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I researched eschatology in general in late 2023 prior to studying the Book of Revelation.  As a result, I have changed my position from Pre-Trib Rapture to Pre-Wrath Rapture.  Instead of the church being snatched out of the world right before Rev. chapter 4 begins, believers will experience the suffering and persecution of the Great Tribulation (which occurs just after the mid-point of Daniel’s seventieth week and lasts up until the Day of the Lord).  God’s wrath is not poured out until the Day of the Lord which begins in the latter part of the week just after the Rapture of the saints.  It is confusing to call the entire seven week period “The Tribulation.”  It is better to call the first half of the week “The Beginning of Birth Pangs” followed by the Abomination of Desolation, the Great Tribulation, the Rapture and then the Day of the Lord.

Check out the articles on my Eschatology page and review the Timeline below.

Pre-Wrath Rapture Timeline

It is a shame that too many Christians avoid studying the Book of Revelation based on misguided presuppositions: that it is too confusing, too controversial, too academic (with very little practical application to today’s church), etc.  God declares just the opposite as He commands that we not seal up the message and that we read and heed the prophecy of end time events.  In fact, this is the one book in the canon of Scripture where God distinctly promises to bless those who apply themselves to its teaching.  That should be incentive enough for us to dive in!

This book is the capstone of God’s progressive revelation as all of the threads of prophecy initiated in the Old Testament are now traced to their ultimate fulfilment as God works out His kingdom agenda in human history.  The imagery of the throne of God and of the Lamb leads us to extol our Savior and worship Him supremely.  He is the one uniquely qualified to carry out God’s plans for the ultimate judgment of the wicked, for the deliverance and reward of the saints, for the establishment of the millennial kingdom, for the final demise of Satan and the Antichrist and for the transition to the glories of the New Jerusalem.

In terms of overall structure, there is a basic chronological progression in the Book of Revelation that follows the sequencing of the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven bowls (or vials).  There is also a telescoping effect that continually jumps to the final judgment and triumphal inauguration of Christ’s kingdom on earth as the seventh seal includes the seven trumpets and the seventh trumpet includes the seven bowls.  Within this narrative progression there are numerous interludes, flashbacks and previews as the four main visions of the Apostle John are revealed.  These features must be understood to avoid confusion.

But the testimony of Jesus is that this prophecy is true and reliable and based on Jesus’ messianic credentials and authority as well as on the eyewitness testimony of John.  There is a tone of urgency running through the book as Jesus emphasizes that He is coming soon and wants His people to be prepared and vigilant as they endure upcoming persecutions as overcomers by the grace of God.


In the End Times King Jesus Will Return in Victory to Rescue Believers, Judge the Wicked and Establish His Kingdom on Earth — So Remain Faithful and Worship Him

Revelation 11:15 — “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”



