The Season is Here!

In Revelation, the period known as the last days began following the death and resurrection of Jesus. The last book of the New Testament is called the “Revelation of Jesus Christ.” It is a message for his “servants,” namely, the “Seven Churches of Asia,” and it concerns “what things must come to pass soon,” information that is vital to the churches since the “season is at hand.”

And because of the importance of its contents, the book pronounces the one who “reads it, and they who heed the words of the prophecy BLESSED.” With the death and resurrection of Jesus, the last days commenced in earnest – (Revelation 1:1-3).

The book is not intended to veil information, but to unveil it. And it concerns events that are about to occur from the perspective of the “churches of Asia.” It makes prolific use of the Old Testament, especially passages from the book of Daniel, but it does so with verbal allusions. It never uses a citation formula or otherwise quotes a passage from the Old Testament directly.

Instead, John folds phrases from key Old Testament texts into his narrative, often modifying specific words to make theological points. When he does so, he uses the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible.


The opening paragraph of the book provides two examples from Daniel of how Revelation uses the Old Testament, and both passages are employed more than once in the book:

  • (Daniel 2:28 [Septuagint]) - “There is a God in heaven that reveals mysteries, and he has made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in later days.”
  • (Daniel 12:4 [Septuagint]) - “Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to the time of the end.”

The book’s visions concern “what things must occur SOON.” In the Greek text, the phrase reads ha dei genesthai en takei, and the clause en tachei denotes “with speed, quickly, soon.”

The source of the clause is the second chapter of Daniel (Septuagint) where the relevant passage reads, “There is a God in heaven that reveals mysteries (apokaluptōn),… what things must occur in THE latter days (ha dei genesthai ep’ eschatōn tōn hémerōn).”

Noteworthy is how the book of Revelation changes the original term “later days” to “soon.” Thus, from John’s perspective and that of his original audience, what was expected previously in a remote future IS NOW AT HAND.

The passage also declares that the “season is near.” And here, the Greek term rendered “near” is engus, meaning “near, at hand, imminent, at the door.” It stresses proximity and imminence. The source of the phrase is Daniel 12:4 - “Shut up the words and seal the book until the season of the end.”


Daniel was commanded to “seal” the book until the “season of the end,” the time of the tribulation. In contrast, John is informed that the “season is at hand,” imminent if not already underway.

This understanding becomes clearer in the closing passage of Revelation.  Unlike Daniel, John is told NOT to “seal up the words of the prophecy of the book” because the “season is at hand.” And this last passage repeats the phrase found in the opening paragraph of the book - (Revelation 1:3, 22:10).

John is NOT breaking new theological ground. The early church believed the “last days” were inaugurated by the death and resurrection of Jesus, along with his reign on the messianic throne. And this CHANGE IN ERAS is evidenced by the resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all believers - (Acts 2:16-21, Ephesians 1:10, Hebrews 1:1-3).

The events portrayed in Revelation were set in motion in the first century. What once was expected in a remote future had begun. And even in that early period, the warnings and promises of the book were, and remain, applicable to the churches of Jesus Christ.

This does not mean that all the visions of Revelation were fulfilled completely by the end of the first century, but it does signify that whatever future events are portrayed in the book began approximately two thousand years ago.

The visions received by John concern far more than the final few years of history prior to the return of Jesus Christ. The “last days,” the “season of the end,” started with his death and resurrection, and the season of fulfillment has been underway ever since.


Destruction of Babylon

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