Rev.1: 1 “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”
We have indicated that this Book is written in prophetic symbols for it was ..sent and signified.., We can see that The book of Revelation falls into a form of writing called “Apocalyptic literature”. This was developed as a distinctly Jewish genre. It began with them and developed with them and then the Christians continued to use it. It is a form of writing that is highly symbolic and yet prophetic.
It was commonly employed by the prophets in their writings, especially Books like Ezekiel etc. They were more or less like parables, and you found that Jesus employed similar manner of teachings, such that he will tell the disciples, for you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom but for those without these are done in parables. And anytime he finishes teaching like this he will say,
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!” (Mat. 11:15). Same thing he said to the seven Churches in Asia..“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;”
Now , the very nature of a symbol is that it means something else other than what is being said on the surface, otherwise it would not be a symbol! For instance, in the Greek language the word angel means a messenger and so in the book of Revelation the angel stands for a message and the messenger! Not necessarily a wing creature like we have been made to believe. In Luke 7: 24, we are told of the messengers of John.