Book Update 1: The Non-Prophet’s Guide to the End-Times

BlogPostBookUpdateBetween producing animation and writing this book, I haven’t had much time to begin promoting it. So, this is the first real official promotion and update. My goal is to start sending out updates every few weeks so please signup for my newsletter if you would like to track the project. Once I finish the manuscript I’ll shift my focus to promoting the book and I’m going to have some nice “street team” perks so keep an eye out for that later this year!

I’m currently working on chapter 9 (of 23) and I’m really, really excited about how it’s coming together. Juggling the research, study, creative writing, and art production has been challenging at times, but the resulting product is even better than I had envisioned.

Harvest House Publishers has been an absolutely amazing partner and I swear I have the best editor and literary agent on the planet. I have never felt more called to a project and I am blown away at the doors that have opened and the team of collaborators the Lord has connected me with to make this project a reality.

Here’s a little about the book (below). Feel free to share with friends, post this link on social media, and let me know if you think a book like this is needed today.


About the Book

Christians and non-Christians alike are speculating if the end of the world is near. Who can blame them for wondering when you look around and see what is happening? Daily the media bombards us with horrific and heart breaking news: natural disasters, violence, sexual immorality, famine, war, and so on. There is confusion and fear everywhere! For answers we must turn not to the evening news or the news feed on our computers, but to the Bible.  Animation producer and illustrator, Todd Hampson brings you The Non Prophet’s Guide to End Times, a simple, easy to understand, Bible prophecy book, using a fictitious, comedic prophet alongside scripture, history, and world events to inform readers about the end times.

While informational, The Non-Prophet’s Guide to the End Times main goals are to; (a.) provide a clear overview of end-times events, and to (b.) guide readers to a deeper personal commitment to the Lord as they are reminded that He is perfectly in control of world history and the details of our lives. The primary audience for this book would be everyday Christians who are viewing current events and asking questions like: Is the end near? Should I be afraid? How do I know where I stand with God and how will that impact me in relation to end-times events? How can I live with peace in times of chaos? The secondary audience for this book would be the seeker, or skeptic, who has a surface level or pop-culture knowledge of end-times terms and events and sees them as irrelevant or sensationalistic, but would read the book to see what it’s all about.

5 Keys to Understanding the Book of Revelation: KEY# 5

5keystoRev_K5

KEY#5: THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD IS ISRAEL, NOT THE CHURCH

Previous Keys: (1.) Start With The Book of Daniel  (2.) Interpret Revelation Literally  (3.) The Symbols Are Easier To Understand Than You Think  (4.) Revelation is Written Chronologically

As I mentioned in a previous key, if the book of Revelation is seen as merely allegory, then it has no real meaning. One unfortunate teaching that has come from this approach is known as “Replacement Theology”. This teaches that any reference to Israel or the Jewish people is really talking about the Church. It “replaces” Israel with the Church. Scripture clearly teaches that God is not done with the Jewish people. Read Romans chapters 9-11 and it’s abundantly clear the Jews are still God’s chosen people. That doesn’t mean they are all good or that they are saved (unless they have accepted Christ), but it does mean that God is not done with them. The Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 15, see also 12:2-3, 17:7) was an unconditional covenant. Many Old Testament covenants had conditions but this one had none. It’s based solely on God’s character and plan.

In the Old Testament the tribulation period was referred to as “The time of Jacob’s (the Jews) trouble”. In the 70 weeks of Daniel Chapter 9, it’s all about God’s plan for the Jewish race. As I mentioned in Key #1, there is a mysterious pause or break between the 69th and 70th “week” (of years) which we now know as the “Church age” or “the age of grace”.

Think of it like this. God is working out his plan for the Jewish people during the first 69 sets of 7 years, Jesus comes at his first advent, the Jewish prophetic clock pauses during the Church age. At some point (I believe sooner rather than later) the Church is taken out of the picture at the Rapture.

