The Heavenly Courtroom
Daniel 7 records 2 judgments rendered by the Heavenly court. The book of Revelation records the second judgment. Thus we see a critical link that provides context and purpose to the book of Revelation. This link also provides chronological context to the book of Revelation. The worldwide cataclysmic events described in Revelation clearly apply to the destruction of Antichrist’s worldwide kingdom and do not fit into the second half of the 70th week of years that are focused on Israel.
Antichrist in Power During the Second Half of the 70th Week of Years
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. (Daniel 7:25)
This corresponds to Revelation 11:1-13, Revelation 12, and Revelation 13.
The Courtroom Setup
The prophet Daniel sees a courtroom setup in Heaven with the Ancient of Days or God the Father seated on a throne surrounded by a thousand thousands who ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand who stood before him. The judgment was set, and the books were opened. (Daniel 7:9-10)
First Judgment Is to Consume and Destroy the Beast’s Kingdom
The Heavenly court renders 2 judgments. The first is to consume and destroy the beast’s kingdom (Daniel 7:11-12, 26). The Apostle Paul refers to this in 1Corinthians 15:24.
This first judgment is executed in Revelation 6-10, Revelation 11:14-19, and Revelation 14-19.
Second Judgment Is to Establish God’s Eternal Kingdom
The second judgment rendered by the Heavenly court is to establish God’s eternal kingdom. In this case, Daniel sees one like the Son of man being given an everlasting kingdom from God the Father (Daniel 7:13-14, 27).
The Apostle John also sees a Heavenly vision where the Lamb that was slain receives a scroll from God the Father that ultimately results in Him establishing an eternal kingdom (Revelation 5:6-7, 11:15)
Since Jesus Christ can only receive the eternal kingdom from His Father once, we can conclude that Daniel and John see the same Heavenly courtroom scene. The scene described in Daniel 7 is very similar to the scene described in Revelation 4 and 5. Daniel sees both judgments rendered, but John only sees the second judgment rendered. Daniel’s vision ends at that point and John picks up with the celebration and execution of both judgments. Thus we see an important link between the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation!
This second judgment is executed in Revelation 20-22.
As soon as the Heavenly court passes judgment to destroy the beast’s kingdom and establish God’s eternal kingdom, praise and worship erupt from every creature (Revelation 5:8-14)!
Is The Book That Daniel Seals the Book That Jesus Unseals?
To expand the relationship between Daniel and Revelation a bit further, the book that Daniel sealed in Daniel 12:4 appears to be the same book that Jesus Christ takes and breaks the seven seals. Daniel was told to shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end (Daniel 12:4). When he asked: “how long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” he was told for 3.5 years until Antichrist scatters the power of the holy people (Daniel 12:6-7). In Revelation 5:1, Jesus opens a book that has been sealed. The “wonders” that Daniel referred to correspond to Revelation 11:1-13, 12:1-17, and 13:1-18. John refers to the woman in heaven and the great red dragon as “wonders” that last for 3.5 years.
The beast or Antichrist’s kingdom will be destroyed by Jesus Christ in 2 phases. The first is from heaven as He opens the book that was sealed, then Jesus returns and destroys the rest of Antichrist’s kingdom from earth, mostly in the Battle of Armageddon.
The destruction of the beast’s kingdom by fire is compared to the great flood in 2 Peter 3:5-7. The flood lasted about 1 year according to Genesis 7:11 and Genesis 8:13-14. The destruction of the beast’s kingdom takes at least 5 months (Revelation 9:10) and maybe up to 1 year (Isaiah 34:8). Isaiah 24:5-6 and Revelation 16:8 both describe people being scorched with fire. Joel 2:1-3, 11 describe God’s army that destroys with fire. The earth’s landscape will also be changed according to Isaiah 24:1, 19 and Revelation 6:14. But just as God restored the earth after the flood, so He will do after the fire.
Note that not only is the fourth kingdom destroyed, but all four kingdoms are destroyed by Jesus Christ and His eternal kingdom (Daniel 2:44).
Destroy the Beast’s Kingdom from Heaven
When the Heavenly court passes judgment to terminate the beasts’ kingdom, it sets in motion an incredible series of events to consume and destroy the beast’s kingdom as mentioned in Daniel 7:26. The first set of events originate in Heaven and include the four apocalyptic horsemen, the prelude to the first six trumpets, the first six trumpets, the first six vials, and the prelude to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Seals in Revelation
First Seal – White Horse
The rider goes forth to conquer. (Revelation 6:1-2)
Second Seal – Red Horse
This rider takes peace from the earth and causes people to kill one another.(Revelation 6:3-4) the Apostle Paul talks about Jesus coming as a thief in the night. Just prior to that people will be saying “peace and safety” and the sudden destruction will come. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3)
Third Seal – Black Horse
This rider mentions food, oil, and wine with the potential implication of famine following the destruction caused by the first two riders. (Revelation 6:5-6)
Fourth Seal – Pale Horse
This rider’s name is Death, and Hell follows with him.He kills 1/4 of the earth’s population with a sword, hunger, death, and the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)
Fifth Seal – Souls of Martyrs Slain
John sees the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. They seek to be avenged for their martyrdom and are told to wait until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (Revelation 6:9-11)
Before destruction can come upon the earth, sea, or trees, 12,000 people must be sealed from each of the 12 tribes of Israel (Revelation 7:1-8).
