1) Jesus addressed the sequence of events in the Book of Revelation.
He divided the sequence of events into three parts when He said, “Write the things which thou hast seen (record past things), and the things which are (record present things), and the things which shall be hereafter” (record future things ) (Rev. 1:19).
Past Things—“The things which thou hast seen” are past things. John used past tense terminology about himself – I was, I heard (Rev. 1:10); I turned, I saw (Rev. 1:12); I saw, I fell (Rev. 1:17); (Chapter one records John’s past vision of the resurrected Jesus).
Present Things—“The things which are” refers to present things – These are things that existed in John’s day (Chapters Two and Three—The Church Age). The Church began and existed while John was alive. But, in addition to this, they seven Churches also represent seven periods during the Church Age because the things that are written in the Book of Revelation are words of prophecy including Chapters Two and Three (Rev. 1:3). God says the Book of Revelation is a book of prophecy five times (Rev. 1:3, 22:7, 10, 18, 19). So the Church began while John was alive, but it didn’t end when he died. It would continue on into the future.
Future Things—“The things which shall be hereafter” are future things. “Shall be” means in the future. “Hereafter” means after the present things. The “Hereafter” things start at Rev. 4:1. John said, “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 show thee things which must be hereafter” “The things which must be hereafter” refers to the things that shall be; the things that will happen after the present things or the things that will take place after the Church Age.
2) The Church Age will end with the Rapture and the future things will begin after the Rapture (The future things or the things that “must be hereafter” start at Rev. 4:1).
John said, “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 show thee things which must be hereafter.”
The Sound of the Voice—After recording the seven letters to the seven Churches, John heard a voice “as it were of a trumpet.” Jesus has a voice “as of a trumpet” (Rev. 1:10). Jesus will “descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (I Thess. 4:16). The dead will be raised “at the last trump” (I Cor. 15:52).
The Rapture of the Church—The voice will say, “Come uphither.” The Latin word “Rapere” is translated several ways in the New Testament: “take it by force,” “catcheth away,” “pluck them out,” “caught up” and “gather together.” Concerning Enoch, God “took him.” Elijah “went up.” Jesus was “taken up.” Paul was “caught up.” Paul said, the Church will be “caught up” to Jesus (I Thess. 4:17). Many, including this writer, believe the Rapture takes place at Rev. 4:1 in the Book of Revelation.
After the Rapture, the Future Things will start—The voice said, “I will show thee things which must be hereafter” (see Rev. 1:19). The future things must happen after the voice as it were of a trumpet says “Come up.” These future things will include the Tribulation Period, the Second Coming, the Millennium, the New Heaven and New Earth, the New Jerusalem, etc.
One Reason Some Believe the Church will go to Heaven at Rev. 4:1—After using the word “Church” at least twenty times in Revelation Chapters Two and Three, John suddenly stopped using it. He didn’t mention the Church again until Revelation Chapter nineteen. He mentioned the saints, a term that can also apply toIsrael (Psa. 79:2). He mentioned the Twenty-four Elders, a term that many believe applies to the Church, but the Twenty-four Elders are in heaven. And some want to say the “elect” of Matthew 24:22, 24, 31 refer to the Church, but “elect” is a term that can also refer toIsrael (Isa. 45:4).
Another Reason Some Believe the Church will go to Heaven at Rev. 4:1—After saying, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22) seven times in Revelation Chapters Two and Three, Jesus said, “If any man hath an ear, let him hear (Rev. 13:9). Jesus stopped saying, “what the Spirit saith unto the Churches” and started speaking to anyone with ears. This is one reason why some think the Church won’t be on earth between Rev. 4:1 and Rev. 19:10. (Note: My “36 Pre-Trib Rapture Texts” are posted on the raptureready.com website.)
3) The world will be divided into ten regions and the ten kings or ten leaders will appear before the Antichrist and Tribulation Period.
The Ten Horns, then the Antichrist, then the Covenant and Tribulation Period—The ten horns (kings, leaders) must appear before the eleventh horn (the little horn, the Antichrist) can appear (Dan. 7:8; Rev. 17:12). The Antichrist won’t be one of the ten he will be diverse or different from the ten (Dan. 7:24). This means the ten horns (kings, leaders) will appear before the Tribulation Period because the Tribulation Period won’t begin until the Antichrist confirms the seven-year covenant with many (Dan. 9:27). Also, the seven-year covenant will probably be drafted before the Tribulation Period because the Antichrist “confirms” it (he doesn’t originate it). When this eleventh or little horn confirms the covenant the Tribulation Period will begin. This is sequence.
4) Elijah (probably one of the Two Witnesses) will appear before the Tribulation Period begins.
