Q. As I read through Revelation a few questions come into my mind. I’ll just list them:
When John describes the army of 200 million, why must they be representative of a human army (The Chinese as many believe)? The description sounds like it should be taken literally since I do not see any hints pointing toward another description.
Also, when John describes a dragon and woman, I understand these are symbolic of the Devil and Israel. But my question is, when John was writing Revelation, what do you think HE saw? Did he actually see a dragon or did he really see the devil being thrown out of heaven and happened to describe him as a dragon?
Lastly, on a similar note, when John writes of the beast, how do we know that this is the Anti-christ being described here? What if this is indeed some sort of super natural monster that plagues the world during the end times? When John saw what he describes as “the beast” do you believe it actually looked like a beast to John or did he see the person of the anti-Christ and describes him as a beast because of the way he acts?
A. There’s no Biblical requirement for the army of 200 million in Rev. 9:16 to be human, but I think it most likely is because I see this as a description of a great battle for control of the far East. Over 40% of the world’s population lives there and the casualties are enormous so those numbers are easily possible.
In the KJV Rev. 1:1reads: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John.”
The word signified means that he rendered it into signs and informs us that the message John was told to write would contain a fair amount of symbolism. Modern translations simply say the he made it known, but the Greek word is the root for semaphore, a form of sign language. I believe John saw what he wrote, but was given an understanding of the symbolism as he went.
Where the beasts are concerned, the facts that personal pronouns are used in describing both of them, that people identify with and even worship the first beast, and that other writers such as Daniel, Paul and even Jesus spoke of him as being human make it pretty clear that he at least appears to be human.