As our reading opens we find John in confinement on the island of Patmos because his stand for Jesus. It is now late into the 1st century and Rome has begun her persecution against Christians. These are dark days for Christians and I am sure many are wondering why they have to endure such suffering? They also are wondering, if God is truly in charge why does it feel like they are losing? These are also questions that we struggle with and Jesus in the context of their struggles, in very powerful and colorful language will answer those questions. In context God and Jesus expected the things of Revelation to soon or shortly take place! The sense of the Greek expression is that an impending crisis of persecution was soon, near, shortly, or about to break in on the Christians. Yet the opening scene of this book reminds them and us that God and His Son are still in charge! An important reality they needed understand, as we do today!