[This is a brief teaching series to point to the breakthrough shown us in Chronicles. The book itself is much more detailed.]
- Part 1—Introduction: What Is Chiastics and What It Can Do
- Part 2—Chiastic Reading Basics, Using Both Its Forms
- Part 3—What Parallel Form Tells Us
- Part 4—What Convergent Form Tells Us
- Part 5—How These Forms Change the Prophecy Landscape
In Parts 1 and 2 we learned that there is a different way to read the Bible, following word trails, wrapped around the center of passages, rather than linearly in sentences. The new way, which is actually a forgotten old way, is not forced—the words are plainly there.
In Parts 3 and 4 we saw examples of the two kinds of structures that can be seen in Bible texts which are parallel and convergent.
Now, here in Part 5 of this teaching series, we will see how these chiastic structures can lead us into completely new interpretations, or, give answers to topics long-debated, with chiastics literally weighing in on which side is likely the truth.
We will not get into the complete answers as they are presented in Chronicles, but for now, we will get a peak at these things. As answers pop up to long-asked questions, this is where the rubber hits the road.
The Relationship Between Texts Provides the Answers in Prophecy
I only touched on this in Chronicles, but it should become apparent to readers of Chronicles as they see structure after structure.
As I learned in my work as a systems engineer, it is not the components that define a complex system, but it is the interfaces and the signals exchanged between these components that make the system.
Likewise, the love of God we experience through His Spirit, comes ultimately from God the Father and from His Son, Jesus Christ, but it is the interface between them, the love of the Father for the Son and the love of the Son for the Father, that defines God for us, for we experience God’s love, his teaching, his provision, through His Spirit.
In the same way, the great truths we learn in God’s word through chiastic structures are not so much from the structures themselves, but from the interface, from the relationship, between the two texts, whether two halves of a convergent text, or the comparison between two parallel texts.
Let’s look at some examples.
The Identity of Mystery Babylon, the Harlot
This is one of the great questions of end-time prophetic theology: What is Mystery Babylon, and who does the Harlot represent? Chiastic structures give an answer. The texts of Revelation 17–21 form several parallel pairs. Among these are three pairs of parallel texts defining what Mystery Babylon is. When all three pairs are considered together, the identity of Mystery Babylon becomes quite evident.
We will look at only one of the parallel pairs here, in Figure 107, from chapter 37 of Chronicles.
We see two parallel texts, one in Revelation 17:1–8 and the other in Revelation 19:11–21. The echoing, parallel, word trails show us this relationship. Remember what we learned from Part 3 of this study: one of the messages told us by parallel texts is that two different narrations are related somehow. Therefore, we see a narration of Jesus Christ and a narration of the woman, the Harlot. They are related. How? They are opposite one another.
Note the markers.
Marker set one echoes a woman sitting, with Faithful and True, sitting. They each have a mount, the beast, and a horse.
Note marker set two. The woman is wearing scarlet-colored clothing. So is Faithful and True, wearing a robe dipped in blood.
Note marker set three. She holds cup of gold. He holds a rod of iron.
Note marker set four. Her cup is full of abominations. Faithful and True treads the winepress of the grapes that are the fruit of the woman’s abominations.
Note marker set five. Two figures in Revelation have names written on them: the woman has her name on her forehead, while Faithful and True has his name written on his thigh.
And the marker trail goes on.
Eight marker sets echoed between eight verses in Rev. 17 and eleven verses in Rev. 19 confirms for us these two passages are parallel.
There are two other parallel pairs, one comparing the Harlot with yet another entity (using fifteen echoing markers), and in another case, comparing what happens to both (in nine echoing markers).
It comes down to this. These three comparisons—these three contrasts—conspire with one another to call out who is in Mystery Babylon, and who it is. Mystery Babylon, the Harlot, the great city, is not Rome. It’s not the Roman Catholic Church. It’s not Mecca. It’s not Islam. It’s not New York City or the United States. It is not any single city or any single nation or any single religion.
It is simply this: IT IS EVERYONE WHO IS NOT A SERVANT OF CHRIST.
Figure 107’s part of the answer shows us (when considered with the other two parallel pairs) that either the Spirit of Jesus Christ rules in your heart, or the spirit of the Harlot rules in your heart. Just as all servants of Christ have Christ as their Lord, all those who are not servants of Christ have the Harlot as their queen. And just as no servants of Christ would be excluded from Christ, no one belonging to the Harlot is excluded here either.
After viewing the other two parallel pairs, it will become obvious to you.
