The book of revelation is the subject of several theories and to top it all up, most of the non Catholic teachings on the subject are based on a futurist theory brought about by a Jesuit monk with a futurist interpretation and Bible commentary: Jesuit Francisco Ribera (1537–1591).
I no longer adhere to the futurist interpretation.
There are many many layers of possible understanding and interpretation in the book of Revelation.
It is written in the genre of the “Apocalypse” which is a literary genre of helenistic greek culture which normally puts the words of a prophesy into the mouth of a long past historical character which in coded form sheds light and understanding on the events of the time in which it is written, and their reasons.
One other example of an Apocalypse exists in the bible: the book of Daniel. written around the time of the Maccabees or possibly later. it puts a prediction into the mouth of Daniel, a figure from the time of the Babylonian exile, about the history of the Hebrew people from his time up to the rise of the Roman Empire.
The Apocalypse of John is different in that it does not put the prophest into the mouth of an historic charachter, but John claims the writings to be his own work under the direction of visions granted by the Holy Spirit. It makes highly coded “Predictions” about the interaction between the faithful and the world in which they live.
The most surface interpretation of these symbols can all be understood to reveal commentary on the interactions between the Christians and the world at that time: especially the Roman Empire and Greek culture.
It is possible to look at the “Predictions” and interpret them in the light of later historic events, but most centuries have easy candidate events that could be thus interpreted.
To interpret the book as a “Guide” to recognising the “End times” or identify in advance the 2nd coming of Christ is to misinterpret the purpose of the book, and to ignore Jesus own statement that we as humans cannot know the Day nor the HOur of His Coming, but should live in permanent readiness for that time.
On the other hand: can we interpret our times as a likely candidate for the near lead up to the 2nd Coming? If you like to then you can find very strong ways to interpret the prophesies that way: but what of it?
Live as though you could meet your maker today or tomorrow: but may not do so before your 110th birthday. Stay in a state of Grace. Strive to live the Gospel: i.e. be an evangelist.
THat is the meaning of the whole of the bible:
- Love the Lord your God with all your being.
- Love your neighbour as yourself. (that means both direct evangelisation and material charity)
Jesuits are not “monks.”
Try looking at the events described in St Johns Apocalypse Concurrently rather than consecutively. This works well with the Bowls of wrath and the horsemen. Instead of these events happening one after the other imagine that they are all happening together all of the time.
To me this makes much more sense when trying to understand things from the point of view of an eternal God.