The Time of Revelation: Part 3 of 3

shutterstock_11845273Biblical Early Date Evidences


The Key to Unlock Revelation

To summarize the first part of this study just remember that the entire extra-biblical witness, concerning John’s writing Revelation in the later years of his life, all hinge upon the single testimony of one single man—Irenaeus. His single, questionable statement would not be sufficient evidence to prove a later date in any court of law in the country, and consequently should not be used as the sole proof for an entire biblical interpretation of Bible prophecy either! This leaves us with only one source left that can show us this dating, and that source is really the only one we need to know—the Bible!

Ironically we do not have to look very far into the scriptures, for the key to understanding the prophecies of the book of Revelation is found within its very first scripture.

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; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

All the understanding a person needs to properly interpret Revelation starts with this scripture; for it shows that the focus of Revelation is Jesus Christ, and not the antichrist, and it shows that it was written about “things which must SHORTLY come to pass.” This timeframe told its readers its prophecies were to come to pass “shortly,” and not in some distant time.

Other Translations for Time Language of Revelation 1:1

The use of the word “soon” in Revelation 1:1 was put there by the translators of the King James Bible, yet it isn’t an old archaic wording that has since been out dated in other translations. When we look this scripture up in newer Bible translations we find that the translators use the same type language to convey the same type of expectancy as is found in the King James. The following is a sample of several of these:

  • NASU…the things which must SOON take place;
  • NIV…what must SOON take place.
  • TLB…the future activities SOON to occur
  • NKJV…things which must SHORTLY take place.
  • TEV …what must happen VERY SOON.
  • RSV …what must SOON take place;
  • NAS …the things which must SHORTLY take place;
  • J. B. Phillips …must VERY SOON take place
  • Moffat …what must come to pass VERY SOON
  • Amplified …must SHORTLY AND SPEEDILY come to pass
  • BBE …things which will QUICKLY take place:
  • CEV…what must happen SOON.
  • DRB …the things which must SHORTLY come to pass:
  • GNB …what must happen VERY SOON.
  • GW …the things that must happen SOON.
  • MKJV …things which must SHORTLY come to pass.
  • Webster …things which must SHORTLY come to pass;

Other Time Period References About Jesus’ Coming

If Revelation 1:1 was the only scriptural witness we had to prove this early time-frame, then we really would not be much better off than the Futurists who use their one quote from Irenaeus. But that is not the case here. The Bible gives us several scriptures that show a soon expectancy in seeing the prophecies concerning Jesus’ coming. I will list some of those found in the book of Revelation for you here:

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; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Revelation 1:3
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Revelation 1:19
Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Revelation 2:16
Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Revelation 3:11
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Revelation 22:6
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

Revelation 22:7
Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Revelation 22:10
And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

Revelation 22:12
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Revelation 22:20
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

This same “soon coming” language is consistent throughout the book of Revelation. The only way to get around its clear straight forward language of expectancy is to spiritualize each of these passages. This is what Dispensationalists do to make these passages fit their futurist’s endtime scenarios. The problem is that Revelation gives us no indication that this type of interpretation is necessary, because its message is very clear—expect that these things will soon come to pass! This “soon” means during the generation in which Revelation was written. The Bible’s time texts all agree that these things were to “soon come to pass,” and they did during the 70 AD siege of Jerusalem, just as prophesied in the Old and New Testament.

The Prophecies of Daniel Explained by John

Revelation 22:10 is another scripture that confirms the key to understanding Revelation’s prophecies is found within the soon expectancy of its prophecies to be fulfilled. This verse deals with whether the apostle John should or should not seal Revelation’s message from his readers.

Revelation 22:10

John is told by Jesus not to seal his words because their fulfillment is “at hand.” This wording is similar to that we find in the book of Daniel. There Daniel was told to seal his prophetic message because its fulfillment was to be delayed until a later time when his 70th week would be completed.

Daniel 12:4
But thou, O Daniel, SHUT UP THE WORDS, AND SEAL THE BOOK, EVEN TO THE TIME OF THE END: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Where Daniel and John’s wording differs is in the fact that God told Daniel his prophecies were for a later time, but He told John that his were for a time that was soon to come. This soon coming scenario was possible during the generation of John since, by the time of Revelation’s writing, the 70 weeks that Daniel wrote about were completed, and the prophecies about Jesus “coming” in judgment against those who rejected His New Covenant were “soon” to take place.


Dispensationalists have made popular the theory that Revelation was written sometime during 90-100 AD. Such dating is necessary to make biblical prophecies fit the Futurist’s timeline. But when one searches the Bible to find evidence to support this later date, they instead only find evidence supporting a pre-70 AD dating. One of the principal evidences is found in not what Revelation says, but in what it does not say. John does not mention nor allude to the destruction of Jerusalem or her temple as having already come to pass at the time of his writing Revelation. If either of these had fallen by the time he penned Revelation, he surely would have made some reference to the magnitude of the destruction, or to the significance of their absence.

The Bible prophesied a three and one-half year (42 month/1260 day) siege against Jerusalem because of her rebellion against God’s Covenant. This began in 66 AD when the Roman Emperor Nero gave two simple commands: destroy the city of Jerusalem and level her temple. To accomplish this fiat he picked a father and son to lead his Roman troops. The father was a fifty-seven year old commander named Vespasian, and his ambitious son’s name was Titus.

In 67 AD Vespasian moved his troops and attacked the areas of Galilee, Samaria, Peraea, and Idumaea. In the spring of 68 AD, Vespasian’s soldiers surrounded Jerusalem. Then, when the death of Nero brought political unrest to Rome, Vespasian was asked to return as Rome’s Emperor to restore order. He pulled back his troops and made Titus the commander of the remaining troops in Syria and Judea. The Christians saw this withdraw as a fulfillment Jesus’ warning and fled the city (Luke 21:20-22; Luke 19:43-44; Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14).

Titus began his assault of Jerusalem in April, 70 AD. Titus’ assault was forty years (one biblical generation) to the week from the crucifixion of Christ. Titus’ soldiers breached the third Wall of Jerusalem on May 25, and captured the newer parts of the city. By June they proceeded to enter the second quarter as the Jews withdrew behind the first wall. The Antonia Fortress fell to Titus on July 22, which was followed by the Romans burning the gates of the Temple and entering its courtyards. The Temple was burnt August 10, 70 AD (the Jewish Ninth of AV). This is the exact day and month on which the first Temple was burnt by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. Romans burned the Lower City, assaulted Herod’s Palace, and entered the Upper City around September 2. For all intents and purposes the Jewish resistance ended on September 26, 70 AD.  The destruction of Jerusalem and her Temple is what Daniel referred to when he said, “When the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all things would be finished” (Daniel 12:7).

The consistent language of Jesus’ “soon coming” agrees with the witness of Scripture and the historical references of the destruction of Jerusalem and her Temple; it also opens up the prophecies found in Revelation since it gives us the timeframe in which these prophecies were to come to pass. This makes the Book of Revelation align with the accounts of Jesus’ “Mount Olivet Discourse,” (see Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21). These chapters speak specifically of the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem, which Jesus told His disciples would happen within their generation (see Matthew 24:34; Matthew 23:36; Mark 13:30; Luke 11:50; Luke 21:32; Acts 2:40). In this fulfillment, Jesus did return just as He said He would—“Soon.” He is a God that does not lie, and He is a God that never fails!

Part 1 of 3 | Part 2 of 3

Copyright © 2002 TK Burk. All Rights Reserved

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  1. The Time of Revelation: Part 2 of 3 | TK Burk - June 10, 2015

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