A Question I Was Asked:

Your Thing on Revelation 20 Has Confused Me. Surely Revelation is a Book Concerned with the Future?

Your comments on Revelation 20 led me to ask this QUESTION. You stated that Revelation 12 was about Christ that I find alarming. Spiritual things are spiritual understood, or so I thought. The child brought forth has to be the 144,000. since the woman flies into the wildness for 1260 days. How can you or any theologian accept the old understandings when Revelation 1:3 tells use it is a future book. WHEN IS THE TIME AT HAND. WHEN HE READS THEY HEAR THE WORDS OF THE PROPHCY AND KEEP, KEEP , KEEP THOSE THING WRITTEN WITHIN. WHEN IS THE ONLY TIME WHEN ALL THREE READ HEAR KEEP CAN BE DONE , THE LAST GENERATION DURNING THE MARK OF THE BEAST AND HIS IMAGE.

UK Apologetics Reply:

Hmm! Sorry, but you really should refrain from using block capitals when you address questions since this is now widely accepted to be a form of shouting and is considered rude internet behaviour.

I have set out this question exactly as it was asked, although there is obvious confusion in it.

Now, regarding the actual question, first of all, just remind yourself of what John himself - not somebody else! - wrote in Revelation 1:1:

"The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place..."

Note the word 'soon' there. If I were to tell you that you will soon experience something, maybe something exciting, would you expect that occurrence to be thousands of years into the future? Of course you would not; Please, let's be sensible about this. Don't forget, this is right at the beginning of Revelation, this is establishing the timing.

It is obvious from this that the early church - the people who were around when John penned these words - were expected to understand many of these things, if not always every detail.

Then in verse three we also have this:

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (Revelation 1:3).

There again we have it: 'the time is near.' Did you get that? Why do you expect John to be playing with words? He was not playing with words, he was being utterly forthright. To further substantiate the view that in this section of Revelation John was writing about the world of his own day, he immediately launches into seven messages to seven churches in Asia Minor, seven congregations which were in actual existence in his own day (Revelation 1:4-3:22). Yes, the messages have lessons for all of us but were directed to seven actual congregations right back in the First Century AD.

Unfortunately you (the writer) appear to be yet one more who have been left confused by the futuristic Revelation approach found within Adventism and dispensationalism. Oddly enough, the questioner actually quotes verse 3 in which John actually writes that "the time is near" - that is, near to when John was writing.

We should not expect John to be playing with words. He was utterly sincere, he told the early Christians that "the time is near" - very close in his own day - when Nero would start to cause havoc. This verse does not say that it is a 'future book' (which my questioner seems to have been incorrectly taught). Sure, there are points which would find their ultimate fulfillments in the future but John himself states that the church of his day needed this knowledge right back then. Indeed, in Chapter 13 he uses a numerical code to specifically identify Nero who - probably within months - would initiate the first great persecution of Christians. Go here for more information.

My questioner also refers to the 144,000 although that subject is nothing to do with the point which he raises. For information on the 144,000 go here.

I do understand the confusion because I too once accepted all the futuristic nonsense, until I went away and sorted out my Bible understanding, verse by verse. Please take out the time to do that.

Robin A. Brace. January 1st, 2018.