Why Bother With ‘Predictions’?

31 May 22

It is incredibly hard to ‘PREDICT’ THE FUTURE though many prognosticators have tried, with so-so results. So then, is it just not worth the bother to try to predict the future, or is there another ‘source’ that has been much more successful at foretelling?

INTRODUCTION
Everyone from science fiction writers to billionaire tech gurus to animated sitcoms have been telling us about what they think tomorrow holds—and they have been surprisingly accurate. From a vision of organ transplants in 1660 to “Smart Homes” predicted in 1999, here are 30 predictions that were made years, decades, and even centuries before they actually became true.

– iPads (1968)
   [ Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” book ]
– Cellphones (1909)
   [ Nikola Tesla ]
– President “Obomi” (1969)
   [ John Brunner’s “Stand on Zanzibar” book ]
– Credit Cards (1888)
   [ Edward Bellamy’s novel “Looking Backward” ]
– The Moon Landing (1865)
   [ Jules Verne’s “From Earth to the Moon” novel ]
– The Sinking of the Titanic (1898)
   [ Morgan Robertson’s “The Wreck of the Titan” novel ]
– Organ Transplants (1660)
   [ “Father of Modern Chemistry,” Robert Boyle ]
– The Internet (1898)
   [ Mark Twain’s short story “From the ‘London Times’ of 1904” ]
– The Atomic Bomb (1914)
   [ H.G. Wells’ novel “The World Set Free” ]
– Movie Streaming (1987)
   [ Roger Ebert’s Omni magazine interview ]
– Greenhouse Effect (1917)
   [ Alexander Graham Bell’s paper ]
– James Dean’s Death (1955)
   [ Alec Guinness’ BBC interview ]
– Smart Homes (1999)
   [ Bill Gates’ predictions article ]
– Autocorrect Fails (1994)
   [ “The Simpsons” TV show ]
– Darth Vader as Luke Skywalker’s Dad (1978)
   [ David Prowse spilled the ‘beans’ in an interview ]
– Digital Photography (1900)
   [ John Elfreth Watkins’ interview with Ladies Home Journal ]
– Blogging (1835)
   [ Russian prince Vladimir Odoevsky ]
– The Chicago Cubs Winning the World Series (1993)
   [ Mike Lee’s note in his high school yearbook ]
– GPS (1993)
   [ AT&T TV commercial ]
– Earbuds (1953)
   [ Ray Bradbury’s novel “Fahrenheit 541” ]
– Online Shopping (1967)
   [ “1999 A.D.” short film ]
– Mark Twain’s Death (1909)
   [ He himself ‘joked’ that he would die after the next Halley’s Comet appeared ]
– Coffee Machines, Microwaves, and Meal Prep (1964)
   [ Isaac Asimov’s “New York Times” article ]
– World War II (1919)
   [ French military theorist Ferdinand Foch’s comment ]
– Waterbeds (1961)
   [ Robert Heinlein’s novel “Stranger In a Strange Land” ]
– Screensavers (1961)
   [ Robert Heinlein’s novel “Stranger In a Strange Land” ]
– The Two Moons of Mars (1726)
   [ Jonathan Swift’s novel “Gulliver’s Travels” ]
– Antidepressants (1931)
   [ Aldous Huxley in his “Brave New World” book ]
– Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Berlin Wall (1969)
   [ “Laugh In” comedy show ]

[ Note: View the details for each:
https://bestlifeonline.com/historical-predictions/ ]

[ VIDEO: “6 People Who Predicted the Future With Stunning Accuracy” ].

With the current acceleration of technical innovation and computing power making what was unthinkable just a few years ago possible, it seems now to be a little easier to predict what the future may hold than it was back a few centuries ago, or more so, a few millennia ago.


<<< SUMMARY >>>

The following is a collection of ‘snippets’ from the post that aims to give you the overall ‘jest’ of this post.
[ 10-15 Minute Read ].


‘PREDICTIONS’
A “prediction” (Latin: “præ-,” which means “before,” and “dicere,” which means “to say”) or foretelling is a statement about what WILL ‘HAPPEN’ in the future. They are often, but not always, based upon experience or knowledge. It utilizes a person’s abductive, inductive, and deductive reasoning as well as their experiences to generate an informed opinion about what they think will happen in the future. Predictions can be useful to assist in making plans about possible developments. Some also term this “futurology.”
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Popular futurology in the era of growing globalization and developing information technology was largely about local extrapolation of trends that were understood to be relatively ‘inevitable’. They made ‘safe’ or ‘obscure’ predictions so they wouldn’t be ‘called out’ for being wrong.

Everyone wants to know what’s going to happen, right? Humans have long tried to determine the future. However, even the most advanced technology can’t solve the fundamental issue with predictions—that is, how predictions are ‘interpreted’. 
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Today, technology has a significant role to play here. However, the danger is that modern predictions with an AI ‘imprint’ are definitely more ‘scientific’, hence more likely to actually become real rather than guesses produced by older systems of ‘divination’.

Rather than depending purely on ‘guessing’ to map the future, it is more sensible to borrow from history, and combine newer techniques with a slightly older model of forecasting—one that combines scientific expertise with ‘artistic’ interpretation. It would perhaps be more helpful to think in terms of diagnosis, rather than prediction, when it comes to imagining—or improving—future realities.
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PROGNOSTICATION ‘METHODS’
So then, I will be focusing on ‘prognosticators’ rather than forecasts created by collecting data and performing computer ‘modeling’.

[ FYI: For more details about “statistical” and “predictive analytics,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/when-will-something-important-happen-v274/ ].
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ORACLES OF DELPHI
An oracle, (Latin: “oraculum” which means, “to pray,” or “to speak”), is a divine communication that is delivered in response to a petitioner’s request. Oracles were a branch of divination but differed from the casual pronouncements of augurs by being associated with a definite person or place. For example, the oracles of Zeus originated at Dodona, Olympia, or Siwa; those of the Sibyl were in general circulation, but their provenance was unknown.
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I CHING
“I Ching” or “Book of Changes,” is the world’s most ancient and best-known “oracle book.”

Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou period (1000-750 BC), over the course of the Warring States and early imperial periods (500-200 BC) it was transformed into a cosmological text with a series of philosophical commentaries known as the “Ten Wings.” After becoming part of the Five Classics in the 2nd Century BC, the I Ching was the subject of scholarly commentary and the basis for divination practice for centuries across the Far East—and eventually, it took on an influential role in Western understanding of Eastern thought.
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DIVINATION
Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of a standardized occultic process or ritual. It is an integral part of witchcraft and has been used in various forms for thousands of years. Diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a querent should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens, or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency, most often described as an “angel” or a “god” (though when viewed by Christians and Jews, it was described as a fallen angel or demon).

GEOMANCY
Another method of divination is “Geomantiae” or “Geomancy.” This is a method of divination that interprets markings on the ground or the patterns formed by tossed handfuls of soil, rocks, or sand. The most prevalent form of divinatory geomancy involves interpreting a series of 16 figures formed by a randomized process that involves recursion, followed by analyzing them, and often augmented with astrological interpretations. This method was used for answering specific questions about the future which related particularly to material affairs, finance, agriculture, and property.
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PROPHECY
Prophecy was one of the functions of a “prophet” (primarily religious). It has been defined as a “miracle of knowledge, a declaration or description or representation of something future, beyond the power of human ‘sagacity’ to foresee, discern, or conjecture.” It can also be a “divinely inspired utterance.”

Even though the Bible is probably the ‘premier’ example of prophecy, Michel de Nostradame—known universally as just “Nostradamus”—is probably the most popular non-religious “prophet” that is still followed and interpreted today. [ He is analyzed in detail below. ]

The great prediction which runs like a golden ‘thread’ through the whole contents of the Old Testament is that regarding the coming and work of the Messiah (Jesus), and the great use of prophecy was to perpetuate faith in His coming and to prepare the world for that event. However, there are many ‘subordinate’ and intermediate prophecies which also hold an important place in the great ‘chain’ of events that illustrate the sovereignty and all-wise overruling providence of the God of the Bible.

In literature, vision and prophecy are literary devices used to present a possible timeline of future events. Vision is distinguished by referring to what an ‘individual’ sees happen. [ The book of Revelation, in the New Testament, thus uses vision as a literary device in this regard. ]

SOME FAMOUS ‘PSYCHICS’
Fortune telling ‘psychics’ go back many centuries and there are many different ‘types’. While the image in popular culture may be a mysterious-looking woman gazing into a crystal ball in a darkly lit room, historically fortune tellers have come in many different ‘forms’.

While some psychics may use a crystal ball, others make use of many other methods such as tarot cards, astrology, divination, palm reading, tea leaf reading, clairvoyance, and many more. There are some very famous historical psychics, each with their own unique ‘gifts’. Here we take a look at some of the most famous of them and their most famous predictions.

PYTHIA
As mentioned previously, the Pythia was the priestess whose duty it was to prophesy at the Pytho. This tradition began around the 8th century BC and the priestess was called the Oracle of Delphi. The prophecies were made in a sanctuary that was dedicated to the Greek god Apollo, the god of truth and prophecy.

The Pythia was chosen from the group of priestesses who served at the temple. She had to dedicate herself exclusively to the Pythia and give up all connections with her family upon being chosen. People would come to seek her advice and in return bring offerings of money and sacrificed animals. Often the prophetess was known to have a kind of fit while foreseeing events such as wars, political change, and the solutions to great problems.

JEAN DIXON
Jean Dixon was easily one of the most famous fortune-tellers of the 20th century. She first became known as an astrologist who would write in a syndicated column in American newspapers. Over the course of her life, she wrote a number of best-selling books, including some fairly unusual ones such as an astrological cookbook and she even wrote horoscopes for animals.

Dixon is perhaps most famous for predicting the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. She also served as an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Second World War, as well as providing advice about domestic terrorism to Richard Nixon when he was in office.

Other predictions of Dixon’s included that one Pope would be injured and another assassinated, which may correspond to the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II and allegations of the assassination of Pope John Paul I. Oprah has claimed that Dixon foretold her hugely successful career. Furthermore, Dixon also predicted that the world would end in 2020 through a “war of Armageddon” (which proved to be incorrect).

BABA VANGA
Baba Vanga was another extremely famous 20th-century fortune teller and psychic. She came from Bulgaria and was said to possess the gift of clairvoyance, which developed after she lost her eyesight. While Baba Vanga was born with working eyesight, she is said to have lost it after being thrown around by a tornado and sustaining injuries that damaged her eyes and caused her to gradually lose her sight.

While Baba Vanga did not produce any writings, she had members of staff who would often record her predictions. Among her many predictions were 9/11, the tsunami in Thailand in 2004, danger to the lives of Trump and Putin in 2020, various acts of terrorism, Brexit, and the invention of time travel in the year 2304.

Due to the lack of fixed writings from Baba Vanga it is not always easy to know which prophecies are actually hers. However, there are many who are convinced by her remarkable gifts.

EDCAR CAYCE
Edgar Cayce was a clairvoyant who was active at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. Cayce would put himself into a self-induced sleep state when conducting readings. He claimed that his subconscious mind would leave his body and this way he could visit the land of the spirits. There he was able to gain information about the future and he could then bring it back to the land of the living and pass it on to his clients.

He was an incredibly prolific reader and is known to have given over 14,000 readings, which can be seen at the A.R.E. headquarters in Virginia Beach. Among his many predictions were the 1929 stock market crash that caused the Great Depression, the Second World War, a change of the earth’s magnetic poles, the end of the Soviet Union, and an alliance forming between America and Russia. Prophesies of his that are yet to come true include a massive lengthening of the average human life span, the discovery of a self-fueled perpetual motion machine, and a major conflict in the Persian Gulf.

DANIEL DUNGLAS HOME
Daniel Dunglas Home was a 19th-century Scottish ‘medium’ born in Scotland to a family of well-known psychics and seers. Early in his life, he moved to the United States where he became known for his ability to heal the sick and communicate with the spirit world.

He was famous along the East coast, in particular for his ability to allow spirits to speak directly through him. He was also known for his ability to levitate himself and to also levitate objects. There were many who claimed that Hume was a fraud, but no one was ever able to prove it. In fact, academics and judges were allowed to attend his readings to look for tricks but all of them left convinced of his special gifts.

These are just a few of the soothsayers that have been around as long as recorded history—and probably longer. After all, knowing what’s to come has always been accorded more value than knowing what’s already happened. There has always been power and notoriety to be gained from prognostication.
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NOSTRADAMUS
The most famous of the ‘psychics’ would be Michel de Nostradame—universally known as just “Nostradamus”—a French physician “seer” who lived in the 16th century and has had more impact on the world than any other ‘secular’ prophet since the golden age of the Delphic Oracle. His predictions have remained consistently in print since he first published them in 1555. His life and work have inspired novels, plays, Hollywood movies, and any number of academic studies and treatises. As a figure of French national pride, he ranks only behind Charles de Gaulle and Joan of Arc. Political leaders since the 16th Century have seen in his prophecies optimistic portents for their own futures (although few seem to have been prepared to consider potential warnings of doom from the seer). Indeed, in the public eye, the name Nostradamus has been synonymous with foretelling the future.
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Even though he had critics, Nostradamus was catapulted to fame in 1557, two years after the publication of volume one of his “Prophecies.” It all had to do with the accidental death of France’s king, Henry II, who was wounded in a jousting contest and died ten days later. This event was proclaimed to be a fulfillment of a prophecy contained In Century 1, Quatrain 35: …
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So, may interpreters say that this is a “detail for detail” prediction of King Henri’s death. Well, I say, “Hmmmm.”
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Critics argue that the items in this quatrain do not fit the event close enough to support the accuracy ascribed to it.
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As an example of the ‘obscurity’ of some of Nostradamus’ predictions, the following one has been interpreted in three totally different ways by three ‘expert’ pro-Nostradamus interpreters…
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Much of Nostradamus’ longevity as a “prophet” can be attributed to the ‘ambiguity’ of his writing style. These enigmatic quatrains contain old French terms, Latin terms, mythical Greek figures, historical allusions, unique words, anagrams, puns, odd spellings, odd syntax, partial words, inverted word order, and even words that he apparently invented. I’m coming to the impression that one has to ‘shoehorn’ an interpretation of Nostradamus’ predictions ‘into’ events that just might be similar.

If the ‘context’ is not understandable, the words are usually translated in a great variety of ways, often depending upon the result desired by the translator. In other words, a ‘creative’ translation often makes one of his prophecies seem relevant to a current event.
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Nostradamus always claimed that “god” was the source of his prophecies. (Most say that he was either deceived or purposefully lying.) What Nostradamus is describing here is a method of “trafficking in spirits” which was practiced by Branchus, an occultic Greek prophetess.

Critics also say that the “divine one” who sat nearby him was probably none other than Satan. They hypothesize that he was probably demon-possessed.
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Pro-Nostradamus interpreters say that the following prophecies either “came true” or were “fulfilled” [ Their comments follow the verse. You decide whether or not they were “fulfilled.” ]:
–  The Great Fire of London
– The French Revolution 
– Napoleon’s Conquest
– Louis Pasteur’s Discoveries 
– The Rise of Hitler
– World War II
– Atom Bomb
– First Moon Landing 
– 9/11
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It seems to me—and MANY other critics—that devoted Nostradamus enthusiasts ‘manipulate’ his text to fit their desired interpretation—words are manipulated by inserting, deleting, or changing any number of letters; phonetic equivalents are used; punctuation and grammar is altered; and other languages are substituted. (Numbers and dates are manipulated as well, using arbitrary calculations.) The case for Nostradamus’s accuracy rests on the ‘interpretations’ offered by his enthusiasts.
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FLAWED INTERPRETATIONS
Each generation of enthusiasts finds the headline events of their time in Nostradamus’s quatrains. They suggest that Nostradamus foresaw many famous figures from Napoleon, to Hitler, to Ronald Reagan; historic events from the French Revolution, to the Civil War, to the Cold War; modern inventions from the hot air balloon, to the submarine, to the radio and the light bulb; and many contemporary events from the spread of AIDS, to the O. J. Simpson trial, to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The process is generally the same. After a connection has been made—however spurious—between a word or phrase in a quatrain and some historical person, place, or event, the rest of the text is either ignored or ‘twisted’ to fit the desired interpretation using an arsenal of discovered ‘devices’.
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So, my ‘BOTTOM LINE’ is that there is no real evidence Nostradamus ever predicted the future, and his writings are too vague to back the claims. Nostradamus’ quatrains are puzzling and rarely mention specific places, dates, or locations—which doesn’t bode well for me wanting to accept them.

According to another skeptic, Brian Dunning, the science writer host of the “Skeptoid” podcast, he said that, “No one has ever used a Nostradamus quatrain to predict a future event.”
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SO, WHY ‘BOTHER’ WITH PREDICTIONS?
Throughout history, there has been a constant parade of people who claim to know the future. From the Oracles of ancient Greece to Nostradamus, Edward Casey, Jean Dixon, and the modern psychic hotlines—the stream of alleged prognosticators goes on and on.

While some of these crystal ball gazers may be able to hit upon something that does actually occur once in a while, it’s not because they know the future, but it has more to do with the “law of averages”: if you ‘predict’ enough future events, one of them is bound to happen eventually. As the old saying states, “Even a clock that doesn’t work is right twice a day.”
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So, since Nostradamus—and many other ‘prognosticationists’ like Edgar Cayce, Jean Dixon, Daniel Dunglas Home, and Baba Vanga—have been correct VERY infrequently, why should we ever trust them, or anyone that purports to be a prognosticator?
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GOD OF THE BIBLE
Well, in order to ‘accurately’ predict the future, one must either be omniscient (no everything), omnipresent (be present everywhere), and omnipotent (possess all power)—or have a direct ‘connection’ with the One who does meet all those requirements.

This is what the God of the Bible says about His unique abilities to disclose the future:

Set forth your case, says the Lord; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.
Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified. Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you”
[ Isaiah 41:21-24 ].
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There are many people over the centuries that have claimed prophetic abilities, but they all FALL REALY ’SHORT’ when it comes to the accuracy in their predictions and specific details of the fulfillments. This is NOT the case with the Bible!

The difference we find in the prophecies of the Bible is that the prophecies of ANY God-appointed prophet have been 100% ACCURATE and none have EVER failed!

THE BIBLE HAS BEEN 100% ‘ACCURATE’
If something is “inevitable,” it will ‘DEFINITELY’ HAPPEN. Like some say, “death and taxes” are two such things.

The word “inevitable” comes from the Latin word “inevitabilis,” which means unavoidable. If you say something is inevitable, you give the sense that no matter what ‘scheme’ you come up with to get around it, it’s GOING to happen sooner or later. You can use all the skin products you want, but wrinkles are inevitable! (Sorry, ladies!)

Millions of Americans are caught up in a desperate attempt to know the future. The phenomenal rise in the sale of crystal balls, Ouija boards, and Viennese fortune‐telling Tarot cards are only a part of the incessant ‘need’ to know the future.

Well, there IS a ‘predictive’ source, that has NEVER BEEN ‘WRONG’ (which is totally verifiable, if you care to check). It is the BIBLE.
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So, knowing this, for me—and MANY others—it IS the MOST IMPORTANT ‘RESOURCE’ for predicting what the near future holds! (It so happens that predictions of future events occupy approximately 25% of the Bible.)

One ‘HUGE’ example is how Jesus fulfilled more than 300 prophecies in the Old Testament. Mathematics and Astronomy Professor Peter W. Stoner, in his book “Science Speaks,” calculated the probability of one man fulfilling ‘just’ 48 of these prophecies. It is one in 10 to the 157th power!!! [ Scientists estimate that there are about 10 to the 82nd power ATOMS in the “observable universe”! ]

So then, if we calculate the chances of just 16 prophesies, the odds would be 1 x 10 to the 45th power! So, that would mean that if one were to put this many silver dollars (10 to the 45th power) into a ‘ball’ and place the center of this ball where the center of our sun is, this ball’s outer edge would be in approximately the same area as the orbit of Neptune. [ Keep in mind that this is a 3D BALL, not a flat ‘disk’! ]
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PROPHECY >>> FULFILLMENT
– List of prophecies and their fulfillment…

[ Approximately 2,500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, and about 2,000 have already have been literally fulfilled TO THE ‘LETTER’—with NO ERRORS! ].

The uniqueness of the God of the Bible is expressed in the predictive nature of Bible prophecy. There is ‘NOTHING’ like this in ‘ANY’ OTHER religion. Only the God of the Bible HAS predicted the future with perfect accuracy:

“For I am God, and there is no other… declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done…Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass”
[ Isaiah 46:9-11 ].
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In every way, Scripture makes clear that biblical prophecy is a ‘work’ of God, through God-ordained prophets to communicate His predictions.

WHY BOTHER WITH ‘STUDYING’ BIBLICAL PROPHECY?
People are fascinated with the future. Psychic hotlines, tabloid newspapers, and astrologers make a living ‘preying’ upon people’s innate interest in the future. Some say that Albert Einstein said: “I’m more interested in the future than in the past, because the future is where I intend to live.”

So, is this the only ‘incentive’ for studying Bible prophecy? Was prophecy given just to satisfy our ‘curiosity’ about the signs of the times and the end of the world? Isn’t studying the Bible prophecy just ‘speculation’?
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Usually, the novice finally adopts the position of the “PANMILLENNIAL”: it will all “pan out” in the end, so there’s no need to worry about it anymore.
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In Bible study, there is a principle known as the “LAW OF PROPORTION.” This ‘law’ simply means that you can discern the importance of a subject in Scripture by how much attention is devoted to it. Few people have any idea just how much the Bible is prophetic in nature. The following statistics should shed some light on the amount of prophecy in the Bible:…
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So, applying the law of proportion, biblical prophecy DOES warrant serious study. To disregard this much of the Bible would be ‘foolish’.

Who would study American history in leave out almost 30% of the textbook? Who would go to a medical school and call themselves a doctor yet fail to understand over 25% of the body’s functions? Likewise, if we call ourselves believers in Jesus, it is ‘CRITICAL’ that we understand at least the ‘basics’ of Bible prophecy.
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Predicting events before they come to pass is ‘PROOF’ that the Bible is the inherent, inspired word of God. More than that, it is the bottom line basis for believing ‘in’ Jesus.
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The April 2009 cover of Newsmax pictures Jesus with outstretched arms under the heading: “The Jesus Question: Will He Ever Return?” The thing is, the headlines do seem to parallel the biblical End Times prophecies more and more each and every day. World events are unfolding exactly as the Bible predicted thousands of years ago. It seems like there is a bunch of ‘STAGE SETTING’ going on.
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So, if you don’t study prophecy, you will not know what God has planned for this earth AND for YOUR ‘FUTURE’!

Prophecy constitutes a large part of the Scriptures, therefore to neglect it or, as some have done, to utterly boast contempt for the subject of prophecy, is to cast dishonor upon divine revelation. Moreover, if the prophecies were not in the Bible, the remainder of the book would be ‘MEANINGLESS’!

‘REASONS’ THAT BIBLE PROPHECY IS IMPORTANT
We are living in incredible times. Things are changing so fast we can hardly keep up with them. Before we can catch our breath, we are hurried onto the next significant ‘event’. Tensions in the Middle East, the development of weapons of mass destruction, and threats to global peace fill the news ‘feeds’. It seems to me that, from what I read, many are sensing that the world is moving toward some great ‘climax’.

People today are asking, “Where are we headed?” “What will happen next,” and “How can I be prepared?” These are the very questions Bible prophecy ‘ANSWERS’ for us. Biblical prophecy helps one to ‘see’ into the future with clarity and confidence.

The purpose of Bible prophecy is not to frighten us, but to assure us that God is in control. In times of human uncertainty, we can rest assured that we have a “sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19) that shines like a beacon of light into the darkness of our times. Therefore, we can lift our heads and know that our redemption is drawing near (Luke 21:28).
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UNDERSTANDING ‘HISTORY’
It is impossible to understand God’s purpose for history apart from prophecy. God has declared:

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure”… I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it” [ Isaiah 46:9–11; cf. 14:24, 26-27 ].
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UNDERSTANDING THE ‘BIBLE’
Prophecy helps us understand the ‘whole’ Bible. It ‘lays out’ God’s prophetic program for this world by giving a person a ‘framework’ for understanding the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
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PROVES THE ‘AUTHENTICITY’ OF THE BIBLE
Prophecy is the most compelling evidence for the reliability, inerrancy, and authenticity of the Bible and the Person of Jesus. NO OTHER book or person has the amazing prophetic accuracy that the Bible has! Of the 26 other “so-called” religious books, NOT ONE has predictive prophecy!
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Another thing is that the Bible is unique among ALL books EVER written, since it accurately foretells specific events, in detail, many years (and sometimes centuries) before they occur. Again, approximately 2,500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, and about 2,000 have already been fulfilled to the letter—with NO ‘ERRORS’, 100% accuracy!
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So, given that the Bible proves so reliable a document for PAST prophecies that there is every reason to expect that the remaining 500 ‘FUTURE’ prophecies—those slated for the “time of the end”—will also be fulfilled ‘to the letter’. THEN, might I ask, who can afford to ignore biblical prophecy? Would a ‘reasonable’ person take lightly God’s WARNING of COMING ‘JUDGEMENT’?
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UNDERSTANDING ‘HERESY’
Prophecy can help ‘insulate’ people from heresy. The Apostle Peter responded to a group of scoffers that had arisen to mock the idea that Jesus was coming back. To them, the idea of God intervening dramatically in human history to judge mankind was absurd. However, the Apostle Peter reminded them that God created the world, and He will judge it: “The heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” [ 2 Peter 3:5b-7 ]. God’s delay in sending Jesus back to this world is not a delay of powerlessness or indifference, but a delay of ‘PATIENCE’ (“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9). The apparent delay in Jesus’s return is due to God’s MERCY and giving sinners MORE TIME TO ‘REPENT’!
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UNDERSTANDING GOD’S ‘SOVEREIGNTY’
Prophecy reveals the sovereignty of God in history.

In order to accurately predict the future, one must be omniscient (know everything) omnipresent (be present everywhere), and omnipotent (possess all power). The true prognosticator must know all things, must be present at all times and places, and must have all power to make sure the prediction is fulfilled. The God of the Bible is all of these.
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RECOGNIZE THE ‘SIGNS’ OF THE END TIMES
There is a large body of prophetic information in the Bible that reveals major events in the world before, during, and after the Second Coming of Jesus. These signs of the times help us understand the unfolding of God’s divine plan for humanity, so we can be better prepared for future events.
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However, the ‘MOST’ IMPORTANT of the ‘signs’ was the ‘restoration’ of Israel. Jesus said that, “In the latter days,” He would gather the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone (Hosea 3:5; Ezekiel 37:21).
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Another one of the important prophetic ‘events’ to happen is the Russian-Arab invasion of Israel. In Ezekiel 38 and 39, a Russian-Arab invasion of Israel is described. The prince of Russia is called Gog and his country Magog. These are ancient names for modern Russia, as they refer to the large area to the north of the Caucasian Mountains and the Black Sea.
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The signs of the times graphically illustrate the fact that the God of love, Who wants to ‘SAVE’ ALL PEOPLE, is also at the same time, the God of wrath who will severely ‘JUDGE’ UNREPENTANT SINNERS: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” [ 2 Peter 3:9 ].
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PROPHETIC ‘CONSEQUENCES’
So, what about those who reject God’s offer of salvation (Hebrews 2:3)? Well, such people can expect ‘retribution’ from God.

Unfortunately, most people reject the Gospel message. Jesus Himself said that there are few who are going to be saved: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able” [ Luke 13:24 ]. Why will they not be able to enter? Because of an ‘UNWILLINGNESS’ to part with their sins. The Apostle John said: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” [ John 3:19 ].
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‘IMMINENT RETURN’ OF JESUS (The “Rapture”)
The English word “imminent” means “hanging over one’s head; ready to befall or overtake one; close at hand in its incidence.” Thus, an imminent event is one that is close at hand and ready to happen. If something else must take place before an event can happen, the event is not imminent, and nor can you count on a fixed amount of time transpiring before the event occurs.
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ENCOURAGES ‘PATIENCE’
Jesus’ disciple James wrote that one needs to “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door” [ James 5:7-9 ].
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HELPS KEEP THINGS IN ‘PERSPECTIVE’
The story is told of an airplane lost over the ocean in the middle of a hurricane. The captain decided it was time to inform the passengers of their dilemma, so he turned on the intercom. “I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that we have lost our guidance system and have no way of knowing where we are or which way we are going. The good news is, we are making great time!”

Most people today are like the people in that plane. They are making great time, moving quickly through life, but they have no clue where they are, which way they are going, or where they are going to land! As a result, they lack a proper perspective about life, and their focus is only on the here and now.
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‘HOPE’ FOR THE FUTURE
The world is experiencing discouragement and uncertainty. People are talking about the economy, politics, terrorism, the Middle East tensions, crime, drugs, and global government. Most people feel as though they have lost control of their lives and destiny. However, the believer need not be frightened by events shaping up in our world since we know Jesus ‘PROMISES’ will come true!
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HOWEVER, the Apostle Paul’s prophetic word on the fate of UNBELIEVERS is TERRIFYING. They will not only be sent into eternal fire, but their lives will be ruined eternally (“eternal destruction”). Paul graphically describes this time: “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” [ 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 ].
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‘GODLY LIVING’ TODAY
Prophecy is also intended, by God, to change our attitudes and actions to be more in line with His Word and His character. Jesus’ imminent return should make a difference in the way the believer lives. They should live holy, godly lives every moment of every day because in the very next moment, Jesus could step through the ‘door’ of Heaven and confront them face to face.

The Apostle John emphasized the same truth when he wrote the following to believers: “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” [ 1 John 2:28 ].
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Everyone knows that if a person had knowledge of future events, then better decisions would be made. For example, would Fred take a job next week with the ABC Company if he knew that in four months the ABC Company would be going bankrupt? Would the Jones family buy that house down by the river if they knew that next spring the “flood of the century” would wash away all dwellings by that river? Or would the remodeling of an old home be the priority in the lives of Bill and Sue if they knew that it would burn to the ground as soon as it was completed? Knowledge of the future would, in these cases, UNDOUBTEDLY ‘RESHAPE’ decisions and priorities.
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Last month, I mentioned the story that Billy Graham in his book “World Aflame,” tells of an incident when former President Dwight Eisenhower decided to visit a boy in Denver.

When the dad answered the door, he was dressed in old jeans, a faded shirt, and had an unshaven face—he was ‘EMBARRASSED’!
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EVANGELISTIC ‘TOOL’
God had His declarations of future events recorded in the Scriptures, not to satisfy our curiosity, but to be a life-changing ‘tool’ for people of every generation. He uses biblical prophecy to warn unsaved people about the future, and the wrathful judgment that He has purposed for this rebellious world. Prophecy is also used to impress unsaved people with the ‘URGENCY’ of trusting Jesus as their Savior now, before it may be TOO LATE for them.

[ FYI: For more details about the sense of ‘urgency’ one should have, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/a-sense-of-urgency-v269/ ].
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AN ‘ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE’
Because God has put eternity in our hearts (“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” – Ecclesiastes 3:11), nothing can satisfy us except the eternal things of God. Knowing this should encourage the believer to set their minds not on earthly things but things above (“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” – Colossians 3:1-2), and live differently—only focusing on those things that matter for eternity.

