Summary Chart of Revelation's Major Events

The major events depicted in the book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, have a chronological order. The difficulty of determining just what that order is can be helped by several 'tricks of the trade' for interpreting the Bible.

This hub article is part of a series on the study of Revelation. The biblical style of writing and how it was used by John—who wrote down the visions revealed to him—is one clue to this event time-line. The following that are a part of this study series take a look at this style and also address the interpretative helps required to begin to determine the event chronology.

Keys to the interpretation of Revelation

There are other hub articles, in addition to these, that also provide further background to my conclusions on the chronological event-line of Revelation.

Keys to determining Revelation's event-line

Major events in Revelation

One is Revelation's ten major events. Three of those major events occur in the Tribulation stage, which include

  • the 'birth pangs' and Great tribulation → The 7 Seals
  • "Day" of wrath and Great tribulation → The 7 Trumpets
  • pouring out of God's full anger → The 7 Vials

Christian tribulation views


Embedded in these three major Tribulation events is a separate event representing the central idea—the reaping of the harvest. This is the harvest that Jesus referred to in the parable of the wheat and the weeds of Matthew 13:30.

A look at the biblical writing style used in another hub article reveals this central idea in the long Tribulation stage of Revelation. This style

  • makes use of the literary device called the chiasmus and
  • how it indicates the turning point towards the final fall of the evil empire of the beast of Revelation—taken down when God's full anger is unleashed.

There are two other categories of events key to our understanding the event-line of Revelation.

Jewish Feasts

In Jewish Fall Feasts Reflected in Revelation, I look at the imagery of traditional Jewish feasts how they foreshadow events in Revelation. I explain in Major Events and Jewish Feasts in Revelation how these relate to the series of seven Seals, Trumpets and Vials in the Tribulation stage.


There are at least three future wars described in the Bible. These wars are more cataclysmic than anything the world has yet seen. I summarize these wars in Future Wars Described in the Bible using three charts. This shows how they are foreshadowed by the Old Testament prophets Isaiah, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Joel, Ezekiel and Zechariah.

The chronological order of events in the Tribulation Stage

These six articles, and the key background information they provide, culminate in the following one-page summary event-line of Revelation.

Click image to view original size


To understand how I arrived at this order of events, do consider the six articles I have linked to in the above.

© 2011 Deidre Shelden

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Where in Revelation do you think the rapture happens? 25 comments

JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

Very interesting Dee. But, you sure picked a difficult subject. I can imagine the research involved.

VictorG profile image

VictorG 5 years ago from USA

I agree with JY3502 that you certainly set the bar very high with this one, as well as your other hubs.

I found it particularly interesting to learn about the way the writing style of the Bible influenced us today. I was not familiar with the technical term for chiasmus, although i had of course come across it and even used it in writing at times, so it was fun to do some research on it.

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA Author

JY3502 and VictorG, I've been researching this for a couple years now. Considering, as I say on my profile page, that my previous occupation was as a translator...and it was of the New Testament, you can see it is a very strong interest of mine. Also, my daughter has been spurring me on because she wants to understand it, and then my church wanted a Sunday School class on it. So, there is a lot motivating this study. :)

feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

Hello, Ms Dee,

Because I am quite intrigued by The Book of Revelation, I was captured by this post. And I must say that what you wrote was very educational for me.

I am going to read some of your other postings on this topic and I will be following the series as it unfolds.

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Feenix, It is so good to gain your readership of this series. I look forward to your comments and thoughts on Revelation. I've been studying it intensely for a couple years now and have finally come to enough conclusions at least to write some about its interpretation.

Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 5 years ago

Ms. Dee,

I am so thrilled you have done this! I love the content and the charts explaining and backing up the content. Revelation is a difficult book to understand. I will keep you in prayer! that God will pour his wisdom into your heart so that you may be used as a vessel to help those who seek, understand. Good for you! I voted up! Beautiful! blessings and hugs! :)

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 5 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Jo, I can sure use your prayers--thank you! Your note is an encouragement to keep working on this :)

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

I agree with the comments here - what an undertaking and one that needs to be covered in prayer. I will be looking forward to reading more because I have been wanting to understand Revelation better. The chats are awesome too. Thanks!

