Summary: Quick Study outline of the Apocalypes
Outline of the Apocalypse
Present time to John, past time to us:
Introduction and Letters
John greets the 7 Churches and reassures all that we are a nation of kings and priests. Vision of Jesus who tells John to write what he sees.
Letters to the Churches::
Messages from the Lord to seven churches in Asia Minor containing praise mixed with censure. The letters deal with problems of Judaism and persecution. He says he will deal with those "Jews who say they are Jews and are not" and encourages them to overcome and be steadfast. He says He will give "hidden manna" to those who overcome.
The Heavenly Vision and Liturgy
The Throne Room:
24 elders with golden crowns sit the throne of God. 4 six-winged beasts (one each like a lion, calf, eagle and one with the face of a man), "full of eyes within," praise God with the Sanctus [Holy! Holy! Holy!] all day and night.
The Heavenly Liturgy:
God has a book with 7 Seals, but noone is found worthy to break them until the Slain Lamb with 7 horns and seven eyes ("which are the 7 spirits of God") appears. He takes the book, and the 24 elders (each with harps and offering incense which is the prayers of the saints) and the 4 beasts praise Him. They praise him for having made them kings and priests. A multitude of angels appear, praising the Lamb.
Future time to John, past time to us:
7 Seals and Trumpets
Six of the Seals Opened:
First Seal --> White Horse: conquering
Second Seal --> Red Horse:power to take peace from earth
Third Seal --> Black Horse: rider holds balance in hands
Fourth Seal --> Pale Horse: ridden by Death and Hell
Fifth Seal --> the souls of the martyrs under the altar, crying for justice
Sixth Seal --> earthquake, blackened sun, moon as blood, stars fall from sky
4 angels holding back the 4 winds of the earth so they will no longer blow. An angel from the east asks their mercy until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. 12,000 from each of the 12 Tribes of Israel are sealed. Then a great multitude of all kinds of various people who came out of the great tribulation carry palms and praise God.
Opening of the Seventh Seal:
7 angels are given trumpets. An angel with a golden censer goes to the altar and offers the prayers of the saints. That angel takes fire from the altar, fills the censer with it, and throws it down to the earth bringing on earthquakes, thunder, and lightning.
First Trumpet --> hail and fire
Second Trumpet --> mountain of fire thrown to earth, a third of the sea becomes blood
Third Trumpet --> the star named Wormwood poisons the waters
Fourth Trumpet --> 1/3 each of the sun, moon and stars are smitten
Fifth and Sixth Trumpets:
Fifth Trumpet --> locusts from the bottomless pit to kill those without God’s seal (the king of these locusts is named "Abaddon" in Hebrew, or "Apollyon" in Greek)
Sixth Trumpet --> 4 angels loosed from the River Euphrates to slay a 1/3 part of men
The Angel of the Seven Thunders and the Little Book:
An angel clothed in cloud, adorned with a rainbow, cries out and seven thunders are heard. John was going to write down what the thunders said, but was told not to, but to seal them up. The angel swears that "there should be time no longer." When the seventh angel sounds, the "mystery of God will be finished." John takes a little book from the angel who tells him to eat it, that it will be sweet in the mouth but bitter in the belly.
The Two Witnesses:
Two witnesses who are "the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before God" [the faithful remnant of genetic Israel and the Church, which together make "Israel"?] will testify and will then be killed by the beast from the bottomless pit; their dead bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days and people rejoice. These two witnesses will rise from the dead and ascend into Heaven as their enemies watch. Earthquakes happen, and the remnant gives glory to God.
The Seventh Trumpet:
The trumpet blows and voices praise God, saying that all the kingdoms of the world are His and Christ’s.
The Ark of the Covenant:
The Ark is seen. Thunder and lightning and earthquakes! And then John sees ---
Interlude: The Cosmic Struggle Between Good and Evil
--- a woman [Mary the Mother of Israel, and a type for Israel itself] "clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and crowned with 12 stars, is close to having a child. A dragon appears with 7 crowned heads and 10 horns, takes a 1/3 of the stars from the sky and casts them to earth. The woman "brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations." [Christ] She flees to the wilderness for 1,260 days. St. Michael kicks the dragon out of the heavens, who proceeds to persecute the woman. She is protected, though, "nourished for a time, and times, and half a time," and the Serpent goes to persecute the "remnant of her seed." [the People of God, Israel, the Church]