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The events in the letter would be fulfilled “soon”, “shortly” and they were “at hand”.
Many traditions say that the book suddenly – and without warning – shifts topics and historical settings. What more could John and Jesus possibly say to communicate when this prophecy was to be fulfilled? They said it over eleven times in many different ways. One popular view today is that this shift happens after the fourth chapter. A historical partial-preterist view says that the letter shifts its topic and audience after the 20th chapter.