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The Unsealed Prophecies

Of all the prophetic literature in the Bible, only Daniel gives as clear a sequence as Revelation. The Revelation (opposite of the sealing Daniel was told to do) that Jesus gave to John is the only prophecy literature in the New Testament. There are of course other prophecies mentioned as parts of Gospels and the Letters, but this is the only book of the New Testament that is centered on prophecy. And though it was sent to churches, only the first three chapters refer to the church. None of the terminology used for the church anywhere else in the New Testament, except the generic terms mentioned in the Preface, are found in Revelation between chapters 3 and 21. The content between those two points is about the judgments of God upon Israel and the unbelieving world, and a brief discussion of the Millennium. However, correlations will be made with Jesus’ statements to his disciples in the Gospels as well. And because of the volume of material, it will be presented here in ouline form.

Jesus’ Public Statement About the End Times

When Jesus’ disciples remarked about the magnificence of the Temple, he told them that it would be destroyed to the point where not one block rested on another (Dan. 9:26b, Mt. 24:2, Mk. 13:1-2, Lk. 21:5-6). This was said publicly, while they were still on the Temple grounds (Mt. 24:1), and it was fulfilled by the Roman ruler Titus in 70 a.d. Everything else was said privately at a later time. It is possible that the prophecy about the people of Judea fleeing when they would see Jerusalem surrounded by encampments was at least partially fulfilled at this time, though it was largely only the Christians who escaped. And it should be noted that Titus did not set up any idol in the Temple, nor go into it and declare himself God.

Jesus’ Private (Olivet) Discourse to Peter, James, John, and Andrew

Mt. 24:3a and Mk. 13:3 tell us that the Olivet Discourse was given privately to Jesus’ inner circle of disciples. They asked three questions (Mt. 24:3b, Mk. 13:4, Lk. 21:7), after which Jesus gave a lengthy response:

  1. When will these things happen?
  2. What is the sign of your arrival?
  3. What is the sign of the end of the age?

General Introduction (Mt. 24:33)

Jesus gave his disciples certain signs to look for as the arrival of the Kingdom of God drew near. Remember that these were signs for Israel and concern the prophecies for Israel, rather than for the church. And it is the arrival of the Kingdom of God that the disciples asked about, which is preceded by the Day of the Lord. That Day will begin suddenly and without warning, while people are going about their daily lives.

Beginning of Birthpangs / Seal Judgments (Mt. 24:8, Mk. 13:8d)

The Tribulation / Seal and Trumpet Judgments (Dan. 9:26c, Mt. 24:14b)

The Great Tribulation / Trumpet and Bowl Judgments (Mt. 24:21)

After the Great Tribulation (Mt. 24:29a, Mk. 13:24a)

Next we will examine the scriptures concerning what is to come after Jesus has established his earthly kingdom.

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