One of the keys, that unlocks the events of the Tribulation, is John's personal testimony. His use of the phrase "now I saw" in English, comes from a Greek phrase kai eidon (I saw) that God directs and inspires John to use all the way through the book of Revelation. This phrase shows us that this is a chronological progression (note the 24 usages: 6:1, 2, 5, 8, 12; 7:2; 8:2, 13; 9:1; 10:1; 13:1, 11; 14:1, 6, 14; 15:1; 16:13; 17:3; 19:11, 17, 19; 20:1, 4, 11).
Each major event from the launch of the Tribulation through Christ's return is introduced by this phrase.
Then chapter 21 opens, after all the sinners of all the ages, Satan, and the demons, have been consigned to the lake of fire (20:10‚Äď15). Then, as we saw already in 2 Peter 3, God creates a new universe for us to dwell in forever. We are allowed to see what no Old Testament prophet ever understood. Peter tells us that they searched hard to figure out what it all meant. They never saw the difference between Christ's first and second coming. They thought it was all one event.
So we see what Old Testament prophets couldn't see. Paul said that Christ's coming was a mystery, hidden in ages past. Jesus told us that there would be a long wait from the Cross to His second coming. We are in that long period, and the book of Revelation is our guide to God's plan.
So here in your hands (the Bible) is the box full of puzzle pieces, over 31,103 of them to be exact. But the picture on the front of the box is bright and clear, and we find that picture, that map that makes every piece fit in its place right here in the Revelation. God is unveiling His plan for the future. He gives it to us in Christ's Church.
Pastor John Barnett has been devouring the Word of God for over 30 years. John, now the teaching pastor of Calvary Bible Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan has served congregations in Oklahoma, New England, Georgia and California. He also served on the Faculty of the Master's College...