The promise of Heaven, eternal rewards, and the joy of an eternity with Jesus should be on every believer’s mind, all the time!

GOD ‘CONSIDERS’ PROPHECY IMPORTANT
Through the prophets, then through Jesus and His apostles, God tells of the future. The Bible begins with prophecy (Genesis 3:15) and ends with prophecy (Revelation 22:12-20). It is an essential part of the Bible’s message. (Any topic that makes up over one-quarter of the Bible MUST be important!)
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Some of its longest books in the Bible—such as Revelation (95%), Ezekiel (65%), Jeremiah (60%), Isaiah (59%), and Leviticus (59%)—are prophetic. Many of its other books—such as Genesis, Psalms, and Paul’s epistles, also contain important prophecies. [ Zephaniah (89%); Obadiah (81%); Nahum (74%); Micah (70%); Zechariah (69%); and Joel (68%) ].
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God then declares that He will bring everything to pass, when, where, and how He sees fit: “I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me?… Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?” [ Isaiah 44:6, 8 ].
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Prophecy is also important to God since He wants to warn EVERYONE of impending judgment, because He wants ALL to be ‘SAVED’. 
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Understanding God’s prophetic ‘program’ for this world gives a person the best overall framework possible for understanding the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Prophecy is a ‘MAJOR’ PART of God’s divine revelation.
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JESUS IS THE ‘SUBJECT’ OF PROPHECY
Theologians have frequently noted that Jesus is the center of theology, because all of the great purposes of God depend on His person and work. “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness to Jesus” [ Revelation 19:10 ]. The truth of this verse is certainly borne out in Scripture. Prophecy is ALL ABOUT Jesus!

Bible prophecy finds its beginning and its end in the person and work of Jesus. The very first prophecy in the Bible (Genesis 3:15) is about the coming of the Deliverer who will “crush the head of the serpent.” Enoch’s ancient prophecy (recorded in Jude 14-15) prophesied the Flood judgment but also previews the Second Coming of Christ. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is filled with prophecies that ultimately point in some way to the Savior, Jesus.
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The following are 45 of the most ‘significant’ Messianic prophecies fulfilled during Jesus’ First Coming, followed by 25 prophetic references related to the Person and the work of Jesus.
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Studying Bible prophecy is vital because its very essence gives witness to Jesus.

SPECIAL ‘BLESSING’
A special ‘blessing’ is promised for those who study prophecy and pay attention to what it says.

When people think of Bible prophecy, the first book they think of, and maybe the only one, is Revelation. Revelation is the final book of the Bible and it records the consummation of God’s program for mankind and the world. The thing is, God promises a special blessing on those who study Bible prophecy: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near” [ Revelation 1:3 ].
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WRAP-UP
Throughout history, prognosticators have tried to predict events that would rock the world. But, even the most intellectually gifted did not foresee key forces that would cause paradigm shifts in society.

Instead, disturbing doomsday scenarios have regularly surfaced, and they made great headlines. Thankfully, many of these predictions proved spectacularly wrong. Remember the concerns over the Y2K millennium bug, and all the hype over Dec. 21, 2012 (which many interpreted as the end of the world based on the Mayan calendar)? Both predictions rattled the public psyche, and many people actually feared the end of their lives. HOWEVER, nothing ‘bad’ happened!

PREDICTION ‘FAILURES’
Just consider a ‘smattering’ of predictions over the past century:
– List of prediction failures…
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It seems to me that when a clairvoyant predicts something, they seem to be intentionally ‘ambiguous’, vague, and non-committal in their predictions. They speak/write in such a way that their words are unfalsifiable and could mean almost anything. That way they—or other ‘interpreters’—can later ‘twist’ their words to mean anything they want them to mean.

Unfortunately, most believers and supporters seem to turn a blind eye to this, and tend to have very selective memories, only remembering the one or two things their favorite clairvoyant seemed to have guessed right, while simultaneously forgetting the ‘thousands’ of things they got wrong!

NOSTRADAMUS
Michel de Nostradame—universally known as just “Nostradamus”—is probably the most popular non-religious “prophet” that is still followed and interpreted today. Some people say that he “has predicted many events exactly as they occurred, many years before the event happened.”

The most compelling argument against Nostradamus’ powers is that his apparent “hits” are the result of random chance and creative interpretation. There are nearly 1,000 quatrains, most containing more than one prediction, and all but a few are described in vague, obscure terms (16th-century French terms that aren’t clear to most modern interpreters). Over the course of hundreds of years, it’s certainly possible that some events would line up with some predictions simply due to ‘coincidence’, however, few have!
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BIBLICAL ‘PROPHETS’
So, for me, a fair consideration of the facts clearly demonstrates that Nostradamus was not a genuine ‘prophet’, and his feigned ability stands in bold contrast to the unambiguous and precisely fulfilled predictions of the Old Testament prophets.

Consider, for instance, the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures. Scholars have cataloged more than 330 of them. A convincing example is found in Isaiah 53.

In this remarkable chapter of a dozen verses, there are more than twenty-five prophetic details regarding Jesus. If I may borrow the words of one pro-Nostradamus interpreter, Dan Barker, he said that, “It would be very unlikely that so many predictions would all be accidentally satisfied in one person.”

That is my very point—these WERE NOT ‘accidentally’ fulfilled!
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‘REASONS’ TO STUDY PROPHECY
Many shy away from the study of prophecy for a variety of reasons. Some avoid studying it because they believe prophecy is irrelevant to their Christian ‘walk’ and a waste of time. Others believe that prophecy is too complicated and that they will never understand it.  Still, others believe that prophecy is all doom and gloom and they don’t want to think about the end of times. 

I, hopefully, with the ‘reasons’ listed below—and presented in detail above—have proven that they are mistaken in this thinking.
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‘MOCKING’ BIBLICAL PROPHECY
It is a sad reality that multitudes of believers today in many churches have little or no knowledge at all about what the Bible actually teaches about the Last Days and the Second Coming of Jesus.

Many actually scoff at those who take Bible prophecy seriously. However, the Apostle Peter had something to say about that kind of attitude:,,,
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‘REJECTING’ BIBLICAL PROPHECY
I read once a comment that sometimes believers treat the book of Revelation like the priests and the Levites treated the Samaritan who was wounded on the road—they ‘pass by’ it, avoiding it.  ;^(

The Bible says that the closer we get to Jesus’ Second Coming, the more people WILL NOT believe it. Sadly, there will be more and more people ‘departing’ from the faith. There will be more and more people ‘rejecting’ the truth of the Gospel. These are just one more of the ‘indicators’ to look for in the last days.
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SPECULATION IS ‘FUTILE’
We are living in a time where many people are saying that Biblical prophecy is not important, and that it is the stuff of fairytales. Some say that studying prophecy is something that only those who are calamitous and apocalyptic do.

Others say that speculating on the exact timing of Jesus’ return is futile, because Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Since Jesus said He didn’t know the day or hour, why should we try to figure it out?
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TOO ‘DIFFICULT’ TO UNDERSTAND
Maybe you’ve avoided the study of prophecy because it seems too difficult to understand. Perhaps, if you were honest that the present has you completely preoccupied and overwhelmed.

Many Christians think that prophecy as a gigantic, intimidating puzzle—difficult to piece together and impossible to figure out. But every puzzle can be solved if you approach it the right way! Putting the edge pieces together first builds the ‘framework’ that makes it easier to fit the other pieces in their place.
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‘HOPE’ FOR THE FUTURE
Prophecy gives us a glimpse into the future, so that we will know how to live in the present. It protects us from deception and prepares us for Jesus’ return (The book of Revelation is a guidebook to teach us the sequence of events leading up to the return of Jesus and paints a picture of the events that will bring the world as we know it to a finale. The word “revelation” itself means the unfolding of that which was previously hidden or unknown.)

Fulfilled prophecies of the past remind us that prophecies of things yet to come are true and ‘CERTAIN’ to be fulfilled. That means the believer should live each day in the light and hope of that certainty.

The study of prophecy also provides an ‘anchor’ for one’s faith. One’s faith will be revitalized as they see the fulfillment of prophecy in the past, as well as, how prophecy is being fulfilled in the present, and will encourage them to believe that God will also fulfill His promises that are yet future.

HOW TO LIVE A ‘GODLY LIFE’
Biblical prophecies and their literal fulfillment fascinate our curiosity and challenge our minds, but they are ultimately intended to bring us to a personal point of ‘DECISION’ and ‘FAITH’. If the Bible predicted these things would happen and they actually did happen, then we must take Jesus’ claims about Himself seriously. If He alone fulfilled these prophecies, then He alone is the Savior, the Son of God, King of kings and Lord of lords. Then, if He is, then He ‘DESERVES’ our faith, our lives, and our COMPLETE ‘DEVOTION’!

Prophecy is worthy of our attention, study, and devotion. The Apostle Paul said that one should, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” [ 2 Timothy 2:15 ]. This applies to our study of all Scripture, but it is certainly relevant to our understanding of the Bible’s many prophecies. The believer’s goal must be to know what God has spoken so that they may live with hope, holiness, and a desire to help those who have yet to experience a relationship with Jesus.

Knowing prophecy also helps the believer with RIGHTEOUS LIVING. For instance, if you are aware of Jesus’ imminent return, that should impact your desire to ‘witness’ to others about the Gospel. If the believer takes prophesy seriously, it will affect the ‘way’ they live.

‘SIGNS’ OF THE TIMES
It seems to me—and MANY prophecy experts—as we see what’s happening in the world today, that there seems to be some kind of ’BUILD UP’ to all of the signs that Jesus mentioned, and that the time IS drawing near!
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The ‘signs’ of the times are like runway lights that are lighting up as the return of Jesus approaches. In the Old Testament, the prophet Daniel (9:1-2) was reading Jeremiah and saw that his prophecy of the Israelites being in Babylon 70 years was almost up. So, even the prophet Daniel studied prophecy to understand the time he was living in. Then, if Daniel needed it back then, how much more do you think we need it today. (So, the believer should be following Daniel’s godly example.)
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AVOID ’TERRIBLE TIMES’
The message of every prophet of the Bible is that if you turn your life around, if you listen to God and heed His warnings and change, you can ‘AVOID’ THE TERRIBLE TIMES prophesied to come on our world.

All prophecy is ultimately a message of hope. We have God’s assurance that He is in perfect control, that He is a God of love (1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16), and that His desire is for us to turn to Him in heartfelt repentance and turn our lives over to Him. If and when we do so, He promises to bless and care for us, intent on fulfilling His purpose for us.
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PROPHECY IS ‘REALLY IMPORTANT’!
One of the benefits of studying Bible prophecy is that it sheds light on an understanding of the Word of God. Prophecy is a mighty ‘key’ to understanding the Bible. It puts the ‘pieces’ together.

Some believe that to get our minds on tomorrow is not relevant for today since it can become a ‘distraction’ from the present. If that is the case, there is A LOT of ‘distraction’ in the Bible!
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Prophecy enables the believer to intelligently “watch” the current world news with understanding and be able to analyze it in light of what is prophesied to happen—being able to ‘sort out’ what has long-range significance from the flood of news.

A watchman in the Old Testament was to sound a warning whenever he saw danger approaching. I’m trying to be that ‘WATCHMAN’ for you!

[ FYI: For more details on being a “watchman,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/being-a-watchman-v250/ ].

PROPHECY IS A ‘BLESSING’!
Then, there is a special blessing promised to those who study prophecy and pay attention to what it says—which is revealed at the beginning and the end of the book of Revelation: “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” [ Revelation 1:3 ], and “Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” [ Revelation 22:7 ].

The thing is, this promise is (in the Greek) a ‘present tense’ promise, meaning that it is granted to those who ‘continue’ to read.

So, I don’t know about you, but when God tells me specifically how to receive a blessing, I’m going to try my best to be prepared to receive it!

“TWO WORLD” VIEW
The Gospels record dozens and dozens of statements about future things in the teachings of Jesus. So then, why is there such an emphasis on prophetic events in the ministries of Jesus and the Apostles?

Well, it is because they knew that these truths about the future are essential in living a life that is wise, holy, and godly. These truths give the believer needed strength to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God” while at the same time cultivating the much-needed “two world view” in the mind and heart of the believer.

A “two world view” can be described as living well for Jesus in this world because there is a clear ‘focus’ on the world to come. When believers do have this clear focus on and understanding of the world to come, their lives will be lived with greater authenticity and with greater consistency. 
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CONCLUSION
What would you do if the National Weather Service suddenly interrupted you with a tornado warning instructing everyone to take immediate shelter in a safe place How would you respond? Would you ignore the warning or would you immediately run to your basement? Few people would dismiss the Weather Service’s prediction of the future. 

Just like the Weather Service, God has filled His Word, the Bible, with future ‘predictions’ of things to come. They are called “prophecies” which provide ‘hints’ of future events.

So, since the Bible is considered the believer’s ‘guidebook’ for life, God obviously intended for prophecy to influence their lives in some way. Why then is it seemingly so unimportant to countless believers around the world?

Well, there are a few reasons why—and I hope I answered most of them for you in this post. However, there is a reason I have not mentioned yet, and that is that there is a ‘being’ that doesn’t want you to believe what God is saying in the Bible, especially what He is saying about the future—specifically the Devil’s future. Because of this, Satan will ‘tell’ you that prophecy is not important, but that is a ‘LIE’!

Satan knows that if you read Bible prophecy—especially the book of Revelation—you will learn of his coming ‘doom’. Then, if you see Satan as a ‘defeated foe’, that will help you to be victorious over him every day. So, prophecy can ‘protect’ you from Satan’s attacks in the present and is ‘VITALLY’ IMPORTANT to you EVERY DAY!

[ FYI: For more details about how to ‘battle’ against Data (the “Armor of God”), view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/ready-for-battle-v235/ ].

Though we may not know the exact makeup, sequence, and timing of future events, we are to ‘plan’ as though Jesus were not returning in our lifetime but ‘live’ as though He were returning tomorrow.

ALL the biblical prophets predicted that Jesus is coming again, and I—as well as MANY prophecy experts—believe that, because of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of biblical ‘signs’, He is probably coming back REAL SOON (to ‘Rapture’ His children).

ARE YOU ‘READY’ for Jesus to return?

The thing is, MULTITUDES of “professing” Christians ARE NOT ‘READY’ for the Bridegroom (Jesus). [ One of the reasons among others He has not come back is that He is waiting for us to ‘become’ ready. ] Just like Lot’s wife, whose heart and life was enslaved to this world, she perished in the flames. So, DON’T let this HAPPEN TO YOU! Ignorance is NO ‘EXCUSE’!

The believer MUST NOT ‘IGNORE’ prophecies since God will hold them accountable for ‘knowing’ about them but not ‘doing’ anything about them. Such is the ‘spirit of Laodicea’ that pervades the Church in these days. If we do not take the words of Jesus seriously, then you WILL reap the ‘consequences’!

So then, ARE YOU A ‘TRUE’ BELIEVER? If not, God just might be trying to GET YOUR ‘ATTENTION’ with this post!

[ FYI: For more details on whether or not God has your ‘attention’ yet, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/got-your-attention-yet-v255/ ].

If you are NOT A ‘BELIEVER’, the Scriptures describe a TERRIBLE ‘FATE’ for you!:

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels… and these will go away into eternal punishment” 
[ Matthew 25:41, 48 ].
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Paul’s prophetic word on the fate of unbelievers is TERRIFYING. They not only will be sent into eternal fire, but their lives will be ‘ruined’ eternally (“eternal destruction”). This eliminates anyone having a good time ‘partying’ in Hell, or any other such nonsense! That which God designed life to be and have by way of meaning and purpose WILL BE GONE—FOREVER!!!
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To sum up, God wants us to ‘know’ prophecy well—primarily those related to Jesus’ Second Coming (with the Rapture preceding that). God’s seeming delay in bringing about the consummation of all things is NOT a result of ‘INDIFFERENCE’ but of ‘PATIENCE’ in waiting for all who will come to repentance. God is giving us EVERY CHANCE to ‘REPENT’ of our sin and return to Him. He is being patient with us because He wants EVERYONE to come to repentance! “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance”
[ 2 Peter 3:9 ].
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Bible prophecy removes the believer from a place of ignorance to a place of alertness, and from a place of complacency to a place of encouragement: “Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have the habit of doing. Rather, let us encourage each other, and all the more as you see the Day approaching” [ Hebrews 10:25 ]. THIS is what I am trying to do FOR YOU!

So, when one ‘THOUGHTFULLY’ CONSIDERS the way in which biblical prophecy was used by Jesus and His apostles, it is apparent that this was not just a ‘peripheral’ area of theology to them. They saw that these ‘PRACTICAL’ truths are powerful helps and motivators which provide needed wisdom and strength to live a godly life—every day. So, if biblical prophecy is expounded ‘clearly’ and ‘correctly’ and is embraced as true by believers, it will have profound effects on the way believers live their lives—with that “TWO WORLDS VIEW” concept I discussed earlier.

[ Again, note that biblical prophecy is only “relevant” to the ‘BELIEVER’ with a mindset to please God with their lives here on earth, and excited to be in that “better country” someday (Hebrews 11:9-16). ] 

My ‘BOTTOM LINE’ to you is this: DON’T IGNORE BIBLICAL PROPHECY! Take the biblical prophetical hints of the future VERY ‘SERIOUSLY’. When you listen to or read your news ‘feed’, filter what is happening now in the world through biblical prophecy. It WILL “guard your heart” and give you a “peace that surpasses understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

So, HOPEFULLY, after all this, you now realize that there is NO ‘LEGITIMATE’ REASON that one can use for refusing to study the prophetic Scriptures, and that there is ONLY One—the God of the Bible—that can predict the future with 100% accuracy!

<<< END OF SUMMARY >>>


<<< ALL THE ‘DETAILS’ >>>

The following is a comprehensive presentation of the topic that follows the ‘headings’ laid out in the Summary.


‘PREDICTIONS’
A “prediction” (Latin: “præ-,” which means “before,” and “dicere,” which means “to say”) or foretelling is a statement about what WILL ‘HAPPEN’ in the future. They are often, but not always, based upon experience or knowledge. It utilizes a person’s abductive, inductive, and deductive reasoning as well as their experiences to generate an informed opinion about what they think will happen in the future. Predictions can be useful to assist in making plans about possible developments. Some also term this “futurology.”

Predicting the future has long been a VERY inexact ‘science’ and is usually just considered an educated ‘guess’. For example, in 1982, “The New York Times” provided its readers an article titled “A Glimpse of the Year 2000,” that presented predictions from a range of “professional futurists.”

Roy Charles Amara—an American researcher, scientist, futurist and the president of the “Institute for the Future,” who is best known for fashioning “Amara’s Law”—stated that, “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” 

He predicted that we would “be living in similar houses, except they’ll be unquestionably smaller and more clustered… Birth rates will fall and inflation will get worse… Workers will want intellectual and psychological fulfillment, not just financial reward.” Hmmm… nothing too ‘risky’ there.

Then, others predicted that inflation would be zero, there will be no energy problems, robots would perform most of the menial chores, there would be voice-controlled homes, high-tech industries would dominate capital-intensive manufacturing, and we would be “cultivating the stars.”

Well, our homes have not gotten smaller, energy is more problematic, most don’t have a voice-controlled home, and we haven’t made it to Mars yet. So, even though the predictions were not a ‘total’ miss, most of the predictions DID NOT pan out. (I guess I have to add “yet” to this for now.)

In retrospect, the 1982 predictions said less about the future than they did about what sorts of stories people wanted to ‘hear’ in the present. The futurists’ obsession with ripped-from-the-headlines issues like inflation inadvertently offered a glimpse of the coming merger between futurology and, well, investment advice. [ However, NO ONE forecasted when the Dow-Jones Industrial Average would hit 30,000! (It was 31,416.73 on the day I wrote this) ].

Popular futurology in the era of growing globalization and developing information technology was largely about local extrapolation of trends that were understood to be relatively ‘inevitable’. They made ‘safe’ or ‘obscure’ predictions so they wouldn’t be ‘called out’ for being wrong.

Everyone wants to know what’s going to happen, right? Humans have long tried to determine the future. However, even the most advanced technology can’t solve the fundamental issue with predictions—that is, how predictions are ‘interpreted’. 

The predictions of oracles, shamans, and prophets, for example, sometimes depend on the capacity of these individuals to access ‘divine’ inspiration. Strategies of divination such as astrology, palmistry, numerology, and Tarot, however, depending on the practitioner’s mastery of a complex theoretical rule-based (and sometimes highly mathematical) system, and their ability to interpret and apply it to particular cases. (The practice of necromancy might lie somewhere between these two extremes, depending partly on innate ability, and partly on acquired expertise.)

However, in the last century, developments in Information Technology and the power of computers have provided more insightful tools for forecasting. Recently, research at MIT has focused on developing algorithms to predict the future based on the past. However, as is often a flaw in this approach to predictions, it leaves little room for the ‘unexpected’. So, rather than predicting one ‘definitive’ future, it becomes easier to model a set of possibilities that become more or less likely, depending on the choices that are made. They extrapolate from past developments to predict a range of potential ‘possibilities’.

Then, since predictions based on past experience have limited capacity to anticipate the unforeseen, extrapolations from techno-scientific innovations have a distressing capacity to be ‘deterministic’, because they both share the same fatal flaw—the ‘people’ framing them.

Which then brings us to the crucial question of who and what predictions are for—those who can influence what people think will be the future are often the same people able to command considerable resources in the present which, in turn, help determine the future.

Today, technology has a significant role to play here. However, the danger is that modern predictions with an AI ‘imprint’ are definitely more ‘scientific’, hence more likely to actually become real rather than guesses produced by older systems of ‘divination’.

Rather than depending purely on ‘guessing’ to map the future, it is more sensible to borrow from history, and combine newer techniques with a slightly older model of forecasting—one that combines scientific expertise with ‘artistic’ interpretation. It would perhaps be more helpful to think in terms of diagnosis, rather than prediction, when it comes to imagining—or improving—future realities.

PROGNOSTICATION ‘METHODS’
So then, I will be focusing on ‘prognosticators’ rather than forecasts created by collecting data and performing computer ‘modeling’.

[ FYI: For more details about “statistical” and “predictive analytics,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/when-will-something-important-happen-v274/ ].

Predictions have often been made, from antiquity until the present, by using paranormal or supernatural means such as prophecy or by observing omens. Divinatory prophets include seers, oracle givers, soothsayers, and diviners, all of whom predict the future or tell of the divine will in oracular statements by means of instruments, dreams, telepathy, clairvoyance, or visions ‘experienced’. Predictions and foretelling, however, may also be the result of inspiration or of common sense by the intelligent observation of situations and events, albeit some interpreted from a religious point of view.

A few of the most popular methods of predictions historically include the “Oracle of Delphi,” “I Ching,” “Divination,” and “Geomancy.” Another ancient method that was utilized throughout history was “Prophecy.”

ORACLE OF DELPHI
An oracle, (Latin: “oraculum” which means, “to pray,” or “to speak”), is divine communication that is delivered in response to a petitioner’s request. Oracles were a branch of divination but differed from the casual pronouncements of augurs by being associated with a definite person or place. For example, the oracles of Zeus originated at Dodona, Olympia, or Siwa; those of the Sibyl were in general circulation, but their provenance was unknown.

Oracular ‘shrines’ were numerous in antiquity and, at each, the god was consulted by a fixed means of divination. The method could be simple, such as the casting of lots or the rustling of tree leaves, or more sophisticated, taking the form of a direct inquiry of an inspired person who then gave the answer orally. One of the most common methods was incubation, in which the inquirer slept in a holy precinct and received an answer in a dream.

The most famous ancient oracle was that of Apollo at Delphi, located on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus above the Corinthian Gulf. Traditionally, the oracle first belonged to Mother Earth (Gaea) but later was either given to or stolen by Apollo. At Delphi, the medium was a woman over fifty, known as the Pythia. Though the oracle, at first called Pytho, was known to Homer and was the site of a Mycenaean settlement, its fame did not become Panhellenic until the 7th and 6th centuries BC, when Apollo’s advice or sanction was sought by lawmakers, colonists, and founders of cults. The Pythia’s counsel was most in demand to forecast the outcome of projected wars or political actions.

Consultations were normally restricted to the seventh day of the Delphic month, Apollo’s birthday. According to the usual procedure, sponsors were necessary, as was the provision of a pelanos (ritual cake) and a sacrificial beast that conformed to rigid physical standards. The Pythia and her consultants first bathed in the Castalian spring; afterward, she drank from the sacred spring Cassotis and then entered the temple. There she apparently descended into a basement cell, mounted a sacred tripod, and chewed leaves of the laurel, Apollo’s sacred tree. While in her abnormal state, the Pythia would speak, intelligibly or otherwise. Her words, however, were not directly recorded by the inquirer, instead, they were interpreted and written down by the priests in what was often highly ‘ambiguous’ verse.

During this period, the Delphic Oracle was the most prestigious and authoritative oracle among the Greeks, and she was among the most powerful women of the classical world. The oracle is one of the best-documented religious institutions of the classical Greeks.

One of the main stories claimed that the Pythia delivered oracles in a frenzied state induced by vapors rising from a chasm in the rock, and that she spoke gibberish which priests interpreted as the enigmatic prophecies and turned them into poetic dactylic hexameters preserved in Greek literature.

In the ancient world, oracles such as the one at Delphi famously promised to reveal the past, present, and future. Yet, Delphi rarely provided simple answers.

Take the famous example of King Croesus of Lydia. Croesus asked at Delphi whether he should wage war against the Persians. He was told that he would destroy a great empire.

Taking the response to predict victory, he launched a military confrontation with Xerxes, Persia’s mighty king. Croesus did end up destroying an empire—his own!

This example is by no means unique. The ancient historian Herodotus, cites many similar stories of prediction and non-fulfillment.

More often than not, it seems, those drawing on the ‘gods’ to know the unknowable did not receive a straightforward answer. Instead, they faced a new question: did they understand the ‘REAL’ meaning of the prophecy?

I CHING
“I Ching” or “Book of Changes,” is the world’s most ancient and best-known “oracle book.”

Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou period (1000-750 BC), over the course of the Warring States and early imperial periods (500-200 BC) it was transformed into a cosmological text with a series of philosophical commentaries known as the “Ten Wings.” After becoming part of the Five Classics in the 2nd Century BC, the I Ching was the subject of scholarly commentary and the basis for divination practice for centuries across the Far East—and eventually, it took on an influential role in Western understanding of Eastern thought.

The I Ching is used in a type of divination called “cleromancy,” which uses apparently random numbers. The technique involves the generation of one or two of 64 distinct hexagrams, each name up of its own unique combination of six whole or broken lines called “Yang” (whole and male) or “Yin” (broken and female) lines. This was then followed by a consultation of the text. The divination then could begin.

The interpretation of the readings found in the I Ching is a matter which has been endlessly discussed and debated over in the centuries following its compilation, and many commentators have used the book symbolically, often to provide guidance for moral decision making as informed by Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. The hexagrams themselves have often acquired cosmological significance and been paralleled with many other traditional names for the processes of change such as yin, yang, and Wu Xing.

[ FYI: View this Wikipedia page for an I Ching divination example:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Ching_divination ].

DIVINATION
Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of a standardized occultic process or ritual. It is an integral part of witchcraft and has been used in various forms for thousands of years. Diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a querent should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens, or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency, most often described as an “angel” or a “god” (though when viewed by Christians and Jews, it was described as a fallen angel or demon).

GEOMANCY
Another method of divination is “Geomantiae” or “Geomancy.” This is a method of divination that interprets markings on the ground or the patterns formed by tossed handfuls of soil, rocks, or sand. The most prevalent form of divinatory geomancy involves interpreting a series of 16 figures formed by a randomized process that involves recursion, followed by analyzing them, and often augmented with astrological interpretations. This method was used for answering specific questions about the future which related particularly to material affairs, finance, agriculture, and property.

Geomancy was practiced by people from all social classes. It was one of the most popular forms of divination throughout Africa and Europe, particularly during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

In Renaissance magic, geomancy was classified as one of the seven “forbidden arts,” along with necromancy, hydromancy, aeromancy, pyromancy, chiromancy (palmistry), and spatulamancy (scapulimancy).

Geomancy requires the geomancer to create 16 lines of points or marks without counting, creating 16 random numbers. Without taking note of the number of points made, the geomancer provides the seemingly random mechanism needed for most forms of divination. Once the lines are produced, the geomancer marks off the points two by two until either one or two points remain in the line (mathematically, this is the same as producing two dots if the number is even or one dot if the number is odd). Taking these leftover points in groups of four, they form the first four geomantic figures, and form the basis for the generation of the remaining figures. Once this is done, the “inspired” portion of the geomantic reading is done, and what remains is the algorithmic calculation, which can then be ‘analyzed’.

PROPHECY
Prophecy was one of the functions of a “prophet” (primarily religious). It has been defined as a “miracle of knowledge, a declaration or description or representation of something future, beyond the power of human ‘sagacity’ to foresee, discern, or conjecture.” It can also be a “divinely inspired utterance.”

Even though the Bible is probably the ‘premier’ example of prophecy, Michel de Nostradame—known universally as just “Nostradamus”—is probably the most popular non-religious “prophet” that is still followed and interpreted today. [ He is analyzed in detail below. ]

The great prediction which runs like a golden ‘thread’ through the whole contents of the Old Testament is that regarding the coming and work of the Messiah (Jesus), and the great use of prophecy was to perpetuate faith in His coming and to prepare the world for that event. However, there are many ‘subordinate’ and intermediate prophecies which also hold an important place in the great ‘chain’ of events that illustrate the sovereignty and all-wise overruling providence of the God of the Bible.

In literature, vision and prophecy are literary devices used to present a possible timeline of future events. Vision is distinguished by referring to what an ‘individual’ sees happen. [ The book of Revelation, in the New Testament, thus uses vision as a literary device in this regard. ]

SOME FAMOUS ‘PSYCHICS’
Fortune telling ‘psychics’ go back many centuries and there are many different ‘types’. While the image in popular culture may be a mysterious-looking woman gazing into a crystal ball in a darkly lit room, historically fortune-tellers have come in many different ‘forms’.

While some psychics may use a crystal ball, others make use of many other methods such as tarot cards, astrology, divination, palm reading, tea leaf reading, clairvoyance, and many more. There are some very famous historical psychics, each with their own unique ‘gifts’. Here we take a look at some of the most famous of them and their most famous predictions.

PYTHIA
As mentioned previously, the Pythia was the priestess whose duty it was to prophesy at the Pytho. This tradition began around the 8th century BC and the priestess was called the Oracle of Delphi. The prophecies were made in a sanctuary that was dedicated to the Greek god Apollo, the god of truth and prophecy.

The Pythia was chosen from the group of priestesses who served at the temple. She had to dedicate herself exclusively to the Pythia and give up all connections with her family upon being chosen. People would come to seek her advice and in return bring offerings of money and sacrificed animals. Often the prophetess was known to have a kind of fit while foreseeing events such as wars, political change and the solutions to great problems.

JEAN DIXON
Jean Dixon was easily one of the most famous fortune-tellers of the 20th century. She first became known as an astrologist who would write in a syndicated column in American newspapers. Over the course of her life, she wrote a number of best-selling books, including some fairly unusual ones such as an astrological cookbook and she even wrote horoscopes for animals.

Dixon is perhaps most famous for predicting the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. She also served as an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Second World War, as well as providing advice about domestic terrorism to Richard Nixon when he was in office.

