The order of end time events from the book of Revelation


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All Scripture is taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

        All of us at one time or another have wondered what the future holds. God, for His part, in the mainstream of history has made this easy. Study His Word and we can find out how this age will turn out. In other words—read the back of the book and see who wins. The Book of Revelation is the back of the book. God and His people win.

        In Amos 3:7, God makes an awesome promise, Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Almost all of the books and psalms in the Old Testament were written by prophets of God; and, between the Apostle John and the Apostle Paul, 19 of 24 New Testament books were written by men that we know had a prophetic calling on their lives and ministries. By a diligent study of the prophetic Scriptures, which the Bible says were written under the direct inspiration of the Spirit of God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21), there is much that we can both know and discern about the events yet to transpire before the return of Jesus to reign over the earth.

The Chronology of Revelation

        One of the next great questions for both the casual reader and for the serious student of Bible prophecy is, Are the events described in the Book of Revelation in chronological order? The answer is, Yes!; but, before looking further into exactly how the chronology is laid out, let us consider for a moment how the Bible, itself, is put together.

        The first three chapters of the Book of Genesis (the book of beginnings) give the story of the creation and fall of man, along with the creation and reordering of the physical universe and the earth. In Chapter 1, the Holy Spirit—the author of all Scripture—gives the account of the physical creation and creation of Adam. The story continues in Chapter 3 with the introduction of Satan (speaking through the serpent), temptation of Eve (Adam’s wife), and fall of both from the glory of God (Psa. 8:5; Rom. 3:23) because of their disobedience of the commandment of God to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The curses given by God to Satan, the serpent, Eve, Adam and the earth are also given in Chapter 3. But, what about Chapter 2?

        Chapter 2 of Genesis adds parenthetical information—details, details, and details—to the story line that jumps from Chapter 1 to Chapter 3. This is precisely how the same Holy Spirit lays out the Book of Revelation. The key verse of the Book is Revelation 1:19, where Jesus commands the Apostle John to, Write the things which thou hast seen (Chapter 1: the revelation or unveiling of the glorified Jesus), and the things which are (Chapters 2 and 3: the letters to the 7 Churches), and the things which shall be hereafter (Chapters 4 through 22: the last 7 years of this age and the 1000-year reign of Jesus over the earth).

        From Revelation 4:1 to the end of the book, Revelation is a prophecy. The prophecy of this book is referred to seven times in the Book of Revelation. As of January, 2008, none of the events of these chapters has happened as yet. These chapters are prophetic; and, unless one remains steadfast and unmovable in this revelation, error will inevitably flood one’s understanding in places like, who is the manchild of Revelation 12:5 (see Revelation 12)?; when does the war of Revelation 12:7 occur?; and when are the stars of heaven of Revelation 12:4 cast into the earth [and for that matter who are these stars of heaven]?. To rightly divide the prophetic Scriptures requires a constant dedication and discipline because of the enormous amount of time required to search out every subject [see 24 Rules for Understanding Bible Prophecy].

A Series of Sevens

        The basic chronology of the prophetic portions of Revelation is: 7 seals, followed by 7 trumpet judgments, followed by 7 vials of the wrath of God; and, as you’ll see, there are numerous additional series of sevens revealed throughout the Book. In Bible numerics, seven is the number of God’s completeness (not perfection); and because the Book of Revelation completes God’s Word, it is appropriate that sevens be represented throughout. There is a Scripture in the New Testament which says that we should not allow our minds to…be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3). Seven seals, followed by 7 trumpets, followed by 7 vials of wrath: that’s not hard to follow, is it? Basically all that is left is to separate out all of the parenthetical information—like the second Chapter of Genesis—and see where it fits. Sounds too easy, let’s see.

Details, Details, Details

        Prophecy concerns things. Jesus told the Apostle John to write about three kinds of things: those that he had seen, those that were in his day, and those which were to come hereafter (Rev. 1:19). Prophecy concerns things—details, details, and details! This is the stumbling stone where most of us stumble in trying to understand the two main books of Bible prophecy: Daniel and Revelation. [While on the subject of the Book of Daniel, another major stumbling block for students of Bible prophecy is to attempt a study of Revelation without first thoroughly digesting the prophecies that the Lord gave first to Daniel: as the Book of Daniel is the mold into which one must pour the prophecies of Revelation.]

