Following is a fairly detailed summary of the major turning points and events of the book of Revelation.  Supporting scriptural evidence is provided via the respective chapters in Revelation for the Wise, a detailed scriptural look at Revelation. 

The following is intended to assist you in your own reading of Revelation and to provide a framework to help you understand it.  The author is not claiming perfection in understanding all the book, symbols and events, nor the exact order.  That will become apparent as we begin to move through the events.  The list was written around 2001 and with the exception of minor updates, reflects the author's view at that time, and such views may change upon more intensive study or God's revealing of more details.

A Quick Look at Revelation's events

Revelation's significant turning points:

  1. First significant turning point: The angel (representing Christ ministering as our high priest) ceases his intercession and throws down his censor.  Probation for the world ceases.  No longer is there a mediator between the God and wicked man.  Jesus rides out as King of kings at the head of the armies of heaven to do battle with the earth.  The time of wrath begin, covering 14 incredible events known as the 7 trumpets (1st 7 plagues) and the 7 last plagues.  These are also summarized in the opening of the seven seals.
  2. Second significant turning point: The Second Coming of Christ.   Jesus resurrects the righteous dead, transforms the righteous living and takes them to heaven.  The wicked are totally destroyed and the earth is devastated.  Satan is bound to a desolate earth for 1000 years.
  3. Third significant turning point: The return of Christ, the New Jerusalem and the righteous to this world at the END of the millennium. The wicked dead are resurrected.  Under Satan's command they gather to attack the New Jerusalem.   They are stopped by God's appearing, and then judged on the basis of what they did (executionary judgment).  They receive the due penalty for their sins by burning in a lake of fire until every vestige of them is gone (i.e. they are not burning forever). The same fire cleanses the earth, and God recreates the earth into a paradise.

Before the censor is thrown down.

bulletThe clarion call goes out that the earth is in its final days, and to turn and worship the Creator God.
bulletThe main participants in this call are 144,000 chosen/sealed by God's Holy Spirit to give His end time message.  "These who are they" also receive special protection during the tumultuous events coming on the earth and survive to witness the second coming of Christ.
bulletWords of warning and woe (the sweet/bitter scroll) go out to all the nations. "Repent and turn to God!" Most don't heed the call and continue in immorality, rebellion and sorcery.
bulletTwo human witnesses (prophets) begin testifying of the events to come. They spend at least part of the time in Jerusalem ("where also their Lord was crucified").  Their prophecies include that of the plagues.  During the 3 years of their testimony, it doesn't rain.   Anyone who tries to stop them is killed by fire called from heaven (similar to Elijah and the Captains of 50).
bulletAt or simultaneous with these, the religeo-political power, known as the Beast (whose characteristics permit it to be conclusively identified as the Roman Catholic Church) comes back into power.  The Roman church had previously reigned for 1260 years (538 - 1798 A.D.) and now begins a literal 3 year reign.  It attempts to have everyone obey its authority by accepting the Mark of its authority (Sunday worship) either by choice, acquiescence or by force.  It requests, then demands, that civil legislation to enforce obedience to its authority.  It takes active control of Jerusalem for the 3 years.  There are various agreements which it now has to have sovereignty over various religious sites and that is expanding..
bulletAnother political power, represented by the lamb-like beast (most likely either the USA or the United Nations) grants the Roman church what it demands and institutes civil legislation requiring Sunday sacredness. It uses the existing identification systems, electronic surveillance, and various databases to compile a list of all those who dare to defy the Beast's authority. People without a government approved identification indicating acquiescence to the law cannot transact business or buy or sell.  There is some evidence that this ID will be a government issued ID card similar to a driver's license that includes a signature of the holder agreeing to keep the National Day of Reverence holy.  Eventually, those "holding onto their testimony for Jesus and obeying His commandments" are imprisoned and many are beheaded (one of the most honorable, least painful ways to die). Compliance is granted by most of the world.
bulletSignificant numbers, perhaps numbering in the tens of millions are put to death for their loyalty to Jesus and for obeying God's commandments. This includes honoring the true seventh day Sabbath that is the sign of loyalty to Yahweh and stands in direct opposition to the Mark of the Beast's authority. These martyrs are resurrected at the Second Coming to serve on thrones judging the world during the 1,000 years the earth lies devastated. God knows exactly how many "seats" He needs to fill, and when the number is complete, not another death of His people occurs.
bulletUnfortunately for those expecting it, there is no rapture of the righteous prior to the time of trouble.  This is a popular but unsupported teaching based upon a misunderstanding of the interlude scenes (pictures of hope) prior to descriptions of the trumpets / plagues and of where the righteous are during the Millennium.

After the censor is thrown down.

