The Chronology of Revelation
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One of the principal keys to understanding the Book of Revelation is the chronology which takes place in its amazing chapters. Many misinterpretations of end-time events have resulted from not recognizing the proper sequencing of several passages in this remarkable and momentous prophetic book.
In some analyses of Revelation, “cutting” certain so-called “parenthetical” passages and inappropriately “pasting” them at other locations is a common practice. Often, this is done in an attempt to “prop up” certain inconsistent viewpoints. Therefore, I would like to present my interpretations of this great prophetic book by pointing out what I feel is a logical and rational chronology or time-sequencing of Revelation.
I am confident that every detail in the Book of Revelation will come to pass, just as the disciple/apostle John foresaw. I do not believe that these events already have come to pass, in past centuries, as some suppose. However, I do believe it is possible, even likely, that many events in the Bible (including some in Revelation) have dual or even multiple occurrences of fulfillment, both in the past and still in the future. However, the ultimate fulfillments of most prophecies will take place at the end of the age.
Although many of the depictions in the Book of Revelation are symbolic, most of the book describes literal future events—as extraordinary and incredible as they might seem. Discerning the difference between the symbolic and the literal is important and, at times, challenging.
Those who never have read through the Book of Revelation might want to do so, either before or after reading this lengthy commentary. Revelation is the only book of the Bible to which a blessing is promised to those who read it and take to heart what is written in it
The reader also might wish to examine the Brief Chronology of Revelation to have in mind a general perception of the sequencing of this complex book, which I will explain in greater detail in Parts 1, 2, and 3 of this commentary. Also, see the bottom of The Chronology of Revelation—Part 3 page to view a graphic table showing some of the passages in Revelation (as well as a few passages from Matthew and Daniel) and when I believe they will occur, during the “70th Week.” The following table, also, might be helpful.
The full and correct name of the final book of the New Testament is The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which are the first five words of the book
The writer of the Book of Revelation was the apostle John (not the same as John the Baptist). He also wrote the Gospel of John, as well as the Epistles of
In this book, John “testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ”
Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!Furthermore, in the book’s final chapter, Jesus reiterates,
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the Endas well as,
I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning StarDecades after His crucifixion and resurrection, the living, glorified Jesus revealed Himself and unique future events to John. Most of the events included in the Book of Revelation still are yet future to us now. I adamantly disagree with those who believe that all of these prophetic occurrences already have taken place in the past, which is the principle of “preterism.”
The resurrected, exalted Jesus told John to write to seven churches of his day: to those in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea
The points of advice to the Christians at that future time seem to revolve mainly around repentance, endurance, and overcoming. There are similarities, but also differences, among the three. The reader may wish to skip this section temporarily, continue on to heavenly vision, and return to this section when, I believe, it will be more applicable during the Great Tribulation: Fourth and Fifth Seals portion of the Book of Revelation. (A link back to this section will be provided at that point.)
Repentance indicates the willingness to change one’s mind about doing things which one knows are not in the perfect Will of God and, likewise, to turn around from walking away from God and run back to Him. Those in the Ephesus church were told,
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its placeMany Christians during the 70th Week will lose the zeal and excitement for God that they previously possessed. In fact, “many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other”
The exhortation by Jesus is for them to regain their initial love for God and to begin again to lead lives and to perform deeds worthy of Christians. Otherwise, they will be in danger of being left unprotected and open to severe persecution, even unto death.
To many in the church of Pergamum, whose Christian faith previously was exemplary, the message involved a warning not to follow the teachings of false religions:
Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immoralitySimilar indulgences were practiced by members of the church in Thyatira:
[Numbers 25:1-3]. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth (Revelation 2:14-16).
Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her waysThe idea is that those during the final half of the 70th Week who have not “cleaned up their acts” (that is, repented of indulging in sexual immorality and of following the false religious doctrines of the (harlot) woman and the beast) will be exposed to intense suffering and even death. They may be Christians, but they will not be leading exemplary lives.
