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Book Review

Outlines in Bible Prophecy by John W. de Silva; Published 2010 by and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 238 Pages. Introductory Price of £14.99 until 31st December Normal RSP £16.99. (9781907731051)

Our brother has chosen 2 Peter 1.19 as a timely reminder of the importance given by the Holy Spirit to the prophetic word: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts".

Within the pages of this scholarly work there is presented in clear straightforward text, accompanied by numerous illustrative diagrams and charts, a most comprehensive treatment of the many issues associated with this most interesting subject. The headings given to its fourteen chapters ensure no aspect of the subject fails to have been given due consideration, leading the reader into a clear understanding of its content. While no work on this subject will meet with complete unanimity, the author has graciously acknowledged this, simply presenting his own understanding of the more difficult issues, having given careful and prayerful thought to them. Subjects of current relevance are robustly and Biblically defended such as the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church, a repentant and restored Israel enjoying the fulfilment of many Old Testament prophecies, with no credence given to the unbiblical view of the "CHURCH having replaced ISRAEL".

In his preface the author has thoughtfully said: "For all its promised and sure blessings the ascending journey into the realm of Bible prophecy can be a daunting prospect. Even before we take that first step we can be confronted by conflicting theories, passionate controversies and confusing terminology. The aim of this book is to make that first step less intimidating and, what is vitally important, to ensure that it is taken in the right direction". There is no doubt in the mind of the present reviewer that John de Silva has been successful in achieving his aim, for which the careful reader of this publication should be thankful not only to the author but to the gracious ministry of the Holy Spirit, the believer’s guide into "ALL TRUTH".

Presenting the material in an A4 format has enabled the publishers to make it available to a younger generation at the above introductory cost.


The Times of the Gentiles, by Norman Mellish; published by Gospel Folio Press and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 215 pages; price £8.99. (9781926765099)

An understanding of the prophecy of Daniel is important to the understanding of the New Testament prophetic books. Indeed the Lord Jesus underscored the importance to those who will be "a witness to all nations" after the Rapture of "the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet" being placed in the holy place (Mt 24.15). Norman Mellish recognises the importance of Daniel’s prophecy and deals with five of his great prophecies from that book.

Younger readers will find clear portrayals of the Lord Jesus in the author’s studies and much help in understanding the activities of God both providentially and in a day to come directly. The author also stresses the place "the man of sin" will have in a coming day. Those familiar with interpretations of Daniel’s prophecy will note that in both chs. 7 and 8 the author identifies the principal evil personage as "the man of sin." He does not comment on "from him the continual sacrifice was taken away" (8.11-12 JND, RV margin). A number of questions have been raised in respect of Sir Robert Anderson’s calculation regarding the 69 weeks "unto the Messiah the prince" (9.25). These are not treated in The Times of the Gentiles.

A passage of some controversy is Daniel 12.2: "… many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake". Norman Mellish rejects the view that the verse deals with national resurrection for Israel as in Ezekiel 37, but relates it to the physical resurrection of individuals, including Old Testament saints, who are raised to share the millennial Kingdom of Christ. He also shows why the Old Testament saints are not "in Christ," and so are not raised at the same time as "the dead in Christ".

The Times of the Gentiles is an aptly-named study of important passages in Daniel. Its publication is to be welcomed. The reviewer’s prayer is that it will cause many to be exercised to understand like "the wise" of Daniel 12.10.



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