Soon after, the tribulation period begins (with the signing of a treaty) causing the Jewish prophetic clock to start again in order to complete the last set of 7 years — which is also the duration of the tribulation period. Jews and Gentiles will choose to follow Christ during the tribulation period, but they are referred to collectively as “tribulation saints”, not “the Church” as we refer to believers today during the Church Age. At the end of the tribulation period Jesus returns and sets up the Kingdom (as promised in the Old Testament and clearly stated in Revelation chapter 20) and reigns physically on earth for 1000 years.

Also, consider this. After 3 chapters about the Church, in first verse of chapter 4 a trumpet is sounded and John hears the words “Come up here.” I believe this indicates the rapture because there is no mention of the church again until chapter 19 when we return with Christ. We find that throughout the following chapters (4-18) God’s attention turns back to the Jews and Israel. There are 2 Jewish witnesses, 144,000 Jewish evangelists, and the entire world is focused on Jerusalem (which by the way is exactly what we’re seeing today).

A study of various key prophetic verses (especially Ezekiel 37-40) demonstrate that although the Jews are God’s chosen people, most of them won’t accept Christ until the tribulation period. Passages also indicate that a small remnant would turn to Christ before that period once they were back in their homeland.

That’s exactly what we’ve seen. Israel miraculously became a nation again in 1948 (just as predicted) but they did not control Jerusalem until 1967 after the Six Day War (in which they defeated all of the surrounding nations who attacked them…in 6 days!). Right after this war a small remnant of Jewish people began accepting Jesus as the Messiah. This phenomenon has continued. In 1967 there were ZERO Jewish Christians in Israel. Today there are over 20,000 (2011 study) and over 150 Messianic Jewish churches in Israel, and many more in other parts of the world.

A study of the people of Israel will show that prophecy has been fulfilled in many ways. It also explains why Satan has used evil rulers in every age to mistreat and attempt to eliminate the Jews. From Pharaoh, to Mordecai, to Hitler, to today’s terrorists and radical Islamic states, there has been a millennia long attempt to destroy the Jewish race.

Why? Because the scriptures and the messiah came from her, and because end-times prophecy requires a return of the Jews to their land then to their Messiah! God said Israel is the “apple of his eye“. The worst way to hurt someone is to hurt their kids. The biggest reason is Satan still thinks he can win if he destroys an essential element to end-times prophecy…the Jews.

I hope these 5 keys (Previous Keys: (1.) (2.) (3.) (4.) will help make your study of Revelation less intimidating and will provide confidence and clarity in God’s Word.  It takes time and effort to study effectively but the payoff is worth it. Not only do we know the Bible better but we know Him better.

Remember the promise in Revelation 1:3 — “God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.”

RESOURCES FOR FURTHER STUDY

Here are a few GREAT books to get if you would like to dig deeper.

The Revelation Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Prophetic Book of the End of Times (Morris)

40 Days Through Revelation: Uncovering the Mystery of the End Times (Rhodes)

Charting the End Times: A Visual Guide to Understanding Bible Prophecy (LaHaye/Ice)

Every Prophecy of the Bible: Clear Explanations for Uncertain Times (Walvoord)

The End Times in Chronological Order (Rhodes)

Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation (LaHaye/Hindson)

The “Non-Prophet” on: The Signs of the Times

signsv2


Matthew 24

3 Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?”

4 Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 5 for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8 But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:33 — “So likewise, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”

Luke 21:28 — “So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!


“What a time to take the news of the day in one hand and the Bible in the other and watch the unfolding of the great drama of the ages come together. This is an exciting and thrilling time to be alive…It is not just Christians that sense something is about to happen. The world knows that things cannot go on as they are. History has reached an impasse. This world is on a collision course. Something is about to give. With increasing frequency, commentators from secular media speak of Armageddon.”

