After a lifetime studying and proclaiming Biblical prophecy it is now apparent that, in this turbulent and unstable world, prophecy is along with the Savior who it points to, the only immovable rock known to man, past, present or future.
One of the keys to understanding prophecy is the knowledge that it is telling the will and counsel of God including past, present and future. The idea that it is a smattering of future projections like Arthur C. Clarke or Aldous Huxley might conjure or the rambling of some syndicated astrological columnist and prognosticator is totally erroneous and wholly absurd.
Prophecy is so accurate that even evil men used it to try to fulfill their plan to commit murder. When Herod wanted to know where the Savior was to be born he resorted to those who knew prophecy and when it was determined that he would be born in Bethlehem he did his worst to try to kill the child. (Mt 2: 1f) He didn’t argue with the prophecy; he knew better. It is a lesson the modern world would do well to learn.
There is no science, philosophy, or discipline known to man with a better rate of accuracy. How accurate is it? In fact, it has to date, never been wrong. To think that the prophecy of the events yet to happen might not come to pass is the greatest single most foolish gamble any man will ever make in a lifetime.
Following politics, world trends and social changes in the world throughout my lifetime has become part of the study of prophecy. Many pre-millennial prophecies have been fulfilled in one generation that would be impossible to assign to any other generation in our history. We have the most intelligent and highly educated generation in our history tearing up cities like London, Cairo, Athens and others; that know nothing of prophecy yet are moving blindly ahead to fulfill it to the letter.
Politicians can and should be lauded for trying to produce order and create noble institutions and secure pathways for society but a futility has arisen in this Godless generation. They are beginning see they have no power to avert or control events that are sweeping across the globe. In fact, they rarely see it. I thrill to the rhetoric of our noblest patriots both past and present but I come to full attention at the prophecies that speak to the actual course a matter will take. I do not expect educators, leaders, patriots and politicians to drop everything they are doing and go study prophecy. What can be done is to note those who are helping to fulfill Biblical prophecy, in either a negative or positive way, and to make that known to others. Most leaders and politicians are listening to the voices of others of like mind, not the prophets.
The very first prophetic utterance in the Bible (Gen 3: 15) is called the protevangelium and is the first prediction that one day the world will receive a Savior, born of a woman, who will deal with sin and fallen man in a conclusive manner. That utterance is now past tense because Christ has already come. The rest of Biblical prophecy has many categories mostly unknown to all but those who have made it their business to study each and every one separately.
The period before Israel’s fall and all that transpired as she went into captivity and beyond, made up three separate categories. Pre-exilic, exilic and post-exilic prophecies were warnings given to Israel on what to do, to avoid her fall, (unheeded) how to handle herself in captivity, and the promise of restoration at the end of that captivity. Prophets like Jeremiah were there for all three of the periods and while hated for their predicting Israel’s fall, they were later revered for showing the Israelites the promises of restoration.
Within those prophecies was one of the most famous of all time known as, Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks. (Da 9: 1f) It is a prophecy that is so accurate that those who scoff at the Bible often refuse to acknowledge that it even exists. It promises a period of 483 years between the edict to rebuild Jerusalem with a wall and a temple to the time when the Messiah will be put to death. The only edict given out of the four issued by the Medes and Persian rulers, that called for the rebuilding of both wall and temple was issued by Artaxerxes. From the year it was issued to the death on the cross of Jesus Christ was exactly 483 years. The rest of the prophecy has a tag of seven years attached to it and was for the very distant future. That future is now in our neighborhood.
Interwoven throughout all of the scriptures are yet two major categories of prophecy. One category, Messianic prophecy has been completely fulfilled in the birth, ministry, life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some Messianic prophecies were given centuries before his birth yet all of them were fulfilled with perfect accuracy in his one lifetime. In one twenty-four hour period Christ fulfilled twenty five of the prophecies against astronomical odds. In fact they are the kind of odds that today we would associate with the possibility of mistaking someone’s DNA for another’s.
Pre-millennial prophecy, the remaining category, can be split into three sub-categories as well. Pre-millennial prophecy has to do with what leads up to the second coming of Christ. Millennial prophecies are a picture of the 1,000 year rule of Christ over this earth and post millennial prophecies are a brief look into the realm we refer to as eternity, the last and ultimately permanent aspect of God’s dealings with men.
