I am so glad you mentioned Revelation 1:19. To understand it properly, however, we need to look into the text of that verse a little closer.
Rev 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
Looking closer in Strong’s Concordance we read:
Rev 1:19 WriteG1125 the things whichG3739 thou hast seen,G1492 andG2532 the things whichG3739 are,G1526 andG2532 the things whichG3739 shallG3195 beG1096 hereafter;G3326 G5023
The words “thou hast” are a KJV mistake. Those words were added to smoothen the reading, but they do not fit or lead the reader to what the Savior really meant. The word “seen” should have been translated as “known”. Here is Strong’s definition of that word:
A primary verb; used only in certain past tenses, the others being borrowed from the equivalent, G3700 and G3708; properly to see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perfect only) to know: - be aware, behold, X can (+ not tell), consider, (have) known (-ledge), look (on), perceive, see, be sure, tell, understand, wist, wot. Compare G3700.
Let’s rewrite the verse:
Rev 1:19 Write the things which [are] known, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
In this way the idea of “events” of the past, present, and future are congruent. That leads us to this idea:
PAST => the things which [are] known,
PRESENT => the things which are,
FUTURE => the things which shall be hereafter;
The message here is that Revelation is not about future events only. God has done this frequently in OT prophecies. In order to understand what the prophecy is about the context of the thread is given by talking about past events, the present, and finally about the future events. It is done that way in order to root the prophetic content of the message and make its timing clear. Trying to fit every utterance of Revelation into future events is the best way to jumble the catena. It is the reason that we struggle with many of the simplest ideas of Revelation. The Savior tried to clear the road for us in that comment. Thank you for bringing up that verse Sirje.
At the time it was given, the prophecies of Revelation were preceded by the past history of Israel. That was a “known” to all. Abraham’s, Noah’s and the Antideluvians’ participation were also a “known” and they were included in the 7 churches. Let’s test that idea and take a quick look at the very first prophecy which followed. Chapters 2 and 3 were focused on to the 7 churches. It is a prophecy which spans a long period of time with a past, present, and future in the days of John on the Isle of Patmos.
So, let’s hit somewhere right in the middle and hope that we will find the “present” moment of the message.
The 3rd church was Pergamum.
Rev 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
The information is clear the time of that prophecy is stated and most people are still confused. We do not believe our own eyes. Why? Because Revelation 1:19 is not grasped for what it is saying.
The time is given as the most recent history for John who probably understood it immediately. It clearly says that this takes place in the days of Antipas and everyone goes on to Google to find out if there ever was a martyr named “Antipas”! Herod Antipas, however, was the King in the days that the Savior was killed. And the Savior is mentioned as well. “…my faithful martyr…” It could be no one else. The Savior was faithful unto death. There was no future faithful Antipas martyr. The Savior is the one called the Faithful Martyr. Do you have doubts?
Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Revelation 3:14 does not say “Witness”! It says “…the Faithful and true Martyr” just as Revelation 2:13 named Him. Feel free to compare!
Rev_2:13 I knowG1492 thyG4675 works,G2041 andG2532 whereG4226 thou dwellest,G2730 even whereG3699 Satan’sG4567 seatG2362 is: andG2532 thou holdest fastG2902 myG3450 name,G3686 andG2532 hast notG3756 deniedG720 myG3450 faith,G4102 evenG2532 inG1722 those daysG2250 whereinG1722 G3739 AntipasG493 was myG3450 faithfulG4103 martyr,G3144 whoG3739 was slainG615 amongG3844 you,G5213 whereG3699 SatanG4567 dwelleth.G2730
Rev_3:14 AndG2532 unto theG3588 angelG32 of theG3588 churchG1577 of the LaodiceansG2994 write;G1125 These thingsG3592 saithG3004 theG3588 Amen,G281 theG3588 faithfulG4103 andG2532 trueG228 witness,G3144 theG3588 beginningG746 of theG3588 creationG2937 of God;G2316
I understand your shock and dismay. Fantasy, you say… Take a look at the 1st church and their promised reward.
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Whose longing for Paradise is that, if not for Adam and Eve and their children, unto whom they recounted their short lived joy in God’s paradise?
The 6th church is even more compelling. The third church, Pergamos, included the Savior dying on the cross and that was recent history to John. So, let’s skip ahead and we can now feel confident that we are rooted in history looking into the future, with this prophecy. The 6th church is the one which we Adventists cannot explain if we do not recognize that God plants prophecies in the soil of the “past”. The church of Philadelphia is the church of Brotherly Love! That church is so special that God finds no fault with its members! Wow! I wish I was alive in those days, which we Adventists believe were pre Adventist time. Heaven was guaranteed for those believers!
Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Well, it turns out that those are not pre-Adventist, but post-Adventist folks. That represents the 144,000 people from the Millennium. The Adventist church is the 5th church.
Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Rev 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Rev 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
I cannot deliver the entire definition of this prophecy because it would take a lot to do so in one post. These are just a few points of many which can only be understood in the context of Past, Present and Future parts as mentioned in Rev 1:19. The same holds true for Chapter 6, 8 and 9, 16…