A.  (:1-3)  The Revelation of Jesus Christ – The Divine Unveiling of End Time Events Calls us to Readiness and Promises a Blessing
           1.  (:1a)         God’s Purposeful Unveiling of End Time Events — The Origination and Objective of the Revelation
           2.  (:1b-2)      God’s Prophetic Blueprint — The Chain of Communication of the Revelation
           3.  (:3)           God’s Promised Blessing — The Value of the Revelation
B.  (:4-7)  Salutation and Introduction – The Preeminent Jesus Christ – Who Loves Us and Redeemed Us and Elevated Us – Is Coming Back in Dramatic Fashion to Exercise Sovereign Dominion
           1.  (:4a)         Preface — The Greeting
           2.  (:4b-5a)   The Source of the Greeting — Divine Triune Godhead — Emphasizing the Preeminence of Jesus Christ
           3.  (:5b-6)     Doxology of Praise and Majestic Sovereign Dominion
C.  (:8)     Climax – 3 Self-Titles of the Lord God – You Can Count on the Promise of Christ’s Return Because the Eternal God Is the Self-Existent, All-Powerful Sovereign Controlling the Universe
           1.  Omniscient —   The Eternal God Knows All
           2.  Self-Existent — The Ever-Present God Transcends All
           3.  Omnipotent —  The All-Powerful God Controls All
A.  (1:9-20)  Commission to Record the Vision of the Glorified Christ – The Vision of the Glorified Reigning Christ and Recorded Insight Into End Time Events Fuel the Perseverance of Suffering Saints
           1.  (:9-11)      The Circumstances Surrounding John’s Commission to Record the Vision
(1:10)  “in the Spirit
           2.  (:12-16)   The Characterization of the Vision
           3.  (:17-20)   The Confirmation of the Commission
B.  (2:1 – 3:22)  Letters to the Seven Churches
1.  (2:1-7)      Ephesus – Loveless Orthodoxy
2.  (2:8-11)    Smyrna – Intense Persecution
3.  (2:12-17)  Pergamum – Worldly Compromise
4.  (2:18-29)  Thyatira – Toleration of Jezebel
5.  (3:1-6)      Sardis – Zombie Church
6.  (3:7-13)    Philadelphia – Faithful Church
7.  (3:14-22)  Laodicea – Lukewarm Church
A.  (4:1 – 5:14)  Vision of the Heavenly Temple
1.  (4:1-11)   Worship Scene in Heaven Around God’s Throne
      (4:2)  “in the Spirit
2.  (5:1-14)   Worthy is the Lamb to Break the Seals
                      a.  (:1-5)     Who Is Worthy?
                      b.  (:6-10)   The Slain Lamb Is Worthy
                      c.  (:11-14)  Expanding Cacaphony of Praise
B.  (6:1 – 8:1)  The Seven Seal Judgments and Interlude of the Two Multitudes
1.  (6:1-17)  First Six Seals
a.  (:1-2)    The First Seal – White Horse — Counterfeit Conquest (Antichrist)
b.  (:3-4)    The Second Seal – Red Horse – War / Strife
c.  (:5-6)    The Third Seal – Black Horse — Famine
d.  (:7-8)    The Fourth Seal – Ashen Horse — Death / Pestilence
e.  (:9-11)   The Fifth Seal — Martyrdom
f.  (:12-17)  The Sixth Seal – Cosmic Disturbances
2.  (7:1-17)  Interlude – Sealing of the 144,000 Jews and Saints Worshiping in Heaven
a.  (:1-8)      Sealing of the 144,000 Jews on Earth
b.  (:9-17)    Pre-Wrath Rapture of Saints — Worshiping in Heaven
3.  (8:1)        Breaking of the Seventh Seal and Solemn Silence in Heaven
              (contains the 7 trumpets and 7 bowl judgments = Day of the Lord)
C.  (8:2 – 11:19)  The Seven Trumpet Judgments
1.  (8:2 – 9:21)  First Six Trumpets
a.  (8:2-6)      Preparation for the Seven Trumpet Judgments
b.  (8:7)         The First Trumpet – Earth’s Vegetation Burned Up
c.  (8:8-9)      The Second Trumpet – Seas Struck
d.  (8:10-11)  The Third Trumpet – Rivers and Streams Struck
e.  (8:12-13)   The Fourth Trumpet – Heavenly Bodies Darkened
f.  (9:1-12)     The Fifth Trumpet – Demonic Plague of Locusts
g.  (9:13-21)   The Sixth Trumpet – Demonic Forces Attacking Mankind
2.  (10:1 -11:14)  Interlude – The Little Book and the Two Witnesses
a.  (10:1-11)   The Mighty Angel with the Little Scroll
b.  (11:1-14)   Temple Measurements and the Two Witnesses
3.  (11:15-19)      The Seventh Trumpet — Triumph of Christ’s Kingdom
          (contains the 7 bowl judgments)
D.  (12:1 – 14:20)  Interlude – Anticipating Babylon’s Fall
1.  (12:1 – 13:18)  The Dragon’s War against the Woman
a.  (12:1-17)  The Woman and Her Seed
                            1)  (:1-6)       2 Dramatic Signs in Heaven
                            2)  (:7-12)    Defeat of the Dragon, Expulsion from Heaven and Diverse Reactions
                            3)  (:13-17)  The Enraged Dragon Fails to Destroy Israel
b.  (13:1-18)  The Dragon’s Two Beasts
                            1)  (:1-10)    The Beast from the Sea = the Antichrist
                            2)  (:11-18)  The Beast from the Earth = the False Prophet
2.  (14:1-20)           Preview of Coming Judgment and God’s Triumph
a.  (14:1-5)    The Victorious 144,000 Sing a New Song of Praise
b.  (14:6-20)  Announcement of the Grim Reaper Arriving for All the Earth
E.  (15:1 – 16:21)  The Seven Bowl Judgments – Pouring Out of God’s Wrath
1.  (15:1-8)           Preparation for the Seven Bowl Judgments
a.  (15:1)            The Seven Plagues Will Finish God’s Wrath
b.  (15:2-4)         Song of Moses and the Lamb Sung by Victorious Martyrs
c.  (15:5-8)         Seven Plagues Distributed to the Seven Angels
                (16:1)            Prologue
2.  (16:2)            The First Bowl – Ulcerous Sores in the Earth
3.  (16:3)            The Second Bowl – Sea Turns to Foul Blood
4.  (16:4-7)         The Third Bowl – Fresh Water Sources Turn to Blood
5.  (16:8-9)         The Fourth Bowl – Sun Scorching Men
6.  (16:10-11)     The Fifth Bowl – Darkness over the Kingdom of the Beast
7.  (16:12-16)     The Sixth Bowl – Water of Euphrates Dried Up in Preparation for Armageddon
8.  (16:17-21)     The Seventh Bowl – Targets the Atmosphere
A.  (17:1 – 19:5)    Destruction of Babylon the Great
1.  (17:1-18)     Judgment of Religious Babylon
                      (:1-2)      Introduction
                      (:3a)      Transition — “in the Spirit
                a.  (:3b-6a)  Vision of Religious Babylon Seated on Scarlet Beast (Antichrist)
                     (:6b)        Transition — Response of Wonderment
                b.  (:7-18)     Interpretation of the Vision
2.  (18:1-24)    Babylon the Great Fallen
                a.  (:1-8)      Judicial Recompense and Call for Separation
                b.  (:9-20)    Lament by Kings, Merchants and Mariners
                c.  (:21-24)  Gone Forever
3.  (19:1-5)    Praise for God’s Judgment of the Great Harlot
B.  (19:6-21)        Final Victory: The End of the Evil Empire at the Parousia
1.  (:6-10)      Marriage Supper of the Lamb for His Righteous Bride
2.  (:11-16)    Second Coming of Christ as Conqueror, Judge and King
3.  (:17-21)    Feast on the Slaughtered Wicked
C.  (20:1-10)        Thousand-Year Reign of Christ and Judgment of Satan
1.  (:1-3)       Binding of Satan for 1,000 Years
2.  (:4-6)       Blessings of the Millennial Kingdom of the Messiah
3.  (:7-10)     Burning in Hell Forever Is Satan’s Final Destiny
D.  (20:11 – 21:8)  Final Judgment and Recreation
1.  (20:11-15)  Great White Throne Judgment
2.  (21:1-8)      View of the Eternal State after Jesus Makes All Things New
A.  (21:9-21)         Description of New Jerusalem
              (21:10)  “in the Spirit
B.  (21:22-27)       The Shekinah Glory of New Jerusalem
C.  (22:1-5)           Restoration of Enhanced Edenic Paradise
         1.  (:1-3a)         Enhanced Edenic Conditions in New Jerusalem
         2.  (:3b-5)         Exalted Privileges in New Jerusalem