— Billy Graham, The Reason for My Hope, 2013


FOR FURTHER STUDY

Luke 21Daniel 12:4Matthew 24:37  • 1 Timothy 4:12 Timothy 3:1-5Romans 1Ezekiel 38-39 (Russian-Iranian-Led alliance in last days) • 1 Thessalonians 5:32 Timothy 4:3-4Revelation 13:17 (cashless society/mark technology) • 2 Peter 3:3 (scoffers)

5 Keys to Understanding the Book of Revelation: KEY# 4

5keystoRev_K4

KEY#4: REVELATION IS WRITTEN CHRONOLOGICALLY

In previous posts we’ve looked at the first three keys. (1.) (2.) (3.) — and today we’ll look at the fourth key. Many Christians don’t realize that Revelation is written chronologically (with a few parenthetical sections that provide further detail). This was eye opening to me the first time I realized it.

There are four main ways people have viewed Revelation over the centuries. Idealist, Preterist, Historicist, and Futurist.

The Idealist View allegorizes Revelation but we’ve shown the main problems with that method — primarily that man can allegorize Revelation to mean just about anything their imaginations come up with. Also, if you can allegorize one section of scripture, what’s to say you can’t allegorize the entire Bible? Where does it stop? The Idealist view causes scripture to lose it’s meaning.

The Preterist View claims that everything in Revelation has already happened in the past (namely in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem) but there are major problems with this view as well. The main problem being that John wrote the book of Revelation around 95 AD while exiled on the Island of Patmos; about 15 years after the fall of Jerusalem. This view also allegorizes various things found in Revelation and we run into the same problem as the Idealist View mentioned above. A final major problem with this view is that Revelation clearly details a complete and decisive defeat of Satan at Christ’s return, a great “White Throne” judgement of evil-doers and several other major events which clearly have not occurred yet.

The Historicist View sees Revelation as a symbolic representation of the entire course of History from John’s time to the end of history. This view was popular during the Reformation era but has many problems and has led to as many as 50 versions of this view. It simply does not work.

Finally, the Futurist View teaches that the events in Revelation will occur in the future. Revelation claims to be prophecy. Prophecy is by nature, future. As mentioned in Key#2, this view interprets Revelation literally — just as we do with the rest of scripture. Where symbols are used we find the answers in the immediate or broader context of scripture, not from our own ideas.

It’s important to note that very smart Bible-believing Christians may hold different views and that this is an “in-house” debate. Salvation does not depend on one’s view of Revelation. Truth does matter, however, and beliefs lead to choices which effect the world around us.

After countless hours of careful study and after reading over 50 books on the topic by the most highly respected prophecy experts of the past few generations (Walvoord, Pentecost, Morris, LeHaye, Ice, Rhodes, Reagan, Missler…to name a few) I am convinced that the Futurist view is without doubt the correct and most thoroughly Biblical view.

All of that said, we find in the Book of Revelation some key “in text” reasons confirming the book is written chronologically. Our first clue is found in chapter 1 where Jesus himself  provides the simplest outline ever given for the book of Revelation. In verse 19 the glorified Lord said to John, “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”

So, we have…

I. THINGS YOU HAVE SEEN – Glorified Christ in Heaven (Ch. 1 vs. 12-18)

II. THINGS WHICH ARE – having to do with the 7 churches (Ch. 2-3)

III. THINGS THAT TAKE PLACE AFTER – Future/Tribulation/Kingdom/Eternity (Ch. 4-22)

There’s your outline for the book of Revelation.

There are also specific phrases throughout Revelation demonstrating that it is written in chronological order. Phrases like “after this”, “when he had opened the seventh seal”, “the seven last plagues”, and “after these things”. These are time-oriented sequential phrases and there is a natural progression and build up of events throughout the book. Even the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgements are each numbered in order from one through seven.

The only sections that are not in clear chronological order are Chapters 10-14, but they are clearly parenthetical chapters providing more detail on other portions of the book of Revelation. It’s almost like an intermission in the middle of the book. After the seal and trumpet judgements, John pauses to provide more detail and to let you catch your breath. Then he picks back up in chapter 15 with the bowl judgements.

When you compare Revelation with Daniel as we mentioned in Key #1, the chronology of both books is the same and they fit together like an interlocking puzzle. Each book stands on it’s own but sheds further light on the other.

I hope this key helps you in your study of Revelation!

