Charting Bible Prophecy, Part 1

Part 1 Part 2

Charts can help us better learn Bible prophecy! See some wonderful charts with Dr. David Reagan and Don Perkins on the show Christ in Prophecy.

Last aired on June 20, 2010.

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God's Plan for the Ages

God's Plan for the Ages Book
by Dr. David R. Reagan

Christ in Prophecy Study Guide

Christ in Prophecy Study Guide Book
by Dr. David R. Reagan

Transcript

Dr. Reagan: Have you ever noticed that it’s almost impossible to study Bible prophecy without drawing charts and diagrams? For a discussion of this phenomenon and for a glimpse of some of the most remarkable charts you will ever see, stay tuned.

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Part 1

Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope. I’m Dave Reagan, Founder and Director of Lamb & Lion Ministries and I am pleased to announce that I have in the studio with me one of my colleagues Don Perkins. Don is the Founder and Director of According to Prophecy Ministries, located in beautiful, sunny, San Diego, California. Welcome to Texas Don.

Don Perkins: Welcomed to be here.

Dr. Reagan: Well we ordered up some hot weather for you, just to make you feel at home.

Don Perkins: Yes, yes.

Dr. Reagan: OK. Well folks when I first started studying Bible prophecy one of the things that I noticed immediately was the abundance of charts and diagrams that seem to characterize Bible prophecy literature. Some of the charts were very simple, like this one showing the difference in the Rapture and the Second Coming. Others were very sophisticated and required a lot of study, like this one showing the full scope of history from the Creation to the New Earth. Some were very confusing like this one that one of our viewers sent to me recently. You know, it reminded me of this cartoon showing a man standing on a ladder, involved in drawing a very large and complex chart while a group of men at the bottom of the ladder try to figure out the chart. The caption reads, “The elders try hard to make sense of Pastor Steve’s third point.” Don, tell me, why in the world do you think it is that the field of Bible prophecy is characterized by the use of so many charts and diagrams?

Don Perkins: Well Dave, I believe because the overall picture of prophecy is not really detailed. Bible prophecy charts really help in the way of piecing the prophecy program together.

Dr. Reagan: Yes.

Don Perkins: God has given one prophet a piece of the puzzle, another prophet a piece. A Bible prophecy chart brings all those pieces together to help us better understand.

Dr. Reagan: Well I think that’s a good point Don, and it certainly is true. There is no place in the Bible you can turn to where it just says, “OK, here’s what’s going to happen in the end-times, bang, bang, bang, bang.”

Don Perkins: Right.

Dr. Reagan: Right.

Don Perkins: You won’t find it.

Dr. Reagan: He’ll give a little piece to this prophet, a little of that and a little of that, and you have to really study, I mean really study.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: And you know that’s a dirty word to a lot of people.

Don Perkins: Studying, yes.

Dr. Reagan: And you have to get into the Old Testament.

Don Perkins: That’s true.

Dr. Reagan: A lot of people don’t like that.

Don Perkins: That’s true.

Dr. Reagan: And you have to piece all of that together and one of the best ways to do that is to put a chart together.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: I’d like to give you an example folks of what we are talking about here. I’m going to turn over to 2 Peter chapter two and I want to show you an example of why sometimes it is so difficult to understand what’s going on in the field of Bible prophecy. In 2 Peter chapter three, Peter is talking about the fact that in the end times, something’s going to happen to the earth and it’s going to be burned up with fire. He says, “Once it was destroyed by water, now it’s going to be destroyed in the end times by fire.” And here is what he says, he says, “The day of the Lord will come like a thief in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat and the earth and its works will be burned up.” And that’s all it says about the end times. “The Lord will come; the earth will be consumed by fire and burned up.” Now, here’s the point; if that was the only Scripture we had in the Bible about the end-times–

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: We would have to conclude that when Jesus comes back, the earth will be burned up with fire, right?

Don Perkins: Right, right.

Dr. Reagan: But that’s not the only Scripture is it?

Don Perkins: That’s right, that’s not.

Dr. Reagan: There’s many, many others. And when you look at all these others, you can see that when the Lord comes back, there’s going to be other things going to happen first before the Earth is consumed with fire. And you have to piece all those things together.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: You cannot rely on one particular passage to decide what’s going to happen in the end-times, right?

Don Perkins: That’s right.

Dr. Reagan: This one is focusing on what’s going to happen to the earth, but it doesn’t focus upon the fact that Jesus is going to reign for a thousand years before the earth is burned up with fire.

Don Perkins: That’s right.

