Hi Mr Collins,
I am new to your site but by now I have already read a lot of your articles.
I must say that your research has been a great blessing to me and it is stirring me to look forward to more fulfillments in the biblical prophecies and the second coming of our Lord.
I have a straightforward yet important question about the Book of Revelation: Will / Did the visions of John in the Book of Revelation happen in chronological order?
I think that this is very important because you concluded the fall of Babylon the Great is about the fall of the US and World economy in September 2008.
In chapter 8 of Revelation we see one third of the world destroyed;
In chapter 9 we see one third of the people dead and we see 200 million soldiers (is that about the War of Gog and Magog).
I am just naming some of the examples of events that do not seem to have come to pass at this very moment.
If your interpretation of chapter 17 and 18 is correct, then we must have a conclusion that the visions in the Book of Revelation will not be in chronological order, but I would wonder why would God do that?
I will be glad if you can answer me. Thank you so much for your time and God bless!
Glad you are enjoying the material at my website! Thanks for the positive comments.
Your question is straightforward, but my answer cannot be as precise. We all read the book of Revelation and try to determine what is chronological and what constitutes a repetition of prior points in the book. I believe the general story flow of Revelation is chronological but that there are some parts which are flashbacks to previous material in the book or a pre-stating of a later event. For example, Revelation 18 (which describes in detail how Babylon the Great will fall) is a restatement of the event prophesied in Revelation 17:16-18. Also, Revelation 17:14 mentions in advance an event which does not actually occur until later in Revelation 19:19.
In another example, Revelation 11:1-14 describes in detail the ministry of the Two Witnesses for three and 1/2 years. Their ministry is the subject of that text, but what they do during their ministry is, in my view, also mentioned elsewhere in the Revelation narrative. For example, in Revelation 16:1-11 some unnamed power is plaguing the beast’s kingdom for a period of time with boils, water turned to blood, great heat, darkness, sores, etc. Who is doing this plaguing? I think it will be the Two Witnesses who are prophesied in Rev. 11 to be given the power to turn water into blood, change the weather patterns, and do whatever types of plagues they wish. It makes sense that the beast power is being plagued by the Two Witnesses as the beast finally kills the Two Witnesses and his kingdom celebrates after the Two Witnesses had “tormented” the beast’s kingdom (Rev. 11:10). Revelation 16:1-11 catalogues a variety of plagues which will “torment” the beast’s kingdom. Since Rev. 11 tells us it will be the Two Witnesses who will be able to plague the beast kingdom for three and 1/2 years, I believe that Rev. 16 gives us examples of the kinds of plagues the Two Witnesses will use as they plague and anger the beast power. Rev. 11 and Rev. 16 are separated by five chapters but are describing the same set of events: Rev. 11 tells it from the perspective of the Two Witnesses who are prophesied to do the plaguing and Rev. 16 tells it from the perspective of the beast power which is being plagued.
You asked about Revelation 8:9’s mention of 1/3rd of all life dying in the sea. There are two ways to understand this. Does it mean that 1/3rd of all life in the sea dies at that one instant, the plague is over and then we move on to the next plague or does it mean that the trumpet sounds for that plague and a process begins which is cumulative as we move through the remainder of the book of Revelation? I don’t claim to know the answer, but I’m sure you can appreciate how differently this will impact the human experience of end-time events depending on which way John saw it unfold.
At my website is an article “Are We Living in the Biblical Latter Days?” which includes more details about how John experienced the vision he was given when he wrote the book of Revelation. We must recall that John saw events unfolding in both the spiritual and physical dimensions as these events occurred. Some of the things John saw and described will not be seen by humans on the earth during the latter days as they are taking place in the spiritual dimension. That article examines the possibility of a “minimalist” and a “maximalist” fulfillment of various events in the book of Revelation depending on whether certain things John saw were taking place in just the spiritual dimension or whether they were taking place in the physical dimension but witnessed from the spiritual dimension.
I hope this commentary adds to your understanding of the book of Revelation. There are so many ways that Revelation can (and has been ) understood that we must acknowledge that there are more than one possibility re: its fulfillments. I don’t think any human being currently can understand it all. We have to examine the book in light of all the other latter-day and end-time prophecies to try and place them in proper context.