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Why Do We Need Bible Prophecy

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Amos 3:7Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” God will reveal to His people all things before He does them. 2 Peter 3:3-4Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” This is speaking of the coming of Jesus. Yet, this is not speaking of the world; they could care less about this, so this is something within the church. And this is true today; though many preachers think that prophecy is irrelevant for the church today.

          Deuteronomy was written by the first Bible prophet, who spoke of a greater on to come. Deuteronomy 18:21-22And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” From the beginning, God gave a way to prove and tell His word from that of others. Prophecy is God’s main evidence that the Word of God, the Bible is His word and not something made up by men.

Jesus used prophecy to prove that He was the Messiah. All through the gospels we read, this was done that it might be fulfilled that which was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah or whomever. It was tied to contemporary issues and times and was proof of the Word of God and of the Messiah being His servant to save mankind and that Jesus was that promised Messiah.

          Bible prophecy has an evangelistic purpose. Matthew 11:2-3Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” Even John the Baptist had some confusing about the fulfillment of prophecy. The Old Testament portrayed two different pictures of the Messiah, one of a king and one of a suffering servant that would die for the sins of the people, some times side by side. The answer to this question was Matthew 11:4-5, quoting from Isaiah the prophet. It was proof of His credentials and used in a contemporary way. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”

          After the resurrection on the Road to Emmaus we have this statement by Jesus to a couple of his disciples, Luke 24:44-47. “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.” Prophecy about Him was all through the Hebrew scrolls, the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms. One-fifth of the bible was prophetic when it was written and already four-fifths of that has been fulfilled and is now history and proof of the source of the prophecies.

          The only proof that God has even given to prove scripture, to prove that He is God, to prove the reality of Christ, is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and the prophecies of Him that were fulfilled contemporarily by His people when Jesus was alive. They prove that He was the Messiah and that He died and was resurrected and they used these things evangelistically. Acts 13:26-30Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead:” Jesus and the apostles showed the importance of prophecy.

 

So why study prophecy of the end-times and the second coming?

 

Because it is commanded! Matthew 24:32Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:” Learn is in the imperative, or a command. V.33So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Know is also in the imperative. Know or recognize that Jesus is at the door. Yet most of the church today is asleep because the church is not teaching these things about His second coming. Then He tells us that the generation that sees the signs will see the fulfillment of these things and the end of times. He is showing His counsel and warning the people. That is the purpose of prophecy.

          We should study prophecy for direction in the last days as times become more perilous. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” In contrast to the world, we are not supposed to be in darkness and overtaken by the things that are going to happen and know when it is the time or season for His soon return to be prepared.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” This is supposed to give a great comfort to God’s people in the terrible times that will come on the world that they might keep their faith in a time of great darkness in this world.

          Prophecy will give us an understanding of the world in which we live and give us hope and encouragement of how to live in these times, how we are to live and act in this world.

          It is surely true that if President Bush knew proper Bible prophecy and was taught the truth, he would not be trying to get Israel to give up land that God gave to them. God warns that He will judge those who try to take and usurp this land that He gave to Israel, which specifically speaks to and about the Muslim nations around Israel today. Israel belongs to Israel, not only because the Bible says so, but legally and historically Israel owns the land. There is an area of land called Palestine and Transjordan that was given to the Palestinians for a state back in 1922 by the League of Nations. King Abdullah sat in that very land given to the Palestinians and talked about Israel giving land to them for a state when they were already given such land on the East side of what is presently Israel. We are trying to push Israel into an impossible situation for their future and safety and it will cause us to come into disfavor from God in yet another area and bring us to a greater judgment. All the sins of America are adding up and this stand only adds to God’s controversy with America.

          Prophecy is important to evangelism. Many who have not been open to the gospel before or any other area or means of evangelism, are now becoming open to Bible prophecy because of the current world events of war and terrorism.

          Here is our expectation and hope in this time. Philippians 3:20-21For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” We will not all die, but some will be transformed in the twinkling of an eye and we will be conformed to the image of Christ and have a body like unto His, fit for eternal life with Him. We need a special faith and hope for the time in which we live that we might stand fast in the faith of Christ and rejoice in Him because our redemption draweth near, as He promised. Prophecy will give us an assurance of His Word that nothing else can give us.

 

The More Sure Word of Prophecy

 

          2 Peter was written just before the death of the Apostle Peter. When  a person knows he is about to die, he will say the most important things on his mind. 2 Peter 1:12-16Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (tales or literally myths). He is focusing on the Lord’s second coming and says that he was an eye witness of his majesty in relation to that second coming. V.17-18For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.” He is obviously referring to a specific event that is the most important thing he experienced, when he was on the mount of transfiguration. Matthew 16:28Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” This is really misunderstood as it is part of a chapter break that is not done in Mark chapter 9 giving the same event. It continues with Mathew 17:1-3And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.” The saw a preview of coming attractions, as Jesus will appear in His second coming. The language says that light shined out from within him out through his skin and he became as bright as the sun and Peter speaks of seeing this with his own eyes. Matthew 17:4Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.” Why were Moses and Elijah there? Many believe it is because they are the two heralds of His second coming in Revelation 11, (though there are other opinions of this as with most theology of the end-times events concerning the second coming, the tribulation and the timing of the rapture). Matthew 17:5-6While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

