1. I INITIATED THIS BOOK OF THE FUTURE—OR THE LORD DID THROUGH ME—WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER, shortly after I was filled with the Spirit when I was 19, & I'm using the same Bible for it that I then bought at a Jewish Department Store on Miami Avenue in Miami at the age of 19, almost exactly 45 years ago! I shopped all over Miami to find a Bible that I thought would be ideal for my Bible study, & I found this Oxford Bible with not only the Words of Jesus in red like many Bibles have, but all the Messianic Prophecies about Jesus, both about His first & second comings, in the Old Testament & New Testament in red letters!
2. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ONE SINCE! It was almost like a freak that the Lord especially designed for me, because it has been of inestimable help since that time in the study of Bible Prophecy—& that was the thing I was mostly interested in studying, because I had heard so many different versions & interpretations. My Mother was on one side & my Father on the other & I was caught in the middle! There were almost as many interpretations of Bible Prophecy as there were Christians & preachers! So I was determined to go through the Bible myself‚ mark the verses, & try to find out for myself what the Lord had to say about the future.
3. THAT WAS NOT MY FIRST BIBLE, OF COURSE‚ I HAD STUDIED THE BIBLE BEFORE, but I had never before set out in real earnestness to go into real thorough Bible Study, verse by verse by verse, marking every single verse as to what it pertained & what it was about. Ho has already given the Family the way I marked my Bible, the type of markings, such as verses on Salvation or Holy Spirit or Deeper Life or Healing or Promises. And then I had a whole series of special markings for Bible Prophecy, particularly controversial points of Bible Prophecy, a special kind of little bracket with which I marked in the margin of the Bible.
4. I DECIDED ON THAT KIND OF MARKING BECAUSE I ALWAYS HAD A PEN WITH ME, but I didn't always have a bunch of coloured pencils or coloured ink! Bible paper is so thin you normally can't use ink, but you can use a ballpoint pen or a very light ink. So I decided to mark the verses instead of colouring them as some have done. There are even some Bibles you can buy with the verses already coloured, all the verses on salvation‚ healing, etc. But it's a little difficult when you're going to be studying anywhere—especially as a chauffeur when you spend a lot of time sitting in the car reading—to try to carry around a whole box full of coloured pencils or a pocket full of coloured pens. Well, I'll tape this talk to you & the whole Family, I guess. In some ways it's easier without all the distractions & interruptions—my Valentine's Day Message!—GBY & make it a blessing!
5. SO ANYHOW‚ I SHOPPED ALL OVER MIAMI TO FIND THIS BIBLE, since I was going to start a very serious‚ exhaustive, thorough study of the Bible to try to find out who was right. And not only did it have all the Words of Jesus & all the Messianic Prophecies—or nearly all—marked in red letters in the Bible‚ both Old & New Testament, but it also had something very rare—it had a Cyclopedic Concordance in the back, a very extensive & thick one, despite the fact that it was a rather small, easily portable Bible.
6. I HAD TO THINK ABOUT THAT TOO because we travelled so much & I didn't want a huge big Bible that was going to be hard to carry around, so it's only about 6 by 8 inches in size & less than 2 inches thick. I think it originally had black covers, but I've had it rebound three times since then & the last covers were red, & they're already falling off & the Bible's all falling apart because I used it so much & hauled it around so much for so many years! It's 45 years old now, think of that! I bought it when I was 19 & now I'm about to be 64!
7. WHEN I WAS 19 & ASSISTANT PASTOR OF "THE CHURCH OF THE OPEN DOOR" IN MIAMI, LEADER OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE'S GROUP, & had to start teaching those young people‚ I wanted to teach them right. It was a serious responsibility to me & I wanted to make sure that I taught the right thing & I wasn't teaching some false doctrine. And even then I figured the most important thing to teach those young people was about the future‚ isn't that something? They needed to know about the future. Everybody's concerned about the future, & young people particularly are a little worried & concerned about their future.
8. ANYHOW, WHAT I'M TRYING TO EXPLAIN IS THIS BOOK OF VERSES ON BIBLE PROPHECY HAS BEEN A LIFE-LONG PROJECT THAT I STARTED WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER! As I told someone today, I first started my really serious Bible Study on my own when I was 12, & as I began to see it was a little more difficult to read the Bible than normal novels because of the format of the verses & the numbers & the columns & this sort of thing, it occurred to me it might be a lot easier to read if it was printed in novel form, ordinary book form across the page without interruption of verse numbers, & just in paragraphs—which of course they've done since then in a number of different versions.
9. I'LL NEVER FORGET, I SAT DOWN AT MY TYPEWRITER IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN ON MY VACATION & BEGAN TO RETYPE THE BIBLE, if you can imagine, at 12 years of age! I had the hunt-&-peck system then, I hadn't yet learned touch typing. I didn't learn touch typing till I was 16, that famous year of the 1935 Diary. ("Teen Secrets!" No.1365) I think I may have gotten as far as the "begats" & I gave up, because it was a very big job & I didn't seem to be making much progress. But it was an interesting experiment & I often thought the Bible would be easily readable if it was in ordinary book form with lines running across the page, divided merely into paragraphs & without all the verse number interruptions & little short verses.
10. BUT OF COURSE SINCE THEN I'VE LEARNED TO READ THE BIBLE, TAKE IT AS IT IS, MOST OF'M IN THAT FORM. In fact, it's really very easy to read, & over the 50 years of extensive Bible study I haven't found that to be really any problem. The biggest problem was some of these guys' footnotes & titles & explanations they put in their various Bibles, especially Scofield! I'm glad I wasn't raised on the Scofield Bible!
11. THAT WAS A MIRACLE‚ AN ABSOLUTE ACT OF GOD THAT I GOT THIS LITTLE OXFORD WITH THE MESSIANIC PROPHECIES & THAT CYCLOPEDIC CONCORDANCE! That was an unusual type of concordance, because most Bibles had a whole bunch of different kinds of helps in the back—geographical helps, list of proper names, Bible dictionary, verse concordance, about a dozen different types of sections & helps, & the Cyclopedic concordance had all of these rolled into one under one alphabetical index, which was very advantageous. If you were looking for something, you didn't have to try to look through a dozen different sections or departments to try to look through the alphabet of each one to see if it was there‚ all you had to do was look under one index, one alphabetical listing, & there it was, everything! And it was a very thorough little book of helps too, very good! I've never found anything like it since, & never anything as good in a small Bible.
12. SO IT WAS GOD'S BIBLE FOR ME & I THINK HE MUST HAVE HAD IT DESIGNED & PRINTED JUST FOR MY USE, because it was a great blessing & a tremendous tool. I literally did my lifetime of Bible Study in that little Oxford Red-Letter Messianic Cyclopedic–Concordance Study Bible! I went through it & it eventually took me years to do it, because I was going to study it & read it, thoroughly & I wasn't going to miss anything. It was years that I was going through it, & I never really got through until my children were small, if you can imagine!
13. IN OTHER WORDS, IT TOOK ME NEARLY 20 YEARS TO READ THE BIBLE!—Because I wasn't just reading it, I was studying it, comparing cross references. That's also another good feature about it, it had a center column of cross references which referred you to other verses on the same general theme or subject. I mean, it's the most terrific Bible, I've never seen one to compare with it since!
14. MY DINNER WENT DOWN REAL GOOD TONIGHT‚ THANK THE LORD, ALMOST LIKE A SIGN! And I'm saying all that because it has something to do with the beginning of the answer to prayer which the Lord's been giving me. I don't have the complete answer yet & I'm not completely healed yet, but I'm greatly encouraged that maybe the Lord is going to heal me!
15. SO I BOUGHT THIS AMAZING LITTLE BIBLE IN THOSE DAYS AT THE AGE OF 19, in 1938, at a little Jewish department store on Miami Avenue, & that became my lifetime Bible of a lifetime of Bible study. And I carried that Bible with me wherever I went & read & studied it wherever I went. I'd say it was more like study, really serious slow analytical study, rather than just reading‚ because I could have read the Bible through in a lot less time than 20 years! I carried it with me in evangelistic work on the road, in the car, & I can remember studying it many times alone sitting at the wheel waiting for Mother, waiting for this or that as a chauffeur so often does, diligently marking the verses as I went, every verse that I thought was important on Salvation, Holy Spirit, Promises of God‚ & particularly those on Bible Prophecy & the Future!