RESOURCES FOR FURTHER STUDY

Here are a few GREAT books to get if you would like to dig deeper.

The Revelation Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Prophetic Book of the End of Times (Morris)

40 Days Through Revelation: Uncovering the Mystery of the End Times (Rhodes)

Charting the End Times: A Visual Guide to Understanding Bible Prophecy (LaHaye/Ice)

Every Prophecy of the Bible: Clear Explanations for Uncertain Times (Walvoord)

The End Times in Chronological Order (Rhodes)

Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation (LaHaye/Hindson)

5 Keys to Understanding the Book of Revelation: KEY# 3

5keystoRev_K3

KEY#3: THE SYMBOLS ARE EASIER TO UNDERSTAND THAN YOU THINK

In the last post we looked at the importance of using a literal interpretation when studying the book of Revelation. We highlighted the important adage, “If the plain sense makes sense, then seek no other sense, or you will end up in nonsense.” The logical question then is, “What if the plain sense doesn’t make sense?”

Sometimes we find clear figures of speech in scripture. It’s obvious they should not be interpreted literally. For example, Jesus frequently used hyperbole in his parables as he talked about things like; camels fitting through the eye of a needle, or pointing out a spec of dirt in someone’s eye while we have a plank in our own eye, etc.

Other confusing passages can be better understood simply by studying the larger context. What do the surrounding verses and chapters say? What is the historical context? How can the context of the entire Bible shed light on a specific passage? And still other passages can be better understood by looking for earlier uses of the word or symbol. This is known as “interpreting scripture with scripture” and it this method helps us understand the symbolism found in some of the prophetic passages of the Bible. Such is the case with most of the symbolism in Revelation.

All of the symbols in Revelation first appear somewhere else in scripture, OR the meaning of the symbol is given in the immediate context. This is very important. We look for earlier precedents of a word or symbol and allow them to inform our understanding of symbols found in Revelation. People get into trouble when they bring their own ideas into what the symbols mean. We need to let scripture, logic, and the Holy Spirit be our guide.

One caveat. Notice I didn’t title this post, “The Symbols Are EASY to Understand”. They are not easy to understand, they are just EASIER to understand than most people think. It takes some time, effort, and prayer to understand the symbols Biblically. Helpful commentaries by trusted experts — who believe God’s word is inerrant and who interpret it literally — are greatly helpful as well. Their commentaries help connect the dots to the symbol’s Biblical origin.

There are seven basic categories of symbols that show up in Revelation; animals, colors, objects of nature, man made objects, people and numbers. We read about symbols such as the seven lamp stands, the beast rising out of the sea, a beast with seven heads and ten horns, a woman riding a beast, the seven seals, the seven scrolls, the seven bowls, the “four horsemen of the Apocalypse” (no, not the 1980’s professional wrestling version), and the lamb seen in heaven’s throne room? Those are just a few examples.

We’ll unpack some of the symbolism found in Revelation in future posts, but the main purpose of this post is to help those who have been intimidated or confused by the symbolism in Revelation. You can have confidence that the symbols have clear meaning. It is well worth the effort to uncover their meaning. They just take some study and prayer to understand. Once a symbol is understood it brings fresh meaning to the text and practical insight into how these symbols effect us today!

Up next is KEY#4: REVELATION IS WRITTEN CHRONOLOGICALLY

RESOURCES FOR FURTHER STUDY

Here are a few GREAT books to get if you would like to dig deeper.

40 Days Through Revelation: Uncovering the Mystery of the End Times (Rhodes)

Charting the End Times: A Visual Guide to Understanding Bible Prophecy (LaHaye/Ice)

Every Prophecy of the Bible: Clear Explanations for Uncertain Times (Walvoord)

The End Times in Chronological Order, Rhodes

Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, LaHaye/Hindson

 

5 Keys to Understanding the Book of Revelation: KEY #2

5keystoRev_K2

KEY#2: INTERPRET THE BOOK OF REVELATION LITERALLY

Many people over the centuries since John wrote the book of Revelation (around 95 AD) have allegorized various aspects of the book to mean a host of different things. This history and approach to the book confuses people because if we allegorize the book of Revelation it loses it’s meaning.  People can put any meaning they want into the Book of Revelation and other prophetic texts if allegory is allowed. We need to use the same interpretation method for Daniel and Revelation that we do for the rest of the Bible. As it’s been said, “If the plain sense makes sense, then seek no other sense, or you will end up in nonsense.”