  • To gain an understanding of the future events that will take place in the end times so that we will be prepared and not caught by surprise
  • To view the consummation and capstone of all of the threads of biblical prophecy that have been introduced in earlier books as we marvel at God’s faithfulness to His Word
  • To gain strength and encouragement to remain faithful in the midst of whatever future persecution and tribulation we may face
  • To enhance our worship of the glorified and exalted King Jesus
  • To vindicate the justice and righteousness of God in His defeat and judgment of all of the forces of evil
  • To help believers focus on the future blessings of the millennial kingdom and eternity with Christ
  • To respond in repentance to the warnings which Christ issued to the various churches for areas of weakness and compromise
  • To appreciate the sovereignty of God over our difficult circumstances and rejoice in His majestic reign and wise plan for all of history



Charles Swindoll: Knowing what the bible teaches about the future:

  • Communicates the full CHARACTER OF GOD, balancing our theology.
  • Gives us HOPE for today and alleviates UNNECESSARY FEARS about the future.
  • Compels us to live GODLY LIVES in view of FUTURE REWARDS.
  • Moves us to WORSHIP GOD, who will ultimately TRIUMPH OVER EVIL.

Philip Carrington (early Church historian and Archbishop of Quebec): In the case of Revelation, we are dealing with an artist greater than Stevenson or Coleridge or Bach. St John has a better sense of the right word than Stevenson; he has a greater command of unearthly supernatural loveliness than Coleridge; he has a richer sense of melody and rhythm and composition than Bach … It is the only masterpiece of pure art in the New Testament … Its fulness and richness and harmonic variety place it far above Greek tragedy.

R. H. Boll: Of all the books of the Bible none other is so solemnly introduced to us; none so specially urged upon our attention; and, we must add, none so generally disregarded, so shunned, and so neglected. Yet no other book opens with a gracious promise of blessing on him that readeth, on those who hear and keep the things written therein. And to no other book is attached such a warning lest anyone should take from or add to its message.  It is a message therefore of the very highest importance, though by men often lightly esteemed and treated as though it were superfluous, and could be dispensed with without material loss.  In God’s estimate, at least, this book is of supreme value.  In it we behold the end and consummation of all God’s work and plan, the climax and outcome of all His dispensations and dealings with men; and in it every prophecy and promise, every purpose and covenant finds its ultimate goal and fulfilment.  In Genesis we have the beginning of all, in Revelation we have the end and goal of all.

Thomas Hamberger: The Book of Revelation teaches us a foundational truth we must remember throughout our lives: Jesus wins! Of course, this needs no spoiler alert, as this ending has been made known for quite a while (I would argue since the “protoevangelium” of Genesis 3:15, where we are told that the serpent will be crushed underfoot). Jesus is victorious.

The final act of Revelation shows us Jesus’ final victory in the spiritual battle going on around us. The unholy trinity that we see formed in Revelation 13 finds itself defeated in Revelation 20 as the fire rains down from God’s heavenly domain and devours them. As the final battle ends, Jesus’ judgment of the world begins. In the meantime, Satan, though he knows he will not win, continually tries to mock and replace God at every opportunity. It is a great thing to know that we serve an eternal winner.

J. Vernon McGee: This book is like a great union station where the great trunk lines of prophecy come in from other portions of scripture. Revelation does not originate, but consummates. It is imperative to a right understanding of the book to be able to trace each great subject of prophecy from the first reference to the terminal (Reveling Through Revelation, p. 4).