Category Archives: Prophecy

Blogs and Essays concerning Eschatology–The Study of Last Things.

10 Reasons to Study Prophecy

Why study Prophecy?

Gregory D. Davidson, D.D.

 

I have been acquainted with many Christians who believe that a study of prophecy is useless. I even heard a prominent evangelist here in my area say that we should never study prophecy and that the Bible backed up his claims.

This centuries old trend is not only confined to my neck of the woods, it seems to be an “unspoken” rule throughout many churches and ministries in our nation that they do not teach prophecy.

Many find prophecy hard to understand and boring. John Calvin, a great Reformer, wrote a commentary on the whole Bible except Revelation. Prophecy was never meant to be so hard to understand that even one of the greatest leaders of our Church could not understand it.

People get into trouble when they get away from a literal understanding of scripture and begin trying to symbolize or allegorize everything. We should take the Bible literally and not try to read into it something that isn’t there. Every prophecy that has ever been fulfilled has been fulfilled literally.

As Christians, we have the author of the Bible, the Holy Spirit, present with us when we read and study scripture. We should always seek His wisdom when we try to interpret God’s Word.

It is my view that we should all at least familiarize ourselves with the basic tenets of prophecy. After all, all of God’s Word was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Below are Ten reasons why we should study Prophecy.

1. Jesus told us to watch. He tells us in Matthew 24:42:

“Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord is coming” A knowledge of end-time events will keep us alert and ready.2. Prophetic scripture is the Word of God. We must never ignore any part of God’s Word. It has been said that 28% of the Bible is prophetic scripture; almost a third of scripture! The second coming of Jesus is mentioned some 318 times in the New Testament. Remember Paul’s words to Timothy:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

II Timothy 3:16,17 (emphasis mine)3. It proves the Word of God is true. Friends, God is no liar! When we see how many prophecies were fulfilled to the smallest detail, we will build our faith. Jesus fulfilled many, many, Old Testament prophecies by His birth, life, death, and resurrection.

Lets look at one of Jesus’ prophecies that was fulfilled to the letter. In responding to His disciples statement about the grandness of the temple, Jesus said,

“See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” This prophecy saw its fulfillment in A.D. 70 when the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem. Tradition says that the fire in the city was so hot that the gold on the temple melted and ran into the cracks of the rocks. Thusly, the Roman soldiers had to tear down every stone to get the gold!

This is not a special case. Every prophecy given by inspiration of God has been fulfilled literally and to the smallest detail.

4. The Apostle Paul valued prophecy. Many scholars agree that the first epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians was one of the first books of the New Testament. It was certainly one of his first. The mass of content in both letters to the Thessalonians is prophetic. Thus we see that prophecy was important to Paul and the early church.

5. Jesus rebuked the people for not knowing the signs of the times.

“Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?”

 

28 Now learn a parable of the FIG tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Mark 13:28-30

 

We know from Hosea 9:10 that Israel is the fig tree. Israel became a nation again in May of 1948 thus putting forth her leaves. There are differing views on this issue but some think that this generation will not pass away until we see the second coming.

You can see that a study of prophecy is essential to knowing the signs of the times.

6. Prophecy promotes revival. Looking back over history, you will find that when congregations and individuals focused on the study of prophecy and end-time events great revival resulted.

There is just something about learning of the reality and consequences that we will face in the end times that motivates us to live better lives and focus on God’s will.

7. A promise of blessing. God promises blessing for those who read and meditate on the Book of Revelation. We see this throughout the word of God that if we read and meditate on the Holy scriptures we will make our way successful. We can not meditate and be complete by ignoring almost a third of the Bible.

8. A study of Prophecy promotes Holy living. As we touched on earlier we will want to live better when we see the blessing that study brings and the reality of the consequences of sin now and in the future.

We can be sure that every prophecy that has been given will be fulfilled to the letter because that is how it has been since the beginning. A study of prophecy assures us that God will do what he says in the future because He has never failed to do so in the past. Prophectic study also reveals that the Rapture of the Church is emminent so we must do our best to witness and live right for God now, which brings us to our next reason.

9. Prophecy promotes witnessing and missions. When people see prophecy being fulfilled around them and the terrible events that will take place during the Great Tribulation when the restraining force of the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth, many will be motivated to witness to their family, friends, and to the ends of the earth. There should be an urgency in our hearts. The Church in America needs to study prophecy to be educated on this issue. A recent poll showed that nearly 70 % of Christians agreed that there was more than one way to heaven. This is unacceptable. A good study of prophecy would resolve this issue and motivate Christians to rebuke this heresy before it is too late.

