventeen heavenly voices ten are in these two pairs; six being the first scene "in heaven," and four in the last. The heavenliness of Nos. 1. and 7. is also more marked than in any of the others: for all heaven is engaged in either giving these utterances, or singing these songs (singing is mentioned only three times in Revelation: chap. 5. 9, 14. 3, 15. 3.); and it is only in these two scenes that the four Zoa, or living ones, utter their voices.

In Nos. 2. and 6. we also have another pair — the former characterized by the trumpets, and the latter by the vials — the two most solemn portions of all the judgments which the book contains. Moreover, it is remarkable that it is in these two that those who pass through, or come out of, the great tribulation are specially mentioned as giving these heavenly utterances.

It appears, therefore, from this that these seven pairs are arranged as an Epanodos: that is to say, the first corresponds with the last (the seventh); the second with the sixth; the third with the fifth; while the fourth stands out in the center; emphasizing, by its central position, its important teaching.

They may be set out formally and briefly thus:

    i | Longer and more full of heavenly voices and utterances. (Six in all).
            ii | The Trumpets.
                    iii | Shorter and less detail.
                            iv | Central in subject and position.
                    v | Shorter and less detail.
            vi | The Vials.
    vii | Longer and more full of heavenly voices and utterances. (Four in all).


are also portioned out according to the above plan:

    i | All heaven (6). The four Zoa, or Living ones, and twenty-four Elders; only here and in No. 7.
            ii | Those out of the great tribulation (2).
                    iii | Great voices (2).
                            iv | A loud voice (1).
                    v | Great voices (1).
            vi | Those out of the great tribulation (1).
    vii | All heaven (4). The four Zoa, or Living Ones, and twenty-four Elders; only here and in No. 1.

 From all this it is clear that we have to do with Divine handiwork when we come to the study of this book.

We have before us not one of the many Apocalyptic writings which have been put forth at various times by men, which are for the most part unintelligible dreamings;* but we have on which differs from, and stands out amid, them all; having the Divine impress stamped upon it; thus marking it as worthy of our deepest attention and most reverent study.

* Such as The Sibyllene Oracles (180 B.C. - 350 A.D.); The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (130 B.C - 10 A.D.); The Psalms of Solomon (70-40 B.C.); The Book of Jubilees (40-10 B.C.); The Ascension of Isaiah (1-100 A.D.); The Assumption of Moses (14-30 A.D.); The Apocalypse of Baruch (50-90 A.D.); The Book of Enoch (200-260 A.D.).

It may be well to append a complete list of these utterances as a guide to their further study by our readers: —

H 1. Chaps. 4. and 5.

The four Zoa, or Living ones. 4. 8. "Holy, Holy, Holy," &c. (Three-fold).

The twenty-four Elders. 4. 11. "Thou are worthy ... to receive," &c. (Three-fold).

The four Zoa, or Living ones, and the twenty-four Elders. 5. 9,10. (A new song). "Thou are worthy to take the book," &c.

Many angels and the four Living ones, and the Elders and thousands of angels. 5. 12. "Worthy is the Lamb," &c. (Seven-fold).

Every creature. 5. 13. "Blessing and honour and glory," &c. (Four-fold).

The four Zoa, or Living ones. 5. -14-. "Amen."

H 2. 7. 9 - 8. 6

The great multitude out of the great tribulation. 7. 10. "Salvation to our God," &c.

All the angels round about the throne. 7. 12. "Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom," &c. (Seven-fold).

H 3. 11. 15-19-.

Great voices. 11. -15. "The Kingdom of the world is become," &c.

The twenty-four Elders. 11. 17. "We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty."

H 4. 12. 1-12

A loud voice. 12. 10-12. "Now is come salvation, and strength," &c.

H 5. 14. 1-5

A voice from heaven. 14. 3. A new song (no words).

H 6. 15. 1-8

They that had gotten the victory over the beast, &c. 15. -3. "Great and marvellous are they works, Lord God Almighty," &c.

H 7. 19. 1-16

A great voice of much people in heaven. 19. -1-3. "Alleluia: salvation and glory," &c. (Four-fold)

The twenty-four Elders and the four Zoa, or Living ones. 19. -4-. "Amen, Alleluia."

A voice out of the throne. 19. 5. "Praise our God, all ye his people," &c.

The voice of a great multitude, &c. 19. -6, 7. "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth," &c.

We shall note, as we proceed, the relation of these Heavenly Voices to the transactions which follow on the earth. Meanwhile, our readers may make out for themselves a more complete list of these utterances, and study the distinguishing features of each.

Before closing this chapter, we may add the following from Canon Bernard's Progress of Doctrine in the New Testament.*  He beautifully expands the thought and the truth involved in the seven pairs of alternate visions which we have pointed out as being "in heaven" and "on earth." He says:—

* Bampton Lectures for 1864. Macmillan. 5th Edition. 1900.

