Being part of the Bible, Revelation is a spiritual book, and in that respect: timeless. Revelation deals with spiritual conditions in every time and place. So to one degree or another, the spiritual conditions described in Revelation have existed in every age of time.
And at the same time, Revelation also deals with the whole timeline of the Gospel day: which covers Jesus’ first advent, death and resurrection, all the way to the end of time. Because of including Revelation, the Bible covers the whole existence of mankind. There is no other book like the Bible in this manner.
In Genesis, the Bible starts with the beginning of creation, including mankind. This record of God’s people from the beginning of time, through the book of Revelation, covers the full history of God’s relationship with his people. In the New Testament, that relationship is identified through his Son, Jesus Christ.
Now, there have been many other records of history regarding many other peoples throughout history. But the Bible is only concerned about those who are supposed to be “his people”. This is very important to notice, because the book of Revelation is no different!
Revelation is NOT about the history of all mankind. If you approach it as “history of all mankind” you will introduce confusion into your understanding. Revelation is addressed to his true people, and is about what has happened to his true people: even as they have been persecuted by fake Christianity throughout history. You must understand this difference to understand Revelation!
And so, Revelation covers the time of Jesus’ first appearance in the New Testament, all the way until the final judgement day. And so it only makes sense that the final chapters of Revelation detail the final end of the world and mankind as we know it. Therefore Revelation completes the Bible coverage of the complete timeline existence of God’s people throughout all time. The Bible as a whole is the only book in the world that does this. No other writing of mankind, ancient or modern, comes even remotely close to the complete timeline of the full Bible collection of scripture.
In addition, there is a time noted in Revelation (which we are experiencing today) when the complete gospel day timeline is being revealed to God’s true ministry.
“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.” ~ Revelation 10:7
We are living in that time. A time when God is using a ministry to declare the full Revelation message. And that is one of the reasons this article on the “Revelation Historical Timeline” is being published.
A key purpose of Revelation is to reveal clearly: Jesus Christ and his true Kingdom people, to Christ’s own true people. So that we can more clearly delineate truth from deception, and God’s true people from hypocrites.
So with that purpose in mind, let us first look at the context of Revelation.
In Revelation, Jesus Christ is revealed as King of kings and Lord of lords in the hearts of his true people and throughout history. So the timeline in Revelation only reflects this, and as such, also exposes the hypocrisy of fake Christianity which resisted the truth and God’s true people, during this same timeline.
Consequently it is critical that the reader understand that: all other historical records that do not identify true Christianity in spiritual battle against the fake Christianity; they are not part of this Revelation timeline. So don’t try to “insert” them in. It will save you much confusion.
For emphasis, I repeat: do NOT try to insert histories of corrupted churches, or compare histories of corrupted churches, as if they were “the church”! And if some corrupted church of the past has no significant historical record of true Christians trying to reform that corrupted church, don’t expect God to be addressing any spiritual battle going on there, within Revelation.
Here is one such typical timeline of Christianity. But realize, every timeline identified within this pictorial timeline, does not reflect the Revelation historical timeline. Keep reading and you will understand why I say that.
One of the principle revelations within Revelation, is about a victorious church (God’s faithful few, his remnant) in every age of time. That is the historical record you want to be looking for!
In spite of me saying this, I know that even good, and very intelligent people, will still mix these irrelevant histories into their conscience, as they try to read and comprehend this timeline. I can only hope and pray that God would help you.
Revelation was written to the saints: to especially help them to be free from both fake Christian notions and histories. Even the Apostle John needed help seeing the difference (see Revelation 17:7).
Revelation is a spiritual book, and as such, every part can be used during any part of history to describe spiritual conditions then. But it’s also a book designed by God to designate specific overriding spiritual conditions affecting the principle concentrations of God’s people during the Gospel day. To understand this, you must also follow the principle geo-political placement of God’s truly saved people throughout the historical record handed down to us.
Time Designations in Revelation:
Now let’s talk about historical time designations throughout the history of the Gospel day. Why? Because the Revelation message has numerous specifications of time, and the Revelation message states specifically that God wants us to understand these periods of time.
In Revelation, the most plainly identified “time period” in history is where and when the 1,260 year period takes place and ends. (Note: these years are identified prophetically as “days” in the Revelation and Daniel.)
This 1,260 year period is identified five times in Revelation, and once in the book of Daniel (chapter 7), for a total of six times . God is obviously making a “time in history” point that he wants us especially to pay attention to!
So there is a lot of descriptive text of this 1,260 spiritual days/years time period in Revelation. But in addition, there is a lot of descriptive text of what immediately follows this 1,260 time period also. When you consider this transition point from the 1,260 days/years, to the next time period, you realize that the beginning of this next time period could only be the beginning of what has become known as the “Protestant Reformation” that occurred in the 1500s after the dark middle ages of the Roman Catholic Church.
In summary, the 1,260 days/years describes the rise to power and deceptive rule of the Papacy and the Catholic Church. And the period of time subsequent to this is the rise to power and deceptive rule of spiritually fallen Protestant organizations. The relative “point in time” this Protestant period started in a formal way in history is clearly identified and historically documented in many ways and from many sources. Consequently, this clearly identifiable spiritual transition point in history gives us a clear “starting point” to begin laying out the rest of the Revelation timeline.
The best approximation of this date is 1530, the date the first formal Protestant doctrinal statement of beliefs was published and subscribed to. (And many other competing doctrines would come after, validating a new phase in Christian history where men would create many new doctrines and religious identities, confusing people similar to the way that pagans multiply their new gods and religions.)
Again, this particular time in history is clearly identifiable through the descriptions in Revelation, and is undeniably evident in history.
Please don’t find fault with aligning the rest of the time periods in Revelation by starting from this particular date. Because it is God who identifies this particular demarcation of time by his own description of these two distinct time periods: on either side of this date of AD 1530.
Now some would question why we would follow a historical path that mainly follows through from the Catholic Church to the Protestant era? The Roman Catholic Church was not the only one prior to Protestantism. There also was the: Armenian Church, Syriac Church, Coptic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, etc.
But where did the Reformation movement come out of?
There is no record of people laboring and dying for the cause of a Biblical faith based reform of any significance coming out of these other schisms of the church, prior to the Reformation movement of the 1500s. These early schisms (Armenian Church, Syriac Church, Coptic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, etc.) happened principally because of men desiring for power and influence. The only significant reform efforts that ever affected these very old schisms, came after the Reformation movement of the 1500s had already started, and came specifically from a lineage of people that had come out of, and left the Roman Catholic Church. There is no reform movement of God’s Holy Spirit of any significant size on record, from people who first were part of the Armenian Church, Syriac Church, Coptic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, etc.
In fact, before the Reformation movement of the 1500s, we also have record of many efforts by individuals within the Roman Catholic Church to reform her. There was the Waldenesians, Jan Huss, John Wycliffe, etc. The Holy Spirit was effecting such a work within many hearts, that they were willing to risk and suffer death for the truth revealed to their souls.
Remember, you must follow the historical lineage of the stirring of the Holy Spirit working throughout history within the hearts of people, to understand Revelation, and the Revelation historical timeline. To just analyze church organization histories recorded by historians with little spiritual discernment, will only bring you confusion and unbelief!
Also remember that the Revelation message was only addressed to the true servants of Christ (see Revelation 1:1-4), to enable them to discern between the true and the false. The only way to make that distinction evident, is a historical timeline that follows where the true people of God were located during history.
Do you really want to know where God’s true people have been? If so, God will reveal it to you by the spiritual sheep spirit they had to humbly follow Christ throughout history.
“Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?
