Prophecy Toolkit

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Introduction to Revelation

The Foreword explains how to use the Commentary and lists the sources I have used. Then the Introduction explains the structure of Revelation and why John wrote it. There follows a series of short articles addressing questions that arise from reading Revelation such as, “How should we understand the symbolism, and the predictions? Is John re-interpreting the OT prophecies? What is the significance of the saints’ suffering?  How should we interpret the physical and material promises to Israel?  How do we understand the 1,000 year reign in chapter 20?  Are the Beast and the False Prophet found elsewhere in the Bible”?

Subjects: Revelation; persecution of Christians; suffering; Bible prophecy; Christ’s return; Israel’s restoration; church; 1,000 year reign; Beast; False Prophet

Revelation commentary ch 1 to 3

John’s introduction to Christ’s revelation to him of “what must soon take place”.  “Look, he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him . .”.  His vision of one “like a son of man”.  The letters to the seven churches of Asia, with promises to those who overcome by their faithfulness, and warnings to churches that stray from the truth.

Subjects: Revelation; Bible prophecy; Christ’s return; Israel turns to Christ; church; persecution of Christians; suffering; rewards to Christians.

Revelation commentary ch 4 to 7

The vision of God’s throne-room in heaven; the appearance of Christ as the Lamb. The sealed scroll of the countdown to Christ’s return is received by the Lamb.  As he opens the seals, a world-conqueror appears, then wars, famines, plagues, persecution of Christian believers, and finally a great earthquake and signs in the sun, moon and stars that suggest the world is about to end.  There is mass panic as everyone tries to hide from the coming wrath of God. Then John sees 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel sealed by God, and a multitude too large to count of believers praising God before his throne because they had come out of “the great tribulation”.

Subjects: Revelation; Bible prophecy; heaven; Christ the Lamb; Christ’s return; signs of the end; the Beast; earthquakes; plagues; famines; wars; cosmic signs; persecution of Christians; suffering; wrath of God; restoration of Israel; rewards to Christians.

Revelation commentary ch 8 to 11

The prayers of Christian believers rise as incense to heaven, then 7 angels unleash seven trumpet plagues upon the earth, devastating one third of the earth and sea. Demonic locusts torture those who are not protected by God as his own, then a vast army invades from the east and kills one third of mankind.  Yet those who survive do not turn from their evil ways.  Then John sees a mighty angel descend to the earth and announce that there would be no more delay but when the 7th trumpet sounds “the mystery of God will be accomplished”, but meanwhile John is given the message he is to prophecy about the nations.  He then is shown the temple of God that is to be trampled by the nations for 3 1/2 years, whilst God’s two witnesses prophesy and work miracles.  They are killed at the end of this time by the Beast, but after 3 1/2 days are brought back to life by God and taken up to heaven.   Then the 7th trumpet sounds and heaven announces that the kingdom of the Lord and of his Christ has now come.

Subjects: Revelation; Bible prophecy; heaven; plagues; suffering; signs of the end; cosmic signs; wars; Bible prophecy; Christ’s return; kingdom of God; temple of God; witnesses to God; the Beast; resurrection of the dead; rewards to Christians; God’s judgment day.

Revelation commentary ch 12 to 14

John sees signs in heaven of Satan the dragon persecuting the woman Israel. Then he sees a war in heaven in which Michael and his angels, because of the persecuted Christians’ faithful witness, defeat Satan and his angels and cast them down to the earth. Satan then persecutes the woman Israel for 3 1/2 years, but she is protected by God, and empowers the Beast who is allowed by God to rule the whole world for the  3 1/2 years.  His accomplice, the False Prophet, requires all the world to worship the Beast and give allegiance to him, receiving his “666” mark which permits them to buy and sell.  All who join the Christian believers in refusing to worship and take his mark are persecuted and many die for their faith.  John then has a series of visions – of Christians worshipping in heaven, and of angels warning mankind of the imminent wrathful judgment on those who worship the beast.

Subjects: Revelation; Bible prophecy; heaven; persecution of Israel; Satan; angels; Christian witness; persecution of Christians; kingdom of God; the Beast; the False Prophet; 666; rewards to Christians; God’s judgment day; wrath of God.

Revelation commentary ch 15 to 18

John sees in heaven 7 angels preparing to pour out the bowls of God’s wrath upon the earth.  He also sees the Christians who have kept loyal to Christ and resisted the Beast’s demands worshipping God in heaven. As each angel pours out their bowl he sees devastating plagues strike the earth, aimed at those who worship the Beast and at the Beast’s kingdom and his whole infrastructure.  Yet still mankind will not repent.  He also sees the world’s leaders and their armies led by demonic miracles to assemble at Armageddon. John then is shown a woman who is Babylon, the great harlot, who seduces the whole world and its leaders and rides on the Beast, and who is also responsible for the martyring of the Christians.  However, the Beast and his fellow leaders turn on the harlot and destroy her, and John is then shown the destruction of Babylon, the centre of the world’s financial and trading system geared to pleasure and luxury.

Subjects: Revelation; Bible prophecy; heaven; wrath of God; God’s judgment day; plagues; persecution of Christians; rewards to Christians; the Beast; the False Prophet; Armageddon; Babylon; spiritual unfaithfulness; pursuit of pleasure; love of money.

