Were all the prophecies in the Minor Prophets fulfilled in the past, or are they still relevant to us today?
Nathan Jones, my ministry colleague who serves as Associate Evangelist and Web Minister here at Lamb & Lion Ministries, has published a book titled 12 Faith Journeys of the Minor Prophets. It has already gone into additional printings and is being used by numerous Bible study groups. It is, without a doubt, the finest book I have ever read about the Minor Prophets. It is down-to earth, easy-to-understand, and it makes the messages of these prophets relevant to our lives here and now.
On a recent episode of Christ in Prophecy, I interviewed Nathan about why he felt led to write a book on such an obscure section of the Bible. I think by his answers you’ll be surprised just how relevant the Minor Prophets are to your faith today.
Christ’s Coming Kingdom
Dr. Reagan: As a teacher of Bible prophecy, I am particularly interested in end time Bible prophecy. So, Nathan, tell us about the end time prophecies found in the Minor Prophets.
Nathan Jones: A real discredit to the Minor Prophets comes from a number of pastors and seminaries today that teach that the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled in past history. Yes, certainly some of the prophecies that the prophets gave were dealt with during their time period. Assyria did come and take Israel away into exile. Babylon did come and take Judah away into exile. These were the exiles Moses prophesied if Israel continued to live in rebellion against their heavenly Father. The exilic prophecies came true, and so they are Old Testament fulfilled prophecies.
But, there are many New Testament fulfilled prophecies concerning the First Coming of Jesus, and still more unfulfilled prophecies concerning the Second Coming. Habakkuk received a prophecy and was like, “Lord, I don’t understand this prophecy you are wanting me to share.” And God’s like, “That’s okay. You don’t have to. The time’s not right yet.” Likewise, there are a lot of times as Christians when we don’t understand what God is doing in our lives. Habakkuk went through the same thing. God answered his prophet with something like, “You don’t have to know, but let me tell you what is going got come in the future.” Then God starts talking about the Millennial Kingdom. He did the same thing with Micah. God is like, “Hey, you know this country is going down the tubes, but look, the Millennial Kingdom!” Again and again, the Lord pointed people to the Millennial Kingdom as the answer to their confusion over Bible prophecy.Nathan Jones: Again and again, the Lord pointed people to the #MillennialKingdom as the answer to their confusion over #BibleProphecy. Click To Tweet
Dr. Reagan: In fact, Micah has one of the greatest passages in the Old Testament about the Millennial Kingdom.
Nathan Jones: Oh, yes, there are so many passages about Christ’s coming kingdom.
Old Found in the New
Nathan Jones: A great boost to the credibility of the Minor Prophets, Jesus and the Apostles quoted the Minor Prophets quite frequently. As a matter of fact, there are nearly 250 quotes in the New Testament that are based on Old Testament prophets.
For example, the sign of Jonah. In Matthew 12:39-40, Jesus referenced the sign of Jonah. Well, if you hadn’t read the book of Jonah, you wouldn’t know what Jesus meant. Jonah lived in the whale, or the fish, for three days, existing to the world as if he were dead. So, too, the Messiah would become the sign of Jonah. He would descend into the grave for three days as if dead and then come back to life again.
There were many prophecies found in the Minor Prophets concerning the First Coming, such as Jesus’ origins. Look, for instance, at Hosea 11:1. Hosea prophesied about how the Messiah would come out of Egypt. Well, why would the Messiah come out of Egypt? Matthew 2:15 tells us, because his family was fleeing King Herod’s murderous decree and hid out in Egypt until Herod died.
The Messiah was spoken of by the prophet Joel. Luke in Acts 2:16 references back to the book of Joel. So, the Minor Prophets can not be separated from the New Testament. The whole Bible is one cohesive work.Nathan Jones: The #MinorProphets can not be separated from the #NewTestament. The whole #Bible is one cohesive work. #BibleProphecy Click To Tweet
Dr. Reagan: Probably one of the best known prophecies about the First Coming of Jesus comes out of the Minor Prophets. What prophecies can be found in Micah?
Nathan Jones: Micah 5:2 can be found in Matthew 2:6. This is the prophecy that Jesus Christ would come from Bethlehem Ephrathah. Not the Bethlehem up north in Zebulun, but the Messiah would be born in the Bethlehem south of Jerusalem. That was a vital prophecy that came true.
Dr. Reagan: Micah’s prophecies were made hundreds of years before Jesus was born. If you keep reading that particular prophecy by Micah, it talks about how the Messiah will be eternal in nature. So, he is talking about God in the flesh there.
A Tremendous Discovery
Dr. Reagan: When it comes to end time prophecies, my favorite prophet is Zechariah. Zechariah 12 and 14, in particular, are prophecies specific to Jerusalem in the last days. I have a special place in my heart for Zechariah because that’s what turned my life all around when it came to Bible prophecy.
I grew up in an Amillennial church. I heard from sermons over and over that Jesus is never going to put His feet on the earth again. Never! He is just going to appear and we are going to go up and meet Him to live in Heaven, which is an ethereal world. Jesus will never reign on this earth. Rather, He is reigning now spiritually. That’s it! No prophesies in between the First and Second Comings or any thereafter.
Then, one day, when I was 12 years old at the time, I was just flipping through the Bible. We never studied the Old Testament. I found Zechariah 14 and it said that Jerusalem is going to be surrounded by enemies in the end times, and just as the city is about to fall, the Lord will come back to the Mount of Olives. Jesus puts His feet down and the mount splits in two. I couldn’t believe my eyes!
Then, in verse 9, Zechariah prophesied, “On that day He will reign as king over all the earth.” I thought, “Wow! I thought the only place it mentioned Jesus reigning was over in Revelation 20, and here it could be found in Zechariah 14.”
And, so, I took my Bible up to my preacher and I asked, “Sir, do you know what this is all about?” Well, he just read it and read it. Finally, he looked at me and answered, “I don’t know what it means, Son, but I’ll guarantee you one thing — it doesn’t mean what it says!”
One day later I read the whole book of Zechariah and I discovered something. You don’t have to be a space scientist to be able to discover this fact. Zechariah has a lot of First Coming prophecies in it, and every one of them meant what they said. I decided then and there that if they meant what they said, then the Second Coming prophecies also mean what they say.
So, a Minor Prophet turned the whole Bible around for me when it came to understanding Bible prophecy.
Nathan Jones: The Minor Prophets can certainly change your life. They changed your life, Dr. Reagan. We wouldn’t be talking here today if you hadn’t read Zechariah.
Dr. Reagan: Really, I just love the Minor Prophets. I didn’t discover them until I was about 35 years old. Once I began reading through those 12 Minor Prophets, I just couldn’t put the Bible down. To me, the faith lessons these men taught are just as fresh as if they were written yesterday. That’s because mankind hasn’t changed in thousands of years. Mankind is still the same. We are dealing with the same sin problems our ancestors did. Overcoming challenges to our faith is just as relevant to Christians today.
Nathan Jones: That’s why Habakkuk 2:4 is one of my favorite verses. “The just shall live by faith.” That’s the simple answer to all of the problems Christians face when we have faith challenges. The just shall live by faith. Trust God! Have faith.Nathan Jones: The just shall live by faith. That's the simple answer to all of the problems Christians face when we have #faith challenges. #BibleProphecy Click To Tweet
Dr. David Reagan considers the book 12 Faith Journeys of the Minor Prophets by Nathan Jones and his co-author, Pastor Steve Howell, to be the best book about the Minor Prophets that he has ever read.
The book runs a total of 313 pages. It sells for $20, including the cost of shipping. You can order online through our website!