In this episode Doug and Dave discuss whether Revelation is strictly chronological or if it contains a lot of overlap.
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Concerning the discussion of word meaning I disagree with Dave. The first rule of philosophy is to define your terms, otherwise, you cannot have an intelligent discussion or arrive at any truth. Everything becomes relative. Second the laws of hermeneutics demands word definition, word usage, etc.
Doug and group,
Re: “overlap,” yes. To me it seems “folded.”
For just a bit, think about what it’s like to walk around a table with laptops where a group is working on a project, for instance an emergency operations center for a disaster response. Let’s say there are 8 stations on one side and 8 on the other side. As we look on each, we see the situation analyzed. Those at the head of the table are working on somewhat different areas than those at the foot. In this scene, a few things become obvious.
a. the sequence of where you walk and look is not the same as that of events being dealt with at each station on the displays.
b. Some stations may be dealing with planning. Others with logistics. And certainly there’s command and control.
c. In any case, each station needs to keep up with what’s happening as events have occurred and what happens as a result. Even those planning for different contingencies.
Back to the end times, especially the Revelation. John’s walk about the Heavenly Throne room is much more immersive than what we experience on our current computers. Before he enters the Throne Room proper, there’s an entry area. When he leaves there’s an exit.
Some see the arrangement as “telescoping,” others as “parenthetical.” The descriptions include some observations about the Throne Room itself.
1 (2-3 (4-5 (6-7 (8-9 (10 (11 (12a – 12b) 13) 14) 15-16) 17-18) 19-20) 21) 22
…..01__22….. (intro and closing focused on The Lamb)
02-03__21….. (letters to the churches__New Jerusalem)
04-05__19-20 (Throne area, cp. mercy seat in tabernacle)
06-07__17-18 (footstool area, cp. ark in tabernacle)
08-09__15-16 (trumpets__seals, cp. censer)
….10……14…. (cp. lampstand and table of shewbread)
….11___13….. (cp. laver)
..12a___12b… (cp. altar)
It’s surprising to find that chapter 12 is folded. Events or phrases in the first half are repeated in the latter.
Very similar to the situation with the trumpets and vials.
The images of the Throne in chp. 4 & 5 and chp. 20 are likewise notable.
If we were to take 7 candles in a circle (think of Zechariah) and start the end time events by lighting all of them,, then we might conclude that the end is when they all burn to the bottom. Think of them though more like red-lights and intersections that cycle over and over. If we walk around the outside of those candles and describe what’s happening at each, that may be more like what’s happening in the Revelation.
I think of it as the testimony of multiple witnesses, showing John glimpses of what will happen as directed by the Almighty to complete the “overcoming” of evil, exercising those who are saved out of it in the process. And of course completing the Father’s will for us.
Folks that are more sequential (auditory) than spatial (visual) may have some difficulty getting that it’s easier to grasp like walking around a room than reading a procedure. But we were told that those who read and hear would be blessed. The repetition of phrases (especially in the KJV) very much helps highlight the links between the first half and the last half of the Revelation.
The funny thing is that I have no problem with the start of Revelation 12 (and others “starts”) being the start of the end time, whereas the end of Revelation 6 (and the other “one time only” events) being the end of the the end times. It helps to decouple John’s “walk” with his view at each point.
And like a court case, it really helps to see things from different angles.
Somethings can’t be described well without a map. Others need a 3D or even a 4D dynamic model. The folded model (where the Revelation is folded in the middle of Rev. 12) is the simplest I’ve found to suggest an overlap.
Hope this is a blessing!
I have been thinking more about chronology in the book of Revelation. I have never believed there was a strict chronology. There are parentheses ect…
I think that J Vernon McGee advocates for the seals, trumpets, and bowls happening in parallel for some of the same reasons you do and I have never ruled that possibility out.
