REVELATION 21 – A Prophetic Panorama from the Birth of Jesus to Armageddon

Revelation 12

Revelation chapter 12 Is a type of simile a summary by metaphor recapping the entire tribulation period, beginning with the birth of Jesus, around B.C. 2 and continuing through the Sixth Tribulation Trumpet Judgment (This is useful and helpful for getting ready for Jesus’ return and the coming Great and Terrible Day of the Lord):

In summary, here is the timeline:

  • The Messiah, the Christ Child is born (Luke 2).
  • The Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension. (Matthew 27).
  • The Times of Distress – Breaking of Tribulation Seals 1 through 5).
  • At or immediately after the rapture of the church (which is concurrent with the breaking of the 6th Tribulation Seal – Matthew 24:29-31), the Antichrist enters a treaty with Israel. This begins the seven-year tribulation.
  •  At the midpoint of the tribulation (1,260 days which is 3.5 years later), the Antichrist breaks the treaty, desecrates the temple, and begins to persecute the Jews.
  •  At the end of the tribulation (1,260 days after the desecration of the temple marked by the blowing of the 6th Trumpet Judgment), Jesus Christ returns to earth and defeats the forces of the Antichrist.
  • During the next 30 days (leading up to 1,290 days after the desecration of the temple), Israel is rebuilt and the earth is restored.
  • During the next 45 days (leading up to 1,335 days after the desecration of the temple), the Gentile nations are judged for their treatment of Israel.
    The dispensation of the millennium begins, and it will last for 1,000 years (
    Revelation 20:3, 5–6).

Revelation 12:1,And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman (Israel) clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars (the 12 Tribes of Israel). verse 2. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth (the Christ Child). Verse 3. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon (Satan), with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. Verse 4. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child (Jesus, the Christ Child) he might devour it. Verse 5. She gave birth to a male child (The Christ Child), one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, Verse 6. and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days (equals 3 1/2 years when using the Hebrew calendar of 30 days per month).

The interpretation of the 1260 days, or 3.5 years, coincides here with Revelation 11:2, “But do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it shall be (future tense) given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.”

Not merely “leave out,” but “cast out.” The “court which is outside the temple” was entered only by Jews. It seems, therefore, to be part of the Church, but that part which is separated from the “inner circle of true believers” and this outer court will be given over to the world, which is here symbolized by “the Gentiles.”

The Gentiles, the nations, throughout the Apocalypse, signifies either (1) all mankind whatsoever; or (2) that portion of mankind which is left when the true Church of God is withdrawn, and therefore which embraces the unrighteous part of mankind in contrast to the godly (cf. Revelation 2:26; Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 18:23; 22:22).

This is further proof of the timing of the Fifth Tribulation Seal, the Great Apostasy of the Church, persecution of the saints, occurs prior to the 6th Tribulation Seal.

**It is also important to note that the 6th Tribulation Seal will not be broken and the rapture of the Church will not occur until after the anti-Christ is revealed:

Please read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, Verse 2, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Verse 3. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion (the apostasy, the great falling way from the faith) comes first, and the man of lawlessness is (the antichrist) is revealed, the son of destruction (the antichrist) verse 4, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.”

Now, back to Revelation 11:2, “And the holy city shall they tread underfoot.” The holy city – which is Jerusalem – is always a type of the Church in the Apocalypse. “The nations” (Gentiles or non-believers) are the instrument by which the Church is trodden underfoot, and the mention of the Gentiles in connection with the apostate portion of the Church leads to the description of the oppression of God’s faithful by the world. (This is referring to the present and growing great persecution of the saints during the 5th tribulation seal. The Church is removed – raptured – at the 6th Tribulation Seal and those who are left may appear to be the church (‘the Gentiles’) are not believers and the shell of the church is void of true believers and void of the Holy Spirit ).