"We have here.... a doctrine of the history of the consummation: I mean that, besides a prophetic record of the facts of the history, we have (what is of much higher value) an exposition of the nature of the history. The book is a revelation of the connection between things that are seen and things that are not seen, between things on earth* and things in heaven*; a revelation which fuses both into one mighty drama; so that the movements of human action, and the course of visible fact, are half shrouded, half disclosed, amid the glory and the terror of the spiritual agencies at work around us, and of the eternal interests which we see involved. We are borne to the courts above, and the temple of God is opened in heaven,* and we behold the events on earth* as originating in what passes there. There seals are broken, trumpets are sounded, and vials are poured out, which rule the changes [of the world]... While we are looking down through the rolling mists on things that pass below, we are all the time [in vision] before the throne of God and of the Lamb, and among the four-and-twenty elders, the four living beings, and the innumerable company of angels; and we hear voices proceeding out of the throne... and hallelujahs that roll through the universe. We see, further, that there is cause for this participation of the world above in the events of the world below; for it becomes more plain that the earth is the battlefield of the kingdoms of light and darkness. There is a far bolder revelation that we have had before of the presence and action of the powers of evil. The Old Serpent is on one side, as the Lamb is on the other; and the same light which shows the movements of the Head and Redeemer of our race, falls also upon those of the enemy and destroyer. In the sense of this connection between things seen and things not seen lies the secret of that awe, and elevation of mind, which we felt as children when we first turned these pages; and the assurance that it has an ever increasing value to him who has painfully sought to test the mingled form of good and ill, and to discern some plan and purpose in the confused scene around him" (pp. 193, 194).

"The books is a doctrine of the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 'Behold He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him.' [Rev. 1. 7]  That is the first voice, and the key-note of the whole. The Epistles...[in chaps. 2. and 3.] ... all take their tone from this thought, and are the voice of a Lord who will 'come quickly.' The visions which follow draw to the same end, and the last voices of the book respond to the first, and attest its subject and its purpose. 'He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus.' [Rev. 22. 20] ... Toward that hope our eyes have been steadily directed in the former Apostolic writings; but it is here presented, not so much in relation to our personal life as to the kingdom of God and to the world itself upon the whole. It appears here as the (συντελειας, as in Mt 24:3) (the sunteleia or consummation of the age), towards which all things tend... Differences and uncertainties of interpretation as to the details... still leave us under the sense that it is a history of the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This assurance, enjoyed at all times, grows clearer in the days of trouble, rebuke and blasphemy: and the darkest times which the prophecy forebodes will be those in which its fullest uses will be found." *  

* Our italics



We propose to look now at its structure also as shown by its place in the Canon of Scripture, and by the relation in which it stands to the other books of the New Testament. This must be discovered in order to get an insight as to its place, subject, object and scope.

The order of the books of the New Testament as a whole varies, both in the manuscripts, versions and catalogues* which have been preserved and have come down to us.

* Such as the catalogues contained in the Muratorian Fragment, A.D. 160-170. Eusebius (H.E. iii. 25), about A.D. 340. Athanasius (Ex. Festali Epistola (written A.D. 367)) xxxix. tom. i. 767, 961. Ed. Benedict. Paris 1777. Gregorius Nazienzenus (Garm. Sect. i. xii. 5), A.D. 391. The Proceedings of the Council of Carthage, A.D. 397. Ruffinus, A.D. 410.

But while the order of the separate books may vary, they are always arranged in four groups which never vary: — (1) The Four Gospels. (2) The Acts of the Apostles. (3) The Epistles. (4) The Apocalypse.

The four groups always follow each other in this order. We say four "groups"; but it will be observed that only the first and third groups; the second and fourth consist of only one single book each.

The order of the separate books in these two groups varies. For example, the order of the Gospels varies. The order of the Epistles varies, for in some lists Paul's Epistles come before the general and other Epistles, and vice versa. But, like Paul's Epistles addressed to churches, which never vary in their order, so thee four groups never vary in their order.

Their inter-relation may be set forth, in brief, in the following structure:—


The New Testament Books


| THE FIRST ADVENT. The coming of the "Son of Man" to present the kingdom. The rejection of the kingdom and crucifixion of the King.

The Acts and the Earlier Pauline Epistles

| H | THE KINGDOM RE-OFFERED. The Acts and earlier Pauline Epistles (Acts 3. 19, 20). The "Signs and Wonders of the Holy Ghost (Heb. 2. 3, 4). The offer rejected (Acts 28. 25, 26).

The Later Pauline Epistles

| H | THE KINGDOM IN ABEYANCE. The "Not Yet" of Heb. 2. 8. The Mystery revealed and consummated, Rom. 16. 25, 26; Eph. 3. 1-4; Col. 1. 5 - 2. 3; 1 Tim. 3. 16; Phil. 3. 14.


| THE SECOND ADVENT. The coming of the "Son of Man" to set up the kingdom in power and great glory. The establishing of the kingdom and the crowning of the King.

From this structure it will be seen that the Apocalypse stands out in special relation to, and connection with the four Gospels, and not with the Epistles.

The Gospels record the events connected with the First Advent, and the Apocalypse records the events connected with the Second Advent.