However, I have trouble with Rev 8:1. After the 7th sealed is opened, there is silence in heaven. Then the trumpet judgements begin. This seems, at least on the surface, to suggest a chronology. The trumpets come out of the last seal.
Another verse is Rev 16:2. It appears that the first bowl judgement does not happen until after many have received the mark of the beast. Maybe the “mark of the beast” will be a part of the entire 7 year period. I always assumed (maybe incorrectly), that this was part of the 2nd half of the 70th week.
Dr. Fruchtembaum always teaches that there are three great earthquakes in Revelation (Rev 6; Rev 11; and Rev 16). Are these all the same?
It is interesting that the earthquake in Rev 6 seems to suggest that every mountain and island was moved out its place…
The earthquake in Rev 16 uses different language…the islands fled away and the mountains were not found.. this earthquake is unlike any that had ever occurred. The language here seems to suggest a more severe earthquake than the one in Rev 6?
I do admit the language in Rev 6 sounds like it is at the end… but it also is not as strong as the language in Rev 16… I need to think on this some more…
These are just food for thought. I find the discussion fascinating. I look forward to more discussion on this topic.
Hi Peter, You are right that the language in Rev 6 and 16 is not 100% identical. However, let’s think about the implications for a moment. If every island and every mountain moves out of its place, that is a caclysmic – extinction level event. We are looking at the entire globe being rocked everywhere. When every island and mountain on the entire face of the planet moves it will be the end of everything. How many would die at that time? Notice also that the end of the seals (Rev 8:5) and beginning of the trumpets you have “noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.” We say the same thing in Rev 11 and 16. I submit that the three earthquakes mentioned are in fact one and the same. We see talk of an earthquake in Isaiah 2 and 24 as well and they are one and the same event. We will continue the study this next episode. Blessings,
Thanks for your reply…
One other quick comment… In Revelation 6:15 they are hiding themselves in caves and rocks in the mountains after the earthquake…
I do not see how that is possible if the mountains are not found Rev 16:20?
I guess I can imagine a lesser earthquake with everything moving/shifting… but not complete destruction like it describes in Rev 16:20.
I am not intending to be argumentative
That is a great observation. I think that Isa 2 gives us insight:
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days [That] the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. (Isa 2:2)
Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isa 2:3)
Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty. (Isa 2:10)
The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, And the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. (Isa 2:11)
For the day of the LORD of hosts [Shall come] upon everything proud and lofty, Upon everything lifted up– And it shall be brought low– (Isa 2:12)
Upon all the cedars of Lebanon [that are] high and lifted up, And upon all the oaks of Bashan; (Isa 2:13)
Upon all the high mountains, And upon all the hills [that are] lifted up; (Isa 2:14)
Upon every high tower, And upon every fortified wall; (Isa 2:15)
Upon all the ships of Tarshish, And upon all the beautiful sloops. (Isa 2:16)
The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; The LORD alone will be exalted in that day, (Isa 2:17)
But the idols He shall utterly abolish. (Isa 2:18)
They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily. (Isa 2:19)
In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver And his idols of gold, Which they made, [each] for himself to worship, To the moles and bats, (Isa 2:20)
To go into the clefts of the rocks, And into the crags of the rugged rocks, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily. (Isa 2:21)
We see that Isa 2 is parallel to Rev 6 where the men go into the caves of the rocks…yet we also see that all the mountains will be humbled in that day. It could be that there will be a removal of the upper part of the mountains but not the bases. I see the caves of the rocks not as mere caves but underground bases which are of course under mountains but also deep in the earth.
Thanks for the follow up!
The phrase that gives me the most trouble in Rev 6 is “Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up,…” What is that?
One other thought I was considering the other day concerning the “day of the Lord” since we are talking about Isaiah…
Isa13:6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Isa13:7 Therefore all hands will be limp, Every man’s heart will melt, Isa13:8 And they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; They will be amazed at one another; Their faces will be like flames.
