Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Chronology of Revelation, part 2

One of the problems with Revelation's timeline is that it's hard to tell when everything starts.
It's pretty easy to see from just reading the book that the beginning is about John the Apostle's day. Up through chapter 3, it's also clear that Jesus was giving His message through John to John's contemporaries. However, beginning with chapter 4, it's evident that something else is happening, because the 4th chapter discusses a "door open in heaven," and the following chapters go on to describe tremendous judgments, which eventuate in the Kingdom of God coming to earth, and then finally a new heaven and a new earth.

There are several views on this section (from Revelation 4-22), but the one that makes the most sense to me is the one that views the time references as literal.  This view doesn't deny that some of the chapters don't really fall within that chronological time frame, but most do.

So here's what I think we have:
Revelation 4 starts a new subject, which has its own chronology, and refers to a time yet future to us. The only real time reference we have in this section (which ends with Revelation 11) is in 11:2-3, which points to approximately 3-1/2 years 1260 days), or 42 months. Following that, we have the announcement that the Dragon persecutes Jews who believe for a "time, times, and half a time." Once again, there is a period of time mentioned, and I believe (with many others) that this is parallel to the time reference in Revelation 13 (42 months), which ends in Revelation 19, with the battle of Armageddon.

So here's the book in chronological outline as I understand it:

Revelation 1: Contemporary to John's day.
Revelation 2-3: Contemporary to John's day.
Revelation 4-5: John's vision, spanning an as yet unknown amount of time (the vision actually goes through chapter 22, but it refers to specifically timed events in the future).
Revelation 6-11: The first 42 months of a seven-year period.
Revelation 12-19 The second 42 months of a seven-year period.

This seven years (two halves of 3-1/2 years each) is reserved for the time of God's judgment, and of Satan's attempt to retain control of the earth through the Antichrist and false prophet. God is judging the world at the same time all of this occurs, events are happening in heaven, and the two "anointed ones" are prophesying in Jerusalem, and are unkillable for the first half of the seven years, or 42 months. The second half of the seven years focuses on the Antichrist's career, after his rise to power, and the power that the Dragon gives him (Dragon=Satan, Revelation 12). Also during this final 3-1/2 years, and as soon as the Antichrist begins his rise, judgments occur that neither the Dragon nor the Antichrist can control.  At the end of Revelation 19/beginning of Revelation 20 (and of the 7 years), there is war, and the battle of Armageddon, which results in the immediate defeat of the Antichrist and his armies, the punishment of the lake of fire for the Antichrist and false prophet, and the binding of Satan in the bottomless pit.

Revelation 20 details the Kingdom of God on earth for 1,000 years, and ends with Satan being temporarily released from the bottomless pit and the final judgment.

Revelation 21-22 describe the New Heavens and New Earth, where every part of the past is gone, and all things become new.

Revelation ends with the invitation to participate in the offer God makes to all mankind, to be part of HIS Kingdom, and live with Him forever
Revelation 22: 17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

AND a warning:

(See Revelation 22:11-15, 19).

This is pretty complex for a blog post, so if you want more information, here are a couple of resources:

My own Kindle book on Daniel and Revelation, which I will price as low as I can for the next week (4-11-4-18-2016) (I think that's the greatest length of time they will allow):
Daniel and Revelation: It will be on sale for 99 cents between the dates of 4/13/2016 and 4/20/2016.

And

(Free!!) Clarence Larkin's Dispensational Truth charts (I've included the link to Daniel and Revelation, but you can go to the rest of them as well on this site) Mr. Larkin had some odd ideas, but the charts are self-explanatory, and priceless. The charts are also available for purchase through the Clarence Larkin estate (a google search should give you that info).

If you have questions, either message me on Google+, email me, or ask the question in the comments.
Blessings to all of you.
Sorry that this post is so "dry," but the foundation of all prophecy is the framework around which it's built.