This forum is under construction, and it will be some time before it is competed. As background for this study, please read the separate forum on “Dispensations and Covenants”. A scan of the “Biblical Symbols” forum will also be very helpful.
It’s been said all prophecy themes related to the last days terminate in the Book of Revelations. This forum will be in two parts – a summary and detailed commentary. The summary will provide an overview of the complete study. The commentary will focus on the “Prophetic chapters of Daniel”, the “Mount of Olivet Discourse”, the “Tribulation”, the “Millennial Kingdom” and the “New Heaven and New Earth”.
There are two schools of Biblical interpretation relating to the Book of Revelation and last day prophecy. The first is what is called “Covenant Theology”. It teaches that there are two covenants in the Bible – the covenant of works in the Old Testament and the covenant of grace in the New Testament. The theology also teaches that God has rescinded all of the Old Testament prophecy relating to Israel because they rejected and crucified Jesus. It teaches the God has turned to the Church and that the Book of Revelation is about the Church. This was the early teaching of the Church, and some denominations still teach it. Most of the early church commentaries spiritualized the Old Testament.
There are two schools of Biblical interpretation relating to the Book of Revelation and last-day prophecy.
The first is what is called “Covenant Theology”. It teaches that there are two covenants in the Bible – the covenant of works in the Old Testament and the covenant of grace in the New Testament. The theology also teaches that God has rescinded all of the Old Testament prophecy relating to Israel because they rejected and crucified Jesus.
It teaches that God has turned to the Church and that the Book of Revelation is about the Church. The early Church believed the tribulation was the persecution of the early church and that Titus Flavius Domitianus (about 95 AD) was the Antichrist.
Some denominations still teach this theology on eschatology. Most of the early church commentaries spiritualized the Old Testament. As the years has passed fewer people believe it.
The second interpretation of last-day prophecy is called “Dispensationalism” and will be the basis of my teaching in this forum. Some have tried to teach both interpretations and it has only confused people. To better understand Dispensationalism please read my teaching in the forum on Dispensations and Covenants. We have stronger Scripture support for “Dispensationalism”.
The Church continued to teach Covenant Theology until the early eighteen hundreds when the group known as The Plymouth Brethren began to question the doctrine of Covenant Theology.
In 1830, John Nelson Darby an Anglo-Irish evangelist founded a movement called The Plymouth Brethren. Unlike, other denominations, they rejected the doctrine of Covenant Theology. Darby is considered the father of modern Dispensationalism.
Later, Cyrus Scofield, 1903, a Congregationalist and Co-worker of D.L. Moody, continued work in the dispensational movement by writing the Scofield Bible. Later work was done by Lewis Chafer (Congregationalist) in 1924 at the Dallas Theological Seminary. Scofield was a mentor to Chafer. John Walvoord, a student of Chafer, followed Chafer as President of Dallas Theological Seminary and was very instrumental in continuing Chafer’s work. Today many pastors and Bible teachers from different denominations have been trained at the Dallas Theological Seminary.
There are three primary tenets of the system.
- A clear distinction between Israel and the Church.
- A literal interpretation of Scripture.
- The glory of God as the primary goal of history.
It should be noted that when Israel became a nation in 1948, many changed their view of Biblical interpretation.
Perhaps, these words will help us understand the scope of this study on last-day prophecy.
The Bible is a collection of books that, when taken as a whole, presents a living testimony of a Supreme Being who reigns over the universe that He created. In the beginning, God established a master plan for this universe, and throughout the ages, He has slowly and progressively revealed this plan to mankind.
Traditional efforts to comprehend the nature of God and His plan for man usually focus on a study of doctrine and the personal application of moral principles. There is an old adage, which says, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” This means that we can become so involved with the details that we do not see the whole picture. Perhaps we have spent so much time examining the trees that we have not seen the forest of Scripture.
As a result, the average layperson tends to remain unaware of the existence of a master plan that runs like a continuous golden thread throughout scripture. People in study groups who systematically search for this common thread have repeatedly experienced a great magnification of their perception of the nature of God and His sovereign reign.
The book of Revelation is the terminal, like trunk lines running unto a grand central station, where the highways of Biblical prophecy come to an end.
These major lines of prophecy are:
1.The Lord Jesus Christ (Gen 3:15).
