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The Christian Counter



Appendix F

 

Understanding the

Apocalyptic charts

 

The apocalyptic charts at the end of this study serve a two-fold purpose. First, it attempts to identify the order and timing of all apocalyptic elements-both past and future. Secondly, it demonstrates the controlling operation of a large prophetic matrix. (A Chart Book can be obtained by calling (800) 475-0876.) This matrix of Daniel and Revelation has two dimensions. First, there is the passage of time (left to right). Secondly, there is collaboration between the prophecies (top to bottom). Because apocalyptic prophecy follows a consistent pattern, the discovery of rules that makes this matrix possible now brings a new level of understanding to the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. For the first time, the messages contained in these two books of the Bible combine to make a scene just as they read and when the prophecies are properly combined, they reveal 17 extraordinary stories.

 

Review the chart twice

 

To appreciate the meaning of the charts, view the charts from left to right. For example, notice that Story 1 lists the elements of Daniel 2 as: Head, Chest, Thighs, Legs, Feet, Toes, and Rock. These elements are laid out according to their order given in the prophecy. In other words, the kingdom symbolized by the head is followed by a kingdom symbolized by the chest, etc. By following the order of elements as they are given, we not only mark the passage of time, we can find our chronological position within the prophecy. By finding our chronological position, we can then see what is going to happen next!

 

After observing the horizontal flow of the chart, study the vertical alignment of the chart. For example, notice the alignment of the chart below Medo-Persia. You will find: Chest, Bear and Ram. These elements, aligned from different prophecies, combine to form a solid matrix about Medo-Persia, the second world empire of apocalyptic prophecy. History confirms that the Chest of Daniel 2, the Bear of Daniel 7 and the Ram of Daniel 8 represent the same entity and that this entity came to power about 538 B.C. Because these three symbols represent the same entity, we can align three prophecies and the resulting matrix helps us understand things about the Medo-Persian Empire that could not be otherwise understood.

 

For example, Daniel was shown a sequence of events. This vision is recorded in Daniel 7 (Story 2). The sequence is as follows: Lion, Bear, Leopard, Monster, Ten Horns, Little Horn, Judgment Day and Beasts thrown into lake of fire. The problem with this sequence of events is that we can historically demonstrate the fulfillment of the Lion, Bear, Leopard, Monster and Little Horn, but we can’t historically demonstrate when the Judgment Day scene occurs except to say that it occurs after the Little Horn power. This is because the Judgment Day scene doesn’t happen on earth. (See Daniel 7:9,10.) However, if we correctly align Daniel 7 with Daniel 8 and Daniel 9 (Stories 3 and 4), we discover the timing of the judgment scene to be 1844. From this simple alignment and other supporting data, we can easily calculate when the judgment scene began.

 

Be careful

 

None of the 17 apocalyptic prophecies are complete within themselves. No one prophecy tells the whole story. In fact, the full story is only revealed after all 17 prophecies of Daniel and Revelation are correctly aligned. Many students of prophecy yield to the temptation of minimizing some element as unimportant if they don’t know what it means. Even worse, some people will concoct elaborate conclusions without first solving the whole equation. In other words, until the full story is known, we can’t have a complete understanding of any of the 17 prophecies. Therefore be careful in your study. We can be sure that God did not include nonessential elements in apocalyptic prophecy.

 

Puzzle solving

 

Prophetic study requires patience and effort, for it is similar to the assembly of a picture puzzle. If we correctly assemble the obvious parts first, the obscure pieces will finally fall into their right places. Bible prophecy also unfolds like a flower. Ever since the first apocalyptic prophecies were written, the people of God have understood those portions of prophecy that related to them. But, only the final generation will understand the full story. God designed that apocalyptic prophecy should operate this way for three reasons:

 

First, apocalyptic prophecy has kept hope alive for almost 2,000 years. That hope, of course, is the glorious return of Jesus. Even though claims of prophetic fulfillment have been declared and proven defective in centuries past, the fact remains that hope in the second advent is still alive.