In other words, take God’s word at face value. If Revelation says multiple times that after the tribulation period, Jesus will set up a 1000 year kingdom on Earth, then it means that he will literally set up a 1000 year reign on Earth. If it says 144,000 Jewish witnesses will receive Christ and become evangelists during the tribulation period than there will literally be 144,000 Jewish evangelists (and many more Jewish believers) in Christ. The number 144,000 is not symbolic for anything. The book of Revelation definitely contains some symbolism. However, the symbols are understood from the context of the chapter or from other books in the Bible. When studying scripture we have to careful to interpret scripture with scripture instead of our own ideas.

One very unfortunate outcome resulting from the failure of using a literal interpretation of prophecy is what’s known as “Replacement Theology”. In replacement theology, Bible teachers replace the Jewish people with the Church. Anywhere the text refers to Israel, Jerusalem, or the Jewish people, adherents to replacement theology teach that these passages are really talking about the Church. To be blunt, this is bad theology leading to clearly unbiblical consequences, but more on that in once we get to Key #5 in a few posts.

One reason a literal interpretation is so important is that it puts prophecy into a real context. Before I understood this, I used to gloss over prophetic passages. I viewed them as having meaning to their immediate audience but not to me personally. I wouldn’t have said it that way, but that’s the effect it had when I came across Old Testament prophecies.

The great thing is that the literal interpretation method can be tested. God is “the same yesterday, today, and forever”. If past fulfilled prophecies were fulfilled literally, we can be sure that future yet-unfulfilled  prophecies will be fulfilled in like manner. In short, fulfilled prophecy verifies the literal interpretation method.

For example, many Old Testament prophets predicted Israel would become a nation again and that she would control Jerusalem again. For centuries theologians (beginning with St. Augustine and carrying over into the Catholic church and into Protestant churches) allegorized all of these verses because Israel had been destroyed in 70AD. If they would have applied a literal interpretation they would have understood from many passages that Israel would one day become a nation again.  Every detail regarding Israel’s rebirth as a nation happened literally and was fulfilled to the exact detail.

Another example would be the succession of world empires detailed in Daniel chapter 2 before any of them came to pass. These major world empire prophecies were also fulfilled literally…in every detail. The specific prophecies surrounding the birth of Christ were all fulfilled literally…to the detail. You get the point. Over and over again Bible prophecy makes unbelievable claims. Over and over again they are fulfilled literally. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” All scripture, including every single prophecy was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

We need to trust that God says what He means and means what He says. A literal interpretation of scripture honors God and His word. There’s nothing Satan would like more than to get us to doubt scripture. That’s been his M.O. from the beginning and it’s what he craftily continues to do. If the enemy can’t get us to reject God’s word, he’ll do anything he can to make scripture seem murky and confusing. A literal interpretation of scripture opposes this tactic and gives us very clear insight into God’s faithfulness to his word. It also gives us greater clarity as we study end-time Bible prophecy.

Up next is KEY#3: THE SYMBOLS ARE EASIER TO UNDERSTAND THAN YOU THINK

RESOURCES FOR FURTHER STUDY

Here are a few GREAT books to get if you would like to dig deeper.

The End Times in Chronological Order, Rhodes

Exploring Bible Prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, LaHaye and Hindson

The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy, Rhodes

 

5 Keys to Understanding the Book of Revelation: KEY# 1

5keystoRev_K1

The Book of Revelation can be intimidating and unfamiliar even for Christians if they haven’t had the opportunity to study it. As Dr. Henry Morris and other prophecy experts have said, “The book of Revelation is not hard to understand. It’s just hard to believe.” If we believe the first verse of the Bible, than approaching the book of Revelation with that same mindset of belief sets us on a path to discover truth about the things to come.

