Does Bible prophecy validate the Scriptures as God’s authentic word?
Bible prophecy is one of the most ignored topics in churches today. Pastors avoid it like a plague. They usually assert that it is either too controversial or too difficult to understand. They often claim it is too other-worldly, meaning it has no relevance to Christian living here and now. The result is that one-fourth to one-third of God’s Word has been put on the shelf, and the average Christian ends up living with no anticipation or even yearning for the Lords’ soon return.
There are two areas of God’s Word that have been terribly ignored and abused in the history of the Church. They are the opening of the Bible and the conclusion of the Bible — the books of Genesis and Revelation. People have tended to spiritualize the opening of the Bible by claiming that the 6 days of Creation were really 6 million or 60 million or 600 million years. When you start out spiritualizing the Bible by claiming that it doesn’t really mean what it says, there is a tendency to do the same thing with the ending of the Bible, arguing that the book of Revelation really doesn’t mean what it says.
But, the abuses of Bible prophecy applies to more than just the book of Revelation. It applies to all of God’s prophetic word, and that is a shame, because the study of Bible prophecy is very important for many reasons.
I’m going to give you nine reasons why all Christians should be interested in studying God’s Prophetic Word. The following are the first three.
Number one is this: the quantity. One-fourth to one-third of the Bible is prophetic in nature. That comes as a great shock to many people, but it’s true. Think of it. In the Old Testament, you have the major prophecy books like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and all the Minor Prophets. Plus, you have the Psalms. Nearly all the Psalms are prophetic in nature. That is a lot of literature!
Then you get into the New Testament and you have entire books like 1 and 2 Thessalonians, the book of Revelation, and huge passages like Matthew 24 and Luke 21. One-fourth to one-third of the Bible is prophetic in nature.
What we are told in 2 Timothy 3 is that all Scripture, including prophecy, is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate equipped for every good work. Don’t take one-fourth to one-third of God’s Word and put it on the shelf. Dig into it. Study it. It will bless you.
Another reason to study Bible prophecy is its uniqueness. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about this or not, but fulfilled prophecy is a unique characteristic of the Bible. There is no other book in the world that contains fulfilled prophecies. Did you know for example there’s not one fulfilled prophecy in any of the sayings of Confucius or Buddha? There is not one fulfilled prophecy in the Koran, not one. There is not one fulfilled prophecy in the Hindu Vedras. There is not one fulfilled prophecy in the book of Mormon, not one. Only the Bible contains fulfilled prophecy.
The Bible contains hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of prophecies that have already been fulfilled in history. Look at Isaiah 41, “‘Can your idols make such claims as these? Let them come and show what they can do,’ says God the King of Israel, ‘Let them try to tell us what occurred in years gone by, or what the future holds. Yes, that’s it, if you are gods tell what will happen in the days ahead.'” He’s mocking the idols. He’s saying you worship a totem pole. Have your totem pole tell me what is going to happen in the future.
I was in India once and noticed people worshiping large boulders, and even worshiping rats! Have the rat tell me what is going to happen in the future. Have the boulder tell me what is going to happen in the future. The God I worship, the true God of this Universe — Yahweh — He knows the future. He proclaims the future and He sees to it that it comes to pass. Test the idols in that way.
3. Validates Scripture
Here’s another reason we should study Bible prophecy: it validates Scripture. Prophecy attests to the supernatural origin of the Bible. Some seminaries say,”No, the Bible is simply man’s search for God.” It is not! It is God’s revelation to man. Bible prophecy proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt.
For example, take Isaiah 13. In Isaiah 13, he prophesied that Babylon will fall to the Medes and the Persians. When Isaiah wrote that prophecy, Babylon wasn’t even a world empire. When he wrote that prophecy, the world empire was the Assyrians. And ye, Isaiah said that one day Babylon will be the world empire and it will fall to the Medes and the Persians. That has to be supernatural knowledge!
Or, consider Micah 3:12 where Micah prophesied that Jerusalem would become a heap of ruins and that the Temple Mount would be plowed. That was written 100 years before Jerusalem was destroyed and the Temple Mount was plowed by the Babylonians.
Or, consider Jeremiah 29:10. Jeremiah said they were going into captivity in Babylon and there they would stay for 70 years. That is the exact amount of time they stayed there. In fact, in the 69th year of their captivity, Daniel discovered Jeremiah’s prophecy and calculated they had been there for 69 years. He realized they had never repented. And so, Daniel got on his knees and prayed one of the greatest prayers of repentance in all the Bible there in Daniel chapter 9. He asked God to forgive the nation that the prophecy might be fulfilled and so they would be released from captivity in the seventieth year.
