In the last few years there has been an upsurge in books and articles written about End Time Prophecy. Of course, this really started with the establishment of Israel as a state in 1948. You would think, therefore, that this prophecy thing is a recent development. You would be wrong.
Christopher Columbus wrote his Book of Prophecies in 1501-02. In this book Columbus referred to the prophecies of Daniel, Ezekiel and, of course, the Revelation. Columbus expressed many of the same opinions about the anti-Christ and the Tribulation that we are familiar with today, and he was looking for the Millennial Kingdom, but his timing was off.
The brilliant Sir Isaac Newton, in addition to devising his Theory of Gravity and taking the time to invent or develop Calculus, was a student of the Bible. He knew there was something beneath the surface text of the Word, but could not find it. It was not until the Twentieth Century that Equidistant Letter Spacing and the secrets it reveals became known. Brother Newton (I consider “Brother” a more noble prefix than “Sir”) had this to say about prophecy;
In fact, his statement is almost prophetic itself, considering the division in Christianity between literal and figurative interpretations of the Bible and Bible prophecy.
Robert Fleming, Jr. attracted much attention in the early Nineteenth Century due to his application of portions of the Revelation to history. By converting prophetic days to prophetic years, Fleming called for judgement against the Papacy to begin about 1794 and to end about 1848. When Napoleon invaded Italy in 1796 and in 1848 the Pope was driven from Rome, Fleming's book The Rise and Fall of Papacy became very popular. What made Fleming more interesting was the fact that his book was published in 1701. You could say that Brother Fleming was a “prophecy nut.”
E. W. Bullinger, while perhaps not a prophecy nut, was most certainly a Biblical, historical and astronomical scholar. In his study of solar cycles, Brother Bullinger determined the time that Jerusalem was under the control of Gentiles was reflected by those solar cycles, and would come to a conclusion in 1897! Bullinger clearly stated that he was not calling for the Coming of the Lord Jesus, “either with or for His saints,” or for “what is commonly and erroneously called ‘the end of the world.’” He simply felt that there would be some event marking the end of Gentile control over the Holy Land.
In 1897 Theodore Hertzl held the first Zionist Congress, which marked the beginning of several efforts to return the Jews to Israel. Again, the remarkable comments of Brother E. W. Bullinger were published in his book The Witness of the Stars in 1893!
I point out the work of these Brothers-in-Christ to show that interest in prophecy and looking for the Coming of the Lord is nothing new. I also must confess, I am a prophecy nut. Even so, come Lord Jesus!