If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.” ~ Song of Solomon 1:7-8
Let God identify to you the spiritual “shepherd’s tents” that he provided for his people.
So now let’s let God identify the 1,260 years in Revelation. First by scriptures which specifically show that a day can be used prophetically to identify a year:
- Ezekiel 4:5-6
- Daniel 9:25
- Genesis 29:27-28
- Numbers 14:34
I quote the last one here for your easier reading:
“After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.” ~ Numbers 14:34
So let’s examine the scriptures identifying the 1,260 days/years. First in Revelation the 11th chapter these days are identified as a time when the church, as the spiritual new Jerusalem, would be disrespected for 42 months, which equals approximately 1,260 days. Remember that by the time of writing Revelation, the physical City of Jerusalem had already been completely destroyed by the Romans. So this scripture cannot be talking about physical Jerusalem because the temple was completely destroyed and has never been rebuilt since. This can only be speaking of spiritual Jerusalem, which represents the church. (If you are seriously hung up on the millennial reign reestablishing the temple in Jerusalem, you may read “The Millennial Reign in Revelation Chapter 20” for a scriptural based clarification on this.)
So let’s read about the spiritual temple and spiritual Jerusalem.
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” ~ Revelation 11:1-2
What this shows is that the spiritual temple (individuals in whose hearts Jesus lives “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God…” ~ 1 Cor 3:16) can be measured by the rod: which represents the Word of God.
But the city, new Jerusalem, which represents the visible collective body of Christ, has been disrespected by those who are not spiritual Jews (spiritual gentiles). He is speaking of hypocrites in the leadership of the then church, who disrespected and misused the Word of God for advantage. And they misused their authority so much, that they persecuted true ministers and true children of God. So further in Revelation chapter 11 it states:
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” ~ Revelation 11:3-6
The two faithful witnesses during the Gospel day (from the time of Jesus first advent until the end of the world) are the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit. (Zachariah 4:14 & 1 John 5:8) So what the scripture in Revelation chapter 11 above shows, is that even though there was a true ministry that was persecuted (“clothed in sackcloth” because of their sorrows): this ministry, by the Word of God and his Holy Spirit in them, prophesied against the corrupt leadership of the Catholic Church. And the truth they spoke was as a spiritual plague upon the hypocritical leadership.
This time of persecution is further explained later in Revelation chapter 12, where the true church is shown as the bride of Christ bringing forth spiritual children through salvation.
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days…
…And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” ~ Revelation 12:5-6 & 13-14
A “times, time, and half a time” is three and a half years, or approximately 1,260 days/years. A prophetic year is one “time” or 360 days. Additionally, because this very same chapter describing the woman/church flight into the wilderness, uses both 1260 days and “time, times and half a time” to describe the same time period: this confirms to us exactly what a “time” stands for.
Notice it states it is a spiritual wilderness place, because of the plagues of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit upon the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. (Remember in Revelation 11:6 what it said about the true ministry anointed with the Word and Holy Spirit “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy.” The rain they are speaking of is the spiritual blessings that come from God.) But also notice that at the same time, the true people of God, the true church, that “she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” Those that fed her directly there were also the Word of God and the Holy Spirit “clothed in sackcloth” because of the persecutions that were being suffered.
And yet to make it definitively clear whom Revelation is talking about: again in the 13th chapter, the Roman Catholic Church is shown receiving its authority from Paganism. With this authority they are able to deceive and execute persecutions against true Christians. Paganism is symbolized as the dragon, and the Catholic Church as the beast. And again, this beast continues with this ultimate authority for 42 months, or 1,260 days/years.
“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” ~ Revelation 13:4-7
Daniel also speaks to this 1,260 day/year period when a religious power would arise, that would blaspheme God and persecute God’s people. This religious power starts out small as “a little horn” that would come forth from the fourth beast kingdom (Rome) of Daniel the 7th chapter. (Note: the three kingdoms before the fourth in Daniel are: Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Grecia. Then after Grecia, came the fourth: Rome.)
“Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” ~ Daniel 7:23-26
Additionally, the same time period was given to Daniel a second time as he again asked about this time period that was to come. This was the response he received:
“And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” ~ Daniel 12:7
Again, the “time and times and the dividing of time” is the three and a half years, or approximately 1,260 days/years. But note that in Daniel 7:26 it also informs us: “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” This Roman Catholic beast shall be judged by the Word of God and the Spirit of God, and this will begin because of the Reformation of the 1500s. And the second scripture in Daniel 12:7 tells us that after the “time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” After the dark ages rule of the Catholic Church, then the Protestant sects would thoroughly “scatter the power of the holy people.” This gives us even more insights into not just the 1260 days/years, but also what happens subsequent to that time period.
Consequently, the ultimate authority that the Catholic Church enjoyed, will be taken away as many are awakened to her falseness. And as time continued from there, her spiritual authority has become less and less over the years “to consume and to destroy it unto the end.”
So understand that this is describing a spiritual battle that is going on for the place of spiritual authority within the hearts and minds of people.
What then follows this 1,260 days/years mentioned above “when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people” (Daniel 12:7) ?
As the Reformation was giving liberty to the Word of God and the Spirit of God within many lives, the devil knew he needed to use different tactics to counter these spiritual forces within the hearts and lives of people. So he began to inspire certain Protestant ministers to seek their own authority and church identity, instead of being content to only allow the authority and identity of the Word and the Spirit.
So in Revelation, immediately following the testimony of the Word of God and the Spirit of God (who were “clothed in sackcloth and ashes” because of persecution): we now see a number of divided Protestant churches rising up, who by their required Creed’s and human rulers, kill the effects of the Word and Spirit in the hearts of people.
The Catholic Church kept the Bible chained to the pulpit so few could read it. Therefore they did not kill the Word, they just spiritually starved people from a lack of it. But the Protestant organizations openly used the Word, but killed its influence by deceitfully inserting the poison of false doctrines and creeds that make room for sin in the lives of people, and divided them into sects. Consequently, this Protestant power is described as a second beast, that comes up out of a bottomless pit (a place of no true spiritual foundation from the Word of God.) This beast power kills the influence of the Word and the Spirit.
“And when they (the Word and the Spirit) shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies (of the Word and the Spirit) shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” ~ Revelation 11:7-10
Remember that our Lord was crucified in Jerusalem. So this scripture lets us know how God sees his enemies, from spiritual eyes. And even though spiritually fallen Protestant churches think highly of themselves: because they kill the influence of the Word and the Spirit, God spiritually sees them as Sodom and Egypt representing sinfulness and bondage. And even though they kill the influence of the Word and the Spirit, they keep their “dead bodies” around by claiming they believe the Word and that the Spirit is in them. But both are dead in their church organizations.
Essentially the Protestant organizations did almost everything evil that the Roman Catholic Church did before them. The main difference: Protestantism divided Christians multiple times by creating multiple ways of worshiping God whatever way they choose. Essentially creating the effect of paganism (many Gods and many ways to confuse people) with a Christian cloak for extra deception.
So it only makes sense that if Revelation would portray the Catholic Church as a beast, that it would also portray Protestantism as a beast also. But the difference is that the Protestant beast would be made to look like a lamb, but on the inside it is actually the dragon spirit of paganism.
Note: “beasts” are used because the Word of God instructs us that man, without God to direct him, is no better than a beast (see Psalm 49:20 & 2 Peter 2:12).
Notice where this Protestant beast comes from: up out of the bottomless pit of the Earth. Remember, that this is the same beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit in Revelation chapter 11 to kill God’s two witnesses: the Word of God and the Spirit of God.