Dr. Reagan: Give us another example of this Don.

Don Perkins: A good example Dave is in Zechariah 9:9 and really going 9, 10, and 12. Here we find the coming of Christ, Jesus literally coming into Jerusalem.

Dr. Reagan: Yeah, His triumphal entry.

Don Perkins: Triumphal entry.

Dr. Reagan: Verse 9.

Don Perkins: Verse 9, and then we go on and talk about His cutting off of Israel.

Dr. Reagan: Yeah, Israel being set aside.

Don Perkins: Right, in 70 A.D., we know that happened, and then chapter… it goes on to talk about the literal return of Christ, or the second coming. Now we know we have three pictures there that are rapid behind each other, but we know based on history and also on future events yet to happen, that those events could not have happened simultaneously right after each other.

Dr. Reagan: Yeah, this is very common in Bible prophecy.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: The prophet will look in the future, see things that are going to happen–

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: And he describes them like they happen – bang, bang, bang, bang.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: Here is the triumphal entry.

Don Perkins: Right.

Dr. Reagan: Immediately after that he talks about the setting aside of Israel.

Don Perkins: That’s right.

Dr. Reagan: Immediately after that, the Second Coming.

Don Perkins: That’s right.

Dr. Reagan: Well, we know from history, how many years was there between the triumphal entry and the setting aside of Israel?

Don Perkins: That was 40 years.

Dr. Reagan: Yeah, from 30 A.D. to 70 A.D.

Don Perkins: Forty years. And then from that point on to His return is nearly 2,000 years.

Dr. Reagan: That’s right. And yet it looks here like its happening – bang, bang, bang. This is one of the problems in putting together Bible prophecy. Well another example is over in the book of Luke. We have Jesus going into the Synagogue in Nazareth, you remember that?

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: And he gets up and in the Synagogue He reads a passage from the Old Testament, you’ll find that over in, what is it, Luke chapter four I believe it is where He stands up in the Synagogue and He reads this passage from the Old Testament. And the interesting thing is that He reads only a portion of the passage.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: A lot of people don’t realize that, but He just reads a portion. He reads from Isaiah 61, and He talks about “The Spirit of the Lord–“

Don Perkins: Right.

Dr. Reagan: “–is upon Me, He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: Right?

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: And He stops reading.

Don Perkins: In the middle of the passage.

Dr. Reagan: In the middle of a sentence He stops reading. Now why in the world does He stop reading? Because if you go over to Isaiah 61, you will see that the next phrase is that He has not only called me to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, but also to proclaim the “Day of Vengeance of our God.” But that’s the Second Coming.

Don Perkins: That’s right.

Dr. Reagan: So He stopped reading.

Don Perkins: That’s right.

Dr. Reagan: And yet in this passage it puts the First Coming and the Second Coming together just like that.

Don Perkins: And you know Dave, it was good for Israel that He stopped at that point.

Dr. Reagan: Yeah.

Don Perkins: Because–

Dr. Reagan: So you know, this is one of the things that’s difficult for people to understand about Bible prophecy and that’s the reason we need these charts so much.

Don Perkins: Well folks, as you can see from these examples we have given you, that Bible prophecy can be confusing without charts to tie it all together, and I tell you what, let’s pause for a moment for a message about my latest book and when we return, we’re going to introduce you to the most remarkable chart makers in all of the history of Bible prophecy literature.

Part 2

Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to our discussion of Bible prophecy charts. Many different people have drawn a lot of Bible prophecy charts over the years. But folks the Michelangelo of this field was a man named Clarence Larkin, who lived from 1850 to 1924. Larkin grew up in the state of Pennsylvania. He became a Christian at age 19 and felt called immediately to enter the ministry. However, no opportunity opened up for him, so he proceeded to college where he earned a degree, in of all things, mechanical engineering. He became a professional draftsman and then became a teacher of the blind. Later on he said he felt that his work with the blind cultivated his descriptive abilities.

Don Perkins: But Larkin was not happy. He wanted to be a full time minister, so in 1882, at the age of 32, he became a Baptist pastor, and for the next 30 years he served churches in Pennsylvania. During that time he studied Bible prophecy in detail and began to illustrate his discoveries in masterful drawings utilizing his mechanical drawing skills.

Dr. Reagan: In 1918 Larkin published this book called Dispensational Truth. It has been a bestseller ever since. And to get a feel for it, let’s take a look at a few of the charts. Here is one that Larkin called “The Mountain Peaks of Prophecy.” In this chart he attempts to illustrate the point that when a prophet was given a glimpse into the future, he often saw a series of events that appeared to occur in rapid succession, when in reality they were separated by many years. So the perspective of the prophet was like a person looking down a mountain range seeing peaks, but not seeing the valleys that separate them.

