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The Rapture (4 of 32)
I want to move on a little bit faster than I have in previous studies of The Revelation. I'm really anxious to get to the parts of the study which have to do with the tribulation on the earth. I think contemporary, current events point us in the directions of many of the things which we find during that period of time predicted in The Revelation. I don't want to overlook something, but I do want to move just a little bit quicker to get to those.
The first verse of chapter 4 is extremely important. It is crucial to a correct interpretation of the rest of the book of The Revelation. It's kind of like the buttons on a sweater. It is important for you to get the first button correct. If you do not, you are wrong all the way down. But if you get the first button correct, then everything else falls together. So, it is important for us to understand just exactly the transition which is taking place in chapter 4:1.
The Holy Spirit has given us an outline of the book of The Revelation back in chapter 1, verse 19. John is specifically told there that he is to write the things which he has seen - past things in chapter 1. The things which are - the present things given to us of the churches in chapters 2 and 3. Then he specifically says, ''Write the things which shall be hereafter.''
Following that clue, when we come to chapter 4, verse 1, we discover that we have a transitional verse. The verse begins by saying, ''after this.'' It concludes with ''hereafter.'' They are actually the same words in the Greek text. It is the same two words that are used in Revelation 1:19. The Holy Spirit said, ''John, I want you to write the things which shall be hereafter.'' Then when we come to chapter 4, verse 1 he says, ''after this.'' That is, the things which shall be hereafter.
It's as if the Holy Spirit put the words at the beginning of the verse and at the end of the verse to make very sure that ...
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