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Read Introduction to Revelation


“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants–things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John…”


—things which must shortly [suddenly] take place

We obtain our English words “taxi” and “tachometer” from the Greek word for “shortly.” A tachometer measures velocity. A taxi is supposed to get us somewhere quickly. That is not always the case, however!

“Shortly” means swiftness, speed, fleetness, velocity, speed, quickness, swiftness, haste. When the events of the Book of Revelation come, they will come quickly within a very brief period. The events will fall in rapid succession. When God puts end-time events into place, He will execute them rapidly.

“Shortly” also carries the idea of imminent. If the latter is the idea, then the interpretation is that the church lives with a sense of any moment expectancy of the Lord’s coming. 

This phrase carries the idea of certainty. There will be no condition or delay when God begins to take actions contained in this book.

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work” (Revelation 22:12).

Jesus said that He will come “quickly” or suddenly.

The word “must” presents a logical necessity. Prophecy is the outworking of divine necessity. Prophecy is more than a panorama of future things (it is that); it is the outworking of divine necessity. God’s purpose is sure.


The events of the book of Revelation will come both surely and shortly.


There are two kinds of prophecy in the Bible — fulfilled and unfulfilled. Fulfilled prophecy assures us that God will undoubtedly fulfill unfulfilled prophecy.