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RevelationRoadMap.com: Prophecy Primer

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Introduction

From their inception, the prophecies of the Bible have both fascinated and mystified people. Their authority, accuracy, and longevity set them apart from fortunetellers, mystics, and any other prognosticators. While their visions span thousands of years from antiquity to beyond the end of the world, people’s greatest prophetic interest focuses on the tantalizing clues of the much anticipated and dreaded ‘end-times’. Often raising more questions than they answer, end-time prophecies frequently shroud their true meanings within complex symbols leaving their interpretation to only the most diligent Bible students. They confuse by simultaneously warning of cataclysmic wars while promising everlasting peace and prosperity. End-time images permeate modern culture as many key end-time events, people, and symbols have integrated themselves into popular entertainment and language. For example, who has not heard of Armageddon or the number of the beast (666)? After all, popular movies have often featured fictionalized versions of these and other prophetic events and images. The ‘Omen’ movies drew upon prophesies of the antichrist, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the whore of Babylon, and Jesus’ return. The movie ‘Armageddon’ conveys the possible end of the world by drawing on the name of the assembly place for the last, and greatest, battle of humanity. These and many other references to end-time prophecies in movies, news reports, and documentaries heighten awareness while simultaneously blurring the actual referenced events. These media confuse Armageddon with the end of the world, distort the antichrist into a number of strange hideous egomaniacs, and paint Jesus’ glorious return as heroic humans leading hopelessly outmanned armies in desperate struggles against wicked empires or impending disasters. Careful examination of both Old and New Testament texts reveals Armageddon is actually a watershed ushering in a thousand years of peace and prosperity; Jesus Christ personally returns from heaven to single-handily subdue all armies fighting in this battle; and the antichrist is a disarmingly charming man with great persuasive power

These are just a few pieces of the end-time puzzle, which, like any puzzle, yields clearer pictures with each piece’s discovery and proper placement. The process of slowly unveiling end-time prophecy’s rich tapestry starts by piecing together the clues found in the writings of the prophets (Isaiah through Malachi), the four gospels, and Revelation, which together contain most key end-time prophecies. The clues in these works tend to be easy to unearth but difficult to comprehend as symbolism often obfuscates the underlying events they are describing. This obfuscation thwarts most casual observers leaving prophetic puzzle solving in the hands of only the most diligent Bible detectives who eagerly forage for God’s directed insights. Sometimes the critical clues for interpreting the symbols appear in the symbol’s passages; but more often, they lay hidden in sundry locations throughout each of the Bible’s sixty-six books. While these complex nuances of prophetic studies seem to magnify the prophetic discovery process, Isaiah indicates that this process is actually no different from any other form of Biblical research.