“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” ~ Revelation 13:11-15
This second beast of Protestantism “exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him,” therefore he resembles the first beast, Catholicism. And spiritually being much in similar form on the inside as the first beast, this second beast essentially causes its worshipers, when they honor the second beast, to also “worship the first beast.” So naturally this second beast, which also deceives by the appearance of miracles, convinces everyone on the Earth to create an image to the first beast. To create a universal earthly governing power similar to the Catholic Church universal power of the past dark ages. And so, it was Protestant leadership that led the way in first creating the world parliament/council of churches, and then campaigned with world leaders to do the same by creating first the League of Nations which would later become the United Nations.
The concern of the beast nature organizations is with earthly power and influence, not with the obedience to the faith first delivered to the Apostles. You may feel there has been some earthly noble things accomplished through these organizations. Of course there has! How else could they justify their existence and draw people unto themselves. But that is the point: to draw people to themselves, to obey and worship and honor them, rather than Jesus and all of his Word!
“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” ~ Luke 16:15
This second beast reintroduced much confusion and division amongst God’s people. Dividing people so you can gather them to yourself is idolatry (setting yourself and your plans and ideas above God’s calling and purpose.)
“These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” ~ Proverbs 6:16-19
The seventh thing the Lord hates in the scripture above is to divide brethren, and states that division is an abomination, which means idolatry. And idolatry is the religion directly created by Satan himself through divided and confused paganistic religions. And so later, in Revelation chapter 20, we see a clearer vision of what the Protestant beast, (which was also shown as coming up out of the Earth in chapter 11) really was.
Because of the power of the Gospel loosing people from sin and paganism, this same gospel preached was able to bind up Satan’s paganism. Therefore paganism had to go underground, and work under the cloak of the Catholic Church during the dark ages.
This is reflective of the instruction Jesus gave to his Apostles. He told them that through the keys of the gospel (which are the keys to the kingdom of heaven, giving understanding into the truth) he would give the Apostles the power to bind up falseness.
“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” ~ Matthew 16:19
“Bound in Earth and heaven” shows that Satan can be bound in the Earth by the gospel, and be limited in what he is able to do, and in how he is allowed to deceive. The truth in the Bible does this through its influence on the lives of individuals. And if bound in the Earth, it is also bound in the “heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (see Ephesians 2:4-6). This is the heavenly place that is found when true Christians gather together to worship God in Spirit and in truth.
So the gospel can loose a soul from the control of sin. But, if the gospel is abused and manipulated for gain and to deceive by a false ministry, it can loose Satan also. And this is exactly what Protestantism did. It openly used the gospel in whatever way they chose. And by doing this, they completely loosed the spirit of Satan to deceive in whatever multiplied ways he wanted to.
Towards the end of Revelation, it especially makes clear to us how Satan can be loosed.
Once the confusion of Catholicism and Protestantism had been cleared away in the previous chapters of Revelation, now in Revelation chapter 20 one can see a clearer picture of the Gospel day: from the time of Jesus’ first appearing on Earth, to the end. So we see the true ministry of Jesus Christ starting out and binding paganism with the Gospel. Satan is bound into the bottomless pit (exposed that his pagan religions had no foundation: a bottomless pit is a place of no foundation). So Satan’s paganism became the “hidden in the hearts of hypocrites” religion, of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church incorporated many pagan teachings, but used Christian symbols to cover them. But only one church/religion was visibly allowed to be seen by anyone through the Catholic Church. But when Protestantism’s confusion of many churches and many doctrinal ways to worship was loosed, so Satan’s paganism became visible again, but with multiple so called “Christian” religious covers. Thus the Protestant sects multiplied satanic confusions. And they released this confusion against true Christians, to fully fight in the open against the true people of God.
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years (note: paganism was bound), And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more (with multiplied religions), till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Note: during this thousand years it was Catholicism that principally persecuted true Christians.) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection (Note: the first resurrection is the saving of the soul out of the death of sin, by salvation): on such the second death hath no power, (Note: second death is physical death, and the first death is the soul death when one sins. Just like God told Adam in the garden that in the day he sinned, he would die. So when we have been saved from the first death by salvation, the second death cannot hurt us.) but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” ~ Revelation 20:1-8
A thousand years before 1530, in AD 530, the emperor Justinian began to consolidate religious power under the Roman Catholic Pope. And so from AD 530 to 534 he rewrote the codex of the Law to enable the Pope to have full legal authority to execute judgments upon many that opposed him. This began the Roman Catholic Church’s legal authority and power to persecute and even make war. And this power went on without significant spiritual challenge for about 1,000 years.
So in Revelation chapter 20 it states “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God.” The method of execution was not beheading for everyone, but this “beheading” reflects a method typically used against other conquered kings. By publicly beheading a king you were showing to everyone that he had lost his crown of authority.
Now think spiritually with me. True Christians are “kings and priests to God” (see Revelation 1:6) and reign with power over sin. So during this 1,000 years many true Christians were falsely judged and “stripped of having any crown of righteousness” before the then public crowds of people. By such practice, these true saints essentially were “beheaded of their righteousness” before all men to portray them as not being spiritual kings. That is why God in Revelation chapter 20 further vindicates these true saints by contradicting the judgement of the Catholic Church by saying: “and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Man took off the crowned head of righteousness, but Jesus Christ judges them as still having a crown of righteousness, by how they “reigned with Christ a thousand years.” They reigned with Christ because they suffered for Christ.
“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” ~ 2 Timothy 2:11-12
But after this thousand years, ending in 1530: Satan, through the formation of many fallen Protestant sects, was able to loose his multiplied religions of confusion (essentially what paganism is) upon the so-called Christian world again. And since then he has continued to multiply this confusion, over and over again. This is especially how he works to keep the pure truth of the Gospel from reaching the minds and hearts of the lost.
So now how do we sum up what we have read so far?
By the clear identification in Revelation of what happened during the 1,260 year time, and by what is described as happening after that time: we are able to come about to a clear central date with good approximation. That year: AD 1530.
So if we roll the year clock backwards from that date by 1,260 years, we come to AD 270.
And If we only roll the year clock backwards from AD 1530 by 1,000 years, we come to AD 530.
AD 270 and AD 530 are dates that are also clearly defined in history and within Revelation’s description of spiritual conditions happening around God’s true people. Additionally, there are more designations of time that are identified in Revelation.
So from the “birth” of Protestantism around AD 1530, how long did this condition of confusion and persecution, through Protestantism, last without a clear stand-out church to expose it?
“And when they (the Word and the Spirit) shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” ~ Revelation 11:7-10
But this three and a half day spiritual period of time came to an end. A time came that the Word of God and the Spirit of God were fully honored in a collective “cloud of witnesses” whom God was calling out of all the confusion of both Catholicism and Protestantism.
“And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” ~ Revelation 11:11-13
The tenth part of the Harlot city (spiritual Babylon) fell, because that tenth part was the true saints who came out of Babylon, and stood together as one, separate from spiritual Babylon. They became the visible true church of God, the true holy bride of Christ.
This spiritual three and half day time happens after the 1,260 years, so it happens for a length of time from AD 1530 going forward in time. There has been much speculation concerning this time period of three and a half days. Some have identified it as three centuries and a half or about 350 years. That would bring us forward to approximately the date of AD 1880. But is there anything else in Revelation that could help support this notion of approximately three and a half centuries?
