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View Poll Results: Are the visions of the book of Revelation chronological

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  • Yes, the visions in Revelation are chronological

    7 28.00%
  • No, the visions in Revelation are not chronological

    5 20.00%
  • No, the visions in Revelation are a series of parallel visions

    11 44.00%
  • Other

    2 8.00%
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Thread: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

  1. #1
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    Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    Are the visions in the book of Revelation in chronological order? Choose one.

    a. Yes, The visions are in chronological order. Churches- Seals- Trumpets- etc written in the order in which they occur.

    b. No, they are random visions, not in any specific order.

    c. No, they are a series of parallell visions. For example William Hendrickson wrote that they were a series of parallell visions, ie- the book of Revelation is composed of ( seven) sections that run parallel to one another, and span from Johns days to the end of this age ( " More than Conquerers by William Hendrickson.)

    d. other
    .
    1 John 1:7- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    2 Corinthians 7:1- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

  2. #2
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    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    I voted, "No, the visions in Revelation are a series of parallel visions" but would like to add they are not exactly parallel. I believe that each block of seven is a more detailed description of the 'seventh' event of the previous block of seven.

    For example,
    • the '7 trumpets' are the 7th seal.
    • the '7 vials' are the 7th trump.
    • etc
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    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    I voted "Other". Revelation is chronological in a sense, but to me, the order of the text in Revelation is merely the order in which John received his vision of the end times and wrote it down, which is not necessarily the order in which it will be fulfilled. I believe that the seven seals in and of themselves are in chronological order, as are the seven trumpets and seven vials. But this does not mean that all the seals come before all the trumpets, and that all the trumpets come before all the vials. I believe there is overlap, and that the series of seals, trumpets, and vials begin at different points but reach their conclusion at the same time: the end of the Great Tribulation.
    For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.
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    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberseeker View Post
    I voted, "No, the visions in Revelation are a series of parallel visions" but would like to add they are not exactly parallel. I believe that each block of seven is a more detailed description of the 'seventh' event of the previous block of seven.

    For example,
    • the '7 trumpets' are the 7th seal.
    • the '7 vials' are the 7th trump.
    • etc
    I agree with the list above. Wouldnt that mean that the seals, trumps, and vials are consecutive and in chronological order, but with overlaps?
    1 John 1:7- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    2 Corinthians 7:1- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

  5. #5
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    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    Quote Originally Posted by JLM-223 View Post
    I voted "Other". Revelation is chronological in a sense, but to me, the order of the text in Revelation is merely the order in which John received his vision of the end times and wrote it down, which is not necessarily the order in which it will be fulfilled. I believe that the seven seals in and of themselves are in chronological order, as are the seven trumpets and seven vials. But this does not mean that all the seals come before all the trumpets, and that all the trumpets come before all the vials. I believe there is overlap, and that the series of seals, trumpets, and vials begin at different points but reach their conclusion at the same time: the end of the Great Tribulation.
    I think this would most closely fit the "parallell" view, since you hold that the seals, trumps, and vials reach their conclusion at the same time. . When I said chronological, I meant in the sense of when they would be fulfilled, not in the order of when John received them. I wasnt clear about that though.

    We also need to consider how the other aspects of the book, ( the 144,000, the two witnesses, the two beasts, the fall of Babylon, etc.) relate to the sets of sevens, ( churches, seals, trumps, and vials). Hopefully we can work these in as the thread progresses, God willing.
    1 John 1:7- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    2 Corinthians 7:1- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

  6. #6
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    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    Quote Originally Posted by glad4mercy View Post
    Are the visions in the book of Revelation in chronological order? Choose one.

    a. Yes, The visions are in chronological order. Churches- Seals- Trumpets- etc written in the order in which they occur.

    b. No, they are random visions, not in any specific order.

    c. No, they are a series of parallell visions. For example William Hendrickson wrote that they were a series of parallell visions, ie- the book of Revelation is composed of ( seven) sections that run parallel to one another, and span from Johns days to the end of this age ( " More than Conquerers by William Hendrickson.)

    d. other
    .
    I agree with Hendrickson on this. If the seals, trumpets and vials were all chronological then you have the final wrath of God coming down multiple times, which I don't believe makes sense. As of the sixth seal being opened we can see that the final wrath of God is at hand at that point.