In the Gospels we have "the days of the Son of Man" (Luke 17. 22); in the Apocalypse we have "the day of the Lord" (1. 10).

The Gospels close with the great prophecy of "the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matt. 24. 30, 26. 64; Mark 13. 36; Luke 21. 27); followed by the account of His sufferings, piercing and death.

The Apocalypse takes up this theme and opens by declaring the fulfillment of this prophecy, "Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him" (1. 7): followed by the account of the judgments; the coming and the crowning.

The Gospels contain the prophecy of the Great Tribulation: the Apocalypse contains the description of it.

Between the first advent, which is the subject of the Gospels, and the second advent, which is the subject of the Apocalypse, we have the present interval, which is the subject of the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles.

This interval is thus divided into two distinct periods, (1) that covered by the Acts of the Apostles and earlier Pauline Epistles, and (2) that covered by the later Pauline Epistles.

The Acts has for its subject the re-presentation of the King and the kingdom. Israel is again taken up, and Peter, using the keys of the kingdom committed to him for this special purpose, opens the kingdom to Jews and Gentiles. Through the abounding grace of God the kingdom is again offered to Israel, but this being rejected the cup of Israel's iniquity is filled up. The people not only rejected Christ Risen, but they resisted the Holy Ghost. They resisted Jehovah in the Old Testament, The Messiah in the Gospels, and the Holy Ghost in the Acts. Though the ministry of Peter partly overlaps that of Paul, yet it is clear that Israel is specially dealt with as such, until the final sentence is pronounced in Acts 28. 17-28, which was speedily followed by the taking of the People out of their city and their Land.

Then we have the period covered by the later Pauline Epistles, which have for their subject the Mystery, or the Church of God.

The church has a different calling, a different standing, and a different destiny from either Jew or Gentile, and yet, composed of both, is now waiting for their calling on high (Phi. 3. 14).

It may be that these two parts of the present interval slightly overlap, as Paul's ministry in the synagogues and among the Gentiles also overlapped.

Not until shortly after the Apostle's death did God actually (as He had already begun to do judicially) cause to deal with Israel as Israel, scattering the People abroad on the earth — destroying the Temple, and effectually, for a time, breaking off the natural branches from the Olive Tree (Rom. 11.).

After this, we have set before us, in the Epistles, the calling and hope of the church, which is now being taken out, and is waiting to be taken up, to meet the Lord in the air; waiting for "our gathering together unto Him" (1 Thess. 1. 10; 4. 15 - 5. 4; 2 Thess. 2. 1-3 R.V.), before "the Day of the Lord" shall come.

This is fundamental to our whole position, and is necessary, we believe, to a clearer understanding of the Apocalypse.

It is well therefore that we should further establish the great scope of the Book as taught us by its position in the New Testament; and its special relation to the Gospels.

In 1 Thess. 5. 4, we are distinctly told "ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day ('the day of the Lord,' verse 2) should overtake you as a thief."

As the Revelation is the description of that day (1. 10, 3. 3; 16. 15) and of His "coming as a thief" (compare Matt. 24. 43, 44), it is clear that the promise of 1 Thess. 5. 4, must be fulfilled before the Lord Jesus is thus revealed. Those concerned will be already at "rest," with Him "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels; in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, [driven away] from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power, when HE SHALL HAVE COME to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all them that believe ... in that day" (2 Thess 1. 7-10).

The tense here (in verse 10) is not the simple future tense of the indicative mood, but it is the second aorist tense of the subjunctive mood, (ελθη) (elthe), and can mean only shall have come. In verse 7, "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed" is not a verb at all, but a noun, (εν τη αποκαλυψει) (en te apokalupsei), and means at the revelation (lit., at the Apocalypse).

So that "at the Apocalypse" of Jesus Christ, the Raptured ones of 1 Thess. 4. will already be at rest. They have their "tribulation" now (vers. 4, 5). This is the teaching of 5. 7.

But when the time comes to "recompense tribulation" to the world, then Christ will already have come to be glorified in His saints. For "in that day" He "shall have come" to take them up to be with Himself, "for ever with the Lord." This is the teaching of verse 10.

That this is the only sense in which this tense can be taken is clear from the following examples of its use :— Matt. 21. 40: "When the lord of the vineyard cometh" (shall have come).

Luke 17. 10: "So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things." (Here it is so rendered).

Mark 8. 38: "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me... of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed (here we have the simple future) when he cometh (οταν ελθη) (hotan elthe, the same as in 2 Thess. 1. 10, i.e., shall have come) in the glory of his Father."

In John 4. 25 we have the tense contrasted with another: "I know that Messiah cometh (lit., is coming), which is called Christ; when He is come ((οταν ελθη) shall have come) he will tell us all things."

Acts 23. 35: "I will hear thee, said he, when (οταν) thine accusers are also come" (lit., when thine accusers also shall have come).

John 16. 13: "Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come" ((οταν δε ελθη) shall have come).

Rom. 11. 27: "For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away (lit., shall have taken away) their sins."

