The Revelation Roadmap
“Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.” [Revelation 1:19]
Revelation 1:19 is a key verse to understanding Revelation. It is a roadmap for the Final Chapter. “Write the things which you have seen.” This is the unveiled vision that John had of Jesus in Rev 1:9-18. “Revelation” literally means “Unveiled.” Jesus is now unveiled in all His glory in heaven. It is imperative that we see Him this way. He is no longer veiled.
“…and the things which are” describe the time when John wrote Revelation, i.e., the time of the church, which is the time that we are in now. Chapters 2- 3 are Jesus’ letters to us [the church]. There are seven churches that He addresses: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. These letters, however, apply to us today because we, too, are the church. The seven churches are representative of the church at large throughout church history, which began at Pentecost [Acts 2] and will conclude at the Rapture [1 Thes 4:16-18; 1 Cor 15:50-55]. They are the completed message to the church [seven being the number of completion] until “the things which will take place after this” are inaugurated.
This takes us to future events, starting at Rev 4. The scene turns to heaven where the church is worshipping at the Throne of God. Notice the word “church” that is so prominent in Chapters 2-3 is nowhere to be found after except for one final note in Rev 22:16. This, though, is only a reminder that Revelation is indeed written for us [the church] to read.
Below is a chapter-by-chapter roadmap of Revelation events that are broadly outlined in Rev 1:19. This will help you in our study of Revelation over the next several months.
“the things which you have seen”
- Rev 1 – Johns vision of the Unveiled Jesus Christ.
“the things which are”
- Rev 2-3 – Jesus’ letters to the seven churches
“the things which will take place after this”
- Rev 4-5 – Church in heaven [Rapture occurs after Rev 3]
- Rev 6-19 –Seven Year Tribulation
- Rev 19 – Jesus Returns to set up His Millennial Kingdom on earth.
- Rev 20 – The Millennium [Christ’s thousand year reign on earth]
- Rev 21-22 – New Jerusalem [Eternal State]