Bible prophecy is God’s revelation to us about future events.
Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. [Isaiah 42:9]
Throughout Scripture God reveals to us through Bible prophecy things that are to happen in the future.
Interestingly, Bible prophecy can also be a history lesson as we see the fulfillment of prophecies in the historical portions of the Bible and in mankind’s historical record.
What we learn from the historical accounts recorded in the Bible as well as the laws and commandments put forth throughout Scripture can help us better understand the prophetic parts of the Bible. In other words, we must let Scripture interpret itself.
Historical accounts of the Bible written by other authors can shed some light on prophecy in that we can better understand the context the Scriptures were written and see God working through particular circumstances to bring about future eventualities.
Unlike any other book in the world, the Bible contains hundreds of fulfilled prophecies pertaining to cities, nations, empires, and individuals that can be verified in the historical record. The literal fulfillment of these prophecies demonstrates the accuracy of biblical prophecy, and it only makes sense that yet unfulfilled prophecy to be equally accurate.
The First Coming of Jesus Christ was Prophesied in Bible Prophecy
It was prophecy that foretold the coming of Christ (Isa. 7:14, Isa. 9:6, Mic. 5:2). Fulfilling those prophecies, it was an angel that appeared to Mary to tell her that she was going to have a son (Luke 1:26-38). After Jesus was born, it was angels who appeared to the shepherds in the fields, announcing the good news of the coming of the Messiah. And an angel also came to the wise men that had traveled to see the baby Jesus, warning them to go home by another route. Angels have always been known in the Holy Bible as God’s messengers who reside with God in heaven when they are not doing his bidding on earth.
We can rest comfortably knowing the Bible is accurate and true. We can be confident that God’s plan will become manifest in time and in the end… we win.
Bible Prophecy Declares Jesus Christ Is Coming Again
Scripture is full of prophecies promising the return of Jesus Christ and the gathering of His church, what some call the Rapture of the Church. While we can rest comfortably on that expectation, the difficulty and cause of some division within the Church is the interpretation of those prophecies and where they fit in God’s timeline.
That’s where you see denominational beliefs from a historical point of view or futurist. There are some passages that clearly reside in the past and have historically been fulfilled. There are others, though, that are thought not to be fulfilled and will be fulfilled in the future. Those of most interest to many bible students are those found in Ezekiel, Daniel, Matthew 24, Matthew 25, and Revelation.
God Considers Bible Prophecy Important…
He put so much of it in the Bible.
Although prophecy constitutes a large part of the Bible, its importance is constantly downplayed by those who dismiss it as having no practical significance, that it can’t be understood, or by those who object to it on the grounds that it is a “fad” that takes people’s eyes off Jesus.
Others dismiss many of the prophetic sign interpretations as “conspiracy theory” and not worthy of their attention.
I believe the study of Bible prophecy and understanding how these things may come to pass can affect how we live our lives today and how we might prepare for the future.
Ignoring the study of biblical prophecy means ignoring the study of a large part of the Bible.
- Every fourth verse in the Scripture deals with prophecy.
- The coming of the Lord is a truth of such importance that it is mentioned 318 times in the 260 chapters of the NT (on an average of once every 25 verses).
- The only subject mentioned more frequently than the second coming is the subject of salvation.
- Paul mentioned the communion ordinance only twice in his 13 epistles and baptism only 13 times, but he mentions the return of our Lord 50 times!
The Law of Cause and Effect
We can better understand the prophetic scriptures as we study the historical and wisdom parts of the Bible as well as the parts defined as “Law”. There are 759 statutes, laws and judgements in Scripture that outline the cause and effect of many areas of our lives. Each of these precepts describe an event or cause with a predictable result or effect. These laws were true when God decreed them and they are true today, as they will be true in the future.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. [Hebrews 13:8]
However, it seems that the more things change, the more they remain the same. While history can provide valuable education for those who pay attention to it, not everyone pays attention. I’m often amazed when reading the book of Jeremiah and elsewhere to see civilizations thriving as they follow God’s law and suffering as they reject that law. Theirs is a history like a yo-yo. These people, like us, have been provided by God valuable commandments to follow with predictable results. When they followed the law, they were blessed. When they rejected the law, they suffered.
I’m not suggesting that we are still required to follow the law in this age of grace, but they do provide the best guidance on how we live our lives and explains the outcome of ignoring them.
In a sense, when you understand this cause and effect relationship of God’s Word, much of what we might consider prophecy is not really unknown. Though we might not understand the specifics, we can understand the more general principle and live by it. The Bible stands as a witness to the events unfolding before our eyes. In order to better understand prophecy, we need only to rest at the Savior’s feet and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our heart through His written word.
