Summary of Revelation Chapters 11-13

The End Times

In my last post, we unpacked Revelation 13:16-18 concerning The Mark of the Beast. In this post, we summarize what we have learned from Revelation Chapters 11-13.

Special Comparative Note on Chapters 11-13 [1]

These chapters falling in the center of the Book of Revelation concerns itself with a period of time represented as 1,260 days (or equivalents).  There are widely differing opinions as to what is signified by this time period.

Preterists and Futurists take the period quite literally as they see it as an actual period of three-and-one-half years.  Of course, Preterists apply the period to the past, while Futurists anticipate the fulfillment in the future. Preterists view the fulfillment either as during the time of Nero’s persecution (65-68 CE) or the Jewish War (66-70 CE). Futurists view the period occurring imediately before Yeshua’s Second Coming. Preterists view the first beast as Nero; whereas Futurists view it as a future antichristian and anti-Jewish dictator.

Historicists follow the year-by-year interpretive method and transform the period into 1,260 years.  Those years are then identified when the papacy held sway over the Western church and persecuted its dissenters from around 532 to about 1792 CE.

Idealists take the number as entirely symbolic and see it as representing the entire Gospel Age from Yeshua’s first coming to His second coming.

Summary of Revelation Chapters 14-16 [2]

The Seven Last Plagues

What do these bowls of wrath represent?  When do these events occur?

Historicist Approach:

  • In general, the seven bowls of wrath find fulfillment in the judgment upon the papacy (Babylon), beginning with the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars and concluding yet in the future.

Preterist Approach:

  • The judgments of these bowls are largely against Jerusalem, culminating in its fall in 70 CE, though the fifth bowl touches the Roman Empire as well ~ probably referring to the chaotic state of affairs that prevailed after Nero’s suicide.
  • Alternately, this section says nothing about the fall of Jerusalem and refers strictly to the judgment of God upon pagan Rome.

Futurist Approach:

  • The bowls represent future, global judgments that in their devastating effect are unparalleled in history.
  • These occur at the very end of the Tribulation period, culminating in World War III or the Battle of Armageddon.
  • This war is the last battle fought by mankind and it will be ended by the personal return of Yeshua as He comes to establish His millenial kingdom.

[Personally, it is because of these very views that I align myself with the Futurists.]

Idealist Approach:

  • There is a relationship between the bowl judgments and the trumpet judgments. The former may be a recapitulation of the latter.
  • The principal distinction between the trumpets and the bowls is that the former are partial in their effects and serve to warn the wicked of their spiritual danger, whereas the latter are complete and represent final judgment upon the unrepentant.
  • The same event n history may serve as a trumpet judgment for one person (a mere warning) and as a b0wl judgment for another (a final judgment, resulting in death).
  • The disasters described repeatedly recur history.

In my next post, we will explore a Revelation 14:1-5 as we examine The Lamb and The Redeemed.

Click here for PDF version.

[1] Material in this post is taken from “Revelation: Four Views, Revised & Updated” by Steve Gregg. Notations in brackets, if any, are my comments.

[2] Ibid.

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