Don Perkins: Here’s another of Larkin’s charts that illustrate the book of Revelation in detail. It starts with the current Church Age, proceeds into the Tribulation with all its various judgments and concludes with a thousand years of the Millennium, and the eternal state on the New Earth. As you can see, these are highly detailed charts that require a lot of study.

Dr. Reagan: Don, when you first started your Bible prophecy ministry, I know that one of the very first projects you had was the design of a Bible prophecy chart. Is that right?

Don Perkins: Yes, yes, yes.

Dr. Reagan: Well, we’re going to find out more about that a little later. You know Don, I did the same thing when I started this ministry. I sat down and devoted hours of my time to designing an overview chart of end-time events stretching from the Church Age through the eternal state. It’s a chart that has helped many people over the years to understand the relationship of end-time events. I tell you what folks, we’re going to take a brief break to tell you about another Bible prophecy study resource produced by this Ministry, and when we return, we will show you some giant charts, and folks, I mean giant, that were used by preachers in the 1920s and ‘30s.

Part 3

Dr. Reagan: My guest, Don Perkins, and I have been discussing the use of charts and diagrams to illustrate the truths of Bible prophecy.

Don Perkins: We pointed out earlier the man who made the use of charts so popular was Clarence Larkin, who published a book of Bible charts in 1918. The book was entitled Dispensational Truths. For 20 years thereafter, from 1920 to 1940, Bible prophecy teachers often used giant versions of Larkin’s charts to illustrate their sermons and teachings about Bible prophecy. This was before the days of slide projectors and digital projectors.

Dr. Reagan: Don and I would like to show you two examples of these giant charts. The ones we have here were used by a circuit-riding preacher in North Texas in the 1920s. They were later put in storage where I am sorry to say they were damaged by water, but we have restored them and we would like to show them to you. But I tell you what, before we do that, I’d like for us to pause for a song by Jack Hollingsworth of Acts 29 Ministries. The song is one of the greatest ever written about the Lord’s return. It is entitled Midnight Cry.

Part 4

Dr. Reagan: Well folks, here we are with one of our giant charts, and I mean giant. This one, believe it or not, illustrates the Book of Daniel, and over here in this corner it says that it was drawn by W.L. Wood in Ft. Worth, Texas, by permission of Clarence Larkin. So this is just a super sized version of one of the charts that you would find in Clarence Larkin’s book. You know this was taken around during the time when they did not have digital projectors and slide projectors and a person would set it up in front of the Church and run from one end to the other and teach the book of Daniel. I can see you are biting at the bit, brother.

Don Perkins: Dave, I can teach from this chart.

Dr. Reagan: Well all right, let’s see you do it.

Don Perkins: Well, I like this chart because it’s a chart of Daniel. Here we have Daniel chapter two, with Nebuchadnezzar’s image.

Dr. Reagan: OK.

Don Perkins: This image is a wonderful image showing the Gentile kingdoms from Nebuchadnezzar’s time on into the future.

Dr. Reagan: And I guess he’s laid it on the side so that he can keep the horizontal view here.

Don Perkins: Yeah, to give a good panoramic view–

Dr. Reagan: Well tell us about this image.

Don Perkins: Well, this image here, we have first of all the head of gold, which represents Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom.

Dr. Reagan: OK.

Don Perkins: The next one was preceded by the breast and chest of silver, which was the Medo-Persian Empire.

Dr. Reagan: OK.

Don Perkins: And then we have the thighs of brass, which represented Alexander the Great.

Dr. Reagan: OK.

Don Perkins: Then we move on to the legs of iron, which represent the eastern and western divisions of the Roman Empire.

Dr. Reagan: OK. Well, let’s just stop before we go beyond that. You know it just occurs to me that what you are really saying here is that Daniel wrote history in advance–

Don Perkins: In advance.

Dr. Reagan: Better than anybody probably has written it afterwards.

Don Perkins: That’s true.

Dr. Reagan: Because that’s exactly what happened isn’t it?

Don Perkins: It’s amazing.

Dr. Reagan: You had the Babylonian Empire, succeeded by the Medo-Persian, succeeded by the Greek Empire, then the Roman Empire, but now, what is this out here, this iron and clay?

Don Perkins: Well in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream he actually saw the iron and clay of his feet.

Dr. Reagan: Yes.

