David: I have a question regarding the book of Revelation and those who believe that Revelation has already been fulfilled. They speak of Revelation 1:1-3 as their proof where John says, “What must soon take place,” and they seem to harp on this as their proof that Revelation has already been fulfilled. Can you comment on that?
Irvin: First of all, it was true that part of it was soon to take place. The book of Revelation is in three sections – the sections are defined in Revelation 1:19; John was told to write the things which thou has seen, the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. Chapters 1, 2, and 3 contain the things thou has seen and the things which are. Messages to 7 churches that literally existed at that time in Turkey and according to history, when John was released from exile he went back and was the overseer of those churches. Then you come to verse 1 of chapter 4 and a voice said to John, “Come up hither, I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” That’s where you move into the future of the book of Revelation. Well then John sees some things that had already happened by then. He saw the lamb take the book out of the right hand of him that sat on the throne; a lamb as it had been slain. So he saw one on the throne and a voice said, “ Who’s worthy to open the book with the seals?” and nobody in heaven and earth was worthy yet because Jesus hadn’t died yet. Well then the chapter transitions, this is chapter 5 I believe. The lamb arises in the middle of a throne as it had been slain, having 7 eyes and 7 horns; and the lamb had prevailed to open the book. What we see there is a picture of the crucifixion and Jesus Christ as being worthy to open the book. Then we move into the seals and many of those have been open for hundreds of years already right now. So when it says those things which must soon come to pass, that was true about some of those things, a few of them had already come to pass and if they had now they were soon coming to pass. And things have been continuing, for example, the seals we know are Catholicism, Communism, Capitalism and Islamism. Well many of these things have been in the earth for hundreds of years. So once we see the big picture, then we can understand better. Now here’s the proof that all of the book of Revelation has not passed. People who believe like that are called “Preterists”, which means “past”. Their whole theory hinges on the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD as being the Battle of Armageddon. You can prove absolutely that was not the Battle of Armageddon and it’s drop-dead simple, here’s how to do it… The Battle of Armageddon is described in Revelation chapter 16:12-16; when the sixth vial was poured out the Euphrates River was dried up to make way for the Kings of the East to come down against Israel to battle. When they came down to battle it says that He gathered them into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, “Armageddon”. It’s the only time in the entire Bible that the word “Armageddon” is used, even though it’s implied many other places. So this is a prophecy of who will come against Israel at Armageddon. Who is it? The Kings of the East. Who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD? The Romans – everyone knows that, it’s history. So are the Romans from the east? No, they are from due west. So it wasn’t the Kings of the East, and it wasn’t Armageddon and therefore Preterism is wrong. Hope that helps.