16. AND OF COURSE I SOON FOUND OUT THAT A KNOWLEDGE OF WORLD HISTORY IS ESSENTIAL TO THE UNDERSTANDING OF BIBLE PROPHECY, otherwise you don't know what's already happened or what's not yet happened & is yet to be fulfilled, because you have to know the difference between the fulfilled prophecies & those which are yet to be fulfilled. So I was glad I had sort of majored in history through school & had a fairly thorough knowledge of World History & studied it pretty thoroughly in connection with the Bible. I also found Halley's Handbook to be a very helpful book regarding the outline of World History in relation to the Bible & the various events being talked about.
17. MY OWN LITTLE CONCORDANCE WAS ALSO EXTREMELY HELPFUL in telling me who some of these people were in these countries & when they existed & when they fell etc. & to find out whether some of these prophecies had been fulfilled or not, whether the things predicted for these various countries & nations & empires & kings, cities etc. had already happened. Also the cross references in the Bible itself were extremely helpful along this line because it referred you to other passages in later chapters in history or in the Prophets where these things were actually fulfilled later on, or in the New Testament were fulfilled.
18. SO IT'S A MARVELLOUS BIBLE! I've never seen anything like it before or since, although I have tried to find a Bible like that, but nothing can compare with it. There was another red-letter Bible with the Words of Jesus & the Messianic Prophecies in red called the Holmes Bible or something like that, it began with an "H" anyhow, but it didn't have that beautiful column of center references. Mine even has the definitions of some of the words you're reading. If it gives a name or something it will give the meaning of the name & the word in the center column, & pronunciations & cross references where this same person or place was referred to other places.
19. IT'S A MARVELLOUS LITTLE BIBLE, JUST THE IDEAL THING THAT GOD, I'M SURE, ORDAINED FOR ME TO STUDY, because it had everything that I needed in a very compact space that I could carry with me. I couldn't carry a whole library around. I even carried that Bible into the army! It went with me right in my knapsack in the army & into the hospital & out!—And for the rest of my life! I've almost abandoned it a few times lately with all of our various moves, but I'm glad that some of our dear staff managed to save it, because it would have been a very great loss. It just didn't seem like I had room for it. I put it with my other priceless heirlooms & diaries & things like that‚ my Mother's & Father's old Bibles & stuff that I thought, "Well, someday maybe I'll have a chance to get into them"—but God knows when! God knows when‚ that's a good statement! That would be a good title for that whole Letter: "God Knows When!"
20. SO AT THE AGE OF 19 I BEGAN AN INTENSIVE STUDY, VERSE BY VERSE, looking up the names & looking up the meanings of the words & the cross references & the historical references in history books & all these things to see what the prophet was talking about & whether it was fulfilled or not etc. And as I say, Halley's Handbook was a great help too. Although Halley has an entirely different interpretation of Bible Prophecy. He's a Historicist, as my father was, believing that all these prophecies have already been fulfilled & that the Bible had really very little to say about the future. And that this is the Millennium we're already living in! Isn't that crazy?
21. ANOTHER NAME FOR THAT TYPE OF INTERPRETATION IS THE POST-MILLENNIALISTS, the theologians who believed that the church itself was going to bring about the Millennium on Earth by establishing the Kingdom of God itself on Earth & preparing the Earth, the Church, as a Bride for the Lord's coming. When they got everything hunky-dory on Earth & the Kingdom of God established here through the Church, & all the swords beaten into plowshares & the spears into pruninghooks & no more war‚ then Jesus would return. The Church, in other words, in its own pharisaical self-righteous pride was going to prepare the Earth for the Coming of the Lord, establish the Kingdom of God on Earth first, the Millennium first, before Jesus would come back again! Ha!
22. WORLD WAR 1 ALMOST KNOCKED THAT THEORY INTO A COCKED HAT! But after World War 1 with the appearance of the League of Nations, it looked like a One-World Government was coming, so they revived it again, since it looked like there was going to be peace on Earth forever now & civilised man had abolished war & they were now going to have the Millennium! Well, you can see how the Millennium turned out, their Millennium! Now we're facing World War 3 & the worst holocaust the World's ever known! So if this is the Millennium, the Millennium must be Hell on Earth instead of Heaven on Earth! So post-Millennialism is not quite as popular nowadays as it used to be.
23. IN FACT, TO FIND ANYBODY THAT KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT BIBLE PROPHECY or post or pre-Millennialism or amillennialism or anything else nowadays is kind of rare‚ because so many Bible Prophets & interpreters of Bible Prophecy stuck themselves out on a limb & stuck their necks out, & got it in the neck, because they predicted wrong & interpreted wrong in those bygone days!
24. AND THE GUY WHO REALLY MESSED UP THE WORKS WAS SCOFIELD, the Jew who favoured the Jews above all & promoted that great big thing about the restoration of Israel, natural flesh-&-blood wicked Israel! You can see where it's got'm, modern Israel is Hell on Earth compared to the Kingdom of God! And he was the ardent leading World advocate in his day with his Bible interpretation of the pre-Trib Rapture! He was not a post-Millennialist, he taught the future Millennium, he therefore was called a pre-Millennialist, that Jesus was going to come back before the Millennium, the pre-Millennial coming of Christ, which today most of the Evangelical Fundamentalist Saved Born-again Christians virtually all believe, it's so evident in the Bible!
25. THEY COULDN'T MANAGE TO SWALLOW THE POST-MILLENNIAL DOCTRINE THAT THIS WAS THE MILLENNIUM, because it didn't seem or feel too much like it, didn't exactly fit the Scriptures today. They could see that the Millennium was going to be a period of Heaven on Earth of the future, but that Jesus had to come back first, Himself in Person, in order to establish the Millennium through the Church, the Christians, the true Body of Christ‚ the true Bride of Christ with the Saved. So they were straight on that‚ that Jesus was going to come before the Millennium, pre–Millennial.
26. BUT THEY REALLY GOT SCREWED UP WITH SCOFIELD'S BIBLE & virtually all of them follow it today & most of them own one, as I even bought one many years later to see what he had to say! It made me so sick & fed-up & disgusted I nearly tore it up & burnt it! But I gave it to somebody else who I think was a hopeless case anyhow, a nice new lovely India paper brown real genuine leather-covered Scofield Bible‚ to dear Mama Eve!—Ha! Poor Eve, she didn't know that much about the Bible anyway, just before we were married, & I gave it to her, believe it or not, as a sort of an engagement present!
27. BECAUSE I SOON FOUND OUT I DIDN'T WANT TO STUDY IT‚ but I figured it can't hurt her very much, because she doesn't know much about the Bible anyhow & she knows nothing about Bible Prophecy. So I figured‚ well, at least it'll stay in the Family & I can refer to it & his false doctrines if I should have to make any references.
28. NOW DON'T MISUNDERSTAND ME, a lot of the interpretation of history, particularly the historical interpretation of fulfilled Bible Prophecies & the names of countries & empires & the outline of Daniel etc. is very clear in the Scofield Bible & it's good on Daniel etc., except whenever he comes to that one point: "How could he be Napoleon when I'm Napoleon?" How can it be a post-Trib Rapture when it's a pre-Trib Rapture, according to him! Honey, you're such an appreciative audience! I love you! You laugh at all my jokes!
29. SO SCOFIELD WAS SO OBVIOUSLY OFF ON THAT, THAT I SOON SAW SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH HIS DOCTRINE! I mean, it was almost worse than the Historicists! They call those the Historicists or the Preterites, I think. In other words, all the Bible prophecies have virtually all been fulfilled already in past history & not much is left. And most of those are also post-Millennialists, saying that's been fulfilled too & we're already in the Millennium & the Millennium has almost come to its end!—Ha! God help us!
30. THEY EVEN INCLUDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH & THE ESTABLISHMENT OF WORLDWIDE CATHOLICISM AS PART OF THE MILLENNIUM, that the Catholic Church has helped to establish the Millennium as Worldwide Christendom, & the Kingdom of God is here on Earth in the person of the Church, the churches. Well, most of the churches that I've known & seen & had any experience with, if that's the Kingdom of God on Earth‚ God help us! I don't know if I want much of it, in fact, I got out of it! I'm not a member of that particular kind of kingdom any more, the churchy type. The Lord‚ of course, has shown us since then that that is still His Church, the Old Bride, but she's a disaffected Bride & we are the new Bride, the hot, sexy, on-fire‚ active Bride, a real lover! Praise God!