Don Perkins: And the ten toes. This Dave, goes into the future, this goes past our day here. This is during the time of the Great Tribulation, during the Antichrist’s kingdom. He’ll actually head up this empire.

Dr. Reagan: And iron and clay don’t mix.

Don Perkins: Don’t mix.

Dr. Reagan: So we’re talking really here about a sort of loose confederation of Nations in the end-time that would represent a revival of the Roman Empire.

Don Perkins: That’s right because–

Dr. Reagan: And that’s never been in history.

Don Perkins: That’s right because iron is inside of the feet of clay, and again we see the iron–

Dr. Reagan: And because it’s never been in history, we know it’s future, and yet we’re living in a time when we are seeing this happen.

Don Perkins: It’s coming together right now before our very eyes.

Dr. Reagan: The European Union.

Don Perkins: That’s right, that’s right.

Dr. Reagan: OK, now what is this right up here?

Don Perkins: Well, Daniel went on to see that at the close of this image, the Bible said that there was a stone that was hewn out of the mountain. This stone represents Jesus Christ destroying the Antichrist kingdom.

Dr. Reagan: Yeah, he hits these feet and the whole thing collapses.

Don Perkins: The foundation falls.

Dr. Reagan: So this is the last world empire.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: Succeeded by the Eternal Empire.

Don Perkins: That’s right. What I love too, it says that this kingdom filled the whole earth, which represents the Millennial reign of our Savior.

Dr. Reagan: Wow! Amen! Amen!

Don Perkins: It’s going to be exciting.

Dr. Reagan: Now what in the world is all of this about right down here?

Don Perkins: Well, what I like about this part Dave is that Daniel also had a vision that coincided with Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

Dr. Reagan: Yeah, later on.

Don Perkins: Later on. And his dream actually gives us a little bit more detail in regards to the Gentile Empires that have come against Israel.

Dr. Reagan: OK. So he saw a lion–

Don Perkins: Which represented the Babylonian Empire.

Dr. Reagan: Followed by a bear.

Don Perkins: A bear, which was the Medo-Persian Empire.

Dr. Reagan: Followed by a leopard.

Don Perkins: A leopard was the Grecian Empire.

Dr. Reagan: And then this terrible image, this really terrible one.

Don Perkins: The Bible calls it an undescript beast, but it had ten horns, and from that a little horn would rise up.

Dr. Reagan: Yes.

Don Perkins: Which represents the man of sin the Antichrist who would later rule the empire.

Dr. Reagan: So it’s the same succession of empires, confirmed to Daniel in a dream.

Don Perkins: Yes, yes.

Dr. Reagan: But presented in a different way.

Don Perkins: That’s right.

Dr. Reagan: To Nebuchadnezzar these are great, these are glorious, they are wonderful because that’s the way people see world empires.

Don Perkins: That’s right. That’s right.

Dr. Reagan: But in God’s eye, He sees them as ravaging beasts.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: Horrible things.

Don Perkins: What I also like about it Dave, it also shows the power of God too, because each kingdom was succeeded by a lesser power or either a lesser metal. Here we have a head of gold, silver, brass, iron, here you have the lion, the bear, the leopard, and then the undescript beast.

Dr. Reagan: Yes, yes, yes.

Don Perkins: God humbled the Gentile kingdoms and again it goes on into the future. It’s a powerful chart.

Dr. Reagan: Well it is a powerful chart and I think anybody who would see this and hear somebody preach on it would go away with it really burned into their memory.

Don Perkins: Yes, this is a good chart for the book of Daniel. It really is because, you know, as people study this chart, I mean if they don’t understand, this chart will help them to see it.

Dr. Reagan: OK. Well I tell you what, this particular chart is in Clarence Larkin’s book called Dispensational Truth and I would encourage our viewers to get a copy of that book. We don’t sell it through this ministry but it’s available at Christian Bookstores, so you get a copy of that, I guarantee you once you start reading it, you’ll be up for three nights in a row studying those charts. Folks, we’re going to take a brief break to tell you how you can get in touch with Don’s ministry. And when we return, we’ll take a look at another of these fascinating giant charts.

Part 5

Don Perkins: Well folks, as you can see, we have another giant Bible prophecy chart here. It deals with the Jewish Feasts. Dave, can you explain this chart to us?

Dr. Reagan: Well, yes I can Don, but you’re not going to put me off like that brother, you’re going to have to help me explain this chart.

Don Perkins: I’ll help you.

