What Must Happen before the Events of Revelation - Revelation Timeline
We know that the Gospel must be preached around the world for a witness unto all nations and then the end shall come (Matthew 24:15). Many events will take place before the Revelation timeline. There will be people popping on the scene pretending to be the Messiah. Jesus tells us not to be deceived (Mark 13:6). We will hear of wars and rumors of wars. We should not be troubled. These things must happen before the end of the world. Other events listed in Mark 13 reports that nation will revolt against nation and kingdom against kingdom. We all know that this has been going on for years. The U.S. has been involved in World War I and World War II. Our troops have fought in Korea, Vietnam, The Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq just to name a few. We also had many wars on our own soil like the Civil War. There have been wars and conflicts in other nations. This will continue until the end of time.
The Bible tells of earthquakes, and there shall be famines and troubles. These are the beginning of sorrows. We have been experiencing troubles with coronavirus and we have experienced sorrows. However, the Bible speaks of many other events that shall occur. The Bible speaks of affliction that has never been seen since the beginning of creation. False Christs and prophets shall rise and show signs and wonders to seduce Christians. This has been happening already over the years. You may remember how many people died with Jim Jones in Guyana.
What Happens during the Events of Revelation - Revelation Timeline
Many things occur in the book of Revelation. What should be of concern for Christians is the time before the rapture. According to modern-day prophets and preachers, the rapture could occur at any time. After the rapture is when the true drama of the Revelation timeline unfolds.
A good portion of the Revelation to John has to do with visions that God gave to him. Most scholars say John wrote Revelation. Throughout Revelation, you have events that occur at the end of time as we know it.
Let’s pick it up in chapter 5 of Revelation. There is a lot of symbolism here regarding Jesus dying on the cross. He is referred to as the Lamb being slain. Verse 11 speaks of a number too numerous to name. John heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the beasts and elders and the number of them was 10,000 times 10,000, and thousands of thousands. They were all saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing.” This right here is shouting material because of the hundreds of thousands and thousands. That’s shouting material because ten thousand times 10,000 is 100 million. Then, it says thousands of thousands. So, the number appears to be more than 100 million. We should be encouraged that we will be in that number.
Seals are being opened in chapter 6. There is widespread panic on the earth. There are great earthquakes. The sun becomes black, and the moon turns bloody. The stars of heaven fall. Mountains and islands move out of their place. Kings of the earth, great men, rich men, chief captains, mighty men, everyday men are hiding in the dens and rocks of the mountains. They are running to avoid the wrath of God.
John then sees other events in the Revelation timeline. One angel instructs four other angels to wait until the Saints are sealed. These are those who were saved after the rapture and are still on earth during the tribulation period. They received a seal on their foreheads so that the locusts that will be sent out will not harm them. The sting of the locust is compared to that of a scorpion. The appearance of the locust is far worse than any scary movie. These locusts are like horses prepared for battle. They have the faces of men. There are crowns of gold on their heads. Hair like women and teeth like a lion. They have breastplates of iron. The sound of their wings is like chariots running to battle. They had tails like scorpions and the tails were used to hurt those on the earth for five months. The locusts are probably demons. They may look like the above or they could just have all those features and characteristics. They will however inflict pain for five months. No ordinary insect will be able to do that. Read chapter 9 to get a full picture.
In chapter 7, you will see those from the tribes of Israel that will be sealed. The locusts’ sting will inflict pain for five months on other inhabitants of the earth. Those are not saved and took the mark of the beast. Chapter 9 gives the details that torment is so great that men will seek death and not find it. They will desire to die, but death will flee from them. More fury is unleashed in chapter 9. There are hundreds of thousands of horsemen sent out. These horses are breathing fire. Understand a lot of turmoil can be avoided for those who repent and give up their idol gods and trust in the one true God.
We know from Revelation that the beast is already on the earth during this time. There is more mention of him in chapter 13. The events that have transpired probably occurred after the beast’s arrival. Unfortunately, people will worship the dragon which is the devil. The beast is the devil’s representative on earth. In Revelation 13:8, it says “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” During this time, people have already taken the mark of the beast 666 in their hand or forehead. This is unfortunate. People must be educated about this. If they get left behind and repent, I am sure that God will help them. Don’t be so afraid that you will starve to death and take the mark of the beast. It is better to die of starvation and live in heaven than to sell out for a way to eat and then you end up in hell because you bowed down to the beast.
Chapters 15 and 16 of Revelation detail more bad news for those who are left behind and not saved. There will be several plagues poured out targeting those who have worshipped the beast. One plague will render men helpless. One will give them sores. Another will make the seas turn into blood. Another calamity will cause the sun to be so hot that it will scorch people on the earth.
After the fulfillment of the Revelation timeline, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light. The stars of the heavens shall fall and the powers that are in the heaven shall be shaken (Mark 13:24-25). Then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
In Revelation 19, John writes that he saw heaven open and behold a white horse. He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, he doth judge and make war. His eyes were a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns. The many crowns no doubt signifies that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The battle of Armageddon occurs in Revelation 19. Of course, we win. The devil is bound for 1,000 years while God sets up His kingdom on earth. The devil is eventually put into the lake of fire with the beast and false prophet. People also will be judged sometime after all of this. Read Revelation 20:12-15 for more. It says “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
A new heaven and a new earth are established. John saw a new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven. John said that he heard a great voice out of heaven saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men.”
What Are Various Timelines Christians Have Proposed for Revelation?
There are many different views and interpretations on when certain events will take place in the Bible. No man knows exactly how or when each of the events listed in Revelation will unfold or to what degree. We should however know that God is not a man that He should lie nor a son of man that He should change His man. Will He speak and not act? Will He promise and not fulfill (Numbers 23:19). The book of Revelation was written sometime AD 90-95. A lot of Revelation is symbolism, and you really must study and dig to derive the literal meaning. Of course, we can only speculate what events will look like during that time. Revelation does give a clear picture.
Why Should Christians Avoid Getting Too Invested in Revelation Timelines?
We must go back to the scripture that states no man knows the time or the hour when the Son of God shall appear(Matthew 24:36). So, we should be busy trying to get as many people saved as possible. No one on this earth will ever know the exact day when God will return. We should be mindful of His return and know that He will come back like a theft in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). So even though these events all must happen before God’s return, we just need to be ready and stay ready. Look at Luke 18. Jesus makes it clear that we should be conducting business as usual. In the days of Noah, people were marrying, eating and drinking, and carrying about their lives up until the day Noah and his family went into the ark.
In the days of Lot, people were eating and drinking. They bought, sold, planted, and built. When Lot left Sodom and Gomorrah, the Lord rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed all the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. We don’t have to worry about seeing these events if you are a Christian. Stay saved. Stay prayed up. Pray for others who are just oblivious to all that is Christianity. Pray for backsliders who just think that they have time unlimited to get it together. God will not always strive with man.
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Dr. Sandra Hamer Smith is a Christian and wife to Sylvester Smith. She has one stepson, Greg. Smith lives and resides in Memphis, Tennessee. The University of Memphis alumnae has been in education for about 20 years after receiving the call to teach. Dr. Smith primarily teaches language arts. Prior to education, she worked in local and national television news for 13 years including positions as an overnight news anchor, reporter, and assignments editor at two local network affiliate stations. Smith was also a freelance correspondent for BET news. Dr. Smith has freelanced for the Tri-State Defender newspaper and Contempora magazine. She is the author of the self-published novel GLORY…THE HAIR. Smith is also a playwright and poet. The Tennessee native is a member of Temple of Deliverance COGIC, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, Omicron Delta Kappa, The Golden Key International Honour Society, and Kappa Delta Pi.