Most pre-millennial prophecy is compacted into the very last generation of time as we know it. It reveals the upheavals of the nations, the rise of the antichrist and the false prophet and the entrance of Christ into the history of man once again. It is here we find ourselves today.
Every ancient prophet concurs that when Israel becomes a free and independent nation again after centuries of dispersion, persecution and homelessness that the last generation has begun. Jerusalem has to be in the hands of the Jews as well. Israel won her independence in 1948 and recovered Jerusalem from the Arabs in 1967. The rebirth of Israel and the subsequent Arab Israeli conflict is the single greatest fulfillment of Biblical prophecy since the birth of Christ. What happens next will defy the best efforts of the world to resist, and it will take a great deal more than the feeble efforts of Hillary Clinton and others to alter, guide or control.
So what is the point? If prophecy is so trustworthy what has it got to do with us? This is where we see that even prophecy has a philosophical aspect to it that is hard to argue with. The first thing prophecy does is to remove fear. The fearful aspects of the last day’s prophecies may seem like something better left alone but in fact it is the reason we are not moved by the whimsical prognostications of science, religions or soothsayers of any kind.
Prophecy can be far more specific. We think Iran may turn Israel and her capital city of Jerusalem to dust with nuclear annihilation, but it cannot happen. That of course will not keep them from trying, but it is a futile effort that will meet with failure. Christ has reserved both Israel and Jerusalem for his triumphant and imminent return at the close of the prophetic cycle known as, the age of grace.
Because Biblical prophecy tells exactly what will transpire across the globe there is little reason to fear the wild and sometimes ridiculous prognostications and nonsense of either doting scientific speculation or the musings of fringy religious soothsayers.
One example is a newly emerging fear among hard right evangelicals about the possible influence of Dominionism in the faith of Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. It is a belief that Christianity has the right to take over all aspects of government and law. Some even think it is the very will of God. Really! Prophecy clearly shows that before antichrist comes into complete power that Godless secularism invades every area of public life almost worldwide. Christianity takes over nothing but is persecuted and subdued by force the world over. Prophecy holds the last word not doctrinal extremists (which neither candidate is) or those who fear them. That is just something that is not going to happen. It creates controversy and in some cases panic but it is just another worry that has been dismissed by the clear light of Bible prophecy.
Real prophecy is the most stabilizing element known to man and its fulfillment is as sure as the rising of the sun. However, I would be remiss if I did not warn that even the sunrise is not so sure. On the day the Trump of God is sounded the sun will refuse to shine. Much more than a line from a song we love here in New Orleans, especially at the Saint’s games, it is a prophecy of a day when Christ will indeed re-enter the history of man.
The events in the following verse were shown to me in a dream vision as a young man and it was a long time before I came to read the biblical record that describes this event. I couldn’t understand the meaning of the vision until I read the scriptures, and even less, why it would be shown to me, until I read Numbers 12: 6, which was explanation enough. “And he said, hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.” The Biblical picture of these events that I was later to learn about, is in part, as follows.
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.” (Rev 6: 12)
I don’t spend a great deal of time trying to establish my own prophetic ministry because if someone is willing to pass by the most incredibly accurate record of prophecy in the world (the Bible) it is doubtful that they are going to pay much attention to me. We are called to proclaim; the rest is up to the hearer. Then there is Jesus warning that prophets don’t stand a chance if men are willing to ignore the very capstone of his life and purpose in coming to the earth to redeem mankind. To wit:
“And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16: 31)
Prophecy promises that the God of creation will appear to deal with his creation in a final and decisive way. Man was given dominion over one planet for a brief period of time. The usurper (Satan) has convinced modern man that the future of the planet is the only thing going on when in fact the earth is temporary.
Only man is permanent. The soul of man according to prophecy is eternal. Diverting our attention away from this little item is the deadliest deception in his arsenal because we as individuals are meant to continue forever either in or out of the presence of God. The only difference for anyone about where they will spend eternity is a little matter of a thing called, choice. God is figuratively if not virtually holding his breath as he watches which choice we will make. He does not will, wish or want anyone to make the wrong choice.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3: 9-10)
Copyright ©2011 Rev. Michael Bresciani