Dr. Reagan: I tell you what folks, let’s begin, first of all let me just explain that this chart was so badly damaged that we’re not able really to show you the top part of it, but this will be sufficient, and it’s a wonderful chart. It’s a chart of the Jewish Feasts. There were seven feasts of Israel, and the first was Passover, and then came the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And then came the Feast of First Fruits, and 50 days later came the Feast of Harvest, which was known in the Greek language as the Feast of Pentecost. What were the last three feasts Don?

Don Perkins: Then you had the Feast of Trumpets.

Dr. Reagan: Yes.

Don Perkins: And then the Feast of the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur. And then we had the Feast of Tabernacles.

Dr. Reagan: Ok. Now the first three occurred in rapid order, in a week’s time, in the spring of the year, in March or April, depending on how the calendar fell. Fifty days later, in May or June, you have this particular Feast of Pentecost. Then there’s a long period all through the summer, over into late September, early October, before this next feast starts. And then you have three feasts in rapid succession in the fall of the year.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: Now, the thing to keep in mind is that all of these feasts were related to something in the history of Israel. For example the Passover Feast pointed back to the time when they were released from Egyptian captivity, and for example the Feast of Pentecost, or Harvest, was a commemoration of the giving of the Law.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: On Mt. Sinai. They were all related to things in the past but they were also related to the agricultural cycle of the people of Israel.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: But what they did not seem to understand is that all these feasts had prophetic implications. For example the Feast of Passover pointed to the Messiah as the Passover Lamb. The Feast of Unleavened Bread, leaven is a symbol of sin, unleavened is purity. The Feast of Unleavened bread pointed to the Messiah as a person who would live a sinless life. The Feast of First Fruits pointed to the resurrection of the Messiah because as Paul says over in First Corinthians, Jesus was the First Fruits of the Resurrection.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: The Feast of Pentecost pointed to the establishment of the Church because the Church was actually established on the Day of Pentecost. This long period from there to the fall of the year is representative of the Church age. Now that leaves Don, three feasts that are unfulfilled in Christian history.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: And all we can do is guess as to how they are going to be fulfilled. What is your guess?

Don Perkins: Well, my guess is this: the Feast of Trumpets coincides with that of the Rapture of the Church.

Dr. Reagan: Why would you identify it with the Rapture?

Don Perkins: Because of the trumpet blowing, the sounding of the trumpet, the taking up of the Church.

Dr. Reagan: Right.

Don Perkins: And it’s so awesome. So I’m waiting for this trumpet blowing.

Dr. Reagan: Zola Levitt, a Messianic Jew, told me that every year he gets his calendar, he looks for when is the day of Trumpets and he circles it in red, and he does a lot of serious praying as he gets close to that. We don’t know for sure if that will be the fulfillment of it, but it’s the most likely that the Rapture might occur around that date.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: Then we have the Feast of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, which coincides with the Great Tribulation period. Israel during this time, you know, they will come to a full knowledge of Messiah.

Don Perkins: Yeah, that’s going to be the day when they “Look upon Him whom they have pierced, and weep and wail and mourn as one weeps for an only son,” and that will be their Day of Atonement.

Dr. Reagan: Yes.

Don Perkins: And then we have last the Feast of Tabernacles, which I really love because this coincides with the time of rest or the time of the Millennial kingdom, where Christ will be here with His saints and we will be with Him to go with Him in that Millennial season.

Dr. Reagan: And you know, Don, the interesting thing about that is that even the Jews themselves would agree that the Feast of Tabernacles is a prophetic symbol that one day God will return to this earth to tabernacle among us. I can hardly wait.

Don Perkins: Yes, a time of rest. I can’t wait.

Dr. Reagan: Any other observations you want to make about this particular chart Don?

Don Perkins: Well, I just love the chart in general itself. I mean it’s a wonderful study. You must be a student of the scripture in order to understand it and it’s a wonderful, effective tool to use to evangelize our Jewish friends.

Dr. Reagan: Yes it is.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: And it’s a wonderful tool to help Christians–

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: –better understand the Jewish roots of their faith, just as the Passover meal is the foundation of what we call communion, so we need to understand that our faith is really rooted in Jewish practices and holidays and so forth.

Don Perkins: Amen, amen. I would agree with you on that.

Dr. Reagan: Well, Don, I think you could really get excited about preaching on something like this.

Don Perkins: I love it, I love it so much.

Dr. Reagan: In fact folks, Don loves charts like this so much that he has designed a chart of his own that he has used effectively to teach the fundamentals of Bible prophecy for years. And the Lord willing, next week on our program, Don is going to show us his chart and present a teaching based upon it. And until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”

End of Program

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