If you add the 1,260 years with the 350 or so years, you come up with 1,610 or approximately 1,600 years. (Again these are all approximations because months are not always 30 days, time and times and half time may not be exact to the day, and three and a half days may not specify an exact half = 50. And the accuracy of historical dates are dependent upon the limitations of historians who recorded them many centuries later. So dates may be a year or so off, here and there. But they are very close approximations, especially when you start to line them up with spiritual conditions known throughout history.) Our ability to lay out dates is limited to our limitations in understanding, and the limits of the accuracy of dates recorded in history by historians. But God’s understanding of time is perfect.
By the way, 1,600 is another important number within Revelation designating a space of time.
“And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” ~ Revelation 14:19-20
This treading of this spiritual wine-press has gone on since Jesus first brought the gospel to us. The preached gospel reveals to the soul their blood-guiltiness for practicing hypocrisy. But, for the space of “1,600 furlongs” the “winepress” preaching had to be done outside of a clear stand out city of God, which is the new Jerusalem, the true bride of Christ: the true church of God.
“I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.” ~ Isaiah 63:3-6
The context of this scripture in Isaiah has also to do with purifying a people for God in the middle of much hypocrisy and corruption. How? By treading out the corruption of false teachings and false worship. And without the help of the new Jerusalem city (the clear stand out church), as noted earlier in Revelation 14:20, God still accomplished the work himself: for “the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs”. Or for the space of 1,600 years: during the ruling time of the Roman Catholic Church along with the Protestant Churches, from approximately AD 270 until AD 1880.
But the furlong is a measurement of distance, not time. So how could we properly apply that time to this period in history? In order to do that, I must get into an explanation about the seven churches of Asia, as identified within Revelation.
So first I must layout in summary the complete Revelation timeline. It is designated by seven church ages, identified by the names of those seven churches of Asia that Revelation was addressed to. This will familiarize you with the “seven days of the gospel day” told by the seven churches. Then after this, my explanation of how distance is used to designate time will make much more sense.
The Seven Churches of Asia (Revelation chapters 2 and 3)
First a brief note on the general pattern you will find in the sequential order of the letters that Jesus instructed John to send to the seven churches of Asia.
- Many aspects and characteristics of Christ are brought out in that first interaction with John, spoken of in Revelation chapter 1. In the letters to the seven churches, every letter starts out with a repeat of one of those characteristics of Jesus. Why? Because Jesus is the answer for the church’s need in every place, and in every age of time.
- Also in each letter Jesus tells each church what will happen next, if they will not take heed to his warning. And in the next church letter (in the order presented in Revelation), we see that what Jesus warned the previous church about, has now actually come to pass in church following the previous church. What was predicted would happen in the previous, actually comes to pass in the next.
- Consequently, these seven churches in the order presented, are actually a story of the gospel day divided out into seven sequential church ages.
Revelation is a spiritual message, revealing spiritual conditions around the church and affecting the church. And it is a very complete message: dividing out the Revelation into multiple patterns of seven. Seven is known throughout the Bible as a number representing “completeness”. In addition, Revelation is designed to completely destroy any influence of hypocrisy against God’s people. That deceptive hypocritical influence is identified as an evil spiritual city (spiritual harlot condition) called “Babylon”. So the pattern of the multiple sevens, is like a spiritual battle plan to expose and defeat the spiritual stronghold of Babylon.
But to accomplish this exposure, and the destruction of her deceptive stronghold on the minds and hearts of people, God has a plan in Revelation that follows a pattern established in the Old Testament. Many times God repeats in Revelation: patterns, lessons and types already spoken of the rest of the Bible. This is to help us to properly interpret and understand Revelation. But the Bible is a spiritual book, so interpretations must be applied spiritually.
So the “battle field” of Revelation is first laid out by the letters to the seven churches. Then, based upon the seven church age pattern, a plan of attack is executed within Revelation.
This spiritual battle plan follows the same pattern that was used in the Old Testament to defeat Jericho. Jericho was that great walled city that stood in the way of God’s people, the Israelites. Before they could go any further into the “promised land”, they had to defeat Jericho. So God gave them a very specific plan to cause the walls of Jericho to fall down.
Here’s God’s plan that they followed then (from Joshua chapter 6):
- Seven priests with trumpets sounding, along with all the men of war, and carrying the Arc of the Testament: together they all marched once around the City of Jericho for six days (once each day).
- On the seventh day, they did the same thing, but this time they went around Jericho seven times in one day.
- After the seventh time (on the seventh day) the seven priests sounded a final loud and long blast.
- Then all the people shouted wrathful judgement against the City walls.
- And then the walls all came falling down flat.
They then went in and attacked and destroyed Jericho. They were instructed to only take away the precious metals of the City. Everything else was to be destroyed and burned
In Revelation we have a similar plan – to defeat spiritual Babylon’s deceptive stronghold on the hearts and minds of people:
- Seven seals (starting in Revelation chapter 6), one for each church age (or day) of the Gospel day. (Like the march around Jericho: once each day, for six “seal” spiritual days.)
- In the seventh seal (starting in Revelation chapter 8), seven trumpets are sounded out by the seven trumpet angel messengers. (Like the seven times in one day that they marched around Jericho: on the seventh day.)
- In the seventh trumpet (starting in Revelation chapter 11), there is the announcement that “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms or our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15) and there was seen the Arc of the Testament (just like it was present in the battle against Jericho) – and all this was immediately followed by a long and loud message (like the final long blast of the trumpet against Jericho). This long blast/message is against the kingdoms of the beasts (including the mark of the beast – and the number of his name 666) – see Revelations 12 & 13
- Next in Revelation 14 we see the true people of God worshiping God (having their Father’s name in their foreheads,) and a mighty message angel (Jesus Christ) announcing “Babylon is fallen, is fallen…”
- Then in Revelation 15 and 16 we see the seven angel messengers with the seven last plagues, the vials filled with the wrath of God’s judgement which they pour out (like the wrathful shouting of judgements of the Israelites against the city of Jericho.)
- Upon completion of the pouring out of the vials of wrath, there is the greatest spiritual earthquake that ever was and…
- “the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” (Revelation 16:19)
The walls of Babylon’s deception have fallen. It is time to completely destroy her influence!
Here is a one page Revelation overview diagram perhaps making it easier to understand the above.
So the reason: seals, trumpets and vials of God’s wrath are used in Revelation is as follows:
Seven seals are what Jesus Christ, “the slain lamb of God” (see Revelation 5) opens. So only those who have been forgiven by his blood are able to see what he opens (just as Nicodemus was told that he needed to be born again to see the Kingdom of God – see John 3:3-8). The purpose of the seals is to help God’s true people to know the spiritual battles that they will face at any time, but especially in each specific church age.
The seven trumpets are what Jesus gives his true ministry in every church age to warn the true people of God. And especially in the final church age, to warn the children of God again, and to gather them together as one body for spiritual battle. Note: in the Old Testament, trumpets were used to warn the people and to gather them together for battle.
The seven vials of the wrathful judgments of God actually also correspond to each church age. They are the pouring out of final spiritual judgment upon every evil spiritual condition identified by the seven seals and the seven trumpet angels.
The purpose of all this is: especially in the final spiritual day, to produce a spiritual light so bright that anyone who wants to spiritually see, can see the truth, if they really want to.
“Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.” ~ Isaiah 30:26
The purpose is to heal the church of the wounds caused by the influence of spiritual Babylon!
Note: even beyond just the battle plan of the three sevens: of seven seals, seven trumpets, and the seven vials of God’s wrath: the whole Revelation message actually tells the story of the Gospel day seven different times, from seven different perspectives! Again, God does things in sevens to show the completeness and surety of his intention to teach historical lessons within Revelation.
Next is a summary of the battle plan of three sets of seven within Revelation, all organized within the seven church ages identified by the seven churches of Asia.
