01 Purpose of Prophecy


GRAPHIC OF BEAST - REV. 13

Is the End of the World Coming?


Actually, that is not the appropriate question to ask.   The appropriate question to ask is “Is the end of MY world coming?”  The end of the world is really not my personal concern, but the end of MY world is.

The same should be true for every person.   The end of your world will come!  When and where I do not know and neither do you.

Another question that is appropriate is “Is there another world after this world?”   And what is it like and how do I get there?

Someone has said, “He that takes thought for time and takes not thought for eternity, is wise for a moment, but a fool forever.”

Now this all gets us to our questions – Prophecy, what, why, who, where, when and how.   No, I am not a newspaper man.


What is Prophecy?


   One simple definition is “Prophecy is history written in advance.”   Only God is omniscience – all knowing.   The ability to predict the end from the beginning is evidence of omniscience.    The ability to predict the yet unknown future with infallible accuracy is evidence of omniscience.  And this omniscience is reliable evidence that the author of Holy Scripture is God.  “I am God … Declaring the end from the beginning ….” Isaiah 46:9-10


Who is a Prophet?


    Only a person with the prophetic gift was divinely authorized to author and record prophecy and Holy Scripture.  See, II Peter 1:19-21


Deuteronomy 13:1-11; 18:20-22 and Romans 3:2 give criteria for the office of prophet.  Remember, one mistake in prediction was punished by stoning.

    All true prophets are Jewish subsequent to the establishment of the Mosaic covenant (with the possible exception of Luke).  See Romans 3:2  All Holy Scripture was authored by Jewish authors – divinely inspired by God (II Timothy 3:16,17; II Peter 1:20-21).

    The church is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets according to

Ephesians 2:20.   Every one of the twelve Apostles had the prophetic gift and prophetic office.   Luke was possibly a Hellenic Jew and not a Gentile as some believe.   Luke was probably born and raised in Antioch of Syria which was a major Gentile/Hellenic center of commerce and culture.   As a traveling companion of the Apostle Paul he had much in common.   Paul grew up in a Hellenic Gentile city, Tarsus.  However, Col. 4:11-14 appears not to list Luke with the circumcision.  But note that Luke was an associate of the Apostle Paul who was indeed a “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Phil. 3:5).  One of the rules for New Testament canonicity was that the author must be an Apostle or an associate of an Apostle.  John Mark was Jewish and was an associate of the Apostle Peter.


What are the Purposes of Prophecy?


Biblical prophecy is not just for the future!!

Biblical Prophecy in relation to:

The Word of God

1.    Proves the reliability of the Holy Scriptures as “God
       Breathed.” II Timothy 3:15-16; II Peter 1:19-21

2.    Provides self-authenticating evidence of the Holy
       Scriptures as indeed the literal “Word of God”.
       Isaiah 46:9,10  Cyrus the Great was predicted by name 150 years 
       before his birth. Isaiah 45:1,13

3.    Provides a guide for biblical interpretation by literal
       fulfillment of prophecy. I Corinthian 2:13 “Comparing
       spiritual things with spiritual things”  “judging one
       thing in connection with another”
      – Strong’s Concordance –

The Child of God

1.    Provides hope for the believer.  I John 3:3; Titus 2:11-13

2.    Promotes holy living by purifying the believer.  I John 3:3; Titus 2:11-14

3.    Proves the faithfulness of God.  Isaiah 55:11 God’s
       prophetic word will not return unto him void
      (unfulfilled).

4.    Protects from false teaching, false teachers, and false
       prophets.  I John 4:1ff; II Peter 2:1ff; Deuteronomy
       13:1-11 & 18:20-22

5.    Promises a future for the believer.  John 5:24 “…shall
       not (in the future) come into judgment (for sin), but is
      (right now) passed from (spiritual) death to (spiritual)
      life.

The World of God

1.    Predicts the future of our current world.  Prophecy
       outlines God’s Plan of the ages.   I Corinthians 10:11

2.    Demonstrates the care, concern, and control of God.  Ephesians 1:3ff


Why Study the book of Daniel?


    The book of Daniel is the major prophetic book in the Old Testament and the book of Revelation is the major prophetic book in the New Testament.

Recommended reading – Daniel and the Latter Days by Robert Culver (Somewhat technical, but an excellent analysis of the organization, structure, and content of the book of Daniel.)


Heuristic Bible Study (Discovery)
Inductive Bible Study (Extraction by inquiry)

   The secret of an education is not learning the right answers, but learning how to ask the right questions.  If you do not ask the right question, you will not get the right answer.

You must learn how to ask questions as you read and investigate the Holy Scriptures.

Each week you will be given a set of questions for each of the twelve chapters of Daniel.   As you read each chapter of Daniel, attempt to formulate your own questions so as to assist you in extracting from the text the full and applicable meaning.

Here are some principles to assist you.

 

1.    Observation – What is the wording – What does it actually say?

2.    Interpretation – What is the meaning – What does it really mean.

3.    Application – What does it mean for me?  What am I going to do about
       it?

Below are some questions to assist in application:

  • Is there a command to obey?
  • Is there a principle to practice?
  • Is there a promise to claim?
  • Is there a new idea about God to be learned?
  • Is there an example to follow?
  • Is there a sin to avoid?

The following are rules that we will observe in our Bible discussion group.

1.    The Bible will be taken at face value – plain English.  The Bible means what it says, and says what it means.   We are not looking for hidden meanings.

2.    We will not argue, but discuss.   We will always be pleasant even when we disagree.  We may disagree,   but not be disagreeable.

3.    Each person must be allowed to present his/her observations without criticism.

4.    Since we have limited time, the leader will ask at times that questions and discussion be discontinued.

5.    The facilitator/leader/moderator is ultimately in charge so as to avoid conflict and confusion.


    Remember, we want the author of Holy Scripture to be our ultimate teacher.   If HE gave the Holy Scriptures, then He is pleased by our desire to study them.

Our request, desire and prayer should be:

“Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”Psalms 119:18

Judaeo-Christian Ministries , Inc. @ 11-15-01    Rev. Thomas L. Clark

 

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