Other predictions of Dixon’s included that one Pope would be injured and another assassinated, which may correspond to the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II and allegations of assassination of Pope John Paul I. Oprah has claimed that Dixon foretold her hugely successful career. Furthermore, Dixon also predicted that the world would end in 2020 through a “war of Armageddon” (which proved to be incorrect).

BABA VANGA
Baba Vanga was another extremely famous 20th-century fortune teller and psychic. She came from Bulgaria and was said to possess the gift of clairvoyance, which developed after she lost her eyesight. While Baba Vanga was born with working eyesight, she is said to have lost it after being thrown around by a tornado and sustaining injuries that damaged her eyes and caused her to gradually lose her sight.

While Baba Vanga did not produce any writings, she had members of staff who would often record her predictions. Among her many predictions were 9/11, the tsunami in Thailand in 2004, danger to the lives of Trump and Putin in 2020, various acts of terrorism, Brexit, and the invention of time travel in the year 2304.

Due to the lack of fixed writings from Baba Vanga it is not always easy to know which prophecies are actually hers. However, there are many who are convinced by her remarkable gifts.

EDCAR CAYCE
Edgar Cayce was a clairvoyant who was active at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. Cayce would put himself into a self-induced sleep state when conducting readings. He claimed that his subconscious mind would leave his body and this way he could visit the land of the spirits. There he was able to gain information about the future and he could then bring it back to the land of the living and pass it on to his clients.

He was an incredibly prolific reader and is known to have given over 14,000 readings, which can be seen at the A.R.E. headquarters in Virginia Beach. Among his many predictions were the 1929 stock market crash that caused the Great Depression, the Second World War, a change of the earth’s magnetic poles, the end of the Soviet Union, and an alliance forming between America and Russia. Prophesies of his that are yet to come true include a massive lengthening of the average human life span, the discovery of a self-fueled perpetual motion machine, and a major conflict in the Persian Gulf.

DANIEL DUNGLAS HOME
Daniel Dunglas Home was a 19th-century Scottish ‘medium’ born in Scotland to a family of well-known psychics and seers. Early in his life, he moved to the United States where he became known for his ability to heal the sick and communicate with the spirit world.

He was famous along the East coast, in particular for his ability to allow spirits to speak directly through him. He was also known for his ability to levitate himself and to also levitate objects. There were many who claimed that Hume was a fraud, but no one was ever able to prove it. In fact, academics and judges were allowed to attend his readings to look for tricks but all of them left convinced of his special gifts.

These are just a few of the soothsayers that have been around as long as recorded history—and probably longer. After all, knowing what’s to come has always been accorded more value than knowing what’s already happened. There has always been power and notoriety to be gained from prognostication.

The thing is, considering that most of these seers—whatever ‘market expertise’ or “God-given insight” they might claim for themselves—are just ‘shooting in the dark’, it’s not altogether clear what makes a ‘good’ prophet. Showmanship and some lucky guesses, to be sure, but beyond that? This is the question that surrounds the strange and enduring popularity of one of the unlikeliest ‘prophets’—an ex-doctor from southern France named Nostradamus.

His name is almost a byword for cataclysm, trotted out over the centuries in the wake of major disasters as evidence that long ago someone had figured out they had been foreordained. Today, venture into any bookstore’s occult section, and you are bound to find multiple translations of “The Prophecies,” his best-known work, alongside books hotly debating its significance and validity. Or, turn on the “History Channel,” and you might catch repeats of “The Nostradamus Effect,” a show that explored his apocalyptic prophecies.

NOSTRADAMUS
The most famous of the ‘psychics’ would be Michel de Nostradame—universally known as just “Nostradamus”—a French physician “seer” who lived in the 16th century and has had more impact on the world than any other ‘secular’ prophet since the golden age of the Delphic Oracle. His predictions have remained consistently in print since he first published them in 1555. His life and work have inspired novels, plays, Hollywood movies, and any number of academic studies and treatises. As a figure of French national pride, he ranks only behind Charles de Gaulle and Joan of Arc. Political leaders since the 16th Century have seen in his prophecies optimistic portents for their own futures (although few seem to have been prepared to consider potential warnings of doom from the seer). Indeed, in the public eye, the name Nostradamus has been synonymous with foretelling the future.

Nostradamus received his license to practice medicine in 1525, and immediately set out to use his talents to help plague victims in the south of France (his wife and children died from the plague in 1534).

Then, from 1550 onward, he produced an annual almanac of predictions for the forthcoming year, which evidently impressed readers and encouraged him to publish the first part of his “Prophecies” in 1555. (Nostradamus would eventually create 12 books with each book containing 100 predictions, each consisting of a four-line rhymed verse. They are also called “The Centuries.”)

These almanacs attracted the attention of the queen of France, Catherine de Medici, who called Nostradamus to Paris to explain his predictions and draw up horoscopes for her children. 

However, ‘professional’ astrologers of his time criticized his incompetent methodology and failure to adjust the predictions for his client’s birth dates or place. Laurens Videl published a pamphlet in 1558 entitled “Declaration of the abuses, ignorance and seditions of Michel Nostradamus,” in which he severely criticized both the content of Nostradamus’ predictions and his lack of basic astrology skills. He stated that, “I can say with complete confidence that of true astrology you understand less than nothing, as is evident not merely to the learned, but to learners in astrology too, as your works amply demonstrate, you who cannot calculate the least movement of any heavenly body whatever.”

Even though he had critics, Nostradamus was catapulted to fame in 1557, two years after the publication of volume one of his “Prophecies.” It all had to do with the accidental death of France’s king, Henry II, who was wounded in a jousting contest and died ten days later. This event was proclaimed to be a fulfillment of a prophecy contained In Century 1, Quatrain 35:

“The young lion will overcome the old one
On the battlefield in a single fight.
He will put out his eyes in a cage of gold.
Two wounds in one, then he dies a cruel death.”

The story goes that on July 10, 1559, King Henri had already won two jousting matches that morning, and Queen Catherine sent a message to him to “toil no more,” as it was “late, and the weather was exceedingly hot.” However, the King replied that, as champion of the field, it was his duty to accept three challenges. Gabriel de Lorges (“The young lion”) was already in the saddle at the far end of the jousting ‘ring’ (On the battlefield in a single fight) and, without another word, King Henri (“the old one”) spurred toward him.

They struck and passed each other twice in succession but, as neither was unhorsed, they turned and charged for a third time. To everyone’s horror, de Lorges’ blunted wooden lance shattered and it struck the King’s breastplate, and slammed upward and pierced the visor of King Henry’s helmet (“cage of gold”). The splintered lance struck and entered just behind Henry’s right eye socket (“put out his eyes”), drove through that side of the brain, and exited near the right ear. Amazingly, King Henry did not die instantly, but suffered 10 days of agony before a gangrene infection finally put him out of his misery (“dies a cruel death”).

So, may interpreters say that this is a “detail for detail” prediction of King Henri’s death. Well, I say, “Hmmmm.”

Critics argue that the items in this quatrain do not fit the event close enough to support the accuracy ascribed to it.

First, contrary to what the enthusiasts declare, the French never used the “lion” as an emblem, so this figure of speech fits neither Henry nor the count in that respect. 

Second, “young lion” versus “old one” at best overstates the age difference between the two, Henry being at least six years older; nor was Henry “old,” being only 41 years old. 

Third, “The field of battle in single combat” could refer to any number of battles in history, and it is unlikely to be a reference to a friendly jousting competition at a marriage festival where it was a serious faux pas even to draw blood. 

Fourth, the shattered lance did not “burst” Henry’s eyes but entered his brain above only one eye. 

Fifth, “a cage of gold” could only vaguely refer to a helmet of gold. In any case, neither competitor wore a gold helmet since gold is a metal too soft to be used for protective armor; nor is there any evidence Henry’s helmet was gilt in gold. 

Sixth, the phrase “two fleets one” presents a problem. The French word “classe” is translated “fleet” everywhere else in the Centuries. Since “fleet” does not fit anything in this event, the enthusiasts, without justification, find a similar-sounding Greek word, “klasis,” (which means “a fracture”), and change the line from “two fleets one” to “two wounds made one,” meaning one wound for Henry and another for France who lost her king. 

Finally, the only line that is remotely descriptive of this event is that Henry “died a cruel death” after 10 days of suffering.

The connection between this famous quatrain and Henry’s accidental death has not been demonstrated using sound principles of interpretation. Because these phrases are ambiguous, to what or whom this prophecy refers remains a mystery. Even if it is allowed that Nostradamus accurately predicted the King’s death in this quatrain, in other prophecies (e.g., Quatrain 4-77) it is obvious he had high expectations for Henry to become the new Charlemagne.

As an example of the ‘obscurity’ of some of Nostradamus’ predictions, the following one has been interpreted in three totally different ways by three ‘expert’ pro-Nostradamus interpreters.

“A colonel intrigues a plot by his ambition,
He shall seize upon the best part of the army,
Against the prince he shall have feigned invention.
And shall be discovered under the branches.”

Enthusiast Jean-Charles de Fontbrune believes this quatrain refers to the 1560 attempts to kidnap Francis II from Castle Ambroise. The plotters, many from the army, thus hoped to remove the 16-year-old who came from the manipulative influence of the Duc de Guise. They were, however, discovered in the neighboring forest slaughtered.

Henry C. Roberts—who translated the “Centuries” in 1937—on the other hand, believes this to be a prediction of the rise to power of Oliver Cromwell, but does not offer any supporting detail.

English medieval scholar Erika Cheetham offers a third interpretation: the rise to power of Colonel Qaddafi in 1971, and his overthrow of King Idris of Libya.

The vagueness of most of Nostradamus’s quatrains certainly demands imaginative ‘filling in’ by the translator, and the scholar’s own interests can color the result. (“Experts” Henry C. Roberts and Erica Cheetham disagree on many of their interpretations of the same quatrain.)

Much of Nostradamus’ longevity as a “prophet” can be attributed to the ‘ambiguity’ of his writing style. These enigmatic quatrains contain old French terms, Latin terms, mythical Greek figures, historical allusions, unique words, anagrams, puns, odd spellings, odd syntax, partial words, inverted word order, and even words that he apparently invented. I’m coming to the impression that one has to ‘shoehorn’ an interpretation of Nostradamus’ predictions ‘into’ events that just might be similar.

If the ‘context’ is not understandable, the words are usually translated in a great variety of ways, often depending upon the result desired by the translator. In other words, a ‘creative’ translation often makes one of his prophecies seem relevant to a current event.

Take, for example, one of Nostradamus’ other famous prophecies. It is contained in Century 2, Quatrain 24:

“Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers.
The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister.
Into a cage of iron will the great one be drawn
When the child of Germany observes nothing.”

Advocates of Nostradamus usually translate the second line of this stanza to read: “The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hitler.” They argue that “Hister” was just a code name for Hitler! The fact of the matter is that Hister was a geographical term for the Lower Danube River. [ Note: In contrast, when Isaiah prophesied that the children of Israel would be released from Babylonian captivity by a man named Cyrus—he ‘meant’ Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28)—and that prophecy was given 150 years before Cyrus came to power! ]

Another reason Nostradamus has received so much attention is that a number of his prophecies were ‘biblical’ in nature. He warned that in the future there would be signs in the heavens and earthquakes. He warned of a coming world dictator called the Antichrist. He spoke of the resurrection of the dead. He even prophesied that the Jews would go back to Israel and that the Middle East would be the focal point of end-time events. [ The thing is, anyone could understand these things if they just read the Bible literally. ]

His prophecies are, in fact, full of words and expressions taken directly from the Bible. All of which proves that Nostradamus was secretly reading the Scriptures (which was something forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church of his day). As one author has put it, in some of his prophecies, Nostradamus “merely hung his own clothes on the body of Holy Scripture, and when the body came alive, he claimed to be the Creator.”

In Century 1, Quatrain 1, he revealed the ‘method’ he used to obtain his prophecies:

“I sit at night alone in secret study
Resting upon a brass tripod.
A thin flame comes forth from the solitude
Making successful that which should not be believed in vain.”

The second quatrain, in that same volume, reveals even more about the methods he used:

“The divining wand in hand is placed in the middle of the tripod’s brass legs.
With water he anoints the hem of his robe and foot.
Fear! A voice is heard. He trembles in his robes.
Divine splendor. The divine one sits nearby.”

Nostradamus always claimed that “god” was the source of his prophecies. (Most say that he was either deceived or purposefully lying.) What Nostradamus is describing here is a method of “trafficking in spirits” which was practiced by Branchus, an occultic Greek prophetess.

Critics also say that the “divine one” who sat nearby him was probably none other than Satan. They hypothesize that he was probably demon-possessed.

According to Peter Lemesurier, a former Cambridge linguist and professional translator—who has written at least 10 books on the enigmatic figure—Nostradamus was neither an astrologer nor a seer. He simply believed that history will repeat itself. Using a technique dating back to biblical times—known as “bibliomancy”—Nostradamus purportedly selected extracts from older sources at random and then used astrological calculations to project its recurrence in the future. One of the major sources used for his work was the “Mirabilis Liber” of 1522, an anthology of prophecies from well-known seers of the time, while “Livre de l’estat et mutations des temps” (by Richard Roussat), provided the basis for his astrological references.

In another of Nostradamus’ “Centuries II” prophesies, he says:

“One day two great masters will be friends,
Their great powers will be increased,
The New World will then be art its high peak,
To the bloody one will be the number of dead be determined.”

Most of the interpreters have said that this is talking about when the United States will be the most powerful nation in the world, and it will ally itself with the Soviet Union. It may be the result of the realization on both sides that neither can win a war against the other, and that a form of friendship and mutual assistance may be the only way to stop the arm race. Nostradamus appears to indicate that a war could mean mutual destruction, and that because of this, an alliance will be forged.

In the book, “Nostradamus Predicts the End of the World,” Rene Noorbergen stated that this was supposed to happen before 1995. [ Well, there was a “cold War,” but no ‘partnership’—even until today in 2022. ]

Noorbergen also stated that Nostradamus predicted that, before the year 2000, the Arabs would wipe out Israel, New York City would be been destroyed by an earthquake, and that the United States and Russia would ally against China in World War III. Well, if Noorbergen agreed with the other expert interpreters of Nostradamus’ predictions, I would say that Nostradamus was wrong on these predictions, too.

Pro-Nostradamus interpreters say that the following prophecies either “came true” or were “fulfilled” [ Their comments follow the verse. You decide whether or not they were “fulfilled.” ]:

–  The Great Fire of London
“The blood of the just will be demanded of London
Burnt by fire in the year ’66
The ancient Lady will fall from her high place
And many of the same sect will be killed.”

In 1666, a horrible fire consumed much of the city, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, which couldn’t be extinguished for three days. Most of the medieval London was in ashes after the fire. “Blood of the just” might refer to the elimination of millions of flea-carrying rats that spread the Black Death. That deadly plague died out during the Great Fire.

– The French Revolution 
“From the enslaved populace, songs,
Chants and demands
While princes and lords are held captive in prisons.
These will in the future by headless idiots
Be received as divine prayers.”

In 1789, the hungry, work-laden poor people of France pulled down the monarchy, creating a new democracy that unfortunately didn’t turn out to be what they had expected. The fall of the Bastille, which symbolized the monarchy’s abuses, marked the height of the French Revolution.

The peasants quickly took control of Paris and enforced their demands by kidnapping the royals. Some of them were even beheaded.

– Napoleon’s Conquest
“PAU, NAY, LORON will be more of fire than of the blood,
To swim in praise, the great one to flee to the confluence.
He will refuse entry to the Piuses,
The depraved ones and the Durance will keep them imprisoned.”

The first three words are French towns, but put together, they are anagrams for Napoleon the king. Napoleon Bonaparte was not of royal heritage, but rose to power during the French Revolution as a military leader and later ruled France from 1804 to 1815.

“More of fire than of the blood” may refer to the non-noble lineage of Napoleon, who took power during a coup. “Refuse entry to the magpies” could refer to Popes Pius VI and VII, both of whom Napoleon imprisoned.

– Louis Pasteur’s Discoveries 
“The lost thing is discovered, hidden for many centuries.
Pasteur will be celebrated almost as a God-like figure.
This is when the moon completes her great cycle,
But by other rumors he shall be dishonored.”

Louis Pasteur was a 19th Century microbiologist and is called the father of microbiology for his contributions like finding vaccination and pasteurization. In 1995, science historian Gerald L. Geison published a book showing Pasteur incorporated a rival’s findings to make his anthrax vaccine functional. That finding partly “dishonored” the great scientist, as Nostradamus predicted.

– The Rise of Hitler
“From the depths of the West of Europe,
A young child will be born of poor people,
He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop;
His fame will increase towards the realm of the East.”

Hitler, born in 1889 in Western Europe, used his intense oratory skills to mobilize the Nazi party in Germany in the years following World War I. Germany, as a part of the Axis Powers, also allied with Japan in the East. While many believe “Hister” to be a typing error (It’s also an old name for the Danube River.)

Hitler was born just miles from that river in what was then Austria-Hungary, also known as the “Danube Monarchy.” 

[ Nostradamus often incorporated anagrams, such as “Hister,” into his writings. ]

– World War II
“Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers,
The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister.
Into a cage of iron will the great one be drawn,
When the child of Germany observes nothing.”

World War II (1939) remains the greatest holocaust that mankind has ever witnessed. It was also the only war in human history that saw the use of a nuclear weapon.

– Atom Bomb
“Near the gates and within two cities
There will be scourges the like of which was never seen,
Famine within plague, people put out by steel,
Crying to the great immortal God for relief.”

As a spilling effect of World War II, the USA dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing thousands of people.

– First Moon Landing 
“He will come to travel to the corner of Luna,
Where he will be captured and put in a strange land,
The unripe fruits to be subject of great scandal,
Great blame, to one, great praise.”

It is believed that this prophecy foretells the moon mission conducted in 1969. Apollo 11 carried Neil Armstrong (first man on moon) and Buzz Aldrin to the moon.

– 9/11
“Earthshaking fire from the center of the Earth
Will cause tremors around the New City.
Two great rocks will war for a long time,
Then Arethusa will redden a new river.”

On September 11, 2001, terrorist group al-Qaeda attacked the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, both of which collapsed with hundreds of people dying because of the collision.

It seems to me—and MANY other critics—that devoted Nostradamus enthusiasts ‘manipulate’ his text to fit their desired interpretation—words are manipulated by inserting, deleting, or changing any number of letters; phonetic equivalents are used; punctuation and grammar is altered; and other languages are substituted. (Numbers and dates are manipulated as well, using arbitrary calculations.) The case for Nostradamus’s accuracy rests on the ‘interpretations’ offered by his enthusiasts.

Ardent devotees Manuela Dunn Mascetti and Peter Lorie claim he predicted many historic events with uncanny accuracy, and they consider him “the most effective prophet in the history of the human race.” (Think they ever considered Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, or even Jesus?) [ VERY occasionally, a verse ‘seems’ to be an ‘exact’ description of some historical event. HOWEVER, for the most part, they are as obscure as the utterances of the Delphic Oracle. ]

Another ardent enthusiast is honest enough that he says that it is possible to find more than one meaning in Nostradamus’ prophetic verses. Peter Lemesurier describes them as “a massive verbal jigsaw puzzle.” “Moreover,” he adds, “their language is often obtuse and sometimes positively arcane… the result is that a further layer of impenetrability is added to an already chaotic text.” (I commend his honesty.)

FLAWED INTERPRETATIONS
Each generation of enthusiasts finds the headline events of their time in Nostradamus’s quatrains. They suggest that Nostradamus foresaw many famous figures from Napoleon, to Hitler, to Ronald Reagan; historic events from the French Revolution, to the Civil War, to the Cold War; modern inventions from the hot air balloon, to the submarine, to the radio and the light bulb; and many contemporary events from the spread of AIDS, to the O. J. Simpson trial, to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The process is generally the same. After a connection has been made—however spurious—between a word or phrase in a quatrain and some historical person, place, or event, the rest of the text is either ignored or ‘twisted’ to fit the desired interpretation using an arsenal of discovered ‘devices’.

Writing at about the time of Nostradamus, Italian scholar Francesco Guiciardini mocked the credulity of those who had willingly accepted Nostradamus’ prophetic ability despite evidence to the contrary. He declared, “How happy are the astrologers who are believed if they tell one truth to a hundred lies, while other people lose all credibility if they tell one lie to a hundred truths.”

James Randi is a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi began his career as a magician, as “The Amazing Randi,” but after retiring at age 60, he began investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls “Woo-woo.” Although often referred to as a “debunker,” Randi rejects that title owing to its perceived bias, and instead describes himself as an “investigator.” He has written about the paranormal, skepticism, and the history of magic.

James Randi said that Nostradamus’ “batting average was effectively zero” in the 103 cases where the would-be prophet provided enough information in regard to a specific person, place, or time to judge the success of a prediction. Randi continued by saying, “He didn’t even get lucky.”

Nostradamus’ few dated prophecies should provide the best examples of his accuracy since they are specific in at least that respect. The dated prophecies, however, were consistent failures:

– The Roman church did not conduct any widespread persecutions of astrologers in 1607 (Quatrain 8-71)
– The Arabs did not capture the King of Morocco in 1607 (Quatrain 6-54)
– No monk from Campania was elected Pope in 1609 (Quatrain 10-91)
– Turkey did not subjugate vast areas of Europe in 1700 (Quatrain 1-49)
– The Turks did not capture the King of Persia in 1727 (Quatrain 3-77)
– No upheavals of nature or famine nearly destroyed the human race in 1732
– No culmination of a long and savage religious persecution occurred in 1792

Nostradamus skeptics claim that he deliberately obfuscated the meaning in his quatrains to hide the fact that he COULD NOT actually foresee the future. They argue that his quatrains are “a poetic version of Rorschach inkblots.”

So, my ‘BOTTOM LINE’ is that there is no real evidence Nostradamus ever predicted the future, and his writings are too vague to back the claims. Nostradamus’ quatrains are puzzling and rarely mention specific places, dates, or locations—which doesn’t bode well for me wanting to accept them.

According to another skeptic, Brian Dunning, the science writer host of the “Skeptoid” podcast, he said that, “No one has ever used a Nostradamus quatrain to predict a future event.”

SO, WHY ‘BOTHER’ WITH PREDICTIONS?
Throughout history, there has been a constant parade of people who claim to know the future. From the Oracles of ancient Greece to Nostradamus, Edward Casey, Jean Dixon, and the modern psychic hotlines—the stream of alleged prognosticators goes on and on.

While some of these crystal ball gazers may be able to hit upon something that does actually occur once in a while, it’s not because they know the future, but it has more to do with the “law of averages”: if you ‘predict’ enough future events, one of them is bound to happen eventually. As the old saying states, “Even a clock that doesn’t work is right twice a day.”

Even convinced believers on the existence of psychic ‘talent’ maintain that a seer’s prophetic abilities to accurately decode messages from the future “waxes and wanes” sometimes‚ like the reception of an ill-tuned radio. Some have said that these people are not seeing into the future of our own world but into a “parallel universe whose time lines differ slightly from our own” (Really? Hmmm.) They say that this might explain why they perceive something that did not happen with the same clarity as something that actually did transpire. [ That’s why some say that Nostradamus’ physic abilities were at a “low point” when he predicted the events of 1700 (Century I, Quatrain 49)—which all were wrong. ]

Another explanation for how Nostradamus’ predictions that included names were often not quite correct was in the meaning of his ‘anagrams’. Interpreters posit that it must have been sometimes difficult for him to render words that he may have never seen. (Hmmm.)

So, since Nostradamus—and many other ‘prognosticationists’ like Edgar Cayce, Jean Dixon, Daniel Dunglas Home, and Baba Vanga—have been correct VERY infrequently, why should we ever trust them, or anyone that purports to be a prognosticator?

GOD OF THE BIBLE
Well, in order to ‘accurately’ predict the future, one must either be omniscient (no everything), omnipresent (be present everywhere), and omnipotent (possess all power)—or have a direct ‘connection’ with the One who does meet all those requirements.

This is what the God of the Bible says about His unique abilities to disclose the future:

“Set forth your case, says the Lord; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.
Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified. Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you”

[ Isaiah 41:21-24 ].

So, if someone proclaims themselves to be a prophet of the God of the Bible, but their predictions are not 100% accurate, the Bible says not to listen to him and they should be “put to death”!:

“But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”

You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed”
[ Deuteronomy 18:20-22 ].

Only the one true God can predict the future, and He DOES DO IT with 100% accuracy, 100% a time. So, ALL OTHERS that claim to predict the future that are not 100% correct are ‘IMPOSTERS’!

So, when it comes to predicting the future, mankind has a poor record. We simply have no way of knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. By contrast, God knows the future and reveals glimpses of it in the Bible, and so far, EVERY single prediction that has been fulfilled has occurred EXACTLY the way God said it would. He has never even been ‘slightly’ wrong.

There are many people over the centuries that have claimed prophetic abilities, but they all FALL REALY ’SHORT’ when it comes to the accuracy in their predictions and specific details of the fulfillments. This is NOT the case with the Bible!

The difference we find in the prophecies of the Bible is that the prophecies of ANY God-appointed prophet have been 100% ACCURATE and none have EVER failed!

THE BIBLE HAS BEEN 100% ‘ACCURATE’
If something is “inevitable,” it will ‘DEFINITELY’ HAPPEN. Like some say, “death and taxes” are two such things.

The word “inevitable” comes from the Latin word “inevitabilis,” which means unavoidable. If you say something is inevitable, you give the sense that no matter what ‘scheme’ you come up with to get around it, it’s GOING to happen sooner or later. You can use all the skin products you want, but wrinkles are inevitable! (Sorry, ladies!)

Millions of Americans are caught up in a desperate attempt to know the future. The phenomenal rise in the sale of crystal balls, Ouija boards, and Viennese fortune‐telling Tarot cards are only a part of the incessant ‘need’ to know the future.

Well, there IS a ‘predictive’ source, that has NEVER BEEN ‘WRONG’ (which totally verifiable, if you care to check). It is the BIBLE.

So, knowing this, for me—and MANY others—it IS the MOST IMPORTANT ‘RESOURCE’ for predicting what the near future holds! (It so happens that predictions of future events occupy approximately 25% of the Bible.)

One ‘HUGE’ example is how Jesus fulfilled more than 300 prophecies in the Old Testament. Mathematics and Astronomy Professor Peter W. Stoner, in his book “Science Speaks,” calculated the probability of one man fulfilling ‘just’ 48 of these prophecies. It is one in 10 to the 157th power!!! [ Scientists estimate that there are about 10 to the 82nd power ATOMS in the “observable universe”! ]

So then, if we calculate the chances of just 16 prophesies, the odds would be 1 x 10 to the 45th power! So, that would mean that if one were to put this many silver dollars (10 to the 45th power) into a ‘ball’ and place the center of this ball where the center of our sun is, this ball’s outer edge would be in approximately the same area as the orbit of Neptune. [ Keep in mind that this is a 3D BALL, not a flat ‘disk’! ]

So, since that number is ABSOLUTELY ‘IMPOSSIBLE’, Stoner figured out the odds for fulfilling ‘just’ 8 prophecies. That still turned out to be one in 10 to the 17th power.

Using the same type of illustration, that would be equivalent to covering the whole state of Texas (about 268,597 square miles) with silver dollars TWO FEET DEEP and then expecting a ‘BLINDFOLDED’ man to walk across the state and on the VERY ‘FIRST’ TRY, find the ONE coin you marked. Again, ABSOLUTELY ‘IMPOSSIBLE’!

[ FYI: A link to purchase Peter Stoner’s book, “Science Speaks,” is in the “References” section below. ]

Just to give you some of the details, the following are just a FEW prophesies that Jesus fulfilled:

PROPHECY >>> FULFILLMENT
– Isaiah 7:14 Born of a virgin >>> Luke 1:26-35
– Micah 5:2 Born in Bethlehem >>> Matthew 2:1
– Isaiah 7:14 Called Immanuel >>> Matthew 1:23
– Isaiah 9:1-2 Ministry in Galilee >>> Matthew 4:12-167
– Zechariah 9:9 Triumphal entry >>> Matthew 21:1-11
– Psalm 41:9 Betrayed by a friend >>> Matthew 26:20-25
– Psalm 35:11 Falsely accused >>> Matthew 26:59-68
– Isaiah 53:7 Silent before accusers >>> Matthew 27:12-14
– Psalm 22:16 Hands and feet pierced >>> John 20:25
– Isaiah 53:12 Crucified with robbers >>> Matthew 27:38
– Psalm 22:18 Lots cast for clothes >>> John 19:23-24
– Psalm 34:20 Bones not broken >>> John 19:33
– Psalm 22:15 Thirsted on the Cross >>> John 19:28
– Isaiah 53:9 Buried in rich person’s tomb >>> Matthew 27:57-60

[ Approximately 2,500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, and about 2,000 have already have been literally fulfilled TO THE ‘LETTER’—with NO ERRORS! ].

The uniqueness of the God of the Bible is expressed in the predictive nature of Bible prophecy. There is ‘NOTHING’ like this in ‘ANY’ OTHER religion. Only the God of the Bible HAS predicted the future with perfect accuracy:

“For I am God, and there is no other… declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done…Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass”
[ Isaiah 46:9-11 ].

Biblical prophecy is 100% correct because:

– Prophecy is completely ‘FROM’ God: “No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.”
– Prophecy is completely ‘OF’ God: “Prophecy never had its origin in the human will.”
– Prophecy is communicated ‘THROUGH’ God’s prophets: “Prophets, though human, spoke from God.”
– Prophets were ‘GUIDED’ by God’s Spirit: “Prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

In every way, Scripture makes clear that biblical prophecy is a ‘work’ of God, through God-ordained prophets to communicate His predictions.

WHY BOTHER WITH ‘STUDYING’ BIBLICAL PROPHECY?
People are fascinated with the future. Psychic hotlines, tabloid newspapers, and astrologers make a living ‘preying’ upon people’s innate interest in the future. Some say that Albert Einstein said: “I’m more interested in the future than in the past, because the future is where I intend to live.”

So, is this the only ‘incentive’ for studying Bible prophecy? Was prophecy given just to satisfy our ‘curiosity’ about the signs of the times and the end of the world? Isn’t studying the Bible prophecy just ‘speculation’?

Well, biblical prophecy has often suffered as much at the hands of its friends as it has at the hands of its foes. Date setting, “newspaper exegesis,” attempts at identifying the Antichrist, and reckless speculation have turned many people off from Bible prophecy. 

Added to this is the frustration that many people feel in wading through all the different interpretations of the end times. A person picks up a few books to brush up on their knowledge of the End Times, and soon is hopelessly lost in lengthy explanations of long, unfamiliar words—overwhelmed by terms like premillennial, postmillennial, pretribulational, posttribulational, dispensational, and covenantal.

Usually, the novice finally adopts the position of the “PANMILLENNIAL”: it will all “pan out” in the end, so there’s no need to worry about it anymore.

Nonetheless, it is critical to remember that there are three great ‘nonnegotiables’ in Bible prophecy—three ‘events’ that all Christians believe will happen:

– The ‘literal’, physical, visible return of Jesus to the earth
– The bodily resurrection of the dead
– The final judgment of all people

These three truths are ‘crystal clear’ in Scripture, and have been consistently affirmed by God’s people throughout history. Although we may disagree and debate other details of the End Times scenario, these are the three immovable ‘pillars’ in eschatology.