          This would truly be a most unforgettable experience for Peter. We are used to establishing what is real by our five senses, but the most important of the senses to establish reality is to see and hear, as Peter said He saw this preview of what was to come and heard the voice of God the Father speaking of Jesus. So at it comes time for Peter to die, he speaks in 2 Peter 1:18-19And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 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:” This is the most important point Peter makes, “more sure word of prophecy” speaking of Old Testament prophecies. From the Greek it literally says, “we have a more certain prophetic word” to which we do well to take heed. What is he saying? First he tells us that he saw Jesus transfigured and as He will appear when He returns and heard God the Father attest that Jesus was His Son, so he saw and heard this unmistakable prophetic situation of the second coming and yet in verse 19 he says we have a more certain prophetic word. What can be more certain that what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears? Peter is speaking of what God predicted through His prophets is more certain that what he witnessed on the mount of transfiguration and what he heard God speak. He says that the prophetic word, given to us by the prophets of old, is even more sure than that which he heard and saw. We must remember this in light of modern day prophets and prophecies and that all must agree with and never be contrary to what is WRITTEN. As many times even Jesus said as he quoted Old Testament scripture, “it is written.” And that which “is written” is the final word on the issue or subject for nothing written can be changed or fail to come to pass for Jesus also said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). In Psalm 119:89 David wrote it this way, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Then he tells us why. 2 Peter 1:20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. He tells us where prophecy didn’t originate and then where it did, which is why it is more sure. The point of the verse is origination and not interpretation. It didn’t originate in the prophets interpretation of history and events, but that the source of the prophetic words in the Bible is not from man, but GOD. Then Verse 21 tells us the source of the prophecies. 2 Peter 1:21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” It is as the wind driving a vessel at sea, these men were driven by the Spirit of God and guided to speak exactly what God wanted to say about these events. That is his case, that we should study Bible prophecy, because it is like a guiding light and more sure than anything we can see or hear for ourselves. Especially as the days approach the coming of the Lord. We are there. Yes, there are those who would seek to dull this light that would guide us. 2 Peter 2:1-2But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” The way of truth is the Word of God. This whole epistle is about knowing the prophetic Word about the second coming and how important it is for us to know that prophetic word. Then he gives an insight into what these false preachers will say.

          2 Peter 3:1-4This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” It is important to know that this has to refer to the church and not the world at large. The world could care less about the promises of Jesus second coming, but has to be people in the church mocking his second coming. They are contesting with those who say Jesus is coming soon and mocking them as they refer to the prophetic word. The dominionists, the preterists, the kingdom now people are all literally mocking the fact that we are so close to the second return of Jesus and mocking those who say all the prophetic events have come together and He is soon to return. One of the things they mock is the central theme of the last days. They are what are called replacement theologians. Changing the purposes of God in the second coming to fulfill his covenant and promises with Israel saying that all those promises have been taken away from Israel and given to the Gentile church and that the church is now Israel and the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob no longer are a part of God’s plans and have no future in God as they were promised because it has all been forfeited by them and given to the church.

          We need to know Prophecy to try and influence the direction of the politics of our nation that it not try to implement things against the very plan of God for His people Israel. We are in the times of the Gentiles, but that time is quickly coming to a close and about to end. Jesus said that the nation would be destroyed and the people scattered throughout the world and the land trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:24).

          What is next as far as God is concerned? It all began with land covenants God made with His people. Genesis 13:14-15And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.Genesis 15:18In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:” Israel disobeyed and the Northern kingdom was destroyed and then the Southern Kingdom of Judah was destroyed. Jeremiah 27:22They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the LORD; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.” They would be disciplined and then brought back. In the same way he predicted that he would bring the people back in the last days before His return in Ezekiel 36-37 and other passages.

          What has happened in the past will not negate His covenant and the nature of it. Jeremiah 31:35-37Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.” The dominionists say God has no more purpose for them as a nation, but that is against what God said. God recognizes they will sin and he will discipline but says that will not negate his covenant with them and he will not throw them off forever. Numbers 23:19 says; “God is not a man, that he should lie.

          Jeremiah 36:22-24Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.” God will not bring them back to the land for their sake because he says they don’t deserve it, but for His sake. God is doing that right now. Ezekiel 36:22-24 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” God will fulfill His Word and promises concerning Israel, for His own Name’s sake, for His own glory and reputation.

          Zechariah means “God remembers”. All through his prophecy, the focus is about God bringing the people back to the land he gave them and restore Jerusalem. Zechariah 1:12-15Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words. So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.” God will hold the Gentile nations responsible for the way they treated His people. He was a little angry at them, but they added to his judgment against them. V.16, 20-21Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem… And the LORD showed me four carpenters. Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.” Horns speak of the power of the Gentile nations. Zechariah 2:6-7Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD. Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.” This refers to the whore of Babylon in Revelation 17.

Zechariah 2:8For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.” God keeps His promises. Those who touch Israel are touching the apple of His eye, because God will not break His Word. We need to realize that our day of grace is about to come to an end and God is about to deal with all those who have mistreated His people Israel. Those who have done the worst against them will get the greatest wrath, specifically the Muslims, but also those who stand with them and work against His people.

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