Seventh Seal – Silence in Heaven and Seven Trumpets
The 7th seal causes silence in heaven for about half an hour. The prayers of the saints ascend to God, and 7 angels with trumpets prepare to sound. (Revelation 8:1-6)
Trumpets in Revelation
First Trumpet – Hail Fire and Blood
Hail and fire mingled with blood were cast upon the earth. (Revelation 8:7)
Second Trumpet – Great Mountain with Fire
A great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea. (Revelation 8:8-9)
Third Trumpet – Burning Star
A great star called Wormwood fell from heaven on a third of the rivers and the fountains of water. (Revelation 8:10-11)
Fourth Trumpet – Third of Sun Moon and Stars Smitten
The third part of the sun, moon, and stars was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. (Revelation 8:12)
Angel Warns of Remaining Three Trumpets
An angel cries woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound! (Revelation 8:13)
Fifth Trumpet – Locusts
Locusts come out from the bottomless pit with the power to torment people who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads with stings like scorpions for 5 months. (Revelation 9:1-12)
Sixth Trumpet – Four Angels Loosed at the Euphrates
Four angels are loosed with 200 million horsemen to kill one-third of the people left. (Revelation 9:13-21, Revelation 11:14)
Vials in Revelation
Seven Angels with Seven Plagues
Seven angels have the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. (Revelation 15:1-8, Revelation 16:1)
First Vial – Sore on Those with Mark of Beast
Harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. (Revelation 16:2)
Second Vial – Sea Became Blood
The sea became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea. (Revelation 16:3)
Third Vial – Rivers and Waters Became Blood
The rivers and fountains of waters became blood. (Revelation 16:4-7)
Fourth Vial – Sun Scorches Men with Fire
Men blasphemed the name of God, who has power over these plagues: and they repented not to give God glory. (Revelation 16:8-9)
Fifth Vial – Antichrist’s Kingdom Goes Dark
Antichrist’s kingdom becomes dark and people blaspheme the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores and repented not of their deeds. (Revelation 16:10-11)
Sixth Vial – Nations Gathered to Battle of Armageddon
The Euphrates river dries up, and spirits of devils go to the kings of the earth to gather them for the Battle of Armageddon. Jesus declares that He is coming like a thief (Revelation 16:12-16). The “kings of the earth” would at least include the ten kings mentioned in Revelation 17:12-14 that give their power to the beast for one hour to make war with the Lamb. Joel 3:2-12 and Jeremiah 25:31 also speak of God gathering the nations for judgment.
Prelude to The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
Just prior to Christ’s return we see the fall of Mystery Babylon and signs in the sun moon and stars. When Jesus Christ returns there will be no more opportunities for salvation so the great commission must be fulfilled prior to His return.
Mystery Babylon is Fallen
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).
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (Revelation 14:8).
Babylon is destroyed by the ten kings who hate her and will burn her with fire (Revelation 17:16). This must happen before Jesus returns because these same kings are gathered with the beast to make war with Jesus Revelation 17:12-14). Also, in Revelation 19 people are rejoicing over the fall of Babylon just before Jesus returns.
Revelation 17 and 18, Isaiah 13, and Jeremiah 50 and 51 reveal more about Babylon in the end times. The call to God’s people is to come out of Babylon (Revelation 18:4, Jeremiah 51:6).
Signs in the Sun Moon and Stars
Israel and followers of Jesus Christ will experience great tribulation during the second half of the 70th week of years. Antichrist and his kingdom will experience great tribulation when Jesus Christ destroys their kingdom from Heaven.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24-25; Luke 21:25-26; Isaiah 13:10, 13; Isaiah 24:19-20; Isaiah 34:4; Joel 2:10, 31, 3:15; Revelation 6:12-13).
Gospel Preached to All People Groups
At a Wycliffe Bible Translators conference held just before Thanksgiving 2016 it was stated that at least portions of the Bible will be translated into every known language by 2024! The Billy Graham organization indicated that it is possible to preach the Gospel to all people groups by 2026! This is God’s heart!
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Matthew 24:14).
