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Revelation: the Last Days Roadmap

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Revelation: the Last Days Roadmap

Perhaps the most important prophecy key is Revelation's sequential nature. Starting with the church age, the book of Revelation serves as an end-time roadmap guiding its readers through the prophetic timeline turn by turn until it reaches its final destination with the eternal new creations. This enables it to serve as a ‘Rosetta stone' that assists in the correlation of a myriad of separate unrelated prophecies dispersed throughout the rest of scripture. Unique in this regard among the books of the Bible, Revelation is critical to understanding many aspects of the last days and forms the basis for the timeline discussions for the rest of this book. This rest of this section introduces more of Revelation's interesting elements.

Revelation's most likely author is John the Apostle (though there is some debate on this point) who also authored the last of the four gospels, the book of John. Many see interesting parallels between the two books especially in the descriptions of Judas in John and the antichrist in Revelation. John probably wrote the book of Revelation around 96 A.D. when he was a prisoner on the isle of Patmos. Its introductory verse provides the book's title:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: (Revelation 1:1)

The title sets the tone for the book, which focuses on revealing Jesus Christ, both as Redeemer and King. This verse also explains that God gave the Revelation to John and is why this book's alternate title is ‘The Revelation to Saint John the Devine'. Revelation 1:19 outlines Revelation's theme:

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

It covers the past (hast seen), the present (are), and the future (shall be). Although John is to record the past, precious little of Revelation deals with it. Even this verse restricts the past to just the things seen by John to this point in the vision, a very narrow window. Revelation starts with the church age at the end of the first century (John's lifetime) and continues forward without any coverage of any events preceding Jesus' ascension to heaven.

One of Revelation's most interesting aspects is its application of numbers, especially the Bible's ‘perfect' numbers. Four ‘perfect' numbers take prominent roles throughout its pages: three (divine perfection), seven (spiritual perfection), ten (ordinal perfection), and twelve (governmental perfection). Three represents the trinity of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and appears in Revelation as:

  • The Holy Trinity
  • The unholy trinity
  • Three woes
  • Three sets of judgments (seals, trumpets, and vials)
  • Three rewards for believers (crown & raiment, riches, dominions)
  • Three falls of Satan (expelled from heaven, bound in bottomless pit, thrown in lake of fire)

Seven, alternatively known as the number of completion and spiritual perfection, is the length of a week and the number of millennial days in humanity's history. It is also the number of the Holy Spirit and His stamp is all over the Bible, especially Revelation:

  • 7 Letters / 7 candlesticks / 7 churches / 7 stars / 7 spirits of God (Rev. 1-3)
  • 7 lamps / 7spirits of God (Rev. 4)
  • 7 seals (Rev. 5-8)
  • Lamb of God: 7 horns / 7 eyes / 7 spirits of God (Rev. 5:6)
  • 7 angels / 7 trumpets (Rev. 8-11) (3 Woes)
  • 7 thunders (Rev. 10:4)
  • 7 angels / 7 plagues / 7 vials (Rev. 16)
  • Dragon: 7 heads / 7 crowns (Rev. 12:3)
  • Beast: 7 heads and sitting on 7 hills (Rev. 13:1; Rev. 17)
  • 7 kings (Rev. 17)
  • 7 dooms (Rev 17-20) (Babylon; beast; False Prophet; kings; Gog & Magog; Satan; the unbelieving)
  • 7 new things (Rev. 21-22) (new heaven; new earth; new peoples; New Jerusalem; new temple; new light; new Paradise with river of life)

Ten represents the perfection of divine order and appears elsewhere in the Ten Commandments, the tithe, and the ten virgins. In Revelation, ten appears as:

  • The Dragon's 10 horns (Rev. 12:3)
  • The Beast's 10 horns / 10 crowns (Rev. 13:1; Rev. 17)
  • Smyrna's 10 days of suffering (Rev 2:10)

Twelve represents governmental perfection and appears in the Bible as the twelve tribes of Israel, twelve months per year, and twelve apostles. In Revelation, twelve appears as:

  • 12,000 sealed from each of 12 tribes (Rev. 7)
  • A crown of 12 stars (Rev. 12:1)
  • New Jerusalem: 12 gates / 12 foundations / 12,000 furlongs long (Rev. 21)
  • Tree of Life: 12 manners of fruit (Rev. 22:2)

While these other aspects of Revelation are both interesting and distinctive, its most important and compelling feature is its sequential, prophetic timeline. It forms the foundational structure for interpreting post Jesus' ascension prophecies. While Revelation's narrative does not include every Biblical end-time event, their place on the timeline is more easily deciphered one the basic timeline is understood.