 

Secondly, God had apocalyptic prophecies written down in such a way that their messages could not be fully understood until the final generation should arrive. Soon, signs in the heavens and on earth will draw attention to the Bible as never before. By hiding the meaning of the prophecies until the end of time, the discovery of their understanding will generate global attention as people learn that the Bible clearly explains what is taking place! In turn, the Bible will be greatly exalted before the world as the unfailing Word of God.

 

Lastly, the apocalyptic prophecies of Daniel and Revelation bring all the themes of the Bible into crisp focus. Apocalyptic prophecy exposes the comprehensiveness of God’s salvation as nothing else can. In the context of last day fulfillments, the essential doctrines that support Bible prophecy combine to form a wonderful view of God’s true character. Divine love is His balance of mercy and justice and everything that God does is fair. The five doctrines that form the foundation of apocalyptic interpretation are the truth about:

 

 

1.   The authority of God

 

2.   Then temple of God

 

3.   The return of God

 

4.   The salvation of God

 

5.   The condition of man in life and death

 

The more you know about these five doctrines, the better you will understand the prophecies and of course, the stronger will be your appreciation of the goodness and the love of God. Few people realize it, but the events predicted in Revelation will soon expose all the false doctrines and prophetic interpretations for what they really are. God has carefully designed the closing events of Earth’s history so that every person may behold what His truth really is. Also, understand that God is particularly interested in reaching those who don’t want to know what the truth is. As in the days of Pharaoh, the Bible predicts that many will harden their hearts in the face of God’s truth and when nothing more can be done to save them, the door of mercy will close.

 

Not an infallible chart

 

This chart represents the synthesis of my prophetic study for 30 + years. The possibility of error is ever present for I am human. My desire is that this chart will stimulate deeper study and if it serves as a springboard for better understanding, I shall be pleased. So, I respectfully submit these conclusions as “something to consider.”

 

To be sure, many pastors and religious leaders will oppose the placement of events and therefore, the predictions of this chart. To these I can only extend the ultimate challenge: “Do as I have done. Distribute a detailed copy of your chart.” By so doing, we can be impartially judged in the near future. The presence or absence of the things we put in print will clearly prove which views are true and which are false. A printed chart will serve as an unchanging witness between us.

 

While it is not necessary that the reader agree with all of my prophetic views, God desires that every Christian place the prophetic elements somewhere and in some order. Earth is not going to last much longer – signs confirm every day. Soon, like the springing of a trap, the great tribulation is going to break out upon all inhabitants of Earth and if out prophetic anchor is not carefully grounded in the Word of God, we shall be overwhelmed and blown away by winds of fear and confusion.

 

The fear of Almighty God is about to fall upon all inhabitants of Earth with sudden calamities. Then the world will see just how terrible it is to fall into the hands of the living God. The Lord will be fearfully exalted throughout the earth as never before in the history of man. Those who understand what God is doing will go forth to tell others why

He is sending judgments of destruction.

At that time, the earth will be so distressed that the inhabitants will be forced to give consideration to the things taking place. Even though God’s actions are often misunderstood, He does not suddenly break into our daily activities without cause. Human beings today have either forgotten or chosen to ignore the fact that God’s visitation is promised. Each of us will face our Creator and give account for our words and deeds.

 

If we refuse to live holy lives, if we neglect to search for prophetic truth, we shall be left with nothing but spiritual darkness. And what excuse for darkness shall we offer God on that day if our ignorance has been willful?

 

17 Apocalyptic Stories

 

The books of Daniel and Revelation contain a total of 17 apocalyptic stories (prophecies). Each story is identified by having a beginning point and ending point in time. For this reason, all 17 stories will neatly fit into time-lines forming a tight and comprehensive matrix of events.

