- Religion and Philosophy
The Revelation (Order of Events Part 1)
The Revelation (Order of Events Part 1)
The Revelation, the last book of the Bible, was written by the apostle John while he had been exiled to the prison island of Patmos; this was because of his testimony of Jesus Christ and the word of God. The Revelation is primarily a book of prophetic messages regarding the end of the world. John received these messages in a series of visions in which he saw symbols that represented literal characters or events. He wrote what he saw and heard in symbolic language that can be interpreted so that we can know the truth about the future of the world.
The world will end someday but no one, except God, knows exactly when. We can, however, notice certain developments that indicate the end is near. As time goes by, three areas of development are becoming more obvious; these are greed, violence, and immorality. Even though human beings make technological advances, most of us follow a trend of putting material wealth above caring about people. And more often, people are resorting to violence to solve problems. We can also see a general decline in moral values, causing an increase in criminal activities as well as a deterioration of family relationships.
When the world does end, God will make all things new. But between now and the implementation of the new world, there are roughly ten phases that this world must go through. Some of these overlap with the one before or after. These phases are described in the following order of events:
Phase 1: The Four Horses of the Apocalypse
According to the Revelation, Chapter 6, the first phase is the events represented by the four horses of the Apocalypse. John wrote, "I saw a white horse and its rider held a bow. A crown was given to him and he went forth to conquer." First, we will see a man who will be able to bring about peace in the Middle East and he will rise to a position of authority. This will be the Antichrist whose real mission is to conquer Israel and its allies, and to be in control of the final world government.
Shortly after the Antichrist comes into power, the seven-year Tribulation Period will begin. This will be a terrible time, worse than any other in world history. God will send two witnesses to prophesy during the first half of the Tribulation Period. We can read about these witnesses, beginning in Chapter 11, Verse 3, of Revelation. John wrote, "And I will give power to my two witnesses and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." After their testimony about the end times is finished, the Antichrist will have them killed. Then God will resurrect them and they will go to heaven.
Regarding the second horse of the Apocalypse, John wrote, "Another horse came out that was red. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth, and to cause people to kill each other; to him was given a large sword." This represents a powerful nation that will instigate a major war, causing many to die in battle. This nation will most likely have a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Next he wrote, "I saw a black horse and its rider held a pair of scales. Then, among the four creatures, I heard a voice say, 'A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny, but do not damage the oil and wine.' " The rider of the black horse represents the suffering caused by the war. The pair of scales represents the economic failure and famine caused by the war. Food will be very expensive and only very rich people will be able to afford luxury items.
Then he wrote, "I saw a pale horse and the name of its rider was Death, and Hell followed him. Power was given to them over a fourth of the earth to kill with a sword, and with hunger, plague, and wild animals." The rider of the pale horse represents the death of those who will die either in the war, or by starvation, disease, or attack of wild animals. A fourth of the world's population will be killed, and Hell is the graves of those killed.
Phase 2: The Rapture
Soon after the Tribulation Period begins, an event known as the rapture will occur. This is the second phase of the end of the world. This is when Jesus returns and all Christians, living and dead, will go with Him to heaven. Christians who have died will be resurrected at that time. In Chapter 6, Verses 9 and 10, John wrote, "I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been killed for the word of God and the testimony they held." They will ask, "How long, Lord, do you not judge those who live on the earth, and avenge our blood?"
Later in Revelation, Chapter 7, Verses 9,13, and 14, John wrote, "I saw a countless number of people from all nations, standing in front of the throne in the presence of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and holding palm leaves in their hands. Then one of the elders asked me, 'Who are these people wearing white robes, and where did they come from?' I told him that he knew, and he said, 'These people are those who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.' " These people will be Christians who believe in Jesus as their savior, and will go to heaven at the time of the rapture.
Phase 3: A Great Earthquake
Soon after the rapture, a great earthquake will occur. This will be the third phase of the end of the world. In Chapter 6, Verses 12 through 17, John wrote, "There was a great earthquake, and the sun became black, and the moon became red. The stars fell to the earth, like figs falling from a fig tree when it is shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded, and all the mountains and islands were moved out of their places. People hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks saying, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the day of His wrath has come, and who will be able to stand?' "
Phase 4: 144,000 Jewish People Sealed
In the seventh chapter of Revelation, we read that before the final years of tribulation a large number of Jewish people will receive the seal of God. They will be protected when the Antichrist comes into power. This will be the fourth phase of the end of the world. In Chapter 7, Verses 2 through 4, John wrote, "I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called to the four angels who had been given power to harm the earth and the sea. And I heard him say, 'Do not harm the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have placed a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.' And the number of those sealed was 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel."
At this point about halfway through the Tribulation Period, many Jewish people and others will then realize that Jesus is our Lord and savior. They will turn to Him, repenting of their sins and receiving salvation. The Antichrist will become dictator of the final world government and demand loyalty and even worship from all people who remain in the world. He will try to kill the Jewish people who become Christians, but God will protect them.
Phase 5: Six Acts of God's Judgment
At this point, the fifth phase of the end of the world will begin. In Revelation, Chapter 8, Verses 7 through 12, John wrote, "Hail and fire mixed with blood were thrown down upon the earth. A third of the trees was burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. Then something like a huge mountain, blazing with fire, was thrown into the sea. And a third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships was destroyed.
Then a great star, blazing with fire, fell from heaven on a third of the rivers, and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood; and a third of the water became bitter like wormwood, and many people died because of the bitter water. Then a third of the sun, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars were struck, causing them to turn dark. This caused a third of the day and a third of the night to be without light."
In Chapter 9, Verses 1 through 6, John wrote, "I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth; and to him was given a key to the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke arose from it and the sun and sky were darkened by the smoke. Then out of the smoke came locusts down upon the earth and they were given power like that of scorpions. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were told not to kill them, but to torment them for five months. The torment they inflicted was like that caused by the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. During those days people will seek death, but will not find it. They will want to die, but death will flee from them."
The star that fell from heaven is Satan and he will be given authority to open the Abyss, which is a deep pit in the earth. Satan will open the Abyss, releasing the locust-like creatures that one of Satan's demons will have authority over. After these disasters occur, more acts of judgment will follow.
In Chapter 9, Verses 13 through 21, John wrote, "I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar that is in front of God. The voice said, 'Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.' And the four angels were released. They had been prepared for a year, a month, a day, and an hour to kill a third of mankind. I heard the number of their horsemen; it was 200 million. I saw the horses and their riders. A third of mankind was killed by the fire, smoke, and brimstone that came out of their mouths. The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of their work, and not worship devils and idols that do not see, or hear, or walk. They did not repent of their murders, or sorceries, or fornication, or thefts.
The four angels will actually be four of Satan's demons who will be assigned to gather an army of 200 million men with which to kill a third of mankind. The horses may represent mobile machines of war with nuclear weaponry and the smoke may represent radioactive fallout. Whatever they are, they will be used by the army to kill a third of the unrepentant people left on earth. Those who are not killed will still not repent of their evil work.
This will be about the halfway point to the new world that God will implement. There are still five more phases that the world must go through. These will be described in the upcoming article entitled - The Revelation (Order of Events Part 2).
From the Bible:
After that I looked, and saw a door that was opened in heaven. And the first voice I heard was like a trumpet speaking to me that said, "Come up here, and I will show you things that must happen in the future."
(Revelation, Chapter 4, Verse 1)
Next in this series: The Revelation (Order of Events Part 2)
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