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
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.
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