31. BUT ANYHOW‚ THEN THERE WAS THIS FUTURIST SCHOOL which is more or less Scofield's type of interpretation, in which they place nearly all these prophecies—particularly the entire Book of Revelation & a good deal of Daniel—in the future, yet to be fulfilled. They are commonly known as the Futurists, it's all in the future, from the very beginning of Revelation all the way through, it's all yet to be fulfilled! Even the Letters to the Churches are Church Ages all yet to be fulfilled, & virtually everything said in the Book of Revelation is all future as far as they're concerned, including an awful lot of the Book of Daniel etc. Well‚ a lot of the Book of Daniel is future. But these pre-Trib Rapturists, the ones who believe Jesus is going to come before the Tribulation, are really screwed up on their doctrines of Bible Prophecy!
32. SO I GAVE THAT SCOFIELD BIBLE TO MAMA EVE! I figured it was too deep for her anyway & her simple mind couldn't understand it anyhow, so she couldn't very well be converted or subverted or corrupted by it. And I didn't want to throw it away because I had paid good money for it. By that time I think I paid about $25 for that Bible, whereas my original little Oxford with those marvellous red letters & concordance & all was only $5 in the Depression days! I guess maybe the store was glad to get rid of it, thankful to sell it at all in those days, because that was a lot of money & I really put up a lot of money, saved part of it to buy that Bible. It was actually sort of a birthday present‚ by the way, from the Young People's Society. They helped to make it possible by giving me a gift & wanted me to go out & buy myself whatever I wanted for my 19th birthday, & I bought that Bible.
33. SO I WAS DETERMINED TO FIND OUT WHO WAS RIGHT! I was already pretty well convinced that this was not the Millennium, so I was not a post-Millennialist who believed that we were now living in the Millennium & Jesus was going to come at the end of it after we got it all established. I was a pretty convinced pre-Millennialist, that Jesus was going to come before the Millennium. These are the various schools of prophetic thought & interpretation that I am describing now.
34. I ALSO COULD SEE FROM HAVING HEARD BOTH SIDES, that the extreme Historicist & extreme Futurist interpretation of Bible Prophecy, particularly Revelation, was screwed up somehow, because there are just some things, particularly in Revelation, which Scofield puts all in the future‚ which you cannot by any stretch of your imagination put in the future! It's an obvious description of what's already happened‚ past history of Christianity, particularly the Four Horsemen & that sort of thing. But he puts that all at the very end.
35. SCOFIELD PUTS VIRTUALLY ALL OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION IN THE TRIBULATION PERIOD, which the pre-Trib Rapturists, including him & the rest of their ilk, plan to miss! So I don't know what the Hell he thinks it's in there for! He explains it's in there for the sake of all those Jews that are going to get saved during the Tribulation, not the Church!—That the Church wasn't supposed to really know too much about it, it was just put there for their information so they could know what they were going to miss & be thankful for it & be sure they missed it!
36. ACCORDING TO SCOFIELD, IT WAS ALL THERE FOR THE JEWS who were going to get saved during the Tribulation‚ so they would know what's happening after we were all gone. So sorry to disillusion you poor Christians who think that the Book of Revelation is for you, according to Scofield it's not, it's only for the Jews & only for those who are going to be saved when the Tribulation is in progress & all of us Christians are already gone to be with Jesus!—Says Scofield!
37. WELL‚ I COULDN'T SWALLOW THAT EITHER!—I COULDN'T SWALLOW IT OR STOMACH IT EITHER ONE! And now I know the difference, according to this answer I've been getting, & I'll talk about that later. Of course, to put it all in the past, that was just as ridiculous, so I'm neither a Futurist nor a Historicist nor a Preteritist, but from my study of the Bible & from the Bible itself, as far as I'm concerned, you have to take the bitter with the sweet & it is a mixture of predictions of both the past which has already been fulfilled, & the present which is now being fulfilled, & the future which is yet to be fulfilled. But to sort that out you have got to know history to know whether some of those prophecies are about the past & have already been fulfilled, or whether they're about the present, being fulfilled now‚ or whether they are yet to be fulfilled in the coming days! Therefore‚ it's difficult for most people to understand Bible Prophecy.
38. THERE'S PLENTY IN THE BIBLE THAT PEOPLE CAN UNDERSTAND‚ in fact‚ as I've often said, the reason most Christians don't really study the Bible & most people don't read it, is not for their excuse that it's because they can't understand it. The reason most people don't read the Bible is because of what they can understand & they don't like to hear it, because they're unrepentant & unsaved or disobedient Christians! It's not that they don't read the Bible because they can't understand it, they don't read it because they can understand it!
39. BUT I CERTAINLY AGREE & GUARANTEE YOU THAT I FOUND MOST CHRISTIANS WERE ALMOST TOTALLY IGNORANT OF BIBLE PROPHECY, & the few who knew anything about it had studied only Scofield Bibles & were by this time thoroughly convinced of his false doctrines of the Jews being Israel & of the pre-Trib Rapture of the Church. Well, I'd heard all these doctrines & teachings & interpretations & I was so confused I really asked the Lord to help me to find out the truth!
40. SO IN MY MANY YEARS OF BIBLE STUDY, I NATURALLY HAD STARTED WITH THE OLD TESTAMENT & went all the way through Daniel & the Prophets & all the rest, & believe it or not, although I had read the Book of Revelation through—just reading it, but you can't really understand it very well just reading it, as a rule—I didn't really get to the Book of Revelation & serious study to try to determine its meaning regarding Bible Prophecy until I was pastor of the Valley Farms Church at about the age of 30 & had already had our third child, Ho!
41. IT WAS 1950, I WAS IN MY EARLY 30'S, & I'D ALREADY BEEN STUDYING THE BIBLE FOR OVER TEN YEARS‚ really thoroughly studying it, & still couldn't quite understand the Book of Revelation! I couldn't swallow or stomach Scofield's totally futuristic interpretation of it, neither could I swallow my Father's & Philip Mauro's & the Historicists' like Halley's historical interpretation of it, that everything in the Book of Revelation was all history, had already been fulfilled & past! That was just too far & too wild & too ridiculous‚ that everything but the Coming of the Lord had already been fulfilled!
42. THE POOR JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES GOT THEMSELVES SO OUT ON A LIMB ON BIBLE PROPHECY that they even predicted that the coming of the Lord was going to occur somewhere back in the early 1900's, & when He didn't show up they said He'd come anyhow but nobody saw Him, & He was halfway to Heaven between Heaven & Earth up there in the upper atmosphere somewhere holding court & going over the books & judgements & deciding on everybody's fate! They, in other words, rationalised away the fact that their prediction was wrong & He didn't come! Poor Jehovah's Witnesses, they're a little bit screwed up too. They're sure good on witnessing though! So anyway, I was determined to find out who was right & which interpretation was right!
43. SO WHAT I WOUND UP WITH WAS THAT ALL OF THEM WERE A LITTLE BIT RIGHT & ALL OF THEM WERE A LITTLE BIT WRONG & THERE WAS SOME TRUTH IN EACH OF THEM, & yet quite a bit of error as well, & that each of them had some good points. There was a lot of Bible Prophecy that had already been fulfilled in ancient history & even modern history, but there was also a lot of Bible Prophecy which had not yet been fulfilled, which was yet to be fulfilled. And of course I certainly saw this wasn't the Millennium & that Jesus hadn't come yet!
44. BUT I THINK MY MAJOR DISCOVERY WAS A CLEARCUT PICTURE & discovery from the study of both Old Testament prophecies—Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel‚ Isaiah & all of them‚ as well as the whole New Testament & particularly Revelation—that Jesus certainly was not going to come before the Tribulation! That the whole Earth & the Church too was going to go through the Tribulation before the coming of Christ, & the Antichrist was going to arise first! There are specific Scriptures on that just as clear as day which any fair-minded, open-minded child could read & understand! David at his age, eight years old, can read 2Thessalonians 2 & see very clearly that the Antichrist is to come first before the coming of the Lord, & many other passages as well, including so much in Daniel & so much in Revelation!
