Category Archives: prophecy
We sing Christmas carols to celebrate the birth of Jesus. At Easter we sing songs about his resurrection. Some time in the future Jesus will return to Earth as ruler and usher in a thousand years of peace and prosperity. Isn’t that worth singing about too? But it seems that there are very few songs about this subject.
Actually there is a very famous song that celebrates Christ’s return. It is called Joy to the World. But isn’t Joy to the World a Christmas carol? It is usually sung during the Christmas season. Perhaps we should examine it a little more closely. Read the rest of this entry
When people speak of Mary, the mother of Jesus, they often refer to her as the Virgin Mary. Is this designation accurate? She was certainly a virgin when Jesus was born.
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1:24,25)
Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” That was certainly true of Jesus. His mother Mary honored him because the angel Gabriel had foretold his birth and he had been born while she was still a virgin. Joseph honored him because after he discovered that Mary was pregnant an angel appeared to him in a dream to tell him that Jesus had been conceived by the Holy Spirit and that he would save his people from their sins. But after he was born Joseph and Mary had other children. There were four boys named James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, and an unspecified number of girls. These children had not received the divine revelations their parents had and they thought that Jesus was just an ordinary person like them. Read the rest of this entry
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry.
And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O LORD GOD, you know.”
Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. (Ezekiel 37:1-8)
Nearly one third of the Bible consists of prophecies. Some of these prophesies have been fulfilled while some will be fulfilled in the future. You would think that people who believe the Bible and read it regularly would be well informed on this subject. That isn’t always the case because many prophecies are hard to understand and there are a lot of conflicting ideas about what they mean. If you have a hard time understanding this subject you might be able to find help at this site: raptureforums.com. Read the rest of this entry
Matthew 6:9-13 contains the prayer known as the Lord’s Prayer. It contains the phrase “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Is this part of the prayer being answered today? It appears to me that most of the earth is rebelling against God’s will rather than following it.
The Bible tells us that God created the world and everything in it in six days and we should acknowledge him as our Creator. Humans have come up with the belief that the earth developed by natural processes over billions of years and that life arose by a process of evolution. This belief is such an integral part of our culture that even many Bible believers accept it and interpret the Bible in a way that accommodates the belief that the earth is old. I once believed in an old earth and reconciled this belief with the Bible by believing in the gap theory. Read the rest of this entry
The Israelites spent 400 years in Egypt. They were invited to settle in Egypt to escape the famine in their own land. At first they were honored guests but that status changed.
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”
Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. (Exodus 1:8-11)
The people prayed to God for freedom from their bondage and God chose Moses to answer their prayers.
Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:7-10)
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. (1 Peter 1:10,11)
The Old Testament prophets tell us of the suffering Christ experienced when he was crucified; they tell us of the glory associeated with his rule over the earth during the Millennium. But what do they say about the time between these two events, the time in which we are living now? The answer is: not much. In fact they say nothing about the most important aspect of this era, the formation of the church. The apostle Paul was given the task of revealing this truth to us.
When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Ephesians 3:4-6)
The Old Testament teaches that Gentiles will be saved; it never tells of the formation of a new body composed of both Jews and Gentiles. Paul not only teaches us about this body but he also tells how it will be removed from the earth through the event known as the rapture. Read the rest of this entry
There are a lot of people who claim to be prophets who speak for God. The Bible warns us that many of them are not true prophets and we are not to listen to them. But how can you tell who really is a prophet and who isn’t? The Bible answers this question.
And if you say in your heart, “How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?”— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)
God sent Jonah to prophesy to the people of Nineveh.
Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” (Jonah 3:4)
This is how the Ninevites responded.
And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it. (Jonah 3:5-10)
Jonah said Nineveh would be destroyed in forty days and it didn’t happen. Does this mean that Jonah was a false prophet? Read the rest of this entry
The Bible foretells the coming of a ruler known as the beast. Satan will give him power and the people of the earth will worship him.
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth.
And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
There is a literary genre called post-apocalyptic fiction. It depicts a future in which civilization has been destroyed by a war or some other catastrophe and the survivors are attempting to cope with the changed environment. Most people have heard of post-apocalyptic fiction but not many realize there is also a class of literature that is post-apocalyptic fact.
When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush he revealed his name to him.
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”
Moses was a descendant of Abraham. He gave the world the Torah, which he said was based on revelations given to him by God. Judaism is based on the teachings contained in this book.
Muhammad was a descendant of Abraham. He gave the world the Koran, which he said was based on revelations given to him by God. Islam is based on the teachings contained in this book.
The similarities between these two aren’t just a coincidence.
Alexander Pope wrote:
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring.
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
(In Greek mythology the Pierian spring was a fountain which was sacred to the Muses and imparted learning to anyone who drank from it.)
There are times when having just a little learning about what the Bible says can be a dangerous thing.
The Bible prophesies a restoration of the Roman Empire just before Christ’s return and many Bible teachers think that the European Union is the fulfillment of that prophecy.
When the EU was formed this belief seemed reasonable. The founding members were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,and West Germany and these countries are all in territory that was once part of the Roman Empire. But since membership has grown and it now includes nations such as Sweden, Finland, and Poland that were never part of the empire.
Anyone who has studied the Bible much is probably familiar with Isaiah 7:14:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
The New Testament tells us that it is a prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus.
Chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel describe an invasion of Israel which is stopped by divine intervention. There is disagreement among Bible students about when this invasion will take place. Some think it is a description of the final battle at Armageddon; some think it will take place earlier, perhaps before the beginning of the tribulation. In the Left Behind series it takes place even before the rapture of the church.
The last part of Ezekiel’s prophecy contains a description of the temple that will exist during Christ’s thousand year reign on earth. The Levites who serve in the temple will be divided into two groups. Read the rest of this entry
In the Old Testament it is clearly taught that there will be a resurrection of both the good and the bad.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
The laws God gave to Israel through Moses included a requirement that they sacrifice animals as an atonement for their sins. These sacrifices didn’t actually take away sins but only served as a picture of what Christ would do when he died for sin. Hebrews 10:11-14 says,
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Read the rest of this entry