Questions a reporter would ask:
How? – Inspiration: “Carried along” by the Holy Spirit – 2 Peter 1:21
For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. – 2 Peter 1:21
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, – 2 Timothy 3:16
Who? – God, speaking through His prophets and His Son – Hebrews 1:1-2
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; – Hebrews 1:1-2
What? – Predictions about the future
Other religions have prophecies too, but they are unreliable. Islamic prophecies borrowed from the Bible and perverted.
When? – From the beginning of human history to the New Heaven and New Earth
From Genesis to Revelation
Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”—2 Peter 3:3-4
Where? – Given in Bible lands/ Received everywhere. Recorded in most books of the Bible (more than 1/4th of the Bible is prophecy).
Why? – Some of the main reasons:
1 – Salvation/ Hope – Genesis 3:15; Matthew 16:21; Titus 2:13; Revelation 1:3
“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” – Genesis 3:15
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. – Matthew 16:21
Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, – Titus 2:13
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. – Revelation 1:3
2 – Blessing – Genesis 12:1-3; Isaiah 7:14
Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you. And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:1-3
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. – Isaiah 7:14
3 – Warning – Jeremiah 4:6; Isaiah 17:1
Set up the standard toward Zion. Take refuge! Do not delay! For I will bring disaster from the north, And great destruction.” – Jeremiah 4:6
The burden against Damascus.
“Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap. – Isaiah 17:1
4 – Understanding the times – 1 Chronicles 12:32; Revelation 2 & 3
of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do… – 1 Chronicles 12:32
Understanding prophecy may be difficult.
Sometimes it is symbolic, but, like all of the Bible- should be taken literally.
This requires proper hermeneutics (rules of interpretation)
Various major positions
One’s view of prophecy is often affected by changing world conditions.
(See our book, The Church in Prophecy and History , about the Seven Churches of Revelation)
Premillennial – Christ’s coming will precede the thousand years of peace
Postmillennial – Christ’s coming will follow the thousand years of peace
Amillennial – Christ’s coming will come without the thousand years of peace (just symbolic).
Not sure yet…
Still studying (OK, it’s a life-long adventure.)
Leaning one way, but not sure (OK. We can’t be dogmatic about the future. 300 prophecies of Christ’s birth, life, ministry – but couldn’t have been written before the Gospels.)
Concerned it is too controversial or counter-productive (OK, but can’t ignore it. Warning: Prophecy should not be divisive — Not a test of faith or fellowship. We need humility, a teachable spirit, unity, and love.)
Jesus’ own message about the future – Matthew chapters 24 and 25
The Beginning of birth-pains Matthew 24:4-8
The Tribulation Matthew 24:9-14
The Great Tribulation Matthew 24:15-28
After the Tribulation Matthew 24:29-31
See also: Harmony of Prophecy Chart
5 – Encourage godly lifestyle – 2 Peter 3:11-12
Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God… – 2 Peter 3:11-12
6 – Validation of The Bible and Christianity
No false prophecies – Deuteronomy 18:20-22
Copyright 2016 Ron Graff