558:  The Most Important Prophetic Scriptures

558: The Most Important Prophetic Scriptures

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Scripture Divides Everything into Two Categories

When we look at Scripture, God has a tendency to make things simple for us and categorize everything into only two groups.  There is almost never a third option.  For example, you have light or darkness, evil or good, heaven or hell, the wide road or the narrow path, sin or righteousness, good fruit (tree) or bad fruit (tree), alive or dead, Spirit or flesh, blessings or curses, saved or lost, I think you get the point.  And Scripture treats prophecy the same way: the Future of Israel (God’s people) or the Future of the Gentile Nations (everyone else).

So when we look at prophetic Scriptures, we must understand which of the two groups the passages speak about.  For example, in Daniel 2, we see the vision of the great statue Nebuchadnezzar had that Daniel interpreted.  This is a picture of the future of the Gentile nations.  And later, in Daniel 7, we see four beasts and a little horn.  Again, this is about the Gentile nations.

But two chapters later, in Daniel 9:24-27, the focus shifts from the Gentile nations to the people of Israel.  And this prophecy is divided into several periods of time that are separated by thousands of years.  Daniel was not aware of the separation nor the time between the various periods.  This is known as a prophetic skip.

“Seventy weeks are determined for (who) your people (Israel) and for (what) your holy city (Jerusalem), to (1) finish the transgression, to (2) make an end of sins, to (3) make reconciliation for iniquity, to (4) bring in everlasting righteousness, to (5) seal up vision and prophecy, and to (6) anoint the Most Holy” – Daniel 9:24.

Plus, you have the Olivet discourse in Matthew 24 and 25, as well as the book of Revelation.  And don’t forget Ezekiel 36-39, which gives us a glimpse of the future of the United States.

These are some of the most important prophetic Scriptures in the Bible.

Twenty Key Predictive Prophecies

To show the importance of Daniel in prophetic history, let me share 20 Predictive Prophecies that are found in that one book.  These alone should give you another reason to dive into the book of Daniel.

•   The successive rule of four great world empires: Babylon, Medo Persia, Greece, and Rome (chapters 2 and 7)
•   The reuniting of the Roman Empire in the last days under the rule of ten kings or leaders (2:41 44; 7:24)
•   The appearance of the Messiah to rule 483 years after the decree is given to rebuild Jerusalem (9:25).  This prophecy was fulfilled to the day at the Triumphal Entry.
•   The violent death of the Messiah (9:26)
•   The destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (9:26)
•   The rise of the Antichrist to power (7:8, 20; 8:23)
•   The beginning of the seventieth week: the Antichrist’s seven-year covenant with Israel (9:27)
•   The Antichrist’s breaking of the covenant at its midpoint (9:27)
•   The Antichrist’s claim that he is God (11:36)
•   The Antichrist’s persecution of God’s people (7:21)
•   The setting up of the abomination of desolation in the last days’ Temple by the Antichrist (9:27; 12:11)
•   The Northern / Southern invasion of Israel and the Antichrist (11:40-45; Ezekiel 38-39)
•   The Antichrist’s military conquest and consolidation of his empire (11:38-44)
•   The final doom of the Antichrist (7:11, 26; 9:27)
•   The second coming of Christ (2:44-45; 7:13)
•   The resurrection of the dead (12:2)
•   The rewarding of the righteous (12:3, 13)
•   The judgment of the wicked (7:9; 12:2)
•   The establishment of Christ’s Kingdom (2:44-45; 7:14, 22, 27)
•  A great increase in the knowledge of Bible prophecy in the last days (12:4)

And there is so much more to discover about the future.  So stay tuned.

Leaving Laodicea | The Survival Manual for the Coming Underground Church

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557: Hermeneutics – The Rules for Biblical Interpretation

557: Hermeneutics – The Rules for Biblical Interpretation

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How to Understand Prophecy

When we are faced with either believing God’s Word or the prevailing, confusing, and ever-changing voices of our culture, many Christians find themselves in a conundrum.  They want to believe everything God’s Word says, yet they don’t want to be called a bonehead by their high school biology teacher or to be deemed anti-science by the pro-vac crowd.  So we frantically look for some rules to help us understand what the Scriptures say about everything, and then we adopt those rules as the parameter of His sovereignty and try to funnel our understanding of His truth through this grid we have created to help us save face among our friends in this declining culture.

Over the centuries, there have developed several methods of Biblical interpretation, or grids, that are used to set the parameters of our understanding of Scripture.  These methods are collectively called the study of hermeneutics (Greek – to interpret, to translate).  But not all hermeneutics are created equal.  And the method of interpretation you embrace will determine the conclusion you have about both current and future events.

