Notes and Credits
We want to offer special thanks to Mab Hoover, Diane Plumeri,
and Frank Nolton for reading the manuscript and making suggestions.
Quotations from the Bible are from the New International Version unless otherwise noted. Permission is granted by the publisher of the NIV to quote up to one thousand verses, providing the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for 50% of the total work in which they are quoted.
Surely history is headed somewhere! World population is climbing
very steeply, out of control. Can we raise enough food and distribute
it equitably 50 years from now to feed 6 billion people? Conflicts
between nations are more global. Will someone trigger a nuclear
war by accident or out of some insane irrational motivation? With
social problems, crimes and violence rising, can we find ways
to deal with them? Can we control deadly new diseases which resist
all known drugs and therapies? Medical science has brought wonder
drugs to alleviate human suffering, but the mortality rate remains
a flat 100%. Will a new breed of international terrorists wreak
havoc around the world unchecked and unstoppable? People with
opposing beliefs and conflicting cultural values are crowded together
on a shrinking planet. Can we live next to each other? Will the
end of the world begin with a slightly worse than average traffic
jam in Los Angeles or with a cascading power failure that can
not be reversed? What about a killer asteroid from space? Why
not--they are out there in orbit even now. Other species become
extinct all the time. Why should man survive? How in the world
can we find a way to peace?
The subject of Biblical prophecy is very interesting to most people for a number of reasons. The Bible has been shown to be the only book in history to predict the future with one hundred percent accuracy. In a world full of wrong answers and laughable predictions on every side, an accurate, reliable source of infallible information should be welcome news.
It seems society goes a little bit crazy at the end of every millennium. Many sense that these days, just before and just after the beginning of a new millennium, are of special importance, and this may well be true given the accelerated pace of history of which everyone is well aware. There are endless questions about the ecology, the population, global commerce, and global government all in need of answers that both work and prove true. It is only natural to wonder whether or not the Bible has insight about these issues which will affect us and our future world
The first prophecy in the Bible comes as early as the third chapter of Genesis. It occurs just after the Fall of man when God speaks to the Man Adam, his wife Eve and the perpetrator of the disaster, a fallen angel named Satan. God announces that down through history a special conflict will exist between womankind and the serpent: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel" (Genesis 3:15). This cryptic announcement foretells the terrible struggle--which has come to be known as the "conflict of the ages"--between Satan and the Messiah who would come.
Biblical prophecies sometimes deal with future events that lie just over the horizon--they will very soon come to pass. Sometimes Bible predictions point to events hundreds or thousands of years in the future. Very often Bible prophecies have a "double fulfillment." From the context of the prediction it can be see that there is an application to an immediate historical event that is about to happen, (and indeed it always does come to pass). But later the same kind of situation will arise again in history and find a more complete and accurate fulfillment.
Approximately one-third of the Bible contains prophecies, including the last book, the Revelation, which is devoted entirely to the subject. It is amazing that so little attention is paid to the great prophetic passages in the Bible from the pulpits of the land. The aim of the prophets is to enlighten, to awaken hope, and to turn people from their destructive ways so God may bless them. Knowledge of what the future holds is the best way to prepare us to be ready. We are not at all better off being ignorant of what God had clearly said He was about to do, especially since He is in charge of things and we are not. God is not a frightening, mean old wizard using smoke and mirrors and taking delight in frightening people. Nor does He usually impress people with displays of power nor in any way use intimidation or force to help people see His point of view. Judgment is God's "strange work" and our Maker judges men only as a last resort when all else fails.
You might wonder if a person can really hope to know the meaning of the prophecies. The Wise Men found the Newborn King because of the accuracy of prophecy that He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:4-5); and those who followed The Messiah did so because they recognized that His life and message were the fulfillment of specific prophecies (Matthew 1:22-23; 8:17; John 1:41; 7:41-42; Acts 9:22). God is always eager to teach His children, to shine new light on His Word, and to help them sort out the relevance of events in the modern world. He does not want us to be ignorant but well-informed, and we ought not to leave such important matters only in the hands of the self-appointed prophecy experts. It is not satisfying to merely take someone else's word about prophecy. Our Father wants to give us His peace and assurance personally.
The book of Revelation starts with a clear promise that it can be understood Revelation 1:1-3). It is the only book of the Bible which promises a blessing to those who read it! The word "revelation" (apokalupsis in the Greek) means "unveiling." This prophecy is not meant to hide truth, but to reveal it, especially to those who will be living in those momentous days.
It is not possible to understand those prophecies which have not yet been fulfilled without making a very important distinction between three groups of people: Israel, The church, and the "Saints of the Tribulation period." If we keep these distinctions in mind, prophetic events fall nicely into place, but if we confuse them we can not hope to make sense of it all. This book will describe these three groups in detail.
|Index Page||Prefatory||Chapter 1|
|Chapter 2||Chapter 3||Chapter 4|
|Chapter 5||Chapter 6||Chapter 7|
|Chapter 8||Chapter 9||Chapter 10|
|Chapter 11||Chapter 12||Chapter 13|
|Chapter 14||Chapter 15||Appendices|