Let me state this emphatically: The book written by John could not have been revealed by God prior to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Until that act of Love had been accomplished, and become an actual fact of earth's linear history, the Revelation begun in the Old Testament could not be finished.
If Jesus had succumbed to the temptation to come down off the cross, we not only would not have any means of salvation, but also the sealed book with all the prophetical material containing previously hidden mysteries from the foundation of the world and concerning all post first century prophecy would have remained forever sealed, and also become null and invalid.
Jesus was completely victorious!
Before I go much farther in this article, I think it is a good idea at this point to define the word that has been used several times so far for the revealing of the mystery of God.
Manifest: means to show or demonstrate something plainly and publicly, an unveiling. Manifestation: means to demonstrate the existence, or the reality, or presence of something. The means by which something is revealed.
for example: John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of Grace and Truth.
Manifestant: refers to the active participant in such a public demonstration of revelation.
Jesus became an open and public revelation of the hidden wisdom of God, a mystery foreordained before the foundation of the world (I Cor. 2:7), and has so made known unto us the mystery of his will, which is his good pleasure and purpose (Ephes. 1:9) and so today has by the method of revelation made known unto us the mystery of all things which in prior ages was not known (Ephes. 3:3-5)
It is on that basis that we today can review what John recorded for our benefit in The Revelation. I am so thankful that I have the distinct and precious opportunity to have access to "The Revelation".
This is a honor and privilidge that the Old Testament prophet Daniel did not have. Daniel grieved over his incapacity to see The Revelation!
Lets go to the Revelation!
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
This is a powerful and expository verse. It carries within it valuable information and explanations.
Let me start by quoting that often used phrase we all hear from many quarters today paraphrasing that very familiar verse contained in Matthew 24:36, and also in Mark 13:32;
"Nobody knows the day or the hour when Jesus is coming back, because Jesus said himself that even he don't know when he is returning, only God knows."
Now, obviously, when Jesus says anything, careful attention should be paid to it; and indeed the clear statement of Jesus in these verses seems to indicate precisely that Jesus does not know the day of his return. But I shall proceed to prove to you that he indeed does know!
First of all though, let me point out that this idea that Jesus doesn't know is used by its proponets to suggest that prophecy in general is a hopeless effort, because if Jesus don't know when he is coming, then how should anyone else be expected to know anything about it.
I have sat and heard many teachers and preachers teach that since Jesus himself doesn't know when he is coming, then we shouldn't concern ourselves with the subject of his second coming. That teaching irks me to the very pit of my soul. I know it is common teaching, but I recognize it as subtle twist of New Testament doctrine that was hatched in Hell! The Devil wants the subject of the second coming of Jesus to be silenced.
Remember please, that the Devil knows prophecy as well as anyone, but it is his agenda to prevaricate true Bible prophecy whenever possible; and a top priority target for him is "The Revelation"!
Okay, with that as a background; lets put on our thinking caps and start digging.
Jesus response in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 to the questions about his return were enunciated by him while he was "manifest" in a flesh and blood body; with all the constraints of earthbound creatures. His statement was true, because at that point in linear history in which he responded, which came in the approximate year 32AD, just prior to his ascension back into heaven. Jesus did not lie, he really did not know when he was asked by his disciples about his second coming. His Father only knew, as was foreordained knowledge before Jesus ever became the "manifestation" of The Revelation of God.
Now, lets travel back in earth's linear time some 700 years back to the days of Zechariah. Old Testament prophet Zecahriah prophesied concerning, "the time of the end", when the Lord would come back to the earth and descend down to the Mount of Olives, when all the vast armies of the world shall be gathered against Jerusalem, an era known as the "Day of the Lord".
Now note carefully in verse seven of chapter 14:
Zechariah 14:7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord;
The indication here is that either the Lord knew this about this epic day in Zechariah's day, 700 years before Jesus became the manifestation of God; or else it would become made known to him after he had completed the revealing manifestation of himself in flesh.
Now, lets travel back forward to Jesus lifetime. How can it be that Jesus forgot something that Zechariah clearly shows would be specifically known by the Lord?
Good question, isn't it; and rightly asked too. Can this be a contradiction in the Bible? Well, not if the Bible is the inerrant inspired Word of God!
Then, there must be an explanation, surely.
Then again in Acts chapter one, the disciples come again asking Jesus if the kingdom was at hand. Yet again, Jesus responds in a fashion that would seem clearly to suggest that this subject simply wasn't relevant.
Let me interject this point. On each occasion that his disciples inquired of him about future events, Jesus was still "manifest" in bodily form. As long as Jesus remained flesh, he could not assume omnipresence.
But in verses 10-11 of Acts chapter one, we are shown the grand view of Jesus going UP; back into Heaven, and away from his earthly limitations.
I am so glad he went up. All Christians shall also experience this going up one day.
Jesus informed his disciples that the things about those times and seasons were irrelevant for them, because Jesus knew that they would all die before the season of the last things ever approached. It was not for them to know, just as it had been unavailable for ole Daniel.
But that was about to CHANGE! And it would change forever for every future Christian.
Upon leaving this world in the year 32AD, Jesus took up a new position at the right hand of his Father, where he has ever since been interceding on our behalf.
Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered "One" sacrifice for sins "Forever", sat down on the right hand of God: (Hebrews 8:1; 1:3)
That is where Jesus is now, and where he also was when John was finally granted The Revelation in 95AD, only 63 years after Jesus earthly life.
But, just for a minute, lets go back to Jesus final hours on this earth and listen to a conversation that he had with the disciples about his impending departure.
In John 16 verse 4; Jesus says that “these things I have not told you because I was still with you,” but now I am going away. In verse 7 he indicates that it is "expedient" for us that he go away!
Expedient: means that it is necessary, or appropriate to achieve a desired purpose.
This expedient purpose was to make it possible for the Holy Spirit to function omnipresently within each and every single believer; whereas Jesus, while he was manifest in the flesh could not effect that capability.
So then, Jesus departure was good for us in that the Spirit would indwell us thereafter, but there also is another reason that his leaving benefitted us.
Read carefully John 16:12:
I have "yet" many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now,
Imagine, Jesus has just announced that he is leaving this world, and yet he says he has much more to tell us. I would have had to have asked, "When are you going to tell us all these things"? I mean, how in the world would he be able to tell us anything after his death?
Jesus responds in verse 13, that after he leaves the Holy Spirit shall guide us into all the remaining information that he couldn't divulge at that time to the disciples.