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Many people today interpret the book of Revelation with the view that most of it is yet to be fulfilled in the last days just before Jesus returns. So in this little study, we will show you from God's Word why this view is wrong and why Revelation must be studied from the historical viewpoint.

The main issue stems from the terms "end times" and "last days." Most people apply these terms exclusively to the very last days just before Jesus returns, when in fact, the Bible tells us that the "end times" began in the time of the apostles in the New Testament, look:

Hebrews 1:1-2 ...'God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.'

1 Corinthians 10:11 ...'Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.'

Who is the apostle Paul speaking to in Hebrews? He refers to the Old Testament times in regards to God speaking through the prophets, but then he confirms that God in Paul's own day has spoken to them (and us) by His Son Jesus. And what does Paul say about his own day? That they are the "last days." Paul confirms that the "end times" ARE come in his day. Look also at what he said to the Christians at Corinth above. Paul confirms that the "ends of the world" are come upon them. The Corinthians would have understood this to apply to them. This is because the "end times" began when Jesus came, died on the cross and rose again. Since that time, we have been living in the 'last age,' or 'end times,' or 'last days.' John also confirms this:

1 John 2:18-19 ...'Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.'

John didn't say that the 'last time' would come far in the future. No. John is saying that his day is the last time or 'end times.' He didn't say it WILL be the last time in the future. He said IT IS the last time, present tense, which he confirms by saying that antichrists are already in his time, thus signifying that it is the last time in his day. Peter also confirmed the same:

1 Peter 1:19-20 ...'But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.'

When was Jesus 'manifest'? In the days of the apostles, 2000 years ago. And what did Peter regard those times as? The last times. So we have three witnesses that testify to the fact that the end times and last days began 2000 years ago. Yes, we are now living in the very last days of this 'end time' or 'last age' period. But the Word of confirms quite clearly that the end times began in the time of the apostles. So with this in mind. Let us now look at what John said right in the beginning of the book of Revelation:

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.'

Many people place most of the book of Revelation in the very last days just before Jesus returns. But look at what God revealed through John concerning the prophecies of Revelation. They were to SHORTLY begin to come to pass. Would the Word of God used the word 'shortly' if the events were not to take place for another 2000 years? Of course not. If something is to come to pass SOON, that in no way means it is going to take place thousands of years later. And yes, with God a day is as a thousand years. But the Bible was written for people on earth who do NOT live by the 'day as a thousand years.' Therefore you cannot apply this. If God tells us that something is shortly to come to pass, then He does NOT mean it will happen in 2000 years time. He means exactly what He says, that it will begin to take place very soon.

The book of Revelation was written by John around 90AD, and when we see, according to God's Word, that he was already living in the 'last days' and that the prophecies of Revelation were SOON to begin fulfilling, then we can clearly see that we MUST interpret the prophecies of Revelation from the historical viewpoint. Otherwise we are left without an anchor in understanding the prophecies. Which is sadly why there are so many wild speculations regarding end times prophecy, because most of them are based on just that, speculation, rather than historical fulfillment. Many people ignore the past 2000 years of history when it comes to studying the book of Revelation, which is why many are being led into deception and are blown about by every wind of doctrine.

This little study confirms why we at www.end-times-prophecy.org take the historical viewpoint of prophecy. When you take this Biblical view, you will see a perfect chain of events that fulfill God's Word, which will give you a sure anchor to hold you among the wild speculations and deceptions that abound in this world.

For many prophecy studies of Revelation, please see our BIBLE STUDIES page.