Why Study Prophecy?

Why is bible prophecy so important?  It is the revealing of God’s redemption plan through His son Jesus Christ.

  1. All prophecy testifies of Jesus. “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”—Revelation 19:10
  2. All prophecy finds its fulfillment in Jesus.  “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”—Mat 5:17
  3. The law is a shadow (pattern) of things to come.  “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ; Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come.”—Colossians 2:17
  4. The ministry of the prophets spoke of the sufferings and the glories of Christ. “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”—1Peter 1:11

Why study prophecy?

  1. It inspires holiness—vision: to become like Jesus in character and power; ready to stand before him with confidence.
  2. It inspires urgency—mission: to fulfill the call and mandate to reconcile the world to God.
  3. It comforts—the knowledge of a sovereign God who intervenes on behalf of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

The Bible reveals God’s prophetic plan for the world.  Here is an chronological outline of the Bible’s progressive and detailed revelation of the plan of God.

  1. The fall of Adam and the promise of redemption, the days of Enoch & Noah before the flood.
  2. The promise to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.
  3. The Law at Sinai given to Israel foreshadows God’s redemption plan.
    • Moses the lawgiver, Apostle of Faith a picture of Christ the mediator
    • The priesthood, sacrifices, and temple prefigures Messiah’s work on the cross of Calvary.
    • The Feasts outline: Passover and the 1st coming, Pentecost and the Church age, Tabernacles and the 2nd coming complete God’s plan of redemption.
    • The Song of Moses reveals Israel’s future and coming restoration which will be a blessing for all nations.
  4. The Ministry of the Prophets from Elijah to John the Baptist.
    • The prophets spoke the sufferings and the glories of Messiah, which reveal 2 comings to Israel!
    • All the words of the prophets hinged upon the promise to Abraham—a great people and a great land to bless the nations of the world.
    • God continued to call Israel back to Himself that they would be a witness of YHWH to the Gentile world.
  5. Jesus’ prophetic ministry
    • Jesus revealed who He was and His second coming at the mount of transfiguration.  Elijah the prophet, Moses the law giver and Jesus the fulfillment of both the law, and the prophets (which includes Psalms).
    • Jesus reveals in the parables of Matthew 13 that the preaching of the Gospel would culminate in a global harvest and nothing would stop it but men would receive and value the Gospel even giving all they had to possess it.  The Gospel is likened to the power of seed to bring harvest, the power of leaven to spread, and the value of great treasure worthy of sacrifice.
    • The Olivet discourse is directed to Israel and not the Church, as it outlines the signs of His return and admonitions on how to endure the tribulation that is coming.  The mysteries of the church had not yet been disclosed.  The first mention of Jesus coming for the church is at the last supper.
  6. The book of Acts is the fulfillment of Pentecost which begins the season of Harvest from among the Gentiles, which will conclude with the rebuilding of David’s tabernacle (Acts15), the Feast of Trumpets when the laborers would come in from the harvest of the field.
  7. Paul a steward of Gospel mysteries…
    • Mystery of Christ in the believer the hope of glory
    • Mystery of the church as one new man—Jew and Gentile.
    • Mystery of the rapture and the judgment seat of Christ
    • Mystery of Israel’s national blindness until the full number of Gentiles are saved and then their promised restoration as the head of all nations. (Romans 9-11, note chapter 11, verse 25)
    • All of Paul’s epistles to the churches with the exception of Galatians contain admonitions on how to live in light of Christ’s soon return.
  8. Peter, James, and John were Apostles to the Jews.  Each were given special insight and revelation concerning His second coming.
    • Peter’s revelation of the mystery of Messiah’s delayed return was for the purpose of harvest.
    • James revelation of Christ’s return admonishes patience for the full harvest to come in.
    • John’s revelation at Patmos, concludes the prophetic revelation with the 70th week of Daniel—the church in heaven; Jacob’s trouble and the judgment of Gentile nations.