Therefore, many Christians simply choose not to study Bible prophecy at all, thinking of it as an exercise in futility. Many wonder why one should even ‘bother’ studying biblical prophecy since no one really knows for sure what is going to happen, so then why waste time on it? [ Bill B., a long-time reader of the “Life’s Deep Thoughts” blog, posited this question to me. ]

It is certainly true that a small group of overzealous speculators have tainted the legitimate study of Bible prophecy. It is also true that there are a number of views on the last days of events. BUT, this should in no way dampen one’s fervor for studying the end times. Almost every area of theology has its ‘quacks’, and there are differing views on numerous subjects in the Bible, so we should not allow this to scare us off from discovering God’s truth on any subject He has revealed to us!

In Bible study, there is a principle known as the “LAW OF PROPORTION.” This ‘law’ simply means that you can discern the importance of a subject in Scripture by how much attention is devoted to it. Few people have any idea just how much the Bible is prophetic in nature. The following statistics should shed some light on the amount of prophecy in the Bible:

– Number of verses in the Bible: 31,024
– Number of predictions in the Old Testament: 1239
– Number of Old Testament verses that contain predictions: 6641 out of 23,210
– Percentage of the Old Testament that is prophecy: 28.5%
– Number of predictions in the New Testament: 578
– Number of the New Testament verses that contain predictions: 1711 out of 7914
– Percent of the New Testament that is prophecy: 21.5%
– Percent of the whole Bible that is prophecy: 27%
– Number of separate prophetic topics in the Bible: 737

So, since over 25% of the Bible contains prophecy, it seems clear then, that God intended for the believer to study it with humility, excitement, and expectation. 

Now, consider these facts:

– Of the 333 prophecies concerning Jesus, only 109 were fulfilled by His First coming, leaving 224 yet to be fulfilled in His Second Coming

– There are over 300 references to Jesus is coming in 260 chapters of the New Testament. That’s one out of every 30 verses!

– In the New Testament, 23 of the 27 books mention Jesus is coming back

– Jesus refers to His Second Coming at least 21 times

– There are 1,527 Old Testament passages that refer to the Second Coming

– For every time the Bible mentions Jesus’ First Coming, the Second Coming is mentioned eight times!

– Believers are exhorted to BE ‘READY’ for the return of Jesus over 50 times!

So, applying the law of proportion, biblical prophecy DOES warrant serious study. To disregard this much of the Bible would be ‘foolish’.

Who would study American history in leave out almost 30% of the textbook? Who would go to a medical school and call themselves a doctor yet fail to understand over 25% of the body’s functions? Likewise, if we call ourselves believers in Jesus, it is ‘CRITICAL’ that we understand at least the ‘basics’ of Bible prophecy.

We see the importance of prophecy reflected in the lives of godly people in the Scriptures, like the prophet Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and even a ‘less important’ old man named Simeon and an elderly woman named Anna—who both were in the Temple when Jesus is parents brought Jesus there (Luke 2:25).

The ‘serious’ believer should eagerly follow the pattern of these in other godly men and women. They should be ‘compelled’ to study Biblical prophecy if for no other reason than to follow the example of godly ‘saints’ in Scripture who recognized its importance.

Years ago, the singing group Fleetwood Mac recorded a blockbuster song titled “Don’t Stop,” with the well-known line, “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.” The Bible tells us the same thing. God’s people are to be thinking about tomorrow—and are never to stop doing so (1 Corinthians 13:2; 2 Peter 1:21; Acts 26:27). While many reasons could be given for thinking about tomorrow and gaining a deeper understanding of Bible prophecy, there are a few key reasons that stand out. The primary one would be Jesus.

Jesus reminded us that prophecy proves the truth of God’s Word and also proves who He is: “I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I am the Messiah [John 13:19]. He repeated the same idea one chapter later: “I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe” [John 14:29].

Predicting events before they come to pass is ‘PROOF’ that the Bible is the inherent, inspired word of God. More than that, it is the bottom line basis for believing ‘in’ Jesus.

The April 2009 cover of Newsmax pictures Jesus with outstretched arms under the heading: “The Jesus Question: Will He Ever Return?” The thing is, the headlines do seem to parallel the biblical End Times prophecies more and more each and every day. World events are unfolding exactly as the Bible predicted thousands of years ago. It seems like there is a bunch of ‘STAGE SETTING’ going on.

One way to think about this is to imagine that you are at a musical theatrical production. You have taken your seat in the audience, and before the curtain goes up for Act One, you can hear sounds behind the curtain. The stage is ‘being set’ for the beginning of the play. The props are being put into place, and the actors are taking their positions. These are not the play itself, but are the natural common necessary preparation for it. The setting up of the stage creates anticipation for the raising of the curtain.

In the same way, God is preparing the world ‘stage’ for His drama of the ages. The ‘curtain’ is still down. However, God is allowing world events to take place and the players to assume their roles for the drama to begin. Before the ‘curtain’ goes up for the final ‘act’, the Church will be ‘raptured’ to meet Jesus before all the ‘tribulation’ starts.

Now, Biblical prophecy doesn’t present every ‘ripple’ in our world today, but it does reveal the main ‘currents’ and trends. The significant ‘signs’ of the End Times are:

– The regathering of the Jewish people
– Surging apostasy in the Church
– Middle East crises and a clamoring for peace
– Reuniting of the old Roman Empire
– Globalism

Sometimes life feels like entering a dark theater and realizing you are coming in near the end of the play. Even though you didn’t see the beginning of the play, you can kind of understand its plot and direction. 

So, in the churches these days, the average believer today is interested in hearing messages that can help them with their CURRENT life’s situation instead of hearing about FUTURE biblical prophecy. They want to feel motivated about topics like how to improve their marriage, how to have better relationships, how to have a better work-life, or how to be more financially stable. In essence, many believers want to leave church on Sundays feeling good about themselves and emotionally charged to be able to “get victory” in their current life circumstances.

Now, those and other topics ARE important, however, NOT NEARLY as important as biblical prophecy is—primarily because prophecy is a major ‘theme’ of the Bible.

While believers are being more preoccupied by their personal situation, prophetic events are unfolding all around us that will, at some point, whether we are discerning or not, have an impact on us all in one way or another. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy:

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth”
[ 2 Timothy 3:1-7 ].

Truthfully, when you begin to isolate and analyze this warning from the Apostle Paul and then compare these issues to what is actually occurring today, it would be difficult for any believer to, at a minimum, not to have their ‘curiosity’ aroused.  Sadly, however, the study of Bible prophecy in today’s churches is the most maligned and neglected area of Bible study.

The thing is, Bible prophecy also helps one interpret and apply the ‘other’ parts of the Bible accurately. One cannot ‘fully’ understand the Old Testament prophets, the teachings of Jesus, or the epistles without understanding prophecy. Prophecy is the ‘FRAMEWORK’ on which we ‘hang’ the rest of the Bible. So, let’s look at two illustrations related to this, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.

The first example is from the prophet Isaiah: “No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed” [ Isaiah 65:20 ].

Isaiah is talking about a time when infants won’t die, and the average life span will be one hundred years. What time is Isaiah talking about? He obviously isn’t talking about now. Even with our advances in medicine, babies still die, and few people reach the age of one hundred. Was Isaiah talking about Heaven? No, Revelation 21:4 says there will not be any death in Heaven. So then what time was Isaiah talking about? Well, he was talking about a future period called the “Millennium,” when Jesus will reign on earth for a thousand years. During that time, the curse of sin will be partially removed. So, you can’t understand that without knowing Bible prophecy.

The second example is when Jesus said,“‘I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me’” [ Matthew 25:35-40 ].

I once heard somebody say, “I’m a Matthew 25 kind of Christian. My faith is centered on taking care of the least of these.” Now, we should be merciful to those who are in need—that is certainly the ‘fruit’ or the evidence of being a Christian. HOWEVER, is this the ‘core’ of the Christian faith? Is doing good things for the “least of these” the ‘heart’ of Christianity? Is that what the apostles proclaimed and gave their lives for? Well, no.

Now, Jesus was not indifferent toward the plight of the disadvantaged in society, but He was reminding us that God is interested in more than just meeting the physical needs of people. God is also concerned with satisfying our ‘SPIRITUAL’ needs, and He has charged the Church with that unique responsibility. (Doing good for others is the ‘evidence’ of Christianity, but the core of Christianity is repentance from sin and the forgiveness of God through the blood of Jesus Christ.)

When Peter preached that great sermon on Pentecost—that resulted in more than 3,000 people being saved—what was his message? Feed the hungry and you shall be saved? Clothe the naked and you shall be saved? Visit those in prison and you shall be saved? No, his message was: “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” [ Acts 2:38 ].

So, if that is the ‘heart’ of Christianity, then what was Jesus talking about in Matthew 25? Well, in this passage, Jesus was teaching about the END TIMES. The disciples asked Him, “What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” [ Matthew 24:3 ].

Well, if one studies the ‘context’ of these verses, they will discover that these are part of the Olivet Discourse (that actually begins in Matthew 24), which describes the events that will lead to the return of Jesus. Jesus explains the ‘standard’ by which He will judge those who survive the Tribulation when He returns. Even though those witnesses will be protected by God, they do suffer, they are imprisoned, and they are denied food and drink.

SO, the believer will be judged by how they treated the 144,000 Jewish witnesses during the Tribulation. For a person living in the Tribulation to clothe, feed, or comfort one of these witnesses would be a sign of their salvation since it would be tantamount to ministering to Jesus Himself. Jesus was saying to that future believer: “How you treat these witnesses of Mine reveals whether you are truly saved. When you feed them, clothe them, and take them in, it is a sign of your love for Me” (Matthew 25:40).

While ministering to those who are hurting is both noble and Christlike, it is not the ‘primary’ mission of the Church. God intended the Church to be more—much more—than a sanctified relief agency. Again, an understanding of prophecy is ‘NECESSARY’ to interpret and apply the Bible correctly!

Prophecy also answers some ‘difficult’ questions, and sheds light concerning questions such as:

– Where are the dead?
– Who will share in the resurrection?
– How many judgments are there in the Bible?
– Who will be judged?
– Will believers be judged?
– Will the nations be judged?
– When will the Tribulation take place?
– How long will it last?
– Will believers be present or absent?
– What is the battle of Armageddon?
– When will Armageddon take place? Where?
– What about the 1,000-year reign of Christ? Who will reign with Him? Is it a literal reign?
– When will the “lion and the lamb” lie down together
– Who are the 144,000?
[ … and many other questions ].

So, with all of the political, social, cultural, economic, and international turmoil that is dominating the news, more and more people—believers and non-believers alike—are seeking to try and make sense of it all. With many world crises like the Middle East being a ‘powder keg’, the rise of radical Islam, the world seemingly coalescing against Israel, world economies in disarray, and governments strapped with trillions of dollars in national debt, many are becoming disillusioned, discouraged, confused—and even desensitized—to the ramifications of the crises happening in the world these days. Many others are even losing hope and ‘throwing up their hands’ in abdication that anything will ever get solved.

Well, arguably, one of the single most revealing passages in the New Testament that describes the importance of Bible prophecy is found in Galatians, where the Apostle Paul records the following powerful statement:

“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons”
[ Galatians 4:4-5 ]. 

In the simplest terms, what Paul was saying to the believers in Galatia was that from the time that God made the promise after the fall, that God was going to eventually send a Redeemer that would restore or “redeem” that broken relationship between God and man, and then finally ‘FIX’ everything and ‘REMAKE’ this world back to what it was like when He first created it!

So, if you don’t study prophecy, you will not know what God has planned for this earth AND for YOUR ‘FUTURE’!

Prophecy constitutes a large part of the Scriptures, therefore to neglect it or, as some have done, to utterly boast contempt for the subject of prophecy, is to cast dishonor upon divine revelation. Moreover, if the prophecies were not in the Bible, the remainder of the book would be ‘MEANINGLESS’!

‘REASONS’ THAT BIBLE PROPHECY IS IMPORTANT
We are living in incredible times. Things are changing so fast we can hardly keep up with them. Before we can catch our breath, we are hurried onto the next significant ‘event’. Tensions in the Middle East, the development of weapons of mass destruction, and threats to global peace fill the news ‘feeds’. It seems to me that, from what I read, many are sensing that the world is moving toward some great ‘climax’.

People today are asking, “Where are we headed?” “What will happen next,” and “How can I be prepared?” These are the very questions Bible prophecy ‘ANSWERS’ for us. Biblical prophecy helps one to ‘see’ into the future with clarity and confidence.

The purpose of Bible prophecy is not to frighten us, but to assure us that God is in control. In times of human uncertainty, we can rest assured that we have a “sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19) that shines like a beacon of light into the darkness of our times. Therefore, we can lift our heads and know that our redemption is drawing near (Luke 21:28).

On May 14, 1948, when the United Nations officially recognized the State of Israel, over 800,000 Jews fulfilled the prophecies of the ingathering of the Jews back into their Land (Ezekiel 36-37). Only God could have foreseen this miraculous ingathering and ‘rebirth’ after over 2,500 years before it began, and only God had the power to make it happen! 

[ FYI: Currently, out of the 14.3 million Jewish people in the world, 43% of them reside in Israel as of this writing. ]

Like the disciples and so many of God’s people before them, we are also comforted by the fulfilled promises of prophetic Scriptures, which confirm that every event on earth occurs by God’s divine ‘design’.

God has foretold the future with inerrant accuracy. He has given us a ‘snapshot’ of things to come, and ‘paints’ a picture of the events that will bring the world as we know it to a finale. (The word “revelation” itself means the unfolding of that which was previously hidden or unknown.)

So, you may ask, “If we can’t know ‘exactly’ when Jesus is returning, then what is the point of studying biblical prophecy?” (The question posited by long-time “Life’s Deep Thoughts” reader Bill B.)

Well, here are quotes from two Bible scholars that summarize and confirm the present practical purposes of unfulfilled prophecy: 

“Every item of predictive prophecy was given to a particular historical people to awaken and stir them to righteousness by revealing in part what God will do in the future. Any disclosure of the future was given to influence present action… The future aspect of prophecy was intended to instruct, to reprove, to encourage, to call people to repentance”
[ A. Berkeley Mickelsen ].

“A great deal of predictive prophecy of Scripture is yet unfulfilled. In the time before a prophecy comes to pass, it is designed to affect present thought and conduct, not to satisfy curiosity concerning the future”
[ J. Robertson McQuilkin ]

Then, the apostles had something to say about the ‘practical’ use of prophecy: “Therefore encourage each other with these words” [ 1 Thessalonians 4:18 ]. This was the Apostle Paul’s eschatological teaching to the Thessalonians ends for the purpose of influencing present action.

The Apostle Peter said, “The end of all things is near” is immediately followed with this present practical impact, “Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray” [ 1 Peter 4:7 ].

The Apostle John writes of the coming of Jesus that, “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself” [ 1 John 3:3 ].

Jesus was also adamant about prophecy: “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” [ Luke 12:56 ].

It was no small thing to Jesus that the people of His generation remained ignorant to God’s prophetic Word. Jesus knew that an understanding of prophecy would protect them (and us) from future deceptions. He said, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” [ Matthew 24:4-5 ]. (This instruction is so important that it is recorded for us again in Mark 13 and Luke 21.)

It so happens that we are living in a day when people are being deceived all the time. The believer should not be surprised to witness the spread of false teaching, since Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble” [ John 16:1 ]. In other words, if you know what Jesus says about the future, you won’t fall into the trap of panic or distress.

Now, while God wants to get you under prophecy’s ‘umbrella’ of protection, the Devil wants to keep you from being under its protection. Satan knows that if you read the book of Revelation, you will learn of his coming doom. Then, if you see Satan as a ‘defeated foe’, that will help you to be victorious over him today. Prophecy can ‘protect’ you from Satan’s attacks in the present!

Jesus told many parables to illustrate the importance of being prepared for His coming. One such parable was about a master of the house who had been robbed. If the master had known the hour the thief would come, he would have surely watched to prevent the robbery. The lesson of the parable is simple: BE ‘PREPARED’. Always be ready for Jesus’ return, which will be as unpredictable as a thief in the night. “But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief” [ 1 Thessalonians 5:4 ]. So, prophecy prepares us to ‘meet’ Jesus at ANY TIME!

Prophecy also prepares the believer for future ‘events’. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t read about wars or rumors of wars, natural disasters or lawlessness (Now, yes, those have been happening since Jesus, and before He came the first time. HOWEVER, the amount and intensity of these events have NEVER been like they have been in the past 100 years). Yet Jesus told His disciples to look for these ‘signs’ at the end of the age. World calamities never take God by surprise. Jesus said, “These things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them” [ John 16:4 ]. So, by reading Biblical passages about prophecy, you will be PREPARED for the days ahead. For even though the “time of sorrows” is coming, that means the day of redemption is THAT MUCH ‘CLOSER’!

Knowing prophecy also helps the believer with RIGHTEOUS LIVING. For instance, if you are aware of Jesus’ imminent return, that will impact your desire to ‘witness’ to others about the Gospel. If we take prophesy seriously, it will affect the ‘way’ we live.

Then, there is a special blessing promised to those who study prophecy and pay attention to what it says—which is revealed at the beginning and the end of the book. “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” [ Revelation 1:3 ], and “Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” [ Revelation 22:7 ].

The thing is, this promise (in the Greek) is a ‘present tense’ promise, meaning that it is granted to those who ‘continue’ to read. 

So, I don’t know about you, but when God tells me specifically how to receive a blessing, I’m going to try my best to be prepared to receive it!

So, in summary, here are some of the ‘major’ reasons why Bible prophecy is important:

– Prophecy helps us understand ‘HISTORY’
– Prophecy helps us understand the ‘WHOLE’ BIBLE
– Prophecy proves the ‘AUTHENTICITY’ of the Bible
– Prophecy can help insulate believers from ‘HERESY’
– Prophecy reveals the ‘SOVEREIGNTY’ of God over time and history
– Prophecy helps us understand the ‘SIGNS’ of the times in which we live
– Prophecy tells about the ‘CONSEQUENCES’ of not believing in them
– Prophecy tells about the ‘IMMINENT RETURN’ of Jesus (the “Rapture”)
– Prophecy encourages the believer to have ‘PATIENCE’
– Prophecy gives us a proper ‘PERSPECTIVE’ in life
– Prophecy gives the believer ‘HOPE’ for their future
– Prophecy motivates the believer to service and ‘GODLY LIVING’
– Prophecy is a powerful ‘TOOL’ for evangelism
– Prophecy provides an ‘ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE’ and peace of mind for today
– Prophecy is something ‘GOD CONSIDERS IMPORTANT’
– Prophecy shows that Jesus is the ‘SUBJECT’ of prophecy
– God promises a special ‘BLESSING’ to those who study and pay attention to prophecy

So, to ‘flesh’ these out a bit, the following ‘sub-sections’ will give some details about each reason.

UNDERSTANDING ‘HISTORY’
It is impossible to understand God’s purpose for history apart from prophecy. God has declared:

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure”… I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it” [ Isaiah 46:9–11; cf. 14:24, 26-27 ].

These Scriptures reveal that there is one true God who has a sovereign purpose for history. He has, through prophets, declared to mankind what would happen, even to the end of this earth’s history. Then, during the course of history, He sovereignly causes to happen all that He planned, purposed, and declared through prophets. No one can prevent God from fulfilling His sovereign purpose for history, and no one can understand God’s purpose for history apart from the study of biblical prophecy!

It is no mistake that Revelation was the last book of the Bible written. God intended it to be the ‘capstone’ of His divine revelation to mankind, since it foretells how He will complete His purpose for history. Because this is so, those who avoid the study of Revelation will remain oblivious to how God will obtain His objective.

UNDERSTANDING THE ‘BIBLE’
Prophecy helps us understand the ‘whole’ Bible. It ‘lays out’ God’s prophetic program for this world by giving a person a ‘framework’ for understanding the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

Prophecy reveals God’s program for the Jewish people, for the gentile nations, and for the Church. A person who does not have at least a basic understanding of prophecy will get totally lost in large sections of the Old Testament, and in several books of the New Testament. In addition, this person has no hope of accurately handling God’s Word as a whole (2 Timothy 2:15).

Bible prophecy is also absolute proof of the truth and ‘veracity’ of God’s Word. The hundreds of prophecies that have come to pass exactly as the Bible has said, prove that the Bible is the inspired Word of a sovereign God.

The Apostle Paul wrote that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” [ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ].

PROVES THE ‘AUTHENTICITY’ OF THE BIBLE
Prophecy is the most compelling evidence for the reliability, inerrancy, and authenticity of the Bible and the Person of Jesus. NO OTHER book or person has the amazing prophetic accuracy that the Bible has! Of the 26 other “so-called” religious books, NOT ONE has predictive prophecy!

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus demonstrated how the Old Testament ‘pointed’ to Him as the Messiah: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” [ Luke 24:27 ]. Jesus’ life, which culminated in His death, burial, and resurrection, was the perfect ‘fulfillment’ of God’s prior revelation (Matthew 5:17), and everything took place “according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Now, skeptics often say things like: “Couldn’t a group of Christians have just thought up these prophecies and then placed them in the Bible after the fact or, couldn’t Jesus have attempted, on his own, to fulfill these prophecies?” Well, the answer is a resounding NO WAY!  

Jesus could not have planned prophecies concerning many specific circumstances of his life. For example:

– The specific details of His birth
– The time in which He lived
– The specific details of His death

As was mentioned previously, the mathematical probability of just 8 prophecies being fulfilled in the person of Jesus would be 1 chance in 10 to the 17th power! (Beyond the realm of probability.)

Prophecy expert Dr. David Reagan has determined that out of the 333 prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures concerning the First Coming of Jesus, many of those are repetitive. He said that there are 109 ‘specifically’ different prophesies, which the chances of these 109 coming true in one person is TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE! [ Remember that I mentioned that ‘just’ 48 of these prophecies is one in 10 to the 157th power and scientists estimate that there are about 10 to the 82nd power ATOMS in the “observable universe”! ]

Another thing is that the Bible is unique among ALL books EVER written, since it accurately foretells specific events, in detail, many years (and sometimes centuries) before they occur. Again, approximately 2,500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, and about 2,000 have already been fulfilled to the letter—with NO ‘ERRORS’, 100% accuracy!

For example, in 538 BC, the angel Gabriel gave Daniel a prophecy pinpointing when the Messiah would arrive: “Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again[e] with squares and moat, but in a troubled time” [ Daniel 9:25 ]. While Daniel may have understood it, somewhere along the way that insight has been lost. Old Testament scholars have long been debating the prophecy’s meaning, but there is a particularly astounding interpretation.

While in Babylon, Daniel read the Scriptures, learning that Jeremiah had foretold both the Babylonian captivity and the Israelites’ return to their homeland after 70 years. In response, Daniel confessed the sins of the nation in prayer, enticing the angel Gabriel to continue the message to him:

“And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its[f] end shall come with a flood, and to the end, there shall be war. Desolations are decreed” [ Daniel 9:26 ].

So then now we are ready to do some ‘math’—to determine if Gabriel did, in fact, predict Jesus’s arrival. Let’s start by determining how many days are in 483 lunar years: 360 x 483 = 173,880 days. Next, adding this number to March 16, 444 BC—the date on which the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was issued—brings us to April 6, 33 AD, THE VERY ‘DAY’ of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem!!! Is this not REMARKABLE?

[ Note: There are a few different interpretations of the exact day, but most say that is was 33 AD (from Luke 3:1), and that it was late March to early April. Related books and PDFs are in the “Resources” area below. ]

The remarkable accuracy of the predictions in the prophecy in Daniel (assuming the estimates are correctly interpreted and accurate) supports the truth of the prophecy which, in turn, builds confidence in the authority and reliability of the Bible. This can ONLY be ‘predicted’ by a God that is ‘outside time’ and knows the future!

So, given that the Bible proves so reliable a document for PAST prophecies that there is every reason to expect that the remaining 500 ‘FUTURE’ prophecies—those slated for the “time of the end”—will also be fulfilled ‘to the letter’. THEN, might I ask, who can afford to ignore biblical prophecy? Would a ‘reasonable’ person take lightly God’s WARNING of COMING ‘JUDGEMENT’?

In regard to biblical prophecy, theologian Dr. Charles Ryrie said:

“According to the laws of chance, it would require 200 billion earths, populated with four billion people each, to come up with one person whose life could fulfill 100 accurate prophecies without any errors in sequence. Yet the Scriptures record not one hundred, but over three hundred prophecies that were fulfilled in Christ’s first coming alone.”

Astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross says (for 1,817 prophecies):

“Since the probability for any one of these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance averages less than one in ten (conservative figure) and since the prophecies are for the most part independent of one another, the odds for all these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance without error is less than one in 10 to 2,000 (that is 1 in 2,000 zeros written after it)!”

Prophecy, particularly fulfilled prophecy, CONCLUSIVELY ‘VALIDATES’ and authenticates the Bible as the absolute, indisputable, inerrant, and infallible Word of God (Galatians 4:4-5). One remarkable illustration of this fact is that on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion alone, 33 Old Testament prophecies were literally fulfilled on just that one day alone! [ Remember, only 8 prophecies were absolutely impossible. ]

Only an all omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent Creator could so meticulously prerecord an outline of world history, and have that history unfold with such amazing precision! Furthermore, if the Bible contained JUST ‘ONE’ single false prophecy about past history, the Bible and God could be counted as ‘forgery’ and its content relative to future events would be utterly meaningless. HOWEVER, that HAS NEVER HAPPENED—the Bible has been 100% accurate with EVERY fulfilled prophecy!

UNDERSTANDING ‘HERESY’
Prophecy can help ‘insulate’ people from heresy. The Apostle Peter responded to a group of scoffers that had arisen to mock the idea that Jesus was coming back. To them, the idea of God intervening dramatically in human history to judge mankind was absurd. However, the Apostle Peter reminded them that God created the world, and He will judge it: “The heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” [ 2 Peter 3:5b-7 ]. God’s delay in sending Jesus back to this world is not a delay of powerlessness or indifference, but a delay of ‘PATIENCE’ (“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9). The apparent delay in Jesus’s return is due to God’s MERCY and giving sinners MORE TIME TO ‘REPENT’!

The Bible tells us that false prophecy and teaching will be a conspicuous ‘feature’ of the last days: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” [ 2 Timothy 4:3-4 ].

A proper view of Bible prophecy and the last days ‘insulates’ God’s people from all kinds of harmful, heretical teachings.

UNDERSTANDING GOD’S ‘SOVEREIGNTY’
Prophecy reveals the sovereignty of God in history.

In order to accurately predict the future, one must be omniscient (know everything) omnipresent (be present everywhere), and omnipotent (possess all power). The true prognosticator must know all things, must be present at all times and places, and must have all power to make sure the prediction is fulfilled. The God of the Bible is all of these.

So, the God of the Bible issues a challenge to any would-be rivals to His place of supremacy in the universe. The basis of the challenge is that only the ‘true’ God can accurately predict the future. Read what God says about His ability to disclose the future:

“Set forth your case, says the Lord; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified. Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you”
[ Isaiah 41:21-24 ].

“Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens”
[ Isaiah 42:9 ].

“For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’”
[ Isaiah 46:9b-10 ].

Bible prophecy PROVES beyond any shadow of a doubt that God is the true God who alone rules over time and history! He not only rules the ages, but He is also in TOTAL ‘CONTROL’ over all the events of the world AND over the life of every person. What a comfort and encouragement it is to know that God is in control!

RECOGNIZE THE ‘SIGNS’ OF THE END TIMES
There is a large body of prophetic information in the Bible that reveals major events in the world before, during, and after the Second Coming of Jesus. These signs of the times help us understand the unfolding of God’s divine plan for humanity, so we can be better prepared for future events.

Jesus expects the believer to heed these ‘signs’, as their message is just as obvious as the signs of nature: “‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?’” [ Luke 12:54-56 ].

The ‘signs’ of the times refer to important things that happen in the world, which are indicators of contemporary and future events. Those who fail to interpret the signs of the times are spiritually ‘blinded’ people.

[ FYI: For more details about being spiritual ‘blind’, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/are-you-blind-v252/ ].

Although there will definitely be a surprise element in the time of the Rapture, we nevertheless have various signs indicating its nearness. Referring to certain signs which Jesus mentioned in His prophetic discourse, He said: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). There are various signs indicating the nearness of the end of the ‘Church Age’.

[ FYI: For more details about the coming “Rapture,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/blessed-hope-v245/ ].

However, the ‘MOST’ IMPORTANT of the ‘signs’ was the ‘restoration’ of Israel. Jesus said that, “In the latter days,” He would gather the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone (Hosea 3:5; Ezekiel 37:21).

A very important aspect of their restoration is the status of the city of Jerusalem. According to Luke 21:24, Jerusalem would be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Israel became a “state” in 1948, and the ‘physical’ recapturing of biblical Jerusalem (the Old City) occurred in 1967 in the Six-Day War, which was a prelude to its political restoration as Israel’s eternal and indivisible capital city in August 1980. (The latter event inaugurated the terminal generation of the present dispensation.)

According to the Bible, there will be a great end-time struggle for the control of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2-3; 14:2) since Jesus will return to this city at His Second Coming (Zechariah 14:4-5). His enemies will await Him here, but the ensuing battle will lead to their utter destruction (Zechariah 14:12-13).

[ FYI: For more details about the Tribulation and the battle at Armageddon, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/ ].

Another one of the important prophetic ‘events’ to happen is the Russian-Arab invasion of Israel. In Ezekiel 38 and 39, a Russian-Arab invasion of Israel is described. The prince of Russia is called Gog and his country Magog. These are ancient names for modern Russia, as they refer to the large area to the north of the Caucasian Mountains and the Black Sea.

God says to the end-time prince of Gog: “I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army… Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them… Gomer and all its troops [probably referring to Germany]; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops [a reference to modern Turkey]… Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you… In the latter years you will come into the land of those… gathered from many peoples on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations… You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against my land” [ Ezekiel 38:4-8,16 ].

In the next chapter, God describes the destruction of Gog and his hordes during this invasion: “You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops, and the people who are with you” [ Ezekiel 39:4 ]. In the light of this prophecy, it is important to note the rising political tensions in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, as it will lead to the big war predicted by Ezekiel, in which at least six countries will participate. God’s intervention will lead to the defeat of the invading forces.

[ FYI: For a detailed discussion of the Gog-Magog War (Ezekiel 38-39), view last month’s “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/fearful-of-world-war-iii-v278/ ].

The signs of the times graphically illustrate the fact that the God of love, Who wants to ‘SAVE’ ALL PEOPLE, is also at the same time, the God of wrath who will severely ‘JUDGE’ UNREPENTANT SINNERS: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” [ 2 Peter 3:9 ].

On the other hand, the Apostle Paul said that, “God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” [ 1 Thessalonians 5:9 ]. Note that this is ONLY FOR ‘BELIEVERS’!

Unless one has a grasp of the prophetic Scriptures, it will be difficult for them to be able to fully discern the times that we are living in. Far too many Christians, are being more influenced and impacted by what they hear in the media than they are being discerning of the signs of the times in their Bible!