Aword of repentance also was given to the church at Sardis:
I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to youThe works and deeds of many Christians during the 70th Week will not reflect a true Christian faith
Finally, the recommendation of repentance was given to the church of Laodicea:
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with meDepicted here are Christians who are not “on fire” for (filled with the Holy Spirit of) God. These are those who will put more faith in their worldly possessions than in God, and they will be making themselves spiritually “poor, blind, and naked” by doing so. Jesus’ appearance in the clouds of the air will be imminent at that point—even “at the door.” Therefore, they are forewarned to repent and to become spiritually “rich, observant, and clothed” so they will be ready for His appearance in the clouds. Being a fervent, ardent follower of God may be a necessary condition to make it through the Great Tribulation with minimal risk of danger, due to God’s protection.
Endurance has to do with the ability to persevere, patiently putting up with pain, hardship, and affliction for what will be a significant period of time (probably about 2½ years, from the middle of the 70th Week until the main Rapture event occurs). The church at Ephesus was told,
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown wearyBesides having to persevere under stress, it will be necessary to test everyone claiming to know “the way” to safety, peace, and prosperity, since deceiving counterfeits and liars will abound
Those in the church of Smyrna were given the message,
I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are [spiritually] rich! ... Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of lifePersecution will become intense for many Christians
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one [Christian] will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him”The people in the church at Philadelphia were encouraged with this promise:
Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earthIt is interesting to note that no fault was found with this church as there was with the others. This may represent Christians who faithfully and uncompromisingly will hold to the testimony of Jesus and to the Word of God during the first half (3½ years) of the 70th Week. (Others may do so when it is convenient or when there seems to be no apparent risk involved.)
It may be that “Philadelphian-type” believers will be removed, via a Mid-Tribulation Rapture, before the “hour of trial” (the Great Tribulation) takes place. It also could be that these Christians, somehow, may be sheltered completely by God, from temptation and persecution during that period, while they are still alive on the earth, in turn for their devoted allegiance to Him. In that sense, they would be “removed,” as in being “hidden from view,” from the satanic forces that wish to assail and destroy them.
Furthermore, this church was told,
I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my nameThis could mean that these believers will enter the “open door” of the “wedding banquet,” via a Mid-Tribulation Rapture, at which point that door will be shut
Overcoming involves the decision to avoid the deceptive, tempting “secrets” and supposed “necessities” which the world has to offer. For instance, as was described earlier, many 70th-Week Christians represented by the church of Thyatira will be tainted with sexual immorality and with adulterous religious beliefs, such as Islam and “New Age” doctrine (see ‘New Age’ folly), which are satanic counterfeits. They will experience intense suffering
Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to [Jezebel’s] teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets...: Only hold on to what you have until I comeThere will be great temptation to exchange the truths of God for the “New Age” lies of Satan, which will abound during much of the 70th Week, especially the final half. But the encouragement is given to resist (overcome) this tempting deception until Jesus appears again at the Rapture.
There also will be other ways of overcoming during the 70th Week, especially during the Great Tribulation. The hardest way may be refusing the mark, without which one will not be able to buy or sell
During this future time of trial and ordeal, the true, devoted Christians will overcome temptations, bad habits, spiritual counterfeits, and various things which the corrupt, humanistic world system will attempt to force upon the masses. For those who do overcome, a host of rewards has been promised. To every faithful overcomer, Jesus has said He (“I”) will
1. give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of GodJohn asked, “Who is it that overcomes the world?”
2. provide protection from the “second death” (2:11b);
3. give some of the hidden manna...[and] will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it (2:17bc);
4. give authority over the nations...just as I have received authority from my Father (2:26,27b);
5. give him the morning star (2:28);
6. dress him ...in white...[and] never erase his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels (3:5);
7. make a pillar in the temple of my God,...write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God,...and...write on him my new name (3:12); and
8. give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne (3:21).