        I am convinced that the prophetic Scriptures of Daniel and Revelation are written in codea circular reference codein which one is very prone to being lulled to sleep by the continual repetition of seemingly identical details. I am also convinced that God’s purpose for this circular reference code is at least three-fold:

1.  The puzzle only fits together one way, and one has to override his own spirit (where God resides) to make the pieces fit any other way than the way God intended;

2.  The key to unlocking the code is in the details themselves, which are usually given in a series. The order is frequently changed, and then one of the details is changed, or omitted, or another added—denoting a different but similar event; and

3.  For God to show us the major revelations contained in His prophetic Word, we must first prove ourselves faithful in the little details (c/p. Matt. 25:21), and in demonstrating a willingness to wait on the Holy Spirit to give us both wisdom and understanding (revelation) of His Word. When we override our spirits with "the answer" before the Lord has truly given it to us, we get over into an area of disobedience, which leads to error and to "strong delusion." This can also cause us to eventually believe a lie (c/p. 2 Thes 2:10-11).

To be given the keys that unlock this protective code on the prophetic Scriptures, I am also convinced requires both a photographic mind and memory—which I don’t have—or a computer which I do have: to help with all the details.  

What About All the Symbolism?

        Concerning symbolism, the Book of Revelation really doesn’t have all that much…remember the circular references. Catch the definition once and use it in place of the symbol throughout the rest of the book. A computer or lots of notes is a must. God wants to know that were listening and earnestly seeking His face. A good study Bible is worth its weight in gold; but, don’t let the editors do your studying for you. They all are human and can miss things also. If you’re born again, ask God the Father in the name of His Son, Jesus, to give you understanding and He will (John 14:26). If you’re not born again, you’re only one prayer away from being in the family of God, with all its rights and privileges (see Join the Family of God). One prayer away from the family of God also means that you’re one breath away from eternity: heaven or hell. Come on in. Do it now! But, concerning the symbolism throughout Revelation, we have offered appropriate explanations either in brackets or in the numerous Endnotes to help keep us on tract. Please take time to read these Endnotes. There is a wealth of information contained in them. [See also the more detailed study of Revelation contained in The Book of Revelation In Verse-By-Verse Outline.]

How Do I Begin This Study?

        For most people reading this web site and for the really serious students of Bible prophecy, I recommend that you take the time to begin your consideration of the material on this website with 24 Rules for Understanding Bible Prophecy and Seven Prophetic Pictures of the Rapture. These will give you a framework for our reading of Scripture over 20 years; some of the conclusions we have reached in our studies; and what to watch for as you study. Neither the Holy Spirit nor I are trying to surprise anyone. God has given us His Word for: our wisdom, doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness, learning, comfort and hope (2 Tim. 3:15-16; Rom. 15:4). If we approach it reverently, God will speak to each of us.

The Basic Layout

        The basic layout of the Book of Revelation is found at Chapter 1, verse 19. Jesus commands John to write:

bulletthe things which thou hast seen (Chapter 1, the revelation or unveiling of the glorified Jesus to the Apostle John), and
bulletthe things which are (Chapters 2 and 3, Jesus' admonition to  7 literal Churches in John's day), and
bulletthe things which shall be hereafter (Chapters 4 through 22, the last 7 years of this age, and the 1000-year reign of Jesus over the earth).

[The sequential story line is in the full margins, with parenthetical information inserted in the indented margins.]

The Antichrist Covenant Week of Years* (Dan. 9:27)

[*This writer has heretofore referred to the last 7 years of this the Age of Grace as "Daniel’s 70th week of years". However, Daniel 9:24 very clearly shows that the earthly ministry of Jesus has already consumed the first 3 ½ years of  Daniel’s 70th week. I now refer to this period as the "Antichrist Covenant week of years". Thus: by the authority of the Word of God there remains only an additional  3 ½ years on God's prophetic clock before the second coming of Jesus. But, we cannot tell exactly how long it will take for the world to get in position to where God can turn back on His prophetic clock for the consummation of the age. See also, 25 Prophetic Events Before the Rapture of the Church.]   

