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(The things which are)

Insight about the Church 1:19-20

19 "Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. - Revelation 1:19

Verse 19 is the KEY to the Book. The three parts of The Revelation are:

1- What you have seen - The Person of Jesus Christ - Revelation 1:9-18
2- What is now - The Presence of Jesus Christ in This Age - Revelation 1:19-3:33
3- What will take place later - The Program of Jesus Christ For The Future - Revelation 4:1-22:21

Jesus told John to "Write." In verse 10 we considered the process of divine inspiration. Here we must add that once a servant of the Lord was given inspired information, it would then need to be written and carefully preserved. The Holy Scriptures are all written books. The Greek word for "scripture" is graphe. It means "sacred book." It is found often in the New Testament, but is not used in the Revelation. However the vision is called a "book" in chapter 1, verse 11, and in several verses of the last chapter (22:7, 9, 10, 18, 19). Our English word "Scripture" comes from the Latin word scriptura, which in turn is a translation of the Greek graphe.

The thing John was expected to write was "the things which you have seen." It was not supposed to be John's own ideas about the future, but specifically the revelation that he was seeing. The most valuable testimony is an eye-witness account (1 Corinthians 15:6).

He was to write what he had seen so far, and then the rest of the vision - thirty or more pages in one of our typical printed Bibles. It may have been that he could stop and write every once in a while as he received the message, but if not, the Lord would certainly bring every bit of it back to his memory as he wrote.

Then he was to write "and the things which are," referring to the Messages to the Seven Churches in chapters 2 and 3. As mentioned earlier, these were short letters to seven very different churches that actually existed in Asia, in the area we know today as Turkey. They reflect the strengths, weaknesses, and the Lord's will for each Church.

Because of their variety, most churches that exist today could identify with one of these seven types of congregations. Because of that, sensitive Christians may find valuable lessons in these messages that apply to their own current circumstances.

Since the Revelation is a book of prophecy, it is completely reasonable to see these seven churches in another way as well. In fact, this should be the primary way of viewing them. Each church stands for a period of time in the history of the church - from the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) when it formally began, until the future date of the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58, etc - We will discuss this more in Revelation 3:10; and 4:1).

John would also be expected to write "and the things which will take place after this." This will be the bulk of the vision, revealing the major events of the seven-year Tribulation period, the Campaign of Armageddon, the earthly Reign of Christ and the New Heaven and New Earth(Chapters 4 through 22).

The Greek for "what will take place" is ginomai, which means "to come into being." It hints at the fact that God has ultimate control of the future, as we discussed under verse 5 of this chapter.

Next: Revelation 1:20


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