The Preacher Says....  
  Bible Prophecy—A Study. 1995  
  2 Timothy 2. 15

To consider prophecy, or not to consider prophecy, that is the question. Why examine predictions of future events made under divine guidance? Well, why not? Of all the ills that pursue us in this ‘vale of tears’, the greatest and most significant for each of us is the lack of a cure for our mortality, for us who know we are but dust, and unto dust will return. Of all the books that provide an answer, the Bible is unique. It gets right down to basics and we get a straight and authoritative disclosure. So what do we have to lose? God’s word deserves our attention.

A day of judgment is coming.
(God) has appointed a day, in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He has ordained; whereof He has given assurance to all men, in that He has raised him from the dead (Acts 17. 31).

How will it happen?
When the son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd divides the sheep from the goats; and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on the left. Then shall the King say to those on his right hand,, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (Mat 25. 31 – 34).

How will it be heralded?
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. (1Thess 4. 16)

What are we supposed to do?
Watch, therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord will come. (Mat 24. 42);
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, ‘Peace and safety’, then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others, but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thess 5. 2 – 6).
We are exhorted to study prophecy.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well to take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (2 Pet 1. 19 – 21).
Biblical personages who have studied prophecy.
Daniel. In the first year of his (Darius) reign, I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish 70 years in the desolation of Jerusalem. (Dan 9. 2).

There was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. (Luke 2. 25).

Ethiopian eunuch.
Philip ran thither to him (the Ethiopian), and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, unerstandest what thou readest? And he said, How can I except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. (Acts 9. 29 – 31).

Jesus. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, ( whoso readeth let him understand), then let them which be in Judea flee unto the mountains (Mat 24. 15 – 16).
What events presage his coming?
Man of sin revealed. Let no man deceive you: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he is as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2Thess 2. 3 – 4).

False Doctrine. Now the spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. ( 1Tim 4. 1 – 3).

Having a form of godliness but denying the power of it. In the last days perilous times shall come. 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. (2 Tim 3. 1 – 7)

Earthquakes. Then Christ said, Nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21. 10 – 11).

Jerusalem free (almost) after 2500 years. And there shall be signs in the sun, moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and waves roaring: mens’ hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.. And then shall they see the son of man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass,, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws nigh. (Luke 21. 25 – 28).

The Jew: witness to God’s expression of His truth
Ye are My witnesses, says the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am He: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. (Is 43. 10).

Jews are unwilling witnesses.
The Jews were the sole custodians of the Old Testament. Had the word come from them and not God would they have included the following passages?
Daniel 9.
70 weeks prophecy pinpointing the very year Christ, the anointed one, began his public ministry (26 AD).
Isaiah 7. 14.
The Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Is 7. 14).
Isaiah 53.
Whole chapter recounts Chris’s sacrificial role, beginning, Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ?
Zechariah 12. 10 .
And they shall look on me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Jewish persecution
And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou would not obey the voice of the Lord thy God (Deut 28. 62-to end).

Jewish re-gathering.
I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land...a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezek 36. 24 – 28).

Jews now re-gathered. In unbelief.
Of the many prophecies concerning the last days, three are an interesting study, because though written hundreds of years apart, Joel, Ezekiel and Zechariah may describe the same event, giving added reassurance of what God will do when he intervenes in the affairs of men in the last days. The following synthesis seems to support this view.

(9 or 8 c. BC) (6th c. BC) (6th c. BC)
Israel invaded2. 1 - 2 38. 16 12. 2, 9
God’s army2. 1138. 414. 2
Attack successful2. 3 – 938. 9, 1613. 8; 14. 2
Jews repent2. 1713. 9
Invader destroyed2. 2039. 1 – 412. 9; 14. 4,
Jews forgiven2. 19; 26. 739. 7, 22, 2914. 11
Jews sinful before Deliverance2. 12, 1339. 22, 2613. 2, 9

The body of biblical prophecy is abundant—a veritable treasure house. To search out the meaning of these prognostications can be the work of a lifetime. Further suggestions that bear examination are:

Times and seasons – various aspects:
The nations – beasts of Bible prophecy
Dual applications in principle and practice
Symbols in prophecy

Singular prophecies, such as:
Nebuchadnezzar’s image
The abomination of desolation
70 weeks
Mt. Olivet prophecy
Gog of the land of Magog

By prophecy God has spoken; it’s up to us to listen.