Elijah, then the Tribulation Period—God said, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD” (Mal. 4:5). This will probably be between the Rapture and the Antichrist’s confirmation of the seven-year covenant. This is sequence.
5) The Two Witnesses will appear during the first half of the Tribulation period (see point number 15 below).
The Two Witnesses and then the Covenant will be Signed—If one of the Two Witnesses is Elijah, his appearance will be before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Mal. 4:5). God said, “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth” (Rev. 11:3). This is sequence.
The Two Witnesses will prophesy 1260 Days in The First Half of the Tribulation Period not the Last Half—The Two Witnesses can’t prophesy for 1260 days during the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation Period because they will be killed and their bodies will lie in the street for 3 ½ days after they stop prophesying (Rev. 11:9). Jesus will come back at the end of the Tribulation Period. It’s not likely that the bodies of the Two Witnesses will lie in the street and people will be celebrating their death 3 ½ days after the Second Coming of Jesus.
The Two Witnesses will Prophesy at the Temple Before the Jews Flee into the Wilderness—The Antichrist will defile the Temple and it will be made desolate at the middle of the Tribulation Period (Dan. 9:27). When that happens Jesus told the Jews in Judea to flee into the wilderness (Matt. 24:15-16). The Jews in Judea will flee into the wilderness 3 ½ years before the end of the Tribulation Period (Rev. 12:14).
It’s not likely that the Two Witnesses will disobey Jesus and stay inJudea when the other Jews flee into the wilderness.
The Two Witnesses will Prophesy 1260 Days before the Antichrist can Harm Them—The Antichrist will be given power to make war with the saints and overcome them during the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation Period (Rev. 13:5-8; Dan. 7:25). The Two Witnesses and the 144,000 have to prophesy before the Antichrist is given the power to harm the saints. If they don’t, they are not numbered among the saints.
6) The Chapter Five events will happen before the Chapter Six events.
In Chapter Five, Jesus is holding the seven sealed scroll in His hand and the seals are unbroken or unopened (Rev. 5:1-5). In Chapter Six, Jesus opens the first six seals. This is sequence.
7) The Antichrist will start his rise to power when the First Seal is broken.
The rise of the Antichrist to power is associated with the breaking of the first seal (Rev. 6:1-2). This will be after the restrainer (Church and Holy Spirit) are removed (II Thess. 2:6-10). This is another reason to believe the Rapture is at Rev. 4:1. The Antichrist will sign the covenant as a prince not as a king; as a little horn not as the biggest or greatest horn. This will be early in his career when he is a prince rising to power in Europe. Later, probably after he declares that he is God, he will establish his palace on the holy mountain, also called the Temple Mount (Dan. 11:45).
Also, there may be chronology here because the Antichrist will go forth conquering and to conquer when the first seal is broken. This may well lead to the second seal which is the removal of peace from the earth. And this may lead to the third, forth and fifth sealswhich result in the death of many. At this time (beginning of the Tribulation Period), the Antichrist will go forth to conquer. Later (in the second half of the Tribulation Period), people will ask who can make war with him, he will have power over the whole earth, and all the lost on earth will worship him (Rev. 13:4-8).
8) The 144,000 will appear near the beginning of the Tribulation Period (not necessarily between the first and second seal, but before the fifth seal and before any of the Trumpet Judgments; see #13 below).
The 144,000 will appear, then the Fifth Seal Martyrs will be killed, and this will precede the Trumpet Judgments—The 144,000 will be Jews from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8). God will use Jews because the Church won’t be here. The Church will be in heaven. The 144,000 will be the firstfruits unto God or the first to be saved after the Rapture (Rev. 14:4). The 144,000 must be sealed before the martyrs in the fifth seal are saved or the martyrs would be the firstfruits not the 144,000 (Rev. 14:4). The 144,000 must be saved before the martyrs in the fifth seal are saved in order to evangelize the martyrs. The 144,000 must be sealed before the trumpet judgments begin because the sealing must happen before the earth, trees and seas are hurt (Rev. 7:1-3), but the earth, trees and seas will be hurt by the first three trumpet judgments (Rev. 8:1-11). This is sequence.
9) Construction will start on the Temple near the beginning of the Tribulation Period.
