If the Old Testament prophecies pointed towards Jesus’ first coming, then what is going to point us towards Jesus’ return? Surely it will be the New Testament prophecies. So, aren’t these the things that we as Christians should be paying very close attention to?
Revelation 1:1-3 says: 1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
There is a very clear order of events in the above verses:
It is the revelation of Jesus Christ. But who gave it to Jesus? God did. Why? So that Jesus can show his servants what must soon take place. How did Jesus make it known? By sending his angel to his servant John, who then in turn testifies to everything he saw.
Here is the summarized version of how the revelation travels:
God → Jesus → Angel → Apostle John (Jesus’ servant) → the servants
This sounds very similar to a passage in Matthew 24, which has the title “Signs of the End of the Age”.
Mt 24:45 says “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?”
Once again there is an order of events. Here is the summarized version of how the “food” travels:
Master → faithful and wise servant → servants in the household
These two passages are both talking about the same event. In Matthew 24 Jesus is telling his disciples what the signs of his return will be – the end of the age – and in Revelation we are shown the events that will take place before and when Jesus returns – the end of the age.
In order to understand what this food at the proper time is, here is a very brief look through the Bible’s history to see what food has been given previously:
In Moses’ generation the Israelites were given manna to eat while in the desert. This manna was also called ‘bread from heaven’ and it sustained them (gave them life) while in the desert (Ex 16:4; Jn 6:31). When Jesus came he called himself the ‘bread of life’ (Jn 6:48). This ‘bread’ is referring to Jesus’ words/teachings, which are the words of eternal life (Jn 6:68). At the time of Revelation there is one who overcomes and he is given the hidden manna – bread from heaven (Rv 2:17).
When these prophecies in Matthew 24 and Revelation are fulfilled physically there will be a figure like Apostle John who overcomes and receives the revelation (hidden manna) from Jesus via his angel, and then proclaims it – this is how people today will receive the food at the proper time. Both Matthew 24 and Revelation are prophecies that are making these events known now, so that when it happens we will believe (Jn 14:29).
In order to recognize these events when they are actually taking place physically we have to make sure that we know the prophecies of the New Testament, and most importantly find the one like Apostle John, who can testify about their physical fulfillment and give us the food at the proper time!