The Eschaton: A Timeline of Events
The Seven Vials
*The Seven Vials will be poured out sequentially over a period of 3½ years; just as with the Trumpets, the Vials are sequential, and the effects of each may overlap with the others.
•1st Vial: Painful Sores on all who have the Mark (Revelation 16:2)
•2nd Vial: The Entire Sea becomes Blood (Revelation 16:3)
•3rd Vial: All Fresh Water becomes Blood (Revelation 16:4-6)
•4th Vial: Sun scorches the Earth and its People (Revelation 16:8-9)
•5th Vial: Throne of the Beast covered in Painful Darkness (Revelation 16:10-11)
•6th Vial: The Euphrates Dries Up
*The Antichrist assembles the armies of the earth, and takes advantage of the dried up Euphrates to allow the kings of the East to march with him. They stage in the valley of Migeddo and lay seige to Jerusalem in a last effort to annihilate the Jews (Revelation 16:12-14, 16; cf Joel 3:9-16; Zechariah 14:2; Ezekiel 38).
•7th Vial: Thunder Storms with Massive 100lb Hailstones, plus the Greatest Earthquake in the History of the World
*The earthquake will be global; it will break Babylon into three parts; it will topple all the cities on earth; it will level all the mountains and sink all the islands (Revelation 16:17-21).
The greatest destruction from the 7th Vial will occur at Babylon, the location of the Antichrist’s throne and the capitol of his kingdom. The city will be annihilated, which will devastate the economy of the Antichrist’s kingdom (Revelation 17-18).
[[Side Note on Babylon and The Antichrist: I think “Babylon” is applied figuratively, not literally referring to the site of the ancient city of Babylon. We don’t know where exactly this will be, but I favor Joel Richardson’s take on it: I believe the Antichrist will be the Islamic Mahdi, and the Antichrist’s government will be a revived Muslim Caliphate, rather than a revived Roman Empire, and the one-world religion will be some form of Islam, perhaps a new form we haven’t seen yet. The “Babylon” mentioned here I believe is the city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. For more on this, I highly recommend reading Joel Richardson’s books “Islamic Antichrist,” “Mid-East Beast,” and “Mystery Babylon.”]]
The Return of the King
–The Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 / Matthew 24:29-31 / Mark 13:24-27)
*Jesus will call all believers to Himself, and we’ll be instantly in our glorified resurrection bodies (1 Corinthians 15:50-54)
•Jesus Returns as Conquering King, with all the Resurrected Saints at His side (Revelation 19:11-16).
•Jesus destroys the enemy nations surrounding Israel on His way to rescue the remnants of the Jews in Jerusalem (Isaiah 63:1-6; cf Zechariah 9)
•Jesus ascends the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem
*The Mount of Olives splits in two, creating a way of escape for the Jews trapped in Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:4-5).
–The Battle of Armaggeddon (Zechariah 14 / Joel 3 / Ezekiel 38-39 / Revelation 19)
•Jesus meets the Antichrist and his massive army in the Valley of Migeddo outside Jerusalem, and utterly lays waste to them (Revelation 19:15-21).
•All of the Jews saved by Jesus will turn to Him with their whole hearts, acknowledging Him as Messiah and King, fulfilling the prophecy that all Israel would be saved. They will be welcomed to live under Jesus’ rule (Romans 11:26-27; cf Jeremiah 23:5-6 / Isaiah 10:20-23 / Zechariah 9:14-17).
•The Antichrist and False Prophet are seized and thrown alive into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20).
•Satan is seized and bound, then sealed in the Bottomless Pit (Revelation 20:1-3).
•The Lord sends out a plague into all the nations that served the Beast. The survivors among the nations will surrender to the Lord (Zechariah 14:12, 15-16)
*Although it isn’t explicitly stated, I believe that this plague will kill only the people who took the Mark of the Beast; the small amount of people from the nations who survived the Tribulation, who never accepted Jesus, but never worshipped the Beast or took the Mark are the survivors mentioned in Zechariah 14, and they will be permitted to live under Jesus’ rule, provided they surrender to Him and acknowledge Him as King (just like the remnant of the Jews).
