The events recorded in the Revelation were at hand, 2000 years ago. The Revelation was not written in the 21st Century. Neither was it written to us in the 21st Century.
The author of the Revelation specifically stated WHOM the vision was for, and also in WHAT TIME PERIOD its events would occur. The author specifically stated that the events would come to pass shortly from the time of John’s vision, which he had received while on the isle of Patmos.
The Apostle John wrote: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants what things it behooves to take place in quickness. Blessed is the one reading, and those hearing the words of the prophecy, and keeping the things having been written in it; for the time is near.” Revelation 1:1,3 BLB
The author clearly and specifically declared that the time for the events was near. He stated that those events would occur without delay.
Yet, despite these clear declarations, the modern church has taken wild liberties to disregard the time constraints altogether. They postulate the events of the Revelation over ages and centuries of history. Those events that which they cannot find an equivalent in history, they search for some contemporary resemblance. Failing to find that, they assume those events are still in the future. Modern ‘interpretations’ of prophecy will always fail because they have ignored the time-period given by the author of the Revelation.
God gave the Revelation to the Early Church to prepare them for Jerusalem’s destruction, 2000 years ago
According to the inspired Apostle, the Revelation was given to show God’s bond-servants (Israel) things that were about to take place quickly, or speedily. What were things shortly to come to pass quickly? What was so near to happen that the Lord wanted to inform the servants of God in the seven churches? Since the Lord gave the prophecy so close to 70AD, it could only be predicting the cataclysmic destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, and the Second Coming of Christ! These events were about to take place. God gave the early church these messages to let them know that their persecution was soon to end. The old covenant was soon to end. The Lord was coming to reward the faithful and punish the persecutors.
The events of the Revelation were imminent to the people to whom it was given, 2000 years ago
The Lord instructed the apostle John to send the prophecy to the seven churches in Asia. These churches were all real, contemporary congregations existing at that time in 66AD. They were not symbolic church ages extending on for centuries and millennia. They were living, breathing congregations, in need of counsel to prepare them for the Lord’s coming.
The instruction given was: “What you see, write in a book and send to the seven churches: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamum, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
Therefore write the things that you have seen, and the things that are, and the things that are about to take place after these…” Revelation 1:11,19
Notice, the purpose of the Revelation, was that the early church might have knowledge of the present situation, and also “the things that are about to take place after these!”
The Lord wished to prepare those people for the calamitous and cataclysmic destruction was about to break upon Jerusalem. The apostle recorded: “And I hear a loud voice out of the temple, saying to the seven messengers, ‘Go and pour out the seven bowls of the fury of God into the land.’” Revelation 16:1 CLV.
Also the Lord wished to comfort his saints, promising his return was near, “Yes, I am coming shortly!” Revelation 22:20 MLV
The time was at hand, the Temple’s Destruction was imminent and the Lord about to Come without delay
The Revelation closed with the same theme, the Lord was coming without delay and the time was at hand, 2000 years ago.
The angel of the Revelation said to the apostle John, “…the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his messenger to show to his bondservants what things are essential to happen shortly [without delay]. And behold, I am coming shortly [without delay]. Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.”Revelation 22:6-7,10 MLV
Today however, when we see the book of Revelation bible studies, we are being told that our time is the end times and that we are awaiting the end times antichrist. Many are fearfully expecting the Great Tribulation, while others have been told that they would be raptured away pre-tribulation. Many Christians do not have a biblical understanding of what the rapture is all about. Some are asking ‘are we in the tribulation?’ because of the Covid-19 pandemic that is affecting the world in the year 2020.
However, the bible is reassuring. The awful plagues and judgment spoken of in the book of Revelation, have already happened. This judgment was poured out on Jerusalem in the years 66-70, in fulfillment of Jesus’ last prophecy pertaining to Israel and the end of the Sinai Covenant world. Jesus had warned them, “upon you [people of Jerusalem] shall come all the righteous blood being poured out upon the earth, from the blood of the righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation [of Israel].” Matt 23:35-36
So every prophecy news update should really say, “Thank God, Jesus has already fulfilled his promises!”
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