Prophecy, what it is, and isn’t

Last week, we got a hint of signs and of the details of Scripture, while at the same time making Christ somewhat secondary in our studies. Again, there is nothing wrong with studying the details along the way of our journey toward maturity but if we study and focus on the details and not Jesus, then it is wrong to study them. The Bible is all about Jesus, for Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega [1], the beginning and the end, and everything else in between.

Many have a misconception of what prophecy really is, its purpose, and how to interpret those signs. There are those who think that prophecy is just foretelling the future. In the literal sense, this is not prophecy. In fact, the Bible vehemently forbids the telling of future events [2], which is divination [3]. Prophecy is, however, the ability to decipher and interpret what God is actually saying with any given scripture and using it to warn, encourage, and edify the body [4]. Explaining God’s Word and sharing God’s heart is the bulk of prophecy and the job of a prophet.

v6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
v11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
v12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. . .[Ephesians 4:6, 11-12 KJV]

However, a prophet can prophesy what is coming at a future time in history providing that he or she interpret the signs, the correct way. Let’s look at this apparent contradiction.

To prophesy for a coming event, the prophecy itself has to line up with the Word of God or it is divination. This is number one. God will also always set the stage for any future event that He warns us about with preset signs that lead us in the direction of that event in the future [5] just like last week’s nun anecdote concerning metaphorical signs. God’s Word records these preset signs. The signs leading to the prophesied event must also line up with God’s Word as well.

We search the Word of God for these signs and match them up with world events of the day, which in turn will lead us to the prophesied event. The Bible proves itself, so the more we know about the Word of God, its context, and the age in which they wrote it, the better we’ll understand about what is coming.

The Spirit-filled writers of biblical times wrote the Bible in a language that was much different than today’s language, whereas, some words have different meanings than they do now. In addition, and because of the differences in recorded history then and now, such as customs, traditions, metaphors, and analogies, understanding the Bible can be difficult at best.

A good knowledge of Jewish customs and traditions are an asset to any prophecy student and/or prophet, as is the study of etymology both in the Hebrew and the Greek. Here’s a novel idea, we need a close relationship with Jesus Christ. Since Christ is the Word [6] we do this through the Holy Spirit who guides us to all truth [7] through the Word.

The rapture of the church [8] is the next major event that prophetically has to happen. Nothing prophetic needs to happen before the rapture. Time has fulfilled all prophecy. The rapture is an un-datable event in human history, so it can happen at any time. No one knows when Christ will come for our spirits [9].

There are six other things that will scripturally happen before the return of Christ, but they will not pertain to the body of Christ because my fellow pre-tribulation saints, all Christians will be gone. The six remaining prophecies are namely, the six trumpet war [10], the seven year peace treaty [11], the rebuilding of the temple [12], and the abomination of desolation [13], the three and a half year tribulation [14], and Armageddon [15]. Then Christ will return [16] with all of His saints [17] to reign on earth.

Christ is the spirit of prophecy [18] and He gives us a peek at the future events in Matthew 24. Like the nun story we just look for the signs to those events while traveling on our spiritual highway. These signs are scattered throughout God’s Word. We then match them up to today’s events. Watch Israel. Israel is the key to all events.

Remember though that the Bible is all about Jesus. We should concentrate on Christ and not on what’s coming [19], be it from Matthew 24 or from the book of Revelation. To God is the glory for ever and ever [20]. Concentrate on winning souls for Christ and loving one another. We should be interested only in the context of end times for the purpose of preparing ourselves [21] for those events, and to help those whose wrong decision will leave them behind.

Have fun studying. There is enough Scripture here for a healthy study of Scripture, and what is to come, albeit a very condensed study of prophecy. However, may I exhort you just to focus on Christ?

Next week: I’ll go over Christ’s discourse on what is coming, as we look at Matthew 24. There are many signs of His coming. I might even have to do Jesus’s words of Matthew 24 in a couple parts. We don’t have to worry or concern ourselves about Revelation 13 because we won’t be there, (Providing a pre-tribulation evacuation is God’s plan). I’ve migrated from pre-tribulation belief to a pan-tribulation belief, because it will all pan out in the end. See you all next week.
[1] Revelation 1:8; Revelation 22:13
[2] Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:9-14; Leviticus 19:31, 20:27, and many many more. It is divination unless founded in Scripture.
[3] Divination comes from Latin word divinare which means, “To foresee” or ‘to be inspired by a god (the operative words being ‘a god’ small g.). It is associated with the occult. [4] Ephesians 4:11; Ephesians 4:6, 11, 12
[5] Matthew 16:3; Luke 12:56
[6] John 1:1
[7] John 16:13
[8] 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3
[9] Ecclesiastes 12:7
[10] Revelation 9:13-21
[11] Daniel 9:27 This will be a seven year peace treaty (covenant), which will be broken half way through with the abomination of desolation. This is where the Antichrist will stand on the temple mount and declare himself in charge declaring that all oblations will cease, which is basically saying that he is God because God put His name on the temple (Deuteronomy 12:5).
[12] Daniel 9:27 This is the same thing as Jacob’s trouble in Jeremiah 30:7
[13] Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15, 16; Matthew 15-22
[14] Time = one year, times = two years, half a time (Or the dividing of a time) = six months. Equals 3 ½ years Daniel 7:25, Daniel 12:7. 42 Months = 3 ½ years Revelation 13:5. 1260 days = 3 ½ years Revelation 11:3. All equal 3 ½ years.
[15] Armageddon means the “Hill of Megiddo” Revelation 16:12-16
[16] Matthew 24:36
[17] 1 Thessalonians 3:13; Jude 14, 15; Revelation 19:11-16
[18] Revelation 19:10
[19] 1 Peter 4:7-11
[20] Romans 16:27; Galatians 1:5-7; Philippians 4:20 and many others
[21] Isaiah 65:17; Luke 19:13; Revelation 21:1 Not the end of the world, like some intimate, but the end of the age, the end of human government, and God’s dealing with mankind. Then there is the millennial reign of Christ, Revelation 21:1.

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