In summary, following here is the timeline (in this color text):

  •  At or immediately after the rapture of the church (which is concurrent with the breaking of the 6th Tribulation Seal – Matthew 24:29-31), the Antichrist enters a treaty with Israel. This begins the seven-year tribulation.

This Antichrist will bring false hope and peace to the world, and will do what no one else has ever done- bring Israel and Palestine together.

In fact, the king will make a 7-year peace treaty with the people and there will be peace for 3 1/2 years, which will bring us to the 6th Tribulation Trumpet – the mid-point of the 7 Year Great Tribulation. After that, the Antichrist will break his pledge and stop the Jews from all their sacrifices, and he will set himself  in the temple proclaiming to be God. This is called the ‘abomination of desolation’ spoken of by Daniel the Prophet.

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week  –  this ‘one week’, or 7 years, also known as Daniel’s 70th week, occurs at the breaking of the 6th Tribulation Seal – and in the midst of this week, or after 3.5 years, coinciding with the blowing of the 6th Tribulation Trumpet, he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. “And for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate”. Daniel 9:27.

Again in Matthew 24:15-16:

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let them that be in Judea flee unto the mountains.”

And when you see this, Jesus said to flee to the mountains for then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world or ever shall be. And, unless those days be shortened, no one will be spared.

Let him that is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house; neither let him that is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened. Matthew 24:15-22.

  • At the midpoint of the tribulation (1,260 days which is 3.5 years later), the Antichrist breaks the treaty, desecrates the temple, and begins to persecute the Jews.
  • At the end of the tribulation (1,260 days after the desecration of the temple marked by the blowing of the 6th Trumpet Judgment), Jesus Christ returns to earth and defeats the forces of the Antichrist.

 Revelation 9:12, “The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.

Verse 13, “Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, (the first 3.5 years of the Great Tribulation is finished. This is the mid-point). and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, Verse 14. saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” Verse 15. So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

 Verse 16. The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand  (200,000,000 is the approximate size of the Chinese military in 2022); I heard their number. Verse 17. And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths. Verse 18. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. Verse 19. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.”

Verse 20. The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,Verse 21. nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. (No one is saved after the 6th Tribulation Trumpet is sounded)

(Note: When the 6th Tribulation Seal is broken, which could occur at any time, the will be 3.5 years until the battle of Armageddon.)

  • During the next 30 days (leading up to 1,290 days after the desecration of the temple), Israel is rebuilt and the earth is restored.
    • During the next 45 days (leading up to 1,335 days after the desecration of the temple), the Gentile nations are judged for their treatment of Israel.
    • The dispensation of the millennium begins, and it will last for 1,000 years (
    Revelation 20:3, 5–6).

The prophecy from Daniel 12;1 tells us that, “At that time shall arise (future) Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be (future) a time of trouble such as never has been since there was a nation (also see the Words of Jesus in Matthew 24:21) till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, (upon the breaking of the 6th Seal, the beginning of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, see Matthew 24:29-31) everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.

Verse 2. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Verse 3. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Verse 4. But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

Verse 5. Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream.

Verse 6. And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?” 

Verse 7. And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished.

Verse 8. I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” 

Verse 9. He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.

Verse 10. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.

Verse 11. And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away (at or just before the 6th Tribulation Trumpet) and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days (3.5 years).

Verse 12. Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days (During the next 45 days leading up to 1,335 days after the desecration of the temple), the Gentile nations are judged for their treatment of Israel).

Verse 13. But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”

REPEATIn summary, here is the timeline:

  •  At or immediately after the rapture of the church (which is concurrent with the breaking of the 6th Tribulation Seal – Matthew 24:29-31), the Antichrist enters a treaty with Israel. This begins the seven-year tribulation.
  •  At the midpoint of the tribulation (1,260 days which is 3.5 years later), the Antichrist breaks the treaty, desecrates the temple, and begins to persecute the Jews.
  •  At the end of the tribulation (1,260 days after the desecration of the temple marked by the blowing of the 6th Trumpet Judgment), Jesus Christ returns to earth and defeats the forces of the Antichrist.
  • During the next 30 days (leading up to 1,290 days after the desecration of the temple), Israel is rebuilt and the earth is restored.
  • During the next 45 days (leading up to 1,335 days after the desecration of the temple), the Gentile nations are judged for their treatment of Israel.
    The dispensation of the millennium begins, and it will last for 1,000 years (
    Revelation 20:3, 5–6).