 

It is important that we identify where each story begins and ends. For this reason, all 17 apocalyptic stories of Daniel and Revelation are chronologically presented on the charts.

 

The reader is reminded that the original manuscripts of Daniel and Revelation did not include chapter and verse designations. These “helps” were added centuries after the manuscripts were written to facilitate the study of the Bible. By having a chapter and verse, students quickly find a sentence or group of sentences for further investigation. These well-intentioned helps can create a superficial problem. Since we normally think of a chapter as a complete unit, it is possible to overlook the presence of the 17 stories because they are grouped differently than chapter units represent. So, do not be confused by the fact that stories can begin and end anywhere within a chapter.

 

Start and stop

 

How can we tell when one story ends and another begins? One story ends and another begins when the next event chronologically occurs before the previous event. For example, suppose you are reading about the sixth seals in Revelation 6. As you read verses 12-17, the sixth seal is described. This seal describes the second advent of Jesus and the sixth seal ends with verse 17. After you finish reading verse 17, the next verse begins talking about the four angels holding back the four winds. See Revelation 7:1. Since the four angels hold back the four winds before the second coming of Jesus, the beginning of a new story is detected.  (It just so happens in this case that a chapter break also occurs at the end of the six seals story.) Remember though, a story does not begin because a new chapter ends or begins. A new story only begins when the next event chronologically occurs before the previous event. This simple process never fails.

 

Here is another essential point: The elements of each story happen in the order in which they are given. This means that each story progresses from its beginning point to its ending point just as it was written. On a few occasions, the order of a story is momentarily broken so that important details can be given to the reader. However, these momentary breaks do not affect the obvious sequence of the story.

 

Rules of interpretation

 

Rules of interpretation are inseparable from the study of prophecy for conclusions are directly connected to the methods used during interpretation. If we interpret prophecy using faulty rules, we end up with faulty conclusions. It’s that simple.

 

Since rules of interpretation are not written down in the Bible, they must come from careful research and observation. The unknown cannot be determined without valid rules. This is true of every science.

 

This is critical: Man does not make up the rules of interpretation; rather, man can only discover the presence of rules. Rules are detected when we find consistent behavior within prophetic elements. Once consistency is recognized, we can then state the rule. In other words, if we observe certain things to always be true, only then do we identify the presence of a rule.

 

Consider this example. Sir Isaac Newton researched the effects of gravity. He studied the behavior of gravity using different experiments. After observing that gravity behaved in certain consistent ways, he wrote down a formula expressing how it works. In other words, Sir Isaac Newton did not make up the rules governing gravity. God did that. But, Sir Isaac Newton was able to state the rules of gravity in such a way that the effect of gravity could be accurately calculated and understood by others.        

 

The study of apocalyptic prophecy is very similar to the study of gravity. We reason from the known to the unknown. Before we start to interpret those parts of prophecy that are unknown, we have to discover the rules by which fulfillments occurred in the past. By carefully observing the behavior of apocalyptic prophecies that have been fulfilled, we can discover rules by which they work. After we understand the rules at work, we can then begin to solve those portions of apocalyptic prophecy that are unfulfilled by using rules of interpretation that are always consistent.

 

One more point. There is a world of difference between prophetic truth and prophetic faith. Prophetic truth refers to those prophecies or those portions of prophecy that qualify as fulfillments.  Prophetic faith, on the other hand, refers to those prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled. Since no one can prove something that hasn’t happened, our prophetic faith should be carefully built upon the truth that comes from solid principles of interpretation.      

 

What is prophetic fulfillment?

 

So, how can we know if a prophecy has been fulfilled? A fulfillment is a full-filling of the prophecy. In other words, a fulfillment occurs when all the specifications of a prophecy are met. Every detail of the prophecy must be satisfied before a fulfillment can be declared. This also means that the chronological order of the prophecy must be satisfied. For example, some people may claim that the fourth trumpet of Revelation 8 has already been fulfilled. If their claim were true, they not only have to demonstrate that all the details of the fourth trumpet have been fulfilled they also have to demonstrate that the fulfillment of the first three trumpets has occurred in their order.

