Posts Tagged ‘introduction to bible prophecy’

Prophecy 101 – Back to Basics

June 11, 2014
Introduction:

Recently, I have felt that I needed to do a study of Bible Prophecy.  I have been pouring over current events, bible scriptures, videos, and anything else that I could get my hands on involving bible prophecy.  Believe me when I say that bible teachers and ministers are all over the map when they try to describe the scriptures and what those scriptures should mean to us.  One minister might say that a particular scriptures proves that there is a pre-tribulation.  Another minister or teacher uses that same scripture to assure us that it means there will be a mid tribulation.  It seems to me that the same scripture could not mean different things to different people.  Now I know that the Word of God is true.  So, knowing that then one must conclude that the perceptions of the ministers/teachers are biased to their predisposed theologies.  Therefore, I am writing this blog as much for myself as anyone else. 

When I first became a Christian and started studying the bible , different ministers recommended that new Christians start in Acts.   Some ministers recommended reading the gospels.  .  Some said to start at the beginning in Genesis.  So I asked God where he would have me start.  I thought I misunderstood when I felt in my spirit that I should start in the Book of Revelations.  So I spent a little time talking to God about that.  Why Revelations??  Why not Matthew or some other book.  I still felt impressed to study and read Revelations.  I soon found out that to understand and digest Revelations, I must understand the entire bible.  By no means, do I consider myself an authority on prophecy or the book of Revelations.   But perhaps my efforts to understand this great book may be of some help to you.  If you find it so, then Amen.

I would not have attempted this study until recently.  One of  my health issues has been a  lack of focus.  God spoke to me in a spiritual dream that He was doing a new thing in me and returning to me that which Satan has stolen over the past 10 to 13 years. 
My focus started to return that very week.  True,  I still have problems.  At this point I would not attempt to stand up in front of a group and deliver this but I can take my time and return to the material when my focus clears.  I believe that all the gifts that Satan has stolen from me will eventually be returned.  One of my good Christian friends who I respect so much, told me as she interpreted the dream that my gifts would be restored a 100 fold.  I liked that.  Now on to this article.

Why Study Prophecy

I wrote another blog recently about this topic but thought I would restate some of the points here for clairity.
One of the first questions we should ask ourselves is Why Study Prophecy anyway?  So I ask you.  Why would God have his prophets write a book of prophecy if he did not want his people to understand it??  John 5:39 says for us to  ‘Search the Scriptures.’  2 Timothy 3:16, ’All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.’ Notice that word ‘all’ and the words ‘is profitable.’ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable.  So that includes scriptures that may seem hard to understand.  It is our job to search these scriptures and rightly divide the Word of God and come to a clear understanding of what He is saying to us.  The prophetic scriptures are just as important as the historical scriptures.  Our Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, every part of it, prophetical, historical, is equally inspired of God.  We can not pick and choose what the important parts are.  It is all important.  Old and New Testament. 

Are you aware that there are many prophetic scriptures in the Old Testament that are unfulfilled.  God plans on fulfilling every Word that His prophets have said.  God, in His infinite wisdom, has put prophecy in His Word because He knows it is good for us to understand.  If God thinks it is good for us to understand then the matter should be settled. 

Years ago, I helped edit a book on counterfeit money.  The author explained in detail that the way you knew if money was counterfeit was by studying the real thing.  Not by studying the counterfeit.  In the same way, the Word of God should be studied so that you will be so grounded in His Word and His truth that you will not be vulnerable to  false teachings.   Knowing the Word of God helps us handle the counterfeit.  We not only know what we believe but also the Why we believe what we believe. 

Briefly, here are a few reasons to study prophecy.

1.  Prophecy Forms a Large Part of Scripture –
Did you know that a major portion of both the Old and New Testament is devoted to prophecy.  In fact,  nearly one third of the Scripture.are prophetic.   Only four of the 66 books of the Bible are without prophecy-Ruth, the Song of Solomon, Philemon, and 3 John. Even the shortest book of the Bible mentions prophecy (Jude 14, 17-18, which refers to Enoch and the second coming of the Lord).