The remainder of the Book of Revelation (Chapters 4–22) is written by John from the perspectives of both heaven and earth, after having been called up to heaven in the Spirit by a voice which sounded like a trumpet
Some adhere to the view that John’s being called up to heaven, at this point, is symbolic of the Pre-Tribulation or “Pre-Trib” Rapture event’s taking place here, prophetically, for the Church of believers. (This theory seems to have been advanced primarily by annotations to the scriptures made by C. I. Scofield in the Scofield Reference Bible, first published in 1909.) I disagree with this premise; rather, I am convinced that the (primary) Pre-Wrath Rapture event will take place soon after the opening of the Sixth Seal, to be discussed later. (A detailed commentary about this can be read at
In Chapters 4 and 5, John describes a future scene in heaven, just prior to the beginning of the final 7 years of this age on the earth (otherwise referred to as the 70th Week). John observed the throne of God
Yet, much later, one of these same elders asks John about the great multitude in heaven, wearing white robes and holding palm branches
No one knows, for certain, whom the twenty-four elders are. However, I feel certain that they are twenty-four literal beings; they are not symbolic of something else. Perhaps they are supernatural beings, since they seem to be associated with angels and the four living creatures. Another possibility is that they are the first twenty-four men in the geneology of Jesus, of the tribe of Judah
One of the most significant things that John saw during his vision of heaven was “a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals”
John wept because there was no one anywhere who was worthy to open the scroll or to look inside of it
There are numerous parallels between the prophetic books of Revelation and Daniel; each one complements the other in many ways. In the chronology of Revelation, it commonly is believed (and I concur) that the following passage in the Book of Daniel prophesies a time near the very end of this age:
He will confirm a covenant with many for one “seven,” but in the middle of that “seven” he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And one who causes desolation will place abominations on a wing until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.The person who generally is understood to confirm (and possibly even to orchestrate) a seven-year covenant, most likely involving Israel and some of its enemies, is the Antichrist. This man will be both a substitute for, and a spokesman against, the real Christ.
Those who embrace a Preterist view (70th Week: Alternate View) believe that all or part of the 70th Week already has taken place, having been chronologically continuous with the 69th Week. They believe that many of the events of Revelation, from Chapter 6 onward, already have transpired in the past. I absolutely disagree with this view.
Once the confirmation of a seven-year covenant involving Israel has commenced, it has been assumed by most that the final seven years of this age will have begun. In fact, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was established for seven years (1/1/2007 to 12/31/2013), and Israel was the first non-European nation to join the agreement. Then the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) followed for the next seven years (1/1/2014 to 12/31/2020). The ENI renewed, confirmed and strengthened the ENP. Never before in its history had Israel entered into a seven-year agreement with anyone, and then it engaged in two seven-year agreements in a row, with the second one confirming the first one.
Yet, there usually is a difference in God’s timetable vs. man’s schedule. Frequently, in the Bible, the two do not coincide. This often has been reflected in God’s calendar vs. man’s calendar. Our annual Gregorian calendar runs consistently from January 1 to December 31. However, God uses lights in the sky, particularly the sun and the moon, as “signs to mark seasons and days and years”
There were Lunar and Solar Eclipses: 2014 & 2015 on significant days of the Hebraic calendar during that two-year period. It is possible, then, that God chose to begin His prophetic 70th Week of 7 years on the last of the four “blood moons” in those two years—on the Feast of Tabernacles, Sep. 28, 2015. If so, certain anticipated prophetic events could be expected to take place during Passover week in 2019.