45. IT'S AS CLEAR AS CAN BE‚ except for Scofield's determination to try to prove his false doctrine & try to convince himself & the Church that they wouldn't have to go through the Tribulation. They start out with that desire not to go through the Tribulation, so therefore they look for every Scripture they can possibly find to support it & rescue themselves from going through the Tribulation, & finally are relieved by his false doctrine that they won't have to go through all these horrible things which virtually the entire Church believed until about 200 years ago!
46. I THINK THEY WERE CALLED THE COONEYITES, AS I RECALL‚ WHO STARTED THIS DOCTRINE OF A PRE-TRIB RAPTURE SOMEWHERE AROUND THE EARLY 1800's. I think maybe Cooney lived around 1795, something like that, or the early 1800's‚ in England. He supposedly got this through some kind of special revelation, he certainly didn't get it out of the Bible! And of course the churches rejoiced to know that they were not going to have to go through the Tribulation after all, whereas the Catholic Church had always taught that the Man of Sin‚ the Antichrist, was to have arrived first before the Lord came. The Catholics are more straight on that prophetic interpretation than are the modern-day Protestant Pentecostal Scofieldite Evangelical Fundamentalists, sad to say. Virtually the whole genuinely saved born-again Christians & Christian denominations of today have all been led astray on that point by the Scofield Bible into the pre-Trib Rapture belief, & are they going to get a surprise!
47. I'VE OFTEN SAID, WELL, IF I'M WRONG, I WILL BE PLEASANTLY & VERY HAPPILY SURPRISED if the Lord comes before the Tribulation, & I will be very thankful. But if they're wrong, they're going to get a very unpleasant surprise & be totally unprepared for the Tribulation that they're going to go through! In other words, I would not envy their position if they're wrong & I'm right, but I would have a very pleasant relief if I'm wrong & they're right & we are going to be raptured before the Tribulation—which I just cannot believe because the Bible just doesn't teach it‚ period!
48. THERE'S NO EXCUSE FOR HIS DOCTRINE WHATSOEVER except for the twisting & wresting of a number of Scriptures, total misinterpretation of a number of passages, all just screwed up & twisted & misinterpreted strictly in order to support their false doctrine & their desire not to go through the Tribulation. But just because they don't want to go through the Tribulation doesn't mean they're not going to go through the Tribulation!
49. SO I STUDIED THIS LITTLE BIBLE & EVERY VERSE FOR YEARS & YEARS & YEARS & YEARS & GOT IT PRETTY WELL STRAIGHTENED OUT & FIGURED OUT‚ the verses marked & the beads sorted out according to sizes & shapes & colours & differences & pretty well strung in proper order & sequence chronologically etc., until I finally came to the most difficult book of all, the one that Scofield banks his whole theory on, really, the Book of Revelation, & that was when I got to my first pastorate at Valley Farms, Arizona.
50. I DECIDED I DIDN'T WANT TO TEACH MY PEOPLE THE WRONG DOCTRINE & I DESPERATELY PRAYED up in that little belfry tower, got on my hands & knees beside my little cot & cried out to the Lord, "Lord, show me! Show me!" I started getting into it & going verse by verse & trying to interpret it & figure it out but I was totally confused! I'd heard so much of these other doctrines, particularly Scofield's interpretation, that it was almost impossible for me to get these preconceptions out of my mind. So I said, "Lord, please show me, what should I do?" And that's when the Lord told me, "Just read it through‚ Son! Just read it through slowly‚ prayerfully, & it will interpret itself, I'll show you."
51. AND THAT'S WHEN IT FELL INTO SUCH BEAUTIFUL PERFECT ORDER & SYMMETRY & SIMPLE MEANING & PERFECT BALANCE OF THE CHAPTERS—three sevens of chapters, plus the 22nd Chapter which should have been a part of the 21st Chapter, because it's all the same thing, Heaven on Earth—& the Seven Churches & the Seven Seals & the Seven Trumpets & the Seven Vials & all these things fell into place just as simply & as clearly as could be, in beautiful chronological order from the first to the last, beautiful‚ with perfect order & perfect clarity!
52. I SAW THAT THEY WERE ACTUALLY TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING MORE COMPLICATED OUT OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION THAN WAS NECESSARY! It was partly historical & partly futurist, because actually in the first part He says that He's going to show John "things which will shortly come to pass", but He doesn't start telling him the things that are going to happen later until a little later. But in John's day all those things were yet to come to pass, even the historical things that have happened within the last two thousand years. And the Seven Churches, that's really in some ways a thing of the past, & yet it has a significant prophetic meaning regarding the different kinds of churches of the future.
53. THE LORD HIMSELF TOLD US THAT WE WERE THE PHILADELPHIAN CHURCH‚ & apparently the Laodicean Church is co–existent with us because there are oodles of churches just like the Laodicean Church‚ "rich & increased in goods & have need of nothing, yet are wretched & naked & blind!" (Re.3:17.) So the Seven Churches of Revelation are both historical & futurist, they were in existence in John's day, they have been in existence ever since then, & they are in existence right now as seven types & kinds of churches. Get it? And we are the Philadelphian type, about the only church He had almost nothing bad to say about, nearly all good!
54. I'M JUST KIND OF GIVING A GENERAL REVIEW OR OUTLINE OF HOW THIS ALL CAME ABOUT & WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO IN THE "BOOK OF THE FUTURE", the BOF as we call it, & why I'm so concerned about getting it done! Certainly before I go & leave this Earth I would hate to leave it undone, since I spent most of my life studying on this subject of Biblical prophetic interpretation of the Bible & what it has to say about past, present & future.
55. I WOULD HAVE HATED TO HAVE ALL THIS STUDY LOST‚ because although I did go through most of these verses & the interpretations & explanations & descriptions in our Eden Series of Daniel right through virtually the whole Bible, through Revelation, picking out certain Scriptures etc., even going back into the Old Testament Prophecies regarding the Messiah in Isaiah & Jeremiah, Ezekiel etc. through the New Testament, it was a pretty long series & it's never been published yet, it's not in print.
56. I SIMPLY FELT THAT IF I COULD JUST HAVE TIME TO DIG INTO MY OLD BIBLE & PULL OUT ALL THOSE VERSES & put them in their proper categories & get the beads of one colour in this section, the beads of another colour in that section & get them all on a string in proper pattern & composition & chronology, it would greatly help our folks & our Family to have a reference book to which they could immediately refer & see the exact Scriptures that refer to each of these particular time periods.
57. IN SO DOING & ENDEAVOURING TO GET THE NECKLACE PROPERLY STRUNG, I have prayed & gone over the various periods that I want to cover, & I have wound up with 14 major categories in a numerical code which I had to devise in order to help the secretaries list the Scriptures on the computer. I discovered that I had 14 major categories for all of these verses into which they fall, beginning with verses about Prophecy & Bible Prophecies & their fulfilments & how important Prophecy is.
58. THIS IS FOLLOWED BY THE INTERPRETATION OF THE TERM & VERSES ABOUT THE SO-CALLED "LAST DAYS" which do not always mean this day or the Endtime, but cover a period—as is clearly shown by the Scriptures & Hebrews & what the Lord said & several Scriptures that you'll find there in the second category—the whole period from the first coming to the second coming of Jesus. These are all the Last Days, & the Apostles spoke of them as the Last Days even when they were still living! So that has to be explained‚ & that's one of the categories of verses which will come after the ones on the Importance of Bible Prophecy.
59. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT STRINGING THE VERSES NOW IN PROPER CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, so the third category is the references to the present day signs of the soon-coming End! In other words, Signs of the End, that we are now living in the days immediately before the very Endtime of all! Then, of course, prophecies regarding what's next. What are the next actual events which must occur in proper Biblical order?—The coming 3rd World War, the Atomic War & the horrible holocaust of the Atomic War, which is the 4th category.
60. AND THEN OF COURSE THE 5TH CATEGORY WILL BE THOSE VERSES REGARDING EVENTS AFTER THE GREAT WORLD ATOMIC WAR, PRINCIPALLY DEALING WITH THE RISE OF THE ANTICHRIST who rises out of that war, so to speak, the chronological order of events of his time & his rise & reign & final establishment of himself as a god, his Image set up, the Abomination of Desolation, & the start of the Tribulation in the middle of the seven-year period of his reign.