    Rev 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
    13And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

    So, the time of "the great day of his wrath is come" after the sixth seal is opened. Yet we see that the final wrath of God doesn't actually come down until the seventh trumpet sounds.

    Rev 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17Saying, We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

    So, we see that "the great day of his wrath" is at hand (about to occur) upon the opening of the sixth seal and that it actually occurs after the sound of the seventh trumpet. So, either the first six trumpets all happen very quickly one after the other after the seventh seal or the seals and trumpets are not chronological but are instead parallel to each other. I say that because if "the great day of his wrath" has truly come or is at hand after the sixth seal is opened then it wouldn't make sense if "the great day of his wrath" didn't actually occur until 3.5 years later or whatever you might believe is the case.

    Another thing to point out is that the descriptions of both the seventh trumpet and seventh vial give the impression that everything is finished at that point. Look at Rev 11:15-18 (quoted above). Once the seventh trumpet sounds then "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ" and "thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants". The seventh trumpet is clearly a climactic signal. It even signals the time of the judgment (Rev 20:11-15) so how could there be a significant amount of time occurring on the earth after the seventh trumpet? The description of what occurs at the seventh trumpet indicates that it is the very end. God's wrath is about to come down and the judgment is about to occur at that point. So, if all of the seven vials follow the seventh trumpet then they would have to all occur in rapid succession or else it wouldn't be true that at the seventh trumpet it would be "the time of the dead, that they should be judged".

    Notice the similarities of these verses:

    Rev 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

    Rev 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

    When Rev 16:17 says "It is done" what is done? The mystery of God? If the mystery of God is finished around the time of the seventh trumpet then how could the seventh vial occur a significant period of time after the seventh trumpet? If that was the case then it wouldn't really be true that "the mystery of God should be finished" around the time of the seventh trumpet sounding.

  7. #7

    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    Quote Originally Posted by glad4mercy View Post
    Are the visions in the book of Revelation in chronological order? Choose one.

    a. Yes, The visions are in chronological order. Churches- Seals- Trumpets- etc written in the order in which they occur.

    b. No, they are random visions, not in any specific order.

    c. No, they are a series of parallell visions. For example William Hendrickson wrote that they were a series of parallell visions, ie- the book of Revelation is composed of ( seven) sections that run parallel to one another, and span from Johns days to the end of this age ( " More than Conquerers by William Hendrickson.)

    d. other
    .
    Yes and no. How's that for being decisive? Yes the seals, trumpets and plagues are chronological and much of the information is decoded in Mat 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. There are inset chapters and passages though that are not in sequence but are needed to understand what is going on in sequence.
    Last edited by John 8:32; Sep 16th 2011 at 07:01 PM. Reason: fat fingers and dyslexia

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    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    Quote Originally Posted by glad4mercy View Post
    I agree with the list above. Wouldnt that mean that the seals, trumps, and vials are consecutive and in chronological order, but with overlaps?
    Overlaps is a better way of putting it. Perhaps we should have voted 'Other' since there are chronological as well as parallel aspects to it? Anyway, here is a diagram that Ive put up on previous threads like this topic.

    Attachment 10002
    "Your name and renown
    is the desire of our hearts."
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    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    Nice diagram, Adstars. Thanks for the link.
    1 John 1:7- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    2 Corinthians 7:1- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

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    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    Thank you, John 14:6. These are strong arguments of the "parallell" view. The strong argument for the "Chronological but overlapping view is the fact that the seventh seal issues in the seven trumps, and the seven trumps seem to issue in the seven vials. It seems that both views have strengths and both have questions.
    1 John 1:7- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    2 Corinthians 7:1- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

