Chronology of Revelation

Exploring Prophetic Mysteries

 With Daniel Speck 7.29.10

 

The True Chronology of Revelation

 

There seems to have been as many chronologies of Revelation and Last Days events created as there are teaching about Biblical prophecy. Timelines authored by cults and sects produce wild and bizarre pictures of the Last Days that have little resemblance to what is actually written in the Bible. Evangelicals have produced some dissimilar, and somewhat divergent charts and chronologies of Revelation as well. For the sake of a clear overall understanding of eschatology, it is important to formalize a detailed chronology that accurately reflects what is actually stated in the Scriptures.

 

Keys to understanding the true chronology of Revelation and the Last Days

 

 

First Key: Jesus clearly outlined the Last Days in the Olivet Discourse

 

We are fortunate that the Lord gave us a brief but clear outline of Last Days events in His Olivet discourse recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. We can use this as a template that all other prophetic timelines, including Revelation must conform to, and then build upon this a progressively more detailed picture of the true Revelation chronology.

 

The Major events of the Mount of Olives Prophecy in order of their occurrence in Matthew

 

24:4-8 The beginning of birth pains

1. False christs

2. Wars and rumors of wars

 

24:9-13 Persecution of the Church

24:14 The Gospel will be preached to all the world and then the end will come

1. Tribulation and martyrdom

2. Falling away, betrayal, hatred

3. False Prophets

 

24:15-20 The Abomination of Desolation

1. Abomination in the holy place

2. Those in Judea flee to the mountains

 

24:21-28 The Great Tribulation

1. The greatest Tribulation that ever will be

2. The Tribulation is cut short for the sake of the elect

3. False christs and false prophets arise with great signs and wonders

 

24:29-31 Immediately after the Tribulation

1. Powers of the heavens will be shaken

2. Sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky

3. The Son of Man will be seen coming on the clouds in great power and glory

4. The Great Trumpet

5. The elect will be gathered from one end of the sky to the other

 

Now we can summarize the Tribulation period into seven successive parts:

 

1. The beginning of birth pains

2. The persecution of the Church

3. The falling away

4. The Abomination of Desolation

5. The Great Tribulation

6. Powers of the heavens will be shaken

7. The coming of Christ and the Rapture

 

All other Last Days chronologies must conform to this clear sequence outlined in the Gospels.

 

   

Second Key: The Apostle Paul’s chronology

 

Paul gives us some key details of the chronology of Christ’s coming in his letters

 

Behold I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed. In a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. I Corinthians 15:51-52.

 

This places the rapture at the last trumpet when the dead will be raised and we will be changed.  

 

When Christ who is our life is revealed, then you will also be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:3

 

The Church will be revealed when Christ is revealed.

 

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. I Thessalonians 4:16-17.

 

The sequence described here is:

1. The Lord will descend from heaven with a shout, the trumpet of God, and the voice of the archangel

2. The dead in Christ will rise first

3. The living will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air

 

For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. I Thessalonians 5:2-5

 

The labor pains of the day of the Lord will come thief in the night to unbelievers but believer will not be taken by surprise.

 

...and give relief to you who are afflicted and to us a swell when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. II Thessalonians 1:7-8.

 

It is clear here that the Apostle Paul is anticipating relief from his affliction not by a secret, invisible coming but one revealed in flaming fire and retribution.

 

Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together with Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming, that is, the on whose coming is in accord with the activities of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish...     II Thessalonians 2:1-10

 

 

This detailed description of the coming of the Lord and the Rapture is clearly stated

 

1. The Apostasy comes first

2. The man of lawlessness is revealed first

3. The Abomination of Desolation occurs first

3. The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together with him will then take place

5. The Lord will slay the Antichrist with a breath at His coming

 

 

So we can summarize the chronology given by Paul’s letters which matches the Gospels chronology

 

1. Labor pains

2. Unbeliever will be taken by surprise but believers will not be

2. The Apostasy happens first

3. The Antichrist is revealed

4. The Abomination of Desolation occurs

5. The Lord will be revealed and descend from heaven accompanied by:

6. The Resurrection/Rapture of the Church

7. The beginning of the Day of the Lord

 

 

Third Key: The prophetic types of the Hebrew Scriptures

 

1. The battle of Jericho is a prophetic type of the rapture of the Church at the Seventh Trumpet of Revelation

 

The battle of Jericho gives us an important key to understanding the chronology of Revelation. It establishes the exact timing of the Rapture of the Church in relationship to the Seven Seals and the Seven Trumpets of Revelation as well as to the other events of the Tribulation period.  

 

 When the people heard the sound of the trumpet (the seventh trumpet on the seventh day), the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down... Joshua 6:20.

