Does Prophecy Matter? :: by Ron and Nathele Graham

Is Bible prophecy important? Judging by the number of prophecies contained in the Bible, I would have to say it is very important. The apostle Peter thought so. He was an eyewitness to the ministry of Jesus and saw the wonderful miracles He did, such as raising the dead and healing people. Peter witnessed the Transfiguration and heard a voice from Heaven declaring: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

The things Peter saw should convince anyone that Jesus Christ is God. Yet after all he saw and heard, Peter still declares: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).

Did you get that? Peter says that prophecy is even “more sure” than seeing Christ’s miracles first hand. He likens prophecy to a light that shines in the dark.

Both the Old and New Testament contain numerous prophecies and many have been fulfilled, but many more are to be fulfilled in the future. Jesus Christ’s First Coming fulfilled over three hundred of these prophecies. In actuality, fulfilling just twenty of these specific prophecies relating to Him would have been a mathematical impossibility. One of those prophecies is found in Micah:

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting ” (Micah 5:2).

The Jews knew this to mean that their Messiah would come from Bethlehem. In fact, when the wise men inquired of Herod where they could find the child who was the King of the Jews, Herod went to the chief priests and scribes for an answer. They quoted from Micah.

“And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel” (Matthew 2:5-6).

The Jews knew this prophecy regarding the Messiah but they didn’t believe the prophecy was meant for their time in history. Isn’t it strange that foreign men from far away took prophecy of the coming Messiah more seriously than the Jewish leaders? By believing prophecy the Magi found Jesus but the Jewish leaders remained blind. Maybe we should take prophecy seriously too.

The Pharisees were so busy being religious that they were blind when it came to seeing God’s truth. They overlooked the prophecies of His birth, but they also overlooked those of His rejection.

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3).

Yes, those men who studied the Scriptures should have understood. They rejected Him, thus prophecy was fulfilled.

“Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” (Matthew 21:42).

This offended the Jewish leaders…of course they read the Scriptures, they just didn’t take prophecy seriously. Instead of looking into Scripture and understanding who He was, they tried to do Him harm right then. Jesus wanted His disciples to understand prophecy and know what was to come.

“And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31).

It’s interesting that when Jesus taught this prophetic truth to them Peter rebuked Him. It was only later that Peter understood how important prophecy is and wrote that “We have also a more sure word of prophecy…” Yes, Peter learned a lot over his life, and one of those lessons was that Biblical prophecy is true.

When God through His Holy Spirit dictated the Scriptures to the forty plus writers of The Old and New Testaments, He designated two thirds of those Scriptures to be prophetic. He wants us to understand what the future holds. He did it so we would believe His word. Why? He knew that human nature wants “proof”. What better proof is there than revealing future events? If we weren’t so much like the Pharisees we would see the events happening around us and be able to discern the signs of the times.

We would know that Daniel’s 70th week is close so the Rapture is even closer. Instead of honestly looking at prophecy and current events and reading the signs of the times, we hold on to interpretations formed long before current prophetic events could be understood. God has not finished dealing with His chosen people, yet ignorance of prophecy causes many people to believe the Christian Ekklesia has replaced Israel. When Gabriel gave Daniel the prophecy regarding the 70 weeks he said:

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24).

Notice it is “thy” people and “thy” holy city. Daniel was Jewish so “thy people” means the Jews. Jerusalem is “thy holy city.” When Daniel was given this prophecy Jerusalem and the Temple had been destroyed, but Daniel didn’t question the truth of the prophecy. In that final week (a 7 year period of time) there will be Gentiles in the world who will suffer greatly, but God’s attention is turned upon the Jews. Where is the Ekklesia?

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

We will have been raptured:

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

God’s wrath during Daniel’s 70th week is not for Christian’s to endure; our salvation is in Him. True born again Christians will be with our Lord during this time of wrath.

Daniel was also given more end times prophecy which is recorded in chapters 11 and 12. It was impossible for Daniel to understand.

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4).

Today knowledge has increased. We can understand more than people a few decades ago. At a time when swords and spears were the most advanced weapons Zechariah wrote:

“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (Zechariah 14:12).

That sounds a lot like nuclear weapons. Today we are better able to understand because our knowledge has increased.

“And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (Daniel 12:9).

If we pay attention and study we can see how close we are getting to the last week of Daniel’s 70 week prophecy.

Headlines tell of war in the Middle East, terrorist attacks on Israel, Muslim hatred toward Jews and Christians, and so much more. Yet, a century ago many people could not believe Israel would be in their God given land again. It is miraculous that Israel is once again a nation, but then God said it would happen.

“And I plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God” (Amos 9:15).

They were “planted” in May 1948 and this time they will not be “pulled up out of their land” again. They have fought for their survival ever since that date but one day they will turn to the LORD and He will fight for them. That day is yet in the future, but it will come very soon.

According to Jesus, the Great Tribulation will occur in the last half of Daniel’s 70th week:

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

There have been some very bad times throughout history, but Jesus says that this time will be worse than anything previous. This is a time directed at Israel, not Christians. Before this happens there will be an event that will be hard for the secular world to explain. Jesus dictated seven letters for John to send to seven congregations and they are recorded in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Each one told what they were doing right or wrong. If you pay close attention you will see that the history of Christian era is laid out by these letters. After the last letter John was called-up (raptured) to Heaven.

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Revelation 4:1).

Once there He stood before the throne of God and the candlesticks that symbolized each of the seven churches was present before God…they were no longer on the earth. Then he was shown happenings in Heaven, but also the events of Daniel’s 70th week on earth.

I have barely scratched the surface of the subject of prophecy. There are many, many other Scriptures regarding Christ’s birth, His ministry, wars to come, and the end times. Time is short. Only those who are born again believers in Christ will be taken away from the horrors of Daniels 70th week. If you have any doubts as to your salvation now is the time to settle that question. Accept the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as atonement for sin…then turn from sin and live for Him. If you claim to be a Christian but have wandered away from your walk with Him, get right with God and don’t live in a question mark wondering if you will go to Heaven when you die.

Study prophecy and you will see that God accurately foretold Christ’s first Advent and His death. Further study will reveal that the Rapture is close and you don’t want to be left here on earth to face Daniels 70th week. God exists outside of our time dimension and so He sees the beginning and He sees the end, but it’s all in the present for Him. He knows what will happen tomorrow, the next day, and for all of eternity. He chooses to share that knowledge with us. God wants us to know.

“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).

We can study prophecy and be enlightened as to the future, or we can fool ourselves into thinking that prophecy doesn’t matter. If God didn’t want us to know what the future holds, He wouldn’t have filled Scripture with so much prophecy!

Prophecy does matter.

God bless you all,

Ron & Nathele Graham