Jesus made a similar criticism when, on one of the occasions in which He was being challenged by the religious leaders, He responded by saying: “And in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening. Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times” [ Mathew 16:3 ]. Sadly, in modern times, far too many believers have failed to discern that the prophetic ‘stars’ are aligning and the signs of the times are all around them! All because they don’t study prophecy!

PROPHETIC ‘CONSEQUENCES’
So, what about those who reject God’s offer of salvation (Hebrews 2:3)? Well, such people can expect ‘retribution’ from God.

Unfortunately, most people reject the Gospel message. Jesus Himself said that there are few who are going to be saved: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able” [ Luke 13:24 ]. Why will they not be able to enter? Because of an ‘UNWILLINGNESS’ to part with their sins. The Apostle John said: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” [ John 3:19 ].

So, during the coming Tribulation, when the wrath of God will be poured out upon the world, most of the ‘hardened’ sinners will become more wicked, to the extent of even cursing God because of all the plagues: “But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood… and they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts” [ Revelation 9:20-21 ]. For that reason, they leave a ‘just’ God no choice but to judge them!

The fact is that the greatest part of the world population will become more evil, selfish, immoral, untrustworthy, violent, and God-rejecting in the End Times. So, the believer must, at all times, refrain from joining the licentious crowds during these times. The Apostle Paul says: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” [ Romans 13:12-14 ].

The world is heading for its ‘darkest’ hour, the Great Tribulation, which will be unprecedented in history (Matthew 24:21-22). However, as in the times of Noah, God’s wrath is never poured out on ‘true’ believers: “Watch, therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” [ Luke. 21:36 ], so the believer can be confident that they WILL NOT be on planet earth during the Tribulation period—they will be Raptured!

[ FYI: For more details about the coming “Rapture,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/blessed-hope-v245/ ].

Beginning in Genesis, God started to reveal to us, through Moses and the prophets, of His salvation plan through the Messiah, His Son, Jesus. Later, in the New Testament, Jesus confirmed that it was Him about which they wrote. Even though the prophets had prophesied His coming over 300+ times, Israel did not recognize Him, and they did not believe He was the Messiah.

God tells us things before they happen so that when they do occur, we will believe. When one knows what the Word says about the future, they can recognize the times and act accordingly. Knowing the signs of the times is like an “early warning system.” We are ‘alerted’ to upcoming threats and, as a result, we know when to take precautions to protect our minds and our hearts from deception and fear. Jesus implores us always to be alert and ready for His return. Just as Noah prepared for the flood, the believer should also prepare themselves for Jesus’ return.

‘IMMINENT RETURN’ OF JESUS (The “Rapture”)
The English word “imminent” means “hanging over one’s head; ready to befall or overtake one; close at hand in its incidence.” Thus, an imminent event is one that is close at hand and ready to happen. If something else must take place before an event can happen, the event is not imminent, and nor can you count on a fixed amount of time transpiring before the event occurs.

So, the imminent coming of Jesus means that it is close at hand and could happen at any moment. Other things may happen before His coming, but nothing else MUST happen (1 Corinthians 1:7; 4:5; 15:51-52; 16:22; Philippians 3:20; 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12; Titus 2:13; James 5:8-9; 1 John 2:28; Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, 17, 20).

Since we do not know exactly when Jesus will come, we cannot count on a fixed amount of time transpiring before His arrival. Therefore, the believer should ALWAYS BE ‘READY’ for Him to come back AT ‘ANY’ MOMENT!

ENCOURAGES ‘PATIENCE’
Jesus’ disciple James wrote that one needs to “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door” [ James 5:7-9 ].

The context speaks to those who are growing weary and are complaining. The believers can have encouragement in trials knowing that the one who will control world events and bring them to a culmination as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is also the blessed ‘Controller’ of their life.

Prophecy reminds us that patience is a virtue and waiting on God is a necessary discipline for every believer. James reminded us that we must “be patient” until the coming of the Lord, like the farmer who scans a dry field and awaits the coming rains. “Instant” is not a normal descriptor for God’s work. He tends to work through extended processes over significant periods of time. Knowledge of the basics of His revealed plan can build enduring confidence in His control of every event leading to the end of the story, but the believer will need to learn—‘forced’ if need be—to wait on Him.

Prophetic portions help us keep perspective over life’s hardship and pain. Rehearsing prophetic timelines can reduce punishing frustration in tough times. We can watch the rise of bad ‘actors’ and become deeply dismayed unless we draw on the revelation of our Savior’s promised return and days ahead when He will set ‘things’ straight. Such prophecies help the believer construct a stable foundation offering courage during times of trial as we trust that God’s hand is directing events with a purpose. Prophecy makes clear that God alone will draw things to a culmination in HIS TIME. When we are certain of the outcome and understand some of the purpose of troubles, it helps to endure one’s pain.

Again, James appeals to the future to give strength to his friends: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” [ James 1:12 ]. What believers need in times of trial and difficulty is not just positive thinking, but PROPHETIC THINKING!

HELPS KEEP THINGS IN ‘PERSPECTIVE’
The story is told of an airplane lost over the ocean in the middle of a hurricane. The captain decided it was time to inform the passengers of their dilemma, so he turned on the intercom. “I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that we have lost our guidance system and have no way of knowing where we are or which way we are going. The good news is, we are making great time!”

Most people today are like the people in that plane. They are making great time, moving quickly through life, but they have no clue where they are, which way they are going, or where they are going to land! As a result, they lack a proper perspective about life, and their focus is only on the here and now.

Bible prophecy reveals to us that there is an end. It reveals to us that there is a purpose and goal for this world, creation, man, and the events of everyday life. Knowing this truth gives us meaning, perspective, and purpose, and helps us not to be ‘cynical’ about life.

If a person really believed that this world would continue on forever with no ultimate goal or purpose, their belief would lead to total hopelessness and despair. It would mean there would be no existence beyond the grave, no ultimate justice, no final accounting, no tying together all of the ‘loose ends’ of human history.

However, biblical prophecy gives one a ‘perspective’ about the troubles and trials of this age. We live in a fallen and tragedy-soaked world that is physically decaying and evil seems to triumph constantly. For many, without Jesus there is no hope, only despair. But, for the believer, there is the hope of resurrection and the restoration of all things (1 Corinthians 15:20-28; Acts 3:21), and that “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” [ Romans 8:18 ].

The sufferings of this present time are ‘real’, BUT they are not comparable to the glory that is to come: “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” [ 2 Peter 3:13 ].

Without a perspective that includes the realization of prophetic events, the unbeliever is doomed to frustration and anger concerning earthly events. They watch the bad ‘actors’ and even their acquaintances/neighbors prosper and become easily upset—unless they realize that one day Jesus is coming back to set things right. It is prophecy that takes away the fear and gives us that future hope! Bible prophecy is the vehicle God has given us to reveal the grand consummation of history and to provide a terminus or goal for our thinking about life and its ultimate meaning and purpose.

Another practical effect of Bible prophecy is that it has a ‘calming influence’ on us when our hearts are troubled and stirred up. Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” [ John 14:1-3 ].

The word “troubled” here means to be “stirred up,” “disturbed,” “unsettled” or “thrown into confusion.” There are many things in our world today to disturb and unsettle us: the moral decay in our society, crime, economic uncertainty, terrorism, racial unrest, etc. Added to these problems are the personal trials and difficulties we all face in our daily lives. Trouble is the common denominator of all mankind. Often these troubles and difficulties can leave us distraught, distracted, and disturbed. However, one of the great comforts in times like these is to remember that Jesus will someday return to take us to be with Himself—in Heaven!

In John 14:13, three main points are emphasized to calm the believer’s troubled heart: a person, a place, and a promise. The person is Jesus, the place is the heavenly city (New Jerusalem), and the promise is that He will come again to take us to be with Him forever!

‘HOPE’ FOR THE FUTURE
The world is experiencing discouragement and uncertainty. People are talking about the economy, politics, terrorism, the Middle East tensions, crime, drugs, and global government. Most people feel as though they have lost control of their lives and destiny. However, the believer need not be frightened by events shaping up in our world since we know Jesus ‘PROMISES’ will come true!

While none of us are exempt from painful situations in life, the believer should not live hopeless, negative, defeated lives because they should understand where all of life is headed—and that they have an ‘AMAZING’ FUTURE! “Let us rejoice and be glad” (Revelation 19:7) will be the prevailing sentiment for the redeemed. This attitude of hope is NOT ‘wishful thinking’ because it is grounded in the commitment of God to restore what was lost in the Garden of Eden.

Biblical prophecy lets us in on this marvelous ending and gives us the confident expectation which assists us in living well for Jesus right now (Revelation 20-22). Biblical prophecy also provides the believer with a clear, comprehensive worldview which, in turn, generates biblical hope because they are dealing with a God who is faithful to His promises: “Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” [ Titus 2:3 ].

If there is anyone who ought NOT live under the load of defeat, fear, and depression, it is the ‘child’ of God.

[ FYI: For more details on how to be ‘fearless’, view last month’s “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/fearful-of-world-war-iii-v278/ ].

Eschatology changes a believer’s life because what they do now impacts their future. The Apostle Paul viewed everything he did in light of his standing before Jesus someday: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” [ 2 Timothy 4:7-8 ]. The believer should be thinking the same way Paul did.

Also, when the believer looks at the prophetic Scriptures, they see their future—that one day they will wake up with bodies that will never die (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). They see that there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth, and no longer be any death, mourning, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:1-4). They find out a priceless inheritance is waiting for them in Heaven, and their salvation is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit who lives in them (1 Peter 1:3-5; Ephesians 1:13-14). Knowing that their future strengthens their faith and gives them hope. 

So, because of this hope, the believer should live their lives disciplined and in pursuit of holiness, embrace the hope of Heaven as an anchor for their souls (Hebrews 6:19), and pursue the things of God relentlessly.

God has not left the believer in the dark wondering what is going to happen in the future. He reveals to His people His plan so the believer knows how it is going to end: “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” [ Isaiah 46:10 ].

The believer does not need to be overly alarmed or discouraged. Rather, they can have joy since they can know their outcome. They have read the last chapter and the last page. They know ‘Who’ wins and that’s good news for believers! A blessed, living hope!

[ FYI: For more details about the “blessed hope,” view this previous “Life’s Depp Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/blessed-hope-v245/ ].

HOWEVER, the Apostle Paul’s prophetic word on the fate of UNBELIEVERS is TERRIFYING. They will not only be sent into eternal fire, but their lives will be ruined eternally (“eternal destruction”). Paul graphically describes this time: “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” [ 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 ].

This one passage removes the ridiculous suggestion that anyone will have a good time ‘partying’ in Hell, or any other such nonsense. The banishment from the presence of the Lord Jesus is the very heart of eternal punishment. The result will be to deprive them of His favor and all which gives purpose to one’s eternity!

In the “lake of fire,” there appears to be a COMPLETE ’SEPARATION’ from any of God’s grace and mercy—NO ‘HOPE’!!!  Can anything be more terrible than what Paul describes in these verses! UNBELIEVER: DON’T GO THERE!!!

‘GODLY LIVING’ TODAY
Prophecy is also intended, by God, to change our attitudes and actions to be more in line with His Word and His character. Jesus’ imminent return should make a difference in the way the believer lives. They should live holy, godly lives every moment of every day because in the very next moment, Jesus could step through the ‘door’ of Heaven and confront them face to face.

The Apostle John emphasized the same truth when he wrote the following to believers: “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” [ 1 John 2:28 ].

The anticipation of Jesus’ return will motivate ‘holy’ living. What could be more practical than that? Here are some examples:

The Apostle Paul: “The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts”
[ Romans 13:12-14 ].

The Apostle Peter: “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God . . .so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen”
[ 1 Peter 4:7-11 ].

The Apostle John: “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure”
[ 1 John 3:2-3 ].

Studying prophecy should spur the believer toward a more holy ‘walk’ with God. The Apostle Peter called for believers to “prepare their minds for action, keep sober in spirit,” as he reminded: “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer” [ 1 Peter 4:7 ].

Pastor and author Randy Smith commented on this:

“Prophecy is an essential part of our spiritual diet, so God included it in the book. He called us to know and trust Him. He beckons us to recognize the times and seasons and be ready to meet Him soon. The time between pronouncements of coming judgment and that day of adjudication is ‘grace time.’”

Just consider how the return of Jesus and the anticipated face-to-face meeting with Him can impact our daily choices. Like people who ‘put on the brakes’ when they see a police car beside the highway, students of prophecy are reminded of coming events and a time when we will give an account of our actions to Jesus—and that should cause us to make better choices now!

Biblical prophecy provides a ‘framework’ that sheds significant light on the important issues of life and gives the believer a ‘framework’ for evaluating what is most important—prioritizing life better and making better decisions.

Those who live with an awareness of what lies ahead in the plan of God think differently regarding the use of their time, money and resources. The goals and purposes of life are altered by a conviction about future realities. The Apostle Peter’s exhortation when he says, “What sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” in view of future events (2 Peter 3:11). Understanding and believing what biblical prophecy declares makes an impact on the ‘way’ the believer does do life now. The Apostle Paul made it clear (1 Corinthians 9) that he said, “No” to himself and ordered his life differently than many others because he had an eye on the glory that was ahead for believers.

Everyone knows that if a person had knowledge of future events, then better decisions would be made. For example, would Fred take a job next week with the ABC Company if he knew that in four months the ABC Company would be going bankrupt? Would the Jones family buy that house down by the river if they knew that next spring the “flood of the century” would wash away all dwellings by that river? Or would the remodeling of an old home be the priority in the lives of Bill and Sue if they knew that it would burn to the ground as soon as it was completed? Knowledge of the future would, in these cases, UNDOUBTEDLY ‘RESHAPE’ decisions and priorities.

Well, biblical prophecy can play the same kind of life-changing ‘role’ today. When believers become convinced of the truthfulness of these prophetic portions dealing with our accountability and reward and end time events, they will prioritize life differently. They most likely will make better decisions and order their lives in a much more biblical way—and not worry about the ‘small stuff’.

After Jesus gave His powerful prophetic discourse on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24-25), He then gave six parables that emphasized three things. He said that in light of these coming events, His followers were to: (1) be watching expectantly for His return, (2) be prepared spiritually for His arrival, and (3) be faithfully serving Him until He returned. So, you can see that what His servants do is of great importance to Him and He advised them to order their lives according to the prophetic truths He had just revealed. These three attitudes are exactly what biblical prophecy is designed to produce in the day-by-day living of God’s ‘children’.

Last month, I mentioned the story that Billy Graham in his book “World Aflame,” tells of an incident when former President Dwight Eisenhower decided to visit a boy in Denver.

When the dad answered the door, he was dressed in old jeans, a faded shirt, and had an unshaven face—he was ‘EMBARRASSED’!

However, I can tell you something even more embarrassing than that. One day the sky will part, the trumpet will sound, and Jesus will suddenly appear. Unfortunately, many Christians will not be properly “dressed” for His return. They will be wrapped up in the faded clothes of materialism, immorality, and personal ambition instead of the bright linen clothes of righteousness (described in Revelation 19:8).

So, let me ask you a very personal question. If the Lord were to return today, would you be embarrassed by the ‘appearance’ of your life? If so, I pray that this post will be a POWERFUL ‘INCENTIVE’ for you to ‘clothe’ yourself in holy conduct and godliness as we look forward to His certain return.

The Bible is very clear that the Lord Jesus is coming for a spotless bride that has made herself ready for His coming. We read in Revelation:

“And from the throne came a voice saying, ‘Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.’

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints”
[ Revelation 19:5-8 ].

Studying unfulfilled prophecy promotes holy living. “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Peter 3:11-12). A proper understanding of what the future holds directs our lives toward holiness now. Our goal is to live now in such a way that we have no regrets in the future when we stand before our Lord.

The believer’s desire to please and glorify God should motivate them and give them ultimate meaning and purpose in life—not money, material things, or the present world ‘system’. Since all earthly things are temporary and doomed for destruction, the believer should conform their values and priorities to things of the future eternal state:

“But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace”
[ 2 Peter 3:13-14 ].

EVANGELISTIC ‘TOOL’
God had His declarations of future events recorded in the Scriptures, not to satisfy our curiosity, but to be a life-changing ‘tool’ for people of every generation. He uses biblical prophecy to warn unsaved people about the future, and the wrathful judgment that He has purposed for this rebellious world. Prophecy is also used to impress unsaved people with the ‘URGENCY’ of trusting Jesus as their Savior now, before it may be TOO LATE for them.

[ FYI: For more details about the sense of ‘urgency’ one should have, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/a-sense-of-urgency-v269/ ].

Biblical eschatology does not teach that the story ‘ends well’ for everyone. It exists as a FRIGHTENING ‘WARNING’ to those who have not believed in Jesus. Eschatology warns all people that there is eternal punishment and banishment from God’s Kingdom and the presence of God for those who do not repent! Just as there is both judgment and resurrection for the righteous, there is also resurrection and judgment for the unbeliever!

Studying unfulfilled prophecy compels the believer to share the Gospel to ALL: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” [ Matthew 28:19-20 ].

When one understands that the Rapture could take place at any moment, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52), according to the Apostle Paul, one cannot help but long to share the reason for the hope within them (1 Peter 3:15).

AN ‘ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE’
Because God has put eternity in our hearts (“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” – Ecclesiastes 3:11), nothing can satisfy us except the eternal things of God. Knowing this should encourage the believer to set their minds not on earthly things but things above (“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” – Colossians 3:1-2), and live differently—only focusing on those things that matter for eternity.

The promise of Heaven, eternal rewards, and the joy of an eternity with Jesus should be on every believer’s mind, all the time!

GOD ‘CONSIDERS’ PROPHECY IMPORTANT
Through the prophets, then through Jesus and His apostles, God tells of the future. The Bible begins with prophecy (Genesis 3:15) and ends with prophecy (Revelation 22:12-20). It is an essential part of the Bible’s message. (Any topic that makes up over one-quarter of the Bible MUST be important!)

God’s intent has never been to leave us in the dark but to reveal His plans through His chosen messengers, the prophets (Amos 3:7). The prophetic Word is a light shining in the darkness, illuminating the path before us and making our way clear until Jesus comes back (2 Peter 1:19-21). We are to pay attention to prophetic Scripture, and if we do, we will be blessed (Revelation 1:3).

Again, to further highlight the importance of prophecy, especially end-time prophecy, out of 46 Old Testament prophets, less than 10 mention Jesus’ First Coming. However, 36 of them speak of His Second Coming. The Old Testament refers to the Second Coming of Jesus 1,500 times, and one out of every 25 New Testament verses alludes to His Second Coming. For every mention of the First Coming of Jesus, the Bible refers to the Second Coming eight times!  If that is not enough, Jesus talks about His Second Coming 21 times, and over 50 times He tells us to be ready for His return:

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”
[ Matthew 24:29-31 ].

Some of its longest books in the Bible—such as Revelation (95%), Ezekiel (65%), Jeremiah (60%), Isaiah (59%), and Leviticus (59%)—are prophetic. Many of its other books—such as Genesis and the epistles, also contain important prophecies. [ Zephaniah (89%); Obadiah (81%); Nahum (74%); Micah (70%); Zechariah (69%); and Joel (68%) ].

[ Note: Research verifies that the bible is UNIQUE among ALL other books. It includes hundreds of prophecies throughout its 66 ‘books’, each having prophecies that were 100% accurate—names, dates, and details. In fact, the Bible is the ONLY BOOK in the world that contains detailed prophecies that have been precisely fulfilled in history! This includes the sayings of Buddha, Confucius, the Koran, the Hindu Vedas, the Book of Mormon, and it certainly includes the ridiculous non-sensical “quatrains” of Nostradamus. ]

One of Jesus’ longest recorded discourses (found in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21), is an extensive prophecy given shortly before He was crucified. Then, of course, the Bible ends with the book of Revelation, a series of prophetic visions describing the period from the early Church up through Jesus Christ’s return and beyond. So, it is ‘CLEAR’ that prophecy IS important to God. But why? Why is prophecy important to Him, and should it be important to us?

Prophecy reveals God’s greatness and power—power that allows Him to foretell the future long before it comes to pass:

“This is what God the Lord says—the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: ’… I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you’”
[ Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 42:8-9 ].

God then declares that He will bring everything to pass, when, where, and how He sees fit: “I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me?… Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?” [ Isaiah 44:6, 8 ].

The Bible contains literally hundreds of prophecies that have been fulfilled. Dozens have been fulfilled just regarding the Messiah, Jesus Christ, including the place of His birth (Micah 5:2), the timing of His public appearance (Daniel 9:25), His betrayal for the price of a slave (Zechariah 11:12-13), and His death by scourging and crucifixion (Psalms 22:16-17).

So, to show how important prophecy is to God, the following is a ’smattering’ of fulfilled prophecies:

– Israel would suffer enslavement in Egypt, but be freed and established in their homeland, the Promised Land (Genesis 15:13-16).

– The kingdom of Israel would be split into the separate kingdoms of Israel and Judah as a result of Solomon’s sins (1 Kings 11:29-37).

– The people of Israel would be defeated and exiled in national captivity because of their sins (Deuteronomy 28:25, Deuteronomy 28:36-37, Deuteronomy 28:47-52).

– Nineveh, capital city of the Assyrian Empire, would be captured and destroyed (Nahum 3:1-19).

– The ancient Egyptians would lose their national superpower status and never again rule over other nations (Ezekiel 29:15).

– The nation of Judah would be defeated and exiled to Babylon for its sins (Jeremiah 25:11-13).

– The Jews exiled to Babylon would be allowed to return to Jerusalem after 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11-12).

– The ruler who would allow the Jewish exiles to return and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple would be named Cyrus—known to history as Cyrus the Great (Isaiah 44:28, Isaiah 45:1-6, Isaiah 45:13).

– The Babylonian Empire would fall to the Medes (Daniel 5:25-31).

– The Babylonian Empire would be followed by the Medo-Persian Empire, the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great, and the Roman Empire (Daniel 2:31-40; Daniel 7:15-17, Daniel 7:19; Daniel 8:20-22).

– Jerusalem and its temple would be destroyed not long after Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry was completed (Matthew 23:37-39, Matthew 24:1-2).

– Most of the original apostles would be persecuted and martyred (Matthew 23:34; John 15:20; Luke 11:49).

– God’s Church would faithfully carry on its commission of proclaiming the gospel to the nations and teaching those whom God calls all that He has commanded (Matthew 24:14; Matthew 28:19-20).

Prophecy is also important to God since He wants to warn EVERYONE of impending judgment, because He wants ALL to be ‘SAVED’. 

No scene can better depict this than reading about the “Great White Throne” judgment near the very end of the Bible. There is no place to flee God’s judgment, and no one powerful enough to contend with Him.

The final scenes of human history unfold to declare that God has the ABSOLUTE ‘RIGHT’ to have all things ‘subjected’ to Him. In His Word, He never minimizes sin, nor hides its devastating effects. Unresolved cases from earth with their unsettled victims find ultimate solace in the fact that the Judge has OVERLOOKED ‘NOTHING’. EVERY unconvicted ‘criminal’ will stand trial, and every victim—wounded so deeply in this life—will find peace in the presence of the One Who sees all, remembers all, and HOLDS ALL TO ‘ACCOUNT’!

On the other hand, it is also true that prophecy presents the message of the ‘LOVE’ of God for His creation. Prophecy, then, like every other part of God’s revealed Word, doesn’t just lead us to know events and timelines, they lead us to know God in ways we might not see Him if those portions were neglected.

Understanding God’s prophetic ‘program’ for this world gives a person the best overall framework possible for understanding the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Prophecy is a ‘MAJOR’ PART of God’s divine revelation.

JESUS IS THE ‘SUBJECT’ OF PROPHECY
Theologians have frequently noted that Jesus is the center of theology, because all of the great purposes of God depend on His person and work. “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness to Jesus” [ Revelation 19:10 ]. The truth of this verse is certainly borne out in Scripture. Prophecy is ALL ABOUT Jesus!

Bible prophecy finds its beginning and its end in the person and work of Jesus. The very first prophecy in the Bible (Genesis 3:15) is about the coming of the Deliverer who will “crush the head of the serpent.” Enoch’s ancient prophecy (recorded in Jude 14-15) prophesied the Flood judgment but also previews the Second Coming of Christ. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is filled with prophecies that ultimately point in some way to the Savior, Jesus.

The Bible contains hundreds of specific prophecies concerning Jesus the Messiah—some of which were made well over hundreds and even thousands of years prior to His First Coming. Every aspect of the life of Jesus was prophesied—the place of His birth, the nature of His birth, the quality of His ministry, the purpose of His life, and the agony of His death, and His resurrection. The literal fulfillment of so many prophecies in the life of one individual transcends any mere coincidence (as was shown prior) and serves to validate that Jesus was who He said He was—the divine Son of God.

Since all of the prophecies for Jesus’ First Coming were fulfilled to the finest detail, we CAN BE ‘SURE’ that the Bible itself is God’s revelation to humanity—since NO human ‘prognosticator’ could be 100% accurate.

The following are 45 of the most ‘significant’ Messianic prophecies fulfilled during Jesus’ First Coming, followed by 25 prophetic references related to the Person and the work of Jesus.

[ These are from the book “The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy” by prophecy expert, Mark Hitchcock (There is more details about the book in the “Resources” section below.) ]

Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus
– He was born of a woman (Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4) 
– He was a descendant of Abraham (Genesis 12:3, 7; Matthew 1:1; Galatians 3:16) 
– He was of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10; Hebrews 7:14, Revelation 5:5) 
– He was of the house or family of David (2 Samuel 7:12-13; Luke 1:31-33) 
– He was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-23) 
– He was called Emmanuel (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23) 
– He had a forerunner (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1-3; Matthew 3:1-3; Luke 1:76-78) 
– He was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:5-6; Luke 2:4-6) 
– He was worshiped by wise men and given gifts (Psalm 72:10-11; Isaiah 60:3, 6, 9; Matt 2:11)
– He was in Egypt for a season (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:15) 
– His birthplace was a place where infants were slaughtered (Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16) 
– He was zealous for the Father (Psalm 69:9; John 6:37-40) 
– He was filled with God’s Spirit (Isaiah 11:2; Luke 4:18-19) 
– He was a mighty healer (Isaiah 35:5-6; Matthew 8:16-17) 
– He ministered to the Gentiles (Isaiah 9:1-2, 42-1-3; Matthew 4:13-16; 12:17-21) 
– He spoke in parables (Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:10-15) 
– He was rejected by the Jewish people (Psalm 69:8; Isaiah 53:3; John 1:11, 7:5) 
– He made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:4-5) 
– He was praised by little children (Psalm 8:2; Matthew 21:16) 
– He was the rejected cornerstone (Psalm 118:22-23; Matthew 21:42) 
– His miracles were not believed (Isaiah 53:1; John 12:37-38) 
– He was betrayed by his friend for thirty pieces of silver (Psalm 41:9; Zechariah 11:12-13; Matt 26:14-16, 21-25)
– He was a man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3; Matthew 26:37-38) 
– He was forsaken by his disciples (Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31, 56) 
– He was beaten and spit upon (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67; 27:26) 
– His betrayal money was used to purchase a potter’s field (Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 27:9-10) 
– He was executed by means of piercing his hands and feet (Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10: John 19:34, 37) 
– He was crucified between two thieves (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38) 
– He was given vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21; Matthew 27:34) 
– His garments were divided, and soldiers gambled for them (Psalm 22:18; Luke 23:34) 
– He was surrounded & ridiculed by enemies (Psalm 22:7-8; Matthew 27:39-44) 
– He was thirsty on the cross (Psalm 22:15; John 19:28) 
– He commended His Spirit to the Father (Psalm 31:5: Luke 23:46) 
– He uttered a forsaken cry on the cross (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46) 
– He committed Himself to God (Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46) 
– He was hated without cause (Psalm 69:4; John 15:25) 
– People shook their heads as they saw Him on the cross (Psalm 109:25; Matthew 27:39) 
– He was silent before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12) 
– His bones were not broken (Exodus 12:46: Psalm 34:20; John 19:33-36) 
– He was stared at in death (Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 27:36: John 19:37) 
– He was buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60) 
– He rose from the dead (Psalm 16:10; Matthew 28:2-7) 
– He was and is a High Priest greater than Aaron (Psalm 11:4; Hebrews 5:4-6) 
– He ascended to glory (Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:8) 
– He was and is seated at the right Hand of the Father (Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 10:12-13)

Prophetic References To Jesus
– The coming seed of the woman, who will crush the serpent’s he sad (Genesis 3:15)
– Shiloh (“the one to whom it belongs”) (Genesis 49:10)
– The Passover Lamb (Exodus 12:1-51; John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7)
– The star from Jacob (Numbers 24:17)
– The great high priest (Psalm 110)
– The prophet (Deuteronomy 18:18)
– The King (2 Samuel 7:11-16; Luke 1:32-33)
– “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 32:1)
–  A righteous king (Isaiah 32:1)
– “My servant” (Isaiah 53:2)
– A man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3)
– The smiting stone, the smashing rock (Daniel 2:31-35)
– The Son of man (Daniel 7:13)
– The Anointed One (Daniel 9:25-26)
– The Son who will rule the world (Psalm 2)
– “My Shepherd” (Zechariah 13:7)
– The Lord of the temple (Malachi 3:1)
– The resurrection and the life (John 11:1-44)
– The glorified, risen Savior (Revelation 1:9-19)
– The Lord of the Church (Revelation 2-3)
– The Lamb of God (Revelation 4-5)
– The judge of the nations (Revelation 6:1-17)
– The miracle-born man child (Revelation 12-13)
– The coming King (Revelation 14-19)
– The Lord of Heaven and earth (Revelation 20-22)

The prophetic Scriptures validate Jesus as who He said He was—namely, God in the flesh.

Again, there are actually 109 separate and distinct prophecies concerning Jesus’ First Coming, and ALL of them were ‘LITERALLY’ FULFILLED. Consider, for example, the prophecy in Psalm 22:16 that the Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced. That prophecy was written by King David about a thousand years before the birth of Jesus (700 years before the invention of crucifixion as a form of execution!)

Studying Bible prophecy is vital because its very essence gives witness to Jesus.

SPECIAL ‘BLESSING’
A special ‘blessing’ is promised for those who study prophecy and pay attention to what it says.

When people think of Bible prophecy, the first book they think of, and maybe the only one, is Revelation. Revelation is the final book of the Bible and it records the consummation of God’s program for mankind and the world. The thing is, God promises a special blessing on those who study Bible prophecy: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near” [ Revelation 1:3 ].

Revelation is also the only book in the Bible that contains this specific unique promise, and six others (14:14; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7; 22:14). The inclusion of these blessings seems to anticipate that many would ignore and neglect the study of Bible prophecy, especially the book of Revelation.

[ NOTE: In contrast, Revelation also teaches a curse upon those who add to the words of its prophecies or take away from them! (Revelation 22:18-19) ].

WRAP-UP
Throughout history, prognosticators have tried to predict events that would rock the world. But, even the most intellectually gifted did not foresee key forces that would cause paradigm shifts in society.

Instead, disturbing doomsday scenarios have regularly surfaced, and they made great headlines. Thankfully, many of these predictions proved spectacularly wrong. Remember the concerns over the Y2K millennium bug, and all the hype over Dec. 21, 2012 (which many interpreted as the end of the world based on the Mayan calendar)? Both predictions rattled the public psyche, and many people actually feared the end of their lives. HOWEVER, nothing ‘bad’ happened!

