Thursday, June 1, 2017

Understanding Prophecy VI

We can be sure of the details of the prophecies that have already taken place, because we see many details that were not included in the prophecy.  Similarly, we can have a pretty clear understanding of the prophecies that are happening around us, such as the Islamic efforts to take over other countries.  As we look into the future, however, we have only the prophecies themselves to base our understanding on.  While we know certain events will happen, we have only limited understanding of the events leading up to them or the exact details of those events.  A detailed understanding will not be possible until we see some of those events unfold. 

Even inspired prophets such as Isaiah, Ezekiel or Daniel had limited understanding of the prophecies they made as we see in Matthew 13:16-17.  “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.  For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”  While we have a general and in some cases quite detailed outline we do not know everything about what it will be like.  Let’s look at Daniel 11 again for an example.

“He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.  After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.  Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.” (Daniel 11:17-19)

As we have already seen, efforts by Islamic forces to take over other countries will lead to a major war involving an alliance of many nations in an effort to limit their aggression, but it is unclear whether the alliance will be one of several already in existence, such as the UN, NATO, the EU, or some completely new alliance that does not yet exist.    Daniel tells us, that whatever alliance this may be will conquer the Middle East and force Israel to accept a treaty they do not want. 

Once the Middle East has been subjugated, the alliance will turn its attention to the islands.  Since most of the world’s islands lie off the coast of Asia, including those of japan, Indonesia, Micronesia, etc. it is probable that they will turn to that region, successfully conquering some of them.   A single nation, possibly China, will stand against them, and decimate their army, and cause the alliance to collapse. 

The collapse of the alliance will result in union of nations to protect themselves, according to Daniel 11:20.  “Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.”  Their efforts to raise money for a strong government will result in an economic collapse, just as efforts to rebuild countries after a war have caused economic collapse in the past.  Throughout history, such economic collapses have often led to revolution and enabled dictators to take power, and this time will be no different.  

Daniel 11:21-24 describes this.  “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.  And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.  And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.  He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.”

This final ruler is the one Christians refer to as the Anti-Christ.  Our knowledge of history enables us to understand the prophecies as to how he will come to power, but they do not tell us who he will be or when he will come to power.    When we have spent the time studying the scriptures, and the history, and meditating on them, the Holy Spirit enables us to comprehend some of what the prophecies mean, but that does not mean we will understand every detail.  He does not want us to be distracted by details that are not relevant to our Christian life, but it is critical that Christians know things are going according to God’s plan.  H has given us an overview so that we can understand his plan and have an understanding of what to expect in the future, as it affects our daily Christian lives.  He does not need to constantly give new prophecies to bring us up to date.  


  1. Thank God that His Word is complete and needs no new revelation. We may not understand it completely until we see Him face to face, but in the meantime, we can find great hope in seeing prophecies fulfilled and in knowing that all His promises are true. Thanks for the great post and God bless,

  2. Amen. God knows exactly what we need to know to serve him in our time and will give us understanding of what we need. We don't have to have a perfect understanding of future prophecies to understand that he is making everything turn out exactly as he planned.