Discussing Some Tips For Bible Prophecy
Many scholars consider 1/3 of the Bible to be Bible prophesy. I’m not quite sure how they calculate 1/3, but I am certain that there is a lot of Bible prophecy in the Bible. The Torah clearly lays out its historic context, but prophesy seems to be full of symbols and little chronology. Bible prophecy can appear to be the most complicated portions of the Bible because of the symbols, numbers, and because you have to search for the context. As a result of the complexity of Bible prophesy, many people do not study or teach it.
I have gone to institutionalized Christians churches majority of my life, and I can count on one hand how often the prophetic books were discussed or taught. From my experience, the most attention was given to Revelation with special attention on the rapture, but other discussions of the passages did not exist. Books like Isaiah may be used to cherry-pick a verse for a sermon, but it is very rare for Christian pastors or Bible teachers do complete verse-by verse studies on prophetic books. Let’s break that mold with a few tips, so we can better prepare the remnant of believers for Yeshua’s return. Let’s get started…
1.) Don’t be short-sighted
Preparedness is a continual calling; not contingent on a television figure saying, “There are blood moons” or “Aliens are expected in 2016”. If you believe the Bible is true when it says, “No one knows the day or hour”, then you should stay prepared physically and spiritually. Figures such as the Messiah, the anti-messiah, Mystery Babylon, or the dragon have been discussed throughout the Bible as key players over the course of 6000+ years (since creation). These key players in Bible prophesy have been continually present with different physical manifestations. The Messiah was originally present as the restoration hope of Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:15 prophesies the results of Yeshua’s ministry saying, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” Yeshua will strike his head! Yahweh is not contained by time. He has revealed things to the prophets most times without specific dates for fulfillment, therefore, we do not know exactly when events will happen, if they will speed up, or if they will slow down. We can assume based on trends, but this should take nothing away from our willingness to be obedient and prepared.
2.) Don’t expect prophecy to be labeled for you
Throughout the Bible, you can find messianic prophecy. For example, in the Torah, you can see messianic prophecy thru Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his firstborn son (later fulfilled by Yeshua’s atonement sacrifice on the cross), Joseph’s betrayal by his brothers and not recognizing him until their second coming (fulfilled in part by Yeshua in his first coming; the remainder is expected in his second coming), or the passover blood atonement (Yeshua fulfilled thru his crucifixion). None of these prophesies are clearly labeled as prophetic. You will find prophecy throughout the Bible: in the poetry books, history books, and of course, in the prophecy books. Don’t expect prophecy to be labeled as prophecy in order for you to be willing to identify prophecy in what you have read.
3.) Don’t be closed to interpretation based on someone else’s view
Leaders have such a prominent impact. Sometimes, the words of a leader can be exalted beyond the prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is dangerous to allow a leader’s interpretation close your mind to the possibilities and the fluidity of scripture. Remember, the Word of God is “live” and “active”, therefore, it speaks to each one of us on an individual basis. Do not allow someone’s perspective to take away from your unique understanding and study of scripture!
4.) Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you
The Holy Spirit can use prophecy to speak to you. Yes, maybe the passage was referring to a historic fulfillment, but maybe you parallel in likeness to a circumstance written in the Bible. When the Holy Spirit uses prophetic texts to rebuke, encourage, or comfort you, receive it!
5.) Just because it is history or poetry does not mean that it is not prophecy
Ezekial 28 talks about the King of Tyre and compares him to Lucifer. Historically speaking, the King of Tyre did influence many nations with paganism, trade, and culture, and he lost his prominence among the nations. However, this passage in the same chapter probably has future fulfillment for the King of Tyre and Satan. Ezekial 28:18-19 probably is future fulfillment; maybe speaking of Judgement Day or the Day of the Lord’s Wrath. It says, “By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade, you profaned your sanctuaries. So I brought out fire from within you; it consumed you, and I turned you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever.” Simply because we can confirm its historic relevance does not take away from the possibility that it can be Bible prophesy. Clearly parts of Ezekial 28 may have taken place, Tyre or Satan are not what they used to be as the pinnacle of trade, however, they have not been consumed by fire, appalled at by all who know them, and recipients of the permanent dreadful end. Parts of the prophecy have happened, but there is still parts of that chapter that have not fully manifested yet. Similarly, many prophecies in the Bible may have been fulfilled in part, but will have a bigger future fulfillment.
6.) Don’t expect chapters or verses to define chronology
Isaiah is well known for jumping back and forth in chronology. Chapter one of Isaiah speaks of the judgement of Judah, but when you flip the pages over to chapter six, Isaiah is receiving his commission to start his prophetic career from Yahweh. Simply because chapters are chronological in number, does not mean they are chronological in time. Prophets say what they see; not always understanding or documenting how many years prior to the manifestation.
7.) Don’t expect instantaneous manifestation because many times it will be gradual
Genesis 17:5 says, “No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations.” As you can see with this prophecy, the scene is not over yet. According to Manners and Customs of the Bible edited by J.I. Packer and M.C. Tenney, Abraham lived somewhere around 2000 B.C. 4000+ years after his life, Abraham’s prophecy is being gradually fulfilled. Messianic prophecies are being gradually fulfilled and end times prophesies are also being gradually fulfilled. The biggest issue is when believers get burnt out because they hear some “end time hype” and decide to be sporadically prepared, rather than maintaining a position of preparedness; understanding that some prophecy is gradually fulfilled, and can drastically speed up or enter your jurisdiction any second. There are many more prophesies that have not yet been fulfilled throughout the Bible. The unfulfilled prophesies by no means undercut the great number of prophesies that have been fulfilled, but what we can see by the proof of the fulfilled prophesy is the gradual fulfillment. Yahweh tells the end from the beginning thru prophecy. Yahweh commissions a prophet and his ministry is proven its authenticity by signs and obedience to His instructions, however, some credible prophets have seen spans of more than 2000 years that they write in a book over the span of less than 60 years. Accordingly, we can see that prophesy is not contained by time.
- Start reading Bible prophecy
- Write down how the Holy Spirit is speaking thru the scriptures to you.
- Write things that you think are prophetic vs. historic