PREDICTION ‘FAILURES’
Just consider a ‘smattering’ of predictions over the past century:

1903
“The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty—a fad.”
[ President of the Michigan Savings Bank ]

1911
“It will be an easy matter to convert a truckload of iron bars into virgin gold.”
[ Thomas Edison ]

1912
“The coming of the wireless era will make war impossible, because it will make war ridiculous.”
[ Guglielmo Marconi ]

1920
“A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.”
[ The New York Times ]

1932
“There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.”
[ Albert Einstein ]

1949
“Computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh only 1.5 tons.”
[ Popular Mechanics Magazine ]

1954
“If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.”
[ W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute ]

1955
“Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality in 10 years.”
[ Alex Lewyt, President of the Lewyt Vacuum Company ]

1966
By 1999, we will see rocket packs on our belts, flying cars, and climate-controlled cities under glass domes.
[ The Reader’s Digest ]

1969
“We can close the book on infectious diseases.”
[ William H. Stewart, Surgeon General of the U.S. ]

1977
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
[ Ken Olsen, founder of the Digital Equipment Corporation ]

1995
“I predict the Internet will go spectacularly supernova and in 1996, catastrophically collapse.”
[ Robert Metcalfe, Inventor of the Ethernet cable ].

1997
“Admit it [Apple], you’re out of the hardware game.”
[ Wired Magazine ]

Now, here’s a selection of predictions made in a 1964 report by the RAND Corporation, which put questions to 82 experts across various fields, and were asked what would be the earliest year they thought each could be achievable:

1980: Robots as household servants.
1980: Manned landing on Mars.
1995: Human lives artificially extended by 50 years.
1995: Automated voting.
1998: Directly recording information to the brain.
1999: A military force on the moon.
2000: Two-way communication with extra-terrestrials.
2015: Long-duration coma to allow a form of time travel.
2020: Breeding of apes and other animals for menial work.

So, isn’t it obvious that no one knows what the future will bring? Here are a few more things that were predicted:

– Flying cars, but not self-driving cars
– Jet packs, but not personal computers or the Internet
– The biggest stock market crash in history, but not the highest Dow, S&P500, and NASDAQ of all time

In fact, it doesn’t seem that ANYONE ‘predicted’ ANY of the following things a ’substantial’ amount of time (50-100 years) before they showed up:

– The radio
– The stock market crash of 1929
– The telephone
– Cars
– Planes
– The great depression
– World War 1
– The TV
– World War 2
– The personal computer
– The moon landing in 1969
– The Internet
– “Black Monday” in 1987
– The breakup and fall of the USSR in 1991
– The NASDAQ tech crash of 1999
– Drones
– Social media boom
– September 11th
– The 2008 global financial crisis
– Brexit
– The worldwide pandemic

So then, with all the prediction ‘failures’ that have happened in the past, why should one even ‘bother’ with ANY ‘predictions’? It seems that no one can predict the future with any success. None of the astrologers, clairvoyants, and fortune tellers in world history have predicted the future accurately.

Now, I know there are thousands of ‘charlatans’ who claim to be able to predict the future. However, you almost never hear about it until after the fact. They can never tell you anything of significance about the future right now, when it actually counts and could actually make a difference in your life.

How many prognosticators living in New York stood outside the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and warned people of the terrorist attacks on the morning of September 11, 2001? None. How many predicted the global financial crisis in 2008? None. The recent worldwide pandemic? None.

So, I’m thinking that if a clairvoyant could predict the future, they wouldn’t waste their time giving away the winning lottery numbers to complete strangers for a couple of hundred dollars (hourly rate)—or even a couple of thousand dollars. I’m thinking that they would use that knowledge to buy the winning lottery tickets for themselves. Right? Comedian Jay Leno said it well: “How come you never see a headline like ‘psychic wins lottery’?”

Again, if someone could really predict the future, they could make a ‘killing’ in the stock market, bankrupt every casino, and probably would have bought Bitcoin at nine cents! (July 2010 price).

It seems to me that when a clairvoyant predicts something, they seem to be intentionally ‘ambiguous’, vague, and non-committal in their predictions. They speak/write in such a way that their words are unfalsifiable and could mean almost anything. That way they—or other ‘interpreters’—can later ‘twist’ their words to mean anything they want them to mean.

Unfortunately, most believers and supporters seem to turn a blind eye to this, and tend to have very selective memories, only remembering the one or two things their favorite clairvoyant seemed to have guessed right, while simultaneously forgetting the ‘thousands’ of things they got wrong!

NOSTRADAMUS
Michel de Nostradame—universally known as just “Nostradamus”—is probably the most popular non-religious “prophet” that is still followed and interpreted today. Some people say that he “has predicted many events exactly as they occurred, many years before the event happened.”

The most compelling argument against Nostradamus’ powers is that his apparent “hits” are the result of random chance and creative interpretation. There are nearly 1,000 quatrains, most containing more than one prediction, and all but a few are described in vague, obscure terms (16th-century French terms that aren’t clear to most modern interpreters). Over the course of hundreds of years, it’s certainly possible that some events would line up with some predictions simply due to ‘coincidence’, however, few have!

In fact, Nostradamus may have phrased his prophecies with exactly this in mind. Most quatrains refer to deaths, wars or natural disasters—events that are sure to occur again and again throughout history.

Nostradamus’ esoteric style also increases the chances of a ‘perceived’ hit. His metaphorical writing highlights general relationships and conflicts, not specific details. This imprecise language does lend itself well to subjective interpretation, and when the exact meaning is unclear, it is easy to put in one’s own experiences to reach some sort of understanding.

This is a lot like modern horoscopes that typically are about a wide range of experiences that people regularly have, such as conflicts at work, happiness in relationships, and exciting new ‘life changes’. Chances are, these ‘predictions’ will line up with their life, at least some of the time.

It seems incredible to me that the sophisticated people of the 21st century would pay attention to the cryptic predictions of a man who lives in an age far more ‘superstitious’ than this one today. It also seems that the lure of the prophecies of Nostradamus is that human beings have an intensive curiosity about the future, and Nostradamus’ predictions are more detailed than most of his contemporaries 400+ years later.

The thing is, since 2001, there have not been any substantive claims of any Nostradamus predictions coming true. There was one rumor circulating in 2020 that he had accurately predicted the recent pandemic, although the supposed prophecy circulating online—one referencing a plague originating in the East and spreading to Italy—does not appear anywhere in his “Centuries” writings. Nostradamus’ works do make many references to plagues—which were common at the time that he lived—but were not detailed enough to even be close to what happened in the past few years.

I think Stephane Gerson, professor of French, French Studies, and History at New York University said it well when he commented that Nostradamus’ lasting appeal was due to the fact that his “arcane predictions could mean anything.”

The legend of Nostradamus persists not because we want to understand what’s ahead, but because we want to believe—desperately—that some ‘divinable’ order lies behind all the chaos.

BIBLICAL ‘PROPHETS’
So, for me, a fair consideration of the facts clearly demonstrates that Nostradamus was not a genuine ‘prophet’, and his feigned ability stands in bold contrast to the unambiguous and precisely fulfilled predictions of the Old Testament prophets.

Consider, for instance, the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures. Scholars have cataloged more than 330 of them. A convincing example is found in Isaiah 53.

In this remarkable chapter of a dozen verses, there are more than twenty-five prophetic details regarding Jesus. If I may borrow the words of one pro-Nostradamus interpreter, Dan Barker, he said that, “It would be very unlikely that so many predictions would all be accidentally satisfied in one person.”

That is my very point—these WERE NOT ‘accidentally’ fulfilled!

According to “The Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy” by J. Barton Payne, there are 1,239 prophecies in the Tanakh (Old Testament) and 578 in the writings of the Apostles (New Testament), for a total of 1,817 prophetic messages expressed in 8,351 verses. That would mean that prophecies constitute 26.8% of the Bible’s volume. Then, within in these prophetic verses, there are around 333 prophecies about Jesus. Out of these, 109 were fulfilled at Jesus’ First Coming, so 224 are expected to be fulfilled at His Second Coming. 

‘REASONS’ TO STUDY PROPHECY
Many shy away from the study of prophecy for a variety of reasons. Some avoid studying it because they believe prophecy is irrelevant to their Christian ‘walk’ and a waste of time. Others believe that prophecy is too complicated and that they will never understand it.  Still, others believe that prophecy is all doom and gloom and they don’t want to think about the end of times. 

I, hopefully, with the ‘reasons’ listed below—and presented in detail above—have proven that they are mistaken in this thinking.

– Prophecy helps us understand ‘HISTORY’
– Prophecy helps us understand the ‘WHOLE’ BIBLE
– Prophecy proves the ‘AUTHENTICITY’ of the Bible
– Prophecy can help insulate believers from ‘HERESY’
– Prophecy reveals the ‘SOVEREIGNTY’ of God over time and history
– Prophecy helps us understand the ‘SIGNS’ of the times in which we live
– Prophecy tells about the ‘CONSEQUENCES’ of not believing in them
– Prophecy tells about the ‘IMMINENT RETURN’ of Jesus (the “Rapture”)
– Prophecy encourages the believer to have ‘PATIENCE’
– Prophecy gives us a proper ‘PERSPECTIVE’ in life
– Prophecy give the believer ‘HOPE’ for their future
– Prophecy motivates the believer to service and ‘GODLY LIVING’
– Prophecy is a powerful ‘TOOL’ for evangelism
– Prophecy provides an ‘ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE’ and peace of mind for today
– Prophecy is something ‘GOD CONSIDERS IMPORTANT’
– Prophecy shows that Jesus is the ‘SUBJECT’ of prophecy
– God promises a special ‘BLESSING’ to those who study and pay attention to prophecy

‘MOCKING’ BIBLICAL PROPHECY
It is a sad reality that multitudes of believers today in many churches have little or no knowledge at all about what the Bible actually teaches about the Last Days and the Second Coming of Jesus.

Many actually scoff at those who take Bible prophecy seriously. However, the Apostle Peter had something to say about that kind of attitude:

“Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”
[ 2 Peter 3:8 ].

The Bible says that people ‘mocking’ believers is one of the evidences of the soon return of Jesus.

‘REJECTING’ BIBLICAL PROPHECY
I read once a comment that sometimes believers treat the book of Revelation like the priests and the Levites treated the Samaritan who was wounded on the road—they ‘pass by’ it, avoiding it.  ;^(

The Bible says that the closer we get to Jesus’ Second Coming, the more people WILL NOT believe it. Sadly, there will be more and more people ‘departing’ from the faith. There will be more and more people ‘rejecting’ the truth of the Gospel. These are just one more of the ‘indicators’ to look for in the last days.

This increased rejection of God’s truth in the last days can cause some of us to worry. However, let’s remember the reassuring words of Jesus:

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me… And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also”
[ John 14:1, 3 ].

God’s Word IS ‘certain’ and don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise! God WILL ‘fulfill’ His prophetic word—He ALWAYS has, with 100% accuracy! You can ‘COUNT’ on Him!

Jesus could come back in the next decade, this next year, this next month, or even this VERY DAY! (I pray He comes SOON!) However, until that day, let me encourage you to FIRST ‘become’ a child of God, and then SECONDLY, be watching, waiting, and working to bring others to a belief in Jesus!

SPECULATION IS ‘FUTILE’
We are living in a time where many people are saying that Biblical prophecy is not important, and that it is the stuff of fairytales. Some say that studying prophecy is something that only those who are calamitous and apocalyptic do.

Others say that speculating on the exact timing of Jesus’ return is futile, because Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Since Jesus said He didn’t know the day or hour, why should we try to figure it out?
 
Well, the Apostle Peter had something to say about that:

“We have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts”
[ 2 Peter 1:19 ].

Believers are called to be ‘watchman’ AND a ‘witness’ [ They can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time! ]. There are no Scriptures that tell us that in the last days we are to ignore the events that have been pointed out to us as ‘signposts’ that indicate the imminent return of Jesus. If we do, we might be like the virgins who fell asleep waiting for the bridegroom.

[ For more details about the “Ten Virgins” and the concept of the “Bridegroom,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/how-to-prepare-to-meet-someone-important-v276/ ].

Dr. Wilbur M. Smith suggests that there are three different attitudes one may take toward the future. The first is INDIFFERENCE, the second is FEAR and the third is HOPE. I’m thinking that no intelligent person would take the first, no one needs to be ensnared in the second, but all should want to possess the third. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” [ Romans 15:4 ].

One of the strongest fears which drive many to despair is the fear of the future. Most persons simply cannot have peace of mind unless they have a measure of certainty of what the next day will bring forth. Of this, no man can be absolutely sure and the awful dread of uncertainty robs the average person of peace of mind which may, in turn, create a spirit of despair and hopelessness. While the heart of the hopeless and fearful man is failing him, the Christian, with an understanding of Bible prophecy, can face the future with confidence, comfort, and discernment!

TOO ‘DIFFICULT’ TO UNDERSTAND
Maybe you’ve avoided the study of prophecy because it seems too difficult to understand. Perhaps, if you were honest that the present has you completely preoccupied and overwhelmed.

Many Christians think that prophecy as a gigantic, intimidating puzzle—difficult to piece together and impossible to figure out. But every puzzle can be solved if you approach it the right way! Putting the edge pieces together first builds the ‘framework’ that makes it easier to fit the other pieces in their place.

Trying to understand the Bible can sometimes be a difficult task, but with God’s help, it is possible. Remember, if you are a believer in Jesus, God’s Spirit ‘indwells’ you (Romans 8:9). So, the same God who “breathed out” Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17), is the same God who indwells you and will open your mind to the truth and understanding of His Word if you rely on Him. This is not to say that God will always make it easy, but God desires the believer to search His Word and to fully explore its treasures. Understanding the Bible is not always easy, but it is always eminently rewarding.

[ FYI: For more details on gaining a deeper understanding of the Bible, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/gaining-a-deep-understanding-v264/ ].

‘HOPE’ FOR THE FUTURE
Prophecy gives us a glimpse into the future, so that we will know how to live in the present. It protects us from deception and prepares us for Jesus’ return (The book of Revelation is a guidebook to teach us the sequence of events leading up to the return of Jesus and paints a picture of the events that will bring the world as we know it to a finale. The word “revelation” itself means the unfolding of that which was previously hidden or unknown.)

Fulfilled prophecies of the past remind us that prophecies of things yet to come are true and ‘CERTAIN’ to be fulfilled. That means the believer should live each day in the light and hope of that certainty.

The study of prophecy also provides an ‘anchor’ for one’s faith. One’s faith will be revitalized as they see the fulfillment of prophecy in the past, as well as, how prophecy is being fulfilled in the present, and will encourage them to believe that God will also fulfill His promises that are yet future.

HOW TO LIVE A ‘GODLY LIFE’
Biblical prophecies and their literal fulfillment fascinate our curiosity and challenge our minds, but they are ultimately intended to bring us to a personal point of ‘DECISION’ and ‘FAITH’. If the Bible predicted these things would happen and they actually did happen, then we must take Jesus’ claims about Himself seriously. If He alone fulfilled these prophecies, then He alone is the Savior, the Son of God, King of kings and Lord of lords. Then, if He is, then He ‘DESERVES’ our faith, our lives, and our COMPLETE ‘DEVOTION’!

Prophecy is worthy of our attention, study, and devotion. The Apostle Paul said that one should, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” [ 2 Timothy 2:15 ]. This applies to our study of all Scripture, but it is certainly relevant to our understanding of the Bible’s many prophecies. The believer’s goal must be to know what God has spoken so that they may live with hope, holiness, and a desire to help those who have yet to experience a relationship with Jesus.

Knowing prophecy also helps the believer with RIGHTEOUS LIVING. For instance, if you are aware of Jesus’ imminent return, that should impact your desire to ‘witness’ to others about the Gospel. If the believer takes prophesy seriously, it will affect the ‘way’ they live.

‘SIGNS’ OF THE TIMES
It seems to me—and MANY prophecy experts—as we see what’s happening in the world today, that there seems to be some kind of ’BUILD UP’ to all of the signs that Jesus mentioned, and that the time IS drawing near!

– Israel is back in their Land after almost 2,000 years
– The Middle East is a ’powder keg’, and the countries mentioned in End Times prophecies are ‘prepping’ for their ‘role’. [ Especially the Gog-Magog War (Ezekiel 38-39) that was discussed last month (April 2022). ]
– The Bible mentions that there will be a peace treaty—implemented by the Antichrist—that will actually ‘begin’ the Tribulation. This is exactly what everyone in the world is wanting—peace.
– The Bible says that, during the Tribulation, there is going to be a global financial ‘meltdown’, and we can certainly see how things are heading that way today
– We are seeing globalism take over—with all the surveillance happening these days. In the UK, there are more than 500,000 surveillance cameras being able to know exactly where one is (and it is estimated that there are even more in China). [ The Antichrist will take all these technologies to dominate the world. ]

The ‘signs’ of the times are like runway lights that are lighting up as the return of Jesus approaches. In the Old Testament, the prophet Daniel (9:1-2) was reading Jeremiah and saw that his prophecy of the Israelites being in Babylon 70 years was almost up. So, even the prophet Daniel studied prophecy to understand the time he was living in. Then, if Daniel needed it back then, how much more do you think we need it today. (So, the believer should be following Daniel’s godly example.)

Most importantly, the believer needs to BE SURE they are READY for Jesus to return. I’m thinking that no one wants to ‘stand’ in front of God in the filthy ‘rags’ of their own righteousness, since the entrance ‘requirements’ is ’PERFECTION’ and NO ONE is. So, you WON’T make it into Heaven.

HOWEVER, one CAN receive that ‘perfect’ righteousness if they believe ‘in’ Jesus—since He ‘IMPUTES’ His righteousness ‘onto’ the believer when they are “born again.”

Prophecy also prepares the believer for future events. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t read about wars or rumors of wars, natural disasters or lawlessness [ Now, yes, those have been happening since Jesus, and before He came the first time. HOWEVER, the amount and intensity of these events have NEVER been like then have been in the past 100 years. ] Yet Jesus told His disciples to look for these signs of the end of the age: “These things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them” [ John 16:4 ].

So, by reading Biblical passages about prophecy, you will be prepared for the days ahead. For even though the time of sorrows is coming, that means the day of redemption is drawing near!

AVOID ‘TERRIBLE TIMES’
The message of every prophet of the Bible is that if you turn your life around, if you listen to God and heed His warnings and change, you can ‘AVOID’ THE TERRIBLE TIMES prophesied to come on our world.

All prophecy is ultimately a message of hope. We have God’s assurance that He is in perfect control, that He is a God of love (1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16), and that His desire is for us to turn to Him in heartfelt repentance and turn our lives over to Him. If and when we do so, He promises to bless and care for us, intent on fulfilling His purpose for us.

He tells us what we must do:

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon”
[ Isaiah 55:6-7 ].

More than anything, God gives us prophecy to help us understand who and what He is and HOW MUCH we ‘need’ Him. He’s ready, willing and able to answer us when we call out to Him. Now, He’s waiting for all unbelievers to take that ‘step’!

PROPHECY IS ‘REALLY IMPORTANT’!
One of the benefits of studying Bible prophecy is that it sheds light on an understanding of the Word of God. Prophecy is a mighty ‘key’ to understanding the Bible. It puts the ‘pieces’ together.

Some believe that to get our minds on tomorrow is not relevant for today since it can become a ‘distraction’ from the present. If that is the case, there is A LOT of ‘distraction’ in the Bible!

Prophecy is dominant in the Bible, with 25 of the books of the Bible being prophetic. In the 260 chapters in the New Testament, there are over 300 references to the coming of Jesus (That makes 1 out of 30 verses in the New Testament speak of the coming of Jesus). Of the 27 books of the New Testament, 23 refer to the coming of Jesus. Of the four that do not mention it, three are one-chapter books.

Jesus Himself referred to His own coming 21 times. For every time the First Coming of Jesus is mentioned in the Bible, His Second Coming is mentioned eight times.

Believers are exhorted over 50 times to be ready for the coming of Jesus. They are told to live looking for His return. The “law of proportion” in the Bible has to do with the frequency something is mentioned as to its importance. That being the case, prophecy is VERY IMPORTANT!

Since over 25% of the Bible deals with prophecies, if the believer is ignorant of these facts, then the believer is doing a gross ‘injustice’ to themselves. (It is estimated that about 75% of Biblical prophecy has been fulfilled and about 25% is yet to be fulfilled within the course of future history.)

The very fact that God has revealed so many details about events to come in both testaments tells us that it is important. At the center of biblical eschatology is the blessed hope of the appearing of Jesus (Titus 2:13).

Not only should the believer be interested in prophetic events to come, they are also to be looking for their Savior, with whom they will spend eternity! “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—lest, coming suddenly, he finds you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” [ Mark 13:35-36 ].

Prophecy enables the believer to intelligently “watch” the current world news with understanding and be able to analyze it in light of what is prophesied to happen—being able to ‘sort out’ what has long-range significance from the flood of news.

A watchman in the Old Testament was to sound a warning whenever he saw danger approaching. I’m trying to be that ‘WATCHMAN’ for you!

[ FYI: For more details on being a “watchman,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/being-a-watchman-v250/ ].

PROPHECY IS A ‘BLESSING’!
Then, there is a special blessing promised to those who study prophecy and pay attention to what it says—which is revealed at the beginning and the end of the book of Revelation: “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” [ Revelation 1:3 ], and “Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” [ Revelation 22:7 ].

The thing is, this promise is (in the Greek) a ‘present tense’ promise, meaning that it is granted to those who ‘continue’ to read.

So, I don’t know about you, but when God tells me specifically how to receive a blessing, I’m going to try my best to be prepared to receive it!

“TWO WORLD” VIEW
The Gospels record dozens and dozens of statements about future things in the teachings of Jesus. So then, why is there such an emphasis on prophetic events in the ministries of Jesus and the Apostles?

Well, it is because they knew that these truths about the future are essential in living a life that is wise, holy, and godly. These truths give the believer needed strength to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God” while at the same time cultivating the much-needed “two world view” in the mind and heart of the believer.

A “two world view” can be described as living well for Jesus in this world because there is a clear ‘focus’ on the world to come. When believers do have this clear focus on and understanding of the world to come, their lives will be lived with greater authenticity and with greater consistency. 

This is the biblical approach to life found in the Scriptures whether it be the Old Testament saint who “died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13), or the New Testament saint who understood that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). This has been the thinking of serious believers over the centuries.

Years ago, C.S. Lewis observed the need for this “two world view.” He said:

“Hope is one of the theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things that a Christians is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this world. Aim at heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”

One can only wonder what Lewis might write today as he analyzed the Church in this new millennium. Over the last few decades, it seems that the vision of the world to come has become badly ‘blurred’ in the American church. The evidence seems to indicate that we have steadily embraced more of a “one world view” which focuses instead on improving our lot in the ‘PRESENT’ WORLD. Much of the emphass of contemporary preaching and writing has been on how we can “succeed” and enjoy life here and now.

God has given us many good things to enjoy in this world (1 Timothy 4:4-5), however, this world must not be the believer’s focus since they are “strangers and aliens” (Hebrews 11:9, 13; 1 Peter 2:11). The world they live in is to be viewed as a ‘battleground’ and not a ‘playground’.

[ According to a recent article based on current studies by Gallup and Barna, American Christians “are as likely to embrace lifestyles every bit as hedonistic, materialistic, self-centered, and sexually immoral as the world in general.” ] This situation is NOT the ‘product’ of a biblical “two world view.”

This is similar to the idea put forth by Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine) in his book, “The City of God.” The book presents human history as a conflict between what Augustine calls the “Earthly City” (colloquially referred to as the “City of Man”) and the “City of God,” a conflict that is destined to end in victory for the latter. The City of God is marked by people who forgo earthly pleasure to dedicate themselves to the eternal truths of God, now revealed fully in the Christian faith. The Earthly City, on the other hand, consists of people who have immersed themselves in the cares and pleasures of the present, passing world that is damned for eternity.

By our innate ‘nature’, we are involved in the city of man, and only by God’s grace, will we ever be involved with and devoted to the city of God. The earthly city—the city of man—is destined to pass away. However, the heavenly city—the city of God—will go on forever and ever! So, if you are a believer and are loyal and obedient to God over all others, this world is NOT your ‘home’—you are just passing through.

The Apostle Paul said that, “But our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” [ Philippians 3:20 ]. Be sure you are longing for that “better country”—Heaven (Hebrews 11:16).

[ Note: Augustine’s “cities” are also symbolic embodiments of the two spiritual powers—faith and unbelief—that have contended with each other since the fall of the angels. They are inextricably intermingled on this earth and will remain so until time’s end. ]

Biblical prophecy understood and embraced will have SIGNIFICANT and positive results in the believer’s life here on earth, BUT more so in the life to come!

CONCLUSION
What would you do if the National Weather Service suddenly interrupted you with a tornado warning instructing everyone to take immediate shelter in a safe place How would you respond? Would you ignore the warning or would you immediately run to your basement? Few people would dismiss the Weather Service’s prediction of the future. 

Just like the Weather Service, God has filled His Word, the Bible, with future ‘predictions’ of things to come. They are called “prophecies” which provide ‘hints’ of future events.

So, since the Bible is considered the believer’s ‘guidebook’ for life, God obviously intended for prophecy to influence their lives in some way. Why then is it seemingly so unimportant to countless believers around the world?

Well, there are a few reasons why—and I hope I answered most of them for you in this post. However, there is a reason I have not mentioned yet, and that is that there is a ‘being’ that doesn’t want you to believe what God is saying in the Bible, especially what He is saying about the future—specifically the Devil’s future. Because of this, Satan will ‘tell’ you that prophecy is not important, but that is a ‘LIE’!

Satan knows that if you read Bible prophecy—especially the book of Revelation—you will learn of his coming ‘doom’. Then, if you see Satan as a ‘defeated foe’, that will help you to be victorious over him every day. So, prophecy can ‘protect’ you from Satan’s attacks in the present and is ‘VITALLY’ IMPORTANT to you EVERY DAY!

[ FYI: For more details about how to ‘battle’ against Data (the “Armor of God”), view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/ready-for-battle-v235/ ].

Though we may not know the exact makeup, sequence, and timing of future events, we are to ‘plan’ as though Jesus were not returning in our lifetime but ‘live’ as though He were returning tomorrow.

ALL the biblical prophets predicted that Jesus is coming again, and I—as well as MANY prophecy experts—believe that, because of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of biblical ‘signs’, He is probably coming back REAL SOON (to ‘Rapture’ His children).

ARE YOU ‘READY’ for Jesus to return?

The thing is, MULTITUDES of “professing” Christians ARE NOT ‘READY’ for the Bridegroom (Jesus). [ One of the reasons among others He has not come back is that He is waiting for us to ‘become’ ready. ] Just like Lot’s wife, whose heart and life was enslaved to this world, she perished in the flames. So, DON’T let this HAPPEN TO YOU! Ignorance is NO ‘EXCUSE’!

The believer MUST NOT ‘IGNORE’ prophecies since God will hold them accountable for ‘knowing’ about them but not ‘doing’ anything about them. Such is the ‘spirit of Laodicea’ that pervades the Church in these days. If we do not take the words of Jesus seriously, then you WILL reap the ‘consequences’!

So then, ARE YOU A ‘TRUE’ BELIEVER? If not, God just might be trying to GET YOUR ‘ATTENTION’ with this post!

[ FYI: For more details on whether or not God has your ‘attention’ yet, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/got-your-attention-yet-v255/ ].

If you are NOT A ‘BELIEVER’, the Scriptures describe a TERRIBLE ‘FATE’ for you!:

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels… and these will go away into eternal punishment” 
[ Matthew 25:41, 48 ].

The Apostle Paul graphically adds to this statement by Jesus:

“When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” 
[ 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 ].

Paul’s prophetic word on the fate of unbelievers is TERRIFYING. They not only will be sent into eternal fire, but their lives will be ‘ruined’ eternally (“eternal destruction”). This eliminates anyone having a good time ‘partying’ in Hell, or any other such nonsense! That which God designed life to be and have by way of meaning and purpose WILL BE GONE—FOREVER!!!

Pastor and author D. Edmond Hiebert summarized this well: “This banishment from the presence of ‘the Lord’, the glorified Jesus, will be the very essence of eternal punishment. The result will be a negative vacuum for them, depriving them of the Lord’s favor and all which gives meaning and blessedness to life.”

It will be like being eternally depressed, EVERY ‘SECOND’ of the day! Unbelievers might not believe me when I say this since these days they are recipients of God’s “common grace” and are therefore being ‘blessed’. HOWEVER, in the lake of fire, there appears to be a COMPLETE ‘SEPARATION’ from any of God’s grace and mercy—FOREVER!!!

To sum up, God wants us to ‘know’ prophecy well—primarily those related to Jesus’ Second Coming (with the Rapture preceding that). God’s seeming delay in bringing about the consummation of all things is NOT a result of ‘INDIFFERENCE’ but of ‘PATIENCE’ in waiting for all who will come to repentance. God is giving us EVERY CHANCE to ‘REPENT’ of our sin and return to Him. He is being patient with us because He wants EVERYONE to come to repentance! “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance”
[ 2 Peter 3:9 ].

God wants everyone to hear the Gospel and does not desire anyone to perish eternally (1 Timothy 2:4). [ Note: This does not mean that all will be saved, for if a person rejects God’s grace and salvation, then they remain lost and there is NO remedy! ]

Bible prophecy removes the believer from a place of ignorance to a place of alertness, and from a place of complacency to a place of encouragement: “Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have the habit of doing. Rather, let us encourage each other, and all the more as you see the Day approaching” [ Hebrews 10:25 ]. THIS is what I am trying to do FOR YOU!

So, when one ‘THOUGHTFULLY’ CONSIDERS the way in which biblical prophecy was used by Jesus and His apostles, it is apparent that this was not just a ‘peripheral’ area of theology to them. They saw that these ‘PRACTICAL’ truths are powerful helps and motivators which provide needed wisdom and strength to live a godly life—every day. So, if biblical prophecy is expounded ‘clearly’ and ‘correctly’ and is embraced as true by believers, it will have profound effects on the way believers live their lives—with that “TWO WORLDS VIEW” concept I discussed earlier.

[ Again, note that biblical prophecy is only “relevant” to the ‘BELIEVER’ with a mindset to please God with their lives here on earth, and excited to be in that “better country” someday (Hebrews 11:9-16). ] 

My ‘BOTTOM LINE’ to you is this: DON’T IGNORE BIBLICAL PROPHECY! Take the biblical prophetical hints of the future VERY ‘SERIOUSLY’. When you listen to or read your news ‘feed’, filter what is happening now in the world through biblical prophecy. It WILL “guard your heart” and give you a “peace that surpasses understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

So, HOPEFULLY, after all this, you now realize that there is NO ‘LEGITIMATE’ REASON that one can use for refusing to study the prophetic Scriptures, and that there is ONLY One—the God of the Bible—that can predict the future with 100% accuracy!

