Doctrine of Bible Prophecy

July 23, 2010

Doctrine of Bible Prophecy

What is prophecy?

Prophecy is divine revelation from God to His prophet for the purpose of: 1) speaking to a particular person or group to inform them of God’s will with the option to conform to it (forthtelling), and/or 2) speaking to a person or group about particular events that will transpire at a future time (foretelling).  Today, prophecy is studied under two major categories: 1) fulfilled, and 2) unfulfilled.  All the writers of Scripture were prophets (2 Pet 1:20–21; Heb 1:1–2; cf. Deut 13:1-4; 18:19). The believer does well to remember that Christ and His apostles warned of false prophets, false apostles, and false teachers (Matt. 7:15; Mark 13:22; 1 Thess. 5:20; 1 John 4:1–3; 2 Pet. 2:1–3; Jude; 1 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:20; 2 Cor. 11:4, 13).

What is prophecy’s purpose?

Prophecy’s purpose is to reveal God’s thoughts for the edification of believers (Eph. 4:11-17).  Prophecy is not to satisfy our curiosity about future events, but to let us know what God is going to do, and to assure us that He is directing history to accomplish His will.

How was prophecy given?

The direct spoken word by God (Ex. 19:9; 1 Sam. 3:1-14; Isa. 6:9-10), dreams (Jacob = Gen. 28:12; 31:11; Daniel = Dan. 7:1), visions (Isa. 6:1; 1 Kings 22:19), angels (Dan. 10:10-21), Jesus Christ (Jo. 1:1, 14, 18; Heb. 1:1-3; cf. Acts 10:9-16; 27:21-26), and the written word (1 Cor. 14:37; 1 Tim. 5:18; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 3:14-16).

Seven signs of a true prophet (Deut. 13:1-4; 18:15-22):
1) He would never violate God’s written word, 2) he would never ask the believer to worship another god, 3) he would be a fellow Jew, 4) he would speak in the name of Yahweh and never in the name of a pagan god, 5) he would verify himself through predictive statements which could be confirmed by others, 6) he would perform miracles, and 7) he would not contradict previously given prophecy.

God no longer speaks directly to people, but speaks only through the written word (Sola Scriptura) (1 Cor. 13:8-10; Rev. 22:18-19; cf. 2 Thess. 3:14; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:17-19).

Prophecies related to the genealogy, birth, ministry, death & resurrection of Jesus Christ.  These prophecies show and Old Testament proclamation with a New Testament fulfillment.

Genealogy of Jesus through Joseph and Mary:

Matthew-Joseph-Legal line    Luke-Mary-Physical line
Curse of Coniah: Jer. 22:28-30

Prophecies regarding Christ’s birth:

Born the Seed of woman
Born in line of Abraham
Born from tribe of Judah
Born in line of David
Virgin Birth
Birthplace in Bethlehem

Prophecies concerning Christ’s ministry:

John the Baptist as Forerunner
Ministry of miracles
King of Israel
Prophet of Israel
Melchizedekian Priesthood

Prophecies concerning Christ’s death and resurrection:

Jesus would enter Jerusalem
Jesus rejected by His people
Jesus would be betrayed
Sold for 30 shekels
Silent before His accusers
Hands and feet pierced
Soldiers gambled for clothes
Crucified with thieves
No bones broken
Suffered thirst on cross
Judged for the sin of the world

Prophecies about Christ in the Old Testament were plainly understood and literally fulfilled.  This list is not exhaustive, and there are good works that offer much more evidence that I have set forth here.

The following prophetic chart presents a premillennial dispensational view of the future from the time of the church age and after.  The following chart, like the previous one, is not exhaustive, and one could look at works by John F. Walvoord or J. Dwight Pentecost to get more detailed information.

                                OF CHURCH

CRUCIFIXIAN                                                                               JESUS CHRIST                      JUDGMENT
A.D. 33
                    (2000 years?)                  (7 Year Tribulation)                                  (1000 years)
                                                                      ANTICHRIST                           MILLENNIAL REIGN                                  HEAVEN
CHURCH                      BREAKS CONTRACT                              OF JESUS
                          AGE                                                                                                                                                                       ETERANL STATE

CONTRACT           3 ½ YEARS           3 ½ YEARS
WITH               TRIBULATION          GREAT                                                                                          LAKE OF FIRE
ANTICHRIST                                       TRIBULATION

1.      Church Age (Matt. 16:16-18; 18:15-20; Acts 2:1-Rev. 3:22).
2.      Rapture (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 21-7; Rev. 2:25; 3:10-11).
3.      Judgment of Church-Age believers (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 9:24-27; 2 Cor. 5:9-10).
4.      Contract with Antichrist (Dan. 9:26-27; cf. 1 Thess. 5:3).
5.      Seven year judgment of Lamb (Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24-25; 2 Thess. 2:1-12; Rev. 6-18).
First 3 ½ years Tribulation (Matt. 24:1-14).
6.      Antichrist breaks contract with Israel (Dan. 9:26-27; 12:11; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:7-12).
Second 3 ½ years Great Tribulation (Isa. 13:11; Matt. 24:15-25:30; 1 Thess. 5:1-11).
7.      Second coming of Jesus (Isa. 34:1-8; 63:1-6; Dan. 7:13-14; Matt. 24:27; 2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:11-21).
8.      Judgment and reward of resurrected Old Testament and Tribulation saints (Rev. 20:4).
9.      The gathering and judging of the Nation of Israel, both believing and unbelieving, after the tribulation (Matt. 24:31; 25:1-30; Ezek. 20:34-38).
10.  Judgment of Gentile nations (Matt. 25:31-46).
11.  Millennial reign of Jesus (Rev. 20:1-6).
a.       Satan bound for one thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6).
b.      Jesus’ reign will fulfill the Davidic promise (Jer. 23:5-8).
c.       King David will be resurrected to rule with Christ (Ezek. 34:23-24; cf. Jer. 30:9; 33:15-17).
d.      Israel will be purged of harmful animals (Ezek. 34:25-28).
e.       Jesus will rule the world with prefect righteousness and justice (Isa. 2:3-4; 11:2-5).
f.       Israel will possess all the Promised Land (Ezek. 36:24; 39:25-29; Amos 9:15; cf. Gen. 15:18-21).
g.      Israel will be exalted over the Gentiles (Isa. 14:1-2; 49:22-23; 60:14-17; 61:6-7)
h.      The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord (Isa. 11:9; Jer. 31:33-34).
i.        The Holy Spirit will indwell all believers (Ezek. 36:27; 37:14; cf. Jer. 31:33).
j.        The millennial temple will be erected and functional (Ezek. 40:1-46:24).
k.      The Gentiles will participate in the Jewish feasts and sacrificial system (Zech. 14:16).
l.        The glory of the Lord will fill the millennial Temple (Ezek. 8-11; 44:4).
m.    There will be improvement in social and economic life (Isa. 65:21-23; Amos 9:13-14).
n.      The Adamic curse will be lifted (Isa. 35:1-10).
o.      People will live longer (Isa. 65:18-23).
p.      Everyone will have good health (Isa. 35:5-7).
q.      Christ’s reign will not change the rebellious nature of Satan or depraved men (Rev. 20:7-10)
12.  Judgment of Satan who is cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:7-10).
13.  Great-White Throne judgment of all unbelievers (Rev. 20:11-15).
14.  New heaven & new earth (Rev. 21:1-9).
15.  New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:10-22:9).