  11. #11
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    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    Quote Originally Posted by John 8:32 View Post
    Yes and no. How's that for being decisive? Yes the seals, trumpets and plagues are chronological and much of the information is decoded in Mat 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. There are inset chapters and passages though that are not in sequence but are needed to understand what is going on in sequence.
    By the inset chapters, do you mean for example Revelation 7, 10, 12-14, etc. I would agree that these do not seem to be in in sequence or chronological order. For example, do you believe that the beast in Revelation 11, ( the one who kills the two witnesses), is one of the beasts from Revelation 13? If so, that would seem to indicate that Revelation 13, ( the rise of the beast from the sea and the beast from the earth) occurs earlier in time before Revelation 11, ( the beast that comes up from the abyss killing the two witnesses), though I could be mistaken.
    1 John 1:7- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    2 Corinthians 7:1- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

  12. #12

    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    When one really studies Revelation, one realizes that it is not set out as a chronological story. It takes much discernment to apprehend what the Lord is saying to us. That is why there are always conflicting understandings amongst believers, for we are all in different stages of intimacy with God, and spiritual growth and revelation. Revelation is not a book to be digested like any other book, nor for a new believer to attempt to comprehend, at least easily.

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    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    Quote Originally Posted by Desperaux View Post
    When one really studies Revelation, one realizes that it is not set out as a chronological story. It takes much discernment to apprehend what the Lord is saying to us. That is why there are always conflicting understandings amongst believers, for we are all in different stages of intimacy with God, and spiritual growth and revelation. Revelation is not a book to be digested like any other book, nor for a new believer to attempt to comprehend, at least easily.
    Good points about the need for maturity and discernment to understand Revelation. I think one needs to study the other books of the Bible to be able to comprehend much of Revelation, and also one's degree of intimacy with and obedience to God will effect their understanding of it. Nevertheless, even new believers can receive comfort and encouragement from Revelation if they look at it panoramically, and not try to disect every detail. I would say view it panoramically first, get encouragement from it, and then as the Lord wills seek to understand the details as we grow in Christ and continue to study the Bible. I think that is a good method to follow in studying any book of the Bible as well.

    Additionally, there are people who have been saved and studying the Bible for many years, and seem to have an intimate walk with God as well who seem to have divergant views on Revelation.
    1 John 1:7- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    2 Corinthians 7:1- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

  14. #14
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    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    Quote Originally Posted by glad4mercy View Post
    Thank you, John 14:6. These are strong arguments of the "parallell" view.
    You're welcome.

    The strong argument for the "Chronological but overlapping view is the fact that the seventh seal issues in the seven trumps, and the seven trumps seem to issue in the seven vials. It seems that both views have strengths and both have questions.
    How are you coming to these conclusions? I don't see where it says the seventh seal issues in the seven trumpets or where it says the seven trumpets issue in the seven vials.

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    Re: Is the book of Revelation Chronological

    Quote Originally Posted by John146 View Post
    You're welcome.

    How are you coming to these conclusions? I don't see where it says the seventh seal issues in the seven trumpets or where it says the seven trumpets issue in the seven vials.
    Revelation 8:1-2 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

    Revelation 6 has the first six seals...

    Revelation 7- the sealing of the 144,000 and the vision of the great multitude.

    The seventh seal is not mentioned until chapter 8, and when it is, the vision of the trumpets immedietely follows. The only thing the seventh seal marks is silence in heaven for a half an hour and the angels preparing to blow their trumpets

    Revelation 8-9 contain the first 6 trumps, and the seventh trump is not mentioned until the end of Revelation 11

    The seven vials do not come until chapter 15.


    The fact that the opening of the seventh seal is so closely connected to the beginning of the trumps lead some to believe that the seventh seal includes the seven trumpets. They also believe that the seventh trump includes the seven vials, even though the seventh trump and the pouring out of the vials are not nearly as closely connected. I think they would hold that the chapters that separate the sixth and the seventh seal ( Revelation 7), the sixth and seventh trump ( Revelation 10-11:14), and the seventh trump and the first vial, ( Revelation 12-14), are parenthetical in nature.


    I am not saying I hold to the chronological but overlapping view. I am just trying to present that side of the argument as best as I can. Maybe someone else can explain it better.
    1 John 1:7- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    2 Corinthians 7:1- Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    "My heart was once hard and dark. Then God turned on the Light and the Water."

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