[ Excerpts by: George Dvorsky; Tom Harris; Melanie Radzicki McManus; Steve Bright; John Herrman; Julia Kindt; Amanda Rees; Wikipedia; Encyclopedia Britannica; Cheryl L. Hauer;  Dr. Michael Rydelnik; John Malan; Stephanie Solberg; Michael J. Vlach; Mark Hitchcock; Robert Jeffress; Hugh Ross; Scott Ashley; David Jeremiah; Johnny Pope; Blow the Trumpet in Zion; Dr. Bruce Logan; Paul Benware; Wayne Jackson; Life Lessons; Colin Dickey; Sara Kettler ]

RELATED POSTS:

“Why Bother With ‘Predictions’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/why-bother-with-predictions-v279/

“‘Fearful’ Of World War III?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/fearful-of-world-war-III-v278/

“‘Investigating’ Something”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/investigating-something-v277/

“‘HOW’ To Prepare To Meet Someone Important”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/how-to-prepare-to-meet-someone-important-v276/

“‘WHY’ Does Someone Return?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/why-does-someone-return-v275/

“‘WHEN’ Will Something Important Happen?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/when-will-something-important-happen-v274/

“‘WHERE’ You Return To”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/where-you-return-to-v273/

“‘WHAT’ Have You Done Lately?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/what-have-you-done-lately-v272/

“It’s ‘WHO’ You Know”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/its-who-you-know-v271/

“What Really ‘Matters’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/what-really-matters-v270/

“A Sense Of ‘Urgency’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/a-sense-of-urgency-v269/

“The ‘Final’ Deception”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-final-deception-v268/

“The ‘Ongoing’ Deception”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-ongoing-deception-v267/

“Being ‘Discerning’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/being-discerning-v266/

“Gaining A Deep ‘Understanding’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/gaining-a-deep-understanding-v264/

“‘Presence’ Withdrawn?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/presence-withdrawn-v257/

“‘Protection’ Removed?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/protection-removed-v256/

“Got Your ‘Attention’ Yet?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/got-your-attention-yet-v255/

“Are You ‘Blind’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/are-you-blind-v252/

“‘Heed’ The Warning!”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/heed-the-warning-v251/

“Being A ‘Watchman’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/being-a-watchman-v250/

“Last ‘Generation’:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/last-generation-v249/

“Mankind’s ‘Destiny’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/mankinds-destiny-v247/

“‘Final’ Tribulation”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/final-tribulation-v246/

“‘Blessed’ Hope”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/blessed-hope-v245/

“Ready For ‘Battle’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/ready-for-battle-v235/

“‘Saved’ From Death”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/

“‘Mayday!-Mayday!-Mayday’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/mayday-mayday-mayday-v218/

“Are You ‘Prepared’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/are-you-prepared-v210/

“‘Trusted’ Prophecies”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/trusted-prophecies-v167/

‘PRAYER’ OF REPENTANCE
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying in the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ FYI: This is a great sermon on the “Call to Repentance” by John MacArthur from his book “The Gospel According to Jesus”:
https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/90-22/the-call-to-repentance/
(Transcript:
http://www.spiritedesign.com/TheCallToRepentance-JohnMacArthur(Jul-27-2019).pdf) ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].


<<< RESOURCES >>>


The Writings Of Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies For The Future, Past And Present: Including The Almanacs
By: Michel De Nostradamus

The complete writings of Nostradamus, unadulterated and as written, by Nostradamus himself. Unlock the secrets to the past, present and future, and draw your own conclusions, with this master key provided by the greatest seer himself, Nostradamus!


Nostradamus: An Illustrated Guide to His Predictions
By: Millie Ridge

Examines the prophesies of Nostradamus and explains his predictions of the English Civil War, the French Revolution, the rise of Hitler, unrest in the Middle East, and a terrible war that will begin in 1999


Mammoth Book of Nostradamus and Other Prophets
By: Damon Wilson

Examining the various theories about how precog ition could work, this book discusses the nature of time, the possibility of contact with a spiritual world, the collective unconscious and the significance of astrology. It also outlines the major prophesies and the prophet Nostradamus’s life and times, supported by exaplanatory notes and historical data.


The Mask of Nostradamus: The Prophecies of the World’s Most Famous Seer
By: James Randi

Nostradamus finally meets his match – internationally famous magician and debunker of New Age quackery – James Randi!The Mask of Nostradamus is the first in-depth biography of this intriguing sixteenth-century astrologer and physician whose book of prophecies, The Centuries, is claimed by many to have foretold the Great Fire of London, the French Revolution, the rise of Hitler, and other crucial historical events. In his superb study of Nostradamus’ life and times, Randi shows the extent to which contemporary beliefs in magic and astrology adulterated sixteenth-century science, and how Nostradamus used his skills as a physician and poet to become a cherished counselor to the courts of Europe. Finally, Randi exposes some of the tricks used by Nostradamus to make his prophecies seem authentic, and the rationalizations of his predictions by his followers through the centuries.Four hundred years after his death, Nostradamus continues to fascinate us. This is the first serious exploration of this complex figure whose fame still echoes in our own time.


An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural
By: James Randi

In this updated and expanded version of his remarkable encyclopedia, James Randi casts his cynical eye on the dubious claims of the occult and the supernatural. With hundreds of entries and illustrations throughout, this book examines the shady world of manipulators, occultists, and shamanists in microscopic detail. Topics include Jeane Dixon’s long string of failed predictions, the elaborate hoax surrounding the mystery of the Abominable Snowman, and much more.


Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions
By: James Randi

James Randi is internationally known as a magician and escape artist. But for the past thirty-five years of his professional life, he has also been active as an investigator of the paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims that have impressed the thinking of the public for a generation: ESP, psychokinesis, psychic detectives, levitation, psychic surgery, UFOs, dowsing, astrology, and many others. Those of us unable to discriminate between geniune scientific research and the pseudoscientific nonsense that has resulted in fantastic theories and fancies have long needed James Randi and Flim-Flam!In this book, Randi explores and exposes what he believes to be the outrageous deception that has been promoted widely in the media. Unafraid to call researchers to account for their failures and impostures, Randi tells us that we have been badly served by scientists who have failed to follow the procedures required by their training and traditions. Here he shows us how what he views as sloppy research has been followed by rationalizations of evident failures, and we see these errors and misrepresentations clearly pointed out. Mr. Randi provides us with a compelling and convincing document that will certainly startle and enlighten all who read it.


The Prophecies & Enigmas of Nostradamus
By: Liberte E. LeVert 


The Basics of Bible Prophecy: Building a Firm Foundation through God’s Prophetic Word
By: Dr David Reagan and Darryl Nunnelley

Bible prophecy can be a playground for fanatics or it can be green pastures for disciples. In this book, the authors show how prophecy can motivate people to holiness, inspire them to evangelism and provide them with hope.

In the process, they supply answers to many intriguing questions about prophecy like the following:

How should Bible prophecy be interpreted symbolically or literally?

Why are there so many end time viewpoints, and what are they?

Have all Old Testament prophecies been fulfilled?

How does Bible prophecy confirm the Bible as the Word of God and Jesus as God in the flesh?

What happens after death?

Will Heaven be an ethereal, spiritual existence, or will it be a tangible one in new perfected bodies on a new earth?

What are the signs of the times, and do they indicate that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return?

Is the Rapture of the Church a biblical concept, and, if so, when is it most likely to happen?

Is Jesus going to return to this earth to reign for a thousand years, or is His reign going on now from Heaven?

Why does end time prophecy focus on the Jewish people and the nation of Israel?

What is the most likely sequence of end time events?

The book is designed for both individual and group study.

The 24 lessons in this book with accompanying DVD are presented in a down-to-earth, easy-to-understand language, and every point is substantiated with Scripture references.


The Amazing Claims of Bible Prophecy: What You Need to Know in These Uncertain Times
By: Mark Hitchcock

With over 500,000 Bible prophecy books sold, Mark Hitchcock is fast becoming one of the most popular and widely trusted voices on this topic. The Amazing Claims of Bible Prophecy is his newest release.

This book takes a fascinating look at one of the most important aspects of Bible prophecy: It confirms the divine origin and complete reliability of God’s Word. Only God―who is all-knowing―can tell what lies ahead with 100 percent accuracy.

Readers will examine ten past prophecies and their astounding fulfillments, all of which serve as profound evidence for both unbelievers and believers that God’s Word can be trusted.
Readers will also explore ten future prophecies and see how today’s events foreshadow the fact Earth’s final hour is near.
This resource will encourage believers toward a deeper confidence in the Word and equip them with a powerful defense against those who question the Bible’s truth claims.


Exploring the Future – A Comprehensive Guide to Bible Prophecy
By: John Phillips

Books in the John Phillips Commentary Series are designed to provide pastors, Sunday school teachers, and students of the Scripture with doctrinally sound interpretation that emphasizes the practical application of Bible truth. Working from the familiar King James Version, Dr. Phillips not only provides helpful commentary on the text, but also includes detailed outlines and numerous illustrations and quotations. Anyone wanting to explore the meaning of God’s Word in greater depth—for personal spiritual growth or as a resource for preaching and teaching—will welcome the guidance and insights of this respected series.


Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy: The Complete Guide to Scriptural Predictions and Their Fulfillment
By: J. Barton Payne

After twenty years of research, Dr. J. Barton Payne has compiled the one complete guide to Biblical prophecy. From the prediction of Adam’s death in Genesis 2: 17 to the prophecy of mankind’s perpetual worship of God in the new heaven and earth (Psalm 72:5), the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIBLICAL PROPHECY discusses every verse of prophetic matter in Scripture. It identifies every probable point of fulfillment whether in the past, present, or still in the future.

The first 144 pages of the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIBLICAL PROPHECY set forth a systematic approach to the subject of Biblical prophecy and the legitimate place for prediction in it. The ENCYCLOPEDIA is arranged according to the 66 books of the Bible. In each book, all the verses on one prophetic theme are treated in one combined discussion. For example:

The 12 verses of Genesis that foretell God’s granting of the land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham are discussed together. It is then shown how the promise was fulfilled in the days of Joshua.

One of the ENCYCLOPEDIA’S concluding summaries lists all the 737 major subjects that appear in Biblical prediction, with the books and paragraphs in which each is found. This way, each prophecy can be traced from its first appearance in the Bible to its last.

Among the many features is a complete list of all the Scriptural prophecies pertaining to Christ. No other book has ever examined Biblical prophecy so thoroughly or presented it in such a balanced perspective as the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIBLICAL PROPHECY.

•1,817 entries covering all the Biblical predictions in both the Old and New Testaments
•A complete discussion of all 8,352 predictive verses in the Bible
•14 tables, including three on the Book of Revelation
•Bibliography
•4 summaries
•4 statistical appendixes
•5 complete indexes

An indispensable tool for students of the Bible, for students in theological seminaries and Bible colleges, for pastors as a reference guide, and for concerned lay people. The ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIBLICAL PROPHECY is certain to bring a fresh understanding and rewarding insights of the bible.


Are You Ready for the End of Time?: Understanding Future Events from Prophetic Passages of the Bible
By: J. C. Ryle

J. C. Ryle, accepted as one of the foremost Bible teachers of the last 200 years, turns his attention to the future. He investigates the nature of biblical prophecy, signs of the End Times, the Second Coming of Christ and the future state of the Church. He is careful not to push his interpretation of the texts, purposefully avoiding anything that can be called speculative or conjectural. Ryle analyses 8 passages and gives an 11–point summary of his prophetical creed.


The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy
By: Stephen M. Miller

Wondering if the end of the world is near? Check out The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy for a fair and thoughtful review of various end-time theories. From Stephen M. Miller bestselling author of Who’s Who and Where’s Where in the Bible, this guide introduces readers to all aspects of prophecy—from Old Testament predictions made and already fulfilled to end-times prophecies of events yet to come. Written in Miller’s casual, balanced, journalistic style, this book is a fascinating survey of mysterious biblical passages and their various interpretations. Lavishly illustrated, with gorgeous charts and graphics, The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy will help you sort out the truth on this vital topic.


The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy: Studies and Expositions of the Messiah in the Old Testament
By: Michael Rydelnik and Edwin Blum

The ultimate, all-in-one resource on what the Old Testament says about Jesus

As Jesus walked the Emmaeus road, he showed his companions how the whole of Scripture foretold his coming. Yet so often today we’re not quite sure how to talk about Jesus in the Old Testament. How do you know what applies to Jesus? And how do you interpret some of the strange prophetic language?

Get answers and clarity in this authoritative and reliable guide to messianic prophecy from some of the world’s foremost evangelical Old Testament scholars.

In this in-depth, user-friendly one volume resource you get:

  • Essays from scholars on the big ideas and major themes surrounding Messianic prophecy
  • A clear and careful commentary on every passage in the Old Testament considered Messianic
  • Insights into the original Hebrew and helpful analysis of theological implications

Watch the Scriptures come into full color as you see new meaning in familiar passages and further appreciate God’s masterful handiwork in preparing the way for Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah.


15 Future Events That Will Shake the World
By: Ed Hindson

What can people on Earth expect during the last days? In all the chaos that the Bible predicts, several events stand out as truly extraordinary―so much so that they arouse many questions from both Christians and non-Christians.

What are these events, and what makes them so significant? Longtime Bible prophecy expert Ed Hindson surveys each one in detail and explains the impact they will have:

– millions missing in the rapture
– world power shifts after the rapture, including in the USA
– the rise of a global dictator
– God’s two witnesses rising from the dead in full view of the world
– the rebuilt Jewish temple usurped by Antichrist
– the Holocaust eclipsed
– Christ’s glorious return to earth as conqueror and king

A riveting overview of events that truly will shake the world―how they will unfold, what they mean to us, and God’s purposes for bringing them about.


Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ
By: Harold W. Hoehner 

“Jesus Christ entered into the history of our world. Christianity, therefore, has historical basis. The backbone of history is chronology. Whereas history is a systematic account of events in relation to a nation, institution, science, or art; chronology is a science of time. It seeks to establish and arrange the dates of past events in their proper sequence. Thus chronology serves as a necessary framework upon which the events of history must be fitted. In this book (the author) attempts to establish certain fixed dates in our Lord’s life.” – Dr. Harold W. Hoehner. Dr. Hoehner has gathered a vast amount of data, both from Scripture and extrabiblical sources, to support his conclusions concerning key dates in the life of our Lord, among them: – The Date of Christ’s Birth – The Commencement of Christ’s Ministry – The Duration of Christ’s Ministry – The Year of Christ’s Crucifixion He carefully documents his position and compares the date available–including a study of Greek words, Roman law, and Jewish customs and prophecy.


101 Answers to the Most Asked Questions about the End Times
By: Mark Hitchcock

For many believers, the subject of the End Times stirs confusion, apprehension, and dread. No longer! This user-friendly manual answers 101 of the most frequently asked questions about everything from the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, the Antichrist, and Tribulation to the Second Coming and the Millennium. Prophecy expert Mark Hitchcock offers a biblically authoritative resource for understanding God’s plan and a reason for peace instead of anxiety about each believer’s role in it.

‘The End Is Near!’

Or is it? The Antichrist is alive and well today! Or is he? The church is about to be raptured and will certainly escape the tribulation…. right?

When it comes to the End Times, there’s so much confusion. Preachers with elaborate charts share their theories about Revelation and other prophetic books of the Bible. “Ah, Babylon stands for the United States ,” they say. But then other teachers share their theories: “No, Babylon stands for the Roman Catholic Church, or the European Union, or the literal Babylon rebuilt in Iraq ….”

Would somebody please shoot straight with me?

Finally, someone has. Gifted scholar and pastor Mark Hitchcock walks you gently through Bible prophecy in an engaging, user-friendly style. Hitchcock’s careful examination of the topic will leave you feeling informed and balanced in your understanding of events to come…in our time?


101 Answers to Questions About the Book of Revelation
By: Mark Hitchcock

Who are the 144,000 in Revelation 7:1-8?
Are the trumpet judgments literal or symbolic (Revelation 8; 11)?
What is the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:18)?

Readers who have questions about the book of Revelation usually don’t want to wade through pages of commentary to find their answers. Prophecy expert Mark Hitchcock offers a helpful solution in this concise Q&A format.

Questions are grouped in broad categories that focus on interpretation, background information, Jesus Christ, and the letters to the churches. A final category, “The Consummation,” is further divided into subparts that address the tribulation, the second coming, the millennium, and more.

These easy-to find and easy-to-understand responses to the most commonly asked questions about the book of Revelation will empower readers to mine its riches and stand strong in their faith.


The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy
By: Mark Hitchcock

What does the Bible say about how the world will end? Theologian and pastor Mark Hitchcock gives readers a comprehensive yet easy-to-use guide to Bible prophecy. The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy also includes a section answering the most frequently asked questions about Bible prophecy.


Let the Reader Understand: A Guide to Interpreting and Applying the Bible
By: Dan McCartney

“Well, that’s just your interpretation.”

For many people, interpreting the Bible is the art of making it say what they want. Even scholars often treat interpretation as a subjective exercise, not the search for true, objective meaning of texts. But hasn’t God spoken definitively in Scripture? Shouldn’t we be able to arrive at a good and true interpretation?

Convinced that God wants us to understand his Word in all its literary genres, Dan McCartney and Charles Clayton have provided a thorough, readable introduction to biblical interpretation, now updated in this second edition to address postmodern approaches.


The Christ in Prophecy Study Guide

This study guide contains a listing of every Messianic prophecy in the Bible regarding the First and Second Advents of Jesus. The first section is concerned with the more than 300 prophecies about the First Coming of Jesus. The prophecies are listed in analytical form, and they are organized chronologically according to periods in the life of Jesus. The second section of the guide focuses on the more than 500 prophecies in the Old Testament that concern the Second Coming of Jesus. These are also presented in analytical form, organized by topic. The guide’s third section presents an outline of New Testament prophecy regarding the Second Coming. In the fourth section of the guide there are two detailed indexes. One is a topical index; the other, a Scripture index.

[ Dr. David R. Reagan ]


Fearless Living in Troubled Times: Finding Hope in the Promise of Christ’s Return
By: Michael Youssef

How Can I Live Out My Faith Amid a World in Distress?

Imagine a life of peace and purpose in the face of global disasters, increasing persecution, and economic instability. Is it really possible to live fearlessly in such troubled times?

Dr. Michael Youssef points to the first-century church, guiding you through the practical wisdom and powerful hope found in 1 and 2 Thessalonians—Paul’s letters to believers who lived in a hostile world. Through these chapters, you will discover how to…

experience a productive, God-honoring life now, while also looking toward eternity
overcome the fear of criticism, affliction, and even death with the right perspective
understand the true nature of the end times, and what you can expect in the future
Explore what it means to be part of God’s family in a day when people desperately need to see your unwavering faith.


Hope: Living Fearlessly in a Scary World
By: David Jeremiah

For many people, worry, anxiety, and fear are constant companions: fear of death, fear of danger, fear of disease. In today’s unpredictable and contentious world, who can blame us?

All too often, these fears are crippling, keeping us from the life God has called us to live. Is there any hope amidst all this darkness?

There is. As Christians, we have been given all we need in order to face down even the most frightening, unexpected, and overwhelming obstacles in life. In Hope, Dr. David Jeremiah explores the top seven fears that are holding so many of us back from the life God has called us to live and shares secrets for facing down these fears with hope in God. With each page, you’ll grow in your conviction that God is the answer you’ve been looking for: as you look to the future, you’ll begin to see nothing except his power and love guarding your every step.

Step into the truth and start living the fearless life God created you to enjoy.


Target Israel: Caught in the Crosshairs of the End Times
By: Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson

As the conflicts in the Middle East grow in intensity, we cannot help but wonder what lies ahead for the nation of Israel and whether any of it means we are drawing closer to the last days.

In their exciting new book Target Israel, prophecy experts Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson explain why Israel is at the center of God’s prophetic plan for the future. As you carefully review the Scriptures with them, you’ll learn about…

the miracle of Israel’s modern-day existence
Israel’s unique purpose in the world
the ways in which Israel serves as a super sign of the end times
the coming alliance of nations that will attempt to annihilate Israel
Christ’s return to Jerusalem to rule the world
You’ll be inspired as you see how God will bring all His prophetic promises to pass, and be encouraged to share your faith with greater urgency in light of Christ’s second coming.


Jerusalem in Prophecy
By: Randall Price

Jerusalem has an incredible future in store, and it’s at the very center of Bible prophecy. This book, by the author of The Stones Cry Out and Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls, reveals what will happen, who the key players will be, and what signs reveal we’re drawing close.


City of God
By: Augustine of Hippo

St Augustine, bishop of Hippo, was one of the central figures in the history of Christianity, and City of God is one of his greatest theological works. Written as an eloquent defence of the faith at a time when the Roman Empire was on the brink of collapse, it examines the ancient pagan religions of Rome, the arguments of the Greek philosophers and the revelations of the Bible. Pointing the way forward to a citizenship that transcends the best political experiences of the world and offers citizenship that will last for eternity, City of God is one of the most influential documents in the development of Christianity.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

SPECIAL ‘GENERAL’ RESOURCE

ApologetiX Songbook
(An interactive PDF)

It features the lyrics to every song on every CD and every “download” from 1993-2020

Special features:

  • indexed by title, original song, original artist, subject, and Bible verse
  • each song’s page has icons showing what albums it appears on
  • each song’s page has a commentary from lyricist J. Jackson
  • each album’s page includes liner notes and track listing
  • print any pages you like or use for slides in church
  • photos from ApologetiX’s debut concert in 1992
  • discography of out-of-print cassettes
  • downloadable in PDF format

New features in this edition:

  • all song commentaries from J. Jackson updated and expanded
  • also indexed by year when original song spoofed was a hit
  • J.’s original handwritten rough lyrics to 40 ApX classics
  • scads of photos from ApX 25th-anniversary concerts
  • list of 40 ApX parodies most likely to be redone
  • over 200 new parodies and journal entries
  • list of the first ApX concerts in each state
  • six new full-length feature articles
  • DVD discography and synopses
  • never-before-seen rare photos
  • lyrics for over 700 parodies
  • over 1000 pages!

Interactive features:

  • click on any page number in indexes or TOC to go to that page
  • click on any album icon to go to its liner notes and track listings
  • click on any song title on an album page to go to that song

Note: This e-book is a download-only and doesn’t include sheet music.

The songbook is available for a donation of $50 or more. After we receive your donation, we’ll send you a follow-up email with the link.

Get the Songbook for a donation:
http://www.apologetix.com/store/store.php#songbook

Songbook Demo Videohttps://rumble.com/vfazhl-apologetix-songbook-2020-demo.html
 


“THE SEARCH FOR MEANING” WEBSITE

This site presents discussions on the 12 most commonly asked questions about the Christian faith.

The 12 discussions are accessed by the “tabs” at the bottom of the page. The tabs are numbered 1-12. Roll your mouse over them and you will see the question displayed at the right. Click on the number to select that question.

Within each question (i.e. tabs 1-12), there are subtopics (or dialogues) to select that appear as smaller tabs underneath the numbered tabs. Roll your mouse over them and the title of these topics is also displayed to the right. Click on the open rectangle to select that dialogue.

For each question (1-12), a link to related resources and an optional flowchart is provided. To access this material, click on the respective words, “Related Resources” or “Options Flowchart.”

To play a more detailed discussion of the subject, between two people, select the desired dialogue and click on “Play Audio Dialogue.”

In the upper right-hand corner of the page, there is an icon that looks like binoculars looking at a question mark. Click on this icon to return to the homepage.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Related Resources” page, there is an icon that looks like some books. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the resources for all of the questions. There also are additional “appendices” for most of the questions.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Flowchart” page, there is an icon that looks like an Org chart. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the flowcharts.

http://4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q1_d1_1of10.html

[ Content by: Bill Kraftson and Lamar Smith; Website by Mark Besh ]


“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” WEBSITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]


[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further what it means to “believe,” visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q10_d4_1of10.html ].


<<< ARTICLES >>>


“6 People Who Predicted the Future With Stunning Accuracy”

With the current acceleration of innovation making what was unthinkable just a few years ago possible, it’s a little easier to imagine what the future may hold than ever before. But in the past this was a great deal harder. Today we look at the visionaries that saw our modern life.

[ ColdFusion ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNnlmq05hGc


“How The Jetsons Predicted The Future”

The Jetsons’ futuristic lifestyle accurately predicted our everyday life decades before the 21st century’s arrival. What else can we learn from the cartoon about the future of artificial intelligence?

The Jetsons had smartphones, flying cars and robotic cleaners long before their viewers did. What clues can we take from the former family of the future to help instruct our lives? [ Note: The Jetsons ran on TV from 1962 to 1987. ]

[ AJ+ ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=836iIlA-awE


“Watch What They Predicted Would Happen In The 20th Century” [ 1950 ]

As those of you who follow my videos know, I love old videos that look at the future. This one is quite amazing. Especially looked at from the present. I also remind myself that the documentaries that I am making now, about the present, may look just as “old” 50 years from now.

[ David Hoffman ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIoU0FJCFgA


“Man Predicting The Future in 1945 100% True”

We were recently sent this audio file, which was a portion of a British radio show from the year 1945. The announcer makes predictions for the next hundred years. He says that in 2045, we will be able to look back to see if such predictions are true. Currently being in the year 2018, we can see that many of his predictions have already come true. Some people say that the only way this man could know so much about the future, is that he or someone he knew was an actual time traveler. What do you think?

[ Apex TV ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx6hjtMxNVQ


“Rare Jeff Bezos interview with his bizarre prediction for the future | 60 Minutes Australia”

For its first programme of the new century [ January 2000 ], 60 Minutes takes viewers on an astounding journey into the future. The guides will include sci-fi visionary, Arthur C. Clarke, Internet guru Jeff Bezos, President of the United States Bill Clinton, NSW Premier Bob Carr, author and futurist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, NASA’s chief scientist Dennis Bushnell and business forecaster Phil Ruthven. With their help, 60 Minutes leaps into a world of 150 year-olds with the faces and bodies of 25-year-olds, into a world where bodies grow their own spare parts, where space becomes a desirable address, where planes seat 800 people and fly Sydney to London at twice the speed of sound while family cars sprout wings too. We hear predictions of beds that will calculate how long we need to sleep, of fridges that order our groceries and our looming battle to stave off environmental disaster.

[ 60 Minutes Australia ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfC_ICITCmc


“15 Times The Simpsons Predicted The Future”

The Simpsons has earned a reputation for being able to predict the future! Today we’re going to take a look at 15 times The Simpsons predicted something that actually happened.  [ Note: The Simpsons ran on TV from 1987 to present. ].

[ Top Fives ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRBu2VkP4wc


“11 Times Futurama Predicted The Future”

Like The Simpsons, Futurama has made predictions that came true! And while you could say some of it is life imitating art, or a coincidence, it’s still fun to take a look at all of the various times Futurama’s take on the future happened in real life. Here are 11 times Futurama predicted the future.

Some of Futurama’s predictions include camera drones, virtual reality, Star Wars episode 9, smart watches, beer power, the Miss Universe mix-up, the smelloscope and more! [ Note: Futurama ran on TV from 1999 to 2003. ].

[ GameSpot Universe ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG5YxDh2UiE


“A GLIMPSE OF THE YEAR 2000”

About the Archive
This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.
Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions.
WHITHER our world? Walk out the door in the year 2000 and what will be? Datsun spaceships flashing by? Robot chiropractors? Everyone packing a ray gun? No more inflation? No more tooth decay? Everyone parked before the shimmering tube, playing Hyperactive Pac-Man?

One way to get an idea is to go ask your local futurist. In recent times, the professional futurist has become a popular character. Several dozen oracles make up the calling, drawing contracts from companies and governments keen to know what to expect.

Roy Amara is a futurist who seems very much a man of these times: closely barbered gray hair, soft-spoken, taciturn. He is head of the Institute for the Future, a meticulous student of what’s ahead. ”In many outward appearances, life won’t be significantly different 20 years from now,” he said over a lunch devoted to talk of the future. ”We’ll be living in similar houses, except they’ll be unquestionably smaller and more clustered. Families will be smaller – one child or none. Inflation will keep people working longer” and will tail off to 6 or 7 percent in the 1990’s. ”We’ll still be driving cars – smaller, more efficient ones,” he said. ”By the year 2000 it’s possible that 10 percent of those cars will be electrically driven.”

But, he went on, ”the big revolutions one looks for are in the workplace. Work will be more self-managed by workers. The workplace will be more cooperative than adversarial. Workers will want intellectual and psychological fulfillment, not just financial reward.

”I’m quite optimistic for the 1990’s,” he concluded, ”assuming we play our cards right in the 1980’s.” Herman Kahn’s message is technology. Bearded and brazen, Mr. Kahn, the demiurge of the Hudson Institute, unleashes a torrent of talk about prosperity through technology. ”The U.S. went into a malaise in the early 1960’s,” he said. ”Everything went to hell. The economy, crime, the stock market, productivity, you name it. I think we’re coming out of that. Now there’s a new e ra of high technology coming about. I think the new technology will turn people on like the astronauts used to.”

What will technology do? Well, Mr. Kahn said he expects inflation to be zero within five or six years and per-capita income to double by 2000. There will be no energy problems. There will be loads of family experimentation. Communal living. Group marriages. Robots will tackle menial chores. Maids, though, will probably persist. ”You can program a vacuum cleaner to retrace its steps,” Mr. Kahn said, ”but if the baby gets in the way, too bad for the baby.”

What else? What businesses are likely to be scorching hot, which ones ice cold? ”General Motors is the classic dinosaur,” said Peter Schwartz, a futurist at SRI International ”I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a lot smaller.” He sees the hot industries as being high technology, service and information, not large capital-intensive industries, not basic raw materials, not autos. ”Warner Communications is the classic company of tomorrow,” he continued. ”It will grow fast. Merrill Lynch is a classic company of tomorrow. Sears is a good example of a company perceiving the future and moving in that direction.”

Switching to lifestyles in the year 2000, Mr. Schwartz sees people leading more disparate lifestyles, he sees the hunger for spiritual belief continuing unabated (”The idea that God is dead is not true.”), he sees the electronic home (You’ll be ”talking to your stove, talking to your door lock, talking to everything”), he sees no slackening in the spread of fast-food operations (”I’m waiting for the Woolco-Reggie Jackson fast-food chain. It’s going to come.”)

”You will definitely see this returning to a more human scale society,” said Hazel Henderson, a freelance futurist, from her post in Gainesville, Fla. ”It will be more efficient and do things locally. It won’t make sense to buy Wonder Bread baked in Illinois.

”In the future, we will share capital goods like lawnmowers and freezers and houses,” she added. ”For instance, I share the house I live in, whereas 10 years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of that. And my quality of life has improved. I travel on trips and my housemate waters my plants for me and takes care of my cat.”

There are still other, odder views. Talk to Barbara Hubbard, an independent futurist, and she says, ”We are going to cultivate the stars.”

”There are the materials of a thousand earths on the moon and asteroids,” she said. In 20 years, she foresees people inhabiting the moon and the asteroids, mining their materials. ”In 20 years,” she said, ”there is the possibility of a cosmic civilization.” She knows this will not be easy: ”The question is: Can the infantile species take its mind off of destruction and concentrate on construction?” If it doesn’t, she warned, ”we will be a retarded planet.” If it does, she beamed, ”We will move to a new humanity.”

Of course, futurists don’t foresee everything. They never figured on the big push of women into the workforce; they never saw inflation getting so miserable; they never mentioned the Vietnam war. But, after all, getting a firm handle on the future is like figuring out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

[ N.R. Kleinfield ]


“What is Amara’s Law and why it’s more important now than ever”

A problem many tech innovators have is that they don’t know how to manage the natural influx of interest upfront, followed by a massive drop later (when it may really count). Amara’s Law defines this phenomenon. In this article, we’ll be discussing what Amara’s Law is, how it works and why we need to be aware of its presence in our tech-filled future. 

