The four stages

The Bible, Old and New Testaments, is all about God, salvation, and salvation history. These charts have the key events.

Before the Old Covenant | Old Covenant | Church Age | End Times

Please refer to my article about topics in Genesis providing background.

Before the Old Covenant 

This stage starts with eternity past, and ends just before Abraham, the person God called as the progenitor of his chosen nation. It includes Lucifer's rebellion, the subsequent creation of the universe and all the creatures in it, Adam and Eve and their fall, Noah's flood, and up to God calling Abraham.

Event Description
Eternity past God always was; no angels, no universe — perhaps an infinity of other universes and other plans of salvation; we just don't know.
Angels created Ezekiel 28:13,15
Lucifer's rebellion Revelation 12:4; Isaiah 14:12; Ezekiel 28:15,17. After this, Lucifer is named Satan (adversary).
God creates the universe Genesis 1. God created the universe as a home for those he would redeem.
God creates life on earth Genesis 1

From the beginning there was pain, suffering, and death in this world: Adam didn't die physically when he sinned (Romans 5:12) and Adam's judgment of death was only for humans (Genesis 2:17; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Genesis 3:19).
God creates Adam Genesis 1:26,27; 2:7
God creates Eve Genesis 1:27; 2:21-23
Age of innocence Genesis 2:25. Probably decades while God raised Adam; taught him language, farming, etc.
Satan tempts Eve Genesis 3:1-6
Adam falls Genesis 3:6. He hides from God.
Judgment Genesis 3:14-19. Judgment of Satan, Adam, Eve, and the whole human race.

A few points to note:
  • Satan (the serpent, Revelation 12:9) is at war with Jesus' mother Mary (the woman) — because the term "her seed" refers to Christ (Galatians 3:16; Revelation 12:17).
  • Satan and Satan's seed (unbelievers) are at war with Christ ("her seed") and with believers ("her seed") (Revelation 12:17).
Establishment of sacrificial system Genesis 3:21
Satan's agenda Satan in heaven trying to prevent the coming of the Messiah. (Genesis 3:15)

Satan is at war with Michael and the angels; Michael had been fighting with Satan during the time of Daniel (Daniel 10:13), Moses (Jude 9), and the Romans (Daniel 12:1) who ultimately destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. The last time we hear of Michael is when Satan was evicted from heaven (Revelation 12:7,8) at Jesus' baptism.
Salvation history In every generation there is a promised seed (including Seth, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon) from whose line the Messiah will appear (Matthew 1:1). The events of the Old Testament and those in the New Testament up to the birth of Jesus involve Satan's attempt to destroy the Messiah, the promised seed, by severing this line.
Humanity is wicked Genesis 4:8; 6:5,11. Murder
Noah's flood

Old Covenant

This stage starts with God calling Abraham, and ends with the events leading up to the incarnation of Jesus. It includes Abraham, the 12 tribes of Israel, Moses, the various stages of the nation of Israel, the captivity and return, and up to the time of Mary and Elizabeth.

Event Description
The 12 tribes of Israel  
Moses Redeemer
Water from the rock Exodus 17:6; 1 Corinthians 10:4
Manna from heaven Exodus 16:15; John 6:50,51
Israel possess the land  
Israel a nation  
Israel is divided  
Israel's religious decay Hosea 6:6. Prophets.
God's presence departs from the temple Ezekiel 9:3; 10:4; 10:18; 11:23
Israel's captivity  
Israel returns Smaller, humbler
Israel's religious decay  

Church Age

This stage starts with Mary and Elizabeth, and ends with the events just preceding the second coming of Christ. It includes the annunciation of Mary; the birth of John the Baptist; the birth and life of Jesus; his ministry, crucifixion, ascencion, and resurrection; the birth of the Church; and the Church age.

Notice that the woman of Revelation 12:1 is Mary who is also the church (Revelation 12:6) because the church comes from her — therefore, the church was born when Mary was born. She is the woman of Genesis 3:15 who is Satan's enemy. She must have been sinless or Satan would have conquered her.

Event Description
John the Baptist  
The annunciation Luke 1:28,34,35; Revelation 12:2. This is the event Satan has been trying to prevent.
Jesus is born Isaiah 9:6,7; Revelation 12:5. This is the event Satan has been trying to prevent.
Herod kills the infants Revelation 12:4. But Joseph saves Jesus, and Satan is thwarted. I wonder how the young John (the Baptist) was spared?
The silent years of Jesus Luke 2:46-52. The Magnificat of Mary (Luke 1:46-55) sounds a lot like the beatitudes. She must have been a Spirit-filled, holy, and godly woman who was anointed to teach Jesus about the ways of life and about God from his earliest days on earth.
Jesus is baptized Daniel 9:24-25
3+ year ministry of Jesus  
Satan is cast to earth Ezekiel 28:16,17; Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:9,10.
Later, to the bottomless pit (Revelation 9:1; 20:3)
Jesus is crucified Daniel 9:26-27. After this, sacrifice and offerings for sin are no longer needed. The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. should have made this apparent to everyone.
Jesus 3 days in "hell" Matthew 12:40; 1 Peter 3:19
Resurrection of Jesus Satan's plan to destroy the promised seed was thwarted. Now he focuses on discrediting the gospel message and on tempting people to hate God and to live wicked lives.
The 1,000 years begins The 1,000 years of Revelation 20 are literal. Satan is bound in the abyss. His powers are limited such that he cannot corrupt the gospel (although he causes disharmony, division, and discord in the church) — he cannot deceive the nations (Revelation 20:2,3) for 1,000 years. There are heretics who attempt to corrupt the gospel but their heresies are defeated. Non-essential teachings surround the gospel but the message of salvation shines through undistorted.