This series of posts will unpack five keys that will help remove the intimidation factor and help people get excited about studying the Book of Revelation. After all, it is “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:1) and includes a blessing (1:3) to anyone who reads or hears the “words of this prophecy”. Revelation 19:10 even tells us that “…the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.” Jesus was the ultimate prophet and the book of Revelation is all about His future return to set everything straight. Well worth the time to study this amazing book of the Bible. Here is Key #1!

KEY#1: START WITH THE BOOK OF DANIEL

Daniel is the “Revelation” of the Old Testament so to speak. It details Daniel’s captivity in Babylon and how He and other Jewish captives adjusted to living in a completely pagan culture. Daniel was a bright light in a dark place. Most are familiar with the story of Daniel in the lion’s den and the account of the fiery furnace faced by three of his friends. The narrative of the book of Daniel gives us insight into how to live in an increasingly pagan culture in our day. Most Christians are familiar with those stories from the book of Daniel but many are surprised to learn that a full 1/2 of the book of Daniel is consists of very detailed prophecies given to Daniel which predict major historical events from just after Daniel’s time all the way through the future tribulation period.

Daniel’s visions establish the basic framework for end-time events and John’s Book of Revelation adds more detail and ties up all of the loose ends. Revelation is where all the Old Testament lines of prophecy converge, but a good understanding of the initial framework set forth in Daniel is critical. John’s immediate audience would have been people familiar with the book of Daniel. References and symbolism used in Revelation are understood when viewing them through he lens of Daniel. John assumes his readers had knowledge of the book of Daniel. Think of it like this. If the book of Daniel is viewed as the foundation and frame of a house, then Revelation  the drywall and finishing. We don’t know the specific details of all of the fixtures, paint colors, and tile choices, but we know enough from these two books (and other Biblical passages) to understand the key events, players, and the basic chronology…so much so that we can clearly see the stage being set in our day for these end time events.

Daniel chapter 2 provides the basic framework. Then Daniel chapters 7-9, 11, 12 give us more of the key details. Daniel chapter 9 in particular (the 70 “weeks” of years) points to 69 “weeks” of years that begin with the command to rebuild Jerusalem (command by Artaxerxes in 457BC, Ezra 7:12-26) and end with the “Messiah the Prince” entering Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) 490 years years later. This prophecy was literally fulfilled, some experts even say it was fulfilled not just to the year but to the exact day. Next, Daniel chapter 9 tells us that the messiah is “cut off, but not for himself.” This was strange and cryptic language until the cross. Now we understand this was a reference to Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross to save us from our sins.

After 69 “weeks” (of years) we notice an indefinite period of time exists before the final “week” of 7 years. Logic necessitates this mysterious gap (what we now know as the Church Age/Age of Grace) before the future 7 year tribulation period.  The reason logic demands a gap is because verse 26 tells us that the temple will be destroyed (this was literally fulfilled in 70AD by the Romans), but then in verse 27 it says another future ruler will “put an end to sacrifices”. This necessitates the rebuilding of an end-time temple (currently in development by The Temple Institute of Jerusalem). So, somewhere between 70AD and the final week of 7 years, another temple has to be built. This gap is where the mystery of the Church age was hidden in the Old Testament and revealed in the New Testament. Revelation gives us more detail indicating the new temple must be rebuilt by the middle of the tribulation period.

An understanding of these six chapters from the book of Daniel will help make the book of Revelation much easier to understand for the student of prophecy. The books of Daniel and Revelation work in tandem and help us understand the key end-time players,  events, and conditions.

Up next is KEY#2: INTERPRET THE BOOK OF REVELATION LITERALLY

RESOURCES FOR FURTHER STUDY

Here are a few GREAT books to get if you would like to dig deeper.

