Brief Chronology of Revelation

This is a summary of my lengthy three-part commentary, The Chronology of Revelation.  In The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Chapter 1, John sees and speaks with Jesus.  Chapters 2 and 3 describe churches near the end of the First Century A.D. and also, I believe, aspects of the Christian Church during the “Great Tribulation” period of the 70th Week (beginning at the 3½-year point).  Chapters 4 and 5 show what John sees in heaven just prior to the beginning of the 70th Week on earth.

Within Chapters 6 through 10:7, when the Seventh Trumpet is about to be sounded, is a chronological sequence of events observed by John, on earth and in heaven, up to a point just prior to the end of the 70th Week.  From Chapter 8 through 10:7, John’s description includes the first wave of God’s wrath, commencing immediately upon the opening of the Seventh Seal and continuing with the “day of vengeance” period (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4), which encompasses the Trumpet Judgments.

Chronology of Revelation Chart

Revelation | Matthew | Daniel

Generally, it is accepted that the opening of the seven seals will commence at the beginning of the 70th Week and will transpire throughout most of the 70th Week.  However, it is possible that all seven seals will be opened after the onset of the Great Tribulation, during the second half of the 70th Week.  It may that the rider on the white horse—“a conqueror bent on conquest” seen after the First Seal is opened (Revelation 6:1,2)—is the revealing of the man of lawlessness, described by Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:3-6), at the beginning of the final 3½ years.  This would fit into the pattern of Revelation 11, 12, 13 & 14, where descriptions of the final 3½ years are repeated from various perspectives.  If all of this is true, then the chart above could be modified as the following chart:

Chronology of Revelation Chart with a Gap

Revelation | Matthew | Daniel | 2 Thessalonians

At the end of Chapter 10, John is told to “prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings” (Revelation 10:11).  Thus, in Chapter 11, John reviews the last half (3½ years = 42 months) of the 70th Week.  Chapter 11 verses 1-14 focus on Jerusalem; while verses 15-19 are a completion of that 3½-year period, highlighting the physical return of Jesus as He begins to rule and reign on the earth.

Just as the beginning of Chapter 11 returned to the start of the final 3½ years, the beginning of Chapter 12 does the same thing again.  The focus is on Judaism/Israel (the “woman”) and on Satan (the “red dragon” involved in a great battle in heaven).  The warning is that Satan, after finally losing any further access to heaven, will unleash his fury on Israel, a remnant of which will be protected for 1,260 days = 3½ years (Revelation 12:6,14).  The wrath of Satan, the dragon, also will be directed at many believers in Jesus (12:17).

While Chapter 12 alerts us to the fury and rage of Satan about to be unleashed upon the earth for 3½ years, Chapters 13 and 14 provide more details about that same period of time.  Initially, Satan the dragon is seen to empower, and maybe even embody, the beast or Antichrist (Revelation 13:1).  Events continue, chronologically, through the end of Chapter 14, when Jesus the Son of Man is seen to appear initially in the clouds (Revelation 14:14) and then to descend all the way to earth, when He will be treading the winepress of God’s wrath (14:19,20)—the bloody destruction of the enemies of Israel, the hordes of Gog and Magog, who are attacking Jerusalem (see The Final Battles).

Then, without chronological interruption and with Jesus sitting on His throne in Jerusalem as King over all the earth (Jeremiah 3:17; Zechariah 14:9), Chapters 15 and 16 depict events, in heaven and on earth, during a short period (30-days) following the end of the “week” of seven years.  During this brief interval, in which the second wave of God’s wrath will be doled out with the plagues of the Bowl Judgments (outside of Israel), the beast/Antichrist and the kings allied with him will conspire to come against King Jesus, the Son of God (Psalm 2:1-7).  This final wave of God’s wrath will culminate with the brief Battle of Armageddon and with the greatest earthquake to shake the earth in human history, leveling cities and mountains worldwide (Revelation 16:18-20).

Chapters 17 and 18 are an expanded exposé of Revelation 16:18-20.  They describe, in detail, the worldwide false religious and corrupt political systems of Babylon the Great and their subsequent downfall and annihilation.

The first half of Chapter 19 (verses 1-10) lauds the aforementioned destruction by God and alludes to the long-awaited wedding supper of the Lamb.  The second half of Chapter 19 (verses 11-21) portrays again, for the third time but from a different perspective, the physical return of Jesus to earth to destroy the remaining enemies of Jerusalem and of God.

The first group to be eradicated will be the hordes of Gog and Magog, which is why Jesus’ robes will be bloodied as He treads the winepress of God’s wrath (Isaiah 63:1-6; Revelation 19:13,15), from Bozrah, Jordan, to the Valley of Jehosephat (Joel 3:12,13), just east of Jerusalem.  Their bodies will be eaten by the birds and wild animals that have been assembled, along the entire route, by God (Ezekiel 39:17-20; Revelation 19:17,18).

Finally, the beast/Antichrist and the kings united with him will gather in the plain of Megiddo or Armageddon (Revelation 16:16), plotting to come against Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords (17:12-14, 19:19).  The Antichrist and his co-conspirator the False Prophet will be captured and thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, and their annihilated armies will be eaten by the same birds and wild beasts that ate the trampled hordes of Gog (19:20,21).

Chapter 20 refers to a 1,000-year period (The Millennium), during which there will be a fair and righteous, yet firm and steadfast, rule over the earth by Jesus Christ and by those who have chosen to follow and to serve the one True God.  Jesus will “rule with an iron scepter” over all the nations of the world (Psalm 2:8,9; Revelation 2:27, 19:15).

Finally, Chapters 21 and 22 describe the initial stages of the eternal realm on an earth in a brand new Creation, which will replace this old, worn out universe (old and new Creations).  In that unspoiled, pristine realm, there will be no more evil, death, sickness, or pain.  There, God will co-exist and dwell with mankind.  There also is an invitation for everyone, who so desires, to be a part of this eternal age with God.

The Book of Revelation is the only book of the Bible which promises a blessing to anyone “who reads the words of this prophecy” (Revelation 1:3a) and yet another blessing to those “who hear it and take to heart what is written in it” (1:3b).  Either before or after you read The Chronology of Revelation, Parts I-III, it is recommended that you read all 22 chapters of The Revelation of Jesus Christ so that you may receive a blessing.

See the bottom of The Chronology of Revelation—Part 3 page to view a graphic table showing specific Bible passages and when I believe they will occur during the 70th Week.

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