John’s Codes

John veiled the meanings of his Revelation vision from censorship by the Romans, by the Church, and—ironically—from interpretation itself:
From Roman censors, John veiled the Temple in particular, reviving which physically Temple might reignite Jewish zealotry, trouble the Romans, get Revelation banned, and get John more than just banished
From the Church’s censors, John veiled the Temple too. Reviving the Jewish Temple even as just a symbol might upset the Church, since the advent of Jesus had made the Temple passé. So John wrote the Temple big as the visionary Temple of New Jerusalem. In any case, the Church would run hot and cold over the Apocalypse for centuries until the nut of canonization would finally lock down on the Revelation bolt—by Western Churches in only AD 397 and by Eastern Churches as late as the 600–700s
From interpreters anticipating events too well John also veiled Revelation. For its prophecies to work, John had to hinder humans hampering them from happening—especially for big events like the fall of Babylon.
The deceptively transparent language of John uses literary devices that embrace artful ambiguity, inclusive thinking, and semantic codes.
Artful ambiguity, a concept of neuro-linguistic programmingor NLP, is ambiguity arising by choice not chance. Shakespeare wrote artful ambiguity into his plays. Mozart composed it into his symphonies. Dali painted it into his pictures. Escher sketched it into his graphic works. And John—alreadyas early as AD 95—was weaving artful ambiguity sa yarn into his Revelation tapestry and was feeding artful ambiguity as grist into his Apocalypse mill. The ambiguities that fill the Apocalypseare so prolific that they have to be artful deliberately.
Inclusivity embraces prophecy having multiple simultaneous meanings. Thus the term dressed in sackcloth qualifies they shall prophesy for 1,260 days and also these men are the two olive trees inclusively in They shall prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth, these men are the two olive trees (vv. 11.3–4). As a floating-term, dressed in sackcloth is valid both ways. Inclusivity takes an open win/win approach, using combining conjunctions like bothand and. In contrast, exclusivity has tunnel vision, using oppositional disjunctions like eitherand or.
Semantic codes appear as both numbers and words in holy languages like Hebrew, Greek, or Arabic. Number codes are the warp and woof of Jewish gematria, Christian numerology, and Muslim abjad. Word codes include the Hebrew Bible Codes of Drosnin, Christian Greek acronyms like FISH (IXTHUS) for Jesus Christ Son of God, Savior (Iesious Xristos THeou Uios Soter); and similar Arabic codes in the Quran. The less-than-holy English has its own coded lingoes like Afro-talk, Irish-speak, and Cockney rhyming-slang, all of which protect their speakers by hiding meanings from overlords.
The five main literary devices of John are now described in order for you to be ready for them in the Parallel Interpretive Apocalypse Texts that follows this Introduction. The Translation Section at the end contains further examples. The literary devices of John jostle in Alice through the Looking-Glass style throughout Revelation. They link its grid of verses as snakes and ladders connect squares on the board game. They connect its chapters as wormholes and branes join universes and Eras in space. They echo amid varied versions and variants of original Greek sources. They mishmash it with a multiple mix of mystic Midrashic meanings. They mesh its matrix with teasing riddles, shrewd word-orders, cute subtext comments, intriguing feedback-loops, confusing cross-references, tantalizing contrasts, staged interruptions, subtle allusions, and scattered praises.
The five main devices of John are his verbal-thematic links, floating-terms, hidden titles, cover-names, and number-codes:
1. Verbal-Thematic links
Verbal-Thematic links are words or phrases that repeat to mark specific scriptural verses that join together to describe a topic or to tell a story. Friedman found them in the Old Testament as trigger-words like drunken, roof, shear and as key-phrases like good-for-nothing, dried-up, weak eyes, spend the night, thirty pieces of silver, and washed their feet. Together these marked verses string together and form a Hidden Book in the Bible that tells a riveting tale of dynastic incest and adultery, royal betrayal and assassination. No wonder it was hidden!