The Temple must be Rebuilt Before the Middle of the Tribulation Period—The Temple has to be in place (except for the outer court) before the middle of the Tribulation Period because the Antichrist will stop the sacrifice and oblation at the middle of the Tribulation Period and the Temple will be desolate (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 11:2). Some Jews believe the Messiah will give them permission to rebuild Temple, but some Christians believe that it will be the Antichrist. Some Christians also speculate that permission to rebuild the Temple will be included in the seven-year covenant (Jn. 5:43). The Temple has to be in place (except for the outer court) before the middle of the Tribulation Period because that’s when the Antichrist will stand in the Holy Place and some of the Jews will flee into the wilderness (Matt. 24:15; Rev. 11:2). The High Priest will sprinkle the blood of sacrificed animals in the Holy of Holies before the middle of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will stand in the Holy of Holies at the middle of the Tribulation Period and the Holy of Holies will be desolate during the last 3 ½ years (1260 days). This is sequence.
10) Seals 2 through 6 will take place in sequence.
The Numbers Indicate Chronology or Sequence (See comments on the 5th, 6th, and 7th trumpets below which are the same as the 3 woes)—Chapter 6 indicates that Jesus will break the seals in sequence not all at the same time. War (seal 2) leads to food shortages and famine (seal 3). Food shortages and famine (seal 3) lead to hunger, malnutrition, disease and death (seal 4). Each sealappears to trigger the next seal.
The Sequence in Matthew Chapter 24 and Revelation Chapter 6 is the Same—Some writers equate seals 2 through 6 in the Book of Revelation to what Jesus said about the end of the age and His Second Coming in the Olivet Discourse: false Christs in Matt. 24:5 compares to the first seal in Rev. 6:1-2 (the Antichrist); war in Matt. 24:6-7 compares to the second seal in Rev. 6:3-4 (the removal of peace); famine in Matt. 24:7 compares to the third sealin Rev. 6:5-6 (famine and economic collapse); Pestilences in Matt. 24:7 compares to the fourth seal in Rev. 6:7-8 (plagues); and earthquakes in Matt. 24:7 compares to the sixth seal in Rev. 6:12-13 (great earthquake). If these writers are right, it’s important to remember that Jesus said the “end is not yet” (Matt. 24:6) and He called these events the “beginning of sorrows (Matt. 24:8). The end will come 3 ½ years after the Jews flee into the wilderness (Matt. 24:14-16; Rev. 12:14).
11) When the sixth seal is broken world leaders will finally admit that the great day of his (Jesus’) wrath has come (Rev. 6:12-17).
Jesus will break the first five seals before He breaks the sixth seal—After the first five seals are broken, world leaders will admit that the Tribulation Period has started. The day of wrath is also the great day of the Lord and also the Tribulation Period. It is a day when mighty men will cry bitterly (Zeph. 1:14-15).
The word translated “stars” can also be translated meteors. Most stars are bigger than the earth. Not many, if any, stars could fall on the earth without decimating it. “Stars” could refer to meteors or missiles.
“The heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled up” is an accurate description of what nuclear weapons do. They drive the wind up and out. Then it rolls up and collapses back in.
12) Another indication that Chapter Six is before Chapter Seven.
Normally, a question is asked before it is answered—The last verse of Chapter Six reads, “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Chapter Seven mentions the 144,000 who are sealed by God. They will be able to stand before the Lord (Rev. 14:1).
13) Chapter Seven is before Chapter Eight.
Noise—In Chapter Seven, the martyrs in heaven are speaking in a loud voice (Rev. 7:10); the angels and others are worshiping God and speaking (Rev. 7:11-12); one of the elders asks a question (Rev. 7:13); John answers the question (Rev. 7:14). There is noise in heaven.
The Seventh Seal will be followed by 30 minutes of silence and this will be before the Seven Trumpets—In Chapter Eight, the seventh seal is broken and there is silence in heaven for about 30 minutes (Rev. 8:1). After the 30 minutes of silence ends, seven angels will appear and they will be given trumpets (Rev. 8:2). The seventh seal is opened before the seven trumpets are blown. This reveals sequence.
14) The first four trumpets will be blown before the last three trumpets.
After the fourth angel blows the fourth trumpet an angel flies through heaven, “saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound” (Rev. 8:13)! The “other voices” of the trumpet refers to the three “Woes” which are the same as the last three trumpets. So the first four trumpets will be blown before the last three. This is sequence.
15) The last three trumpets will be blown in chronological order.
The Fifth Trumpet will Sound Before the Sixth and Seventh—The fifth angel will blow the fifth trumpet (Rev. 9:1-12). Demon possessed locusts will be released to torment people for five months. The Bible says, “One woe is past; and, behold, there cometwo woes more hereafter” (Rev. 9:12). “Two woes more hereafter” means the fifth trumpet (first woe) will be over or past before the sixth and seventh trumpets sound (before the next two woes). This is sequence.
