2 Peter 1:21, KJV: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
We occasionally encounter people that refuse to believe anything religious, regardless of how compelling the evidence. I would not classify anyone as hopeless, but such people are so unreasonable in their steadfastness, they may be unreachable (Matthew 10: 14).
In recent years, I’ve found the study of Bible prophesy interesting and amazingly accurate. The correctness of prophesy is so on target, it is absolute proof of the Bible’s authenticity (2 Timothy 3: 16).
An example of prophesy fulfilled in the Old Testament are the predictions of the coming of a Savior. Genesis 3: 15 refers to the coming of one that would crush the head of the serpent (Satan). We know the man Jesus existed because He is written about by several writers in the first century. Hundreds saw Him and witnessed His miracles. Many saw Him after the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15: 6) and by faith Christians believe He died for the remission of sin and was resurrected.
Another prophesy fulfilled is the scattering of the Jews (Ezekiel 36: 19) and the subsequent regathering, 1878 years later (Ezekiel 36: 24). Some of us were alive when that regathering occurred (it began on May, 14, 1948).
In the New Testament, many prophesies are categorized by the by the statement, “In the last days,” or “The end of the age.” To become aware of so many of those prophesies occurring as we speak, is more than enough to get the attention of any discerning, analytical person.
Jesus listed several topics of prophesy in the “Olivet Discourse,” This is also called the “Olivet Disclosure” because Jesus was answering a question asked by the disciples on the Mt. of Olives, (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21). He said in the last days there would be deceivers (Matthew 24: 4, 11 and 24). There would also be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places (Matthew 24: 7). Our Savior told us we would be hated for His namesake (Matthew 24: 9) and that the love of mankind would wax cold (hatred) (Matthew 24: 12).
Some are saying the Bible was written in recent years and these actions and attitudes were present and are not prophetic at all. The finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran in 1947 proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is not true. The scrolls were carbon dated to between 1900 and 2300 years old. Carbon dating is the determination of the age or date of organic matter from the relative proportions of the carbon isotopes carbon-12 and carbon-14 that it contains. The ratio between them changes as radioactive carbon-14 decays and is not replaced by exchange with the atmosphere.
Paul listed many of the characteristics of mankind that would be seen in the last days. 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 “Know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” There’s no point in asking you if you’ve noticed any of these characteristics.
The Book of Revelation was written by John the Apostle while on the Island of Patmos. He was in exile for preaching Jesus as Savior. Recent articles on the subject of Christian persecution have listed several scriptural references (Matthew 24: 9 and 2 Peter 3: 3-4). John endured persecution but his time spent on Patmos provided us with information not found elsewhere. John, in symbology and example, revealed to us many of the circumstances that would exist in the last days.
The word “revelation” comes from the word reveal. God, by revealing these things to John and Daniel (Old Testament), apparently wants us to prepare for the time when it comes. Students of the Bible are clearly seeing many of these circumstances and actions taking place.
There appears to be a specific sequence of events that will take place as described in the Bible. I have long thought the first event would be the rapture, but have realized the currently occurring prophesies are actually the first to happen. If there were only one or two prophesies happening now, I’d simply say, “coincidence.” With so many occurring at the same time, it seems rather obvious, something is about to happen. I’m not predicting anything, just observing.
Next will be the rapture. Paul noted in 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18 the exact procedure. In 1 Corinthians 15: 52, he tells this will happen “in the twinkling of an eye.” This will usher in the Tribulation (Matthew 24: 21).
Those left behind will not have any idea what has “happened to all those people.” Being non-students of the Bible they will be clueless to the teachings of Paul in 1 Thessalonians.
The seven year tribulation will be a time of suffering like the world has never known. The circumstances of the seven years are partly described in Revelation 13. Implications are, the Antichrist will appear and rule the earth.
Implications are made pertaining to a one-world government, a common currency and the requirement of a mark on one’s hand or forehead in order to buy or sell anything.
After the seven years, Jesus will return and set up His 1000 year millennial reign on earth (Revelation 20). Next week, I’ll discuss the indications of Revelation 13 for us today.
Always remember, the winner in the end will be our Jesus and His believer-followers. Christ Jesus crucified for the remission of sin and resurrected; just believe!