1. Why is it important that we study the and the Book of Revelation? Studying what the Bible has to say about the future empowers us to be victorious in love and power during the most glorious and difficult time in history. It prepares us to actively participate under Jesus in the end-time events and to rightly interpret Jesus' leadership in the coming global crisis instead of being offended by Him (Matt. 11:6). Studying the end times awakens urgency in us for intercession, knowing that our prayers may minimize evil and increase victory. Understanding end-time Scriptures strengthens our confidence in God's sovereignty by knowing that He is in control and is never surprised (Joel 2:13-14; Zeph. 2:3; Matt. 11:6, 24:4; Phil. 1:10; Rev. 12:11).
2. How much does the Scripture say about the end times? Most of the prophets spoke about the future "Day of the Lord" which relates to the events of Jesus' coming. See our article entitled "150 Chapters on the End Times."
3. How do we know the end-time Scriptures were not fulfilled in A.D. 70? The events of A.D. 70 do not fulfill most of the details of many Scriptures about the Great Tribulation. For example, Revelation 13 requires a talking image, the mark of the beast, a healed head-wound, mandatory worldwide worship of the Antichrist and a false prophet. Jesus said the Great Tribulation would not happen until after we see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place for exactly 1,290 days, which would result in the threat of every human being killed (Dan. 12:11). Nothing close to this scenario happened in the first Jewish revolt against Rome (A.D. 66-73), when Jerusalem and the second temple were destroyed in A.D. 70, ending at Masada (A.D. 73). In the second Jewish revolt against Rome, 500,000 Jews were killed, in addition to the destruction of 1,000 villages (A.D. 132–135 AD). The 50 million babies aborted worldwide each year overshadows the loss of life in both A.D. 70 and World War II.
4. What is the Great Tribulation and how long is it? It is the time period just prior to Jesus' return to earth (Dan. 12:1, Matt. 24:21-22, Mk. 13:19-27). In this time frame, God will release unprecedented judgments on the Antichrist's kingdom as seen in Revelation 6; 8-9; 16. It is 3.5 years in duration (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6, 14; 13:5).
5. Will the church be on earth during the Great Tribulation? The church will absolutely be on the earth during the Great Tribulation. Jesus' bride will partner with Him in this very important time of history at the very climax of this age.
6. What is the church's role in the Great Tribulation? The church will participate in the release of God's judgments under Jesus' leadership through the unified global prayers of faith (Ps. 149:6-9; Matt. 18:18-19; John. 14:12; Rev. 8:4,22:17). The end times is the church's finest hour, when miracles will occur and supernatural prophetic direction will be released. The miracles of Acts and Exodus will be multiplied and combined on a global level (Mic. 7:15).
7. How do I prepare for these events? The key to preparing is to consistently and prayerfully study what the Scriptures say about the end times. Jesus called this "watching." Daniel received revelation of God's prophetic purposes for this generation by diligently studying what God's Word said about it (Jer. 29:10-14). He embraced a lifestyle of Bible study with prayer and fasting (Dan. 9:2-4) to receive "skill to understand" (Dan. 9:22).
8. How can we know when Jesus is coming if He says in Matthew 24:36 that "no one knows" the day or the hour? Jesus did not say we could not know the season or the conditions surrounding His coming. Neither did Jesus say that the church would not know the day and hour in the generation the Lord returns. We must seek the Father's Word as to when this begins, because only the Father knows. God did not want to make the day and hour known in the early church, but Daniel and the apostle John made it clear that the Messiah would come exactly 1,260 days after the abomination of desolation (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 11:2-3,12:6, 14; 13:5).
9. Why will believers reject Jesus during the end-time "falling away"? Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 that people are condemned because 1) they do not love the truth; and 2) they take pleasure in unrighteousness. Paul explains to Timothy that those who depart from the faith will do so after "giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1). A few years later, Paul adds that, " will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths" (2 Tim. 4:3). Paul describes this type of believer (and unbeliever) in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. The central issue is that they are lovers of themselves. The victorious believer in Revelation 12:11 will overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony and the fact that they did not love their lives to the death.
10. Why is the book of Revelation important? This book gives us more information on the end times than any other book in Scripture. It has a special purpose in equipping God's people to participate with Jesus' end-time plan and to overcome with victory in the Great Tribulation. It is the "prayer manual" for the end-time church.
11. How can we tell if a passage in Revelation is symbolic or if it should be taken literally? The general rule is that Revelation means what it says and says what it means (common-sense reading), unless an angel explains it otherwise. We interpret a passage symbolically when it is clearly indicated by the text. For example, in Revelation 1:20, the angel tells John the seven lampstands are symbolic of seven churches.
12. Do other commentaries refer to the parenthetical sections as interrupting the chronological story line? Yes, many throughout history have understood the structure of Revelation in this way.
13. What is the special significance of the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 for us today? Jesus identified the issues that would most challenge the end-time church, and then addressed them by strategically selecting seven churches in the first century that were challenged in those very same ways.