10. A good study of Prophecy gives us confidence and hope. It shows us that no matter what happens, God is in control and He has a plan for our future. It assures us that we will spend eternity with Him if we have given our lives for His service.

The world can crumble around us but we can be assured that God will do what He says. Prophecy reveals that as members of the body of Christ, we will not have to endure the Tribulation and the wiles of the Antichrist. We can rest easy knowing that our fate is sealed.

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I Believe I Can (will) Fly! The Rapture of the Church

I Believe I Can Fly

The Rapture of the Church

Gregory D. Davidson, D.D.

 

 

It seems that man has always been fascinated with flying. From the Wright Brothers to NASA to the current day, technology is advancing. But  I truly believe that I can fly and I will not need a machine. No, I have not went crazy. I am speaking of a future event in which the church will be “caught up” in the air to meet our Lord known as the Rapture.

There are many people confused about the second coming of Christ. Many, many, Christians do not realize the second coming will be in two different stages: the Rapture and His Glorious Appearing at His Second Coming. These two events are clearly taught in the Bible. Lets look at the Biblical evidence.

At the Rapture, Jesus comes for his own. (John 14:3) (I Thess. 4:13-18)

At His Second Coming, He comes with His own. (I Thess. 3:13; Jude 14)

During the Rapture, He will come in the air. ( I Thess. 4:17)

At His Second Coming, He will come to the earth( Zech. 14:4; Acts 1:11,12)

Only His own will see Him at the Rapture.(1 Thess. 4:13-18)

All will see Him at His Glorious Appearing (Revelation 1:7)

The Rapture has no signs preceding it, but His Second Coming has definite signs that will precede it. (Luke 21:11, 25)

These two events will be seperated by a seven year period known as the 70th Week of Daniel or the Great Tribulation. This seven year period is also called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7) referring to Israel. This in itself is a hint because it refers to Israel and not the Church because it will not be here on earth during this time.

God has a distinct plan for both Israel and the Church. Israel must endure the 70th Week of Daniel to fulfill its payment to God. The Churches payment has already been paid by Jesus Christ, therefore we will not have to endure the Time of Jacob’s(Israel’s) Trouble.

There are many references in Scripture that convey a message of a Rapture of the Church seperate from our Lord’s Glorious Appearing when He comes to set up His Millennial Kingdom here on earth. Most people use First Thessalonians 4:16 & 17 as the base scripture for the Rapture.

(16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. and the dead in Christ shall rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with theLord. (emphasis mine)

Some opponents say that the word ‘rapture’ does not appear in the Bible. This is not a worthy objection. The original Latin translation of the Bible by the Christian scholar Jerome, used the Latin word ‘rapere’ to correctly translate “shall be caught up.” The word ‘rapere’ was later used as the derivation of our English word ‘rapture’.

The most concrete biblical evidence for the Rapture, I believe, is found in the Book of Revelation.

For starters, the Rapture is in the right place chronologically in Revelation. Chapters 2 & 3 deal with successive Church eras. The first event after the end of the Church age in chapter 3 is the call of John (who typifies the Church) to ‘come up here’ in chapter 4. The rest of chapter 4 and chapter 5 deal with visions in heaven. Chapter 6 introduces the Tribulation.

On careful study and consideration, you will notice that the Church is absent in chapters 6 through 18. Why? The events described in these chapters are taking place on earth. The church is absent because it has been Raptured. The extensive use of Old Testament language and symbols in these chapters point to Israel.

There is also other Biblical evidence that implies that the Church will be Raptured before the Tribulation. Consider these four reasons:

1. The Lord has promised to deliver us. (Revelation 3:10)

2, The Church is to be delivered form the wrath to come. ( 1 Thess. 1:10)

3. The Church is not appointed to wrath. (1 Thess. 5:9)

4. The Church is absent in Revelation chapters 6 through 18.

There is more evidence in the Word of God that point to a Rapture or taking away of the Church. Remember how God ‘took’ Enoch away from the world because he walked with Him. (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5) Or how about Elijah who was taken away. ( 2 Kings 2:11) You might even say that Noah and Lot were in a sense ‘raptured’ from the evil that came upon the world in which they lived.

For me this amount of evidence in itself is enough for me to know without a doubt that one day, I will fly away from this wicked world to be with my Lord forever.

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