These five verses in the book of the Revelation, that We are going to view, will have something in common; all of them contain evidence concerning where Jesus is in the life of the seven churches. (These churches are representing The Church in this age). It is these churches and The bond-servants of Jesus to whom the Revelation is written (Rev. 1:1 & 1:4). We are told in these next verses where He is at the time of the prophesied events involved.
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
Revelation 1:4 NASB
John begins by introducing Jesus to us as the giver of the Revelation. And at this time He not only “is” and “was”, but He is still to come. He is not physically with us.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 1:8 NASB
His dwelling place clearly is not on earth, but He is still to come.
And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “ Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come .”
Revelation 4:8 NASB
Here in the scene which takes place in heaven, where John has been called up to, He, Jesus has still not come.
saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to
Revelation 11:17 NASB*
It is obvious in this statement concerning Jesus whereabouts, and in these surrounding verses that Jesus’ coming has now occurred. He no longer is to come.
And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “ Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things;
Revelation 16:5 NASB
Again He has come at this point in time when the Angels are looking at this judgment of blood to drink in place of water to drink. Their account is that He is no longer to come, but He is present as Judge. This fact is represented in the absence of the statement that He is yet to come.
Revelation 16:6 for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” (NASB)
Jesus then reminds all of us His bride that He is at a given point in time coming as this thief, even as Paul has described it in 1 Thessalonians 5, and this time will be called His day (the day of the Lord).
Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. (KJV)
I think that the interesting thing gotten from this announcement not only comes from its timing, but is due to His description concerning our clothing. This message that He states contradicts popular teaching concerning the Rapture. Popular teaching says that not only will unbelievers be left behind, but that the clothing of the believer will also be left behind when He comes for us. Yet Jesus states here that when He comes we must keep our clothing at hand, lest we be embarrassed by our nakedness. One thing seems very clear from this command. In order to follow it we must be aware of the time of its occurrence. This in order to follow the command to be clothed. His coming cannot and could not have been imminent throughout the church age, nor could it have been unexpected as it would necessarily be if it were occurring at an imminent unknown to us time. But it will be imminent and almost immediately expected by those who are left to experience it.
The emphasis of this verse is on our watching and being clothed at His Coming, so that we are not embarrassed or ashamed. Obviously this cannot be done if the time is unknown to us. We cannot know the day or the hour, but it’s very nearness when it is near, we will know, and we will know it by what is happening. The water has been turned to blood. The darkness now surrounds us.
Paul had stated concerning this day when it would come, that it would not be to us who are alive and remain a surprise. What he actually said was:
1 Thessalonians 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (KJV)
Paul, is in this passage confirming that yes there are events to be watched for, which will have an impact on our having eyes to see. These things occurring then will alert us to the imminent coming of this day. One other thing that Paul told us about this time is in this next verse:
1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to “Orge” wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (KJV)
What is interesting about this statement is it’s relation to the command Jesus gave in Rev.16, which He places in the very midst of Gods Thumos/Wrath, occurring in the bowles just before His Orge/wrath is to be poured out.
This entire teaching pinpoints a time in our future, when God is applying wrath to Satan’s Antichrist system. It will be difficult for us to miss this time unless we are completely asleep spiritually. And for those who are awake at that time they will be fully clothed and fully expecting His day, and the resurrection and Rapture. Today there is no way that this command to stay dressed (no matter if it be Spiritual or physical) could be heeded by all concerned believers, for that time is today taught to be unknowable, and yet future, and there is only speculation as to its timing. But when the darkness comes and the water is turned to blood; then those who have taken His message seriously shall be fully clothed, both physically and Spiritually and we shall know that His coming is near.
**note, some early manuscripts differ in the omission of “and is to come”. The surrounding texts then must be used to determine which is the accurate manuscript. This difference in manuscripts does create differences in the various translations or Bible versions. But the message in context is clear.