Outline of Key Events in the Book of Revelation

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We thought this link would get your attention! Biblical prophecy is one of the most popular, yet nearly always misunderstood, of all biblical subjects. People want to know what their future holds and often think that understanding biblical prophecy will help them.

Now that you’re here let's address the issue at hand. The scenario we provide, from our view anyway, may be a little different than what you may believe. For example, we do not suggest the rapture of the church before the great tribulation. Rather we submit that the resurrection of the saints is at the return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem and the great battle in progress there. Moreover, we see Armageddon as the assembly point of the western armies not both eastern and western armies. They are at all out war with each other at that point not allies. The eastern coalition forces move into the Levant and push toward Jerusalem, then the command center for the western allies (Daniel 11:45), and engage them in decisive battle. Another unsuccessful eastern invasion of the Levant, described in Ezekiel 38-39, comes several years later following the return of Jesus Christ. The Western European superpower is the "king of the north" in bible prophecy. The "king of the south" consists of a block of associated Arabic nations including Egypt, Libya, and other North African and Middle Eastern Islamic states.

Do not believe us believe your Bible. We are fallible the Bible is not. While we challenge you to look into these matters our goal is to aid your understanding not obfuscate it. We believe we have pointed you in the right direction.

Our hermeneutic

The hermeneutic principles we follow, although we down play the value of hermeneutics in favor of science and exegesis, is that:

The Bible is the inspired word of God.

Every scripture must be understood in its immediate context.

Any interpretation of scripture must be understood in the context of all other scriptures.

We must avoid taking scriptures out of their context. Isolating scriptures by stripping them from their context leads to a distortion of their meaning. Nevertheless, the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament provide many prophetic statements about the same nexus of events even though many centuries have passed between the writers of this material. This represents our belief in the divine inspiration of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament which we argue must be taken as a whole.

We agree that a scripture cannot mean what it has never meant, but there is an important, usually overlooked, caveat. Divine inspiration of the Bible means that the ultimate lesson is what its divine author had in mind not necessarily the mindset of the human instruments who wrote the material. For example, Daniel did not know the meaning of the prophecy of Daniel 11-12 even though he was the writer. The angel's comment to Daniel was that the material was locked until the time of the end (Daniel 12:9). Hence, those who come to understand Daniel 11-12 in the end time will know the meaning of these scriptures in a way that they never meant before to human readers. The implication is that we have to accumulate various parts to assimilate the whole scenario.

Preserving context in this case has to do with the nexus of end time events discussed throughout the Bible. Arguing that this violates a hermeneutic principle regarding context is illusory. No single writer or book details the whole matter. For example, some theologians think it horrid to equate the day of the Lord in Joel (Joel 1:15, 2:1, 2:31) with the Lord's day in Revelation (Revelation 1:10). We do not. They are part of the same "transaction" even though several centuries separate the writers. We argue that there is a greater, deeper context in apocalyptic biblical writings than the immediate context of the writer and the cultural and historical circumstances of his day. Harmonizing all the material, however, is as difficult as it is controversial.

The Olivet Prophecy

A small group of disciples came to Jesus privately and asked him two basic questions: 1) When will these things be? and 2) What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age? (Matthew 24:3). Jesus answered the second question first (see this in Matthew 24:6 last part "the end is not yet", Luke 21:9 last part "the end is not immediately", and Mark 13:7 last part).

In this section of scripture, known as the Olivet Prophecy, Jesus gave his disciples the key to those prophecies which refer to the sign of his second coming and the end of our age. Do not confuse "the time of the end" and "the last days" for the latter refer to the period from Jesus' day until the time he returns. Take a look at our harmonization of the parallel texts of Revelation and the gospels regarding Jesus answer to the second question (we will develop the balance of this prophetic material for the WWW at a later time).

Vastly different prophetic paradigms arise when associating these matters with the actual course of history. See the chart below for our present understanding. You might want to explore the endtime themes advocated by individuals who write and preach along these lines such as Hal Lindsey, John Hagee, Roderick C. Meredith, Garner Ted Armstrong, and Jack Van Impe.