•The Lord establishes His Kingdom, taking His rightful place on David’s Throne in Jerusalem. Jesus will rule the whole world as King; Israel will be the dominant nation, and all other nations will serve them (Ezekiel 34:23-24 / Zechariah 8, 14:9, 16-19 / Isaiah 2:2-4, 9:6-7 / Revelation 20:4-6)
–The Judgement Seat of Christ
•The Lord will judge the faithful who are now Resurrected; He will judge them not for sins, but for their faithfulness in obeying the Lord during their earthly lives, their diligence in pursuing God’s call on their lives, and on witnessing for Christ (1 Corinthians 5:10 / 2 Corinthians 3:12-15 / Revelation 22:12)
[[There’s no explicit timing given for this event in Scripture; my placing it here is my own speculation]]
–The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
•A grand feast celebrating the wedding of the Bride (the Church) to Christ; we will never be apart again, and we’ll be bound together in love forever (Revelation 19:6-9)
[[As with the Judgement Seat of Christ, the timing of the Marriage Supper isn’t clear; I speculate that it will occur after the Judgement Seat, and before the commencement of the Millennial Kingdom]]
–The Millennial Kingdom
•The Kingdom will last for 1,000 years. Jesus rules the earth as King (Revelation 20:6)
*All who were Raptured at the Lord’s return exist in their glorified bodies (which are physical, powerful, and immortal). We will no longer be married or given in marriage, and so we will no longer have children. We will rule the earth along with Jesus (Matthew 22:30 / Philippians 3:20-21 / 1 John 3:2 / 1 Corinthians 15 / Revelation 20:4-6)
*All who survived the Tribulation and were permitted by the Lord to live in His Kingdom at His return will exist as natural humans, just as we all are now. They will continue marrying and having children (Isaiah 65:18-23; Ezekiel 36:37-38 / Revelation 20:7-8).
*The earth is healed from the damage done to it during the Tribulation. The curse laid down by God after the Fall will be lifted. The enmity between animals and humans will be gone; animals will no longer harm humans, nor each other. The earth will yield its strength to men again, making farming easy. Women will no longer suffer in childbirth; having children will be easy, which will lead to a population explosion. Everyone will have enough, and no one will suffer lack. There will be no more war or fighting anywhere on the earth. The world will be a genuine utopia for a thousand years. All the nations will go to Israel once per year to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Romans 8:18-22 / Isaiah 11, 65:18-25 / Micah 4:1-5 / Ezekiel 36:33-36, 40-48 / Zechariah 14:16-19)
–The Final Rebellion
•Satan is released from his prison. He will go about the whole earth and tempt all the natural humans who were born during the Millennial Age. Satan will succeed in drawing away a huge number of those people, causing them to rebel against Jesus and attempt to overthrow His Kingdom (Revelation 20:7-8).
*The rebel army will march on Jerusalem and surround it, and then God will annihilate them all (Revelation 20:9).
*Satan will be caught again, and this time thrown into the Lake of Fire alongside the Antichrist and the False Prophet. God will seal them in there permanently, where they will be punished day and night, forever. Satan will never again harm anyone (Revelation 20:10).
–The Great White Throne Judgement (Revelation 20:11-15)
*All of the people who died in their sins from all of human history, who have been waiting in Hell this whole time, will be resurrected and brought before the Lord God for judgement. Also, all the rebels from the Millennial Kingdom that followed Satan will be there. They will be sentenced to a degree of punishment in the Lake of Fire that fits exactly the degree of wickedness that was present in their life. “Death” and “Hell” are thrown in to the Lake of Fire as well, indicating that no one will ever again enter Hell, and no one will ever again die; the number of those who are in the Lake of Fire after the White Throne Judgement will never be added to. The Lake will be sealed.
[[I speculate that at this point, all of the faithful from the Millennial Kingdom will be given glorified Resurrection bodies just like those who took part in the First Resurrection; the Bible isn’t clear about when that will happen]]
The New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21-22:1-5)
•The Lord will make a brand new planet for us to live on (and I think “new heaven” could mean a brand new universe as well).
*The New Earth will not have an ocean. There will be no sun, and no moon, and no day-night cycle. It will be daytime all the time. It will be a perfect paradise, where there will be no death, no suffering at all.
*The New Jerusalem will be a breathtaking masterpiece made from precious materials. It will be huge, stretching more than 1,300 miles long, 1,300 miles wide, and 1,300 miles high. The glory of God Himself will be in the city, and it will shine out, lighting the whole planet.
*There will be nations on the new planet, indicating that we will live not only in the city, but also all over the new world. There will never be anything evil on the new earth; no sin, no darkness, no corruption. We will live for the rest of forever in perfect peace with each other, enjoying God’s magnificent company. Every day will be an adventure, every moment as exhilarating as the first; exciting, fun, and fulfilling, with no depression, sadness, stress, or boredom.
“No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”
Maranatha, Lord Jesus!