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By Curtis Pugh

First of all, before the Revelation can be understood a person must have an understanding of the Book of Daniel, especially the prophetic parts. This Old Testament book reveals much of the course of this world and her world powers.

Second, this book is a revelation or an unveiling of future events. It is not a hiding of them. It is, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly [suddenly or quickly] come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John,” (Revelation1:1). It is Christ's revelation given by God to Him. The purpose of the book is to make known to Christ's servants the things that are going to happen in rapid succession in the future.

The third thing to remember is made clear in the above verse: the things revealed have been revealed in signs, i.e. “signified.” From chapter four onward are signs. While the book is to be taken literally whenever literal sense makes good sense in the light of the whole Bible, the truths of this book are revealed in signs and symbols. Let the Bible explain the signs.

Finally never forget the Christ-given outline given to John and which he obviously followed. Christ said to John: “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter,” (Revelation 1:19). First John was commanded to write about the things that he had seen: past tense. What had he seen? Chapter one of Revelation records John's vision of the glorified Christ. That was what he had seen in this revelation of Christ to him.

Next in this Christ-given outline John was told to write “the things which are.” And John was obedient and in chapters two and three of this book he wrote Christ's letters to seven churches in what we now call Asia Minor or Turkey. Each one of those congregations really existed in John's day. Each one had particular characteristics: some good, some bad. And there are various churches in existence today that have the same or similar characteristics.

The third part of Chris's outline given to John was that he was to write “the things which shall be hereafter” or after these things – after the churches are no longer on earth. And sure enough when we read Revelation 4:1 we read, “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” “Hereafter” in this verse and in 1:19 can be understood “after these things” - i.e. after the churches. Indeed, if the churches are to be found after Revelation 4:1 they are found in Heaven and not on the earth. They have been caught away before the events of chapter four to the rest of the book take place.

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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