 

Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the harlot’s house and bring the woman and all that she has out of there...” Joshua 6:22

 

The battle of Jericho foreshadows the conquest of the Kingdom of the World during the Tribulation. Rahab is the type of the Gentile Bride. She is present all during the battle until the Seventh Trumpet on the Seventh Day, then Joshua sends the two spies in to take her out just as the two witnesses will be raptured just before the rapture of the Church at the Seventh Trumpet. This is a clear prophetic type of the Rapture at the Seventh Trumpet following the Seven Seals.

 

 

2. The Story of Ruth is a prophetic type of the redemption of the Church and Israel by the Messiah, Jesus during the Tribulation period.

 

Ruth is a type of the Gentile bride. Ruth and Naomi as prophetic types of the Church and Israel are under great tribulation. They have lost their husbands and come to Bethlehem under great stress. Their affliction during the barley harvest foreshadows the Tribulation period and the harvest at the end of the age. The entire story of Ruth takes place during the Tribulation period when mostof the world’s population will be “reaped” as casualties of the wars, famines, persecutions, and plagues. Orpah, who deserts Noami and returns to her pagan people, is a type of the Great Apostasy of the Church during the Tribulation. Ruth gleans in the fields of Boaz, the Messianic type, and blesses Naomi with her harvest just as the Church will bless Israel with its harvest of the 144,000. They meet on the threshing floor, a type of the Rapture, at the end of the harvest and Boaz agrees to redeem her and marry her if her closer kinsman will not. The closer kinsman wants to redeem the land but cannot marry Ruth. The marriage to Boaz goes ahead and the two are wed just as Christ and the Church will be wed at the end of the Tribulation.  

 

 

3. The story of Noah foreshadows that the Church will be saved through the Tribulation, not out of it.

Christ will appear at the end of the Tribulation with a rainbow, just as a rainbow appeared when the flood was over.  

 

 

4. The story of Lot and Sodom foreshadows that the Church will be taken out of the world before the wrath of God is poured out on the earth from directly from heaven by the Seven Golden Bowls of God’s Wrath.

 

Two angels appear to take Lot and his family out of condemned Sodom just as the two witnesses will be raptured  just before the Church is taken out of the world at the 7th Trumpet Rapture. This is followed shortly by the Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath poured out directly from heaven on the kingdom of the Beast. These are the only plagues that are poured out directly from heaven and are not a result of man’s or Satan’s activities.

 

     

Fourth Key: The Last Days chronology in the Hebrew Prophets

 

Last days prophecies for Israel have a more political aspect as they are a physical nation in a physical land unlike the Church which is a kingdom “not of this world.”

 

Daniel

 

1. The Beast and his kingdom devours the whole earth

2. The Abomination of Desolation in the middle of the “week”

3. The Beast takes over Israel for 3 ½ years

4. The time of distress such as never occurred  

5. The saints are being overpowered

6. The Son of Man comes on the clouds of heaven

7. The Son of Man is given dominion, glory, and a kingdom

8. Judgment on the Beast; his dominion is destroyed forever

 

Ezekiel

 

1. The re-gathering of Israel back to the Land

2. The Valley of Dry Bones resurrection

3. The Gog-Magog armies are destroyed

4. The Messianic Temple is built

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 © Daniel Speck 7.8.10

 

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Summary

 

The true chronology of Revelation can be established by the outline that Jesus gives us in the Olivet Discourse. He clearly states that His coming and the gathering of the saints will happen immediately after the Tribulation. The Apostle Paul gives specific details of the chronology when he states that the Apostasy and the revealing of the man of lawlessness must happen first before the Day of the Lord and Christ comes to gathers us to Him. The battle of Jericho also gives a clear prophetic type of the Seven Seals and Seven Trumpets, placing the rapture of the Church at the Seventh Trumpet. Daniel details the rise of the Antichrist, the Abomination of Desolation, the persecution of the saints, followed by the coming of the Son of Man to establish His kingdom on earth and destroy the dominion of the Beast.

 

The book of Revelation reveals what will happen to the Church as the Seven Seal Scroll is unsealed and the Seven Trumpets are sounded. At the Seventh Trumpet Christ appears on the clouds and the Rapture occurs. The book of Revelation starts over at chapter 12 to then reveal what is written about the Jews and Israel in the Little Open Scroll as they goes through the Tribulation and Day of the Lord, ending in the coming of Christ in the white horse; the judgment on Babylon, the Beast, and Satan, followed the thousand year Messianic age.   

 

 

See also The Seventh Trumpet Rapture and The Revelation Super Chart and Scripture References

 

© Daniel Speck 7.29.10

 

ComingOne.com HOME | 7TH TRUMPET RAPTURE | Charts | Books | Email | FreeStockPhotos.com |

 

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