As you read this blog, please do not offhandedly either accept or reject what’s said. Instead, check it out. Look it up in your Bible. What does God say in His word?!
Let’s talk a bit about prophecy starting with define your terms. So, if we are going to talk about prophets and prophecy and end times, what do we mean when we use those words? For the purpose of knowing what I mean when using those words in future blogs, here’s my definition of the terms:
Prophecy, according to the Miriam Webster dictionary is the inspired utterance of divine will and purpose. Whatever God has said about future events is prophecy; if God said it, it will be done. Some things He’s said have already come to pass: Israel will be dispersed and the land will become barren. Done. Eventually God will return the Jews to the land after their dispersment by Rome. Done. Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. Done. Some things He said have been partially fulfilled: the Gospel would be spread across the whole world. Not quite complete. Some things He said will, in fact, have dual fulfillment: Dan 9:25-27 predicts an especially evil ruler who will desecrate the Temple. This was first done by Antiochus Epiphanes in about 167 BC, but it will again happen through the future Antichrist. Lots of prophetic things are still in the future. Because we can look back and see various prophecies fulfilled exactly as predicted, we can have the utmost confidence that the remaining open prophecies will also be fulfilled 100% as God has dictated.
A prophet is a person who spoke and/or wrote down words, visions or dreams coming directly from God. Prophets had to be 100% correct in everything they said, or they were not true prophets. 100% accuracy. Pretty high standard but God’s Holy Word demands nothing less. Someone speaking in God’s name had better jolly well be absolutely positive he has heard from God and that person must pass on the Word exactly as he was told.
While the term “end times” correctly encompasses all the time between Jesus Christ’s first and second coming, for the purpose of this study the end times are those last few years prior to His return to earth. This end time’s focus will include the predicted birth pains as well as the final 7 years.
Did You Know: (some of these stats came from Dr. David Jeremiah’s writings)
- Somewhere around 25% of the Bible is prophecy
- There are about 660 prophetic Bible verses in all
- Half of these (330) are about Jesus Christ
- Of those 330, about 1/3 of them concern Jesus’ 1st coming and were fulfilled as written ie. Jesus would be sold out for 30 pieces of silver. Not 25, not 35, not a bunch of money, but 30. Exactly 30. (predicted in Zechariah 11:12; fulfilled in Matthew 26:15)
- Of those 330 prophecies, about 2/3 concern Jesus’ 2nd coming. Some of these appear to be happening right now ie. birth pains
If prophecy matters so much to God, why haven’t we paid more attention to it? It’s true that it’s difficult to understand; it is complicated and there’s lots of symbolism to wade through and make sense of. It’s true that it takes more time to understand prophecy than it takes to understand much of the New Testament. It is true that there is a little variation in people’s interpretation of individual verses –assuming, like me, that unfulfilled prophecies will happen in the future. It’s true that prophecy can be scary. It is NOT true that prophecy has nothing to do with this generation, that it’s only for Old Testament folks. In fact, it is especially pertinent for us, today, as we see the return of Jesus approaching ever closer. For the past two months I, along with many other watchmen, have felt that I’m being urged to, “tell them I’m coming soon.” Our spirits have strongly felt a sense of urgency.
The Bible tells us all of scripture is beneficial (2 Tim 3:16-17) and that most certainly includes prophecy. We are given a “heads up” about what’s coming down the road. Prophecy causes us to be in awe of the Lord, God Almighty. Through prophecy we have a means of helping others when times get tough.
Next time I will show a sequence of events starting from the return of the Jews to their God-given homeland through eternity.
Please, neither offhandedly accept nor reject what is said in this blog. Check it out. Look it up for yourself in the Bible. If you are a child of God you are in good hands and there is the most wonderful eternity waiting for you. If you are not a Christ follower, now is a really good time to honestly explore the truth claims of the Bible.