John saw, in the right hand of God on His throne, a written scroll with seven seals
Some believe this indicates that John, when he initially saw the scroll, was looking into the past, rather than into the future. The rationale is that if Jesus were in heaven at this point, the angel would not have questioned the worthiness of anyone to open the scroll. Furthermore, this line of reasoning dictates that this is the moment that Jesus was taken up into heaven
Would anyone claim that God Himself would not be worthy to open the scroll? Could it be that when heaven, earth, and under the earth were searched, God was not found? Of course not. Yet,
Furthermore, what is not understood, by many, is that Jesus was in heaven during this dialogue: Immediately after the Lion of Judah was deemed worthy to open the scroll, Jesus the Lamb was observed to be “standing in the middle of the throne”
At any time, Jesus the Lamb can “project” out from the Father (just as the Holy Spirit also can and does) and can sit at the Father’s right hand. Jesus was able to separate Himself, in location, from the Father and take the scroll “from the right hand of him [the Father] who sat on the throne”
In the “Pre-Tribulation” view of the Rapture event, a common assumption is that, beginning with the opening of the First Seal, the entire 70th Week (seven-year period, which often is referred to as the “Tribulation” period) will consist of God’s wrath being discharged upon the earth. Since Paul indicated that believers will not suffer God’s wrath but, instead, will live together with Jesus
Without question, the period encompassing the first six seals will prove to be sorrowful, painful, and distressing. However, there is no explicit indication anywhere that God’s “wrath” will be being unleashed upon the earth during that period of time. In fact, the word “wrath” does not even appear in the Book of Revelation until after the Sixth Seal has been opened
A description of the six seals seems to parallel the prophecies made by Jesus during His Olivet Discourse (see also Chronology of the Olivet Discourse), as part of His response to His disciples’ inquiry about the end of the age
First Seal: I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. ... I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest
Jesus: Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many
Second Seal: When the Lamb opened the second seal,...another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword
Jesus: You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom
Third Seal: When the Lamb opened the third seal,...there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard...a voice...saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
Jesus: There will be great earthquakes, famines...
Fourth Seal: When the Lamb opened the fourth seal,...I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth
Fifth Seal: When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained
Jesus: Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. ... For then there will be great distress [great tribulation], unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened
Sixth Seal (part 1): I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place
Jesus: Immediately after the distress [great tribulation] of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies [powers of the heavens] will be shaken
Sixth Seal (part 2): Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
Jesus: At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet [shofar] call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other
Some feel that each of the riders of the white, red, black, and pale horses of the first four seals are one person: the Antichrist. Others feel that the riders are four fallen angelic or demonic entities. Perhaps the horses which are described are equivalent or are similar to the ones described by the prophet Zechariah
Whoever the rider or riders is/are, I believe the following are likely to take place in Israel, in the Middle East, and/or in much of the world, as each of the first four seals is opened, which will be “the beginning of birth pains”
I feel it likely will be during the Great Tribulation period, encompassing the Fourth and Fifth Seals, that Jesus’ forewarnings to the seven churches will have their future fulfillment. During the Fourth Seal segment, the world will be ravaged by widespread death from the sword, famines, plagues/pestilences, and wild beasts. The opening of the Fifth Seal will reveal multitudes of slain believers.
If you, the reader, have not yet read through the repentance, endurance, and overcoming section, you might want to go there and read it now, since I believe the admonitions contained therein will be applicable to those having to endure the distress and afflictions experienced following the opening of the Fourth and Fifth Seals. (There will be a link at the end of that section to return here again.)
There will be great and numerous natural disasters during the Great Tribulation period, which will leave people reeling and staggering in astonishment and disbelief. The persecution and slaying of believers (including death by the sword—Revelation 6:8) probably will begin after the opening of the Fourth Seal. The evidence of this persecution after the opening of the Fifth Seal, as described by both Jesus and John
In the midst of the 70th Week, just prior to the onset of the Great Tribulation, I feel it is possible that a Mid-Tribulation Rapture may take place. If so, a group of “firstfruits” believers could be caught up and away to be with Jesus, while the rest will be left behind to face the fury and wrath of Satan
Notably, it is Jesus the “Lamb” who passively will be opening the seals of the scroll in His hand—allowing, rather than causing, the various disasters (wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilences, persecution, and tribulation) to come upon the earth. It is not until after John describes the darkness, terror, and dread associated with the cosmic disturbances: Sixth Seal
John’s phrase “great day of their wrath”
On the other hand, Isaiah wrote that the time when the Messiah (Jesus), the “Root of Jesse,” will rule over the nations
Pertaining to the time of the Sixth Seal, Jesus described one of the most terrifying sights that ever will be witnessed by mankind:
Immediately after the distress of those days, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken’This parallels John’s description of the same cosmic disturbances:
The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong windIn effect, God will “clothe the sky with darkness and make sackcloth its covering”
I feel that the “stars” that will fall to earth after the opening of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:13; Matthew 24:29) will not be literal stars, which would be impossible. Rather, they might be something resembling falling stars, such as worldwide meteor showers.