So now, understanding the battle plan of three sevens, also understand that each of the individual seals, trumpets, and vials of God’s wrath: corresponds with one of the church ages. With that said, let us walk through the timeline of the gospel day, as laid out in both history and Revelation:
AD 33 – Beginning of first church age: Ephesus
- From the day of Pentecost – the church goes forth in the power of the Holy Spirit
- But as time goes on into the next centuries, too many people begin to just follow people, and not the Holy Spirit.
Letter to first church, Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) shows:
- You are doing all the right things, but no longer for the right reasons: you are doing it to please men first – you’ve left your first love: God’s Holy Spirit.
- Repent or I’ll remove my candlestick – which gives spiritual light to see by the burning oil, representing the collective love of the Holy Spirit working within everyone in the church.
Opening of the First Seal (Revelation 6:1-2) reveals:
- A sound of thunder – because of the lightning of the gospel first going forth in its strength, as it did at the beginning of the gospel day.
- Jesus is wearing a crown and is shown riding a white horse (a symbol of warfare). He goes forth “conquering and to conquer”. (Note: Jesus’ warfare is a spiritual one, not a brutal fleshly one. The battle of Christ is fought by the work of the Gospel to save souls.) The white horse represents the true ministers of Jesus Christ that Jesus directs into battle, just as God’s prophets of old (Elijah and Elisha) were called “the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof” (see 2 Kings 2:12 & 2 Kings 13:14)
First Trumpet (Revelation 8:7) warns:
- A gospel judgement message is being preached (hail and fire) mingled with blood (the blood that makes you clean and innocent, or guilty, depending upon whether you receive it or not.)
- A third part of the trees of righteousness on the earth don’t survive (the other two thirds stay righteous). And all grass (representing sinful mankind in general) is burned up by the message (meaning they reject the Gospel truth).
First Vial of God’s Executed Wrath (Revelation 16:2) judges:
- Wrath poured out on the earth because the earthly people have chosen to worship and honor/fear the beast-like kingdoms of men, rather than God.
- The truth of this preached judgement is painful for beast-like mankind to receive. Therefore a noisome (painful and loathsome) and grievous sore falls upon all those that are earthly. (Note: When the first trumpet angel sounded in Revelation 8:7, one third of all trees, and all green grass was burned up, showing the effect of the preaching of the Word of God upon those who seem to be righteous (trees of righteousness) and sinners (the grass). But the pouring out of the vials is the final completion of God’s judgments. Consequently, earth is all that is left once all trees and grass is burned up: showing us in the final judgments of the preached wrath-vials, that everyone that is earthly will not be able to endure the preaching of sound doctrine.)
AD 270 – Beginning of second church age: Smyrna
- The first monastery in the world was founded by Anthony in Egypt (AD 270), promoting the ascetic life. (This becomes a new outward “form of godliness” to cover up a corrupt church condition for many years to come.)
- For the first time (in AD 272) church leaders ask a Roman emperor to arbitrate an internal dispute (which the Apostle Paul taught specifically against in his first epistle to the Corinthians.) This becomes the beginning of Church leadership seeking partnerships for power with earthly leaders.
- It is during the next few centuries of church leader power-positioning, that church leaders attack each other so much that they divide geographically by the kingdoms of men.
Letter to second church, Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) shows:
- Now among the true Christians, there is a significant number of people who are fake Christians that have snuck in. They are called “the synagog of Satan.” (Note: When the candlestick is removed, you no longer have enough light to clearly tell who has entered into the place of worship.)
- Smyrna is warned that in the future they will be suffering great persecution, and they are exhorted to be true to the death.
Opening of the Second Seal (Revelation 6:3-4) reveals:
- There is no longer a sound of thunder from gospel lightning, (because the light of the candlestick has been removed.)
- The horse has turned red (representing blood-guilty) and Jesus is not riding it. It has a new rider who uses a “great sword” (misusing the Word of God) to take away peace, so that people are fighting each other, and using the scriptures to do it.
Second Trumpet (Revelation 8:8-9) warns:
- A great mountain that used to be the church (with burning love) has come down to the level of the sea of people (and has been quenched there). And because of this, a third part of the souls that had life in the sea, have now died of sinful blood-guiltiness.
Second Vial of God’s Executed Wrath (Revelation 16:2) judges:
- Now the whole sea of people who do not respond to the full gospel – have died of blood-guiltiness (not just one third like in the second trumpet). You must serve God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength – or not at all. So if you still want to mix with the worldly sea of people (religious or otherwise), you will certainly spiritually die there.
AD 530 – Beginning of third church age: Pergamos
- In AD 530 the emperor Justinian added to the Roman Bishop the prerogative of receiving appeals from the other patriarchs of the then known church, placing the Bishop in Rome (the Pope) above all the others.
- Pope Boniface II (Pope from 530 to 532) changed the numbering of the years in the Julian Calendar from Ab Urbe Condita to Anno Domini. (“… and think to change time and laws…” ~ Daniel 7:25)
- On June 6, 533 the ruler Justinian sends a letter to the Pope claiming him to be head over all other jurisdictions and that all the Bishops should recognize him as the head.
- AD534 – Justinian places the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church within his new codified collection of Roman law. This new law codex made it impossible to be a citizen without being part of the Catholic Church. It enabled the trying of heresy, and it labeled pagan worshipers as murders, and favored the Catholic clergy with special rights.
- The Bible is chained to the pulpit to keep the common people from knowing it, enabling the clergy to leverage it against the people for advantage.
Letter to third church, Pergamos (Revelation 2:12-17) shows:
- Satan has established a seat of authority right amongst where true Christians would gather, and true Christians were suffering persecution and being slain, right in the church! (The persecution that Smyrna was warned of would come.)
- False doctrines are being taught according to the spirit and method of the Old Testament Balaam, “who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” Balaam did this because he wanted earthly riches and power with the earthly King. (Just as the Catholic Pope, Cardinals and Bishops would do.)
- Additionally, there were those amongst them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes (free love of anything: good or evil), which thing God hates. (The Catholic church would come to love all kinds of mixed in doctrines that were carryovers from paganism.)
- Jesus warns, if you don’t repent, I will fight against you with the sword of my mouth: the Word of God.
Opening of the Third Seal (Revelation 6:5-6) reveals:
- The horse has now been blackened with spiritual darkness.
- The rider of the black horse is weighing out the Word (spiritual food) for personal advantage, and consequently there is a spiritual famine in the land for lack of food. Only enough is being served that a soul can spiritually barely keep alive.
Third Trumpet (Revelation 8:10-11) warns:
- The fallen Catholic Clergy (represented as a fallen star of bitterness called “wormwood”) has fallen upon the spiritual waters that are given to the people to drink. Consequently the people are being turned bitter (represented by one third of the waters being turned bitter and becoming guilty). Jesus said the water of the Word and Spirit, preached by a true ministry, would bring life and healing. But the waters that the Catholic Clergy are bringing are bitter, because of how they manipulate it: even to justify persecuting and killing the righteous. And because of this, many souls are becoming bitter in their hearts and are spiritually dying.
Third Vial of God’s Executed Wrath (Revelation 16:4-7) judges:
- The rivers and fountains of waters are now all turned into blood, because they are all being made blood guilty (in the third trumpet only one third were affected). And the true messenger that poured out this vial of judgement states “Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of the saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.”
- God has judged them blood-guilty, and has avenged in behalf of his true saints that have suffered!
AD 1530 – Beginning of fourth church age: Thyatira
- By leveraging the printing press and local language translations of the Bible, true ministers were much more able to spread the truth of the gospel. This scripture knowledge of the true gospel was key to inspiring the reformation movement that came to fruition in the 1500s.
