THE "SPINE" OF BIBLICAL PROPHECY
This term is taken from the book by Derek Prince called "Prophetic Guide to the End Times". He says that whenever people wish to assemble the bones of a human skeleton, they always start with the spine, and then fit the other bones to it. He goes on to say that chapters 24, and 25, of the Gospel of Matthew, are the spine of Biblical prophecy, which directs us how and where to fit in the other scripture passages pertaining to the end time scenario. A careful reading of these passages, realizing they are the direct words of Jesus in answer to the questions of His disciples, give us the much needed outline of coming events. And if anyone should know how they will play out, it is certainly Jesus. I choose to believe the words of Jesus over the words of some man any time!
The 2 questions asked are recorded in (Matt 24:3). The first was "When will these things be?", and the second was "What will be the sign (singular) of Your coming, and of the end of the age?". The rest of chapter 24 answers these questions in chronological order. Verses 4-13 give the signs (plural) that will be the "first of the birth pains, with more to come". Then in verse 14 Jesus answers the first of their questions with " And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so all nations will hear it, and then the end will come." This is absolute proof that Jesus can not return at "any moment" because there are still hundreds of "people groups" who have never heard the Name of Jesus. In (Rev 7:9-14) we see the great multitude that can not be numbered, that we are told are those who have come out of the "great tribulation", from every "nation, and tribe, and people, and language"! Therefore at least one person from all these "unreached people groups" must hear the Gospel of the Kingdom and be saved, in order to be part of this multitude John saw before the Throne in heaven! This is only part of this "spine" we see outlined in (Matt 24:4-51), but it answers the first question asked in verse 3. One important word to look for when reading this chapter is the word "then", which indicates the order in which one event follows another. This is very important in keeping the right sequence for a proper understanding of end time events!