bulletThe seals are opened and God's judgments begin falling on the earth. Jesus Christ rides out at the head of the armies of heaven to do battle with the earth.  Trumpet after trumpet will sound, vial after vial will be poured out upon the inhabitants of the earth.
bulletWar break out everywhere, as well as famine and plague. Wild beasts (frequently insects such as fleas and rodents) carry disease everywhere. Millions of the wicked perish.
bulletThe seven trumpets events begin.
bulletDue to the aforementioned drought, it doesn't take much to set vegetation on fire and when hail, fire and blood is hurled upon the earth, all the grass is burned up and a third of the trees.
bulletPart of an asteroid (ball of fire) falls into the ocean, causing great waves and killing much sea life. It also destroys much of the world's shipping.
bulletAnother part of the asteroid (balls of fire) hits the land, wreaking incredible havoc, especially with the water supplies.
bulletThe ejecta kicked up by the impact darkens a substantial portion of the earth.  It's possible the crustal weakness caused by the impact cause the release of the super volcanoes such as that underneath Yellowstone National Park.
bulletOut of the billowing smoke from the asteroid impact craters come literal locusts, except these have scorpion-like tails. The sting of the tail is extremely painful, but not poisonous enough to cause death. Beginning at this time, a brilliant being appears to the earth's people, claiming to be the Messiah, stating that he can rescue them. It is Satan ( Abaddon or Apollyon), the angel from the abyss (the abode of demons). The world is astonished when they see him,  are deceived, and worship him. The righteous are expecting him and see through his facade.  He is the 8th king of Rev. 17, the beast from the abyss, who once was [visible], now is not [visible] and yet will become [visible].
bulletThe earth's crust begin breaking up in places and lava, with fire and sulfurous gases pop up everywhere killing many of the wicked.
bulletA large earthquake demolishes many of the world's cities and a great hailstorm wreaks additional havoc.
bulletThe persecution of the saints has been so intense that now it's God's turn to return upon the wicked the martyrs' blood. The seven plague sequence begins.
bulletUgly and painful sores break out on all those who accepted the Mark of the Beast.
bulletThe world's oceans completely turn to blood and all sea creatures die.
bulletThe entire world's fresh water supply is turned to blood. The wicked now get blood to drink as they deserve.
bulletThe sun's brilliance increases, searing men with intense heat.
bulletThe headquarters of the Beast (Rome) is plunged into total darkness.
bulletThe river Euphrates is dried up. Satan and his angels, the Pope and his followers, and the world's leaders convince the rest of the world that it is in their best interest to gather together to fight against the coming Lord. The nations agree and begin to work their way to the valley of Meggido (Armageddon). Unfortunately for them, God turns the ten nations (who have given their power over to the Satan) against the armies behind the Pope, totally destroying Rome, the Pope and his followers. "Babylon" (Rome) is wiped out.
bulletSatan, the victor, turns his attention to the two Witnesses testifying in Jerusalem. He succeeds in overpowering them and kills them. They lie unburied for 3 days in the streets of Jerusalem while the wicked world rejoices. Then a voice from heaven resurrects them and they go up to heaven in full view of an astonished crowd. At that time a powerful earthquake rocks Jerusalem and destroys a tenth of the city, killing 7,000 people.
bulletJesus appears in the clouds of glory to rescue His people and take them to heaven. His silver trumpet and shout awakens the righteous dead, and both they, and the living righteous, are transformed into immortality. All these are caught up into the heavenly cloud to be with the Lord.
bulletThe wicked clamor for the rocks and hills to fall on them rather than see the face of Him whom they rejected. Many are destroyed by the brightness of His coming and the world is totally devastated.
bulletA tremendous earthquake happens, leveling all the cities that are left and flattening the islands into the sea. Huge hailstones weighing around 70-100 pounds each fall from the sky at incredible speed, completing the demolition. Not one human remains alive on earth. 
bulletSatan and his angels are bound to a desolate earth for 1,000 years.

After the Second Coming and during the Millennium.
(Some of these details come from the Visions of the Past, Present & Future section)

bulletThe righteous are taken to the New Jerusalem where they gather on the sea of glass just outside the front of it. Jesus gives to each the crown they deserve. Each crown has on it a number of stars representing the number of people that that person led to salvation.
bulletJesus then leads them to the heavenly banqueting table (yes, it is miles long). It's a grand welcoming banquet.
bulletThose who were beheaded (martyred) for their refusal to bow to the authority of the Beast will sit on thrones, judging the world.  They decide how much punishment each wicked person and fallen angel deserves.
bulletThose who were sealed during the time of tribulation act as priests, serving God in His temple. They follow Jesus wherever He goes.
bulletAll the other righteous of the past ages are living in and enjoying the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem.

After the Millennium and the return to the Earth.

bulletJesus and the righteous return to the world in the New Jerusalem.  Christ touches down first upon the Mount of Olives and it flattens out into a great plain.
bulletThe New Jerusalem follows and lands on the plain.
bulletJesus cries out to the wicked dead and they are resurrected in the same wicked state as they went down into the grave.
bulletSatan has people again to tempt and deceive, and he rejuvenates and gathers together the wicked for an assault on the New Jerusalem.
bulletJust about to begin the attack, the wicked are arrested in their progress by God's appearing. They must answer to their Judge.
bulletThe sentences of the wicked are meted out and fire falls from heaven, consuming the wicked. Each one burns in accordance with what his deeds deserve. Satan's and his angels' sentences are handed out and their punishment lasts the longest. Upon Satan's head are placed all the sins of the righteous.  He must bear them all.  He burns by far and away the longest.
bulletThe all-consuming fire spreads throughout the entire earth (except where the New Jerusalem is located), cleansing and purifying everything. The fire finally goes out once it has done its job. There's no trace of the wicked. (i.e. There's no eternally burning hell)
bulletGod totally recreates the earth, turning it into a lush paradise.

The final outcome:  God dwells with mankind.   They will be His people and He will be their God. There will be no more death, crying or pain, for the former things have passed away, and all things have become new.

While the above summary may seem unique to you, we recommend that you go through the respective chapters of Revelation for the Wise.  You will find tremendous scriptural back up for nearly all the facets above, explaining more fully each detail.   You are welcome to disagree or agree with our findings.  However, it is our hope that you will use our years of research as a stepping stone or launching pad for your own study of this marvelous book.

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