61. AND THEN OF COURSE THE 6TH PERIOD THEN IS THE TRIBULATION. Even the number sort of nicely fits, because 6 is the number of man & the number of the Antichrist‚ & that's the number of the 6th category‚ which is the Tribulation. Seven, God's number, is what? What follows the Tribulation?—The Second Coming of Christ, praise the Lord! And the 8th is the Wedding Supper of the Lamb in Heaven, while the 9th covers the verses about the Wrath of God on Earth, which are concurrent simultaneous periods. The 10th, the Battle of Armageddon when we return to conquer the Earth. I'm doing all this from memory, by the way, without my list, how about that? It's good, because I need to know & remember to mark the verses.
62. 11TH, THE MILLENNIUM! That'll be easy to remember because Millennium has two l's like 11 right there in the middle of that first part. 12th period‚ the Battle of Gog & Magog at the end of the Millennium. The 13th‚ the Great White Throne Judgement & Hell!—13 is a good unlucky number for that one‚ because that's the resurrection of the Wicked or the Unsaved & their judgement out of the Book of Life etc., & their various fates accounted in the 20th Chapter of Revelation. The 14th, double 7‚ Heaven on Earth, the New Heavens & the New Earth, double God's number! Double your pleasure, double your fun, double your Heaven! Like a double Millennium, Millennium forever on a completely New Earth in our beautiful new Heavenly City & whatever God has for us in the Future!
63. SO THERE IS THE GENERAL OUTLINE OF WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH THE BOOK OF THE FUTURE! I want to put all those verses that I have dug out over the years in my 45 to 50 years of Bible Study, into those 14 categories, God willing—like by the various colours—& then string'm on the necklace in exact chronological order, or as near exact as I can possibly determine. Then the Family can read just the Bible verses right straight through & get the whole picture in proper sequence, proper chronological order, as they refer to each particular event or time period in relation to that particular time or event‚ & can get all that straight & not be all confused & muddled! It's strictly Bible verses & just arranged in proper order.
64. THAT WILL BE THE FIRST PART OF THE BOF, "Book of the Future", just Scripture, solid Scripture‚ for study, memory work or just enjoyable reading. I intend to make it a book, Lord willing, which even the General Public could read in easily readable form‚ small booklet size, half the size of our present books & magazines‚ actually pocketbook form, smaller than most paperbacks & about the size of a small New Testament or a Daily Might book or one of the old Quotebooks, in which they'll find all these verses in proper order as related to their proper events, & in a little small compact form that they can carry in their purse or pocket & study at their convenience or use in witnessing or read to others or have others read or share with fish, friends or foe & get the benefit of these 50 years of Bible Study that I have diligently pursued for most of my life, & most of that treasure is found in this particular Bible that I spent a lifetime studying & marking!
65. WE CANNOT BE COMPLETELY DOGMATIC & ALWAYS EXACT TO THE NTH DEGREE IN THE APPLICATION OR INTERPRETATION OR EVEN THE CATEGORISATION OF SOME OF THESE SCRIPTURES. Because often the Prophet saw distant events like ranges of mountains one after the other in which only the mountaintops & peaks were outstanding, whereas the valleys were somewhat obscure. Also, if you've ever noticed as you view mountains at a distance‚ you cannot always distinguish between the ranges‚ & sometimes two or three ranges can look like one range at a distance. This is particularly true in consigning the various Scriptures to certain categories which are very very similar‚ such as, for example, the Millennium & the New Heaven & the New Earth. Many verses could be describing either or both beautifully, as they will be very similar. However, there are a few distinct differences which you must remember.
66. THE MILLENNIUM IS THE THOUSAND-YEAR PERIOD OF PEACE BETWEEN THE TWO MAJOR BATTLES‚ ARMAGEDDON & GOG-&-MAGOG. It is the period wherein Satan is bound in the heart of the Earth, in the Pit, for a thousand years, & Christ & His Saints take over the World as it now is—or the mess it will be in after the Atomic War, Wrath of God, Battle of Armageddon etc. The Millennium is this intervening period of a Heavenly Earth, or often as we've said, Heaven on Earth, when the Devil & his angels are bound & out of the way & the Curse is lifted or removed from the Earth & the Lord & we His Children are in charge of the World, ruling over our enemies in great miraculous supernatural power in immortal bodies, running the World the way it ought to have been run after man has had his day & made a mess of it.
67. YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT THERE WILL STILL BE THE MULTITUDES OF MILLIONS OF UNSAVED STILL ON EARTH who have managed to survive the Antichrist's reign‚ the Tribulation‚ the Wrath of God & Armageddon, & have come out into the Millennium still alive—described in one place by the Lord as a great blessing for those who have survived to that point (Da.12:12)—for they are then going to enjoy the Millennium with us, a period in which there will still be a sifting & a dividing of the sheep from the goats, a second chance, so to speak, for those who either had not heard the Gospel or had not had the opportunity to understand it clearly & receive Christ in today's Day of Grace, & therefore were not saved during the Last Days nor the Endtime nor even the Tribulation nor perhaps the Wrath of God‚ but who were still alive & will continue to live with us on this Earth as it more or less now is, except for the removal of Satan & his cursedness & man's tyranny.
68. IT WILL BE A TIME OF OPPORTUNITY TO AGAIN CHOOSE TO SERVE THE LORD‚ hear His Word, believe it, receive it & receive Jesus as the King of Kings, Ruler of all the Earth‚ & bow to His authority & accept Him as their King & obey Him, a time of hearing of His Word & His Laws & of learning them & obeying them. Those who do will be blessed, & those who do not will again be cursed & punished during that period, as well as thereafter in the case of the most rebellious & most recalcitrant, the most stubborn‚ the very most wicked, who though mercy is extended to them, as Isaiah says‚ "yet they will not learn righteousness" (Is.26:10) & will actually rise up again in rebellion against the Worldwide Kingdom of Jesus Christ & His Saints at the very end of the Millennium under the leadership of a released Satan in a last final horrible Battle of Gog & Magog, a final separation of the most wicked, disobedient & rebellious & their destruction, from those who during the Millennium have received the Lord & His rule.
69. SO THEREFORE THE MILLENNIUM ACTUALLY WILL BE A SECOND PERIOD OF GRACE‚ & as some have called it, a first chance for those who deserve it, like the imprisoned spirits to whom Jesus preached after His crucifixion, those who perhaps never really heard the Gospel or understood it or had adequate opportunity to believe it & receive it, but who will have definite clear-cut adequate opportunity to not only hear it, but see it in the Kingdom of God during the Millennium!
70. AS THE LORD SAID TO US OF TODAY, IN A SENSE, WE'RE MORE BLESSED WHO HAVE NOT SEEN, YET HAVE BELIEVED. Nevertheless, as He said to Doubting Thomas, this can also be applied to those who come to believe during the Millennium through seeing: "Blessed art thou who having seen have believed." (Jn.20:29) Because the Millennium will be a period of seeing to believe, whereas today is a period of believing to see. Today, believing is seeing; during the Millennium, seeing will be believing. So those particularly weak in faith or uninformed or who never heard, the Lord is going to give them a second chance during the Millennium, obviously. There will be a division of the unsaved who survive into the Millennium, between those who then & there, during the Millennium, hear, believe & receive the Truth & obey it, & become subjects of the Lord & His Kingdom—& those who eventually totally rebel‚ defy it, actually rise up in arms against it & are finally destroyed.
71. SO THERE IS A DIFFERENCE DURING THE MILLENNIUM! We who were already saved & raised in the Rapture to be with the Lord at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb in Heaven while the Wrath of God is going on down on Earth, will enjoy Ruler status along with the Lord under His dominion, as we rule & reign over the nations of the Earth by force with a rod of iron, as it's symbolised. We will endeavour to show mercy to the unbelievers or uninitiated or the thus-far unsaved, giving them another chance, visibly showing them the Power of God & the marvellous wonderful righteousness of His reign on Earth, with fairness & justice & mercy & a perfect government run by a perfect Ruler in the most perfect way possible on a somewhat restored Earth, & as best as can be expected with so many of the Unsaved & even Wicked still remaining here over whom we shall rule & reign under Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God on Earth, as we pray every time in the Lord's Prayer: "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven." (Mat.6:10)
72. BUT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS MILLENNIAL KINGDOM ON EARTH & THAT OF THE FINAL NEW HEAVEN & NEW EARTH KINGDOM WHICH SHALL BE FOREVER! There are major differences. There will be virtually no difference to us as the originally Saved from Today's First Dispensation of Grace, before the Rapture‚ as we will be in our supernatural resurrected immortal miraculous powerful bodies in both eras, ruling & reigning with Christ both during that Heaven on Earth of the Millennium & in the Heaven to come—with one major difference, the amazing Heavenly City, the New Heaven on the New Earth, will be present in that final period of the New Earth after the burning off of the old one. The great 1500–mile high Mountain of the Lord, that great Pyramid of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem of God‚ Space City come down from God out of Heaven unto the Earth, will only be present during the New Heaven, New Earth period & not during the Millennium, as far as we can now see.