I am not a prophet.
I do not presume to be a Biblical scholar or historian. I am a student. There are others gifted by God to be scholars and historians, and it is through their ministry we can learn the intricacies of Bible prophecy. Through a prayerful study of their teachings combined with a self-study of the Word we can begin to apply the words of holy scripture into our lives and begin to experience the truth that sets us free.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:31-32
The pages contained within this Jeremiah Project website are not meant to be a scholarly manuscript “proving” some theological perspective of Scripture. It is more of a “journal” describing my journey of learning and “experiencing” Bible truth, putting Scripture into practical terms when possible, and challenging you to seek God’s Truth on the path He leads you.
The guy in the following video does a pretty good job of describing history and connecting it to Bible prophecy. While I don’t necessarily agree with some of his conclusions, he does present an interesting idea worth consideration about the importance of Bible prophecy.
FROM BABYLON TO AMERICA: THE PROPHECY MOVIE
Sovereignty of God
Despite our best efforts to understand prophecy through the lens of experience and history, God stands above everything we know and understand, and only He has the power to bring prophecy to pass.
It is this sovereignty of God issue that challenges us mere mortals. We cannot know His multi-dimensional existence. Who among us can comprehend the dead being raised to life? Does your imagination prevent you from seeing the “glorified body” you’ll receive with powers beyond anything we understand? It is similar to Jesus’ body upon His resurrection in that it cannot die or age, nor is it subject to any of the limitations and temptations of a natural human body. These new bodies will be no longer “natural” bodies, but “spiritual” bodies, no longer focused upon the natural senses but at one with the Holy Spirit.
While He may open our eyes to see things, as he did with John in Patmos, the outcome is still under His control. While we may be blessed to discern future events and may not always see things clearly, we can know He is in control and the results are His. The entirety of Scripture (history, law, and prophecy) is there to give us comfort in the knowledge that He is in control and there is a plan.
While we cannot know the ultimate details of God’s plan and the specifics of future events, we are not left totally clueless either. God has provided to us a road map with statutes and laws to follow. He has promised certain results for those who follow his plan and consequences for those that don’t. Recall the words of John 8:31-32, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
He has demonstrated to us through history that He is faithful and there is order in His way.
In the wake of increasing violence, violent weather, natural disasters, and other calamities befalling mankind, some might ask, “What does it all mean?” I believe many of these events are designed to wake us from our slumber.
He is trying to get our attention.
It says in 2 Chronicles 36, that God always warns His people. He raises up voices to warn His people, but for the most part, people do not listen and they attack the messenger. Then there will be no remedy for them.
And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. – 2Chr. 36:15-17
God does not pour out His wrath without first warning us.
God wants us to know Jesus will return. God’s seeming delay in bringing about the consummation of all things is a result not of indifference but of patience in waiting for all who will come to repentance. God is giving us every chance to repent of our sin and return to Him. He is being patient with us because He wants everyone to come to repentance.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. – 2Peter 3:9
God wants everyone to hear the gospel and does not desire anyone to perish eternally (1Tim. 2:4).
This does not mean that all will be saved, for if a person rejects God’s grace and salvation, then he or she remains lost and there is no remedy.
Spirit of Lawlessness
Since the fall in the Garden of Eden, man has declared his independence from God and demanded his own way. You can see a clear pattern throughout the historical accounts in the Bible of man rejecting God’s way and attempting to create his own reality (see Jeremiah 2:9-13). This pattern of lawlessness, injustice, and increase of wickedness dominates our society today.
Some have rejected God’s laws concerning celebrating His feasts, for example, saying it is meaningless in light of the end of the Old Testament sacrificial system and the destruction of the Second Temple in A.D. 70. For these and many others, they seem more inclined to practice the 10 planks of communism rather than the 10 Commandments.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. – Matthew 24:12
Emergence of the Antichrist
The high level of apathy among the population and ignorance of Bible prophecy is paving the way for the Antichrist. The day may not be far off where you will be called upon to declare your allegiance to whom you will follow. You will have the choice of remaining loyal and faithful to God and be persecuted for it, or be loyal and faithful and show allegiance to the king of this world and be left alone. It would appear the Antichrist will easily deceive people who only want to hear what tickles their ears and feeds their selfish desires. We are witnessing events today that would appear to be setting up the tyrannical antichrist new world order with hardly a whimper from most people.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. – 2 Timothy 4:3-4