Consider this. In Isaiah 44 and 45, written 150 years before the end of the Babylonian captivity, the Jews would be released from captivity by a king named Cyrus. Some 150 years before Cyrus was even born, Isaiah prophesied that the Jews would be released by this man, and the prophecy even gave Cyrus’ name.
Of course, many are familiar with the prophecies of Daniel, especially in Daniel 2 where Daniel was given a vision. He interpreted the vision for Nebuchadnezzar. “Sir, you are the golden head — the Babylonian Empire — and you will be overthrown by the chest of silver, which will be the Medo-Persian Empire. And it will be overthrown by the thighs of bronze, which will be the Greek Empire. And it will be overthrown by the empire represented by the two iron legs.” We now know that was the Roman Empire. Daniel wrote history in advance better than most people have written it after the fact. It was all by the supernatural knowledge of God.
Or, consider Jesus. Jesus was a great prophet. When He left the Galilee for the last time to go to Jerusalem, He put a curse upon three cities. He put a curse upon Capernaum and Bethsaida and Chorazin. He said, “If I had preached in Sodom and Gomorrah what I preached here, Sodom and Gomorrah would have repented. You didn’t repent, curse be upon you.” About 150 years later there was a great earthquake and those three cities were totally destroyed. Tiberius was not, but those three were. They were so totally destroyed that by 1800 the critics of the Bible were writing books in which they were saying they could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the Bible is full of myth, legend, and superstition because it said Jesus spent His ministry in those three towns, and yet they never existed. Today you can go visit all three, because since 1850, all three have been discovered by archaeologists.
Jesus was a prophet. In fact, there’s a picture of Him sitting on the Mount of Olives which reminds me of the fact that in the last week of His life He looked out on that city and said, “Do you see this city? Do you see that Temple? Not one stone will be left upon another. The Temple will be destroyed.” It was 40 years later in 70 AD that Jerusalem and the Temple fell, just as Jesus prophesied. Was that a coincidence? I don’t think so.
In the second part of my teaching on the importance of Bible prophecy, we’ll look at the fourth through sixth reasons why we should all be studying God’s prophetic word.
14 CommentsLeave a Comment
I agree, Bible prophecy is very ignored, and by many churches. God is telling his believers ahead of time what hes going to do. I became very interested in bible prophecy when I saw events happening the bible predicted over 2000 years ago, about the times, and the conditions in which people would go through, as well as Signs and wonders. Everything has happened just as Jesus said it would in Matthew 24:3….telling his disciples what to look for at the End of the Age.
If you ignore Bible prophecy, you are ignoring the Lord’s plan and his prophetic plans for this world from past to present. Our class is studying many of the books of the Bible, Daniel is all about prophecy and Revelation as well. You can trust the Bible, its the total truth of God meant to Guide you through your life with wisdom and clarity. Find your Passion and Pursue it like Paul did which was Christ. Philippians 3:7-15. Hebrews 12:1 “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
You stated: “And it will be overthrown by the empire represented by the two iron legs.” We now know that was the Roman Empire.”
Something that isn’t taught but is in the Bible is that the third beast—the leopard with four heads and two sets of wings– plays its life out in three phases. The life of this beast is connected to Nebuchadnezzar’s statue and the riddle of the dragon in Revelation. As you do so do most prophecy expositors think the legs of the statue is Rome. The connections between all of Daniel’s prophecies and Revelation prove otherwise. I am offering a free Kindle copy of my book on Daniel’s four beasts this week (4/23 thru 4/27).
Greetings in the name of Jesus.
I believe the biggest problem facing the church today is that very few believers read their bibles. If you are trying to read your bible as you would any ordinary book you have no understanding. I find that it’s not prophecy they are not interested in, it’s the BIBLE. We are in the last days and most of the church seems to be the world at large. There is so much rubbish out there it is scary. The church i attend won’t allow talk of the second coming or of the condition of the world. They are concentrated on the gospel.
Good point, Rodney! How sad some churches approach Bible prophecy as a distraction from the Gospel message, when in truth, knowing that Christ could come at any moment provides a great motivator to share the Gospel while the time is short.
Christ tells all the signs before His coming, in Matthew 24. He won’t come before those, so imminence is not Biblical. Paul also tells us antichrist comes first.
Churches not only avoid prophecy in their so-called teachings, but they also avoid teaching what God, and what God’s son Jesus taught about churches. Both of them taught that churches are apostate, works of the flesh, and false religion. However, that’s not all they leave out. They teach only very few little tidbits here and there, and don’t even teach them truthfully OR accurately. The law of the Christ tells us to take in ACCURATE information about God, DAILY. No one who is part of any church EVER does this, since they don’t have access to accurate information. So sad.