73. DURING THE MILLENNIAL PERIOD, JESUS WILL BE RULING & REIGNING FROM THE ACTUAL PHYSICAL LOCATION OF ANCIENT JERUSALEM, which He will make His capital & the seat of His Throne, a fulfilment of what the Jews have long longed for, but not to their pleasure or satisfaction except for those that are saved—which will be very few by comparison with the multitudes of Jews who have survived & who will still be alive in that day. But the Heavenly City will not be present upon the Earth during the Millennium. It does not come down until the New Earth, the purified Earth is restored in the Heavenly future of the New Heaven, New Earth period.
74. ALSO, THE WICKED & REBELLIOUS WILL HAVE BEEN PURGED & the utterly incorrigible reprobates who even refused the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth during the Millennium & revolted against it, will have been cast into Hell & into the worst form of punishment, & therefore will not be found on the New Earth surrounding the New Heaven, at least not for a long time to come!—Until, if it be possible, they should repent & be purged of their sins & their wickedness & their rebellion in the purgatory of that Hellfire below, to the point that some day they might be restored to the Heavenly Earth above outside the Heavenly City as servants & the lowest of the low of all Heavenly classes‚ in penitence & submission.
75. THESE TWO PERIODS, NEVERTHELESS—THE MILLENNIUM, OUR CATEGORY 11, & THE NEW HEAVEN & NEW EARTH, CATEGORY 14—ARE VERY SIMILAR in that in both the Lord & His Saints are ruling & reigning over the Earth, even with those outside on the New Earth, nations who were not saved during this First Age of Grace & therefore are not permitted at all into the Heavenly City (Rev.21:24,27)‚ but nevertheless who have obtained the mercy of God & upon whom will be used the leaves of the Tree of Life for the healing of the nations. (Rev.22:2) Their kings & princes will be permitted to bring gifts & honour to the Kingdom of Christ & the Heavenly City, but not allowed to walk in the streets of it or to enter in.
76. IN OTHER WORDS, EVEN IN THE NEW-HEAVEN NEW-EARTH AGE (CATEGORY 14) THERE WILL BE NATIONS OUTSIDE on the surface of the Earth, kings & peoples, now all in subjection to the Lord‚ but not amongst the First-Class Citizens of the originally Saved who joined the Lord in the Rapture & the Wedding Supper of the Lamb & ruled over the Earth during the Millennium & who will be the only ones allowed to walk in the Holy City, that great golden pyramidical Mountain of the New Jerusalem‚ Heaven on Earth!—1500 miles high & 1500 miles square!
77. SO THESE TWO PERIODS OF THE MILLENNIUM & THE NEW EARTH ARE SO SIMILAR & HAVE SUCH GREAT SIMILARITIES THAT THEY COULD EASILY BE CONFUSED, & some Scriptures describing one or the other could be used to describe either or both! Therefore you'll sometimes encounter some difficulties in ascribing Scriptures to either one or the other period, the Millennium or the New Earth, when they both sound so much alike. It could be that the Prophets were, in a sense, seeing sort of a blended superimposed picture, the one on the other, melted together as a whole, almost like a collage of one over the other so that there could be seen very little difference. It is therefore sometimes a little difficult to exactly divide these verses & say these apply only to the Millennium & those apply only to the New Earth. The only way we can tell is wherever certain things are described in such a way which clearly & exactly identifies one or the other, & I'm giving you the differences now.
78. IN THE NEW EARTH THERE IS THE NEW HEAVEN, THE HEAVENLY CITY, BUT NOT IN THE MILLENNIUM. That is one of the greatest differences. In the New Earth there are only the subjugated & subservient kingdoms of the Earth, totally yielded to the rule of Christ & His Saints, whereas there are still many rebellious nations being punished in the Millennial Earth.
79. THE MILLENNIAL PERIOD ENDS WITH THE GREAT WAR OF GOG & MAGOG in which Christ & His Saints are eventually vindicated & the great issue is settled once & for all & the wicked are destroyed, judged, punished & the worst eliminated. Whereas the New Earth, as far as is described & predicted—at least as far as we have such prophecies in the Bible—is to go on that way forever, a Heavenly Heaven-on–Earth eternally with no future wars, rebellions or contaminations of the Devil, who is cast finally into the Lake of Fire forever‚ or at least long enough not to worry about him anymore for ages.
80. SO YOU SEE, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE, & YET MANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE MILLENNIUM & THE NEW EARTH PERIODS. It's easy to confuse Scriptures applying to either or both, & quite possibly some of those Scriptures were applying to both. As the Prophet saw them from the distance they looked like one & the same. It all looked pretty Heavenly to him & it all looked very similar, Heaven on Earth in both cases. But remember, the Heavenly Holy City is in the one‚ whereas an Earthly Jerusalem‚ Capital of Christ's Kingdom on Earth, is in the Millennium. That's the major distinction.
81. BESIDES THE FACT THAT THE NEW EARTH, OF COURSE, WILL BE A COMPLETELY NEW WORLD with all the old surface of the Earth & all its pollution & its wicked & its filth burned-up & burned-off completely, so that the New Earth is a completely new Creation of God, like the first Creation, a restitution & restoration of the original beauty of God's original Creation without all of man's contamination & curses & evil pollutions‚ etc., & without most of the wicked as well. So much for the differences & the similarities between the Millennium & the New Earth periods.
82. THERE ARE ALSO OTHER PERIODS WHICH ARE SOMETIMES SO SIMILAR THAT THE PROPHET COULD BE SPEAKING OF EITHER OR BOTH. I'm thinking particularly now of the coming Atomic War‚ our Category 4, & the coming Wrath of God (9)‚ also Armageddon (10)‚ & then the final Battle of Gog & Magog (12). There are Scriptures which could easily apply & describe any one of these 4 major periods, including three major wars, as well as the Wrath of God on Earth during the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven. Many of these descriptions sound very much alike & are somewhat fused or confused sometimes, so that it is difficult to see where the one ends & the other begins. They sort of blend together, sometimes overlap, so that the same Scriptures could be applied to any one of them or a number of them, because they are all battles & periods of the Wrath of God on the Earth. So we have tried to choose for each of these Categories those Scriptures which were distinctly characteristic of each of these major horrors & those particularly which the Lord has revealed to us as being applicable to one or the other of these four events.
83. WE HAVE ESPECIALLY USED A GREAT MANY OF THE DESCRIPTIONS IN JEREMIAH FOR THE COMING ATOMIC WAR, because the Lord revealed to us directly, personally, that the Message of Jeremiah was the Message of Warning for the World of today, particularly the Western World & especially America, the Great Whore, & therefore could be applied to the present-day situation & the impending nuclear holocaust, since the Lord specifically told us that this was a message for today! Therefore we have taken many of Jeremiah's predictions & used them to describe the coming Third World War. But of course‚ many of them could also sound like the Wrath of God & the Battle of Armageddon (which, by the way, is part of the Wrath of God at the end of His period of Wrath on Earth after our Rapture into Heaven) as well as some of the horrors predicted for the end of the Battle of Gog & Magog. But we have tried to sort them out in a way that they are most distinct & particularly characteristic of each individual period.
84. DURING WORLD WAR 3, BABYLON IS STILL IN EXISTENCE & THE ANTICHRIST ARISES OUT OF THE RUINS TO BECOME THE WORLD KING, worldwide dictator of a One-World Antichrist Government, who is also characteristic of the king of Babylon & rules over Babylon until he destroys her completely, after she is either completely or partially destroyed in World War 3. He is the one who apparently precipitates that war, gathering together his forces for it now, & will be the author of the Great Confusion resulting. (See No.655.) So these four great judgements of God upon the Earth—the Wrath of God & the three great Wars, the 3rd World War, Armageddon & Gog & Magog—are all very similar‚ but we have tried to apportion the Scriptures which we felt are most characteristic for each particular war or period most applicable to that particular time because of the various evidences found in these passages.