The prophecy as to Christ's enemies' being put under His feet (Psa. 110. 1) is quoted or referred to six times in the New Testament. Christ is now at God's right hand "until His enemies shall have been placed (as) a footstool for His feet." (See Matt. 22. 44; Mark 12. 36: Luke 20. 42; Acts 2. 34; Heb. 1. 13; 10. 12, 13). Then He will arise and use this footstool, treading His enemies under His feet (Psa. 18. 37-50). This is the subject of the Apocalypse; and result and fulfillment of it is recorded in 1 Cor. 15. 25, which speaks of Christ's after-reign, "For He must reign till He hath put (lit., shall have put) all enemies under His feet." So that the two acts are carefully distinguished. First, the placing of the footstool; and then the using of it. The one is at the beginning of the "day of the Lord," the other is at the end of His reign.

All this is conclusive, and tells us that the church of God will be at "rest" at the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ. And that, when He comes to take vengeance on His enemies, He "shall have come" already for His saints.

This enables us to see the true place of the Apocalypse in the New Testament. Chronologically it follows on the Epistles, which end with the taking up of (1 Thess. 4.); but logically, i.e., in the purpose of the ages (Eph. 3. 10 R.V. marg.), it follows the Gospels; and takes up the subject of the King and the Kingdom, where it is there left.

There we see it rejected: here we see it established with judgment, and set up in Divine power and glory.

True, in order of time it follows on the period covered by the Epistles: and what we have to look for, now, is, not the conversion of the world, but the judgment of the world. The professing church is deceiving the world. It tells the world that its mission is to improve the world and, by improving its sanitation, housing its poor, and generally preaching the gospel of earthly citizenship, to bring on a millennium, in which no Christ is thought of or wanted!

While the majority of the Church's teachers are loudly proclaiming that "the day of the Lord" will not come till the world's conversion comes, the Spirit and truth of God are declaring that that day shall not come until the apostasy comes (2 Thess. 2. 3).

While the majority of the Church's teachers are maintaining that the world is not yet good enough for Christ, the Spirit is declaring in the Word that the world is not yet bad enough.

There is some difference between these two testimonies; and our labour will not be in vain, if we learn from this book of the Revelation to believe God; and, while we "wait for His son from heaven" as our blessed Hope, to warn the world of increasing apostasy (which may go on side by side with increasing morality) and of coming judgment.

Yes, coming judgment. That is the scope of the whole book. We have, here, events which cannot be limited by mere ecclesiastical history; but a wondrous unveiling of the awful scenes which shall end up God's controversy with Satan. It has as its field the whole creation, and not merely a corrupt church in Europe. All the forces of Heaven and Hell are seen in conflict, and bringing to a head the mighty issues involved.

On the one side we see,

(1) The full display of the power of God in Christ, opposed to the full energy of Satan and all his forces in the "day of battle and of war" (Job 38. 23).

(2) In this final conflict, we see the full array of all the Heavenly forces which Christ can command and will command. We see spiritual beings, angels and principalities and powers in Heaven, and the great physical forces of creation (Zech. 12. 4-8; 14. 1-4, etc., etc.,) brought to bear on the great enemy.

(3) That mighty heavenly host will embrace all who have been delivered and redeemed from "the power of Satan" from the time of sin's beginning, as well as all the angelic beings who have not fallen.

(4) These heavenly forces are led by "the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords," — "the Prince of the Kings of the earth" — the great "Captain of the Lord's host."

On the other side, we see

(1) The full display of Satan's power and authority (16. 13, 14), and that, too, from the beginning of his tyranny and usurpation as the "prince of this world" and its "god" (John 12. 31; 16. 11; 2 Cor. 4. 4).

(2) To this end, all the hosts which he can and will command, from the very beginning of his power — angels and principalities and powers; men and demons from the pit, and men on earth; all these will be led by their captain, and all brought to bear against Him who sitteth upon the White Horse (Rev. 19.; Jude 6; 2 Pet. 2. 4).

(3) This mighty host will be of far wider extent than the minds of expositors have ever yet conceived.

(4) These forces of earth and hell will have for their leader, Satan, "the prince of this world."

We have here something far beyond the ordinary interpretations put upon this Book: and, we believe that few, if any, can possibly realize all the mighty issues involved in it: and the extent of its results as affecting creation, Israel, and the nations of the world.

To limit it to Popery, or to Christendom (so called) is, we believe, wholly to miss the scope of the Book: and, to lose the weighty lessons if its wondrous Revelation, by committing the mistake condemned by true logic — viz., of putting a part (and a small part too) for the whole.

The awful conflict is of far wider extent than this. It exceeds all the general petty views of its scope; as affairs of State transcend those of a Parish Vestry.

"Michael and his angels" and "the Dragon and his angels" include the whole fighting forces of the heavens. Rev. 12. reveals the HEAVENLY ARMAGEDDON, which will bring to an end the hostilities of ages by a final overthrow of the wicked (so far as the super-ethereal heavens are concerned).

