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Why I Now Think the Book of Revelation Is Mostly About the Past

Pastor of Iglesia Conexiones, a baptist church in Jessup, MD. B.A. in Bible, B.S. English Ed., M.S. in Educational Leadership.

There are different views on the book of Revelation. The preterist view holds that the book of Revelation has to do with events that are to us past events, particularly the events that have to do with the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 70 AD.

The futurist view holds that the book of Revelation has to do with events that are to us still in the future, events that still have not occurred but will occur in the future.

Having been brought up with the futurist view, and having attended a Bible school that taught futurism, I was never interested in the preterist view until a few things happened:

I found out that the futurist interpretation of Revelation 17 made no sense.

With an open mind, I determined to read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke once again to see which view made more sense—and it was the preterist view that made the most sense.

Now, you may say that very few of the points above have to do with Revelation—most of them have to do with the gospels, Daniel, and the doctrine of the rapture. Well, if you’ve ever studied Revelation, you would know that all the things I have said above are related to the book of Revelation. You can’t interpret Revelation without making reference to these passages and issues I mentioned.

However, in this article I want to give you just a few reasons why you should consider that Revelation is more a book about the past than a book about the future.

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Reason 1

The book of Revelation was written almost two-thousand years ago; and, at that time, John was told the prophecy would be fulfilled soon (Revelation 1:1, 3, 22:6, 10)

Reason 2

The book of Revelation clearly makes reference to, at least, some past events: the birth and ascension of Christ are represented in chapter 12, verses 1 to 5.

Reason 3

The seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation are churches that existed in the past.

Reason 4

666 is completely irrelevant to a future audience. Think about this for a moment: in light of everything the Antichrist is supposed to do, do we really need to figure out that his name, once translated to a dead form of Greek, amounts to 666? Isn’t it enough that he’s going to be pure evil incarnate and do all these miracles to deceive the nations?

Reason 5

According to Revelation 17:10-11, many of the events in Revelation would take place during the reign of the eighth king of eight. Well, two-thousand years later, more than eight kings have ruled in succession of each other… so, clearly those eight kings have long been dead.

Only when we say that the eight kings are kingdoms can we actually extend the book of Revelation into the future. But the book does’t say kingdoms: it says kings.

Reason 6

The book of Revelation never presents a gap of 2,000 years or more between the time Jesus spoke to John and the time the events would be fulfilled. Such gap does not exist in the book: we have to assume that right after the message to the seven churches, at least two thousand years would pass before the events in Revelation would begin to take place. That’s a big assumption!

The only logical place where such a gap could be present in the book of Revelation is the millennium, because even though the book says that the millennium lasts 1,000 years, we all know that numbers in the book of Revelation have special meanings.

In conclusion, I find it very difficult to hold that the book of Revelation is mostly about the future. The preterist view (and also historicist view) appears have a better way of reconciling the last two-thousand years with the book than the futurist view, which simply inserts 2,000 years between the time Jesus spoke to John and the fulfillment of events that Jesus told John would happen soon.

© 2022 Marcelo Carcach

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