- The Reformation begins as Protestant reformers take a stand against the corruptions of the Catholic Church. But instead of only using the word of God as their guide, they start creating their own Creed’s and formulating their own church identities.
- The first separate church identity starts in 1530 with the Augsburg Confession. Many more would later follow, dividing Christians into many different bodies and beliefs.
- The spiritual effect is to kill the direct influence of the Word of God and the Spirit of God, as man, openly using much of the Word for advantage, took control of their earthly church organizations, and proceeded to build them, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to direct the building of the one Kingdom of God.
Letter to the fourth church (Revelation 2:18-29), Thyatira shows:
- There is a lot of gospel labor going on now, because in Pergamos Jesus promised he would fight against the authority of the Catholic church with “the sword of his mouth”, the Word of God.
- But God also has a big problem with Thyatira because the spiritual Jezebel you have allowed to prophesy among you. She is doing some of the exact same things that before that I warned Pergamos not to do. Now I am warning you, because that Jezebel spirit is introducing false doctrines that will divide you and kill the true Word of God and Holy Spirit working among you.
- If you don’t correct this, your spiritual off-spring will spiritually die and most of the next generation will be spiritually dead!
- But what truth you have, hold fast to it, lest you lose it all.
Opening of the Fourth Seal (Revelation 6:7-8) shows:
- Now the war horse has lightened up some, but with lots of mixed in shades of gray so that it is pale in color. And it has a spirit that is following this horse named: “Death and Hell”.
- The rider of this horse has the power of the two horses before: the red horse, and the black horse. So that he can also kill with sword (misusing the Word of God) and can also kill with hunger (by not feeding people with all the Word of God).
- Additionally, this horse can leverage the human beast-like kingdoms of the earth to get its evil work done, and death and hell follow this horse.
- “…And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” ~ Revelation 6:8
- Have not Protestant churches encompassed approximately a fourth part of the earth?
Fourth Trumpet (Revelation 8:12) warns:
- A third part of the sun, moon and the stars have been darkened. These represent spiritual things:
- Sun represents the New Testament (which is the true light)
- Moon represents the Old Testament (which reflects some of the light from the sun)
- Stars represent the ministry (like the star of Bethlehem, a true ministry will lead people to Jesus)
- So what happens when a third of each of these becomes dark? Many other ideas and agendas start to get mixed in, which divides the beliefs and the people into different denominational sects.)
Fourth Vial of God’s Executed Wrath (Revelation 16:8-9) judges:
- Now God sets the record back straight on the Word of God (after the fourth trumpet warned a third of the Word was darkened). Now God anoints a true ministry with the Holy Ghost fire, and with the pure full brightness of the sun (the true full light of the New Testament.) This fiery preaching of the sun of clear truth scorches people that are dead in the religious hypocrisy of churches, because they cannot hid behind a third part of darkness anymore.
- “And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.” ~ Revelation 16:8-9
AD 1730 – Beginning of fifth church age: Sardis
- After almost 200 years of multiple Protestant church startups, there is a prevailing spiritual stagnation where people have become settled in their church affiliation, but yet the struggle and control of sin is still working in their lives. In fact, most all the different Protestant church organizations have a prevailing false doctrinal belief (similar to the Catholic Church and contrary to the scriptures) that everyone must continue to sin once in a while, even though they are saved.
- In the midst of this prevailing spiritual death, there begins to be small groups of individuals who begin to seek God for a greater reality of consecration and holiness in their lives. During this time in history called the “Great Awakening” there are many preachers condemning sin, but only a few of them are leading people completely into holy living by the Holy Spirit infilling. Some of these few holiness preachers are found among the Moravians and those associated with the John & Charles Wesley and the Methodist movement.
Letter to fifth church, Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) shows:
- Jesus tells them that what he warned them of in Thyatira, has now happened: “you have a name that thou livest, and art dead” – claiming identity with Christ, but still dead in your sins. Strengthen any faith and truth you have left, or else that will die also. I have not found your works perfect (in holiness) before God. I know what is in your heart, regardless of what is on the outside.
- You need to awakened! Because if you don’t, I will come upon you at an hour you are not expecting it.
- There are still a few individuals that have not defiled their spiritual garments, and they will walk with me, for they are worthy.
Opening of the Fifth Seal (Revelation 6:9-11) shows:
- There are a lot of sacrificed lives under the altar of sacrifice because of persecutions of the past. (The ashes under the altar spiritually represents those who were martyred for their Christian testimony.) These persecutions came because of the three destroying war horses and their riders identified in the three previous seals: red horse, black horse, and the pale horse. What this spiritually shows us is that God remembers them, and their tears. These under the altar are lifting up their voice to God to avenge them of their adversaries who killed them. God tells them to wait a little longer, the time of God’s wrath judgement is coming (and does start to come in the opening of the sixth seal).
Fifth Trumpet (Revelation 9:1-11) warns:
- There is a fallen star ministry that opens up a bottomless pit message by preaching the “sting of the death of sin”, but does not provide the full truth needed to deliver souls completely from sin. Therefor there are people seeking how to spiritually crucify the flesh (or kill the fleshly man), but they are not finding it. Consequently the fallen star message pains the conscience of the listeners with the “sting of death” (painful like unto a scorpion sting) but does not lead them to a way of relief. Their works are not found perfect (in holiness) before God. They need to find the few true awakened ministers that can show them the truth.
- Note: This ministry’s preached message would painfully affect the conscience of the hearers, and not show them the full way of dying out to sin, or crucifying the flesh, through the power of the Holy Spirit. And this painful “stinging” would go on for “five months” or 150 spiritual days/years, until the next church age.
- “And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.” ~ Revelation 9:5
Fifth Vial of God’s Executed Wrath (Revelation 16:10-11) judges:
- The vial is poured out on the seat of the authority of the beast. The beast authority is contained within the beast nature of mankind without the Holy Spirit of God reigning within. The clarity of the fifth vial enables those who are honest to get wholly sanctified so that their nature can become divine through the presence of the Holy Spirit within.
- This carnal, fleshly beast nature is the seat that is in the hearts of people who worship beast-like “Christianity” where they continue with a fleshly sinful beast-like nature (as opposed to the divine nature of God through crucifying the old sinful man, and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.) When the full gospel is preached, holiness in heart through the infilling of the true Holy Spirit is included. Those who do not have or want holiness within, find this message causes very painful sores. And in their spiritual pain, instead of seeking God for healing relief, they use their tongue to strike back at God by blaspheming (speaking disrespectfully about God and his Word.) So this vial is God’s vengeance of painful sores against a false ministry (exposed by the fifth trumpet angel) who would not preach the full truth on sanctified holiness. It is God’s revenge for the painful scorpion stings that this false ministry stung others with.
AD 1880 – Beginning of sixth church age: Philadelphia
- In addition to the history of corruption from the Catholic Church, now history has recorded an additional 350 years of Protestant divisions and confusing doctrines. Those Christians who have earnestly coveted the Holy Spirit’s purpose have become convinced it is time for true holiness in the heart and life, and for the walls of sectism to fall! A strong movement towards both full gospel holiness and unity begins to grow, along with the Revelation message “come out of Babylon my people!” (Revelation 18:4)
- And so, one of the greatest battles of Truth against the lies of the hypocrisy in fake “Christianity” begins to take place. Many religious institutions are exposed as corrupt by the anointed ministry preaching clear truth from the Bible, including the book of Revelation.
- Many people choose to run and hide under the cloak of their false doctrines and divided church identities, to stay away from those who would preach the full truth.
