Why Study Prophecy?
By David J. Stewart
Revelation 19:10, “...for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
What an interesting statement in the Bible... “...for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The purpose of all Bible prophecy is to testify of Jesus Christ. We are told in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and THEY ARE THEY WHICH TESTIFY OF ME.” Amen, the Scriptures testify to the world concerning Jesus Christ! Thus, we should look for Jesus when studying Bible prophecy and how it relates to Him.
The reason why we ought to study prophecy is so more of Jesus will be revealed to us. Certainly, every verse of the Bible testifies concerning our precious Savior, but the Bible tells us in Revelation 19:10 that the very spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus.
The Book of “Revelation” is spelled singular (not plural). It is not “Revelations”; but rather, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1). The apostle John had been exiled to the isle of Patmos the Roman government, abandoned on a remote island as punishment for preaching the gospel. All of the prophetic revelations which the Lord gave to the apostle John were primarily intended to reveal more of the nature, character, purpose and plan of the Lord Jesus Christ.
More than anything, Biblical prophecy teaches us that GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES! Everything in the Christian life centers around and is based upon TRUSTING GOD, that He will do as He has committed unto us. Both secular history and the Bible evidence that all of the Messianic prophecies concerning Christ have already been fulfilled. Here are numerous non-Messianic Bible prophecies that have also been fulfilled.
In the excellent work by G. Campbell Morgan (1863-1945) titled, An Exposition Of The Whole Bible, Dr. Morgan states concerning the Revelation of Jesus Christ in Revelation Chapter One...
The theme of this Book is found in its opening sentence, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ." This should be borne in mind from first to last, and our subject should be to see Him as He is here revealed.
Kohn opens with a greeting to the seven churches in Asia, employing the words "grace" and "peace." He then emphasized that the words were from God through Christ, who claims to be "the Alpha and the Omega."
The first revelation of Jesus Christ is of Him in His glory as John beheld Him in the isle that is called Patmos. He is seen as "a Son of man," nevertheless, in His Person removed from all others in the amazing splendor of His glory. Human were breasts, and head, and hair, and eyes, and feet, and voice, and hands, and mouth. Superhuman was the golden girdle, and pure wool-whiteness, the flame of fire, the burnished brass, the many waters, the holding of the stars, the activity of the sword, and the splendor of the sun.
The effect produced by John by the vision was to make him appear "as one dead." In that condition he heard the voice saying, "Fear not; I am the First and the Last, and the Living One; and I was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades." The touch of that Hand, and the sound of that Voice equipped John to receive the unveiling which through him was to be given to the churches. Immediately following, the commission to write was given to John, and the relation between the Lord, His ministers, and the churches was set forth."
For further exegesis of the Book of Revelation, please read Let's Study The Revelation by Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001).
Thus, we are convinced that God Who has kept all His promises thus far will continue to do so in the future. You can count on Jesus! This is exactly what Romans 10:11 means, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” This does not means that you won't be embarrassed as a Christian, not at all. Peter was ashamed and denied Jesus three times, but Peter didn't lose his salvation. Peter afterwards wept bitterly and made his right with God as a Christian. I cringe when preachers misapply this Scripture to mean that a person who is ashamed of Jesus Christ isn't really saved. That's a false doctrine.
Eternal life is a free gift and has nothing to do with whether one is ashamed or not. Romans 10:11 is actually a quote from Isaiah 28:16, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” In other words, if you trust upon the Lord you won't have to run away (make haste) in shame because He let you down. Romans 10:11 means the exact OPPOSITE of what most people think it means. This is why we must study to rightly divide the Word of God as 2nd Timothy 2:15 teaches.
What a wonderful Savior! God loves us and wanted to share the big picture with us.
Revelation 1:1-3, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”
Do you know what prophecy is? Prophecy is history written in advance! Literally, we are reading about the future in past tense. That's a pretty deep thought isn't it? The Bible teaches that God is not bound by time constraints as humans are.
2nd Peter 3:7-9, “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Throughout history since the Book of Revelation was written in 96 A.D. (and thus the Bible completed), many people have either rejected or avoided the Book of Revelation because they couldn't understand it. It is important to know that God only wrote ONE Book! God didn't Author 66 Books; but rather, one Bible! It is impossible to understand the Book of Revelation without also studying the Books of Daniel, Joel and Ezekiel.
It has been well said that the Old Testament is the New Testament CONCEALED, and the New Testament is the Old Testament REVEALED. The Old Testament prophets often didn't understand what God had given them to pen. They were simply penning what God gave them to write. We are so blessed today to have the complete Bible. We can see the entire picture. We are so blessed of God to have THE TRUTH. During the dark ages the truth of the Bible was suppressed. Printing presses hadn't been invented yet. Today we not only have the Bible, but we also have awesome Bible study tools, concordances, dictionaries, photos of the Holy Land, lexicons, et cetera.
Hence, no one has an excuse these days not to diligently STUDY God's Word as the Bible commands. 2nd Timothy 2:15, “STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Studying is not just for preachers and Christian workers, for if that were true, then it would mean that most people are supposed to simply believe what someone else tells them. Never blindly trust anyone in important matters.
Don't Take My Word For It
The Bible says that the people who heard Paul's preaching at Thessalonica SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY to verify what Paul was teaching to them. Acts 17:11: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” I encourage my web visitors to do the same. Don't believe anything I say, but instead go check the information for yourself. I'm only a frail human being. I know for a fact that I've been wrong on numerous occasions, and I've had to edit information to make corrections. I assure you my friend that I don't have a single fault... that's right... I have MANY faults!
Why study prophecy? Because the Bible says this is how
Contrary to what most people think, the Bible is more than just a religious Book of history, it is life. John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and THEY ARE LIFE.” The same cannot be said of any other publication. Thank God for His precious Words that bring to us the Words of eternal life.
There have been 6 world powers throughout history; namely, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. We read about these “kings” in Revelation 17:9-11, “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”
Revelation 17:10 says 5 kings are fallen because Rome was still in power during New Testament times when Revelation was written in A.D. 96. Revelation 17:9-11 makes perfect sense in view of Daniel 2:36-49. Daniel's interpretation (as revealed by God in Heaven) clearly evidences that we are today living in the End Times.
Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold (Babylon). Medo-Persia was the breast of silver. Greece was the thighs of brass. The Roman empire was the legs of Iron. Rome fell to ruin in 486 A.D.; today there are no world-powers, only super-powers. The 7th kingdom is the New World Order!!! The Bible says in Revelation 17:11 that the 8th king (that is, the Antichrist) is of the 7th.
1st Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
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The Coming Artificial Food, Water and Oil Shortages!
Prophecy is history written in advance!