This article was enlightening until at the end where it says there are two phases to our Lord’s return. Not correct! There is a second coming which is soon to take place. There is no secret rapture as many, including myself, were taught for many years. There is no second chance for the lost when Christ returns. Scripture does not teach a secret rapture and another return. Search and study and learn! That is a false doctrine to throw people off course. It makes people lazy and careless as they think they will be taken out before things get bad. ( They are already bad) It keeps them from studying Bible prophecy as they should because they think they will not be here for the Tribulation. That doctrinal falsehood can be traced back to the Jesuits and has been passed on by others such as Scofield. Only adding assumptions to scriptures can be how anyone can come up with the secret “snatch away” rapture. Many have died for the faith and been martyred. God was with Daniel in the lion’s den; He was with three Hebrew men in the firey furnace. We are in the end times now. Can we not have faith that He will be with us through all that is coming?
Being a Christian does mean having to endure suffering and trials at the hand of man (Jn. 16:33; Phil. 1:27; 1 Thes. 3:3; 1 Pet. 4:12-13). But, the Tribulation like the Flood is about God’s wrath (Isa. 24:22; Zeph. 3:8; 1 Thes. 5:3; 2 Thes. 2:12), and believers in Christ are promised to be exempt from God’s wrath (1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:4; Rev. 3:10). There’s an important difference there.
For information on why I believe the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is the best argument for the timing of the Rapture, please check out these articles on our website at http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_rapture7.php and http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_rapture4.php and our “Christ in Prophecy” shows posted at http://www.lamblion.com/television/programs.php#Rapture.
For years I believed in the secret rapture. I am so glad that the Lord let me see I was wrong. Scriptures say every eye will see Him when He comes. Matthew 24 and other places are very very clear about the Lord’s return and when it will take place and what it will be like. In chapter 2 of II Thessalonians, it clearly states that Christ will not come before the Anti-Christ is revealed. Where I am living today, I have been seeing increasing signs of Christ’s return as many weird things are going on visibly in the sky here. It began almost five years ago and has been increasing ; so I am quite sure we are already in the Tribulation period of which the Bible speaks. So for those waiting for the secret rapture, I think you are going to be very surprised and perhaps you will feel God abandoned you when you finally realize you are IN the Tribulation period. You have misunderstood the scriptures. Let me ask you this and please think hard and pray about this: when God sent His wrath upon Pharaoh in the days of Moses — where were his children when the plagues were coming down. Yes! They were right there! They did not disappear and neither shall
we! As much as Jesus talked about the second coming — how could He have overlooked something as important as telling us He was coming two more times, the first to snatch us away from all that was coming? He did not tell us He was coming TWO more times because He is not! When one believes in this secret rapture and tries to bring everything into alignment with that event — the whole puzzle is really all scrambled. We are already in the Tribulation time, Christ is coming extremely soon, and there are no second chances for the unsaved. May God bless you and lead you into truth as He is TRUTH and LOVE!
Our short Inbox video on why we’re not currently living in the Tribulation – http://christinprophecy.org/sermons/the-inbox-9-are-we-currently-living-in-the-tribulation/.
Sorry Nathan, we are there and you will see it quickly ( and I mean quickly) get worse. We do not need to be afraid when we trust in God. I listened to your video and it certainly did not change my mind as I have already seen too much proof.
Signs in the skies alone that I have seen prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. The count-down will move quicker and quicker. Recall that Jesus said, “behold I come quickly!” We have not been in the tribulation, like some believe, since WWI. This is much more recent. Satan is doing an awesome job hiding what is going on and blinding people. Never have I ever seen people more blind than in these days! The blindness is actually more of a concern than the things the Lord has shown me. And even more concerning than the blindness I see is that many Christians I know are blind — which should not be at all! Waiting for His very soon return–but not in a secret rapture!
May the Lord bless you. Judith
Well I thank you, Nathan, for posting the video and the other references.
Judith’s comment: “Signs in the skies alone that I have seen prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt.” doesn’t provide substance or facts for me.
The quote by Dr. Reagan at the end of “why we are NOT currently living in the Tribulation” says it all and sums it up:
“When the Tribulation begins, the people who are on earth will not have to call anyone to find out for sure whether or not it has begun. The Tribulation will be a living hell with a degree of violence that is unparalleled in all of history.” – Dr. David Reagan, Lamb & Lion Ministries
“Signs in the sky” are not proof that we are living in the Tribulation now. And while things ARE getting worse and worse, that only tells us our Lord and Savior is soon going to come and take His church out of this world. That is a comfort I live FOR and BELIEVE with all my heart. Lamb and Lion Ministries has factually and Scripturally shown me this is true. And I am grateful to your ministry…..to you, Nathan, and especially to my all time favorite….Dr. David Reagan!!!
Connie, thank you for those encouraging words! So good to hear the article was a blessing to you.