During this time Satan persecutes the church causing persecution, suffering, and martyrdom of believers.
Waiting for Pentecost  
Holy Spirit falls  
Christianity for Jews Daniel 12:1-3. The Jews are saved by becoming Christians.
70th–7 ends With the stoning of Stephen about 3–1/2 years after Christ and the scattering of the non-Jewish Christians out of Jerusalem.
Christianity for Samaritans  
Christianity for Gentiles  
Gospel preached to the whole world Acts 1:8
Apostles die But John dies after the others, 26+ years after the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D.
Post-apostolic church  
Two witnesses preach Revelation 11:3-6; Zechariah 4:2-3,6,11-12,14
Destruction of Jerusalem and the temple In 70 A.D. Daniel 11:31; 12:6-12; Matthew 24:1,2,15,16,21,22. This event figures prominently in many New Testament passages.
Satan released Revelation 20:7-9. About 1054 A.D.
East-west split In 1054 A.D. the eastern and western churches become divided. This marked the end of the 1,000 years of Revelation 20.
Gospel preached to the whole world Matthew 24:14

End Times

This stage starts with the phases of the second coming of Christ, and never ends. It includes Christ's second coming; the final war on earth of those who foolishly think they can destroy him; the judgment of Satan; the general resurrection; the great white throne judgment; and eternity in the new heavens and new earth for the redeemed and the lake of fire for the damned, for those foolish enough to reject God's offer of redemption.

Notice: No rapture, no 3–1/2 or 7 year Great Tribulation, no 1,000 year utopian millennial kingdom on earth, no Antichrist.

There are no yet-future events which must occur as a prerequisite to the second coming of Christ, in fact, Christ could have come back any time after 1054 A.D.

All these events are part of the second coming of Christ. The second coming of Christ is not a single quick event; there are various phases to it.

Event Description
Christ appears in heaven Matthew 24:30,31; Luke 21:27. There will be miraculous apparitions of Christ all over the earth. Christ wishes to redeem his fallen-away people.

The third woe; the seventh trumpet judgment.

The second coming of Christ is not a single quick event; there are various phases to it.
The final war Revelation 19:19. This war is literally against Christ. Matthew 24:21. This is not the Great Tribulation— there is no such event.
Second coming of Christ The souls of believers in heaven (and purgatory) will witness this event (they will "come with Christ"). Just as the apostles watched Jesus ascend into heaven in the clouds, so also everyone will watch Jesus return to earth from the clouds — those on earth will look up into the sky to see him; those in heaven will follow him "down" to those lower heavenly realms associated with the earth as he again enters into this physical universe.
Beast and false prophet judged Revelation 19:20
Physical transformation of universe Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:25,26; 2 Peter 3:5-7; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
Satan is judged Revelation 20:10. Satan is judged and removed from the scene.
Great white throne judgment Revelation 20:11–15. God judges humans; they go to the new heavens and new earth or Gehenna (hell). Notice they are judged for their works.
General resurrection Daniel 12:1-3 1 Corinthians 15:52 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Matthew 24:31
Eternity future Revelation 22:1-5. God always is; new heavens and new earth exist forever; angels and humans in one of two places: (1) heaven with God (angels) or new heavens / new earth (humans), or (2) Gehenna (hell), the lake of fire. (Daniel 7:13,14,27)

Chronology of events

Before Jesus...

  1. Kingdoms of Daniel and various events affecting the Jews
  2. Ezekiel 38–39 describes Scythian invasions of Palestine

While Jesus is walking the earth...

  1. Daniel's 69th–7 begins at Jesus' baptism
  2. Halfway through Daniel's 69th–7 at Christ's crucifixion
  3. Christ's crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension at which time...
  4. Satan is bound in the abyss for 1,000 years

After Jesus, before Jewish War in 66 A.D...

  1. Daniel's 70–7 ends with Stephen's martyrdom
  2. Jewish revolutionaries annoy the Romans resulting in...
  3. Increased persecution of Jews and Christians
  4. Nero persecutes Christians

Jewish War, 3–1/3 years 66–70 A.D...

  1. Radical Jewish revolutionaries declare all-out revolt on the Romans who begin war
  2. The temple is violated by the Romans
  3. The two witnesses (this may occur before 66 A.D.)
  4. Destruction of temple and Jerusalem
  5. Those not killed are enslaved

Before book of Revelation written...

  1. Persecution begins again under Domitian
  2. Book of Revelation written

Up to today and into the future...

  1. Soon after the book of Revelation was written there would be very pervasive persecution
  2. Satan is released from the abyss about 1054 A.D.

Just before the second coming of Christ and after (yet-future from today)...

  1. Signs in the sky
  2. Jesus appears by degrees, in phases
  3. War against Jesus
  4. The beast and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire
  5. War against Jesus
  6. Second coming of Christ
  7. Satan cast into the lake of fire
  8. Resurrection of the redeemed and unredeemed
  9. Great White Throne judgment
  10. Eternity in the new heavens and new earth. Passages usually interpreted as in the 1,000 year utopian millennium are actually here.