MP3: Traveling Down the Rapture Road in 2 Peter, Lesson 3
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Continue traveling down the Rapture Road with Nathan Jones and Vic Batista in this verse-by-verse study of the incredibly prophetic book of 2 Peter! You can start at the beginning with Part 1 or listen in to The Truth Will Set You Free podcast (above).
The Greatest Sign
Nathan Jones: We’re now closing the first chapter in 2 Peter with verses 19-21.
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Vic Batista: Nathan, if I were to ask you what is the greatest biblical prophecy that we are seeing being fulfilled in our lifetime, what would it be? What would you point to for someone who doesn’t really think prophecy is happening in our day?
Nathan Jones: I believe the greatest prophecy being fulfilled in our day is actually one of the most prolific out of all of the prophecies in the Bible. It’s recorded particularly in Ezekiel 36-37. That would be the return of the Jewish people out of exile back to the Promised Land after being exiled a second time. History saw the Jews exiled from Israel twice, and now they are returning to Israel by the masses. Half of the Jews in the world today are now living back in Israel.
The fig tree stands as a symbol of the nation of Israel and can be found in Hosea 9:10 and Jeremiah 24:1-10 and Joel 1:7 and Luke 13:6-9. Jesus said that all the things He had spoken of concerning the Tribulation would be fulfilled during the generation (Greek genea) that sees the “fig tree” reblossom. The day before, Jesus had put a curse on a barren fig tree, causing it to wither (Matthew 21:18-19). This was a prophetic sign that God would set the Jewish nation aside because of their spiritual barrenness — that is, their refusal to accept Jesus as their Messiah. Then, the next day, Jesus calls the fig tree to mind and basically says, “Watch it. When it reblossoms, all these things will happen.” The setting aside of Israel occurred in 70 A.D. The reblossoming took place in 1948 when the nation of Israel was re-established.
Jesus said that when Israel finally rebudded, in other words, when the fig tree blossomed once more, then that would be the era, or the age, when Jesus would return. Israel has been back in the land since the twentieth century. Israel next needs to be readied for the Messiah to return. Thus, we are waiting for Jesus Christ our Messiah to return and rapture His Church us up to Heaven and begin the Tribulation process that will melt the hardened hearts of the Jewish people so that they turn to Yeshua as Messiah.
The Missing Piece
Vic Batista: Another major end times sign I believe we need to pray about is our own country’s spiritual decline. I have noticed that when it comes to Bible prophecy, we don’t hear anything about the United States of America, right?
Nathan Jones: No, I don’t believe America can be found in Bible prophecy, other than how the Antichrist will rule over the entire world, including America, and that all of the nations of the world will come together and attempt to destroy Israel. That would mean the United States would be one of those nations. America doesn’t have a role in Bible prophecy other than generally.
Moved By the Holy Spirit
Nathan Jones: What we do know is that whatever prophecies were given, Peter said here in 2 Peter 1 that they were not given by the will of man, but by the Holy Spirit speaking through them. This is where we get the term “the inspiration of the Scriptures.” The Holy Spirit inspired these 40-plus writers of the Bible to write what God wanted them to say. Therefore, we can trust the Bible as God’s word. Peter even says this fact is confirmed.
And, when you follow God’s word, it will be like a light shining in a dark place. We may not always know where we are going in life, but prophecy tells us what the future holds. So, it is like a light shining down a path, so we can know where we inevitably will end up.
Vic Batista: Concerning a lot of the so-called modern-day prophets out there, well they are more perspiration than inspiration when it comes to biblical prophecy.
Nathan Jones: That’s what Peter is talking about in verse 20 concerning private interpretations. There sure are a lot of people out there posting, “This is what Jesus told me today, and I’m passing it on to you.” No, He did not! All of God’s revelation was fulfilled in the Bible, so there is no new revelation. These people who come up with these false teachings are usually sensuality-based, or materialistic-based, and not Bible-based. This is their own private interpretation, which Peter warns us away. Rather, a discerning Christian will read through the Bible, and by taking a literal interpretation, will know what God has to truly say about the future. We don’t need modern-day charlatans pretending to speak for God.
Vic Batista: It’s so sad to see so many individuals out there, such as Harold Camping who has since passed away, and so many others, claim to have a revelation outside of what the Bible reveals. These false prophets have given a black eye to biblical prophecy.
But, we should not get discouraged. Instead, we read the Scriptures and we point people to the Bible, and if there is something we don’t understand, we say, “We don’t know.” The idea is that God reveals to people His truth when we dig into His Word. There’s no shortcut to knowing God’s will. He reveals it to us through the Bible when we read and study it.
Nathan Jones: And for that to happen, that means you have to have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in you. When you read through the Bible, you will need the Holy Spirit to go along and help you understand the text. We can also turn to a plethora of commentaries and notes and research that other doctrinally sound Christians who are well studied provide to guide us along in our own study. We live in a time period when so many resources are available to help us understand the Bible which have never existed before. We truly live in a time period when God wants us to know the Bible, so much so that He has given us every opportunity and every resource to do just that.Nathan Jones: When you read through the #Bible, you will need the #HolySpirit to go along and help you understand the text. Click To Tweet
Vic Batista: For those who tune in to “The Truth Will Set You Free,” we hope we can be one of those resources for you. We are simply here to read the Scriptures and let the Holy Spirit teach us His Word, and not by our own private interpretation, but as the Lord reveals His truth to us.
We want to encourage you to read your Bible. Have a relationship with Jesus. Follow Him and trust Him. And, you’ll see what God is going to do in your life. Allow Jesus to transform you. Let His light shine in your heart.
For those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior, how can a person start their relationship with the Lord right now?
Nathan Jones: They will need to surrender their life over, giving control, to Jesus Christ. In faith and repentance, they’ll need to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord. They can earnestly pray from their heart something like, “Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Lord and Savior.” And, Jesus promises He will do just that. They will be cleansed of their sins. They’ll become adopted as children of God. And, they will share in the inheritance of an everlasting life with Him.
Vic Batista: Awesome! Keep your eyes up. The Lord loves you and He has a wonderful plan for your life. May the Lord bless you!
In the twelfth part of our faith journey down the Rapture Road through the book of 2 Peter, we’ll begin our examination of the second chapter of 2 Peter.