A History of the World Through the Scriptures
End of Days
From Creation to the End of Days, the Scriptures give a remarkable picture of God’s activity throughout the history of humanity. Discover the overarching story of the Bible and your part in God’s story.Filled with history, poetry, songs, prophecies, and letters, the Scriptures reveal God’s character.
Like a love letter, the Bible is designed to connect us to the One who created us and loves us.
Videos from the Bible Project:
Passages to Read:
Revelation 1-5, 20-22
The Goal of the Bible:
- The goal of the Scriptures is not to get more information. The goal is transformation – understanding who God is and living a new life under His leadership and with His guidance.
- Applying the Bible means trusting God and trusting God means a real relationship with God. That is the goal of the Scriptures.
- Application equals obedience. James 2 and John 14:21 – Obedience = God’s love language
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible…. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” – Hebrews 11:1-3, 6
We struggle to trust God because of the evil in our world.
We struggle to trust God because of the eradication of evil in our world.
We long for justice.
We struggle with justice.
We want justice, but we do not like what is required for justice.
Justice means “making things right.”
“Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful.” – C.S. Lewis
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
DAY OF THE LORD
The Scriptures use the phrase “The Day of the Lord” as a description of the way to justice.
Nations rise and fall, but the Kingdom of God lasts forever.
The oppressed become the oppressors.
Tim Mackie from The Bible Project explains it this way in the video “Day of the Lord”
“Jesus was going to let evil exhaust all of its power on him, using its only real weapon: death. Jesus knew that God’s love and life were even more powerful, that he could overcome evil by becoming the Passover lamb (the ultimate sacrifice for all of humanity, once and for all), giving his life in an act of love. Something changed that day. When Jesus defeated evil, he opened up a new way for anyone to escape from Babylon (the evil of this world) and discover this new kind of power, this new way of being human….
In the (book of) Revelation, the victorious Jesus is symbolized by a sacrificial bloody lamb… When Jesus does arrive in the end, riding his white horse to confront evil, he is bloody before the battle even starts…. Jesus is not out for our blood. Rather, he overcame with his blood when he died for his enemies. The sword in his mouth is a symbol of Jesus’s authority to define good and evil, and hold us accountable when he brings final justice once and for all.”
In the Bible Project video on Revelation 12-22, Dr. Tim Mackie unpacks the message of the book of Revelation when he says:
John’s trying to show the churches that neither Rome nor any other nation or human is the real enemy. There are dark spiritual powers at work, and Jesus’s followers will announce Jesus’s victory by remaining faithful and loving their enemies just like the slain Lamb….
John sees two beasts empowered by the dragon. One of them represents national military power that conquers through violence; the other beast symbolizes the economic propaganda machine that exalts this power as divine. These beasts demand full allegiance from the nations…. The nations become beasts when they exalt their own power and economic security as a false god and then demand total allegiance. Babylon was the Beast in Daniel’s day, but that was followed by Persia followed by Greece and now Rome in John’s day and so it goes for any later nation that acts in the same way.
Prophets were covenant enforcement mediators.
Those 300 years were characterized by unprecedented political, military, economic, and social upheaval; an enormous level of religious unfaithfulness and disregard for the Mosaic covenant; and major shifts in populations and national boundaries.
The prophets announced the immediate future of Israel, Judah, and other nations rather than our future. Less than 2% of OT prophecy is messianic. Less than 5% describes the New Covenant age. Less than 1% concerns events yet to come.
Look for a simple pattern in the Prophets:
- An identification of Israel’s sin or God’s love for her.
- A prediction of curse or blessing depending on the circumstance.
Is Revelation about the future and if so at which chapter does the future prophecies begin?
“Revelation upsets the status quo, calls out civil religion in all of its forms, brings peace where there is violence, and summons us to live as an alternative polis in the midst of rampant idolatry, greed, and injustice…. A faithful witness always looks like Jesus. Gorman’s words get to the point: “Christian resistance to empire and idolatry… is not passive but active, consisting of the formation of communities and individuals who pledge allegiance to God alone, who live in nonviolent love toward friends and enemies alike, who leave vengeance to God, and who, by God’s Spirit, create mini- cultures of life as alternatives to empires’ culture of death… A day is coming when all evil will be judged and purged from creation and this world will become the eternal home for God, humanity, and all creatures.”
– Kurt Willems
Views of Revelation (see https://probe.org/four-views-of-revelation/)
Idealist View – According to this view, the events of Revelation are not tied to specific historical events.
The imagery of the book symbolically presents the ongoing struggle throughout the ages of God against Satan and good against evil.
Preterist View – Full preterists believe that all the prophecies found in Revelation were fulfilled in AD 70 and that we are now living in the eternal state, or the new heavens and the new earth. Partial preterists believe that most of the prophecies of Revelation were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem but that chapters 20-22 point to future events such as a future resurrection of believers and return of Christ to the earth.
The Tribulation has already occurred.
Historicist View – This view teaches that Revelation is a symbolic representation that presents the course of history from the apostle’s life through the end of the age. The symbols in the apocalypse correspond to events in the history of Western Europe, including various popes, the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, and rulers such as Charlemagne. Most interpreters place the events of their day in the later chapters of Revelation.
The Tribulation is experienced by the Church throughout its history.
Futurist View – This view teaches that the events of the Olivet Discourse and Revelation chapters 4-22 will occur in the future. Futurist divide the book of Revelation into three sections as indicated in 1:19: “what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.” Chapter 1 describes the past (“what you have seen”), chapters 2-3 describe the present (“what is now”), and the rest of the book describes future events (“what will take place later”).
The Great Tribulation is yet to come.
Views of the Millenium (from http://christianciv.com/eschatology_bs_Sect1.htm)
The Millennium: The thousand-year reign of Christ mentioned in Revelation, chapter 20. Premillennialists (“Chiliasts”) believe in a literal thousand-year reign in the future. Amillennialists and postmillennialists believe that the thousand years is a figurative number for the entire period from Christ’s first coming until His second.
Premillennialism (Also known as Chiliasm from the Greek word for “thousand”): The belief that the Second Coming of Christ occurs before the millennium, which is a literal 1000 years. The resurrection of Christians occurs at the beginning of the millennium, the resurrection of the unsaved at the end of the millennium.
Postmillennialism: The belief that the Second Coming of Christ occurs after the millennium. There is an increase in the spread of God’s rule in every area of life during the millennium (a figurative concept referring to the entire New Testament age).
Amillennialism: The belief that the Second Coming occurs at the end of history, like postmillennialism, but there is no earthly millennium. The millennium is purely spiritual, applying only to heaven and the Church.
HEAVEN AND EARTH
“All of this proves that God’s judgment is always perfect and is intended to make you worthy of inheriting the kingdom of God, which is why you are going through these troubles.
6 It is right and just for God to trouble your troublers 7 and give rest to the troubled, both to you and to us, at the unveiling of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his messengers of power 8 within a flame of fire. He will bring perfect and full justice to those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to embrace the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction, banished from the Lord’s presence and from the manifestation of his glorious power. 10 This will happen on that day when he outwardly adorns his holy ones with glory, and they will be marveled at among all believers—including you, since in fact, you believed our message.
11 With this in mind, we constantly pray that our God will empower you to live worthy of all that he has invited you to experience.” – 2 Thessalonians:1:5-11 (The Passion Translation)
“This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’” – Jesus in Matthew 6:9-13
Heaven Meets Earth = Eden then Tabernacle then Temple then Jesus and now the Church
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” – John 17:3
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. – Revelation 20:1-7; 22-27