The Book of Revelation

Key Transitions

It is very important to note the places in Revelation where a transition takes place.  Most of these transition points have already been alluded to and correspond closely with the Key Places already noted.  The first Transition Point is...

1. From earth to Heaven - Rev. 4:1 "After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."

From this point onward John has a view of the following events from Heaven's perspective.  He is allowed to see from that viewpoint the spiritual side of this warfare in addition to the effects on the earth.

Those familiar with the book of Daniel will recall well that the angel is sent to instruct Daniel in the things which were to come to pass in his visions - Daniel chapters 10-12.  In the process, the angel gives us some insight into how things work "in the heavenlies."

It should be no surprise to us that there is much going on beyond our senses in the spiritual realm.  This activity affects us and our world, but we cannot see it.

But, John is allowed to see them and to relate most of what he sees and hears to us in the book called the Revelation!  It is an amazing event in all the entire Bible.  "Come up here!"  What a statement!!!  Do you know of any other prophet who had that vantage point?  Yet, to our brother John, this privilege was given, and from this vantage point he reveals what he saw.

This is the first, and a very important, transition.

From this vantage point John can see the panorama of the things happening in Heaven itself, and the things and places to which his attention is directed on the earth.

And his attention is directed next to:

2.  Attention directed to Jerusalem - Rev. 11:1-19

He is told to rise and measure the temple which is in the city where the Lord was crucified - Rev. 11:1 and 8.   This means that the city and the temple were still standing when John is told to measure them.  This has to be prior to AD70 when Jerusalem along with its temple were destroyed by the army of the Roman general Titus.

Part of those things revealed to us in the Revelation, then, refer to the destruction of Jerusalem, and with it, the power of the Judaising Jews to persecute Christians.  This destruction took place in AD70 under the Roman general, and future emperor, Titus.

3. Chapter 12 - This chapter marks a great transition point in that it stops the action, and begins to identify the main characters in the events about to take place.  It tells us why such fierce persecution is going to take place against the woman's descendents, that is, the faithful of God on the earth.  These characters will be covered in the Key Characters section.

4. Attention directed to Rome - Rev. 17:1 John is taken by the angel to see "judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters...."  This harlot is later identified clearly as "...that great city which reigns (present tense, in John's day) over the kings of the earth" Rev. 17:18.

This city is Rome, and much of the things which were to shortly come to pass deals with the coming dissolution of that empire and all that it stood for.  Rome had accepted virtually every pagan cult in the worlds they had conquered.  Much like the Greeks in Athens whom Paul noted were "too religious," the Romans worshipped everything, including their own Caesars.  The only religion purposely targeted for extinction by Rome was Christianity.

By AD350 Rome's power was waning, and Constantine finalized the victory of Christ over Rome by establishing Christianity as the official state religion.

5. End of the "things which must shortly come to pass" - Rev. 19:17-20:3.

With the defeat of the beast and the false prophet, the binding of Satan for the "thousand years," we see the end of the events described as those which must shortly come to pass.

But this is not the end of the story.

6. The Judgment - Rev. 20:11 and following.

This marks the end of time.  It is preceded by a great conflict between Satan himself and God.  This conflict ushers in the great Judgment scene where all will be judged by the things written in the books, and those whose names are found written in the book of life will be with God in the Heavenly Jerusalem for all eternity.

Heavenly Jerusalem will have its victory over its persecutors, the Judaising Jews, the powers of Rome, the beast and the false prophet, and finally Satan and death itself.

That should give us some transition points to keep our eye on, so when you're ready, click on the arrow to the right below to continue with the Key Characters in the Revelation.


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