Letter to sixth church, Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) shows:
- Those in spiritual white garments from Sardis, have now in Philadelphia had the windows of heavenly inspiration opened to them, and no one but Jesus can shut that door.
- Anyone left of the synagogue of Satan (who snuck in back in the Smyrna church age and during all the years of mixed-in hypocrisy) are going to be shown who the true people of God are. And they will be made to acknowledge the truly righteous. (They have been caught “unaware” just as Jesus warned they would in Sardis.)
- Jesus warns Philadelphia: God has power to keep the saints holy and in unity, so don’t let any man steal this crown of righteousness God has given to his people.
- God now is giving his identity to his people, instead of a divided church identity: “…I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God…” (Revelation 3:12). God is doing the identifying now (not man), and he is identifying the true church of God.
- “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19)
Opening of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12-17) shows:
- A great spiritual earthquake suddenly happens.
- The scripture preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost is quoted in the opening of the Sixth Seal, because this time is movement similar in unity and holiness to the beginning of the Gospel day.
- Stars representing false ministers are being exposed as a fallen ministry.
- Every mountain and island of false religion created by man is moved out of their places.
- People are crying for their mountains and rocks of religion to hide them from the great wrath of God that is being preached and revealed.
Sixth Trumpet (Revelation 9:13 – 11:13) warns:
- There is a great spiritual slaughter going on. All the hypocrites are being exposed and given over to their deception and the devil spirits behind them.
- The mighty angel/messenger, Jesus himself, is opening understanding to the Revelation message to his chosen ministry, and they are commanded to preach it to many Nations.
- The battle of the Word of God and the Spirit of God against the hypocrisy of mankind is further revealed.
Sixth Vial of God’s Executed Wrath (Revelation 16:12-16) judges:
- Dries up the heart flow (or any sympathy) that flows towards the hypocrisy of fallen “Christianity”. This is done so that the “Kings of the East”, the true people of God, can march into spiritual Babylon (fake Christianity) and rescue people from her hypocrisy. (Old Testament prophecy stated that Cyrus and his army would destroy the ancient walled City of Babylon. He did this by rerouting the river Euphrates, so the flow to Babylon dried up. Then his armies could march into the city by the dried river bed.)
- Once this river is dried up from spiritual Babylon, unclean spirits are exposed in the hearts of people who have sympathy towards Babylon’s hypocritical spirit, and they react by gathering together religious people to fight against the truth. And we are warned to keep our spiritual garments “unspotted”, or else we will be gathered and spiritually destroyed by these unclean spirits also.
AD 1930 (approximately) – Beginning of seventh church age: Laodicea
Note: the beginning of this last church age is not specifically identifiable from Revelation, because a period of spiritual days/years is not designated for the sixth church age at all. Nor is there a period of days/years designated for the length of the seventh final church age. But there is one spiritual characteristic that is given for a period of time happening at the beginning of the 7th Church age. A period of spiritual silence in the church “for about the space of half an hour.”
- The holiness and unity reformation movement of the Western world enters a time of self confidence, self reliance, and self protection, as many ministers again begin to take greater control and to solidify their vision of church’s identity. The Holy Spirit still is with the church, but cannot powerfully work as long as ministers become more concerned about their opinions and agendas. Thus the powerful spiritual earthquakes of the sixth church age have significantly reduced in their impact upon society, and in the church, producing a type of “spiritual silence”. Next, ministers again actually begin to create groups within the movement, and further weaken God’s ability to work through them. And so the Western church greatly diminishes in true numbers.
- Meanwhile, after a period of spiritual silence on the other side of the world, and in some of the most spiritual darkest places: God himself, without the corruptions and letdowns of a Western ministry, begins to raise up the greatest revival movement since the day of Pentecost. Particularly in China, and in the midst of severe persecution from Communism, God raises up a people to continue his calling to reach the rest of the lost world. But as time goes on, a fallen ministry from the Western world begins again to infiltrate some of this great movement going on in China, to deceive and hinder it.
- Gradually, a small remnant of the church holiness/unity movement begins to awaken out of their lukewarmness, along with many others who also begin to become enlightened. These are beginning to get there “eyes anointed with eyesalve” so that they might begin again to see the bigger picture of the work of God that they have been called to do!
Letter to Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) shows:
- The church has spiritually taken on the attitude that they are spiritually “rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing.” As warned in Philadelphia, men are starting to take away the crown from the church. So Jesus warns us that we have spiritually actually become “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”
- Jesus’ council for the church to overcome: be willing to go through the trying of your faith by fiery trials and the Word, that we again might be spiritually rich. Clean the spots from your garments because of your groups and self-protections, so that you might be clean again. Anoint our eyes with a Holy Ghost desire for God’s calling and purpose so that we might see again.
- As many as Jesus loves, he rebukes and corrects: “be zealous therefore, and repent.”
- Next we see that the door to heaven’s throne, that was opened in Philadelphia, is still open to Laodicia, if they will respond again to God’s calling for them:
- “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” ~ Revelation 4:1
Opening of the Seventh Seal (Revelation 8:1-6) shows:
- It starts out with silence in “heavenly places in Christ Jesus” for the space of about a half an hour in the spiritual gospel day clock.
- We see a gathering of the seven trumpet angels that are given trumpets, but they are not sounding yet. They have the light of the Revelation, but not the anointing, yet.
- There is a scene likened to the morning and evening sacrifice (of the Old Testament temple worship) that must first take place. So there is seen the angel/messenger standing to lead the “evening sacrifice” and to burn incense on the Golden Altar before Almighty God. This angel can only be the New Testament High Priest, Jesus Christ, for no other has this position before the throne of Almighty God.
- Note: it is the evening of the Gospel day now.
- According to the pattern of the evening sacrifice, we see the prayers of “all saints” being offered with the incense on the Golden Altar by Jesus Christ.
- Then Jesus casts Holy Ghost fire into the Earth and there are spiritual “voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.”
- Then, and only then, are the trumpet angels now anointed of the Holy Spirit with the ability to blow their trumpets.
Seventh Trumpet (Revelation 11:15-19) warns:
- Announcement: “All kingdoms belong to God!” Every selfish purpose and agenda of mankind must be conquered. This is how the true saints get free!
- “And 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. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” ~ Revelation 11:18-19
- The Seventh Trumpet actually blows all the way through to the end of chapter 14.
Seventh Vial of God’s Executed Wrath (Revelation 16:17-21) judges:
- The Spirit of disobedience in all mankind, especially religious mankind, has been fully judged. “It is done!” (Revelation 16:17)
- Spiritual Babylon has been completely exposed and divided into three parts: Paganism, Catholicism, and Protestantism. It’s now time to completely destroy her corrupted spiritual influence from the lives of God’s true people.
- So next one of the angel/messengers pouring out the vials of wrath, fully reveals the exposed spirit of Babylon in chapter 17.
- Then to complete the judgement, Jesus Christ himself, as the angel with great power and who lightens the world with his glory, declares: “come out of her my people!” (Revelation 18:4)
So today we are in the seventh day of the gospel day. Only God knows the exact time of the final end of all earthly time, but when that happens, there will be a final judgement day for everyone.
The following is a full gospel day diagram, showing many of the symbols already spoken of from Revelation – in a pictorial type of historical timeline. (Click on the image to get a more full size version of the image.)
So now, do you remember that we still need to identify how 1,600 furlongs, a measurement of distance, could be used to approximate the time from AD 270 (the beginning of the Smyrna church age) until AD 1880 (the beginning of the Philadelphia church age). If you pull up a map of where physically the seven churches of Asia were located back when Revelation was first written, you would find that they are located relatively close to one another in a near circular and sequential pattern in Asia minor (they would have been located within present day Turkey.)
