6 Recommended Titles
1. Charts of Bible Prophecy
As you study eschatology a book of charts can be a great help. H. Wayne House and Randall Price have done a great job in their “Charts of Bible Prophecy” book (ISBN 9780310218968). Well over 100 charts are included, outlining all the major views on prophecy and giving the pros and cons of each. Included are charts on the Kingdom, the Covenants, the Millennium, key chapters in Daniel, the Dispensations, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Antichrist, the 70 Weeks, the Judgments and the Resurrections. Seeing these complicated issues laid out in charts and tables is so very helpful and enlightening. The 119 charts are arranged into 13 chapters. Some chapter headings are: ‘Hermeneutics and Prophecy’, ‘Systems of Eschatology’, ‘the Rapture and the Second Coming’, ‘the Nation of Israel’, ‘the Olivet Discourse’, ‘Daniel and Revelation’ and ‘Comparative Eschatology’.
2. Things to Come
If you want to secure the magnum opus of dispensational theology, look no further than J. Dwight Pentecosts’s “Things to Come” (9780310308904). This is a monumental 632 page work that synthesizes the whole field of prophecy into one unified volume, giving, if you will, a “systematic and complete Biblical eschatology” as it says on the flyleaf. With a 23 page scripture index, you can look up pretty much every verse you’ll ever need in your study of future events. In his first 64 pages, Pentecost lays down the methods and principles of Bible interpretation (hermeneutics) that are a prerequisite for the understanding of Bible prophecy. The next 60 or so pages are taken up with a study of “the Covenants”, a much neglected but absolutely vital part of the picture. Included in the rest of the book are sections dealing with the parables of the Kingdom (Matt 13), the rapture, the tribulation, the millennium, the judgments and the resurrections (yes, there are two of them, 1,000 years apart!). No serious Bible student should be without “Things to Come”.
3. The Dispensations
Mark Sweetnam’s 246 page work “The Dispensations” (9781909789005), sets out the character of each of the Bible’s 7 dispensations in detail – their purpose, continuity and course. He expounds from Scripture that each of the 7 dispensations in prophetic history, from the beginning of creation to the end of the Millennium, is marked by 4 clear stages, which he helpfully alliterates as: revelation, responsibility, rebellion and retribution. If you only own one book on dispensationalism, make sure it is this one!
4. The Coming Prince
A critical piece of the prophetic jigsaw is what is known as “Daniel’s 70 weeks” from Daniel Ch 9. Go wrong here…and the rest of the puzzle will be impossible to piece together correctly. The classic work on Daniel’s 70 weeks is “The Coming Prince” by Sir Robert Anderson (9780825425752). With a spiritual mind, a dispensational framework and the investigative dedication of an intelligence officer, Anderson set out to calculate the exact beginning date of the 490 years represented in the 70 weeks. The first 69 of the 70 weeks – totalling exactly 173,880 days – terminated exactly on the day the Lord rode into Jerusalem. Messiah was cut off at that point – rejected by Israel. That left one week – 7 years – remaining to be fulfilled, which will be split into two even halves of 3.5 years (1,260 days each). This matches the data in the book of Revelation and points to a future ‘tribulation’ period, the “time of Jacob’s trouble”, that occurs between the imminent rapture of the Church and the return of Christ to earth at the end of the 7-year-week. This important 309 page work has been continuously in print for over 100 years.
5. Kept from the Hour
The imminent rapture of the church before the tribulation is a doctrine expounded and defended in many publications. For a full length book setting out the Biblical doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture, look no further than “Kept from the Hour” (423 pages) by Gerald B. Stanton (9781564530905). Stanton’s book is thorough, scholarly and lucid. After answering conclusively “Who is the Restrainer?” in Chapter 5, he makes a powerful case for the imminency of the Rapture in Chapter 6. He also answers all the points raised by those who believe a partial rapture, a mid-tribulation rapture and a post-tribulation rapture before closing his book by looking at around 20 other titles on the pre-tribulation rapture.
6. The Millennial Kingdom
John F. Walvoord (1910–2002) authored over 30 books in his lifetime. He was one of the leading dispensationalists of the 20th Century and specialised in the study of eschatology. His “Millennial Kingdom” (9780310340911) is a definitive 370 page work on the subject of the 1,000 year reign of Christ spoken of in Revelation Ch 20. Walvoord outlines the differences between post-millennialism, a-millennialism and pre-millennialism in meticulous detail and sets out a powerful case for pre-millennialism being the correct Biblical view. Here are some of his chapter headings: ‘Amillennialism from Augustine to Modern Times’, ‘Interpretation of the Abrahamic Covenant’, ‘Will Israel Possess the Promised Land?’, ‘Will Israel be restored as a nation?’, ‘Premillennialism and the Rapture’ and ‘The Great Tribulation’. A person’s view of the Millennium affects their understanding of the entire spectrum of eschatology so there’s no better place to start than The Millennial Kingdom as you grapple with this vital issue.