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Although it is perhaps the hardest book of the New Testament to understand, Revelation is meant to reveal truth, not to obscure it. It provides a rich host of images to enable the imagination, as well as the mind, to grasp the key concepts of the Christian faith.

that we number 144,000, when we know very well that there are millions of us, the figure is presumably another of the symbolic figures of Revelation, and indeed it looks too stylized to be anything else—the suspiciously tidy sort of number that is much more likely to be a symbol than a statistic. If we next find ourselves described as 144,000 Israelites, when most of us are Gentiles, this is in line with the regular New Testament teaching which applies to the Christian church the titles and privileges
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