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5.6  Signs of What Must Occur Quickly: To Reveal Jesus

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John

(Revelation 1:1, ASV).



Now is the time to pray for understanding... if you will not pray, you will not understand. 



(Pause for prayer)



(Pause for prayer)



If you do not hear and keep the entire depth of this first verse... you will be lost in the book of Revelation.


In this subchapter, I will reveal the singular theme of the book of Revelation: SIGNS OF WHAT MUST OCCUR QUICKLY: TO REVEAL JESUS.


I will reveal the theme of the book in four sections:

  • Revelation of Jesus Christ
  • Revelation Through Signs
  • Signs of Events to Occur Quickly
  • Relative Perception of Quickly
  • How can 1000 Years be Quick?
  • Close Your Eyes and it Will Be
  • Departed Spirit Sleep
  • General Outline of the book of Revelation



Revelation of Jesus Christ

The singular theme of the book of Revelation is 


Signs of What Must Occur Quickly: To Reveal Jesus. 


First I will show, from the scriptures, that the purpose of the entire book is to reveal Jesus Christ.


I will repeat the first verse of the book of Revelation for your convenience:

  • "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John" (Revelation 1:1, ASV).


I will divide this first verse into its three parts. Please prayerfully consider:


  • "This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ,"  (Revelation 1:1a, ASV) 
  • "which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass," (Revelation 1:1b, ASV)
  • "and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant, John" (Revelation 1:1c, ASV)

Please pause now and talk to our Lord about each phrase and word as described in subchapter 1.1.


(Pause for prayer)


(Pause for prayer)


I have prayed that you will see... that the entire book is... a REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. 


Did you see it? If not, please pray through the first verse again. Once you see that the book is a REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST, then continue. I will repeat the first verse for your prayerful consideration:


  • "This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ,"  (Revelation 1:1a, ASV) 
  • "which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass," (Revelation 1:1b, ASV)
  • "and he send and signified it by his angel unto his servant, John" (Revelation 1:1c, ASV)

The first bullet shows that the book is a revelation of Jesus. The second bullet shows that Jesus is revealed through "things which must shortly come to pass" (events). Did you see it? Jesus is revealed through events. If you did not see it, please prayerfully consider it again.


I will repeat the first verse again for your prayerful consideration:

  • "This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ,"  (Revelation 1:1a, ASV) 
  • "which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass," (Revelation 1:1b, ASV)
  • "and he send and signified it by his angel unto his servant, John" (Revelation 1:1c, ASV)


The first bullet shows that the book is a revelation of Jesus. The second bullet shows that Jesus is revealed through events. The third bullet shows that the events which reveal Jesus Christ were signified through the angel of Jesus. Signified means that they were made known by a SIGN. So, the third bullet explains that the Jesus is revealed through events which are communicated through SIGNS. 


As you continue to read, you will see that the singular theme of the book is:


Signs of What Must Occur Quickly: To Reveal Jesus.


Only as you keep that truth will you be prepared to hear the book and be blessed by it. 


Now I will show in greater depth, that God has expressly stated that He is communicating this revelation through SIGNS.



Revelation Through Signs

  • "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John" (Revelation 1:1, ASV).


The word "signified" is a translation of the Greek word semaino. Instead of "signified" some modern translations have rendered semaino as "made known".  The three literal translations I use render semaino as "signified", "signify" and "by signs" (Green, Young and Rotherham, respectively). The word means to give a sign. NASB shows "signified" as an alternate translation. 


The following Bibles all translate semaino as "signified": King James Version, American Standard Version, Holman Christian Standard Bible, Common English Translation (Public Domain), Wycliffe, Douay-Rheims, NKJV, AKJV, KJ21, DLNT, EHV, JUB and MEV.


The translation "made known" is not wrong. But, it is helpful to know that the book of Revelation has "made known" various future events by the use of SIGNS. So, the great red dragon in 12:4 is a SIGN, representing Satan (12:9). The beast represented by the number 666 doesn't really have seven heads (13:1). The seven headed beast is a SIGN. The book of Revelation is FULL OF SIGNS. We must "learn not to think beyond the things which are written" (1 Corinthians 4:6, subchapter 1.5). We should not take as literal, what God has expressly stated is figurative... as SIGNS. 


