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“SEE THE FUTURE”

An Overview of Biblical Prophecy



    The word: "Prophecy", in its simplicity, means: "to tell forth".  The act "to prophesy", when used in the Bible, doesn't always imply a prediction of the future.  Believers with the spiritual gift of "prophecy" are those who "tell forth" the word of God which has already been openly revealed.  An actual "prophet" Biblically, was one who conveyed a message from God concerning the future. (“For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:21)  The final prophet recorded in the Bible is Jesus Christ.



   QUESTIONS  FOR BIBLICAL  INTERPRETATION

1. Where is the scene of activity: Is it on earth?  Is it in heaven?  

2. When is (or when will) the activity (be) taking place.  Was it be in the: past, is it in the present, will it be in the future?

3. Who is being spoken to: An individual, humanity, the Israelites, believers, non-believers?  

4. What style of writing is being used in a particular prophetic passage:


LITERAL

People, places and events in their contemporary settings.


FIGURATIVE

An analogous representation of people, places and events.  


SYMBOLIC

An artistic or communicative representation of people, places and events.


METAPHORIC

The use of other words or ideas to represent people, places and events.

 


    “When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense.”

-Dr. David L. Cooper

    “…therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate text, studied in light of related passages and established fundamental truths, clearly indicates otherwise.”

-Dr. Timothy LaHaye “Revelation Unveiled”, 1999.


    Old Testament prophecies spoke of events during the Old Testament times, the times of Jesus, our present age and the coming age.  Jesus in the New Testament times spoke of events in our current age and events in our future.



THE RAPTURE

1. “Rapture” (1629) is from the Latin raptere, which means: "to take away".

2. The word “rapture” actually never appears in the Bible.

3. The event it identifies does appear in the Bible:

    A. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

    B. Titus 2:11-14.

    C. 1 Corinthians 15:50-52.

    D. Matthew 24:1-51.

4. W.E. Vine defines this prophetic event as, "The imminent translation or removal from the earth of the Church."

5. The rapture should not be confused with the second coming of Jesus Christ.  They are two different events.  (The order of these two events is widely debated amongst Christians.)

6. The exact timing of the rapture is not revealed in the Bible, however, it is described as occurring sooner than expected and at a time when it is least expected.


SCRIPTURE CONCERNING THE RAPTURE

      "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.  That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.  Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come."  -Jesus  (Matthew 24:36-42 NIV)

      "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  Be on guard!  Be alert!  You do not know when that time will come.  It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.  Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back -- whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.  If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'"  -Jesus  (Mark 13:32-37 NIV)

      So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"  He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority."  -Jesus  (Acts 1:6, 7 NIV)

      "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."  -Angels  (Acts 1:11 NIV)

      I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed -- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  -Paul  (1 Corinthians 15:50-52 NIV)

      We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage each other with these words.  -Paul  (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 NIV)

    "…we wait for the blessed hope -- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ…"  -Paul  (Titus 2:13 NIV)

    "…look forward to the day of God and speed its coming."  -Peter  (2 Peter 3:12 NIV)

      "Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him.  So shall it be!  Amen."  -John  (Revelation 1:7 NIV)





    What’s next on the prophetic schedule?  The “Rapture”!  

    The Rapture is the physical removal of believers in Jesus Christ from the planet earth.  It is the beginning of the time of judgment for the earth.


Some of the numerous depictions of the rapture.


THE BIG PICTURE TIMELINE

    This timeline illustrates our existence: past, present and future.  Notably, it shows the pending major prophetical events:


THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

The removal of believers from the planet earth, not to be confused with Jesus’ return.


SEVEN YEARS OF TRIBULATION

One world government, one world false church,

The Antichrist and the Beast.  The requirement of “the mark of the beast”, 666.

Great distress: pestilence, earthquakes, famine, death.


THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON

A military attack upon the Israeli people, not a nuclear worldwide event.


JESUS’ EARTHLY RETURN

He will arrive on horseback and physically stand upon the planet earth.


THE MILLENNIUM (1000 years)

A period of peace, following Jesus’ return, will precede the Final Judgment.


THE FINAL JUDGMENT

At the throne of God, with the Book of Life,

all will be judged;  the saved will be eternally  blessed, the lost will be forever cursed.


NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH

The old earth will be destroyed and a new perfected earth will be revealed.

Heaven, a massive holy city, to be known as “Zion”, will be revealed.


THE LAKE OF FIRE

Satan, the demons and all of the unsaved of earth

will be cast in to a literal lake of fire which will be banished from the presence of God.


    This timeline is simply a basic outline of the future.  It is not inclusive of all of the future events mentioned in the Bible.  Misunderstandings have existed for generations regarding the sequence of these events, but all agree: now is the time of salvation, in the end only those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour will be saved!











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