14. Are we able to know the signs of the times? Yes, Jesus commanded the people who lived in the generation of His return to know the signs (Matt. 24:32-44). Jesus rebuked those who did not heed the prophetic signs that pointed to His coming (Matt. 16:1-4; Luke 19:41-44). Prophetic signs serve the church in the same way that a weather station signals coming trouble so that people can prepare and save lives.
15. Can the signs of the times be understood? Yes. The Scriptures on the end times and the signs of the times were written to be understood by all, since the majority of people throughout history have been uneducated peasants. The Scripture was written for them. Jesus and Paul emphasized the know-ability of the prophetic signs of the end times (Matt. 24:32-34, Luke 21:25-29, 1 Thess. 5:1-6, 2 Thess. 2:1-11). The lie is that we are not to know the times and seasons of His return (Acts 1:7-8).
16. How much information does the Bible provide on the signs of the times? There is more prophetic evidence about Jesus' second coming than any other prophetic event in the Bible. The end times is the most written-about subject in all of Scripture. There are over 150 chapters in the Bible in which the majority of the chapter is about the end times.
17. Is it true that every generation believed they were living in the generation the Lord returns? It is a common misperception that most generations believed they were in the end times. It is true that a very small group (less than 1 percent) of every generation might have thought they were at the end. Only once has there been a universal sense that was sustained over decades that it was the time of the end, and that was during the generation of the first apostles.
18. How long is a biblical generation? A generation in Scripture ranges from 40 to 100 years (Gen. 15:13-16, Num. 32:13, Ps. 90:10, Matt. 1:17, Acts 7:6). Moses spoke of Israel's captivity in Egypt as lasting 400 years or four generations (Gen. 15:13). Thus, a generation could refer to 100 years. There were 14 generations from Abraham to David, covering nearly 1,000 years (Matt. 1:17). These 14 generations averaged about 70 years.
19. How can we be confident that we are living in the generation the Lord returns? There are many biblical trends that reveal "the season or generation" of His coming (Matt. 24:4-8). They include the emergence of global prayer (Isa. 56:7), the increase of knowledge (Dan. 12:4), the revelation of the bridal paradigm (Rev. 22:17), the great harvest from all nations (Matt. 24:14, Rev. 7:9) and the increase of wickedness (Dan. 8:23, Rev. 14:9).
20. What are Daniel's 70 weeks (Dan. 9:24-27)? The angel Gabriel revealed to Daniel that God's purpose for Israel involved a prophetic period of seventy weeks. In the modern world, a week speaks of a period of seven days. However, in the ancient world, a week represented a period of seven years. Gabriel spoke to Daniel about a prophetic period in which God would deal with Israel's salvation over seventy weeks, or 490 years (70 x 7 years = 490 years). However, after the initial 69 e weeks (69 x 7 years = 483 years), a "pause" was put on the prophetic calendar when Jesus the Messiah was "cut off," or crucified. There is one week, i.e., seven years, left in God's prophetic calendar and plan in bringing Israel to salvation. The first 69 weeks of the "seventy weeks" prophecy of Daniel 9:24-26 were fulfilled, beginning at Nehemiah's command to rebuild the city of Jerusalem in 445 BC (Neh. 2:1) to the time of Jesus' first triumphal entry into Jerusalem to be crucified (Dan. 9:25).
21. What is the beginning of the birth pangs? The birth pangs occur in a significant prophetic period in which Jesus predicted that there would be 12 worldwide trends, all occurring in the same generation (Matt. 24:4-8, Mark 13:5-8, Luke 21:7-18). Matthew gives seven major trends: false christs, wars, ethnic conflict, economic warfare, famines, pestilences and earthquakes. Luke describes five more: commotions, fearful sights, great signs from heaven, distress in the nations and roaring waves. The Greek word for "birth pangs" is translated as "sorrows" in the NKJV. It is to be compared with the increasing trauma a woman experiences during childbirth.
22. How do we know when the final seven years of this age start? It begins with a covenant made between the Antichrist and the nations, bringing peace and safety as Paul prophesied in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 (Isa. 28:14-18; Ezek. 38:8-12, 14, 39:26; Dan. 8:24-25, 9:27,11:21, 45; Zech. 11:16; John 5:43; Luke 19:11-28).
23. How will we know that the Antichrist is coming into power? The main sign is the abomination of desolation, when the Antichrist stands in the temple of Jerusalem proclaiming himself as God (Matt. 24:15, 2 Thess. 2:4).
24. Is there a mathematical calculation that people need to figure out regarding 666 (Rev 13:18)? The exhortation to understand the mark of the beast will become increasingly relevant as the end times approach. It will be obvious who the Antichrist is after he takes his seat in the temple, claiming to be God (2 Thess. 2:4). We will not be able to "calculate" it before that time. Some believe that calculating the number will involve the ancient practice of gematria, used to hide messages in numbers by substituting numbers for letters of the alphabet in order to give a numerical value to the letters, for example, "a" stands for 1; "b" for 2; "j" for 10 and so on.
25. What does the "number of man" signify? Seven is the number of perfection. Six is the number of man, which falls short of perfection. Three is the number of God, and three sixes speak of the satanic "trinity" (Satan, Antichrist and false prophet).
This is Part 1 in a multipart series.
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