Season of Fulfillment

In Revelation, the period known as the last days began following the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth

The last book of the New Testament is called the “revelation of Jesus Christ,” and it is a message for his “servants,” namely, the “seven churches of Asia.” It concerns “what things must come to pass soon,” information that is vital since the “SEASON IS AT HAND.”

And because of the importance of its contents, the book pronounces the one who “reads it, and they who heed the words of the prophecy” – “blessed.” With the death and resurrection of Jesus, the last days have commenced in earnest – (Revelation 1:1-3).

The book is not intended to veil information, but to unveil it. And it concerns events that are about to occur from the perspective of the “churches of Asia.”

The book makes prolific use of the Old Testament, especially passages found in the book of Daniel. But it does so with verbal allusions, and never by citing a verse directly.

Instead, John folds phrases from key texts into his narrative, often modifying specific words to make theological points. When he does so, he uses the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible.


The opening paragraph of the book provides two examples from Daniel, and both are employed more than once in Revelation:

  • (Daniel 2:28 [Septuagint]) - “There is a God in heaven that reveals mysteries, and he has made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar WHAT SHALL BE IN LATER DAYS.”
  • (Daniel 12:4 [Septuagint]) - “Daniel, shut up the words and SEAL THE BOOK, EVEN TO THE TIME OF THE END.”

Its visions concern “what things must come to pass SOON.” In the Greek text, the phrase reads ha dei genesthai en takei, and the clause en tachei denotes “with speed, quickly, soon.”

The source of the clause is the second chapter of Daniel (Septuagint) where the relevant passage reads, “there is a God in heaven that reveals mysteries (apokaluptōn),… what things must come to pass IN THE LATTER DAYS (ha dei genesthai ep’ eschatōn tōn hémerōn).”

Noteworthy is how the book of Revelation changes the original term “latter days” to “soon.” Thus, from John’s perspective and that of his original audience, what was expected previously in a remote future is now at hand.

The passage also declares that the “season is near.” And here, the Greek term rendered “near” is engus, meaning “near, at hand, imminent, at the door.” It stresses proximity and imminence. The source of the phrase is Daniel 12:4 - “Shut up the words and seal the book until THE SEASON OF THE END.”


Thus, Daniel was commanded to “seal” the book until the “season of the end.” In contrast, John is informed that the “season is at hand,” imminent, if not already underway.

This understanding becomes clearer in the closing passage of Revelation.  Unlike Daniel, John is told NOT to “seal up the words of the prophecy of the book” because the “SEASON IS AT HAND.” And this last passage repeats the phrase found in the opening paragraph of the book - (Revelation 1:3, 22:10).

John is NOT breaking new theological ground. The early church believed the “last days” were inaugurated by the death and resurrection of Jesus, along with his reign on the Davidic or messianic throne.

And this change in eras is evidenced by the resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all believers - (Acts 2:16-21, Ephesians 1:10, Hebrews 1:1-3).

The events portrayed in Revelation were set in motion in the first century. What once was expected in a remote future had commenced. And even in that early period, the warnings and promises of the book were, and remain, applicable to the church of Jesus Christ.

This does not mean that all the visions of Revelation were fulfilled completely by the end of the first century, but it does signify that whatever future events are portrayed in the book began approximately two thousand years ago.

The visions received by John concern far more than the final few years of history prior to the return of Jesus Christ. The “last days,” the “season of the end,” started with his death and resurrection, and the season of fulfillment has been underway ever since.


Suffering Servant

The Living Word