4 Ways to View Revelation…
Historicists – draw parallels between John’s vision and significant historical events. They seek to place major events of history within John’s writing like, the rise of the papacy, the protestant reformation, etc.
Futurists – interprets the book of Revelation as literally as possible. This view leaves little room for symbolism. In fact, symbolism is only considered when something cannot be understood in a strictly literal fashion. Therefore, for the Futurist, the vast majority of Revelation has yet to take place. Futurism is most concerned with the time and the signs immediately preceding the return of Christ, and the state of God’s people at that future point.
Idealists – see Revelation through more of an allegorical representation of the types of things or events believers may expect in the time between the inauguration of Christ’s kingdom and its consummation. This story is of the struggle of the Christian church in the world, and God’s continued preservation of his people through it.
Preterists – approach to Revelation understands that most of the book was fulfilled in the decades immediately following the establishment of the church. Though the book of Revelation does briefly address the distant future, most notably the return of Christ and final judgment, the majority of the book is concerned with the original readers’ present reality. Therefore, from where we are sitting, Revelation describes much of what has already taken place