Internet Archive Book Images, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons
The Revelation of Jesus Christ. The 21 Judgements
The Revelation is given to the Apostle John when he is an old man on the Isle of Patmos. The first three chapters are basically a report on seven churches given by Jesus Himself. Only two of the churches, Smyrna and Philadelphia get a good report.
After this in chapters 4 and 5 John sees the throne room of God the Father in heaven. He has a book in his hand which is bound with seven seals. No one is found who is worthy to open the seals until the lamb that was slain (Jesus) appears and is found worthy to open the seals.
What follows is a series of judgements upon the earth. Firstly the seven seals are opened, each ushering in a judgement. Then seven angels blow seven trumpets in succession, each heralding a judgement. Finally in chapter 16 seven angels pour out seven vials, or bowls, of God’s wrath upon the earth.
The Angels Pouring the Wrath of God and the Dragon and the Two Beasts Vomiting Frogs, from an Apocalypse, from 'Liber Floridus' by Lambert de Saint-Omer, c.1448 (vellum). Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The Woman on the Beast: angel shows St. John's vision of the great Harlot seated on a seven-headed monster, from the Lambeth Apocalypse, c.1260 (vellum). Lambeth Apocalypse, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Picture of the Antichrist and his believers in a window of the St. Marien church of Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. Date 1367. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
In chapter 17 John is shown the great whore of Babylon who has been the mother of abominations on the earth. In chapter 18 Babylon falls. From earliest times Babylon has been identified with Rome. In fact Irenaeus, a student of Polycarp who was a student of John himself, identified Babylon as Rome. This tells us that the influence of Rome has continued down through the ages and will not be destroyed until the return of Christ.
In chapter 19 John is shown the victory of the Lamb, the marriage supper of the Lamb and the capture of The Beast (the Antichrist) and the False Prophet. In chapter 20 Satan himself is bound and cast into a bottomless pit for a thousand years during which period Christ reigns on earth. Satan is released at the end of the thousand years and attempts to gather all who are against Christ in a rebellion against Him. These people are then destroyed by God and satan is thrown into the Lake of Fire.
This event is followed by Judgement Day when all the dead are gathered before God for judgement. If their names are not found in the Book of Life they are cast into the Lake of Fire.
The final chapters of 21 and 22 give a description of the new heaven and earth that follow on from Judgement Day. There is a description of the new Jerusalem and the revelation finishes with a reminder of the Lord’s return.
This is obviously a very brief overview of the book of Revelation. However there are some basic points about it that I have highlighted on other pages of the website.
The judgement period lasts 7 years.
It will not begin until the antichrist has been revealed and God’s restraining power on evil on the earth has been lifted.
The church will be removed from the earth during this seven year period.
The Antichrist will reign in Jerusalem for the second half of the seven year period.
What follows is a breakdown of the 21 judgements in the order that they are listed.
We know that this tribulation period lasts for seven years of 360 days each. This is the last week (seven years) of the seventy weeks of years of Daniel chapter 9. This chapter tells us that half way through the seven years the Antichrist will make a covenant with many
[Dan 9:27 KJV] 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
This event is also referred to in the Book of Matthew.
[Mat 24:15-16 KJV] 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
The Two Witnesses and the Beast, in a fresco at Sucevița Monastery, Romania; illustrating Chapter 11 in the Book of Revelation. Unknown medieval masters (original painting); Man vyi (derivative photograph), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The beast kills the two witnesses. Anonymous Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The week refers to the seven year period. A week of years is 2,520 days (7 x 360) so half a week is 1,260 days. This is the period that Revelation tells us that the two witnesses will testify in Jerusalem. When the fifth angel sounds his trumpet the Beast will arise out of the bottomless pit and the testimony of the two witnesses will end.
[Rev 11:7 KJV] 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
This all occurs at the midpoint of the Tribulation. The beast that is referred to is the Antichrist system. The first half of the tribulation period is a period of judgement by God himself. After the bottomless pit is opened the full demonic powers of the Antichrist are released on the earth.
Seven Angels Pouring Vials of the Wrath of God upon the Earth by a British School Painter Influenced by William Blake, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
During the first half of the Tribulation God still has his witnesses on earth. During the second half there is nothing but darkness and pain. It is a world without the goodness and grace of God.
Many people hate God and Christians. They hate Christianity because it shines a light on things that would rather remain in darkness. However the time will come when God removes His church from the earth and then people will experience what the world will be without the goodness of God.
This is a time of judgement on the whole earth. All the nations of the earth have taken part in the Babylonian system that has been set up throughout history in opposition to God. This is the system that has rejected God and replaced him with human self reliance. Underpinning it all is Satan’s rebellion against all things good and holy. This is the system that Jesus destroys when he returns.