3. Israel’s Covenants.
4. The Beginning, Duration, and End of the “Times of the Gentiles” (Daniel 2:24-45).
5. The Church (Matthew 16:18).
6. The Duration and End of Apostate Church.
7. The Resurrection and Translation of the Saints.
8. The Great Tribulation.
9. The Second Coming of Christ as the Jewish Messiah.
10. The Millennium Kingdom.
11. A New Heaven and a New Earth.
Source: “Reveling through Revelations” by J. Vernon McGee
Major Themes of Biblical Prophecy
Old Testament Themes
1. Jewish Dispersion and Persecution.
2. A Desolate Holy Land.
3. The National Spiritual Blindness of Israel.
4. Israel as a Resurrected Nation – Dry Bones of Ezekiel.
5. David Given an Everlasting Throne – Jesus as Lord of lords and King of kings.
6. A New Covenant for Israel.
7. A Suffering Messiah.
8. The Eventual National Salvation of Israel.
9. The Judgment and Future Role of the Gentile Nations.
10. God’s Timeline with the Future of Israel – “70 Weeks of Daniel” chapter nine.
New Testament Themes
2. The Great Tribulation
3. The Millennium Kingdom
“The theme running through the book of Joel is, ‘The day of the Lord is coming!’ The prophet Joel echoed a warning of approaching judgment when God would punish the wicked and reward the faithful” (Introduction to the Book of Joel by Jack Zavada). The “Day of the Lord” is an Old Testament concept and applies to God’s program with Israel – it is not part of God’s program with The Church. However, it is explained in I Thessalonian 5:1-11 as occurring immediately following the rapture of The Church.
Note: 1 Thess. 5:1-11 makes it clear that the Church will not suffer the wrath of God.
The “Day of the Lord” or “Last Days” begin with the last week of Daniel’s timetable (see Dan. chapter nine) when the clock begins running again for Israel’s last seven years. Note: See commentary on Daniel nine.
The apostle Paul said, “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so, all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins’” (Rom. 11:25-27, NKJV). Let us focus our attention on events during the “Last Days.” Emphasis will be in summary form on events occurring during the Tribulation.
Before the prince, referred to in Daniel’s timetable as the Antichrist, can enter into a covenant with Israel, the state must be reconstituted as a political state (Jer. 30:3-11). The United Nations did this in May of 1948. Sometime in the future, they will enter into the covenant of peace with this false Messiah. Then for three and one-half years, just before the Great Tribulation period, there will be a time of harmony with the nations.
First revealed in Deuteronomy 4:29-30, the Great Tribulation brings the spiritual war between God and Satan to a climax. It was the time when Jeremiah (30:3-10) and Zechariah (Chapter 14) foresaw the Gentile nations invading the Middle East and marching against Jerusalem. Ezekiel details this invasion with nations coming together in the Holy Land from the world’s Four Corners. Led by Gog from Magog (see author’s notes at the end of the book), the nations engage in a struggle that quickly escalates into a world war. From many Biblical descriptions, it appears to be a nuclear confrontation with its resulting holocaust. Jeremiah called it a day unlike any before, “the time of Jacob’s troubles.”
During this time, God will pour out His wrath upon the world. Ezekiel said that when Gog comes against Israel, God’s fury will be poured out, and in His jealousy and wrath, He will bring about a great shaking in the land of Israel (Ezek. 38:18-19). Isaiah said: “It was for me the day of vengeance; the year for me to redeem had come” (Isa. 63:4, NIV).
We read the following from the sixth seal judgment of The Revelation, “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of theirwrath has come, and who can withstand it’” (Rev. 6:12-17, NIV)?
When it seems that the whole world will be destroyed, suddenly, God will send forth His Son as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” and “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,” (Isa. 61:2, NIV).
Daniel said: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man” (Dan. 7:13, ESV). Zechariah said He would come and bring all the saints with Him, and then He would go forth and fight against the nations that had come against Israel (Zech. 14:3-5). The war and destruction will soon be over, and He will judge among the nations.
The judgments will be for both Jews and Gentiles; however, they appear to be separate judgments. In Ezekiel, we read these words where the judgment applies only to Israel. “And I shall bring you out from the people and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out…I shall bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I shall enter into judgment with you face to face…I will make you pass under the rod, and I shall bring you into the bond of the covenant; and I shall purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me” (Ezek. 20:34b, 35, 37-38a, NASB1995).
Each living Jew will be brought face to face with the Messiah. Each will be tested for receiving Him and declaring their intended obedience. The rebels will be judged and will go into Hell with the Devil. Zechariah tells us that only one-third of the Jews will be saved (Zechariah 13:4-11).
God will also judge the Gentiles Nations. We read from the prophet, Joel, where he foresaw a vision of the last days: “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land” (Joel 3:1-2, ESV). The valley of Jehoshaphat is the valley that separates the Mount of Olives from the Temple Mount which is on Mount Zion.
We also read from the book of Isaiah: “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isa. 2:4-5, NIV).
God will set up the Millennium Kingdom and Christ will reign on the earth for 1000 years. At the end of the 1000 years the final judgment will take place and God will create a new heaven and new earth.
Commentaries on Prophetic Chapters of the Book of Daniel
Everything Jews, Gentiles, and Christians need to know about the future is predicted in the Book of Daniel. All is explained in the most minute detail in Daniel’s twelve-chapter manuscript, penned under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Here is the very good news: The time has finally come. The Book of Daniel is now explainable and understandable. There are not many commentators on Daniel. But now, the hour has come to unseal the final end-time mysteries of the Book of Daniel.
None of Daniel’s prophecies were to be unsealed – until the “time of the end”. Imagine, mysteries that no one could unravel for 2,500 years are suddenly being presented with clarity under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We need to understand that many of Daniel’s prophecies are continued in the Book of Revelation.
