Key Context Verses
The book sets it's own context in the first chapter, since Jesus tells John what he will be writing.
Things which you have seen: 1:1-20
Things which are: 2:1-3:22
Things which shall take place: 4:1-22:21
Daniel 9:24 - The Day of the Lord
Letters to the Churches:
Letters to churches represent warnings to churches down through the ages that would be like these actual churches, and of course they are literal messages to the churches they were written to.
This may be a controversial interpretation, but there are some reasons for interpreting the literal churches in a literal and spiritual context.
The overall context of the book of Revelation
The promise made to church in Philadelphia doesn't make sense if taken in the context of that literal Church. (Rev. 3:10)
Between Chpt. 10-14, not everything follows chronologically. Most of the book does follow chronologically, however it is not unusual for the author to stop to give some details along the way. The tough part for us is figuring out where the details fit into the timeline. Since some details, like the sealing of the 144,000, are not given in relation to the timeline, it isn't possible to be sure.
Who is the book written to?
The Book is written to all generations, but interestingly there is special meaning for those reading it during the tribulation. There are warnings, (14:12) and assurance for believers. (13:8)
A time of judgment for all nations. and a very special regathering and purging of Israel referred to by Daniel in Chapter 9. The context of Revelation must take into account Daniel 9:24, which explains partially the reason for the tribulation. (Purging)
Daniel's Seventy Weeks prophecy
"Seventy (weeks) have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place."
What are weeks?
"Sevens" is what the word means. In Hebrew this word doesn't have to mean a week, but means a group of seven. It can mean seven weeks, but it can also mean seven years. In this case the prophecy itself proves it to be years. So, 69 weeks is really 69 groups of seven years, or 483 years. This is proved in revelation when it says the tribulation period is seven years long. This same period is referred to in Daniel 9:27 as the seventieth week. (or the 7 year tribulation - 360 day year)
The problem with using our 365 day calendar year is that the Jews didn't use this. They used a 30 day month, and therefore a 360 day year, so we'll need to do some date conversions. (They added some days every x years to keep the calendar in line with the seasons)
"So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven (sevens) and sixty two (sevens); it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress."
Different decrees to rebuild:
The forth decree must be the one the Bible is referring to, since it was the only one that allowed for the rebuilding of the city, plaza and moat. So, the starting date for the prophecy is 445BC. (Our calendar)
Authors that hold to the 4th decree:
Sir Robert Anderson - book (Coming prince)
Harold Honer - Dallas Theological
69 sevens = (69 * 7) or 483 years from decree to Messiah
Since the prophecy refers to Jewish years, convert the years to Jewish days so we can get the total number of days in the prophecy.
483 years * 12 months (30 day months) = 173880 days till the Messiah. We have to figure the days based on the Jewish month.
Based on charts, new moons, solar historical information, it is figured that Jesus triumphal entry (when he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey) was in April 6, AD32
March 14, 445BC - Decree
April 6, AD32 - Triumphal Entry
If Jesus is the Messiah, there must be 173,880 days between these two dates. Don't forget that we're figuring the days between two dates based on our Julian calendar, which the Jews didn't use. We're looking for 173880 days. Lets see...
- March 14, 445 BC to April 6, 32AD = 477 years, 24 days
- subtract one year since 1BC-1AD are the same year
- = 476 years, 24 days between two dates
- Convert to days: 476 yrs * 365 days + 24 days
- = 173764 days
- Add leap years - 476/4 =119
- 173764 days + 119 leap year days
Why isn't it 173800 days?
An inaccuracy in our Julian/Gregorian calendar shows our year to be 1/128th of a day too long.
. 0.0078125 * 476 years
. = 3 extra days in our calendar between the two dates
. 173883 days - 3 extra days
. = 173880 days
To the exact day this prophecy was fulfilled and it was predicted 483 years before it happened. Why doesn't they show this in TV instead of Nostradamus?
62 (weeks) and 7 (weeks)
7 Weeks or 49 years is what it took Nehemiah to rebuild the city. As the prophecy says, it was in troubled times. (see Ezra 9-10) (Nehemiah 1-2)
. After 69 weeks, Messiah will be cut off (Jesus was crucified)
. Jerusalem will be destroyed. (in AD 70 it happened)
. He will make a covenant for 1 Week (Antichrist) In the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice. This hasn't happened. Since the dispersion of Israel in AD 70, there has been no temple for sacrifice. He will desecrate the altar.
The Gap in Daniel's prophecy
There is a gap between Daniel 9:26 and 9:27. 9:26 talks about the Messiah being killed. Verse 27 talks about something that we know from Revelation and the Gospels, will happen in the end. Interesting that the prophecy does separate the first 69 (weeks) from the seventieth. In hindsight it's easy to see the gap, because we are living in it! The Jews didn't see the gap, and were therefore looking for the Messiah to bring in the new Kingdom the Bible spoke of.
In Isaiah 9:6 it says: "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on his shoulders."