85. YOU MIGHT EVEN INCLUDE IN THERE THE PERIOD OF THE TRIBULATION, much of it sounding very similar to the period of God's Wrath, because the Tribulation is a period not only of the wrath of man & the wrath of the Antichrist, but the wrath of God upon man & the Antichrist & his followers. So these two are also periods very easily confused, the Tribulation with the Wrath of God which immediately follows it, & sometimes apparently seen by the Prophet as fused, or one superimposed upon the other, as one continuing great thunderous roar of God's Wrath upon the Earth & Mankind & its wicked, particularly the Antichrist & his Beast-marked followers.
86. SO THERE AGAIN IT'S A LITTLE DIFFICULT SOMETIMES TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN PASSAGES APPLYING TO THE TRIBULATION & THOSE APPLYING TO THE WRATH OF GOD.—Although you'll find that in the Tribulation there's much wrath of man upon the Church, persecution of God's people by the Antichrist & his followers, but a great deal also is the Wrath of God upon the Antichrist & his followers in protection of God's people.
87. AND OF COURSE THE HORRORS OF THE WRATH OF GOD ARE THE WORST OF ALL, the intervening period between the Rapture of the Church & the return of the Lord with His Saints in the Battle of Armageddon—even worse than the Tribulation! We have endeavoured to give you the Scriptures most characteristic of the Wrath of God in Category 9, which seem to be most descriptive of His total Wrath & total Victory, much more than the Tribulation. And as I have already mentioned, the Wrath of God & Armageddon are actually part of the same period of God's Wrath, only the Battle of Armageddon is the end of it & brings an end to that period of the Wrath of God as Christ & His Saints descend from the Heavens to conquer the forces of Satan & Antichrist & take over the World for the Kingdom of God on Earth.
88. SOMETIMES THERE CAN EVEN BE CONFUSION BETWEEN SOME OF THE FINAL JUDGEMENTS, the Judgement Seat of Christ for Christians at the Wedding of the Lamb (8) & period 13, the Great White Throne Judgement of the Wicked, the Second Resurrection, of those who are unsaved & not raised until after the Millennium. The Saved having been raised & raptured before the Millennium in the Second Coming of Christ, the Unsaved will be resurrected & judged after the end of the Millennium‚ after the Battle of Gog & Magog‚ in the 20th Chapter of Revelation. Some of the awful judgements pronounced upon them there sound very similar to these other periods of God's Wrath such as the Tribulation, the Wrath of God, Armageddon or Gog & Magog. (See also paragraphs 93-95.)
89. SO IT'S NOT ALWAYS EASY TO DEFINE THEM DISTINCTLY or differentiate dogmatically between Scriptures describing these various periods, since some of them are so very similar, but we have tried to do our best to do so & I hope that you will find them helpful in understanding these various periods & their distinctive characteristics. For example, one other place where there is an overlapping & sometimes a confusing of terminology are the Scriptures which apply to what is known as the Last Days & the Last Day. There's a great deal of difference.
90. PROPHECIES REGARDING THE LAST DAYS HAVE TO DO WITH THE WHOLE PERIOD OF THE CHRISTIAN ERA BETWEEN THE FIRST & SECOND COMINGS OF CHRIST, whereas the Last Day or the Endtime has to do only with the end of that period. The days in which we are now living are the Last Day, the End, the Endtime. Therefore in our third category of "Signs of the Times", we endeavoured to describe by the Scriptures the most evident signs that we are now living in the very Endtime & the Last Day just before the End, particularly signs that are characteristic of this particular Endtime period, & more so than ever magnified, amplified & multiplied above all previous times. Although some of these signs have been in existence throughout the entire 2‚000 years of the Last Days‚ they are now much more in existence & multiplied many times over with manifold amplification today more than ever before. There are now more wars, more earthquakes, more volcanic eruptions, more floods, more disasters, more wickedness today in its worst form than ever before—more, for example, within the past 100 years than all the previous 6,000 years of man's history!
91. TWO OTHER PERIODS WHICH ARE SOMETIMES CONFUSING & A LITTLE DIFFICULT TO SORT OUT THE BEADS ON THE STRING OF THE SCRIPTURES as to which period these Scriptures actually belong, are the Second Coming & Rapture & First Resurrection of the Church—the Second Coming of Christ at the time of our Resurrection & Rapture—& then again what's sometimes called the Third Coming of Christ or His Revelation at Armageddon when Christ & His Saints descend from Heaven on white horses to destroy the kingdom of the Antichrist at Armageddon.
92. THESE TWO COMINGS OF CHRIST—YOU MIGHT SAY SECOND & THIRD COMINGS—SOMETIMES ARE CONFUSED & SOMETIMES SOUND SOMEWHAT SIMILAR IN THE SCRIPTURES, with of course the principal differentiation being that we do not fight the Battle of Armageddon at the Second Coming‚ but when we return in His Third Coming. Nevertheless, sometimes the Prophets saw these two events as one & the same & did not clearly define between one or the other, or just simply rolled them all together in one great Coming as though they were one & the same event. So the differentiation here also is not always very clear & you cannot always ascribe certain verses specifically to one or the other‚ as they sound as though they're describing either one or both together—as well as the Scriptures regarding the finale of the Battle of Gog & Magog in which Christ again destroys His enemies in a great World Battle!
93. TWO OTHER PERIODS THAT ARE SOMETIMES CONFUSED ARE THE TWO JUDGEMENTS: There is the Judgement Seat of Christ at the time of the Last Supper, or as I should say, the Wedding Supper of the Lamb—of which the Last Supper, by the way, was a type. While we are in Heaven with Christ after the Resurrection, Rapture at the Second Coming‚ this Wedding Feast is also characterised as a time of the presentation of Wedding gifts to the Bride in the nature of rewards for her faithfulness, & with differences in rewards between those who were faithful & those who were not. This period of Christ's Judgement Seat at the Wedding Feast is in a sense a happy judgement & a happy passing out of the rewards & the gifts, like Christmas‚ for the Church. It is nevertheless a Judgement Seat & Judgement Throne, but it is known & differentiated in the study of Bible Prophecy as the Judgement Seat of Christ.
94. WHEREAS THE LAST GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT IN THE 20TH CHAPTER OF REVELATION, CATEGORY 13, IS A JUDGEMENT OF THE UNSAVED & THE WICKED ONLY who have been raised in the Second Resurrection for the first time to stand before God Himself at this Great Judgement & are judged according to their works out of the Book of Life & several other books, according to various descriptions. It seems that there is still an opportunity for some to be spared from the very worst kind of punishment & Hell if they were not found to be the worst kind of sinners & if their names are found in the Book of Life, entitling them to be spared from the Lake of Fire—although not in the same class as those who are already Saved, Raptured, Wedding-feasted & the Victors of Armageddon, the conquering Rulers of the Millennium—& the Winners of the Battle of Gog & Magog!
95. THE UNSAVED DEAD ARE NOT RAISED UNTIL AFTER THE BATTLE OF GOG & MAGOG AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT, & there they are judged according to their works, & apparently some are found in the Book of Life as not having been too bad‚ & receiving some type of salvation or sparing from the worst of punishments, such as the Lake of Fire. So therefore these two Judgements are sometimes confused in our minds, or perhaps in the minds of the Prophets they sounded & looked the same, & in describing them the Prophet could have been speaking of either one or both. But we have tried to separate the Scriptures in such a way as to choose those which we felt are most characteristic of one or the other in our Categories 8 & 13.
96. SO AS YOU CAN SEE‚ DEFINING THE VARIOUS PERIODS & EVENTS OF BIBLE PROPHECY, PARTICULARLY IN THESE 14 SPECIFIC CATEGORIES, IS NOT EASY, because many of them sound either the same or very similar, many are somewhat overlapping, many are viewed as one from afar, & sometimes as though they were one & the same. But nevertheless we have tried for your benefit to dig out the ones most characteristic of either one period or the other, to separate them for you so that you could have those which are most specific & most applicable & most descriptive of that particular event or period rather than any other. Of course, many of them are absolutely specific & could not possibly be confused with any other period, & there was no difficulty with those, others could be applied to either one or more.
