Friday, June 2, 2017
Understanding Prophecy VII
As we have gone through Daniel 11,it has been apparent that various portions of the prophecy refer to different periods in history. In fact, Daniel 11 has already given us a general outline of history from about 500 BC until the time the Anti-Christ assumes power during the Tribulation period. As we have seen, some of those prophecies have already been fulfilled, some are in the process of being fulfilled, and others are to be fulfilled in the future. The remainder of Daniel 11 describes the actions of the Anti-Christ during the last three and a half years of the Tribulation.
Many other prophecies refer to a single time period or to single region of the world. By taking time to compare the different prophecies, we can get a better idea of where they fit into the overall picture and how they relate to us. For example, Matthew 24:1-15 refers to the same period we have looked at in Daniel 11, while Matthew 24:16-31 refers to the Tribulation period itself. Revelation 2:1-3:22 is devoted to the church age, from the time of the Apostles to the start of the Tribulation. Revelation 4:1-19:31 primarily details the events during the tribulation period, while Revelation 20:1-4 talks about the Millennial Period and the rest of the book talks about the new earth and the eternal kingdom.
Many of Isaiah’s prophecies relate to different countries, telling what will happen to them in particular period, while others describe the coming of Christ, or what things will be like during the Millennium. By taking the time to learn who the prophecies apply to, and when they are to happen, we learn a great deal about what to expect in different situations and can prepare accordingly.
Prophecy makes up about one fourth of the entire Bible, and since all Scripture is from God and has value to us as II Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, it is crucial to take the time to understand what those prophecies teach us. Sadly, many prophets and prophecy teachers have interpreted the prophecies to support and advance their own agenda with little or no concern for whether they are interpreting it properly, depending on people ignorance to allow them to get by with their false interpretations.
Many teachers use prophecy and fear of the Lord’s return to get people to make professions of faith in Christ. We need to remember that as Romans 10:17 tells us, “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Real faith will only come from what God has said, not a human interpretation, and as 1 John 2:21 tells us, “…no lie is of the truth.” Exciting as the false interpretations may be, they actually prevent people from developing true faith.
By applying the principles we have learned, we can get an accurate understanding of What God desires us to know, but it will require us to spend the time studying for ourselves rather than simply accepting what others tell us. In the process, we are very likely to find that some of the things we have been taught are incorrect and need to be changed.