Here is Rotherham's translation:

  • "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to point out unto his servants the things which must needs come to pass with speed, - and he shewed them by signs..." (Revelation 1:1).


So, it is clear that the book of Revelation communicated future events figuratively, by SIGNS... SIGNS of real events, but SIGNS. And these events and signs reveal Jesus Christ. 


Next, I will show that God has clearly stated that these events will occur quickly.  



Signs of Events to Occur Quickly

  • "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John; who bare witness of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, even of all things that he saw" (Revelation 1:1-2, ASV).


The singular theme of the book of Revelation is SIGNS OF WHAT MUST OCCUR QUICKLY: TO REVEAL JESUS


The prophesy that the events prophesied will occur quickly is repeated throughout the book of Revelation:

  • "This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon" (Revelation 1:1a).
  • "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written in it, for the time is at hand" (Revelation 1:3).
  • "... repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lamp stand out of its place, unless you repent" (Revelation 2:5b).
  • "Repent therefore, or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth" (Revelation 2:16).
  • "I am coming quickly! Hold firmly that which you have, so that no one takes your crown" (Revelation 3:11). 
  • "The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe comes quickly" (Revelation 11:14).
  • "The Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel to show to his bondservants the things which must happen soon" (Revelation 22:6b).
  • "Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book" (Revelation 22:7).
  • "He said to me, "Don't seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand" (Revelation 22:10).
  • "Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work" (Revelation 22:12).
  • "He who testifies these things says, "Yes, I come quickly" (Revelation 22:20).

 

A quick occurrence is indicated eleven times in the book. Six of those promises of a quick event were limited to the immediate context of those particular verses. But the first two and last five of the eleven pertain to the entire book. 


I will remind you of the singular theme of the book of Revelation:


SIGNS OF WHAT MUST OCCUR QUICKLY: TO REVEAL JESUS


Now, you have seen that quickly occurring events are prophesied in the book of Revelation. But what is meant by quickly?



Relative Perception of "Quickly"

How much time can an event take to be considered to have happened quickly? 


Well, a 15 minute lunch would be a quick meal. A four hour flight from New York City to London would be a quick trip. To complete an engineering degree at a top university in 2 years would be a quick study. To conquer the entire world in thirty years would be a quick conquest.  To totally eradicate the belief system in one of the worlds major religions in three generations would be a quick cultural transformation. Christianity originated in about 2000 BC in Genesis 15:6 when it was written of Abraham  "He believed in Yahweh, who credited it to him for righteousness". Hinduism began around 1500 BC. Buddhism at roughly 500 BC and Islam in 1400 AD. Having become so entrenched over many centuries, a total eradication of any of them in three generations would be surprising.


So, "quick" is a relative term when comparing one event to another. It is relative to the immensity of the obstacles which must be overcome to complete the event. 


"Quick" is also relative to the person. To solve a calculous problem for John may mean two minutes. For another may mean two hours.


If you are having fun while you wait... time passes quickly.  So "quick" is also a relative term that refers to how it feels.


In the twinkle of an eye:

So, if you went to bed hungry, hoping for food in the morning, would morning come quickly or slowly? It depends. It depends on how well you sleep. And it depends on how quickly you receive food in the morning. If you lie down, close your eyes... and the next thing you know is that your eyes are open and breakfast is served... then the time passed quickly. It passed "in the twinkle of an eye"... just like 1 Corinthians 15:52 says it will be at the resurrection.


Remember that phrase "in the twinkling of an eye".



How Can 1000 Years Be Quick?

In Revelation 20, we are told that Satan will be bound for 1000 years so "that he shall deceive the nations no more" (vs 1-3). Martyrs for Christ will come to life and reign with Christ for this 1000 years (v 4), followed by the release of Satan and a final war (vs 7-10), then the judgement (11-15), followed by the New Jerusalem coming down from Heaven (chapter 21). Then the bondservants of Christ will see His face (v 22:4) and "reign forever and ever" (v 22:5) in the New Jerusalem (21:1-22:5). The 1000 year period is called the millennial reign of Christ. But, remember the verses I quoted above which speak of "things which must happen soon" for "the time is at hand" (Revelation 22:6, 10). Three verses in chapter 22 stated "I come quickly" (Revelation 22:7,12,20).