For example, do you believe the Bible is the Word of God, or does it contain the Word of God?  And if you say the Bible is the Word of God, we are talking about all the Bible, the miracles, the creation events, the teachings about male and female roles, and the specific two genders God created.  This is an example of a personal hermeneutic.  For your answer to the question about God’s Word will determine how much weight you give it in your own life and what authority God has, at least in your eyes, in human events.

So it is vitally important to settle for yourself the hermeneutic you will embrace to understand these prophetic Scriptures.  Do they mean what they say, or can we allegorize the text to make it say whatever helps us sleep better at night?  It is either one or the other. You cannot have it both ways.

Tips for Understanding Prophecy

Setting hermeneutics aside for a moment, let me close by giving you a few tips to help you understand the prophetic Scriptures we will look at in the weeks to come.

First, God wants you to understand what He said.  His Word, after all, was written to be read and understood.  So expect Him to speak and reveal His truth to you as you study these sometimes confusing prophetic passages.

Next, God’s word has allegory, parables, signs, symbols, eyewitness descriptions, etc., yet the text has only one meaning.  And that meaning for us was the intended meaning when it was given.  Therefore, when you encounter symbols or signs, look for the “built-in” interpretations given by the Holy Spirit within the text itself.  You can see examples of these built in interpretations all throughout the Revelation.

Next, compare parallel passages.  After all, since the Bible originates by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, much of what is revealed in one section is also discussed in another section.  Rarely (almost never) does one Scripture contain all that the Bible says about a given topic.  So watch God’s Word interpret itself elsewhere in Scripture.  It’s a wonderful thing to behold.

Then, be aware of time intervals.  For example, the church age was a mystery that was not yet revealed when Daniel wrote about the future (Eph. 3).  And for this reason, some Old Testament prophets sometimes blend the two comings of Christ.  These intervals are called “prophetic skips.”

Finally, be sure to distinguish between filled and unfulfilled prophecies in Scripture.

Now, armed with these tips, let’s look at what the Lord reveals to us about our current situation and the times ahead.

Leaving Laodicea | The Survival Manual for the Coming Underground Church

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342:  Understanding the Times in Which We Live

342: Understanding the Times in Which We Live

Twice in the Proverbs we find the following warning:

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished – Proverbs 22:3.

And again,

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished – Proverbs 27:12.

But what does this mean?  And does this warning still apply to us today?  Absolutely— and even more so than when it was written so many thousands of years ago.  In fact, it’s a vital warning to the church today.

Want to know more? Then keep listening.

The following is a study on 2 Timothy 4:1-4.

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Podcast 274:   Answering the Rapture Question

Podcast 274: Answering the Rapture Question

Many of those who deny the doctrine of the Rapture of the church smugly say the word rapture doesn’t even appear in the Bible.  And, to a degree, this is true.  Unless you have a Latin Bible, and then everything changes.  You see, the Greek word translated rapture in Latin is harpazo and means:  “to seize upon, to snatch away, to draw away, to carry off, to catch up, to receive, to pluck out, to rescue, to forcefully take away.”

Rapture is the Latin form of harpazo and is found in the Vulgate which was translated by Jerome in the late 4th century and in the 16th century became the official Bible of the Catholic church.

Consider the following:

Matthew 13:19 – “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away (harpazo) what was sown in his heart.  This is he who received seed by the wayside.”

John 10:28-29 – “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch (harpazo) them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch (harpazo) them out of My Father’s hand.”

2 Corinthians 2:2-4 – I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago— whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows— such a one was caught up (harpazo) to the third heaven.  And I know such a man— whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up (harpazo) into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 – Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (harpazo) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Jude 1:22-23 – And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them (harpazo) out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

Revelation 12:5 – She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.  And her Child was caught up (harpazo) to God and His throne.

Do you have questions about the coming rapture (harpazo) of the church?  Good.  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on the rapture of the church.

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Podcast 270:  “O Lord, hear!  O Lord, forgive!”

Podcast 270: “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive!”

Daniel has been in captivity for close to 67 years and understands, from the writings of Jeremiah, that this captivity will only last 70 years.  In 3 more years— freedom.  And Daniel is close to 80 years old when he discovers this truth.

So what does he do?  He prays.  But not like you and I pray.  No, Daniel prays and cries for mercy for his sins, the sins of his people, and the sins of the land.  Daniel prays for his nation like you and I should pray for ours.

Consider the end of his prayer:

“O Lord, hear!  O Lord, forgive!  O Lord, listen and act!  Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name” (Dan. 9:19).

What happens when we, the church, begin to pray like Daniel?  Listen to find out more.

This is a study on Daniel 9:1-19.

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