The Seven Seals

A sealed scroll opened one seal at a time by Jesus Christ (Rev 5:1-14) about whom the angels sang "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth" (Rev 5:9-10 NASB). Once opened each seal remains open until the end from which we infer that the conditions each describe continue until Jesus' return.

1st Seal

False Prophets
(a white horse)

Only since the Protestant Reformation about CE 1517 do we see preaching on a mass scale proclaiming the "time is near" (Lk 21:8 last part) and the sense of "many" coming in his name preaching that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ but deceiving many by proclaiming a different gospel than the message he preached. See Rev 12:9 (the Devil and his false ministers deceive the whole world) and II Cor 11:13-15 (false ministers disguise themselves as "God's ministers" as Satan disguises himself as an "angel of light").

Mt. 24:4-5, Mk 13:5-6, Lk 21:8, Rev 6:1.

2nd Seal

Wars and Rumors of Wars
(a red horse)

The Greek, "alliances" against "alliances", implies global coalitions of nations. The technological advancements of the latter 19th Century made alliances enabling warfare on a worldwide scale, e.g., WW I, WW II.

The advent of the United Nations enabled military actions to be taken all over the globe, e.g., the Korean War, Vietnam War, and the like. As intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with nuclear  devices or biological weaponry become available to rogue nations and minor powers they bring a greater threat to world peace. The use of such weapons can easily draw the major powers into conflict and the aftermath of any nuclear or biological event has a global impact.

Rev 6:3, Mt 24:6-7, Mk 13:7-8, Lk 21:9-10.

3rd Seal

Famine, Disease Epidemics, and Earthquakes
(a black horse)

It has only been from the decade of the 1980's that we see the first continent, Africa, having come to the point that it has not been able to significantly recover from famine. It may be another 25 years before before food shortages affect 1/3 of the earth's surface. 

A quart of wheat for a day's wages suggests a costly price for available cereal crops in the famine areas out of the reach of the poor. Enough rain comes to produce olives and wine suggesting the availability of food but with hunger present. The lack of proper nutrition impairs the immune system and leads to disease and death.

Seismic activity has increased on our planet in recent years. Ultimately earthquakes will bring about great devastation in major population areas.

Rev 6:5
Mt 24:7 (last part)
Mk 13:8 (last part)
Lk 21:11 (adds plagues).

4th Seal

(a pale horse)

A consequence of earthquakes, famine, and disease is death.  How long can the world meet the food import needs of food requiring nations?

Ultimately, famine and starvation will affect one-fourth  of the world's population. At this point Africa, with presumably South America and Asia soon to follow, suffers from massive famine. Note that here we deal with a generation produced out of the THIRD SEAL which does not have the physical stamina to survive as their parents and grandparents did. The word "sheol" gives the sense of mass graves (the world of the dead).

Rev 6:7 but not mentioned in the Gospels.

5th Seal

The Tribulation and Martyrdom of Saints

Rev 6:9 martyrdom of saints (The Great Tribulation) .

Rev 6:11 fellow servants who were to be killed even as they had been killed should be completed.

Rev 11: 1-14 Two witnesses (God's last warning to the evil powers of the world) 3 1/2 year (360 day) special ministry.

Holy City (Jerusalem) tread under 3 1/2 years (42 months)

Rev.6:9, Lk 21:11 (terrors).

Lk 21:11-18 (religious persecution and martyrdom).

6th Seal

Heavenly Signs

Rev 6:16-17 (the great day of their wrath has come). See Acts 2:20 quoted from Joel 2:31 for proof that the Heavenly Signs come before the Day of the Lord.

Sealing of the 144,000 (Rev 7:2-8)--these are converted people being sealed

Rev 6:12; Lk 21:11; Lk 21:25-26

7th Seal

The Day of the Lord

The Day of the Lord includes the sounding of seven trumpets.

Rev 8:1

The Seven Trumpets

1st Trumpet

Fire burning on much of the earth's surface.

Rev 8:7

2nd Trumpet

Sea greatly affected.

