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(All quotations from the King James translation unless stated otherwise).
The book of Revelation foretells in symbol events in history related to those in Christ, beginning at the end of the first century AD.
John describes it thus:
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass;
This indicates that the things signified would soon start to happen and not that everything would be finished in a short time.
Revelation 17:10, for instance, tells us that the sixth head of the beast was something that existed in John’s day.
Revelation 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
Revelation 20:6 speaks of the resurrection at the return of Christ which is future to our time.
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Revelation 20:12 speaks of the final judgment after the thousand year reign of Christ.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
The chapters do not all follow in a chronological sequence. Concurrent strands are treated separately. This is something that all historians are forced to do. Different political and religious events take place in different places at the same time. Different aspects of the same events must of necessity be considered separately. All cannot be dealt with at the same time. One aspect of events is followed through to a point and then a return in time made to pick up a parallel strand. This makes the book’s symbology sometimes difficult to decipher.
Having said that, the symbology is the same as that used by the Old Testament prophets and understanding Old Testament symbology helps with Revelation. We can see also how the Old Testament prophets move backwards and forwards in time in their prophecies.
The principal is this:
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
Each generation of those who understand the truth is able to discern the signs of its own times. The root of the prophecies in Revelation is in Daniel.
The beast that I alluded to in Revelation 17 is a more detailed description of the fourth beast in Daniel 7 with added information. The ten horns are today nations forming part of the European Union.
I cannot deal with the whole of the subject here but I hope that I have given sufficient to show that Revelation prophesies events from the end of the first century AD through to the end of the thousand year reign of Christ. We are living in the days close to the return of Christ.
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I hope you have found this helpful.