Friday, May 22, 2015

Understanding Bible Prophecy

Some people refrain from ever learning about Bible Prophecy. Why is that?

Did you know that Bible Prophecy accounts for 27% of the Bible?

If you don't want to read that, you're missing almost a third of the Bible! I believe the reason most people refrain from learning about Bible Prophecy is because they don't understand it.

Yet Bible Prophecy is the very reason why we can stand here in complete confidence because everything spoken of in regards to Jesus Christ the Messiah happened years before He was ever born. No one can say that about any other religious figure in history with such amazing detail and accuracy.

The first thing in regards to the fufillment of Bible Prophecy is Christ's First Coming.

Isaiah 46:9-10 ~ "Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please." (NIV).

God is absolutely exclusive. God knows the future in advance. The reason that this is important is so we can rely on the truth when faced with false prophets. False prophets can't do what God can. They can't predict the future.

Romans 15:4 ~ "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." (NIV).

Whatever is in the Old Testament is there for our learning.

So what does the Bible say about Christ's first coming.

Genesis 12:1-2 ~ "The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people,, and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing." (NIV).

Israel is one of the most controversial places in the world today. God tells Abram that He would establish a nation in a particular place. Jesus would be born in Israel. In order for Jesus to come, a place would need to be established.

Genesis 17:6-7 ~ "I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you." (NIV). 

Jeremiah 32:36b-38 ~ " this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. They will be my people and I will be their God." (NIV).

The nation of Israel had to be intact for the coming of the Messiah.

Micah 5:2 ~ "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, who origins are from of old, from ancient times." (NIV).

This prophecy was written 523 years before Jesus was born.

Isaiah 7:14 ~ "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a Son, and will call him Immanuel." (NIV).

What did happen?

Matthew 2:1-4 ~ "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him. When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with Him. When he called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born."

Herod was inquiring to know when Jesus would be born. Herod was getting his information in reference to Bible prophecy, was had been written beforehand concerning this very specific event for the answers.

Matthew 2:5-6 ~ "In Bethlehem in Judea, they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: "But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel." (NIV).

1 Timothy 3:16 ~ "Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by the angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory." (NIV).

God was manifested in the flesh!

Proverbs 30:4 ~ "Who has gone up to the heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!" (NIV).

God has a Son!!!

What was the fulfillment?

Matthew 1:20-21 ~ "But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins."

The virgin shall conceive a son! 743 years before it happened Bible prophecy was fulfilled by an angel.

Psalm 22:16 ~ "Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet." (NIV). 

1000 years before Jesus was born this prophecy was created. When Jesus cried out from the cross, it was as if he was pointing to the fulfillment of Psalm 22 in perfect detail. He was telling them to go to Psalm 22 while He was on the cross.

Matthew 27:33-34 ~ "They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with fall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots." (NIV).

The timeline of the church is from the Day of Pentacost where it was established until the Rapture. We are 2000 years from the Time of Church and now are waiting for the Rapture of the Church which can happen at any time.

Isaiah 11:10 ~ "In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. IN that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea." (NIV)

Jesse was the father of David, Israel's greatest king; God chose his family here that even thought the day would come when it might seem as if David's line was dried up, God would raise up a new shoot from the stump of Jesse to assume the throne of David. This was fulfilled in Jesus Christ who was given the throne of his father David; God placed his Spirit on Jesus at his baptism. Paul quotes verse 10 of this chapter as being fulfilled in Christ, for people all over the world now accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Gentile nations, which is where you and I fit in!

Matthew 16:18 ~ "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."(NIV). 

The next fulfillment of Bible prophecy is duel. It is both the persecution of the church and the Rapture.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ~ "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet with the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words." (NIV).

1 Corinthians 15: 51-52 ~ "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." (NIV).

What all this means is that we serve a God who can be proven, that the things written years before Jesus ever came to the Earth, God had a plan. Every single prophecy spoken of regarding Jesus has been fulfilled or will be fulfilled. The Bible is the only book that fulfills prophecy with 100% detail and accuracy and thus the reason for us trusting that what it says is absolute truth.

Some people might argue that the Bible was written by man and can't be true, but with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the entire Old Testament Bible with the exception of the Book of Esther was validated with 100 % accuracy as the words found in the King James Version of the Bible!

What a great reason to rejoice that what we believe is absolutely the divinely inspired Word of God!

1 comment:

David C Brown said...

Fine to see how God revealed His secrets to His servants the prophets.