What Does the Book of Revelation Mean?

Dedicated to the Heroes of the Faith throughout the Centuries.


Foreword       The Historicism Research Foundation is pleased to bring you this booklet by the Rev. Professor Dr. Francis Nigel Lee. 

     I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Lee in May of 1999 during his tour of the United States. I was impressed with his commitment to the Reformed Faith and his bright outlook for the future of the Church. 

     This small volume, What Does the Book of Revelation Mean?, is a synopsis of the Historicist method of interpreting biblical prophecy through the eyes of Scripture, John Calvin, and the Westminster Assembly Commissioner, the Rev. Dr. Thomas Goodwin. 

     Here, Dr. Lee points out the rich, prophetic faith of our forefathers in succinct fashion. John’s Revelation is a pre-written history of the Church and her struggle against the forces of Antichristian tyranny from 70 AD onward to the present. Finally, Dr. Lee presents us with the glorious hope of the Church’s ultimate triumph over  Antichrist (the Papacy) and the Islamic menace. 

     If the old adage is true that those who do not know history are destined to repeat it, then it is doubly true that those who do not know the prophetic history of the Church are bound to lose their bearings and fall into error. No where is this


more apparent than among modern evangelicals and the ecumenical movement in general.            The Jesuit interpretations of Preterism and Futurism have distracted us and removed prophecy from its historic context. Their plan has largely succeeded. 

     Historicism, as the view of virtually all of the Reformers and the Reformed Confessions, places the Church in the middle of a titanic struggle for the Truth of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ against the forces of Antichrist. Knowing the main characters in this epic will help us regain our moorings. For then we will know where we came from, where we are, and where we are going. 

For Christ the King,   

Val W. Finnell, MD President The Historicism Research Foundation http://www.historicism.org

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”  [said Alice] 

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. 

“I don’t much care where—–” said Alice. 

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. 

“—–so long as I get somewhere.” Alice added as an explanation. 

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk enough.” Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland By Lewis Carroll


Rev. Prof. Dr. John Calvin was an historicalist.   Cf. his views on Daniel 7:7-27 to 12:13 and Second Thessalonians 2:2-8.   If he had only lived long enough to write a commentary also on the very last chapters of the Bible, in the Book of Revelation — it is clear (also from the insights of Calvinists after him) that he too would have shared many of their views even on that last Book of the Holy Scriptures.   For his own views and predictions about God's destruction of Heathenism and Islam and Romanism and the entry of both Jews and Gentiles everywhere into His Kingdom, are adequately apparent.   Those views can be collected from his Institutes, his Letters, his Tracts, his Treatises — and especially from his Commentaries and/or Sermons on Deuteronomy, Job, Isaiah, Daniel, John, Romans, Galatians, Second Thessalonians, Second Timothy and First John (whose writer wrote also the Book of Revelation). 

     We wish to claim, then, that Calvin's own views on the above are not modified but rather very faithfully presented by subsequent Calvinists.   Indeed, we claim that the Calvinistic understanding of the Book of Revelation is substantially and usefully summarized by the great Westminster Assembly Commissioner and very godly Calvinist theologian Rev. Dr. Thomas Goodwin.   In his great work An Exposition of the

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