Key to the Apocalypse
Key to the Apocalypse
H. Grattan Guinness, 1899
72 pages, reset
Subtitled “The Seven Interpretations of Symbolic Prophecy”, this book is an introduction to the book of Revelation. It examines seven divinely interpreted visions in Daniel and Revelation and shows how they form a foundation and key for interpreting the symbolic prophecies generally. It then uses these interpretations to expound the historic fulfilment of the seventh vision (the woman and beast of Revelation 17).
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Just so you know . . .We think these books contain good general explanations of Bible prophecy. That doesn’t mean we agree on every point, or agree with their authors on every subject.
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Some quotes from Key to the Apocalypse
All the events foretold in the Apocalypse belong to that order of things and course of ages predicted in the Book of Daniel. The introductory vision in Daniel, that of the Image, the Stone, and the Mountain, sketches the complete course of the five great kingdoms of History and Prophecy, and, like the vault of heaven embracing the extent and circumference of earth, “arches in the entire future of the world with celestial ease and stability. It starts from the time then present, and terminates on the verge of eternity.” The grand outline given in this introductory vision is filled in by later prophecies. Each succeeding prophecy adds further details, but no fresh outline is presented. The sublime framework of the five empires remains unaltered. All the visions of the Apocalypse belong to this outline. They cannot be properly understood until they are fitted into it, and take their place in it as part of a great symbolic revelation concerning the course and succession of earthly empires, and the rise and establishment of the Kingdom of God. (p. 7)
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The symbolic prophecies of Daniel and John contain seven divinely given interpretations of their meaning. These interpretations claim our first attention, and constitute the only infallible basis of exposition. In building on them we build not on the shifting sands of human opinion, but on the stable rock of revealed truth. Without such a foundation no interpretation of Daniel and the Apocalypse can be secure and trustworthy, as resting upon divine authority, but can only stand on “begged principles and mere human conjectures.” (p. 9)
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Not for the guidance of the saints of the first few centuries merely or mainly, or for the benefit of the saints of some brief period yet to come, was this wondrous prophecy indited, but for the instruction, the warning, the strengthening, the confirmation, the consolation, of the suffering Church of all the Christian centuries, including the countless persecuted saints and faithful martyrs of mediæval times, and the glorious company of witnesses to Gospel truth raised up in the age of the Reformation. The Apocalypse, as predicting the Christian apostasy, was written chiefly for saints exposed to the delusions and suffering under the persecutions of the Church of Rome, and its distinguishing glory is this, that it has given us the Reformation! Let us boldly avow our recognition of these facts. (p. 39)