What the Book tells us of the conflict on earth is of the same character. The scope of it takes in the whole earth, and leads up also to an EARTHLY ARMAGEDDON (Rev. 16. 16).

The Covenant of marvels (Ex. 34. 10) refers to judgments which are cosmical in the widest sense of the term.

The scope of the book winds up all the affairs of time, and contains the end of prophecy, the end of knowledge, and the end of the Secret of God (10. 7), and the dawn of the eternal ages of ages.

In short, the scope of the book, as shown by its place in, and relation to, the whole canon of Scripture, is the winding up of the affairs of the whole creation, and the fixing of the eternal states of all things in heaven and on earth.

We are thankful to feel that we are not alone in taking this serious view of the real scope of the Apocalypse.

While many fritter away its solemn scenes in the common-place history of Europe, there are others who see beyond all this, and behold the Divine interposition in the affairs of the whole creation.

We have information about the church in the Epistles: as we see, even in them, the indications of the coming corruption which has since become history. But in the Apocalypse we have something far beyond, and quite different from all this.

The Epistles prepare us for what we know as Ecclesiastical history; and they prepare us also for the end and revealed in the Apocalypse.

Eloquent testimony is borne to this, and therefore to our view of the scope of Revelation, by Canon Bernard;* who approaches the subject from a somewhat different standpoint.

* Bampton Lectures for 1864: The Progress of Doctrine in the New Testament, by Thomas Dehany Bernard, later Rector of Walcot, and Canon of Wells. London: Macmillan & Co., 1900 (page 189, 5th ed., 1900).

His weighty words are:—

"I know not how any man, in closing the Epistles, could expect to find the subsequent history of the Church essentially different from what it is. In those writings we seem, as it were, not to witness some passing storms which clear the air, but to feel the whole atmosphere charged with the elements of future tempest and death. Every moment the forces of evil show themselves more plainly. They are encountered, but not dissipated. Or, to change the figure, we see battles fought by leaders of our band, but no security is promised by their victories. New assaults are being prepared; new tactics will be tried; new enemies pour on; the distant hills are black with gathering multitudes, and the last exhortations of those who fall at their posts call on their successors to 'endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ,' [2 Tim. 2. 3] and 'earnestly to contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.' [Jude 3.]

"The fact which I observe is not merely that these indications of the future are in the Epistles, but that they increase as we approach the close, and after the doctrines of the Gospel have been fully wrought out, and the fullness of personal salvation and the ideal character of the church have been placed in the clearest light, the shadows gather and deepen on the external history. The last words of St. Paul in the second Epistle to Timothy, and those of St. Peter in his second Epistle, with the Epistles of St. John and St. Jude, breathe the language of a time in which the tendencies of that history had distinctly shewn themselves; and in this respect these writings form a prelude and a passage to the Apocalypse."

If these things be so, as we assuredly believe they are, then the church is not the subject of the Apocalypse.

The Apocalypse follows the Epistles in sequence of time, and is naturally and historically consequent upon them; but in the Divine order and plan it is logically and dispensationally consequent on the Gospels and Acts.

Every previous dispensation has ended in judgment, from Satan's first rebellion (Gen. 1. 1, 2) to his final rebellion (Rev. 20. 8-10) and the final judgment (verses 11-15).

That this present dispensation shall end in judgment is not only to be inferred from the uniform history of the past; for it is clearly foretold in the Epistles. It is this judgment which is described in the Apocalypse; and it is this book we are now seeking to understand more clearly. This clearness, we believe, will be greater in proportion as we see the position occupied by this Book in the New Testament; and in proportion as we believe that the Church of God has no part in the great Tribulation, and no participation in those judgments.

That it is not the subject of this book we have endeavoured to establish in our fifteen preliminary points: and this view will be further confirmed as we proceed with our consideration and study of the Apocalypse.





This is a Helpful and Beneficial work.

Is much research and thorough knowledge of the Scriptures and an unusual grasp of Israel’s past and prophecy.

Stimulating presentation of parallel scriptures and facts (even if the reader not concur with all).

The church has been taken away before the Apocalypse, this is the pre-tribulation, pre-millenial “rapture”.

The seven assemblies (or Synagoges) of Revelation chapters 2 and 3 are seven literal Jewish communities yet to come.

This unusual interpretative ability will excite the reader to study and to a biblical maturity.

It is also the literal acceptance of every Word as God gave it, it is the “Thus saith the Lord,” a refreshing approach.

It is a consistent, literary assertion to allow God’s Word to be totally accepted as the Verbally-Inspired, Inerrant Truth.

The manner of outlining the various portions of the book is simple and easily grasped by the reader.

The Footnotes are especially valuable for their extensive research and clarity.

All of this deserves a holy reverence seldom found in today’s commentaries.

We pray that this Book on the Testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ may enrich your life and witness as you expectantly await the Blessed Hope and the Glorious Appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and as Bullinger himself wrote at the end of his Preface may the “Lord Own and Use and Bless our efforts.”






It is with a sense of devout praise to God that this exposition of the Apocalypse is now completed.

It will be found to differ in its conclusions from any other work that has been issued with the same design.