Revelation is filled with verbal-thematic links too. Trigger-words like mighty, cloud,and rainbow tag the different roles that its main Angel fills as he slips in and out of various verses. Thus the key-word certain tags him as a specific elder, Living-Being, Pitcher-Angel, mighty Angel, and Angel standing in the sun. Thus the key-phrase in his hand tags him bearing stars, a short scroll, a tiny scroll, a sharp scimitar, and a large chain as authority symbols.[1]
Other verbal-thematic links track the main Angel from verse to verse. Thus his v. 1.11 face shining like the sun finds him crying out in v. 10.1 as a lion roars, then recalls him as v. 5.5’s Lion from the tribe of Judah and the root of a beloved David, who next grows into v. 22.16’s root and shoot of a beloved David, who transforms into v. 22.17’s Spirit, who was v. 2.7’s Spirit…telling the churches[2] all along. Impromptu pursuit of wonderful word trails like these has taken me soaring into many late nights on the magic carpet of my word-processor on rewarding treasure-hunts over the fertile terrain of the Wonderland of the Apocalypse as exhilarated and as fascinated as Alice.
2. Floating-Terms
Floating-terms like that dressed in sackcloth refer inclusively both backwards and forwards to qualify the term just before and the term just after. A floating-term may be a word, a phrase, or a clause, in the examples (in bold) in:
1.9–10: I myself John…came to be on the island called Patmos, due to this Word of God and this testimony of, by, and about Jesus Christ, I was soaring in spirit
• 2.2223: I am casting…those who commit adultery with her into great hardship, unless they give up her practices, I shall also kill her children
• 7.15: They are at God’s Throne, within His Temple, they conduct His worship
• 22.12: He showed me a river of water of life…between the main-square of the city and the river, here and there, a Tree of Life
• 22.2: A Tree of Life producing 12 fruits monthly each yielding its fruit (where producing and yielding are separate stages of fruiting).
The Translation Section at the end gives more examples of floating-terms.
3. Hidden Titles
Hidden-titles are simple words that in Revelation do double duty as titles for Messenger Angels. They came about because AD 95 Greek had only UNCIAL BLOCK-LETTERS, with no separate capitals. The result was that
A simple word like WORD (LOGOS) itself could mean either word (logos) or Word(Logos). With a capital, Word serves as a title for a Messenger of God. Just as it opened the Gospel of John as a title for Jesus, it now opens Revelation as a title for another Divine Speaker of God
Spirit similarly serves as a title for a Messenger Manifestation of God
Witness likewise serves as a title for one of the three latest Messenger Delegates of God
Trump-Ta-Ra (Ouai) resounds as a title for one of the three latest Messengers of God wreaking their Eras of change
Glory of God is the specific title for the main Revelation Messenger
Anointedused to serve as a hidden-title too until, that is, it long ago already became the routine Hebrew Messiah and the Greek Christ.[3]
4. Cover-Names
Cover-names are the flip-side of hidden titles. Although cover-names are simple words with literal meanings, they have traditionally read as if they were Proper-Names with capitals. In other words, cover-names are semantic Trojan-Horses with hidden cargoes of literal meaning but innocently neighing as Proper-Names. John sets the tone for them in Chapter 1’ with its clear-cut Proper-Names of God, Jesus, Christ, John, Asia, Patmos, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia,and Laodicea. These Chapter 1 Proper-Names serve as decoys that soften up readers to expect more of the same later. So when HAIDOU, for example, appears as the first cover-name, it rings louder as the cover-name Hades than it does as its true literal meaning of unseen.
Yet in its context, each cover-name makes far more sense and packs far more punch as its literal meaning than as its Proper-Name. Thus HAIDOU stresses how unseen death is. NICOLAITOS wins people over. SATAN hates and opposes. DIABOLOS lies evilly. ANTIPAS stands against all. BALAAM swallows up people. BALAK laps blood. ISRAEL is a man who saw God. MANNA wonders What is it? JEZEBEL trashes God. DAVID is a bashful beloved. JERUSALEM promises that people will see dual peace. Tribal NAMES promote virtues (praise, vision, luck, happiness, struggle, forgiveness, understanding, unity, reward, exaltation, productivity, and power). ABSINTHE is undrinkable. ABBADON and APOLLYON wreak destruction. EUPHRATES surges with new knowledge. MICHAEL is God-Like. ZION beckons folk to Jerusalem. BABYLON sows confusion. ARMAGEDDON is the Mountain of God’s Preacher. HALLELUJAH praises God. And GOG AND MAGOG code for a future dictator and his people.[4]
By the AD 600s the appearance of cursive Greek had freed block letters to serve as capitals. The nuts of these new capitals locked down on the bolts of the cover-names and kept them as Proper-Names until now! But John does hint at the literal meanings of some cover-names, by dropping the normal honorific the before BALAAM, IZABEL, DAVID, ABBADON, and APOLLYON. Also now, many translators do already render ABBADON, APOLLYON, and ABSINTHE directly as their literal meanings of destruction, destroyer, and undrinkable.