 Out of the Old Testament’s 23,210 verses, 6,641 contain predictive material, over twenty eight percent. Out of the New Testament’s 7,914 verses, 1,711 contain predictive material, over 21 percent.

The apostle Peter, after testifying that he had seen Jesus Christ in all His glory, said, “And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). Peter here is appealing to fulfilled prophecy as a witness to the truth of the Scriptures. Proverbs  22:19-22: “So that your trust may be in the LORD; I have instructed you today, even you. Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?”

The word translated “prophet” occurs over three hundred times in the Old Testament and over one hundred times in the New Testament. It is made of two Greek words—pro meaning “before,” or “in place of” and fayme meaning “to speak.” A prophet, is someone who speaks for someone else, the other being God. A prophet speaks to man for or from God.

2.  Prophecy Reveals the Sovereignty of God
The Lord asks- Isa 44:7-8: “And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, let them show these to them. Do not fear, nor be afraid; have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’“

I remember the old sitcom “Charles in Charge”.  Well God is in charge of our past , present and future.    He details the history of mankind through his chosen people, the Jews and in so doing, reveals who He is and His characteristics and shall I say, awesome traits.  There is no other book like the Bible.  His Word is true and everlasting. 

3.  Prophecy Reveals The Future
The Lord wants you to know about the future. The reason we have the prophetical scripture is because there are things that an all-wise God wants us to know.  It is our job to search the scriptures for the truth revealed there.  Predictive prophecy is  foretelling the future.  Did you know that if the Jewish Rabbi’s had been reading the prophecies, they would have recognized Jesus as the messiah.  Instead, they were looking for a King, a leader not a suffering messiah.  They missed the most important event in their history.  Should be miss Christ’s second coming because we fail to study and know the scripture.

The apostles did not want the Church to be ignorant on eschatology.   Eschatology is a big word which means ‘last things, things concerning the end time.’ It takes in more than just the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul the apostle does not want the Church of Christ to be ignorant about things concerning the end. He says,   Romans 11:25 ‘For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.

4.  Prophecy Leads Us To Christ
A literal event in prophecy would be the virgin birth Isa.7:14. One of the major themes of the Old Testament is that God would send a Deliverer or Messiah (the Christ) to come into the world through the Hebrew people.  Micah 5:2 He would eventually rule as king over Israel as well as rule over all the nations of the earth (Isa.9:6-7). The New Testament spoke of the coming of Jesus Christ, “Which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures” (Romans 1:1-4). How would the people know the identity of this promised Messiah when He arrived? Isaiah told us who he is (9:6). Micah told us where he would be born specifically (5:2) and Daniel told us he would come before the temple was destroyed (Dan.9). We are also told of the family lineage he would come from (From Shem to David.) There are 330 or more prophecies of Jesus the messiahs 1st coming which are all fulfilled, 30 prophecies were completed in one day, at his death. There are twice as many for his second coming.

5.  WE CAN TAKE COMFORT IN KNOWING WE CAN COUNT ON PROPHECY
I emphasize this one because we can take comfort in knowing that we can count on prophecy and knowing that if God said it, It will come to pass.  I am looking for his return.  Just as his first coming was prophesied, so is his 2nd coming.  Jesus who died for our sins, has resurrected, sat down at the right hand of God and is getting ready to come again.

The signs from the nations mentioned in Scripture are quickly falling into place. Here are a number of  scriptures that tell us that he is coming again.  I have taken the time to print them out because they are so important to the study of Bible Prophecy.

Matthew 16:27   For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.

Matthew 23:39    For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’

Matthew 24:27   For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  

Matthew 24:30  “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn.  they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 

Matthew 24: 36-39  No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.   As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.   For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;  and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.  That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Matthew 24:42  “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

Mathew 26:64  “Yes it is as you say,”  Jesus replied.  “But I say to all of you:  In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Mark 8:36-38    What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with holy angels.