Revelation commentary ch 19 to 22

John sees a multitude in heaven worshipping God and looking forward to the “marriage of the Lamb” to his bride, the faithful Christians, He then sees Christ, the King of Kings, coming to earth with the armies of heaven, where he is opposed by the Beast and other world leaders with their armies: Christ destroys them and casts the Beast and the False Prophet into the lake of fire. Satan is then captured and imprisoned, the Christian martyrs are resurrected to life and they reign with Christ over the nations on earth for 1,000 years. At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan is released and deceives the nations once more, but their rebellion is destroyed by God, the dead since the start of time are raised to life, and God judges them all.  Those whose names are not in the Lamb’s book of life are cast into the lake of fire.  Then comes a new heaven and earth and the new Jerusalem, the Lamb’s bride, descends from heaven.  God now dwells with men, heaven and earth are joined in harmony and the faithful Christians receive their eternal reward.  Revelation closes with reminders that Jesus is returning soon with his reward, and encourages us to live according to all that is written in this prophecy.

Subjects: Revelation; Bible prophecy; heaven; marriage of the Lamb; Christ’s return; Armageddon; resurrection of the dead; 1,000 year reign; Beast; False Prophet; God’s judgment day; new heaven and new earth; new Jerusalem; rewards to Christians.

Annex 1 other endtime prophecies

Currently this contains a chapter by chapter summary and detailed notes on understanding Daniel ch 2, 7-12 and Zech ch 12-14, how they fit with other Bible prophecies, and their fulfilment.  The plan is to add to Annex 1 commentaries on other prophetic books or part-books in the OT & NT that look forward to the end of the age.

Subjects: Daniel; Zechariah; Bible prophecy; 70 weeks prophecy; the “abomination of desolation”; Antiochus Epiphanes; the Beast; persecution of Israel; Christ’s return; Armageddon; restoration of Israel; resurrection of the dead; Kingdom of God; Israel turns to Christ.

Table to Daniel

“Progression of revelation to Daniel, ch 7 onwards”.  My attempt at exploring how far the revelation God gave to Daniel about future events was progressive, i.e. how far later visions developed and filled out what he had received earlier in his life.

Subjects: Daniel

Historical summary 181 to 164 BC

“The interactions between Antiochus Epiphanes, Egypt and Judea, according to historical sources, in the period 181 to 164 BC”.  Written to help us understand how the prophecies in ch 8 and 11 of Daniel have been fulfilled.

Subjects: Daniel; Antiochus Epiphanes

Annex 2 Babylon

“The origins and meaning of Babel (Babylon) of the OT and NT”.  The origins of Babylon, according to the OT, and the many OT prophecies about Babylon’s future and downfall, with detailed help on interpreting them and how they might be fulfilled.  It closes with two sections that pose questions on how these prophecies take us beyond the historical Babylon of OT times and what are the issues that they raise for Christians in the 21st Century.

Subjects: Babylon; Revelation; Bible prophecy.

Annex 3 Christ’s second coming

An explanation of what will happen when  Christ returns and how the OT and NT passages fit together, from the standpoint of the generation alive when Christ returns, and the future of mankind after His return.

Subjects: Bible prophecy; Revelation; Christ’s return; Armageddon; resurrection of the dead; marriage of the Lamb; 1,000 year reign; God’s judgment day; rewards to Christians.

Annex 4 events of Israel’s restoration

“Events of Israel’s Restoration.  Israel, the Jews and their restoration: the events prophesied in the OT and their fit with the end-time teaching in the NT.” How the Lord will deal with his people Israel as this age draws to the close, and then at the time when Christ returns and delivers Israel from her many enemies.  The annex is still a work in progress.  Future sections will focus thematically on what the Bible means by Israel’s restoration and how we should understand this in the light of the NT.

Subjects: persecution of Israel; Israel’s restoration; Christ’s return; Armageddon; Bible prophecy; Zechariah; Daniel; Revelation.

Annex 5 Jerusalem at the end

“Events happening to Jerusalem and Israel in the last years of this age.”  How the various prophecies may fit together that deal with the nations’ attacks on Israel and Jerusalem at the end of the age in the 7 years before Christ returns, and the Lord’s deliverance of his people through Christ’s return.

Subjects: persecution of Israel; Israel’s restoration; Christ’s return; Armageddon; Bible prophecy; Zechariah; Daniel; Revelation

Amos 9.11f and Acts 15.15-18

“Amos 9.11f and its quotation in Acts 15.15-18: how should we understand their fulfilment?”  The paper explores how the Amos passage should be understood in the context of other OT prophecies and their fulfilment.  It then looks at how James in Acts 15.15-18 used the passage to justify Gentiles being accepted into the Church as God’s people.  It examines how we should understand the fulfilment of, “I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent . .” (Am 9.11),  in both its OT setting and as it is used in Acts.

Subjects: Bible prophecy, Amos, Acts, son of David, Israel’s restoration, Christ’s return, Kingdom of God; church

A commentary on Isaiah is currently being written.

JIM SHAW