5. Number-Codes
There are two sorts of person who interpret number-codes: those who can count and those who cannot count! Joking aside, number-codes tag Messengers, their foes, and their Faiths throughout the Revelation text, for example:
1 (as one of or a certain) tagging its main Messenger Angel
7tagging its serial Messengers as Spirits, churches, Menorah-Lamps, stars, seals, horns and eyes, Angels with trumpets, thunders, and Angels pouring pitchers
12 tagging its Faiths: 12 tribes as their virtues; 12 stars, Angels, and pearls as their founders; 12 gates as the ways of their loving wisdom; 12 foundations as their teachings; 12 thousand furlongs as hard work by their many believers; and 12 gemstones as the strengths of their teachings
24 (twice the 12 for traditional Faiths) tagging the elder founders of its double new Faith,and tagging the gate and foundation gemstones of its divine civilization of New Jerusalem
10 tagging the foes of Messengers as days, horns, and sovereign-crowns
1000 coding for many people
144,000 embedding codes for the Faiths’ many believers progressively perfecting humanity. The biblical square 144 codes forperfecting. Its square-root 12 codes for Faiths. Thousand codes for many believers. Then 144 codes further as the twelfth number in the Fibonacci growth series.[5] Curiously, “144” is also the directory-inquiry telephone number of modern Israel.[6]
In addition, the units cubit and furlong code for basic standard and hard work.
The Translation Section at the end fives more examples of number-codes.
5a. Time-Prophecies

Time-prophecies are special number-codes that stand for year-dates. The main ones are Revelation’s 5–month, 391–day, 1,260–day, 42–month, and 3½–year time-prophecies. The Discussion gives them special separate pride of place.


[1] Rev. 10.1, 18.2 & 18.21; 1.7, 11.12 & 14.14; 4.3 & 10.1; 5.5 & 7.13, 8.13, 13.3, 15.7, 17.1, 18.21, 19.17 & 21.9; and 1.16 &2.1, 5.1, 10.2, 14.14 & 20.1
[2] Rev. 10.1, 18.2 & 18.21; 1.7, 11.12 & 14.14; 4.3 & 10.1; 5.5 & 7.13, 8.13, 13.3, 15.7, 17.1, 18.21, 19.17 & 21.9; and 1.16 &2.1, 5.1, 9.2, 10.2, 14.14 & 20.1
[3] Word,Rev. 1.1–2, 3, 9, 6.9, 12.11, 17.17, 19.9, 19.13, 20.4, 21.5, 21.6, 22.6, 7, 9, 10, 18 & 19, also John 1.1 & Baha’u’llah, KI 64
Spirit,Rev. 1.4, 3.1, 4.5, 5.6 & 22.6; & 2.7, 11, 17, 29, 3.6, 13, 22, 14.13, 19.10 & 22.17
Witness,Rev. 11.3 & 17.6; 1.5, 2.13 & 17.6; and 3.14 & 17.6
Trump-Ta-Ra,Rev. 8.13, 9.12, 11.14, 12.12, 18.10, 16 & 19
Glory of God,Rev. 15.8, 21.11 & 23
Anointed,Rev. 1.1, 2, 5 & 9; & 11.15, 12.10, 20.4 & 6
[4] Rev. 1.18, 2.6, 9, 10, 13, 14 x 3, 17, 3.7, 12, 7.5–8, 8.11, 9.11, 14, 14.1, 8, 16.16, 19.1 & 21.8
[5] Each Fibonacci number (0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377…) is the sum of the two numbers before it. This Fibonacci series is the mathematical template of natural growth and the structure of items like sea-shell spirals, pine-cone whorls, tree branch placement, petal numbers, animal breeding patterns, and electron orbits, and it also underpins art forms like the 1·62 golden mean, musical scales, and the pentacle
[6] 1, Rev. 5.5, 6.1, 7.13, 15.7, 17.1, 18.21, 19.17 & 21.9
7, Rev. 1.4 x 2, 1.12, 1.16, 5.1, 5.6, 8.2, 10.4, 15.1 & 16.1–17
12, Rev. 7.5–8, 12.1, 21.12 & 21, 21.12, 14, 16 & 19–20
24, Rev. 4.4 & 21.12
10, Rev. 2.10, 12.3 & 13.1
144,000,Rev. 7.4 & 14.1