 

Personal observations

 

I have observed the presence of four rules of interpretation for apocalyptic prophecy. Keep in mind, there are different types of prophecy and each type has its own rules of interpretation.

 

  1. Each apocalyptic story is identified by the presence of a beginning point and ending point in time. Further, events within each story are given in chronological order.
  2. A prophecy or prophetic element is not fulfilled until all specifications of the prophecy are met. This includes the chronology of the sequence.
  3. Students cannot make up their own interpretations of symbols. If some portion of a prophecy is declared symbolic, the Bible must clearly interpret the meaning of the symbol with applicable scripture.
  4. The use of the Jubilee Calendar offers a simple solution to the problem of which prophecies are day/year and which are not. After the expiration of the Jubilee calendar, all prophetic time period are to be interpreted as literal time.

 

Supremacy of apocalyptic prophecy

 

All other prophecies of the Bible are subordinate to apocalyptic sequencing. This means that apocalyptic prophecy determines the chronological placement of non-apocalyptic prophecies. For example, Amos, Ezekiel, Joel, Obadiah and many New Testament prophets believed that the great and awful day of the Lord was “near” and plainly said so. There’s no question that what they saw in the vision led them to conclude that the “Great Day of the Lord” was at hand. In Revelation, John indicates that the fulfillment of the things he saw was near or soon. The problem is that the ancient prophets did not understand how their visions fit into the larger chronology of God’s plan.

 

No one prophet was shown everything that God intends to bring about. No disciple of Jesus expected that time would last almost 2,000 years. Paul sums up the process of prophetic revelations saying, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways…. For we know in part and we prophesy in part.” Hebrews 1:1, 1 Corinthians 13:9. Each time God spoke to a prophet about the end of time, more detail was provided. But, without the vehicle of apocalyptic structures, prophecies about the “Great Day of the Lord” cannot be chronologically placed nor can their content be full appreciated.

 

 

The point of all this is that apocalyptic prophecy serves as the backbone of God’s chronology. Because this backbone has not been correctly understood in times past, people across the centuries have declared prophecies to be fulfilled, when in reality fulfillment did not occur. Remember, fulfillment requires two affirming actions: first, all specifications of the prophecy must be met; and secondly, the event must happen in its chronological order. If this little system of checks and balances is ignored, the result will be prophetic confusion.

 

Conclusion

 

It is my conviction that the judgments predicted under the fourth seal will begin on or about the fall of 2011. We don’t have to wait long to see if this is true. Even if they don’t begin in 2011, the whole world will soon behold His signal displeasure with our corporate behavior. While I may be wrong about the timing, there is no error about His coming wrath. So, why not try to understand this? Either way, you don’t have to wait very long to see if it is true.  

 

The 17 Prophecies

 

Story   1.   Daniel 2:31-35

Story   2.   Daniel 7:2-12

Story   3.   Daniel 8:1-12

Story   4.   Daniel 9:24-27

Story   5.   Daniel 11:2-12:2

Story   6.   Revelation 4:1-6:17

Story   7.   Revelation 7:1:8:1

Story   8.   Revelation 8:2-9:21

Story   9.   Revelation 10:1-11:19

Story   10. Revelation 12:1-6

Story   11. Revelation 12:7-14:5

Story   12. Revelation 14:6-15:6

Story   13. Revelation 15:7-16:21

Story   14. Revelation 18:1-8

Story   15. Revelation 19:1-20:10

Story   16. Revelation 20:11-21:1

Story   17. Revelation 21:2-22:5

Epilogue.  Revelation 22:6-21

 

 

The Chart Book

A Do It Yourself Guide To

Daniel & Revelation

To view the Charts below, you must download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

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