Great Apocalyptic Prophecies

April, May, June 2002

Want to learn more about Great Apocalyptic Prophecies? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.

Lesson 1: Interpreting Apocalyptic Prophecies (Matthew 24)
When I first saw the topic for the next quarter I was annoyed. "When are we going to study the life of Jesus?" "When are we going to study a complete book of the Bible," I fumed? I'll bet half the population doesn't even know what the word "apocalyptic" means! How can I make this topic interesting?

Then, I started thinking about my own journey. Many years ago a member of my church asked me why I thought Christianity was true and Islam was not. Since I knew almost nothing about Islam, I could not give him a good answer. Since then I have been reading (studying) the teachings of Islam and Buddhism (the Dalai Lama version). To my astonishment, I found that there was substantial "overlap" between the three religions. Muslims share all of the Old Testament, and some of the New Testament with us. Many of the teachings of the Dalai Lama are identical to those of Jesus. While this tends to prove the truth of our common beliefs, it also makes us look for additional proof that we have "the truth" where the teachings differ. Bible prophecy tends to do just that. If we can show where the Bible accurately predicted the future, we can have confidence that the "True God" spoke through the Bible. Not only can we have confidence in the Bible, but we can have some assurance for the future. Let's dive into our study of end-time prophecy!

Lesson 2: Daniel 2 and 7: The ABC's of Apocalyptic Prophecies (Daniel 2 & 7)
Two of the most impressive prophecies in the Bible are the linked prophecies found in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7. Since Daniel's life was jeopardized by the one prophecy, he might have preferred to avoid it. However, the prophecy that Daniel revealed through inspiration is one of the most prominent proofs that God is in charge of the powerful nations on earth. Let's jump in and see what we can learn!

Lesson 3: The Son of Man and the Final Judgment (Psalms 94 & 96, Daniel 7, Acts 10)
Most people I know, including lawyers, are not anxious to appear before a judge. There is the pressure, the worry, the uncertainty of how things will turn out. Sometimes a lot of money is at stake. Sometimes a person's future freedom is in question. Those before the court always have something to lose. One of the promises of the Bible is a final judgment. Is that something to fear? Or something to desire? Let's jump in and find out!

Lesson 4: Daniel 8: The Prince of the Heavenly Host (Daniel 8)
Our study of Daniel is beginning to look more and more like a barnyard and a band with all of these animals and horns running around! What do these visions of animals have to teach us today? Is there anything relevant to us? Anything that inspires confidence in God? Or, is this just old, boring stuff? Let's dig in and find out!

Lesson 5: Daniel 9: The Coming of the Messiah (Daniel 9)
Last week we learned that Daniel's pleasant virtual stroll by the water of the Ulai Canal turned into a nightmare that made him sick for several days. He was sick because he learned that Babylon, in which he held a very high position, was about to fall. Worse, he learned that the temple in Jerusalem, that we determined was either in the planning or actual rebuilding stage, was going to be destroyed again! The dream of his lifetime (going home) was going down the drain. That caused Daniel to turn to God in earnest prayer for the future. God gives Daniel a prophetic answer that is one of the most important for our confidence in the divinity of Jesus. Let's jump into our study and learn more!

Lesson 6: The Eschatological Day of Atonement (Hebrews 9)
We know, from the record in the gospels, about some of the wonderful things Jesus did for us while He lived here on earth. Now that He is back in heaven, is He vacationing? Is He taking a well-deserved rest? Is He simply watching to see if we will take advantage of His sacrifice for us? Our lesson today pulls back the curtains on the windows of heaven and gives us a peek at what Jesus is doing for us now. Let's jump into our study!

Lesson 7: Matthew 24: Jesus' Sermon on Apocalyptic Prophecy (Matthew 24)
Our study of the prophecies of Daniel show that God is interested in sharing the future with His people. God's interest in this continued when He came to earth to live with us. This week we turn our attention to the prophecies that Jesus shared with His disciples. Let's explore these predictions that come directly from the lips of our Lord!

Lesson 8: The Child, the Church, and the Dragon: Revelation 12 (Revelation 12)
The title of our lesson this weeks sounds like the title of a science fiction book. The story is fantastic, but it is not fiction. Instead, it is a parable of the history of salvation. Let's jump into Revelation 12 and see what we can learn.

Lesson 9: The Dragon Versus the Remnant - Part 1 (Revelation 13)
Last week we examined several great "billboards" in the sky to determine what they meant. One billboard had this surly red dragon of unusual size on it. We found out that he was a killer and, worse, he has moved into our neighborhood! This week we find that he has friends - that are just as undesirable. Let's learn more by jumping into our lesson, which is the first of two lessons about these friends!

Lesson 10: The Dragon Versus the Remnant - Part 2 (Revelation 13)
Two weeks ago we learned about the Big Red Dragon. Last week we learned about his Beast buddy and this week we are introduced to another one of the Dragon's friends. Unfortunately, they all moved into our neighborhood! Let's jump into our lesson to learn more about the last of this sorry trio of bad boys.

Lesson 11: The Three Angels' Messages (Revelation 14)
Have you ever read a book that reminded you of a "see-saw?" You know what I mean by "see-saw" - a long board on a fulcrum with kids sitting on opposite ends. When one child goes up in the air, the other comes down. Last week in our lesson the Devil (the red Dragon of unusual size) and his two Beast buddies (the Sea Beast and the Earth Beast) seemed to be up, they were winning the conflict between good and evil. This week things are different, lets hop on board and find out more!

Lesson 12: The Climax of Apocalyptic Expectation: The Blessed Hope (Acts 1, Matthew 24, Revelation 19-21)
After all of these lessons on prophecy, you may be groaning and say, "Remind me, again, of the reason for this study?" The reason is to give us confidence as we see the events that lead up to the Second Coming of Jesus. This week we finally get to the ultimate object of these prophecies -- the Second Coming. Let's dive in!

Lesson 13: Preparing for the Apocalyptic Consummation (John 16, Acts 2, 2 Corinthians 5, Deuteronomy 28)
We've read the Book. We've studied the lessons. We've puzzled out the history of the world and the outcome of the final battles between good and evil. The questions now are, "What can we do about it?" "What are we going to do about it?" "What are you going to do?" (Which is a lot easier way to put it than the title of our lesson - which sounds like something an exotic fish might get!) Let's jump into our study of what God has done and what we can and should do in response.

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