Wow! After spending over a year studying Revelation with my Precept Bible Study group, we have finally finished. For those spending much of their lives studying prophecy I realize that doesn’t seem like much. But we were exhausted and elated. What did we learn? Many hold to possible interpretations, others hold to the more probable, and then there are the things that are promised, things we can know.
I’m sharing, as I understand, a possible and probable sequence of events from the book of Revelation and the many cross references that fill in some of the blanks found in this book. What I have gained is a place to start when sharing with others about the second coming of Christ. I welcome your comments, differences, and questions, knowing with the possible, probable things, there is always room to grow in understanding.
Revelation 1 is how the revelation came to us and by whom.
- The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John; who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. (1:1-2)
The first thing John saw was the risen Christ (verses 12-20).
Chapters 2 & 3 give us insight into what Jesus saw and showed to John as He related the letters to the churches. These are, “the things which are,” spoken of in Rev. 1:19. These churches existed and were given instruction, warning, and/or encouragement from the Lord. I believe the essence of these churches still exist in the church of Jesus Christ. I think we each experience the character of these churches along our road to glory.
Possible Sequence of Events:
Between chapters 3 and 4 I would place the rapture, the being caught up with the Lord.
- “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise firs: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”1Thess. 4:15-17.
I am not completely convinced of this timing, but scripture seems to point that way. What I am convinced of is that the church will not be on the earth when God’s wrath is poured out.
- “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” 1Thess. 1:10.
- “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” 1Thess. 5:9,10
This may be the time the church stands before the Judgment Seat of Christ, a time or rewards not life or death. Everlasting life is already belongs to the follower of Christ.
- “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2Cor. 5:10.
So then, chapters 4-22 are “the things which shall be hereafter.”
- “After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”(4:1).
Chapter 6 begins with Christ opening the 7 sealed scroll. Here is where I believe the 70th week spoken of by Daniel begins. I’m not including each reference but you will find referenced material in chapters 2, 7-12.
POSSIBLE ORDER OF EVENTS FOR REVELATION
- The 4th final kingdom of Rome(Terrible dreadful beast/kingdom of Daniel) is revived.
- It covers the earth
- Out of this kingdom comes one from among the 6 historic kingdoms, 4 of which are spoken of by Daniel.(Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Mede/Persian, Greece, Rome) This kingdom being the 7th.
- This is the Little Horn spoken of by Daniel growing larger than others.
- Maybe makes appearance at time of 1st seal in Rev. 6.
- At which time a covenant(spoken of as of many by Daniel) may be made with Israel.
- This beast/king is killed-fatal wound but rises from the dead at a time when the 2 witnesses of the Lord in Rev. 11 are plaguing the people of Jerusalem. They preach for 3 ½ years.
- The 7th seal introduces the 7 trumpet judgments
- The risen little horn/beast/antichrist kills the two witnesses. All the world (except those in the book of life) are amazed and worship him.
- A great earthquake follows and destroys 1/10 of Jerusalem. 7000 are killed- rest glorify God.
III. 3 ½ years left in Daniel’s 70th week.
- Abomination of Desolation occurs at/around 7th trumpet. (This is where the man of lawlessness is revealed and the great tribulation begins. This is the time of God’s wrath or the bowl judgments-the final judgments that will complete God’s wrath.)
- Beast sets his throne/image in the Holy Place-Temple of Jerusalem
- Puts an end to sacrifices; the false prophet represents him to the people
- All Must take his mark of 666(mark of a man) to buy and sell or die
- Babylon Judged
- Seven bowls are poured out on Babylon the city and all those taking the mark of the beast and worshipping him.
- The 7th bowl finishes Babylon.
- The King of kings defeats beast and false prophet.
- They are thrown into lake of fire.
- Satan is bound for 1000 years.
- Saints raised to rule with Christ for the 1000 years. The rest of the dead are not raised until after the 1000 year reign. And yes, I do believe it will be a literal reign.
- This is where I would place the Judgment of the Nations spoken of in Matthew 25.
- The End and the Beginning
- Satan loosed after 1000 years
- Deceives the nations and surrounds the city
- Fire from heaven destroys him
- He is cast into the lake of fire with beast , false prophet and those who worshipped the beast-forever.
- Rest of the dead judged-not found in book of life cast into lake of fire.
- New Heaven and New Earth
- God’s covenant completed
- All whose names are in the book of life will dwell with God
VII. All Invited to Come
- Be ready
- He is coming quickly.
We’ve looked at one interpretation of the events of Revelation. It is definitely not something to divide company with any believer. But following are some things I do know as promised by God.
The time is at hand:
- “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Rev. 1:3
Jesus Christ is the living Son of God:
- “I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive forevermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. ”Rev. 1:17-18.
There is a marriage supper of the Lamb:
- “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” Rev. 19:9
There is an eternal lake of fire:
- “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev. 14,15.
Jesus is returning and when He does it will be quickly, too quickly to change who you are.
- “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last….Surely, I come quickly…”Rev. 22:11-13,20.
A little boy raised his hand after I explained the plan of salvation to children in a kids’ bible class.
“Yes, do you have a question?”
“No,” he answered defiantly. “I don’t believe any of this is true.”
The other children gasped in unison leaving little oxygen in the room.
“You have to,” some exclaimed.
I quieted the class.
“No, kids. He doesn’t have to believe it. But remember his not believing it, doesn’t change the truth.”
John’s writing tells us:
“…These sayings are faithful and true…”
Believe it or not. The decision is yours. But your choice will not change the truth. Jesus will return. Where will you spend eternity?