Friday, March 29, 2013

Where Is Bible Prophesy Found?

Many, when asked about Biblical Prophesy, turn immediately to Revelation (I have had one or two turn immediately to sources outside the Bible). Or maybe to Matthew or Luke.  But, as I have said before, Prophesy is found in nearly every book of the Bible, and to really understand prophesy, you need to have an understanding that encompass all of the Biblical Prophesies, and almost all of them start in the Old Testament.

As a matter of fact, there may be more prophesy in the Book of Daniel than in any other book besides Revelation.  While not as pivotal as Joel, Daniel briefly outlines the kingdoms to come on Earth from his
own day until the Second Coming of Christ. In these prophesies, we are in the ten toes of the kingdom
of iron mixed with clay. 

Joel says an army, the size and fearsomeness never before seen, nor will there every be seen again, attacks Israel out of the North.  While he is talking, in the short term, of the Assyrian Army, led by General Sennacherib. But the reality fits the prophesy, only partially.  He describes an army of, (to my mind), helicopters, making a noise in the mountain tops.  This prophesy is expanded on, in Ezekiel 38, to show that in some future day, Russia and Persia will come from the North with an Army of amazing size, attempting to plunder the wealth of Israel. 

This is the War of Gog and Magog that many in prophesy circles have been talking about for the past several decades.  But if you look closely, there are parts of this prophesy that are not yet ready to come to pass.  Israel is not yet a nation of unwalled cities, with wealth and security to live in peace among its neighbors.  There has to be something that happens before. 

Another war is found In prophecy, in Psalms 83.  Many didn't realize, until recently, that Psalm 83 is a prophesy of a war to come.  It talks of the destruction of Damascus.  A destruction that will leave the city uninhabitable.  Well there have been wars there, but none have left the city uninhabitable.  This is still in the future.  Right now, the governments in that region are playing with chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons that may finish this prophesy, and indeed leave that city in ruin.

I do have to point out though, that at least one prophesy author I read regularly says 'no way will
the Psalm 83 war come within the next several months.'  I will have to look closer at why he says that.

You must have a foundational knowledge of the Bible, in order to truly understand the Revelation.

Most people, and even many Christians, have no foundation knowledge with which to understand it.  Also, those who capitalize on ignorance of prophesy seek to obfuscate the meaning of much of Revelation. Nothing has really changed, as 2nd Peter and Jude both warn about those who will sneak into the Church (the wording used is like "through the side door") and Jesus said there would be false Gospels preached, until the workers (angels) come at the harvest and throw the false teachers into the fire.

As a very basic introduction to Revelation, the first three chapters can be thought of as history (actually we are in the last half of chapter 3) and from chapter 4 vs 1 onward, can be thought of as future.

Often, however, I will refer to chapters 6 and 7, when discussing current events.  This is because I believe God will allow small versions of those things to happen in our day, as a warning of what is to come. These are precursors, or foreshadowing of future events.

The events I am referring to are the generically known as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, although there are actually seven seals to be opened, and the "Four Horsemen are just the beginning.  They begin (he went out to conquer) with a conventional War.  Then to a general lack of peace anywhere on the Earth, with people killing one another (this or its precursor may be Islam, with a symbol of a great sword), and moves on to famine.  In any situation where there is a general breakdown of civilization, there will be damage to agriculture, as has been happening anywhere Islam (and sometimes communism) exerts itself.

I should note here that while there is a lot of disagreement over the exact interpretation of "do not harm the oil and the wine," the only disagreement over the interpretation of the rest of verse 6 is due to ignorance of what the verse actually says. "A quart of wheat" is enough food to feed one laborer for one day.  And a "denarious" is one day's pay for a laborer.

Today, the world sees local famines here and there, almost always caused by political strife, but in the not too distant future, there will be general shortages of food around the world.  Then we will see something like what this verse describes.

I often have people ask me if some disaster or another is the beginning of the end, and I tell them, "No. When you begin to see disasters that kill over a million people at a time, then you might be seeing the end."  In reality, God is not required to give us any warnings, but in the past He sent warnings before destroying one nation or another, so I would expect He will follow the same pattern today.

The Forth Horseman (pale horse, is literally the color of dead flesh) is death, or more accurately, he has with him, Death and Hades (literally, the grave).  He is to kill one forth of the earth's population.  Currently that means he will kill well over a billion people. And if our understanding of the Great Tribulation timeline is correct, this will happen across a period of a few months.

And while these things are beginning, a dictatorial government and a religion rise up to enslave all of mankind.  The religious leader and the head of the government will do great things that will deceive almost everyone into believing they are worthy of worship.  All of mankind are told they must worship this government and this religion, or they will not be able to buy or sell.  Much like our socialist insecurity system today, but with the addition that they will actively hunt down and kill anyone defying them.

And then things get bad. 


Teranno4x4 said...

Very interesting - how did you receive this level of understanding? What are your definitions for the beast out of the sea, the beast out of the earth, the woman riding the beast, the dragon, the false prophet and the image of the beast?

You hint at explaining some times of tribulations yet to come as a result of a religious movement and certain government power - can you provide evidences of identity that are linked with history or why these things happen this way?

TRex said...

The beast out of the sea is a ruler that comes from some other nation besides Israel. The beast out of the Earth, likewise, is a world ruler, but just being out of the Earth doesn't tell where he is from. This might be found in other prophesy.

The woman riding the beast is a false religion, based on world government, and the false prophet is one who convinces the world that the false government is their god.
"Image of the Beast" - I'm drawing a blank right now, can't remember where that is.

Evidences of history?
Why things happen this way?
Not sure what you mean,
these things are in the future.

TRex said...

I looked again at your comment. I did not answer the question of how I came to this level of understanding. It was a long journey, and I spun my wheels for many years. Then I met a pastor who taught me how to interpret the Bible. It isn't so different from interpreting any classical literature. There is a technique, and you have to work at it.