Here are two maps of where the seven churches were located:
So if you look into it on an ancient map of the seven cities of Asia mentioned in Revelation: following the same sequential order found in Revelation, the approximate distance starting at Smyrna, to Pergamos, then to Thyatira, then to and through Sardis and ending at Philadelphia, is a distance of approximately 1600 furlongs. (An ancient furlong, or Greek stadia is between 607 to 630 feet. You can verify this distance of 1600 furlongs on Google maps, link shown above, where the seven archaeological sites of the cities of Asia in Revelation have been identified on the map.)
You cannot come up to that same 1,600 furlong measure of distance by traveling any other path between those cities. So the geographic distance in furlongs is equivalent to the historical timeline in years: the “space of 1,600 furlongs” is very approximate to the 1,610 years that transpired from AD 270 (Smyrna) until AD 1880 (Philadelphia). And again these historical dates are all approximate, which actually likely makes up for the difference of 10. Our ability to lay out dates is limited to our limitations in understanding, and the limits of the accuracy of dates recorded in history by historians. But God’s understanding of both distance and time is perfect.
So now, in summary, the Revelation historical timeline is as follows:
- AD 33 – approximate day of Pentecost, begins the Ephesus church age
- AD 270 – approximately begins the Smyrna church age
- AD 530 – approximately begins the Pergamos church age
- AD 1530 – approximately begins the Thyatira church age
- AD 1730 – approximately begins the Sardis church age
- AD 1880 – approximately begins the Philadelphia church age
- AD 1930 – approximately begins the Laodicea church age which begins with a period of “silence in heaven”. (That period of silence certainly ended for China as in the later 70s people began to get saved again in villages, and into the 1980s as a great revival began to break out all at once. Growing from almost non-existent to many millions of people today.)
- AD ? – the end of all earthly time, and eternity begins.
Last identification of church ages within Revelation
In Revelation chapter 17 we see the final eighth beast of Revelation, and the harlot Babylon riding on top of this beast. This final beast represents the coming together of all religions and governments in the universal organizations of the World Council of Churches and the United Nations.
In the middle or dark ages of history, the Catholic Church principally stood in this earthly role with this type of universal authority and power through spiritual and political influence. Consequently during the middle ages, Revelation represents her as a beast. But in the final two Church ages of the Gospel day: the World Council of Churches and the United Nations, (which started out as the League of Nations) have stepped into this role. The Catholic Church cannot execute this power or authority directly anymore, therefore it has to work through this final beast representing all the governments of the World. Consequently, the harlot Babylon (especially representing the Catholic Church, but also includes the political influence of other churches) sits on top of this beast. This shows her ability to influence and manipulate policy through the government leaders of the Nations. The Pope and the Vatican have official ambassadors to every country and direct communications with the different world leaders whenever they feel necessary. No other religious leadership has this kind of broad worldly influence in the Earth.
But this beast of Revelation 17 that Babylon is riding has been around a long time, as it represents the beast like governments of men ruling in the Earth. And Revelation gives us insight into this fact by how it describes each beast within Revelation:
- The dragon beast representing Paganism in Revelation chapter 12 had: seven heads and ten horns. With crowns upon the seven heads, showing that the power of a King to execute authority to rule all was still centralized within the “head” Rome.
- The Catholic beast of Revelation chapter 13 had: seven heads and ten horns. With crowns upon the ten horns, showing that power to execute authority was decentralized, resting with the various sovereign Kings of each nation.
- And now also the final eighth beast, representing the United Nations in Revelation chapter 17 has: seven heads and ten horns. But there are no crowns at all on this beast, showing that the power to execute authority is largely no longer with sovereign Kings anymore. But with political leaders of different types, typically elected to terms of office in some fashion: dictators, communist party leaders, presidents, congresses, parliaments, etc.
The seven heads and ten horns seems to show a definite pattern here of similarity…
But yet there is a mystery concerning this deceptive harlot and the beast. A mystery that the judgement angel wants to show both John, and us. So in describing the beast of Revelation 17 he states:
“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” ~ Revelation 17:8
The beast that was (having a visible existence in Paganism) and is not (is hidden for a time within Catholicism) and yet is (is no longer hidden through Protestantism coming up out of the bottomless pit as Paganism in sheep’s clothing. This same Protestant/Pagan beast instructed the world to make an image to the beast in the form of the United Nations): these spiritually are actually all the same one beast with seven heads and ten horns, throughout Christian history.
The Revelation is showing us that mankind without God is just the same old beast-like creature, with beast-like governance, no matter what form it takes on over time. So the governments that mankind forms are always beast-like. So in history we see first the Pagan beast, which then hides under the covers of the Roman Catholic beast. And then the “coming out” of Paganism again through fallen Protestantism which goes on to create another replica or image to the beast in the League of Nations, which later became the United Nations – both of which are the eighth beast.
It is the eighth beast because in the prophesies of Bible (from Daniel and Revelation) there were seven beasts before this eighth one:
- Lion beast with eagle’s wings – representing the Kingdom of ancient Babylon (Daniel 7:4)
- Bear beast – representing the Kingdom of Medo-Persia (Daniel 7:5)
- Leopard beast – representing the Kingdom of Grecia (Daniel 7:6)
- Dreadful beast – representing the Kingdom of Rome (Daniel 7:7)
- Dragon beast – representing specifically Paganism in Rome, the “Imperial cult” of the Roman Emperors that started within years of the first coming of Jesus Christ and took hold during Christ’s lifetime on earth. (Revelation 12:3)
- The beast – representing Catholicism (Revelation 13:1)
- Beast like a lamb, speaking like the dragon – representing Protestantism (Revelation 13:11)
The creation of this eighth beast came into existence in the sixth church age. And so reflecting this time, Revelation identifies the seven heads of the beast to portray that there are different beast kingdoms of men during each age of the Gospel day (one for each church age). And so at the time this final eighth beast would be revealed, it is the sixth age of the beast kingdom, and the sixth church age: Philadelphia.
But the continuity of the heads of the beast, (shown by how they are sequential in nature over time) show that this final beast is essentially the same beast throughout history.
“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” ~ Revelation 17:9-11
“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is…” The one (sixth beast kingdom – sixth head) that exists during the sixth church age is: the League of Nations. “…and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.” The beast kingdom (seventh head – during the seventh church age) that would come after the sixth, is the United Nations.
“And is of the seven…” shows that it is essentially the same beast, that just took on different forms throughout history.
This last eighth beast will go into perdition, meaning, being the last man-beast universal kingdom (representing the United Nations and all man-made religions), it is the one that on the final judgement day will be cast into hell, along with spiritual Babylon. The Babylon harlot that is sitting on this United Nations eighth beast, represents the ultimate in religious corruption, the one that at one time was the church, but went on to corrupt herself for earthly power. She is especially emboldened within the Catholic Church. And although the eighth beast hates this Catholic Church whore, they still allow her hypocrisy to exist, because without this hypocrisy, the beast has no defense against the pure gospel truth.
“And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” ~ Revelation 17:16-17
Even though much of the World hates her evil, for political purposes and to provide a covering (rather than a remedy) for their sinful lives, they still flirt with her and honor her. This became very evident when Pope John Paul died in 2005. Every nation’s leaders came to pay homage at his funeral.
Babylon’s spiritual kingdom has come to an end for every one with an honest heart. And her earthly kingdom is soon to end. But the Kingdom of God will continue forever in heaven!
The true bride of Christ forever belongs to Jesus!
“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” ~ Revelation 22:20