Agents of Babylon: What the Prophecies of Daniel Tell Us about the End of Days (Jeremiah)

40 Days Through Daniel: Revealing God’s Plan for the Future (Rhodes)

40 Days Through Revelation: Uncovering the Mystery of the End Times (Rhodes)

Charting the End Times: A Visual Guide to Understanding Bible Prophecy (LaHaye/Ice)

Every Prophecy of the Bible: Clear Explanations for Uncertain Times (Walvoord)

 

The “Non-Prophet” on: World Kingdoms

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 2.08.34 PM

In chapter 2 of the Book of Daniel (written in the 6th century BC), the prophet, a Babylonian captive, interprets a vision of a statue for King Nebuchadnezzar who had the dream. The statue in the dream had a head of gold, a chest and arms of silver, a belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet mixed with iron and clay. Impressive right? No, what’s impressive is the interpretation of the dream.

What follows is a description of every empire from his time to the Roman Empire and into our day! Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter 2 describes the succession of four historical empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome followed by a loose conglomeration of nations.

Rome would be the strongest but would eventually break up into a loose coalition of countries (symbolized by the iron and clay feet) as iron and clay do not mix. So accurate were his predictions that critics assert they must have been written sometime in the second century. Even if that were true, what we see today in the feet of clay and iron was clearly predicted 2600 years ago.

We know from modern textual studies that Daniel wrote in languages no longer used by the second century. Also, the book of Daniel had long been part of the accepted Jewish Canon (collection of Holy books). Also, as mentioned above, the passage points to a loosely held coalition of nations (feet of iron mixed with clay) after the four world empires, exactly what we see in our day. Critics literally don’t know what to do with this passage.

How would Daniel have known that there would be three successive empires (each swallowing up the previous), followed by a breakdown of empire into smaller loosely connected countries (some strong, some weak)?

Because Biblical prophecy is pre-recorded history…and compelling evidence that God guided the writings of the prophets.

The “Non-Prophet” on: Israel’s Regathering

NP_Strip1_IsraelGathered_Vert

 


Thousands of years before the events, we read…

Deuteronomy 28:64 “Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other.”

Isaiah 11:11a “In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time* to bring back the remnant of his people-”

Ezekiel 36:24 “For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land.”

Isaiah 66:8a “Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day** or a nation be brought forth in a moment?”

Luke 21:24 says that the Jewish people “shall be led away captive into all nations


*there were 2 dispersions — The first occurred in 605 BC when Judah was conquered and the Jewish survivors were taken captive to Babylon. The second occurred in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem dispersing the Jewish people all over the known world. This may also refer to the 1948 era regathering and a second regathering at the end of the seven year tribulation after a mid-point persecution/scattering of the Jews. They did not have a nation for 1878 years until, miraculously, after WWII, the nation of Israel was re-born “in a day” (literally) on **May 14, 1948. There are also many prophecies in the Bible about Jerusalem being once again in the hands of the Jewish people. 

Introducing…The Non-Prophet

NP_Intro
He’s a Renaissance man. The ultimate throwback. He’s a 501(c)(3) that seems to have been born in 501 B.C. He prefers the clothing, speech, food, facial grooming (or lack thereof), and customs of an archetypical Old Testament prophet, living in 21st century America.

His eccentricities do not stop there; however, the Non-Prophet is also chronologically challenged. Oft forgetting what era he lives in, he boldly proclaims wrongly timed Biblical prophecy to anyone he meets. His prophetic insights are ill-timed as he hails from rooftops things that have already occurred. If you encounter him, he may also state a prophecy about your current situation, however his poorly timed words miss the mark and land outside the bounds of any real usefulness.

There is one last thing you must know about the Non-Prophet. He is not wise with his money and doesn’t see that a freelancing Non-Prophet with no business acumen or marketable skills may struggle to make ends meet. He epitomizes the phrase,”a day late and a dollar short.” He’ll boldly proclaim obvious events to you, then ask to borrow five bucks before he moves on to his next non-prophetic assignment.


Keep an eye out for upcoming comic strips featuring “The Non-Prophet”. My prayer is that he will serve as a tool to help people learn about Bible prophecy, apologetics, and theology in a fresh, fun, and relevant way.

— Todd Hampson