97. BUT IF YOU FEEL THAT WE HAVE BEEN TOO ARBITRARY IN OUR ASSORTMENT & that some of these Scriptures could have applied to other periods as well, fine, your opinion is permissible & you have just as much a right to your opinion as I have to mine. If you want to shift some of these verses back or forth from one category to the other, as you feel they might be more applicable or more descriptive of some other category or should be used with that category also, as well as the one in which we've placed them, then that's your privilege‚ help yourself! Shift them around any way you feel is best or the Lord leads you or you feel led or the Spirit moves you.
98. BUT FRANKLY, AFTER 50 YEARS OF BIBLE STUDY, THIS IS THE WAY THEY SEEM BEST SORTED OUT TO ME. And if in any of these cases I am wrong or they are misnomered or misplaced‚ may the Lord forgive me & have mercy, as I am only a man & only His Prophet & He doesn't always make these things very clear or very specific even to His Prophets. Perhaps He prefers to leave a little bit unknown or uncertain or mysterious or unspecific so that you will not necessarily know exactly what is going to happen or exactly when‚ but that nevertheless when it does happen, you will recognise the event as the one which you read about in the Scripture. I don't think the Lord likes you to know all of His secrets, & therefore there are still many hidden mysteries in the Word of God which we will only perceive as we come to them or as they are revealed to us when the time comes.
99. THEREFORE FORGIVE ME IF YOU FEEL I'VE GONE TOO FAR IN BEING TOO DOGMATIC OR TOO SPECIFIC in assigning some of these Scriptures to certain categories with which you may not agree. Nevertheless, after 50 years of Bible Study & sorting out these beads, these gems of Scriptures according to their different qualities & qualifications, colours & periods & events, I have done my best to polish them up for you & put them on the string in what I feel is the best & the clearest possible chronological order as far as we can now know & foresee the future according to the Word of God.
100. SO I HOPE YOU'LL ENJOY THEM & I HOPE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THEM, & I hope that you will agree that we have done the best we could with these mysteries of the Kingdom & His Word. And I'm sure as time marches on & we enter these various periods & events‚ we will understand them even more clearly & know even more surely which Scriptures actually do apply to the particular time we are undergoing or event we are participating in. God does not always reveal every detail in advance, but rather gives you a general description—or even sometimes specific description—which you will not completely understand or recognise until you actually see it beginning to happen, which is your cue to know where you're at on God's timetable & on His schedule, so that you'll be assured & reassured that you know exactly what is happening & where you're at & what to expect next & how to be prepared.
101. THIS OF COURSE IS THE PURPOSE OF BIBLE PROPHECY, TO PREPARE YOU FOR THE FUTURE, so that you will not be in ignorance, as the Apostle says, or found in darkness. But rather ye are the children of light & these things will not come upon you as a thief in the night‚ unexpected or by surprise. (1Th.5:4,5) You will have no "mighty widening of the eyes‚ as those who are not aware of the signs of the times" (No.655), but you will see them in advance, you will recognise these events as they begin to transpire & you will be able to specifically know that "this is that which was spoken of by the Prophet" (Acts 2:16) & which he was describing in a certain Scripture. Therefore you will know exactly what is happening or about to happen & you will know that this is what God was talking about: "This is it! We're here! We have arrived at this point, we are now in this period, this is that event!"—And you will therefore know how to respond to it & react to it & what to expect as you have prepared for it in your heart for years with your knowledge of His Word.
102. THEREFORE THE UNDERSTANDING OF BIBLE PROPHECY IS PREPARATION FOR THE FUTURE, so that you are not caught unawares & you are not surprised or shocked, you are not in darkness or ignorance! You will have prepared your heart & mind & recognise these events as they come & as they occur & know what to expect both with them & thereafter, & be prepared accordingly as best you can, both in mind & heart & perhaps even in your physical situation. This is what Bible Prophecy is all about, this is what Bible Prophecy is for, that God in His mercy—as we outlined in the first category on Bible Prophecy—is telling you in advance what's going to happen so you will not be in fearfulness of the unknown, & preparing you in advance for things to come so you will not be caught unaware & unprepared.
103. SO THEREFORE, GOD OBVIOUSLY WANTS US TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN, because He loves us, His children, & He doesn't want you to be frightened or fearful or terrified by these events or Scriptures, but to be prepared for them, to be calm & faithful & reassured by His Word that "this is what's going to happen, this is what's happening, I told you before‚ I explained this to you long ago, & now you're seeing it & going through it. So don't be worried, don't be fearful, don't be frightened, this is the way it's going to be & this is the way it's going to end & this is what's coming next!" Don't be afraid, don't freak out, don't get scared‚ because you know what the future is going to bring!
104. AND THOUGH SOME OF THESE PERIODS MAY BE HORRIFIC IN SOME WAYS, especially the period of the great Atomic War about to befall us, & the rise & reign of the Antichrist & the period of the Tribulation through which we, as His children, are destined to traverse & transcend & survive in the Resurrection & Rapture of the Saints, nevertheless we shall be spared in all of this & spared from some of the worst of it, protected by the Lord, cared for by Him in the wilderness, prepared by Him, worthy to escape some of these horrors through His protection & His ever-present surrounding angels & miraculous preservation‚ so that we are not to worry & be fearful & wonder what's going to happen to us or our children because the Lord has already told us. (Rev.3:10; 7:1–3; 12:6)
105. THEREFORE WE'RE TO TAKE IT AS IT COMES & REVEL IN OUR KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WORD OF THE FUTURE, that we have "this more sure word of Prophecy" (2Pe.1:19) & we can depend on it & know exactly what to expect & exactly what's coming, exactly what we're going to have to go through & exactly how to do it. And of course‚ the specific personal details in each case the Lord, I'm sure, will reveal to each one of us as we come to it. Power for the hour, grace for the space & wisdom for the wonder! Don't worry, just rest in the Lord & He "will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is stayed on Him‚ because you trust in Him." And if you'll "commit your way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, He shall bring it to pass. If you'll lean not to your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him, He'll direct your ways...And thou shalt hear a voice beside thee saying, This is the way, walk ye in it!" (Is.26:3, Ps.37:5, Pr.3:5,6, Is.30:21.)
106. DON'T WORRY, JUST FOLLOW GOD & HE'LL SEE YOU THROUGH! Praise God? Hallelujah! Even if He releases you before the Rapture, even if He honours you & gives you a special dispensation of dying grace before the grand finale, it'll all be in His Love & His mercy, His kindness, His tender loving care & concern for you, His child, in these days to come. Just rest in the Lord & do good‚ & don't fret or worry about the future. "Fret not thyself for the morrow‚ for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Mt.6:34.) Don't worry about the past either. "Forget the things that are behind, press forward to the things that are before, the high calling of Jesus Christ!" (Ph.3:13,14.)
107. DO YOUR JOB, OBEY THE LORD, DO HIS WORK, WITNESS, WIN SOULS, GO INTO ALL THE WORLD & PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE! Take care of God's business & He'll take care of you! Amen? That's His business, taking care of you‚ praise the Lord! Keep your mind & heart on Jesus & in His Word, & trust the Lord & He'll see you through! Amen? TTL!
108. AND OF COURSE‚ BE SURE YOU DO YOUR BEST SO YOU'LL RECEIVE A STAR-STUDDED CROWN, STUDDED WITH STARS OF THE SOULS THAT YOU WON FOR JESUS, so that He'll be able to say to you, "Well done, thou good & faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord! Because you were faithful in a few things, I have made you ruler over many things." (Mt.25:21.) There will be differences in reward, differences in the gifts passed out at the Wedding Supper to the Bride according to your works & according to your faithfulness‚ according to how well you have done & obeyed Him & how hard you've worked for Jesus. You will receive your reward. Every one will be rewarded according to his or her works.
109. SO DON'T WORRY! IF THEY DON'T APPRECIATE YOU NOW, THEY WILL THEN! And if you don't appreciate God's Work now, you will then! Some of you may be sorry that you didn't do more for the Lord, ashamed & perhaps even some in contempt‚ whereas others will shine as the stars‚ having been wise to win souls for Jesus! (Da.12:3; Pr.11:30) Hallelujah! TYJ! PTL! I hope you'll be one of those shining stars in the firmament of God's coming Heaven on Earth! In Jesus' name, amen. PTL!