BIBLE PROPHECY

II Pet. 1:15-21

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy,” because “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit(II Pet. 1:19, 21).

Today, we want to look at the meaning and true significance of prophecy.

A right view of prophecy will give us a sense of security, knowing that the Lord is working, and will continue to work His will in the affairs of this world.

I. THE DEFINITION OF PROPHECY

A. The English word “PROPHECY” is used to translate a Hebrew word and a Greek word.

- Both of these mean essentially the same thing—“speaking on behalf of” or “telling forth.”

1. In the Old Testament the emphasis is on “speaking on behalf of.”

a. This is illustrated by the story of Moses and Aaron. Ex. 4:14-17.

b. Aaron was to speak before Pharaoh on behalf of Moses just as the Old Testament prophet spoke before men on behalf of God.

2. In the New Testament the emphasis is more on “telling forth.”

a. The New Testament prophet is a forth-teller or a proclaimer of God’s truth.

3. When we put these two concepts together, we find that prophecy is speaking forth in behalf of another.

a. True prophecy is proclaiming the Word, not predicting the future.

4. Biblical prophets were men who stood before other men as messengers of God, telling forth truths, which God had given them. II Pet. 1:21.

B. Biblical prophets are merely God’s spokesmen.

1. They speak with the authority of God.

2. We cannot believe God’s Word without believing the prophetic truth it contains.

II. ALL PROPHETIC TRUTH REVOLVS AROUND THREE GROUPS

These three groups are mentioned throughout Scripture, and each has a special place in God’s plan and purpose.

A. The first is the JEW.

1. These are God’s earthly people, Israel.

2. Their God-ordained father was Abraham.

3. God made specific promises to Abraham and his descendants, concerning the land, their relationship to God, and their future.

4. The Jews are still God’s chosen people.

B. The second group is the GENTILE RACE.

1. God’s plan is not limited simply to His covenant people, Israel; but He is also interested and concerned with every nation in the world.

2. The nations of the world are under God’s sovereign hand, and He deals with them according to His plan.

3. It is interesting to compare present-day happenings with the prophecies in the Word of God.

4. We are now living in the “time of the Gentiles.”

C. The third group that is prominent in prophecy is the CHURCH.

1. The Church is God’s divine institution for this age.

2. The Lord Jesus Christ began His Church while He was here on earth. Mt. 16:18; I Pet. 2:4-9.

3. The Lord commissioned His Church just before He ascended back to heaven. Mt. 28:18-20.

4. The Church was empowered by the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:1-4.

5. The Church is the God-ordained guardian of the Word. I Tim. 3:15.

a. The truths of God are published, supported and defended by the Church.

6. The Church has a key place in all of God’s purposes.

v      Prophetically, God’s entire plan revolves around these three groups.

v      We see Christ as the KING of Israel, as the JUDGE of the nations (Gentiles) and as the LORD of the Church.

III. THE RELATIONSHIP OF PROPHECY TO CHRIST

A. The Lord Jesus Christ is the center of all God’s truth.

B. He came into this world to give Himself a ransom for sinners. Heb. 9:24-28.

- He will save all that repent and believe on Him. Rom. 10:9-10, 13.

C. Christ is now on the right hand of the Father interceding for His own. Heb. 7:25.

D. Christ is coming again for His own. I Thess. 4:16-17.

·         Are you ready to meet Him?