"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” Revelation 1:10-11

The popular teaching of Revelation would have one believe it's not a completely relative book until a seven year tribulation period. They teach that this book is not relative to today but rather a future time. The truth is, John told us exactly who this book was for. It was four seven churches in Asia minor in the first-century. This means the symbolism was understood by the first century church. We error in trying to bring our context into this book written in the context of the first-century.

A difficulty in understanding the book is the manner in which it was written. Imagine a person never seeing the grand canyon in their life. This person was born and raised in a small town in Illinois where everything is flat and plain. They never looked at pictures and never looked at a TV. All this person knew was the world that surrounded them in that little town. Imagine telling that person to look at the Grand Canyon and write down what you see.

This is where John was. John was given an heavenly view of the revelation of Jesus. He described the details the best he could so that others would understand - others in the first-century that is. Are we to believe Jesus has seven eyes? No. John was just trying to convey the completeness of Jesus' sight.

"Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near." Revelation 1:3

Not only was the book written to the first-century church, it was preserved for every generation since. There's a blessing for anyone who reads, hears, and does what is in the book. This makes this book very important for us, the generations before us, and any generations after. The book is a first-century book and an all-century book. We need to make sure we are reading it properly.

NOTE: the end of the passage above says, "
for the time is near". Was there a mistake in Johns understanding? We'll get to that later in this series.

"Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this." Revelation 1:19

Revelation has been being fulfilled over time. As mentioned above, it's for all generations to read, hear, and do what is in the book. It consists of what was (during the time of John), what is, and what will be. It's not just a prophetic book for a seven year tribulation period. It's a blessing book for all generations.