John’s Revelation Unveiled – Part 1

Revelation 1 December 1 


                                                                                                                                                                                     In order further to establish which of the above schools of interpretation of the Book of Revelation gives either the correct or the most acceptable perspective, one must first of all fully weigh the meaning of the phrases "the things which must shortly come to pass" and "the time is at hand" and "the things which shall be hereafter" in Rev. 1:1,3,19. Here, one should first carefully examine the argumentation given in n. 12. But second, one should next scrutinize the important text Rev. 1:19 (as done in our next paragraph) and the important passage Rev. 4:12 (as done in n. 123). For Rev. chs. 4 to 19 describe Church History  and not any post-raptural tribulation of others only after an alleged future rapture of the Church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now one of the chief keys to the interpretation of the Book of Revelation, is Rev. 1:19. This text states: "Write the things which you have seen  both the things which are [now], and also the things which shall be hereafter.” As the Westminster Assembly’s contemporary the 1657 Church of Scotland Presbyterian Rev. James Durham points out at the end of his magnificent two-volume commentary on the Book of Revelation, this verse clearly rebuts Preterists like Gorgias and Hammond. Rev. 1:19’s “things which you have seen” means probably the first things John had seen which he was then to record, in writing, immediately  the seen things described in Rev.1:1-18. Rev. 1:19’s “things which are [now]” refers probably to the condition of the seven Congregations in John’s own day (then just about to be described in Rev. 1:20 to 3:22), and perhaps also to the heavenly ‘playbacks’ of then-current conditions also here on Earth (as recorded in Rev. 4:1 to 6:10f). However, Rev. 1:19’s “things which shall be hereafter”  not ‘things that shall be in the hereafter’ alias only in the next life  probably means the things that would take place principally only after the first-century time when Christ gave John this book we call Revelation. These things would thus include all of the thereinafter-mentioned major future events  regardless as to whether those subsequent events would start occurring immediately OR start occurring only some time after that; and irrespective of whether the subsequent events were to occur on Earth OR in Heaven OR in both of those two places. Cf. too nn. 44 & 123. In the Greek of Rev. 1:19, the ha eisen signifies things then (in John’s own time)  the things then happening in the first century A.D. both here on Earth and there in Heaven. The ha mella genesthai meta tauta  compare the meta tauta in Dan. 1:29 LXX  signifies the things that would happen both here on Earth and there in Heaven after the occurrence of what was then happening on Earth and in Heaven while John was writing down the Book of Revelation during the first century A.D. Consequently, Rev. 1:19’s grapson oun ha eides KAI ha eisin KAI ha mellei genesthai seems to mean: “Write down [now] what you have seen  [namely] both the things which are [happening now both on Earth and in Heaven], and the things which will happen after this [both on Earth and in Heaven]." This means that the Preterists' hypothesis that practically the entirety of the predictions in the Book of Revelation were occurring at that time or would finish occurring within the lifetime of the John himself, is essentially incorrect. On the erroneous Futurists' hypothesis with its inconsistent equating of Rev. chs. 2 to 3 with an incorrectlyassumed successive series of 'seven ages of the Church' (for details of which see just a few paragraphs later below), "the things which are" in Rev. 1:19 can hardly be understood as applying to the Congregations that "are" (or rather which then were) in Asia Minor at the very time John was writing down the Book of Revelation as described in the very next verses (Rev. 1:19f & 2:1 to 3:22). Instead, the Futurists understand Rev. chs. 2 to 3 to be referring to Rev. 1:19's "things which shall be hereafter"  namely after John's own day (yet before a falsely-assumed 'rapture' of the Church at Rev. 4:1). However, on the Historicalists' hypothesis, Rev. 1:19's "things which are" means exactly that. For the phrase refers to the affairs of the Congregations in the Presbytery of Asia Minor which John knew in his own day. Again, the phrase "hereafter" (or meta tauta) at the end of Rev. 1:19 cannot be taken as applying exclusively or even largely to 'life in Heaven in THE hereafter.' For this word "hereafter" at the end of Rev. 1:19 here refers (without further immediate specification) to what would be (or 'happen' or genesthai) "hereafter." That is, the word "hereafter" at this point refers to what would start to happen after John had finished receiving the disclosures God then showed him which are now contained in the Book of Revelation. For here at the end of Rev. 1:19, the word "hereafter" refers both to what would happen during subsequent Church History here on Earth (cf. Rev. chs. 4 to 20) as well as to what would happen both in Heaven and on the New-Earth-yet-to-come either after death or alternatively after the Final Judgment. Rev. 1:7,19; 2:10; 5:6-10; 6:9-11; 10:6f; 14:13f; 21:2,9f,14,22; & 22:12,16,20. See too nn. 12 & 113 & 123. All of John's visions were revealed to him in terms of categories clearly known to him  e.g.: the temple furniture (such as its Trumpets and Candlestick etc.). But some of the thus-recorded foretellings were predictions that were to be fulfilled either several years (cf. Rev. 2:10) or even only many centuries later (e.g. Rev. chs. 9 & 13 & 17 etc.). Too, the revelations given in Daniel were revealed to him in categories familiar to

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