Where does this put us, today (12/11/2022)?

WHAT IS NEXT?

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days (i.e., after tribulation seals 1 through 5), the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Verse 30. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Verse 31. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet-call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

 AN IMPORTANT HISTORICAL AND CHRONOLOGICAL MARKER:

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days”.  It is important to take careful note of the wording, “immediately after”, and the tribulation of those days which is referring to something that came previously and that there is something to follow. We have already read and established that the “tribulation of those days“ is referring specifically to the time period known as ‘the days of distress’, the breaking of the first five tribulation seals, from around A.D. 1 to this current day, (footnote 1), (footnote 2).

Now, we will discover what follows the breaking of the first five tribulation seals,

IMPORTANT:  Matthew 24:21, says, For then, there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be (again).

Specifically,

      • Matthew 24:29. The sun will be darkened, and
      • The moon will not give its light, and
      • The stars will fall from heaven, and
      • The powers of the heavens will be shaken.
      • Verse 30. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and
      • They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
      • Verse 31. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet-call, and
      • They will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Jesus reiterates the breaking of the 6th Tribulation Seal in Revelation 6:12-17, this way, And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became as black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.  Then the kings of the earth and the eminent people, and the commanders and the wealthy and the strong, and every slave and free person hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;  and they said to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the sight of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;  for the great day of Their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

IMPORTANT:  Then, in quick succession (see Revelation chapter 7),

  • the wind currents of the earth stop moving,
  • 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are seal by God;
  • then suddenly, from out of the tribulation, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all the tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”  The long-anticipated Rapture of all the saints of God has occurred.

Each of these events should be carefully considered individually and then corporately. Each event is a summary of what is to come and gives great insight of EACH event, which is described in greater detail in the book of the Revelation. It is important to note that these events happen quickly and either concurrently or in rapid succession. (Some bible teachers erroneously say that Jesus will come back another time to finish these events and to rapture the church, which is patently false. There is only one second coming and only one 2nd appearing. Jesus will have already returned and continues to be present even up to the battle of Armageddon. Jesus does not appear, Matthew 24:30-31, disappear and then reappear in Revelation 19:11-21.) There are no three advents or ‘re-appearing’ for a third time!

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT and WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Why does it matter “when” the tribulation starts or “when” Christians are to be raptured into heavens?

  • It matters because being ready for His Return is proof of True Christianity and only a True Believer in Christ will be guaranteed to join Christ at the sound of His Great Trumpet call and escape the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.
  • It matters because being ready requires believing and doing what He has instructed us to do in preparation for His return; He has said to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
  • It matters because He has warned that “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”
  • It matters because many Christians are sitting idly waiting for an event that has already begun and they are not DOING what He told them to do and therefore may be grave danger.
  • It matters because some of our family, friends and neighbors are completely unaware or just don’t believe that Christ will return and God’s final judgments will sentence them to outer darkness. Because, as Christians, our faith, our convictions and our behavior are speaking louder than our words.

If you have bought into the “One and Done” doctrine of ‘saying a little prayer and accepting Jesus’ as being all you needed to do to be saved, you may have been deceived and may not ready for His return.

We are to ‘work out our salvation with fear and trembling’, repenting daily, following Him closely, obeying Him completely, confessing frequently, rejoicing regularly, praising Him and praying to Him without ceasing! (You will. Know the difference).

COMING NEXT:  “The Rest Of The Story”, verses 7 through 17.

Your Brother and Friend – Getting Ready

Mike Young

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