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 4 years ago

Ms Dee, Wonderful thought provoking informative hub! Much here to ponder and digest on the prophecies of the "Tribulation Events" in Revelation!

Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 4 years ago from Texas, USA Author

DeBorrah, may this provoke a clearer grasp of what message God wants us to understand in the book of Revelation. God bless your study!

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Very interesting hub. It takes a lot of knowledge and research to write about the Book of Revelation for sure, and you did it so well. You have very interesting hubs, and I am looking forward to reading more. You are so versatile in all the different areas of your interests and writings. Nothing boring about you for sure. Faith Reaper

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 4 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Faith Reaper, thank you for your kind acknowledgement of the research and study it takes to explain Revelation. I look forward to your further responses.

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Hxprof 4 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

This is the 2nd article I've read in your Revelation series. It's good that you're seeking knowledge on how the end of the age will unfold. Thanks for writing down your findings!

I hope you continue to examine Revelation and the other books containing prophecy for more insight.

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 4 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Hxprof, I have done some further examination of Revelation and will post another article or two. There are two harvests in chapter 14, I've come to realize. I also have a one-page basic summary of Revelation that I will post.

Art Naranjo 3 years ago

For over 25 years I been taught the rapture happens before the Great Tribulation. I started studying Revelation on my own because no body could give me a stright answer about 1Cor. 15:52 & 1Thess 4:16. If the last Trump blowing is the Rapture, then by all means, the Church goes though the Great Tribulation period. As I started to understand more about Revelation, I found more and more scriptures supporting this fact. All those believing in a pre-tribulation rapture have been deceived. No where in the Holy Bible is there a pre-tribulation rapture. The children of God were never promised to be free of tribulation, but free from God's wrath.

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 3 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Art Naranjo, Well said! Yes, in the above chart (which may be hard to see) the next to last verticle line is the "harvest" of Revelation 14. It occurs immediately after the 7th trumpet. This is the taking of the righteous by Jesus (having come in a cloud) to Himself and the wicked by God's angel to destruction. I show this as The Central Idea in Revelation's Tribulation Chapters, in a hub article of that name. In the above chart, this happens in the midst of God's Day of Wrath, after the seven trumpets of judgment--the seventh being the "last Trump". I'm pleased to have the confirmation of your studies that the believing are still on earth after the trumpets of judgment and have not been raptured beforehand. It is just that they are not destroyed by God's full anger poured out, along with the wicked--represented by the seven vials in Revelation.

skye2day profile image

skye2day 2 years ago from Rocky Mountains

MsDee I am excited. I love the book of Revelation. I have been going back and forth studying it for about a year. I often listen to sermon audio and have found a few pastors that have great wisdom. The book is so precious and beautiful. To take on a challenge as this is honorable dear sister. You so love the Lord and He is worthy to be praised Amen. So I have bookmarked the page and in time I will be reading your study of revelation. I know God works through you dear child of the King to do mighty works. I love you and I am grateful I happened into your neighborhood tonight. No mistakes in Gods world. Amen. Sending warm hugs. Love you MsDee. You are precious.Skye

Shared and an honor to do so. Voted

skye2day profile image

skye2day 2 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Ms Dee I think I lost the first comment. I am very excited to read your study on revelation. God Bless you for taking on such a challenge. I know the power of the Holy Spirit is on you precious child of the King. I am bookmarking. I so love the book of Revelation. I have been looking into it for a year or so.

I love the comment from art above and your reply as well to him. I am in agreement on your rapture theory. For many years I would not hear any other revelation about rapture. I was taught we were going to be caught up. Led by the precious Holy Spirit I was pointed to a pastor and several others and my eyes were opened to understanding of scripture. I have long ways to go and look forward to hear your works. May God bless you dear woman. I love you sister and may Gods favor shine on you in abundance each day. Keep going child of the King. Be Blessed in Him. Skye

voted and honored to share.

Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West By God

Now this is a different view. I like it. I took Bible and Literature in High School and failed because I did not see the same view as my teacher did about the book of Revelations. That was many years ago. I also found that some or all of Revelations took place or was written about in or after the year 79 AD after Jesus' death. If you could look up that about the Revelations and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on google you will find that it is different view as well.

As far as Jesus being in a cloud in the sky there is another site that you may want to do some research on and that is

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 2 years ago from Texas, USA Author

skye2day Thanks so much for your encouraging comment! God bless you. Let me know if you see any way that this can be improved upon to be more accurate or understandable.

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 2 years ago from Texas, USA Author

sky2day, A double blessing from you today! :) In my further seekings of the Lord since writing this study, I've also come to understand better the point of the letter to the churches in Revelation chapters 2-3. We see that only the Philadelphia church is told they will be kept from the hour of testing that is going to come upon the whole world (3:10). The Lord has something against the rest of the churches that they must address with repentance, except for some in Sardis (3:4) who have kept obedient and repentant, as well. However, the rest of the Lord's churches will be further tested (2:10) as to their faithfulness, for their hearts and works upon examination (2:23) have been found wanting. So it seems some believers will be tested by going through the hour of world wide testing/tribulation and some will not. I seek for the Lord to keep examining me and help me keep a repentant obedient heart, as I am sure you do, yourself. I send you our Lord's love, dear sister.

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 2 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Lady Guinevere, I am very glad to have your comment and suggested further sources for research! In addition to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, there are many other historical events that have been related to the descriptions in Revelation. Those occurring after it was written have even suggested to others that the end time judgment has already happened. I have come to understand, however, that Revelation foretells of destruction that takes place all at the same time worldwide and that it happens swiftly, COMPLETELY changing the world as we know it now. Also, I've been learning that the UFOs portend the coming during the tribulation of Satan's army of fallen angels/demons that are released during the Day of God's wrath (mentioned in Rev 9, the sixth trumpet.)

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Hxprof 2 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

Ms. Dee-There's some good discussion here and I'd like to add to it. Christians that are "kept from the hour of testing" as promised in Revelation are those who've obeyed Christ. Yes, there are Christians who aren't obeying Christ...not necessarily because of an uncaring attitude towards sin, but because of not understanding all that Christ commanded. These are things the disciples were told by Christ to teach those that the Holy Spirit brought to Christ.

Many of us will go through far more during the Great Tribulation than we have to. God intends that we help others during this time of great trouble, but we have to be prepared to do that - all of this is laid out by Christ and expounded upon by Peter, James, Paul and John. And even prepared Christians WILL experience much trouble during this time, but will be spared the worst of it because we're prepared. The GT is Satan's wrath. So, Christians that are prepared will have little remaining in their hearts for Satan to use against them; they too will have trouble and difficulty, particularly persecution, but will have put on the full armor of God, being made "perfect, complete and lacking nothing".

Sadly, there are few churches teaching this truth. I can name no denomination that is. But the truth is that we're not made clean at salvation, for we must still be sanctified. That process of sanctification is one that the disciples experienced so Christ could show them all the junk in their hearts, so that junk could be dealt with, and then the disciples could be released to preach the gospel after, which happened after they received power from the Holy Spirit (note that they already had the HS, but received power from Him when they were ready).

We absolutely must undergo the unpleasant sanctification process during which we are shown the true condition of our hearts to the point that we present to God hearts that are "broken and contrite" - the disciples went through this, and contrary to the teachings of virtually every church, we must also endure that process. Then we'll be prepared to be used of God during the GT.

Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West By God

Interesting indeed.

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 2 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Hxprof, Thank you so much for sharing what you have come to understand! Yes, we are to work out our sanctification in repentance and obedience. May we continue to work to be prepared to meet Him as we look up, anticipating His coming to gather us to Him.

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