Mark 13:35-37   Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.  If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’

Mark 14:61-62    Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Might One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Luke 9:26-27   If anyone  is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

Luke 17:28-30    “It was the same in the days of Lot.  People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.  But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.  “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

Luke 18:8    I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Luke 21:25-28  “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.  On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.  Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.   At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

John 14:1-4       “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God ; trust also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Acts 1:11  “Men of Galilee,” they said. “why do you stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Acts 3:19-21    Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus.   He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.

1 Corinthians 1:7    Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.

1 Corinthians 4:5    Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes.   He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.  At that time each will receive his praise from God.

1 Corinthians 11:26    For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

1 Corinthians  15:23-24  But each in his own turn:  Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.  Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has  dominion, authority and power.

Philippians 1:10   so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 3:20    But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Colossians 3:4    When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

1 Thessalonians  1:9   for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us.  They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven,   whom he raised from the dead – Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

1 Thessalonians 2:19   For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?  Is it not you?  Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

1 Thessalonians 3:13   May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:4    According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of god, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage each other with these words.  Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.  But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

1 Thessalonians 5:23   May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:7    and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.  This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.

2 Thessalonians  2:1    Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.

2 Thessalonians 2:8    And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

1 Timothy 6:13-16    I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time – God the blessed and only Ruler, the King of Kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.  To him be honor and might forever.  Amen

2 Timothy 4:1-2     In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:  Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction.

2 Timothy 4:8    Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Titus 2:12    It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Hebrews 9:28    so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Hebrews 10:25    Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching.

Hebrews 3:7    For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.

James 5:7-9    Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming.  See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.  Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged.  The Judge is standing at the door!

1 Peter 1:3-5     Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and its an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:13    Therefore, prepare your minds for action;  be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 2:12    Live such good lives among the pagans that though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

1 Peter 4:13     But rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

1 Peter 5:4     And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

2 Peter 1:16  We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

2 Peter 3:3    First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.  They will say, “Where is the ‘coming’ he promised?

2 Peter 3:8-10     But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:  With the Lord a day is  like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise,  as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.   The heavens will disappear with a roar;  The elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

1 John 2:28    And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

1 John 3:2    Dear friends, now we are like children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.  But we know that when he appears, We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.   Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

Jude 1:14    Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Jude 1:21  Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Revelation 1:4    To the seven churches in the province of Asia:  Grace and peace to you from who is, and who was, and who is to come,

Revelation 1:7     Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him.  So shall it be! Amen.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, ” says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 3:11    I am coming soon.   Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.  Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.  Never again will he leave it. 

Revelation 16:15    “Behold, I come like a thief!  Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

ehold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to eve
Finally, I would just like to say that What and Why we believe is very important to the study of prophecy.  That is where we should start with Bible Prophecy.  Not only What we believe but why we believe it.  There are two scriptures that I feel must be addressed here as well.

Revelations  Chapter 1:3 & 19.
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand

19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

 

These verses reveal two features for reading the book of Revelations which is filled with end time prophecies..

The first is that reading, hearing and keeping the words of Revelations will lead to a blessing –  This is the only book in the entire bible that promises a blessing.  Why because the time is near.  Conversely, you will not know how near the time is.  God has given us this book so that we will not be caught unprepared. 

Satan does not want us to read the book of Revelations.  And this is why.  He does not want us prepared.  He does not want us to receive the blessing.  He wants to keep us dumb, ignorant and uninformed.  

Finally verse 19:  Gives us a Divine outline by which we can study this book.  Write, what he had seen, write what is now and write what takes place later – future tense.  In other words, the past, present and future.  So therefore, since God gave John an outline by which to write the book of Revelations, it should be a pretty good outline for us to study his prophetic word. 

Revelations is the book of Apocalypse:  Which means unveiling.  God wants us to know and understand bible prophecy.  In Daniel 12:4, Daniel was instructed  “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

I believe this is the time of the end and I believe it is the time when God will open this book so that we can see its true meaning.  Please join me as we take a look at bible prophecy in the day and age that we are living in.

Only then can we hope to understand the prophecies foretold in this great book. 
Grace and Shalom through Christ Jesus

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