The main purpose for writing The Chronological Guide to Bible Prophecy (available here) is to catalog prophecy as a biologist would catalog sea creatures, or flowers, or bugs—but in a way that is not overly academic and is fun to read, easy to understand, and practical to study.
I have written several books about Bible prophecy and eschatology, and I have always made an effort to cite reliable sources when I present statistics. But I was compelled to catalog the Bible’s prophecies on my own—partly so I could better understand the topic I love so much, but also so I could compare my findings with those of spiritual giants from the recent past.
There are several such studies that have been made over the years. Two frequently cited sources are John Walvoord’s book The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook and J. Barton Payne’s book The Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy. Both books are now out of print, but I was able to find and purchase a copy of each—Walvoord’s from 1990 and Payne’s from 1973.
To be clear, I did not set out to redo their work, but to see if I came to similar conclusions and to produce a useful resource for a current audience. To my delight and surprise, my conclusions were very similar to those of other scholars who spent a lifetime studying the topic.
Another purpose of this book is to highlight certain prophetic themes that are often overlooked by Christians today. There is much confusion about certain themes that the Bible is actually very clear about. Some of these themes include God’s prophetic plan for Israel and the Jewish people; the two advents of the Messiah; the duration, timing, and details of the future tribulation period (known frequently in the Old Testament as the Day of the Lord); and the timing, nature, and details related to the future kingdom age.
I would venture to say that the vast majority of Christians today focus mostly on the New Testament (understandably so). But without an awareness of the details of the prophecies in the Old Testament, we’re left with only part of the picture, and this can lead to some wildly wrong conclusions about prophecy.
It does take a bit of work to study and understand the details of the Old Testament prophecies, and one of my goals is to help provide guidance for readers so they can get up to speed quickly.
A good understanding of the Old Testament makes the beauty of the New Testament truths shine all the brighter. Viewing the New Testament through the proper framework of the hundreds of detailed prophecies in the Old Testament adds to its richness and clarity.
For example, the final book of the Bible—John’s book of Revelation—is a thoroughly Jewish book. Revelation has 404 verses, yet contains more than 800 allusions to the Old Testament prophets!
There is no way someone can understand Revelation without the context of the Old Testament.
One of the key reasons there is so much confusion and fear when it comes to studying Revelation is the context and allusions are not understood.
My prayer is that by highlighting some overlooked key themes in the Old Testament, together, we can gain more clarity about the nature of prophecy and end-times events.