It may be permitted here to specify briefly the reason of such departure: for the reader will find that traditional teaching is set aside, and history is never appealed to substantiate any of the events of this prophetic portion of the Holy Word.

There are numberless expositions based on historical lines; and it must be admitted, when the different writers come to be examined, no two of them agree as to the historical events that are said to fulfill or are put forward as fulfilling, the judgments either of seals, trumpets, or vials. Good reason, therefore, exists for attempting a more self-consistent principle of interpretation. It may be said by some that there is no authority, in any previous writer, for the views presented in the following pages; and it is true. Very few care to be thought what is termed singular or peculiar, and therefore they like to have some names to appeal to. But this is the very reason why the mists of tradition have been allowed to take the place of independent research.

Tradition is like the tether which prevents an animal from getting a blade of grass beyond the length of that tether. We thankfully acknowledge that there are a few who have been delivered from that bondage, and have given us the results of their labours in a more or less fragmentary form.

Our own work is the result of years of study devoted to the book. During these years, notes have been gathered, and are now brought together and used as forming so many links in the chain which brings to completion the work we now send forth.

The key that unlocks the door to the understanding of this book is, we believe, that it relates to


and not to any tradition which limits the reception of this Vision to a particular day of the wee; and that day Sunday.

It is not a question of when John received this vision: but of what he saw in it. Whether it was a Sunday or Monday can have no real relation to the book; nor can it have any weight in determining the interpretation of the contents of the book.

Chap. 1. 10, therefore, is the key to the whole book. If that day was Sunday, then what day was chap. 4. 2? Surely not another Sunday, but another Vision without relation to the particular day on which it was seen.

What John saw, by the Spirit's power and agency, was "the Day of the Lord," and the whole course of future events connected with that Day.

Just as the Vision which Isaiah "saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem" was future; and was made known to him by the Spirit; and, therefore, seen by him "in Spirit," so it was with John.

Isaiah's Vision included "the last days" (Is. 2. 1, 2): and John's Visions refer to "the Day of the Lord."

Thus did Abraham also see Christ's Day. He saw it, and rejoiced, and was glad. It must have been "in Spirit," whatever meaning we may put upon the expression. There was no other way of his seeing Christ's Day; and that is the way in which it says John saw "the Lord's Day."

Ezekiel, too, saw vision of the future "by the Spirit" (Ezek. 11. 24, 25; 40. 2, 3) concerning the events connected with the restoration of Israel (see Ezek. 11. 16-20; 34. 13-16; 36. 24-38, etc.).

In precisely the same way, "by the Spirit," John saw the events as they will take place in "the Day of the Lord."

This is the foundation on which the following pages are based.

In order to get a true understanding of any passage, or book, the interpretation of the words must be determined by the scope of the context.

Before the meaning of the words can be understood, the scope of the whole book must be first ascertained. And this scope can be gathered best from the Structure. The Structure is designed and calculated to present the scope in the best, clearest, and most convincing manner.

The scope can sometimes be gathered apart from the Structure. For example, the scope of 2 Peter 1. 20, 21 is clearly not what Scripture means, but whence it comes. Not what its interpretation is, but what is its source. Then, its scope furnishes the key to the words "private interpretation," and shows that they must mean its own sending forth or its own unfolding.* and the statement is that no prophecy of the Scripture ever came of itself, or of its own revealment. Why?

Because it never came by the will of man at all.

How, then, did it come?

The Holy Spirit spake by men of God (i.e., by the prophets).

* The word (ιδιας) (from idios) in 77 out of 113 places is rendered his or its own; and "private" never in any other place but this. The word (επιλυσεως) (from epilusis) means an unloosing; and occurs nowhere else in the N.T.

This example shows us how the scope of a passage enables us to determine the meaning we are to put upon the words employed in it. The opposite course will never help us, but only lead to confusion and error. We cannot hope to get the scope of a passage from the particular words that we used.

To understand the Apocalypse, therefore, we must first regard the book as a whole, or we shall be found wrongly dividing it according to some preconceived plan; or to some mistaken idea of the meaning of certain words or phrases.

But to get the scope of a whole book we must seek for it in the Structure.

This Structure will, of course, be open to criticism; and it will have to commend itself to the enlightened judgment of the spiritual mind.

We have set forth the Structure of the Book, which seems to satisfy all requirements: and it will be found perfectly consistent with itself. The divisions appear to be so natural, and so evenly balanced, that no one part can be touched without affecting or upsetting the whole.

In the first place, the Introduction (chap. 1.) and the Conclusion (chap. 22. 6-21), are seen to correspond with each other, member for member, throughout.

Each is composed of eight pairs of members, arranged alternately.

The person testifying and the things testified, form the first pair.

A Benediction and reference to the Advent form the second pair.

There are eight of these pairs (i.e., four sets of the two pairs) in the Introduction (chap. 1.); and eight in the Conclusion (chap. 22. 6-21); four of each respectively, arranged in alternation. Thus there is a perfect harmony between the two; and they are seen to correspond in every particular.