        As a result of the war of Ezekiel 38-39 which appears to be precipitated by the destruction of Damascus [Isa. 17:1; see also Ezekiel 38 and 39 is not a description of the battle of Armageddon and The war of Ezekiel 38-39 is an absolute prophetic necessity], God miraculously intervenes to destroy 5/6 of the armies of Russia and Germany [Ezek. 39:2]. In the aftermath of this war, the two major missing components for the revelation of the Antichrist come on-line: (1) the restoration of temple worship and animal sacrifices in Israel (to show the nation's appreciation for its miraculous deliverance from annihilation by the Lord God Jehovah); and (2) the formation of a 10-nation confederacy of Middle Eastern-European nations which becomes the revised Roman Empire [which is not and cannot be fulfilled by the Europe Economic Union].

        As Syria is recovering from what appears to be a nuclear attack by Israel, the man who will become the Antichrist rises to power by the strength of his charm [see How To Quickly Locate the Antichrist in Scripture]. He executes a 7-year peace treaty with Israel at or about the time that Jesus in heaven opens the first seal of Revelation 6. During the next 3 ½ years (approximately), the Antichrist uproots 3 of the 10 kingdoms in the confederacy, and by mid-week the remainder of the kingdoms give their power and authority to him (Rev. 17:12). Concurrently as Jesus opens the 2nd, 3rd and 4th seals; and the earth becomes engulfed with war, famine and plagues: in which 1/4 of the world's population dies (Rev. 6:7-8).

        The last seven years of this age begins with the opening of the 1st seal in Revelation 6:1. We see the Antichrist riding a white horse, with a bow and no arrows. He enters as a man of peace and has just executed a 7-year peace treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27). The first five seals of Revelation, Chapter 6, cover the first 3½ years of the Antichrist Covenant week . This period of time is also the time of the great tribulation [literally, the tribulation, the great] for the Church [most especially for the Jewish Church that has been forced underground because of Israel's covenant with the Antichrist (c/p. John 6:16-21)].

[If you’re tempted to not read any farther, stop right now and read Seven Prophetic Pictures of the Rapture. This should convince you to read on. If not, put a bookmark on this web site and come back to it whenever you sense the Lord is leading you to do so. Write its web address on the inside cover of your Bible so that you can find it quickly.]

        The Church is seen in heaven for the first time in Revelation 7:9. Chapters 8 through 11 cover the last 3½ years of both the Antichrist Covenant week and Daniel’s 70th week: in which God begins to pour out His wrath on an unbelieving world with 7 trumpet judgments and 2 woes. This period of time is also called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jer. 30:7), where the Antichrist has broken his 7-year treaty with the nation Israel: which has come under extreme persecution.

        Following the close of the Antichrist Covenant week and Daniel’s 70th week, there are apparently only 75 additional days until Jesus establishes His thousand-year reign over the earth (Dan. 12:11-12). There is a war in heaven [the heavenlies or earth’s atmosphere (Rev. 12:7-12)] and Satan is cast into the earth with great wrath. This is the 3rd woe. God pours out His 7 vials of wrath in Revelation 16, and the kings of the earth are consumed at Armageddon in Revelation 19:11-21. Chapter 20 is a chapter of judgment, and Chapters 21 and 22 tell of the Bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem, and the new heaven and earth. The missing chapters and passages between Chapters 12 and 19 are all parenthetical, and fit either during the last half of the Antichrist Covenant week or in the final 75 days of this age—except the destruction of Mystery Babylon in Revelation 17:16-17, which occurs at or before midweek. Our comments and endnotes will steer us safely through these passages.

Let’s Get Started

        This is enough to get started. There will be—and should be—lots of additional question about many subjects. Remember, we are studying one book of the Bible: there are 65 more, each of which has an application to the study of Bible prophecy. Don’t stop with just this one.

© 1999-2009 Walter J. Taylor, Walter James Taylor

[ HOME ] [ UP ] [ PREFACE ] [ CHAPTERS 1-5 ] [ CHAPTERS 6-9 ] [ CHAPTERS 10-12 ] [ CHAPTERS 13-15 ] [ CHAPTERS 16-18 ] [ CHAPTERS 19-22 ]

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