Originally Posted By: Hitch

1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

3Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

7Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

If v 7 refers to the Second Advent how do you account for v 1 and 3?

Would I be correct that you are asking about the "time" phrases, e.g., 'shortly', 'quickly', etc.?

These are typically questions asked by hyper-Preterists in regard to the 'time' phrases to support their contention that Christ returned in the first century. This is why I asked you the 'why' the question. So, more specifically, I will ask, 'Are you considering the hyper-Preterist view?'

In biblical prophetic literature these time phrases typically encompass long intervals of time. For example, in the book of Revelation, 'shortly' or 'quickly' cannot be used to sustain the view that practially the entire contents of the Book must be considered as being filled with the destruction of the Roman Empire. For the idea that all things that must become history before the final coming again of the Lord Christ will be realized shortly is not at all foreign to the NT. "The night is far spent; the day is at hand," wrote the apostle Paul to the church in Rome (Rom 13:12). And the apostle Peter exhorts us, "But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer," (1Pet 4:7). To the church of Philadelphia, the Lord Christ Himself declares, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no one take thy crown," (Rev 3:11). And again, in Revelation 22:7 we read, "Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." And in v. 12 of the same chapter, "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." In the last three passagaes the word translated "quickly" is the same as that which is rendered "shortly" in 1:1. And this is, indeed, the meaning. The Lord comes quickly. He does not tarry. He is not slack concerning the promise. And this implies that the things which must come to pass before that final coming and in the process of that coming must also come to pass shortly, or quickly.

This may not apear so to us, for centuries have elapsed since these words were written, and still they have not been fulfilled. Twenty centuries to us seems a long time, hardly to be denoted by the term "shortly." But we must remember not only that God's measure of time differs from ours, but also that trememdous things must come to pass before the end will happen. The entire Church must be gathered; the fulness of the Gentiles and of the Jews. The measure of iniquity must be filled. Antichrist must reach his culmination and have his day. God and Magog must play their own part in the things that must come to pass. If we consider the nature of the things that must come to pass, we begin to see that they do, indeed, occur with astounding rapidity, especially in our own day. However this may be, the Scriptures teach that all things come to pass quickly. There is no delay. All things hasten unto the end!

Thus, it is unwarranted to impose our modern understanding of 'quickly', 'shortly' upon biblical these and similar texts.

A more general question but one that is directly related; Why would Jesus have much to say about an event thousands of years future to the men who were yet witness the cross and resurrection ?

simul iustus et peccator