I have seen it suggested that these “stars” could be the angels who will gather the elect believers at the Pre-Wrath Rapture. They also could be evil, fallen angels who will tumble from earth’s atmosphere, where they presently have free reign, and will be confined to earth from that point forward. There are other places in Scripture where “stars” represent angels:
Here is one of Isaiah’s images of the Sixth Seal chaos:
Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earthwhich parallels John’s description:
Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”People in all of the nations will see the “face of Him who sits on the throne” as He appears in the clouds. The unsaved will be terrified; they will cry out to the elements of God’s creation (mountains and rocks), rather than to God Himself, to shield them from the glorious, radiant face of Jesus the Lamb. In essence, their “goddess” Mother Earth will not be able to protect them from the imminent wrath of the Lamb of God.
The great earthquake at that time
This section is placed here primarily to demonstrate the attention that must be given to the smallest details in Revelation to understand the proper chronological sequencing of the book. For instance, the identification, in time, of the various earthquakes in Revelation is important, as they probably will span all or most of the entire 70th Week.Here are significant world earthquakes, their locations, and their respective magnitudes, which took place during a random year’s time span: December, 2004, to November, 2005:
|Dec. 26, 2004
Feb. 5, 2005
Mar. 2, 2005
Mar. 28, 2005
June 13, 2005
June 15, 2005
Off No. CA Coast
|July 24, 2005
Aug. 16, 2005
Sep. 9, 2005
Sep. 26, 2005
Oct. 8, 2005
Nov. 14, 2005
Papua, New Guinea
Of course, there have been other sizeable earthquakes in the world since then. These include the following:
|Sep. 12, 2007
Feb. 27, 2010
|Mar. 11, 2011
Apr. 11, 2012
|Mar. 20, 2016
Apr. 3, 2016
Apr. 6, 2016
Apr. 7, 2016
Apr. 10, 2016
Apr. 13, 2016
Apr. 14, 2016
Apr. 14, 2016
Apr. 14, 2016
Apr. 15, 2016
Apr. 16, 2016
Apr. 28, 2016
|May 18, 2016
May 18, 2016
May 27, 2016
May 28, 2016
May 28, 2016
May 31, 2016
June 1, 2016
June 5, 2016
June 7, 2016
June 10, 2016
June 10, 2016
June 19, 2016
Many of the above caused extremely devastating (and, in some cases, unprecedented) destruction, such as from the huge tsunamis generated by the gigantic quakes of December 26, 2004 and of March 11, 2011. However, I feel that the earthquakes to take place during the second half of the 70th Week will be even larger, more frequent, and more numerous. Moreover, I expect the quakes during the dreadful day of vengeance to be unfathomably strong and cataclysmic, with a few shaking most or all of the entire earth.
Jesus spoke of “famines and earthquakes in various places”
Near the end of a typical pregnancy, when the time is approaching for the birth to take place, mild contractions begin. Generally, the initial contractions are few and far between, and the time between them can be many hours. These are the early stages of labor and can be represented by the moderate to great quakes (and other painful afflictions and hardships) taking place during the first half of the 70th Week, partly responsible for the beginning of “birth pains” and sorrows. These pains will be quite unpleasant but will be somewhat more bearable than those later on.