The Sixth Trumpet will Sound Before the Seventh Trumpet—The sixth angel will blow the sixth trumpet (Rev. 9:13-11:14). Multitudes will be killed, John will eat the little scroll, he will measure the Temple, the Two Witnesses will be killed, etc. The Bible says, “The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woecometh quickly” (Rev. 11:14). “Cometh” means the third trumpet (third woe) is still future or later in the Tribulation Period.
This places the death of the Two Witnesses and their 3 ½ years of ministry before the seventh trumpet. This is sequence.
The Seventh Trumpet will Sound After the Seven Seals (see item #13 above) and after the First Six Trumpets—The seventh angel will blow the seventh trumpet (Rev. 11:15-14:20). There will be war in heaven and Satan will be kicked out (Rev. 12:7-9). A voice will say, “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Rev. 12:12). This is the third woe. Satan will be kicked out of heaven and he will come down to the earth after the fifth and sixth trumpets, after the Two Witnesses have ministered and been killed, etc. Satan will intensify the persecution when he is cast to the earth because he will know that his time is short. The intensification of the persecution is one reason (just one reason) why prophecy teachers call the second half of the Tribulation Period the Great Tribulation. This is sequence.
16) Some of the Jews (the Jews in Judea) will flee into the wilderness after the seventh angel blows the seventh trumpet.
The Seal and Trumpet Judgments will be in the First Half of the Tribulation Period—“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (Rev. 12:13-14).
Remember from #14 above that the first four trumpets will be blown before the last three trumpets (Rev. 8:13). Remember from #15 above that the last three trumpets will be blown in sequence. Remember from #15 above that Satan will be thrown to the earth when the seventh trumpet sounds. Satan will intensify his persecution of the Jews and some of those in Judea will flee into the wilderness 1260 days before the end of the Tribulation Period (Rev. 12:13-14). Since they flee into the wilderness 1260 days before the end of the Tribulation Period, this reveals that the seven seals and seven trumpets will be in the first half of the Tribulation Period. Since Satan will be cast to the earth before the woman (Israel) flees into the wilderness, this means Satan will be cast to the earth before the middle of the Tribulation Period. It also means that the seventh trumpet will sound before the middle of the Tribulation Period. This is sequence.
17) This is the middle of the Tribulation Period.
It has already been shown that the Antichrist will defile the Templeand some of the Jews will flee into the wilderness at the middle of the Tribulation Period (Dan. 9:27: Matt. 24:15-16; Rev. 12:14). When that happens, the Temple will be deserted and the animal sacrifices will cease.
18) The three wonders (signs).
John saw a great wonder in heaven—a woman clothed with the sun, etc. travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered (Rev. 12:1). John saw another wonder in heaven—a great red dragon (Rev. 12:3).John saw another sign in heaven—seven angels having the seven last plagues (Rev. 15:1).
19) The seven vials (or bowls) will be after the seven seal and seven trumpet judgments.
“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God” (Rev. 15:1). “Last plagues” means there won’t be anymore plagues after these plagues. “Last plagues” also means that these plagues will be after the seal and trumpet judgments because the first vial is one of the seven last plagues. The numbers indicate chronology or sequence (See comments #10 and #15 on the 5th, 6th, and 7th trumpets above—the three woes). This is sequence.
20) The Second Coming will end the Tribulation Period.
It will be seven years after the Antichrist confirms the covenant (Dan. 9:27). It will end in the days of the ten kings (leaders, horns) because they will make war with the Lamb and He will overcome them (Rev. 17:14). On the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream it will be in the days of the feat of Iron and Clay (future) not in the legs of Iron (Past; not in 70 A.D.). (Dan. 2:1-44).
It will be after the Marriage of the Lamb and the Church and after the Church has appeared before the Judgment Seat of Christ (Rev. 19:7-10).
21) The Antichrist and False Prophet will be seized and thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20).
This will take place at the Battle of Armageddon and Second Coming. And this means it will before the Millennium (Rev. 19:11-21).
22) Satan will be bound and chained and kept in the Bottomless Pit for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-6).
This will be during the Millennium (see item #23 below).
23) When the 1,000 years are expired (more sequence), Satan will be released for a short time (Rev. 20:7).
“When the 1,000 years are expired” means Satan will be released after the Millennium.
24) After Satan’s short release, he will be seized and cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10).
25) The lost will be raised, brought before the Great White Throne, judged and cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15).
26) This heaven and earth will pass away and there will be a new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1).
Many passages indicate that there will be a new heaven and new earth (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; Psa. 102:25-26; Matt. 24:35; II Pet. 3:13; Rev. 20:11; 21-22).
27) New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven to the New Earth and the Lamb will dwell with His bride (Rev. 21 and 22).
New Jerusalem is not heaven. New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck