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What more could John and Jesus possibly say to communicate when this prophecy was to be fulfilled? They said it over eleven times in many different ways. At the end of the letter, none other than Jesus Himself confirms that He is coming SOON – to THEM! This timing perfectly aligns with Jesus’ parallel teachings in his landmark Olivet Discourse by Matthew, Mark and Luke about how Jerusalem would be destroyed before the end of his generation. But perhaps, just perhaps, Revelation’s fulfillment gave us what we desperately needed – and not what our material appetite wanted. Maybe it is our traditional doctrine of doubt that has made this letter more complex and enigmatic than it needs to be. The early church was fighting the Trinitarian wars. Gingrich, A Greek—English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (1979). Once we see WHEN and WHY Revelation was written, much of the mystery of it’s content is solved.

The only reason to do this is if you are trying to make the text fit your particular doctrine. It is important to realize that this is a modern call imposed upon the text, not something arising from the text itself. The letter of Revelation itself says nothing about a shift in audience or subject matter. Chopping the letter up is an arbitrary idea forced onto the text. It says nothing about a delay in timing or a change in intended audience. It is the result of a misunderstanding about when or why it was written and how it was fulfilled to its original audience. Reed (eds.), Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions (Cambridge: 2004): 123-41. What you might consider is that Revelation IS John’s Olivet Discourse. And that this is why they match in content and timing.

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