Rev 8:8-9

3rd Trumpet

Drinking water  polluted.

Rev 8:10-11

4th Trumpet

Atmosphere affected.

Rev 8:12

5th Trumpet (1st Woe)

United European West and their allies begin World War III with  a nuclear first strike against the Eastern Coalition bringing about horrendous destruction and a massive loss of human life.

The excerpt "as of" a scorpion is indicative of terrifying war machines

Rev 9:1-11

6th Trumpet (2nd Woe)

The Eastern Coalition retaliates against United Europe (the King of North). Four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates [released with 200 million man army} might kill 1/3 of humankind]. Joel 2:11 refers to the Eastern Coalition forces as God's army.

The Western capital (possibly Rome but symbolically referred to as Babylon) destroyed in a nuclear blast (see Rev 18 whole chapter).

Rev 9:13-21.

7th Trumpet (3rd Woe)

A number of events occur at the seventh trumpet. Its concluding events are the seven last plagues ( the final plagues of wrath compared to "vials").

Western leaders concentrate their combined forces at Armageddon presumably to shore up its hold on the Middle East and to protect its energy sources by a land invasion of  oil rich Persian Gulf states.  An eastern army move threatens Jerusalem, the command center of the Western Allies, and the Allies move major contingents of military forces to the Jerusalem area. 


Rev 11:15 Time of Christ's Second Coming to take over the governments of the world

Rev 17:15-17 Great false church destroyed by the "beast" power.

The Two Witnesses resurrected and rise into a cloud (Rev 11:11-12)

1 Thes 4:16 Jesus will descend and we shall meet him in the clouds

Lk 21:27 (people will see Christ return)

Mt 24:27 as lightening from east to the west

Mt 24:37-41 Just like the days of Noah (some will be taken some not)

Rev 15:7.

The Seven Last Plagues

Likened to seven vials these plagues are God's righteous judgments upon modern "Babylon" all poured out in a single 24 hour period at the appearance of the Messiah although some of those symbolic vials of wrath will undoubtedly continue to be administered past the 24 hour period (Rev 18:8)]. The first five vials appear to be the consequences of the warfare between the East and West. The seven last plagues complete the wrath of God (Rev 16:1).

1st Vial

Biological warfare--causes excruciating sores poured out upon all who are participating in this world's false, civil-religious system--the beast system.

Rev 16:2.

2nd Vial

Sea becomes blood like that of as dead man.

Rev 16:3.

3rd Vial

Rivers and streams (drinking water) affected.

Rev 16:4-6.

4th Vial

Intense light of the sun.

Rev 16:8, 9.

5th Vial

Darkness and great pain afflict those in the area of the headquarters of the beast power. Earth's inhabitants will refuse to yield to Christ's authority when he comes.

Rev 16:10.

6th Vial

Greatest battle in all human history--the world's nations joining together to fight the returned Christ . This plague is part of God's plan to gather the armies of all nations that remain rebellious to his ways into one place for the final phase--the final battle of World War III along a front extending about 200 miles.

The armies clash in battle along a front of some 200 miles. The focal point of the ensuing conflict is the Kidron Valley (the Valley of Jehoshaphat at Jerusalem). Great carnage results. At the height of the battle, on the brink of a final nuclear holocaust, God intervenes with the Return of Jesus of Nazareth, the messiah, who destroys the combatants.

Rev 16:12-16.

7th Vial

Earth violently shaken by the mightiest earthquake ever to occur. Even mountains the islands of the sea will be moved (Rev 19:20). Many islands, being dormant volcanic cones will literally blow up and disappear.

Rev 11:13 a great earthquake (1/10 of Jerusalem fell, 7,000 people killed in the earthquake) and final punishment of humanity will be with gigantic hailstones which will weigh about 100 pounds each (Rev 16:21).

Rev 16:17-18. See also Rev 19:17-21.

We presented the foregoing for you to consider but we warn you that it is merely our opinion based upon our experience and analysis. It is the best we have to offer at this time. Others may, and probably do, have a more well-reasoned and more precise answer. Time will tell.

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