Understanding Biblical Prophecy – “Let’s stop the devil stealing from us.”
What If I were to tell you that I had a vision last night of a “star falling on a large city in Canada” and that this would happen within the next 7 months, would that be useful to you or useless? (Well, I think it would be most helpful to those living in that large city in Canada.)
What if I went on further to tell you that I asked one of the angels in my visions for more clarity and insight regarding the vision — which is exactly what Daniel did, by the way — and the angel told me that the vision was true and that the city would be Toronto and that it will happen in 165 days from today. WOW!!
Prophecy by definition is something that will happen in the future. It is a prediction of a future event and when that prediction comes from the Bible we know that it is God’s will and will come true.
The devil, on the other hand, wants to keep that prediction from happening with all his might — and he has considerable might, I might add! Did he not try to kill Jesus when He was an infant, thereby killing hundreds or thousands of male children in Judea?
If the devil cannot bring direct destruction through the hand of a mad “King Herod”, I guarantee you that he will try and bring confusion and chaos to the clear word spoke by God. I call it Babylon. I pretty much see the “sprit of Babylon” completely flooding the area of prophecy right now and fear that the saints will not be properly forewarned nor watching!
Remember that satan’s only mission in life, his job description, is to kill, steal, and destroy:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
The abundant life Jesus spoke of does not come with out effort, however! We need to diligently search the scriptures, “examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were [true].” (Acts 17:11) The book of Proverbs even goes so far to tell us that it is God’s glory to “conceal a matter” and it is the king’s glory to “search out a matter”. (Prov 25:2)
How would you steal and kill if you were the devil regarding prophecy?
I think we can judge the tree by its fruit: many Christians today view Bible prophecy with either confusion or cynicism. I just read these wonderful quotes on prophecy that I wanted to share with you for their great insights. Later I want to take a few moments and break down some of these words phrase by phrase:
Prophecy braces the shoulder to bear the burdens it imposes. Prophecy prepares faith to meet evils which need not come unforeseen, and so fortifies patience to endure trial’s darkest hour. He who is forewarned is forearmed.
The arts [weapons] of our great adversary are so manifold and subtle that the fear is, the victims he seeks to ensnare will be entrapped and ruined before they have been made aware of his devices… Prophecy unmasks colossal iniquities which are foredoomed and from whose dread fate, divine compassion, extending a timely hand, would tenderly snatch us. (Lyman J. Fisher, “That Day of Days” – 1902)
1. “He who is forewarned is forearmed.”
Certainly Noah was glad that God is a prophetic, “forewarning” God!
By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Heb 11:7
Notice carefully the words in the above verse — “in reverence”. It means to act cautiously, circumspectly, to fear, to move with awe.
Oh, if only more in the body of Christ today would walk in reverence with the “forth telling” of God. Sadly, it seems, the body of Christ around the world has become “gun shy” in boldly proclaiming what the word of God is clearly saying. We have grown hesitant, wary, and distrustful.
Thankfully God is reviving and recharging “forerunners” to prepare His Bride to once again embrace and declare His prophetic word!
Biblical scholars tell us that about 25% of the entire Bible is prophecy (28% OT; 21%NT). Others would postulate that only 3 of the 66 books of the Bible are without prophecy – Ruth, Philemon, and 3 John. (When I say “scholars tell us” this it is like saying that “scientists tell us that 1 million earths would fit inside the sun.” It sounds like a vague statement but it is generally accepted as accurate in that field.)
Well, any way you look at it 25% is a big chunk of real estate! I think of it like this: 25% of the earth is land and that is the most important part, for me!
2. “Prophecy prepares faith to meet evils which need not come unforeseen.”
“Noah was warned by God about things to come.” Evil was pending. God was warning. That is one of the simplest and clearest definitions of prophecy. We find this often in the Word of God:
+ Magi “And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.” Mtt 2:12
+ Joseph and Mary “Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, and came and lived in a city called Nazareth.” Mtt 2: 22
If we are “forewarned by God” we must then also ACT! The magi needed to leave for their own country “by another way”. Noah needed to prepare an ark to save his household.
What has God shown you from his Word that you must now act on or declare in the midst of certain opposition? Noah built an ark BY FAITH! Not by warm, cozy feelings…
3. The arts [weapons] of our great adversary are so manifold and subtle that the fear is, the victims he seeks to ensnare will be entrapped and ruined before they have been made aware of his devices.
I have said earlier that the devil has brought so much confusion (Babylon) to the subject of biblical prophecy. We somehow have arrived at a Book that only speaks of historical facts and provides instruction for personal holiness. “Prophecy”, we throw up our hands in the air and proclaim, “is too complicated and confusing for me to deal with.”
This is part of the “devises” satan uses to keep God’s children in the dark. “No one can really know. There are so many different interpretations… One guy says one thing and the other say the complete opposite.”
Here is our predicament: If God just spoke a few words and created the universe and everything in it, how is it that we cannot “rightly divide” and understand what He is saying to us about the future?
It must be the great adversary! He cannot change the past. He was “uncovered” at the cross. He cannot change the future… he can only accuse, deceive, and divide the saints. Revelation 12 gives us some clues to his nature by these descriptions:
“The great dragon… the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world… Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time… So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”
4 Prophecy unmasks colossal iniquities which are foredoomed.
Perhaps one of the most “colossal iniquities” to be unmasked by prophecy is the work and the nature of the antichrist. For this reason the book of Daniel must have been written.
In Daniel we get a precise description of the coming king who will takes his place in the “appointed time of the end.”
A king will arise,
Insolent and skilled in intrigue.
His power will be mighty, but not by his own power,
And he will destroy to an extraordinary degree
And prosper and perform his will;
He will destroy mighty men and the holy people.
And through his shrewdness
He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence;
And he will magnify himself in his heart,
And he will destroy many while they are at ease.
He will even oppose the Prince of princes,
But he will be broken without human agency. (Daniel 8:23-25)
Daniel, like the apostle John, was both elderly and exiled as this vision came to him. The interpretation was given by the angel Gabriel. Daniel’s pedigree is unquestioned.
“Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would save only their own lives by their righteousness, declares the sovereign Lord.” Ezek 14:14
Yet I cannot begin to tell you the “confusion and cynicism” regarding the end time truths that this book reveals. Here is one example of the truth of God’s Word having to fight its way into your soul!
If the book of Daniel fell out of the sky and if you were on a deserted island and you just read what was in the book without commentary and Google’s advise, you would come to the crystal clear conclusion that the coming king of the last days, the king who will try and “change the times and the law”, would come from a small, probably obscure, western portion of the empire of Greece.
“Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land” Daniel 8: 9
It is that straightforward — I did not say simple for I must say that I have read the book of Daniel almost exclusively for the past 6 months! But it is there and it can be known and the “prophecy that unmasks colossal iniquities” was written by the same God who gave us John 3:16. He has inspired it, breathed it and it is profitable “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16)
In His Love,