The repercussions of this finding are great. First, you are a part of the Harlot if you do not belong to Christ. It is as simple as that. Those who live in the great city consider material possessions more important than the status assigned by Paul as them being rubbish (Phi. 3:8).
Second, the punishment of the Harlot, which includes the plagues to come upon her, has specific meaning spelled out in the Bible’s chiastic structures.
Third, another effect of the Harlot being the world is realized in Revelation 16:19: the great city became three parts. Yes, the gentile world is in three parts already. History teaches us this, conspiring with chiastics to give us answers here as well. The nations existing in each of the three parts of the world are already showing the signs of what their fates will be during the end times.
This is completely explained in Chronicles, chapters 37, and 45–48.
Understanding Daniel 11 has also been debated at length. Chiastics makes it easy.
The answer comes from two pair of parallel texts: a parallel between Daniel 8 and 11, and a parallel within Daniel 11 itself. Both pairs together teach us which parts of Daniel 11 are fulfilled in ancient times, and which parts are fulfilled in end times. A historical study confirming part of what chiastics is telling us is given in this earlier post.
The Purpose of Daniel 7
Daniel 7 has been long assigned as a ”beast” version of Daniel 2. In Daniel Revisited, I made the argument that Daniel 7 is to be fulfilled in the end times.
Well, chiastics clears this up too. All six chapters of “Aramaic Daniel” must be considered together. The way Daniel 3 relates to 6 and Daniel 4 relates to 5, is the key and the pattern as to how Daniel 2 relates to 7. Chiastics shows us these relationships. After exploring the chiastic structures of each chapter, and each chapter pair (we saw the Daniel 3/6 parallel chiasmus in Part 3), we explore the chiastic structure of all six chapters combined.
The chapter pairs, and a unique pair of word trails that run completely through Daniel 2 to 7 tell us that Daniel 7’s purpose is to be the master frame of reference for all of end-time prophecy (Daniel Revisited was on the right track, but only saw part of the picture). It becomes obvious once all the panel pairs and word trails are examined. We are also shown why the kingdoms are represented as metals and beasts, and why are the kingdoms particular metals and particular beasts. This only adds to the evidence supporting Daniel 7’s role.
The Trumpets and the Bowls
It is the parallel texts of Revelation 6–7 with Revelation 14, and the parallel texts of the seven trumpets with the seven bowls that actually tell us where these terrible plagues will occur: globally or only with the realm of the Antichrist. And yes, these parallel-structured texts even tell us where Antichrist will have his realm. It will cover only one of the three parts of the great city.
The mix of parallel trails and convergent trails within individual chapters of Revelation even show us how the seals and trumpets and bowls are to be grouped. They also highlight the driver for the trumpets and the driver for the scrolls.
The understanding of this all begins with a situation highlighting God’s sense of humor. The foundation for understanding the bowls, trumpets, and the Antichrist’s realm, is found in the texts of the sealed scroll (in Rev. 5) and the little open scroll (in Rev. 10). Very ironically, the key to understanding nine chapters of Revelation (Rev. 5–10, and 14–16), which we look at using this reading method once used in scrolls (chiastics), is found in the two texts of Revelation (Rev. 5 and 10) dealing with scrolls!
Thank you for reading through this five-part series. I hope it encourages you to read Chronicles. Before Chronicles, I only knew the four signposts of Daniel Revisited. I didn’t know Revelation or Zechariah, or about the Antichrist’s rule, or the bowls, or Mystery Babylon. I believe we can know these things as clearly as the signposts.
We have seen some significant questions become cleared up with chiastic reading. They are made rather obvious in Chronicles. We should not be afraid to realize and embrace these answers.
Yes, Mystery Babylon is the whole world.
Yes, the world is already in three parts, and the split began in the days of Daniel, believe it or not. Not only are the nations of the Middle East doing what the signposts predict they will do, but now China, Russia, Europe, Africa, and the USA are all heading in the direction they are to go for the end times.
No, the Antichrist will not rule the whole world, only one part of the three.
Daniel 11 is dissected by chiastics revealing which parts show Antiochus IV as fulfillment, the Antichrist as fulfillment, and both as fulfillment!
We are even shown, quite plainly, the timing of the Rapture (a book like Chronicles studying all of Daniel and Revelation would have to touch on this topic, wouldn’t it?).
I ask all my brothers and sisters reading Chronicles that they pray, and ask our God to teach them, having soft hearts, to receive what our Lord may be trying to teach us.