When the birth of the baby is imminent, however, hard labor pains set in and continue to occur throughout the actual birth process. They often are called “pains of travail” because they typically are frequent, intense, severe, and even excruciating. These can be represented by the cataclysmic and, literally, earth-shattering quakes (and other sources of great tribulation, distress, and supernatural wrath) occurring during the second half of the 70th Week, particularly during the dreaded beginning of the Day of the Lord period:
Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame. See, the day of the LORD is coming—a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger—to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within itSometimes these pains, in a woman, are extreme enough to cause death. In the case of the earth, though, they will result in
It has been noted, starting with Sixth Seal (part 1), that Jesus’ description of the “cosmic disturbances”
...every mountain and island was removed from its place (6:14b),indicates that an earth-shaking event will occur at that time. In fact, he specifically notes that there will be “a great earthquake” (6:12b). At first glance, this seems to parallel his report later of what happens after the most tremendous earthquake ever to rock the earth during human history (16:18):
Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found (16:20).This similarity has caused some, especially many who embrace the “Pre-Tribulation” and “Post-Tribulation” views of the Rapture, to conclude (erroneously) that the Sixth Seal events will occur at the very end of the 70th Week (or so-called “Tribulation” period). Therefore, it wrongly is assumed that Jesus’ words in
Understandably, the entire earth will quake in the presence of Jesus, returning on the clouds to catch up His elect at the Rapture. All of the islands and mountains will move and be displaced, though not be destroyed. But an even greater, more devastating earthquake will take place at some point (I believe 30 days) after Jesus has returned physically to earth (see extensions to the 70th Week and 30 days), causing islands to be covered with water (perhaps due to gigantic tsunamis) and the mountains worldwide to collapse—a picture of utter destruction and annihilation.
At the time that the two witnesses are caught up to heaven, there will be a severe earthquake, where a tenth of the city of Jerusalem will collapse and seven thousand people will be killed
This may be the same earthquake that will cause the Mount of Olives to split in two when the Lord, Jesus, stands upon it (after having traveled to Jerusalem from Bozrah—
On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving southHere also, I believe, is the same earthquake described in another prophecy:
In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the groundThis is known to be at the end of the 70th Week, when Jesus is returning to earth, since Ezekiel adds:
And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD (38:23).Evidently and not surprisingly, then, there will be three earthquakes in the latter part of the 70th Week, seemingly in heightening intensity, during which all or most of the earth will shake—all in the presence of Jesus:
Some believe that the seven Seals of the heavenly scroll, the seven Trumpet Judgments, and the seven Bowl Judgments describe the same events, from various perspectives. I absolutely disagree with this assertion and maintain that all of them will occur in chronological order:
Within the last (seventh) item in each category is included lightning, thunder, rumblings, and an earthquake. Yet, careful examination will confirm that the Seventh Trumpet Judgment is more severe than the Seventh Seal events; and the Seventh Bowl Judgment, by far, is the most severe and cataclysmic of all three.
1. First Seal (6:1,2) First Trumpet (8:7) First Bowl (16:2) 2. Second Seal (6:3,4) Second Trumpet (8:8,9) Second Bowl (16:3) 3. Third Seal (6:5,6) Third Trumpet (8:10,11) Third Bowl (16:4-7) 4. Fourth Seal (6:7.8) Fourth Trumpet (8:12) Fourth Bowl (16:8,9) 5. Fifth Seal (6:9-11) Fifth Trumpet (9:1-11) Fifth Bowl (16:10,11) 6. Sixth Seal (6:12-17) Sixth Trumpet (9:13-21) Sixth Bowl (16:12-16) 7. Seventh Seal (8:1-5) Seventh Trumpet (11:15-19) Seventh Bowl (16:17-21)
|Go to Part 2 | Go to Part 3|
|Summary of Commentaries|
|Who Is God?|
|The Rapture||The Endtimes|
|The Final Battles||The Beasts||The Creation|
|God’s Covenant: with
Israel or the Church?
Delayed 1-3 Years?
|My Beliefs and Faith|
|Bible Question Emails
and Ted’s Responses
|The Holy Bible
(a novel by Ted)
of the Human Eye
Comments or questions? Email Me.
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