So, Revelation 20 speaks of a resurrection of martyrs and a 1000 year reign, during which Satan can not "deceive the nations", followed by a final war and the great judgement. Chapter 21 reveals the New Jerusalem and 22:4 states that Christ's bondservants will see His face and reign from there (22:5). But 22:6, the very next verse, speaks of "things which must happen soon". 

  • "These words are faithful and true. The Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel to show to his bondservants the things which must happen soon" (Revelation 22:6).


Even if the millennial kingdom began the day after the book of Revelation was delivered... the prophesied judgement, New Jerusalem and reigning with Christ in the New Jerusalem was still over 1000 years away. Why would God have said that an event which the prophecy placed at least 1000 years away was something "which must happen soon"? I am praying as I write, asking our Lord for explanations. 


Let me repeat: 22:4-5 states that Christ's bondservants will see His face and reign from the New Jerusalem. But 22:6, the very next verse, speaks of "things which must happen soon". Reigning from the New Jerusalem in 22:5 had to be at least 1000 years away when He wrote "things which must happen soon". 


The New Jerusalem had to be at least 1000 years away when He said "things which must happen soon". 


The great judgement had to be at least 1000 years away when He said "things which must happen soon". 


How can this be?



Close Your Eyes and it will Be

In the twinkle of an eye:

I will repeat a previous example because it is pertinent. If you went to bed hungry, hoping for food in the morning, would morning come quickly or slowly? It depends. It depends on how well you sleep. And it depends on how quickly you receive food in the morning. If you lie down, close your eyes... and the next thing you know is that your eyes are open and breakfast is served... then the time passed quickly. It passed "in the twinkle of an eye"... just like 1 Corinthians 15:52 says it will be at the resurrection. Any Christian over the last 2000 years who closed his eyes in physical death and "slept" as Christ and Paul say (?v?), to awaken in the future to the judgement and New Jerusalem, face to face with Christ, would say that it happened quickly. He closed his eyes in death and awakened to Paradise.


One might call this soul sleep or departed spirit sleep. 



Departed Spirit Sleep

According to scripture, after the body dies, the body decays. But the spirit enters into a state which Moses, Jesus and the apostles routinely and repeatedly called "sleep". The soul sleeps. In this way, thousands of years could pass "quickly". Click here to read an in depth study of this doctrine, from the scriptures.



General Outline of the Book of Revelation

A) Singular Theme: SIGNS OF WHAT MUST OCCUR QUICKLY: TO REVEAL JESUS (1:1)


B) Signs, Communication Corridor and Blessing (Revelation 1:1b-4a)


C) Attributes of Jesus (Revelation  1:4b-8)


D) Appearance of Jesus (Revelation 1:9-20)


E) Jesus' Messages to 7 Churches (Revelation 2:1-3:22)


F) Signs of Jesus Sealed in the Throne Room (Revelation 4:1-5:1)


G) Only Jesus Can Reveal the Signs (Revelation 5:2-14)


H) Events Revealing Jesus by Signs (Revelation 6:1-20:15)


I) The Eternal Bride of Christ: The New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-22:5)


J) Jesus is Coming: Blessing and Warning (Revelation 22:6-21)


Yes, the entire book is about revealing Jesus.  


The singular theme of the book of Revelation is... SIGNS OF WHAT MUST OCCUR QUICKLY: TO REVEAL JESUS



Do Not Ignore the Singular Theme

The singular theme of the book is established in the very first sentence:

  • "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John" (Revelation 1:1, ASV).


The singular theme of the book of Revelation is...


Signs of What Must Occur Quickly: To Reveal Christ.

  • Signs
  • Occur Quickly
  • Reveal Christ


Many theologies of the book of Revelation ignore all three of the tenets of the single theme of the book of Revelation:  



What Does the Book of Revelation Mean?

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God Bless!

Jim Phillips

"Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man will come."

Matthew 24:44

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