Revelation 1:19a - Write down the things which you have seen (past tense):
* Rev. 1:20 says, "The mystery of the seven stars which you saw (past tense) in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which you saw (past sense) are the seven churches."
Revelation 1:19b - Write down the things which you see now (present tense - Christ gives John a message for each of the seven churches which existed at that time in Asia Minor (each is also seen as representing the Church at specific periods of the Church Age):
* Rev. 2:1 - 3:22
- Ephesus - Rev. 2:1-7 - (the Apostolic Age from A.D. 30-100)
- Smyrna - Rev. 2:8-11- (the Persecuted Church from A.D. 100-312)
- Thyatira - Rev. 2:12-17 - (the State Church from A.D. 312-606)
- Thyatira - Rev. 2:18-29 - (the Roman Catholic Church from A.D. 608-the Tribulation)
- Sardis - Rev. 3:1-6 - (the Protestant Church from A.D. 1520-the Tribulation))
- Philadelphia - Rev. 3:7-13 - (all born again believers alive when the Rapture takes place)
- Laodicea - Rev. 3:14-22 - (professing believers alive and remaining after the Rapture)
Revelation 1:19c - Write down the things I will show you which shall occur (future tense).
* Rev. 4:1-2 - Because the Church is not mentioned in Chapters 6 - 18, these verses referring to
John's call up to heaven, have been seen as a picture of the Rapture of the Church (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:48-54; 1 Th. 4:13-18).
- Rev. 4 - 6 - John sees Jesus glorified and sees Him preparing for the Tribulation.
- Rev. 7 - 11 - Describe the first half of the Tribulation (1260 days; 42 months; "a time, times, and half a time"; that is three and one half years (see Dan. 9:27).
- Rev. 12 - 13 - The time of the Abomination of Desolation (the middle of the Tribulation, which begins the Great Tribulation (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15; etc.).
- Rev. 14 - 18 - The Great Tribulation.
- Rev. 19 - The Second Coming of Christ.
- Rev. 20 - The Millennial Reign of Christ and the Great White Throne Judgment.
- Rev. 21- 22 - The New Heaven and New Earth - Eternity begins!