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14.3. Structural Outline

It is our conviction that the events of the book are mainly sequential and flow naturally from the threefold division given by John in Revelation Rev. 1:19+. We will follow an outline derived from the work of McLean.1

I. Prologue: Things Which You Have Seen (Rev. Rev. 1:1-20+)

II. Letters to the Seven Churches: Things Which Are (Rev. Rev. 2:1+-Rev. 3:22+)

III. Future Revealed: Things Which Shall Take Place After These Things (Rev. Rev. 4:1+-Rev. 22:5+)

A. God’s Wrath/Great Tribulation (Rev. Rev. 4:1+-Rev. 19:21+)

1. Introduction to the Seven Seal Judgments (Rev. Rev. 4:1+-Rev. 5:14+)

a) Throne of God in heaven (Rev. Rev. 4:1-11+)

b) The Scroll of the Lamb (Rev. Rev. 5:1-14+)

2. The Six Seal Judgments (Rev. Rev. 6:1+-Rev. 7:17+)

a) First Seal: White horse (Rev. Rev. 6:1-2+)

b) Second Seal: Red horse (Rev. Rev. 6:3-4+)

c) Third Seal: Black horse (Rev. Rev. 6:5-6+)

d) Fourth Seal: Ashen horse (Rev. Rev. 6:7-8+)

e) Fifth Seal: Martyrs under the altar (Rev. Rev. 6:9-11+)

f) Sixth Seal: Great day of God’s wrath (Rev. Rev. 6:12-17+)

g) Narrative Preview: Redeemed of God (Rev. Rev. 7:1-17+)

(1) Sealing of the 144,000 (Rev. Rev. 7:1-8+)

(2) Martyrs from the great Tribulation (Rev. Rev. 7:9-17+)

3. The Seventh Seal: Seven Trumpets (Rev. Rev. 8:1+-Rev. 18:24+)

a) Breaking Seventh Seal: introduction to the Seven Trumpets (Rev. Rev. 8:1-6+)

b) First Trumpet: one-third of the earth destroyed (Rev. Rev. 8:7+)

c) Second Trumpet: one-third of the sea destroyed (Rev. Rev. 8:8-9+)

d) Third Trumpet: one-third of the water destroyed (Rev. Rev. 8:10-11+)

e) Fourth Trumpet: one-third of the celestial destroyed (Rev. Rev. 8:12+)

f) Introduction to the Three Woes (Rev. Rev. 8:13+)

(1) Fifth Trumpet: First Woe, men tormented (Rev. Rev. 9:1-12+)

(2) Sixth Trumpet: Second Woe, one-third of mankind killed (Rev. Rev. 9:13+-Rev. 11:14+)

(3) Seventh Trumpet: Third Woe, the Seven Bowls (Rev. Rev. 11:15+-Rev. 18:24+)

(a) Seventh Trumpet, proclamation of God’s kingdom (Rev. Rev. 11:15-19+)

(b) Narrative Synopsis (Rev. Rev. 12:1+-Rev. 14:13+)

i) A Woman, Male child, Satan in conflict (Rev. Rev. 12:1-6+)

ii) Angelic war in heaven (Rev. Rev. 12:7-12+)

iii) War on earth (Rev. Rev. 12:13-17+)

iv) Beast out of the sea (Rev. Rev. 13:1-10+)

v) Beast out of the earth (Rev. Rev. 13:11-18+)

vi) Narrative Preview (Rev. Rev. 14:1-13+)

(c) Introduction to the Seven Bowls (Rev. Rev. 14:14+-Rev. 15:8+)

i) Son of Man with a sickle (Rev. Rev. 14:14-16+)

ii) Wine press of God’s wrath (Rev. Rev. 14:17-20+)

iii) Seven angels of the Seven plagues (Rev. Rev. 15:1+)

iv) Worship of God and the Lamb (Rev. Rev. 15:2-4+)

v) Seven angels receive the Bowls (Rev. Rev. 15:5-8+)

(d) Seven Bowl Judgments (Rev. Rev. 16:1+-Rev. 18:24+)

i) First Bowl: malignant sores (Rev. Rev. 16:1-2+)

ii) Second Bowl: sea destroyed (Rev. Rev. 16:3+)

iii) Third Bowl: rivers destroyed (Rev. Rev. 16:4-7+)

iv) Fourth Bowl: scorching heat (Rev. Rev. 16:8-9+)

v) Fifth Bowl: darkness (Rev. Rev. 16:10-11+)

vi) Sixth Bowl: preparation for war (Rev. Rev. 16:12-16+)

vii) Seventh Bowl: worldwide destruction (Rev. Rev. 16:17-21+)

viii) Narrative Synopsis (Rev. Rev. 17:1+-Rev. 18:24+)

[a] Description and Destruction of the Harlot (Rev. Rev. 17:1-18+)

[b] Condemnation and Destruction of Babylon (Rev. Rev. 18:1-24+)

4. The Advent of Jesus Christ (Rev. Rev. 19:2-21+)

a) Introduction and praise of the advent (Rev. Rev. 19:1-10+)

b) Parousia of Jesus Christ (Rev. Rev. 19:11-16+)

c) Judgment of the beast, false prophet, and people (Rev. Rev. 19:17-21+)

B. Millennial Kingdom (Rev. Rev. 20:1-10+)

1. Satan is bound in the abyss (Rev. Rev. 20:1-3+)

2. Saints resurrected (Rev. Rev. 20:4-6+)

3. Final judgment of Satan (Rev. Rev. 20:7-10+)

C. Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. Rev. 20:11-15+)

D. The New Jerusalem (Rev. Rev. 21:1+-Rev. 22:5+)

IV. Epilogue (Rev. Rev. 22:6-21+)


1 John A. McLean, “Structure of the Book of Revelation,” in Mal Couch, ed., Dictionary of Premillennial Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), 376-377.