We detect no flaw in this Correspondence; and are, therefore, driven to the conclusion that its perfection is Divine as to its origin: one of the Lord's glorious works which are left to be "sought out of all them that have pleasure therein."

For those who are unacquainted with our use of the capital and small letters in Roman and Italic type, we ought to explain that their adoption is arbitrary. They are used merely to mark and identify the corresponding subjects as they reappear in the text. They are useful also for purposes of reference.

The Italic letter shows that the subject of the member, so indicated, corresponds (in similarity or contrast) with the subject of the preceding member marked by the same letter in “Roman” type.

The plan is exceedingly simple once this fact is grasped.

Returning to the Structure of the Apocalypse, we find that the great central portion is marked off into seven pairs of Visions. The first of each pair is a Vision of what is seen and heard "in Heaven;" and the second of each pair is a Vision of what is seen and heard "on Earth." The Heavenly Utterances explain and show the object of what is subsequently seen on Earth; and the Judgments on Earth are the consequence and outcome of what has been previously seen and heard in Heaven.

This applies to each pair respectively.

We thus see, at once, that the Apocalypse does not consists of a few chapters of Church History, confined to one small portion of the Earth; but these great divisions show that the Book concerns the closing up of God's controversy with the Universe. It includes Satan, and the fallen Angels, as well as rebellious Man. It includes all that is "in Heaven" and "on Earth."

This is further shown by the fact that in this book the word "Heaven" is always used in the singular number and not once in the plural. This tells us that the word "Heaven" is used in contradistinction from the "Earth."

When it is used in the plural it embraces the whole sphere of God's rule, including the Earth. But when it is used in the singular, it is the Heaven, as contrasted with, and distinct from, the Earth.

When we read "Our Father which are in Heaven," it is plural (the heavens). If it had been the singular, it would have implied that our Father is in Heaven, but not on the Earth! But it is plural, and shows that He is everywhere, including the Earth.

On the other hand, when it goes on to say "Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven;" here the word is in the singular number, because Heaven and Earth are set in contrast, as distinct from each other.

This is the constant usage of the singular and plural of the word "Heaven."

This is its use in the Apocalypse. It is the book which specially relates to "Heaven" and "Earth;" and to the settlement of the great controversy between the two. That controversy has been going on since Satan entered the earth and brought in Ruin and Sin and Death; and was thus the cause of man's losing and being cast out of the Paradise of God on earth.

That controversy will not be closed until Satan is first bound, and then finally cast into the lake of fire. Not until Sin and Death shall have been done away, and the curse removed, shall man see and enjoy the Glory of God in Paradise Regained and Eden Restored.

This it is that links Genesis and Revelation together with an indissoluble tie; and shows how all that was lost in the former will be regained in the latter; and by what judgments that controversy will be closed.

Our lot is cast in "Man's day" (1 Cor. 4. 3, marg.). Now is the time when man is judging; and few, if any, escape from experiencing sad proofs of the fact. But, thank God, "man's day" will not go on for ever. Another day is coming, and that will be "the Lord's Day." Then, He will be the Judge. Hence, we are exhorted in view of that very fact, "therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come."

Yes. He is coming. He is to be revealed from Heaven: and this book of the Apocalypse records the judgments with which He will judge the earth when His day - "the Lord's Day" - shall have come.

John, in vision, and by the Spirit, saw that day, as Abraham had seen Christ's day before him.

We are now permitted to hear what John saw and to read what John wrote.

In the Introduction to the book (ch. 1.) we are at once impressed with four important facts:

The Person of the Testifier (who has sent his angel to announce it to us),
The Things testified,
The Blessing pronounced on those who heed that testimony, and
The Advent solemnly announced.

Four times is this enforced upon us in the Introduction as the great subject which is to be preliminary to and the foundation of all that follows. Four times also at the close of the book this is repeated, and it is done in order that we might not be diverted from the great central object of the book, which is the Apocalypse or Revelation of Christ in judgment.

His Advent is the great event to which all other events lead up. It is the central subject of the whole book. Everything said and done has its own special relation to that Advent in which all the judgments culminate.

This is the scope of the book as presented by its Structure.

After we have divided off this great central portion, consisting of the seven pairs of Visions, together with the Introduction and Conclusions, all that we have left are the two portions, chaps. 2. and 3., and chap. 21. 1-22. 5.

The first of these two great members is seen at once to relate to the people who are specially addressed: who are exhorted to faithfulness in view of those judgments which they will witness; to diligence in reading and keeping in mind what is written concerning them; to courage and constancy in not yielding to the Temptation to worship the Beast, or believing the lies of his False Prophet; to endurance in being faithful unto death, enduring to the end. These are reminded of the special blessing for the "over-comers" in those judgment scenes.

Hence the first portion (chaps. 2. and 3.) relates to those who will be on the Earth in the Day of the Lord: while the latter portion (chap. 21. 1-22. 5) relates to those who will dwell on the new Earth.

Thus, we may well believe that these are the Divine Divisions into which the whole book falls. When we study the Divine Plan of the Ages, we shall be confirmed in this belief; and feel assured that we must give up all the old interpretations which proceed on the narrow lines of a Parish Vestry, and adopt the larger and grander lines which are far above even those of worldly Empire; and see in this book the judgments which will fill up the day of the Lord, and end Heaven's great controversy with Earth.

As to the performance of our own task, it is necessary only to add a few words with regard to the principles on which it has been carried out.

As to the Text, every departure from the Greek Textus Receptus (S.) has been noted, and the authorities given. We have judged it to be simpler to note by initials the Texts of the principal editors of the Greek Testament, and not to trouble our readers (except in a few instances) with the citations of particular Manuscripts and Versions.

As to the Translation, we assume the entire responsibility, and have endeavoured to give a rendering as accurately as possible.

Where the pronouns are emphatic (being used in addition to the pronoun already included in the verb) the original Book have printed them in black letter or German Text.

The References, where they appear without any book being named, or simply "ch.," or "chap.," are always references to the Apocalypse itself.

The parts of verses are noted as follows: - the first part of a verse we have printed 7-, a middle part as -7-, and the last part -7.

We pray God to accept and bless our humble effort to interpret this wonderful and important Book.

We believe He has ruled it; but where, through any infirmity, we have misused His gifts, we pray Him to over-rule it

May the Lord own and use and bless our efforts for His own Glory and the good of His people.

E.W. Bullinger.
25 Connaught St., London W.
July 1st, 1902

Preface to Second Edition

This Second Edition has been carefully revised and corrected; and it is published with thanksgiving to God for many tokens and testimonies of His blessing on the First Edition.

E.W. Bullinger
Golders Hill,
Hampstead, London, N.W.
April, 1909.


Tasters of the Word (YouTube), videos recientes: "Astronomía y Nacimiento de Jesucristo: Once de Septiembre Año Tres A.C.", "Estudio sobre Sanidades" (en 20 episodios), "Jesus Christ, Son or God?" and "We've the Power to Heal":

Tasters of the Word (the blog, with: "Astronomy and the Birth of Jesus Christ"):


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Rev. 13:5,6

Rev 13:5: And there was given to him a mouth speaking great blasphemous things (lit., "great things and blasphemies." The Figure is Hendiadys; for the great things are his blasphemies); and authority was given to him to act thus forty and two months.

Rev 13:6: And he opened his mouth in blasphemies* against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.


2 Thes. 2:4

2Thes 2:4: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.


Rev. 13:13,14

Rev 13:13: And he worketh great signs (i.e., miracles), so that he causeth even fire to come down out of heaven to the earth before men,

Rev 13:14: And he deceiveth those who dwell on the earth by reason of the signs (miracles) which it was given him to work before the Beast: Ordering those who dwell on the earth, to make an image to the Beast, who hath the sword-wound, and lived.


2 Thes. 2:9-11

2Thes 2:9: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Thes 2:10: And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Thes 2:11: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Thes 2:12: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Rev. 17:7-11

Rev 17:7: And the angel said to me,

“Wherefore didst thou wonder? I will tell thee the secret (i.e., the meaning of the secret sign) of the woman, and of the Beast that carrieth her, that hath the seven heads and the ten horns.”

Rev 17:8:

The Beast which thou sawest was, and is not; and is about to ascend out of the Abyss, and to go* into perdition: and those who dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose name** is not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the Beast; because he was, and is not, and shall be present.” ***”

Rev 17:9: Here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are (or represent) seven mountains [and they are (or represent) seven kings. 17. 10] on which the woman sitteth,

Rev 17:10: and they are (or represent) seven kings: Five are fallen, the* one (the sixth) is (at this stage of the Vision), the other (the seventh), is not yet come, and when he shall have come, he must remain a short time.

Rev 17:11: And the beast that was, and is not, even he himself is an eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.


Dan. 9:27

Dan 9:27: And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Rev. 17.; 18.


Jer. 50.

Rev. 17:18; 18:7,8

Rev 17:18: And the woman whom thou sawest is that great city, which exerciseth sovereignty over the kings of the earth.

Rev 18:7:

"In proportion as she glorified herself, and waxed wanton, So much torment and mourning give to her: Because in her heart, she saith,

'I sit a Queen, and a widow I am not; and mourning I shall in no wise see' "

Rev 18:8:

“for this cause, in one day, shall come her plagues—death, and mourning, and famine (Isa. 47. 9); and with fire shall she be utterly burned up; because strong is the Lord God who judged* her.”


Is. 47:5,7

Isa 47:5: Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms.

Isa 47:7: And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it.

Rev 18:2

Rev 18:2: And he cried with a mighty voice,* saying, 

“Fallen, fallen** is Babylon the great, and is become a habitation of demons (see Isa. 47. 11; 21:9), and a hold of every unclean spirit, and a hold of every unclean and hateful bird.”



Is. 12:2; 13:21; 21:9

Isa 12:2: Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Isa 13:21: But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.

Isa 21:9: And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

Isa 47:11: Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.