When Jesus read from the Bible in Nazareth, he read from Isaiah 61:1-2. However, he stopped reading in the middle of a verse, and closed the book. Interesting that this minor detail is in the New testament. Why did he close the book? Because he knew about the gap. Here's what he read:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord."
He closes the book here. Now read the rest of the verse that he was quoting from Isaiah:
"And the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn."
The first half of the tribulation will be at least partly a time of unheard of peace. It's not until the antichrist sits in the temple and declares himself to be God that the real bloodshed will start.
Seven Seals - All judgments are pronounced and carried out as the seven seals are opened. Trumpets and bowls come at the end. Remember the birth pangs Jesus spoke of. Pains during birth get closer together at the end.
First Seal (Rev 6:1) (Matt 24:5)
White horse antichrist - (compare with Rev 19:11)
(Political/Religious leader comes on the scene)
Second Seal (Rev 6:3) (Matt 24:6)
Red horse wars and rumors of wars
(Nothing new to us)
Third Seal (Rev 6:5) (Matt 24:7)
Black horse famine
(Doesn't have to hit home yet)
Fourth Seal (Rev 6:7) (Matt 24:9)
Ashen horse of death/martyrdom
Fifth Seal (Rev 6:9) (Matt 24:9)
Martyrs cry out for vengeance
Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12) (Matt 24:?)
This quake shakes the whole universe. (Sun and Moon)
Begins the Day of the Lord
Timing of these events is not sure. The idea though is to give some details at this point before moving on to the last seal. It makes sense then that the details given happen before the time of the seventh seal.
144,000 Jews are sealed
Multitude of saved Gentiles stand before the throne
Seventh Seal (Rev 8:1) (Matt 24:?)
Silence in heaven, Trumpets are given
First Trumpet (Rev 8:6)
Third of the earth burned up
Second Trumpet (Rev 8:8)
Third of the seas destroyed
Third Trumpet (Rev 8:10)
Start fell heaven into the seas, bring disease.
Fourth Trumpet (Rev 8:12)
Third of the sun and moon are smitten.
Fifth Trumpet (Rev 9:1)
Satan releases fallen angels from the pit to torment all people, except the sealed Jews.
Sixth Trumpet (Rev 9:13)
Third of mankind are killed by four angels.
- John eats little scroll giving him the prophecy to come.
- Two Witnesses go out to prophesy to people left, and are
killed by the beast. They are resurrected and bought back
He's going to tell us about Israel (Measure the Temple)
Gentiles will control for 42 months.
Two witnesses will evangelize for 42 months
Antichrist will kill them
They will lay dead in the street for 3 1/2 days.
They come to life, and people watch them go up to heaven
Great earthquake in Israel, 7000 killed.
Others glorify God.
Seventh Trumpet (Rev 11:15)
Rejoicing in heaven.
- The Woman with child. (Israel and Christ)
- Dragon (Satan) begins battle in heaven, but is beaten by Michael and other angels, and is thrown down to earth.
- Satan begins persecuting Israel. (The Woman)
- The beast comes out of the Sea
- Only unbelievers will worship him. (13:8)
- Satan performs great signs, so that people will be deceived and worship him. Calls fire out of heaven. Makes people get a mark on their right hand, or forehead, controlling them economically. The number of the beast is 666.
- Lamb standing on Mt Zion with the 144,000.
First Bowl (Rev 16:1)
Anyone with the mark of the beast gets a malignant sore.
Second Bowl (Rev 16:3)
Every living thing in the Sea is destroyed.
Third Bowl (Rev 16:4)
Rivers become blood. No water left to drink.
Fourth Bowl (Rev 16:8)
Sun heat is increased to burn people.
Fifth Bowl (Rev 16:10)
The Beasts kingdom is destroyed.
Sixth Bowl (Rev 16:12)
River Euphrates is dried up. The dragon gathers together the kings of the world for the battle of Armageddon.
Seventh Bowl (Rev 16:17)
Voice out of heaven says "It is done".
There was a great earthquake, unlike anything seen before. Jerusalem split into three parts. Hailstones of 100 pounds each fell from heaven.
Great harlot Babylon destroyed (Rev 17:1)
False religious system
Great Economic Babylon destroyed (Rev 18:1)
World economic system
Rejoicing in heaven
Marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:7)
Second Coming (Rev 19:11)
Heaven is opened, Christ is sitting on a white horse, and his army is with him.
The beast and kings of the earth are assembled to make war with the Lord.
The Beast and false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire. The rest were killed with the sword in his mouth. (His Word)
An angel comes from heaven and throws Satan into the abyss for 1 thousand years. The abyss is sealed.
The first resurrection - Those martyred are resurrected to reign with Christ.
Satan is released after 1000 years to deceive the nations again. (20:7) They surround the Holy City, and fire comes down from heaven and devours them.
Satan is thrown into the lake of fire. They are tormented day and night forever.
Great White Throne Judgment (20:11) - The books are opened. Second resurrection, to judgment. All people are judged for there deeds, since they didn't accept Christ.
New heaven and earth