“They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth”
When I compared this with Mat 24:8 and how the birth pang signs Jesus mentions in Mat 24:7 seam to parallel some of the seals, I had the thought that the “day of the Lord” may embrace the entire period (Rev 6-19). The judgements increase in intensity and get closier and closer together.
I am not sure if this is the right way to look at it.. but there could possibly be more than one earthquake, increasing in intensity each time?
The severity seems to increase from the seals, to the trumpets, to the vials…
Hi Peter, I am writing a lot about the heavens receding as a scroll. That is when the veil between heaven and earth comes down. See Isa 25:7, 34:4, 64:1, 2 Pet 3:10, Rev 6:14. These are all the same event and when it happens it is pretty much the end of the show.
Thanks, looking forward to more of your new book…
After reading the verses you list, I am wondering how you would explain the phrase “the elements will melt with fervent heat” Is this explained in the video?
I talk a lot about this in my new video: The Angelic Domain and the Fall of Satan. You can also read about it here: http://www.douglashamp.com/the-angelic-domain-created-before-genesis-11-or-after/
Excellent show (though I’ve listened only to half of it, so far). I myself have been wrestling with the chronology of Revelation: it’s so much easier to piece together if one sets aside a strict sequence.
I was interested to hear that the Greek word which is translated as “then” can also be translated as “and”. It certainly helps to know that! (Also, I’d read somewhere that the Greek used in Revelation is very rough and ready when compared with the other New Testament writings — is this right?)
Your idea that Heaven and Earth are renewed at the start of the Millennium is unusual and interesting — my ears always prick up when you talk about it! Prophecy buffs seem often to follow a given chronology, and to be wary of questioning it. Good for you for breaking the mould, Doug! A question I often ponder myself is whether Gog makes only a single appearance — i.e. I wonder whether Ezekiel 38-39 and Revelation 20:7-9 might actually describe a single event.
On lighter matters…
Around 09:40 I think I can hear Dave opening his donuts. He starts eating ’em at 09:55. …But my favourite Dave eating-segment was from 18:15 to 18:33 — I listened to it repeatedly until I was giggling so much that my stomach began to hurt.
God bless you both!
Hi Paul, Just to be clear, the word “then” Gr. tote does not mean “and” it just means “then”. My point is the Gr word “kai” means “and” and there is no justification to translate it as “then” when there is a separate word for that. I would argue that it is sloppy translation.
We will be speaking more about the chronology of Revelation because there are a lot of things that can be put into a much clearer light if we don’t insist that every chapter’s contents must follow the previous.
P.S. I will let Dave know! Thanks!
Thanks for the clarification: the way I think of Revelation is that John was given the privilege of experiencing the Heavenly realm, where time does not have the same meaning it does here. We should therefore be careful about holding too rigidly to the sequence in which the events are recounted.
With respect to the heavens receding like a scroll, I think that this points to God’s unveiling of the higher dimensions during Judgement — it is a final breakdown of the barrier between our 4-dimensional world and the 4+n-dimensional world in which the heavenly host live and move.
And please don’t stop Dave eating his donuts — as I say, that segment from 18:15 to 18:33 was the funniest thing I’d heard all week.
Hello Doug and Dave,
I greatly enjoyed your discussion on the chronology in Revelation. I enjoy it the most when you guys discuss and expound the scriptures, allthough I appreaciate all your discussions. Both of you made good points to consider.
I am greatly looking forward to a more in depth discussion of Rev 20 and Doug’s view on how Rev 21-22 gives more detail on the events of Revelation 20.
Hi Peter, I love expounding the Scriptures the best as well! My new book Edge of Eternity will deal with the chronology of Revelation – I will also be dealing with this as I teach through Revelation. Blessings, Doug
Doug speaks on a number of key biblical issues such as Who are the Elect, The Mark of the Beast, The Second Coming of Jesus, and More. Depending on his availability, Doug would enjoy sharing his biblical insights with your group.
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