In the context of the Olivet Discourse, “the end” would refer to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
The Old and New Testaments both foretell of the awesome day when Jesus Christ will return in great power and glory!
Jesus Christ returns!
As Jesus destroyed the beast’s kingdom from Heaven, He warned that He would soon come like a thief (Revelation 16:15, 2 Peter 3:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:2). The day that has been foretold for thousands of years will finally come to pass with what is commonly referred to as “the second coming of Jesus Christ”, also known as the parousia!
Jesus made it clear that no one knows the exact day or hour when He will return (Matthew 24:36). Jesus also made it clear that we would know the generation in which He would return (Matthew 24:34).
God’s desire is that no one would perish but that all would believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. That is why He has not returned yet (2 Peter 3:3-9). But, the day is fast approaching when the heavens will be rolled together as a scroll (Revelation 6:14, Isaiah 34:4) and Jesus Christ will come in the clouds with power and great glory (Revelation 19:11-16, Matthew 24:30, Titus 2:12-13, Luke 17:24)!
There are various views regarding when the rapture will occur. The Apostle Paul specifically mentions the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Paul continues by saying it will happen when Jesus comes as a thief (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2). After the sixth vial is poured out in Revelation 16:15, Jesus said that he is still coming as a thief thus indicating that the rapture will occur at Christ’s second coming.
But the strongest reason that I went from a pre-tribulation to a post-tribulation view is that Revelation 7:9 speaks of a great harvest of people that cannot be numbered who have come to follow Jesus Christ. The angel tells John that these came out of great tribulation (Revelation 7:13-14). When Jesus was here the first time He commanded His disciples to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers into the harvest (Matthew 9:36-38).
God loves the world (John 3:16) and His heart is that none should perish (2Peter 3:9). If God raptured His people anytime prior to His second coming He would be removing large numbers of laborers from the greatest harvest of all time! Why would God do that and contradict the command He gave His disciples the first time He was here? God’s heart and focus is the great harvest.
This Generation Shall Not Pass Until All These Things be Fulfilled
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (Matt. 24:34).
The Greek word that Jesus uses here is the word “genea” which is most often translated generation. In the context of the entire Olivet Discourse the “all things” includes everything from the beginning of sorrows through His second coming. Since a generation only lives so long, Jesus provided a time frame by which to answer the disciples’ original question: “when shall these things be?”.
The oldest verifiable person in recent times was Jeanne Calment from France who was born in 1875 and lived to be 122 years old. The list of the verified 100 oldest people reveals that several people have lived to be over 115 years old which means that approximately 120 years could elapse from the beginning of sorrows until the second coming of Jesus Christ. If WWI marked the first sign then Jesus could return around 2034!
As it Was in the Days of Noah and Lot
In Matthew 24:37-44, Luke 17:26-37, Jesus likens the “coming of the Son of man” or the “days of the Son of man” to two other periods of time – the “days of Noah” or the “days that were before the flood”, and the “days of Lot”. In the days of Noah they were “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage”. In the days of Lot “they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded”. In either case, the basic meaning is that life went on as normal with most people totally unaware of the catastrophes that were about to happen. This is why Jesus tells us to watch and pray, and not be overcome with the cares of this life so that we do not fall into the same trap.
Sixth Seal and Seventh Trumpet and Vial
The sixth seal (Revelation 6:12-17, Isaiah 2:10, 19-21), seventh trumpet (Revelation 11:15-19), and seventh vial (Revelation 16:17-21) describe a series of events that occur during the period just prior to, and immediately following the second coming of Jesus Christ. While some of these events differ, all 3 passages are linked together by the mention of God’s wrath coming to the nations. This is most likely the Battle of Armageddon. All 3 passages also mention an earthquake. The 7th trumpet and vial both mention voices, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. The tribes of the earth shall mourn and men’s hearts will melt (Matthew 24:30, Luke 21:25-26, Isaiah 13:6-8).
Destroy the Beast’s Kingdom from Earth
The Old and New Testaments often refer to this as the “Day of the Lord”.
The Battle of Armageddon
Jesus Christ finishes destroying the beast (Antichrist) and his kingdom in the Battle of Armageddon. This is a war between the kings of the earth and their armies, and Jesus Christ and His army (Revelation 19:19). Antichrist and The False Prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20, Daniel 7:11, Dan 11:45, Daniel 8:25, 2 Thessalonians 2:8).
The rest of Antichrist’s armies will be slain with the sword (Revelation 19:21). Jerusalem will become a cup of trembling to all the nations (Zechariah 12:2-6, 14:12-15, Ezekiel 38:21, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10). The slaughter will be so great that birds and beasts will be gathered (Revelation 19:17-18, Ezekiel 39:17-20, Matthew 24:28, Luke 17:37).