Let me whet your appetite with an amazing perspective on Daniel. The first 35 verses of the 11th chapter predict 135 different facts. Amazingly, each of these events has occurred and can be documented. If you check them out, you’ll discover the passage to be 100 percent accurate. Even secular history documents the most minute points in this passage – right down to the names of people, places, and events.
You will also learn as you move through these pages, that in Daniel 11:40-45, the king of the South (Egypt), the king of the North (Russia), and the kings of the East (the Asian confederacy) are poised to march against the leader of the West (the European Union). What has been sealed for 25 centuries is now a book with its seals removed that can be understood by any person with eyes to see and ears to hear. The message of Daniel is simply this: The clock of history is winding down. Daniel is a preview of coming attractions. Major prophecies are being unsealed because now is closing time.
Chapter One: Wanted: Healthy, Good-Looking Lads. Daniel reaffirms his commitment to the true God. Nebuchadnezzar delights in his choice of Daniel and his three friends.
Chapter Two: A King Dreams and is Confused. Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a large metallic image. Daniel’s interpretation of the four kingdoms and the times of the Gentiles.
Chapter Three: Unfazed by the Furnace. Nebuchadnezzar enforces universal idolatry. The three Hebrew children are thrown into the furnace when they refuse to bow to the king’s image of gold.
Chapter Four: The Testimony of a King and his reason restored: Testimony of Nebuchadnezzar. The dream of Nebuchadnezzar and its interpretation by Daniel. The king’s capacity to reason is taken away, only later to be restored.
Chapter Five: Don’t Look now but there is something on your Wall. At the feast of Belshazzar, the fingers of God wrote on the wall, unreadable by the king’s wise men. Daniel refuses to be seduced by the king’s various attractive offers and interprets the handwriting on the wall. Babylon falls to the Medes – the prophecy fulfilled that very night, even as Belshazzar’s party was in full swing.
Chapter Six: Preferred above Princes. Daniel’s favored position under Darius the Medes creates jealousy, and they plot to destroy Daniel as he prays fearlessly at his open windows, thanking God and praising Him three time a day. Daniel was thrown into a den of lions. Daniel’s deliverance leads to his ultimate prosperity.
Chapter Seven: Events prophesied and fulfilled. Beast, beasts, and more beasts. This is Daniel’s vision of the four beasts. The vision of the “Son of Man” coming in clouds of heaven. The definition of the four beasts and Daniel’s explanations
Chapter Eight: A Tale of Two Madmen. Daniel’s vision of the ram and goat. The interpretation of the vision. Daniel is devastated physically and psychologically by this vision.
Chapter Nine: God’s Ultimate Program for Israel. Daniel’s prophetic prayer is the culmination of a lifetime of prayer; the first 21 verses contain Daniel’s prayer, and the final six detail the prophecy of the 70 weeks (7 x 70 years).
Chapter Ten: Visions and Beasts no More. Daniel sees Jesus. Time, place, and preparation of Daniel for the vision of Christ glorified and its transforming power on Daniel. The message of an unidentified heavenly messenger provided Daniel with assurance and strength.
Chapter Eleven: History Ends – Prophecy Begins. The vision continues. Antiochus Epiphanes is identified. The man of sin rises to power. The temporary victory of a willful king”
Chapter Twelve: Final Mysteries Unsealed. The Great Tribulation. The resurrection of Old Testament saints and sinners. The sealing of prophecies until the end of the ages. History’s final end-time mysteries unsealed.
Click below for a detailed study of the Prophetic Chapters.
Commentary on The Olivet Discourse
Shortly before Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, Jesus made it clear that God’s program with the Jews would temporarily come to an end, and He would turn to another group later called the “Church Age.”
In Matthew, chapter 23, Jesus issued a series of “wows” against the Jewish leaders. He also announced that the Kingdom would be taken from the Jews and the Temple would be destroyed.
Jesus then took His disciples to the Mount of Olives and answered their questions. The dialogue has been known in history as “The Olivet Discourse.” In His dialogue, He bridged the time gap between the prophetic chapters of Daniel and the later Book of Revelation to be written later by the disciple John.
Understanding this discourse is a key to understanding the “Last Day” prophecy.
Click on “Olivet Discourse” for a detailed commentary on the discourse.
The Rapture of the Church
Church tradition has confused the second coming of Christ with the rapture of The Church. Today people are beginning to see that these as two separate events on God’s calendar. The timing of the rapture is different from the return of the Church. Many people have tried to put The Church in the Olivet Discourse. Jesus is addressing events concerning Iseral in the Olivet Discourse.
Click on “Rapture of the Church” for a commentary on the Rapture of The Church.
The Great Tribulation
Click on The Tribulation for a study of the Tribulation. Note: only the summary part has been written. Will complete the detail commentaries after the new year. However, the remain key modules have been written and are available below.
The Millennial Kingdom
Click on “The Millennial Kingdom” for a commentary on this subject.
The Great White Throne Judgment
Click on “The Great White Throne Judgment” for a commentary on this subject.
Click on “Eternity” for a commentary on this subject.
Hope you enjoyed this study. Tell your friends.