WHAT IS AMARA’S LAW?
Roy Amara was an American scientist, futurist and President of the Institute of the Future. He famously coined the following adage, that was to become Amara’s Law:

“We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”

Let’s dig into what it is about the emergence of new tech that causes this phenomenon, and how we can be more industrious after knowing how it works. 

THE OVERESTIMATION
When it comes to new technology, like Zoom and other avatar-based platforms used to work and attend events virtually, for example, most people become exceptionally excited. This excitement either comes from one’s passion for human ingenuity or from the fact that the new tech seems to effortlessly solve a problem that relates to them. 

This often causes us to experience some tunnel vision when it comes to the product in question. We’re so enthusiastic, we don’t perceive anything negative. We only see what it can do for us, how innovative and creative it is, and how efficiently it’s going to change our lives and our businesses. Because, at this time, it can do nothing wrong as far as we’re concerned, we hype it up online and to our friends, families and colleagues. They do the same and the popularity of the new tech grows exponentially in a very short period of time. 

Let’s take our example of working from home at the beginning of the pandemic. There were many people who were still going into work masked up and socially distanced, sometimes working in unsustainable rotating shifts to allow everyone to get some office time. There were still others trying to conduct a day’s business using nothing but texts and emails, two mediums where not only tone, but tasks themselves, are notoriously misunderstood. 

Enter Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other contenders (including our own platform, Virtuworx). While not necessarily new, these technologies were only niche products before COVID-19. The working world was so excited to have something that allowed them to communicate, that these conference tools were being used almost throughout the work day by plenty of companies, as well as distant friends and families. 

But, it didn’t take long for the enthusiasm to wear off.

THE UNDERESTIMATION
The world experienced a mass decline in mental health as a direct result of video meetings, now labelled Zoom fatigue. This comes from the stress of starting a new job remotely without having training done in person; constantly being interrupted or apologising for interrupting without the physical ability to see, or even sense, when someone is going to speak; and, most importantly, being reachable by everyone all the time, with the number of meetings and work calls happening after hours rising aggressively. 

This is true of all new tech, at no fault of either the creators or the users. The creators can never know how something will react in the real world until it’s actually there. Users don’t experience positivity bias on purpose; it happens automatically. And this is where things can get dangerous for tech innovations. 

People are so taken aback that something is not what they built it up to be in their heads, that they become angry, swinging the other way completely. Video meetings all day is not good for mental health. Virtual events take a bit more planning and training than physical ones. New products are more expensive; they experience occasional bugs; they don’t do exactly what it was assumed they’d do…

When this happens, there is a chance that people will turn their backs fully, even going so far as to warn others not to engage, purchase or experience.

WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE US?
This leaves not only us as a society using tech, but also tech developers and innovators themselves, to solve the problem of finding balance. At The Virtulab, we have seen this happen in real time with one of our flagship products, Virtuworx. 

We launched Virtuworx as a virtual events platform. This idea took off incredibly well and the market was saturated with virtual event platforms and solutions very suddenly. From there, many of us saw a significant dip in interest. This could be because many event organisers had a difficult time managing the data from their event; advertisers and sponsors didn’t know how to create mutually-beneficial relationships on this new medium, or some platforms didn’t provide the ability to allow them to do so; bad internet connections and older PCs played a massive role in many not being able to make use of these products; and some people just prefer physical events and have been waiting for them to come back. 

We took this feedback to find a healthy balance. We ensured our platform was easy to use for organisers and delegates, offered plenty of opportunities for sponsors, included state-of-the-art analytic capabilities, and had a lite browser-friendly version so that everyone could take part. We also ensured it could work seamlessly in conjunction with a physical event, to offer organisers and attendees a hybrid solution. 

Book a demo today to see how we’re working on defying Amara’s Law. 

[ The Virtulab ]


“10 Eerie Predictions for the Future”

Ever wished you could see into the future? Well be careful what you wish for. We’ve found 10 theories that predict a bleak outcome for the fate of our little blue planet.

[ Alltime 10s ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vGe0N4A_Jk


“Elon Musk’s Predictions Of The Future For The Next 80 + Years”

Living on Mars, electric jets, and killer robots, These are just a few of the things that SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the future holds. Here’s a look at some of his boldest predictions of the future.

2024, 2025, 2029, 2034, 2040, 2060, and 2100.

[ Gooogolplex ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_8Jb-qG_uY


“Top 10 Predictions for the Next Decade”

Is the future bright or terrifying? For this list, we’ll be looking at innovations, cultural shifts, and other changes that the world might see over the next decade. Our countdown includes The Rise of Machine Learning, More Diversity in Hollywood, A Decade Defined by COVID-19, and more! 

[ WatchMojo.com ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv3Q-Y__jj4


“25 Expert Predictions About the Future That Will Excite You”

The future looks pretty cool. Sure, long-term worries about climate change and the ever-increasing encroach of robotic intelligence might give the average person pause. But there are still plenty of reasons to look toward the future with great expectations. And that’s not just an opinion: research conducted by futurists and reports produced by some of the world’s smartest think tanks indicate that, on the whole, the future is nothing but bright. Here are 25 reasons why.

– Poor Countries Won’t Exist
– We Can Live on as Computer Brains
– Business Will Get More Human
– Leaps Ahead in Transportation
– Renewable Energy Will Be Cheaper and Even More Reliable
– Gender Equality Will Be (as Least Close to) a Reality
– You’ll Be Able to Purchase Emotions Online
– Buildings Will Power Themselves
– Humans Will Upgrade Themselves
– We’ll Have Living Cities
– And More Human Cities
– Invisibility Cloaks Will Be a Thing
– Our Clothes Will Be High-Tech
– Moving Away From Chemicals
– Smart Technology Will Extend to Moods
– Warfare Will Plummet
– Literacy Will Increase
– Baby-Making Will Be Smarter
– Baby Geniuses Will Be Real
– Computers Will Strengthen Our Brains
– We’ll Be Able to Speak Many Languages
– We’ll Have Figured Out Nuclear Fusion
– Organ Shortages Will End
– We’ll Live in Floating Cities
– Two Words: Space Elevators

For the details of each: https://bestlifeonline.com/exciting-future-predictions/

[ ALEX DANIEL ]


“25 Expert Predictions About the Future That Will Terrify You”

SORRY, THERE’S NO GUARANTEE OF A SHINING UTOPIA ON THE HORIZON.

Looking into a crystal ball can be a pretty frightening experience. While futurists and researchers see plenty of exciting things when they consider what the coming decades or centuries might hold, they also have found plenty of reasons for alarm. From the proliferation of invasive technology to increased likelihood of war and a widespread vulnerability to hacking, the future is potentially plenty bleak. Here, according to the experts, are 25 downright terrifying predictions about the future.

– Intelligent Robots
– Better-Than-Human Robots
– Degradation of the Free Press
– Election Rigging
– Automated Warfare
– Mass Environmental Migration
– Digital Big Brother
– Hijacked Cities
– Medical Device Hacks
– Authoritarianism Uptick
– Rising Sea Levels
– Car Takeovers
– Privacy Erosion
– Extinct Species 
– Climate-Change Chaos
– The Possibility of Self-Destruction
– Bespoke Pandemics
– Weaker Antibiotics
– Computer Bosses
– Drones Everywhere
– Peak Oil
– Robot Discrimination
– Bugs For Food
– Internal Nanobots
– Asteroid!

For the details of each: https://bestlifeonline.com/scary-future-predictions/

[ ALEX DANIEL ]


“The future is now: 100-year-old predictions about 2022”

Today is tomorrow. The future is the present.

Nearly 100 years ago, a group of deep thinkers dared to ponder what life would be like in 2022. Some of their predictions fell amusingly short, but others have proved to be eerily accurate. 

Join us now as we gaze into that crystal ball from 1922.

Life in the future
English author W.L. George (1882-1926) was nothing short of visionary when he imagined the amazing, remarkable world of 2022.

In a full-page article in the New York Herald, he made some startling prognostications — and it’s kind of spooky how many he got right.

More:Businesses we lost in 2021: Goodbye to West Hill Hardware, Highland Shoe Repair, The Devil Strip, West Hill Marathon and more

Here are some of George’s prophecies from a century ago:

– “I suspect that commercial flying will have become entirely commonplace. The passenger steamer will survive on the coasts, but it will have disappeared on the main routes, and will have been replaced by flying convoys, which should cover the distance between London and New York in about 12 hours.”

– “The people of the year 2022 will probably never see a wire outlined against the sky: it is practically certain that wireless telegraphy and wireless telephones will have crushed the cable system long before the century is done.”

English author W.L. George (1882-1926) was ahead of his time.
– “Coal will not be exhausted, but our reserves will be seriously depleted, and so will those of oil. One of the world dangers a century hence will be a shortage of fuel, but it is likely that by that time a great deal of power will be obtained from tides, from the sun, probably from radium and other forms of radial energy, while it may also be that atomic energy will be harnessed.”

– “The movies will be more attractive, as long before 2022 they will have been replaced by the kinephone, which now exists only in the laboratory. That is the figures on the screen will not only move, but they will have their natural colors and speak with ordinary voices.”

– “Many buildings now standing will be preserved. It is conceivable that the Capitol at Washington, many of the universities and churches will be standing a hundred years hence, and that they will, almost unaltered, be preserved by tradition.”

Imagining the United States of 2022, one futurist predicted in 1922 that the U.S. Capitol would still be standing in Washington, D.C., and that women would be serving in Congress.
– “Naturally the work of the household, which is being reduced day by day, will in 2022 be a great deal lighter. I believe that most of the cleaning required today in a house will have been done away with. In the first place, through the disappearance of coal in all places where electricity is not made there will be no more smoke, perhaps not even that of tobacco.”

– “In the second place I have a vision of walls, furniture and hangings made of more or less compressed papier-mache, bound with brass or taping along the edges. Thus instead of scrubbing its floors, the year 2022 will unscrew the brass edges or unstitch the tapes and peel off the dirty surface of the floor or curtains.”

– “It is conceivable, though not certain, that in 2022 a complete meal may be taken in the shape of four pills. This is not entirely visionary; I am convinced that corned beef hash and pumpkin pie will still exist.”

– “The child is likely to be taken over by the state, not only schooled but fed and clad, and at the end of its training placed in a post suitable to its abilities.”

– “It is practically certain that in 2022 nearly all women will have discarded the idea that they are primarily ‘makers of men.’ Most fit women will then be following an individual career. All positions will be open to them and a great many women will have risen high.”

– “The year 2022 will probably see a large number of women in Congress, a great many on the judicial bench, many in civil service posts and perhaps some in the president’s Cabinet. But it is unlikely that women will have achieved equality with men.”

– “Marriage will still exist much as it is today, for mankind has an inveterate taste for the institution, but divorce will probably be as easy everywhere as it is in Nevada.”

– “I suspect that those wars to come will be made horrible beyond my conception by new poison gases, inextinguishable flames and lightproof smoke clouds. In those wars the airplane bomb will seem as out of date at is today the hatchet.”

– “As regards the United States in particular, it is likely that the country will have come to a complete settlement, with a population of about 240,000,000. The idea of North and South, East and West will have almost disappeared.”

– “In 2022, American literature will be a literature of culture. The battle will be over and the muzzle off. There will be no more things one can’t say, and things one can’t think. No doubt there will be in 2022 people who think as they would have thought in 1922, or even a little earlier, but a great liberalism of mind will prevail.”

– “Americans will be less enterprising and much more pleasure loving. They will have rebelled against long hours; the chances are that in 2022 few people will work more than seven hours a day, if as much. The effect of this, which I am sure sounds regrettable to many of my readers, will, in my opinion, be good.”

Behold Manhattan in 2022. A New York professor predicted in 1922 that New York City would have glass towers, enclosed skywalks, moving sidewalks, electric trains and luxury airships.
New York in 2022
New York professor Ferdinand Shuler imagined Manhattan as a Utopian metropolis of skyscrapers, moving sidewalks and canals instead of streets.

Here are some of the fantastic things he predicted for New York City by 2022: 

– Buildings would be 60 to 80 stories high, composed of glass, steel and concrete. They would be enclosed in double walls of glass.

– Enormous bridges would connect the gigantic buildings at different levels and help hold them up, turning the entire city into one great structure.

– People working and living in the buildings would bask in scientifically diffused light, contributing to their well being. 

– Rolling sidewalks operated by electromagnetic power would connect buildings.

– Canals would replace streets, providing a place for bathing, canoeing and power boating.

– Trains would travel on glass plates and reach speeds of 200 mph.

– Anti-gravity screens would prevent airplanes from falling out of the sky.

– Luxury airships would have elevators, rolling floors, swimming pools and “practically every convenience.”

– Food would be selected on “a scientific basis with regard to its curative properties,” so that “the ills of the flesh” will be reduced to a minimum and few medicines taken.

– Restaurants would offer self-serving tables with meals rising from kitchens one floor below.

A century ago, scientists predicted that humans would learn to harness the sun’s energy for a cleaner Earth.
Cleaner and brighter
New York scientist Charles P. Steinmetz, a proponent of electrical power, imagined a cleaner future after society adopted the “chimneyless house” by 2022.

“It is reasonable to expect that all the domestic and industrial work of the city, all locomotion and transportation, will some time be done by electricity, and that in a not very distant future, fires and combustion will be altogether forbidden by law within city limits and dangerous and unsanitary,” he noted.

He also predicted that humans would harness the sun’s energy.

“At present, I could imagine a great structure under glass of magnifying power which could concentrate the sun’s rays” he said. “But how the power which they would generate and which they contain could be stored, I am not ready to say.” 

Can you read this?
We should all be wearing spectacles by now. 

Edward M. Van Cline, managing director of the National Committee for the Prevention of Blindness, spoke at the group’s 1922 meeting in Manhattan.

Van Cline told the gathering: “An English scientist prognosticates that within one hundred years every man, woman and child in the United States will be wearing glasses. He declares that the American obsession for glory, haste and the pace that kills is responsible; that our skyscrapers shut out nature’s light, destroying the space necessary to vision; that our brilliant lights are a menace to sight; that the American spirit is impatient of darkness, and that lack of time prevents the health exercise of walking which keeps the body in good condition.”

According to one prognosticator in 1922, every person in the United States would be wearing glasses by 2022
Far from the city
Chicago futurist R.F. Kellum anticipated many changes by 2022, including a dramatic shift from city to suburb:

– “Almost anybody able to pay the rent will own an automobile — cars will be that common.”

– “There is no reason why people should be cooped up in the heart of a city when they can live out where the ozone whisks.”

– “The suburbs will extend as far away as 100 miles from the center of the city.”

– “Office buildings will take the place of residences and everybody will live out of town.”

The worm and the turtle
Wilbur E. Sutton, managing editor of the Muncie Evening Press in Indiana, lamented that “a multiplicity of laws” had led to paralyzing bureaucracy.

“The American people, who long have boasted of their freedom, some day will have to begin tearing down some of their statutes and abolishing a few thousand commission boards, and systems, or the individual American in the year 2022 will be as spineless as an angleworm and will have about as much initiative and resourcefulness as the slow-going turtle,” he wrote in 1922.

French scientists worried that the national birth rate would be zero by 2022.
Vive la France?
No one would be left to appreciate the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe.

French scientists were concerned about the nation’s birth rate 100 year ago. In 1860, there had been 1 million births in the country. In 1922, the number had fallen to 450,000.

As one observer noted: “At the rate of decline in number of children born in that country, in the year 2022 — 100 years hence — there will be nobody left in France, except as they drift in from other sections of Europe. The figures show, unerringly, that the present rate of decrease, maintained for 100 years, would reduce the birthrate to zero.”

Life in the country
The people of 2022 would reside in “airship-houses” and enjoy a life of leisure.

An opinion piece titled “Big Laughs Coming” appeared in dozens of U.S. newspapers in 1922. The unknown author’s conclusion:

“In the future, automatic machinery and inventions will free men from industrial slavery. Cheap and fast-flying airplanes will enable all to live in the country. Cities, at night, will be deserted groups of factory buildings.

“We, voluntarily imprisoned in cramped apartments or small houses, will seem queer to our descendants. Daily we go to work in our prison cells, to pound typewriter keys, push a pen or perform monotonous operations with machinery — when we might all be free in the outdoors of farmland.

“Will the future consider us laughable, pathetic or crazy?”

High-tech machinery would surely perform household chores and lead to a life of leisure by 2022. Alas, the cigarette-lighting robot has yet to gain popularity.
The future newspaper
Charles H. Taylor Jr., manager of the Boston Globe, had no worries about journalism 100 years hence.

“We newspaper men should not get pessimistic about the future newspaper,” he told an interviewer in 1922. “It will be all right. The radio-phone is not going to take the place of it any more than the wireless has taken the place of the telephone.

“The printed word, that one can read and digest, will always be popular. The newspaper is on the earth to stay. What it will be no one can say, but this you may swear by: It will be just what the public demands, and the publisher who is wise will meet the demand.”

[ Mark J. Price ]


“Ten predictions for the world in 2022: Michael Weidokal”

CLEVELAND — In my position as the head of one of the world’s leading economic and geopolitical research firms, it is my job to provide some of the world’s most powerful businesses and governments with predictions on what will happen in the world in the future. This includes making predictions near the end of each year for what could happen in the forthcoming year, including trying to predict some unforeseen events that could occur in the year ahead. For example, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I had warned our clients each year that there was a 3% to 4% chance of a pandemic in the coming year. Unfortunately, in 2020, that prediction finally came true.

As we look ahead to 2022, here are ten trends and events that I believe will shape the world in the coming year, each of which will have a direct impact on Northeast Ohio.

The world will learn to live with COVID-19: As the remarkably rapid spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 has shown us, trying to stop the spread of COVID-19 is proving all but impossible. Instead, the world will finally abandon its attempts to fully stop the spread of COVID-19 and will learn to live with the virus, much as we live with the flu. The main caveat here is that the omicron variant remains less deadly than its predecessors, and that new variants of COVID-19 that are more lethal than delta or omicron do not emerge and spread rapidly around the world.

The global economic recovery slows: In 2021, the global and U.S. economies both staged strong recoveries from 2020′s recession, even with a slowdown later in the year. This recovery will continue in 2022, but overall economic growth will slow in most parts of the world. Meanwhile, some of the economic changes brought about by the pandemic (remote working, reshoring, etc.) hold the promise to provide a major economic boost for Northeast Ohio.

Supply-chain disruptions persist: One of the main drags on the global economy in 2021 were the massive disruptions to global supply chains that slowed the recovery of many sectors of the economy. Unfortunately, many of the factors that contributed to these supply-chain disruptions will remain in place in the coming year, and thus supply-chain disruptions will continue for much of 2022, frustrating many businesses and consumers in the process.

Labor shortages worsen: I have been warning my clients for the past 20 years that labor shortages were going to become a major problem for their businesses, and the pandemic has made this a reality. Unfortunately, as working-age populations stagnate or decline, and as attitudes towards work change among many younger people, the labor shortages that emerged during the pandemic will remain in place in 2022 and beyond.

Inflation will remain high: Higher inflation rates were one of my main predictions for the U.S. economy in 2021, and these high rates of inflation will remain in place, at least over the first half of 2022. This is due to the continuing disruptions to supply chains, the dearth of available labor, high commodity prices and the fact that the government has pumped a little too much money into the economy in recent years. By late 2022, inflationary pressures should begin to ease.

Interest-rate hikes are coming: The U.S. Federal Reserve, and many of the world’s other leading central banks, had no intention of raising interest rates any time in the near future. However, soaring inflation rates have forced their hand and interest-rate hikes are now likely to take place much sooner than anticipated. In the United States, it appears that the Fed is preparing for three rate hikes in 2022, but more could be forthcoming if inflation were to rise more than expected.

The U.S. and China continue to drift apart: I have argued that the one thing Democrats and Republicans can agree upon these days is that the United States’ relationship with China is getting worse. In 2022, the divide between the world’s two superpowers will continue to widen. The biggest divisions will remain geopolitical, with issues such as Taiwan and China’s naval build-up posing a major challenge to the United States. Economically, decoupling the world’s two largest economies will prove more difficult.

Dangerous flashpoints: Many of the world’s leading powers find themselves embroiled in disputes that could lead to war in 2022. China is moving closer to the day that it will be willing to invade Taiwan, but that day will not come in 2022. Russia is massing 175,000 troops on the border of Ukraine, but I expect it will stop short of full invasion of its neighbor. Israel may decide to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2022. All told, the world will continue to become a more dangerous place in the year ahead.

Political fragmentation continues: In much of the democratic world, traditionally dominant political parties have seen their positions weakened by fragmentation, as new political parties have emerged to challenge their grip on power. This trend will continue in 2022. A big question for the United States is whether or not this trend will eventually reach our shores, particularly as next year’s midterm elections are likely to be among the most polarized in our history.

Expect the unexpected: Most years, there is an outlying event that cannot be predicted with much accuracy (such as the COVID-19 pandemic). Such events are almost certain to occur in 2022, but how much of an impact they will have on the world remains to be seen. The one area to watch remains the climate, as natural disasters linked to climate change are growing ever-more severe. While Northeast Ohio has been largely shielded from the impact of climate change, many parts of the United States and the world have not, and they will be watching warily for what 2022 has in store.

[ Michael Weidokal ]


“FutureTimeline” (Website)

London-based writer and futurist, William James Fox, started Future Timeline back in 2008. It began as a relatively small and obscure website with a brief list of future predictions. Over the years, however, it expanded to form a lengthy and detailed timeline – running from the present day, through the next century and beyond, all the way to the end of the universe itself.

With its quirky, thought-provoking and often alarming content, the site proved to be more popular than expected, gaining many fans and a number of contributors offering new predictions and ideas. A blog, social media and other features were added. Since then, Future Timeline has further grown and developed into a community of futurology enthusiasts from around the world.

[ FutureTimeline.net ]

Website: https://www.futuretimeline.net/


“CLARKE’S THREE LAWS”

British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke formulated three adages that are known as Clarke’s three laws, of which the third law is the best known and most widely cited. They are part of his ideas in his extensive writings about the future.

These so-called laws are:

1) When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, they are almost certainly right. When they state that something is impossible, they are very probably wrong.
2) The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Origins
One account claimed that Clarke’s “laws” were developed after the editor of his works in French started numbering the author’s assertions.[2] All three laws appear in Clarke’s essay “Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination”, first published in Profiles of the Future (1962).[3] However, they were not all published at the same time. Clarke’s first law was proposed in the 1962 edition of the essay, as “Clarke’s Law” in Profiles of the Future.

The second law is offered as a simple observation in the same essay but its status as Clarke’s second law was conferred by others. It was initially a derivative of the first law and formally became Clarke’s second law where the author proposed the third law in the 1973 revision of Profiles of the Future, which included an acknowledgement.[4] It was also here that Clarke wrote about the third law in these words: “As three laws were good enough for Newton, I have modestly decided to stop there”.

The third law is the best known and most widely cited. It was published in a 1968 letter to Science magazine[5] and eventually added to the 1973 revision of the “Hazards of Prophecy” essay.[6] In 1952, Isaac Asimov in his book Foundation and Empire (part 1.1 Search for Magicians) wrote down a similar phrase “… an uninformed public tends to confuse scholarship with magicians…”[7] It also echoes a statement in a 1942 story by Leigh Brackett: “Witchcraft to the ignorant, … simple science to the learned”.[8] Even earlier examples of this sentiment may be found in Wild Talents (1932) by Charles Fort: “…a performance that may someday be considered understandable, but that, in these primitive times, so transcends what is said to be the known that it is what I mean by magic,” and in the short story The Hound of Death (1933) by Agatha Christie: “The supernatural is only the nature of which the laws are not yet understood.” Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando: A Biography explicitly compares advanced technology to magic:

Then she got into the lift, for the good reason that the door stood open; and was shot smoothly upwards. The very fabric of life now, she thought as she rose, is magic. In the eighteenth century, we knew how everything was done; but here I rise through the air; I listen to voices in America; I see men flying – but how it’s done I can’t even begin to wonder. So my belief in magic returns.

Clarke gave an example of the third law when he said that while he “would have believed anyone who told him back in 1962 that there would one day exist a book-sized object capable of holding the content of an entire library, he would never have accepted that the same device could find a page or word in a second and then convert it into any typeface and size from Albertus Extra Bold to Zurich Calligraphic”, referring to his memory of “seeing and hearing Linotype machines which slowly converted ‘molten lead into front pages that required two men to lift them'”.[9]

Isaac Asimov’s Corollary to Clarke’s First Law: “When, however, the lay public rallies round an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists and supports that idea with great fervour and emotion – the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, probably right.”[20]

[ Wikipedia ]


“Ancient Greece Delphi & the Oracle of Apollo”

Nearly 2800 years ago, a group of Greek settlers landed on the coast of Italy. That event marked the start the process which created Magna Graecia, named after the motherland. Join us as we walk through the streets of Cumae, Pasteum, Puteoli, and Neapolis, reconstructed using the most advanced computer graphics.

[ Ancient Cities ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCgbG0YYGGE


“The Oracle Of Delphi”

Delphi was an ancient religious sanctuary dedicated to the Greek god Apollo. Developed in the 8th century B.C., the sanctuary was home to the Oracle of Delphi and the priestess Pythia, who was famed throughout the ancient world for divining the future and was consulted before all major undertakings.

[ History Channel ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsqrlGcfgo0


“Ancient Prophecies Predict Disaster | Ancient Mysteries (S4, E2) | Full Episode’

An exploration of the mysterious seers of the past and their amazingly accurate predictions. Includes an account of the Titanic disaster written 16 years before it occurred

[ History Channel ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-Ele3QHZRo


“The Oracle of Delphi – The Temple of Apollo – Mythological Curiosities”

Greek Mythology: The Oracle of Delphi – The Temple of Apollo

[ See U in History ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGG2rDNX_xU


“In Search Of History – Oracle at Delphi”

“One of the holiest sites of ancient Greece, Delphi was the pre-eminent shrine of Apollo. Cradled by Mount Parnassos and a valley of olive groves, it was also sacred to Dionysus, who was supposedly buried there. But Delphi is chiefly known for its legendary oracle the most famous of the ancient world. 

Journey back to the golden age of Greece, when the mysterious oracle of Delphi predicted the futures of kings and countries. In the smoky, haunting, and hallucinogenic atmosphere of the sacred shrine, predictions were uttered by a priestess in a delirious trance and interpreted by a priest speaking in verse. 

Dramatic re-creations bring the oracle to life, and leading historians explain how Delphi grew wealthy through the offerings of those seeking a glimpse at their destiny. 

Explore the ruins of this mystical site with archaeologists, and see the latest discoveries that are shedding new light on the legendary city.”

[ History Channel ]

Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmaor3Vz2ew


“The ‘Delphi Method’”

The Delphi method is a technique for eliciting such expert-judgement-based predictions in a controlled way. This type of prediction might be perceived as consistent with statistical techniques in the sense that, at minimum, the “data” being used is the predicting expert’s cognitive experiences forming an intuitive “probability curve.”

Statistics
In statistics, prediction is a part of statistical inference. One particular approach to such inference is known as predictive inference, but the prediction can be undertaken within any of the several approaches to statistical inference. Indeed, one possible description of statistics is that it provides a means of transferring knowledge about a sample of a population to the whole population, and to other related populations, which is not necessarily the same as prediction over time. When information is transferred across time, often to specific points in time, the process is known as forecasting.[3][failed verification] Forecasting usually requires time series methods, while prediction is often performed on cross-sectional data.

Statistical techniques used for prediction include regression analysis and its various sub-categories such as linear regression, generalized linear models (logistic regression, Poisson regression, Probit regression), etc. In case of forecasting, autoregressive moving average models and vector autoregression models can be utilized. When these and/or related, generalized set of regression or machine learning methods are deployed in commercial usage, the field is known as predictive analytics.[4]

In many applications, such as time series analysis, it is possible to estimate the models that generate the observations. If models can be expressed as transfer functions or in terms of state-space parameters then smoothed, filtered and predicted data estimates can be calculated.[citation needed] If the underlying generating models are linear then a minimum-variance Kalman filter and a minimum-variance smoother may be used to recover data of interest from noisy measurements. These techniques rely on one-step-ahead predictors (which minimise the variance of the prediction error). When the generating models are nonlinear then stepwise linearizations may be applied within Extended Kalman Filter and smoother recursions. However, in nonlinear cases, optimum minimum-variance performance guarantees no longer apply.[5]

To use regression analysis for prediction, data are collected on the variable that is to be predicted, called the dependent variable or response variable, and on one or more variables whose values are hypothesized to influence it, called independent variables or explanatory variables. A functional form, often linear, is hypothesized for the postulated causal relationship, and the parameters of the function are estimated from the data—that is, are chosen so as to optimize is some way the fit of the function, thus parameterized, to the data. That is the estimation step. For the prediction step, explanatory variable values that are deemed relevant to future (or current but not yet observed) values of the dependent variable are input to the parameterized function to generate predictions for the dependent variable.[6]

NASA’s 2004 predictions of the solar cycle, which were inaccurate (predicting that solar cycle 24 would start in 2007 and be larger than cycle 23), and the refined predictions in 2012, showing it started in 2010 and is very small.

In science, a prediction is a rigorous, often quantitative, statement, forecasting what would be observed under specific conditions; for example, according to theories of gravity, if an apple fell from a tree it would be seen to move towards the center of the earth with a specified and constant acceleration. The scientific method is built on testing statements that are logical consequences of scientific theories. This is done through repeatable experiments or observational studies.

A scientific theory whose predictions are contradicted by observations and evidence will be rejected. New theories that generate many new predictions can more easily be supported or falsified (see predictive power). Notions that make no testable predictions are usually considered not to be part of science (protoscience or nescience) until testable predictions can be made.

Mathematical equations and models, and computer models, are frequently used to describe the past and future behaviour of a process within the boundaries of that model. In some cases the probability of an outcome, rather than a specific outcome, can be predicted, for example in much of quantum physics.

In microprocessors, branch prediction permits avoidance of pipeline emptying at branch instructions.

In engineering, possible failure modes are predicted and avoided by correcting the failure mechanism causing the failure.

Accurate prediction and forecasting are very difficult in some areas, such as natural disasters, pandemics, demography, population dynamics and meteorology. For example, it is possible to predict the occurrence of solar cycles, but their exact timing and magnitude is much more difficult (see picture to right).

In materials engineering it is also possible to predict the life time of a material with a mathematical model.[7]

Hypothesis
Established science makes useful predictions which are often extremely reliable and accurate; for example, eclipses are routinely predicted.

New theories make predictions which allow them to be disproved by reality. For example, predicting the structure of crystals at the atomic level is a current research challenge.[8] In the early 20th century the scientific consensus was that there existed an absolute frame of reference, which was given the name luminiferous ether. The existence of this absolute frame was deemed necessary for consistency with the established idea that the speed of light is constant. The famous Michelson–Morley experiment demonstrated that predictions deduced from this concept were not borne out in reality, thus disproving the theory of an absolute frame of reference. The special theory of relativity was proposed by Einstein as an explanation for the seeming inconsistency between the constancy of the speed of light and the non-existence of a special, preferred or absolute frame of reference.

Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity could not easily be tested as it did not produce any effects observable on a terrestrial scale. However, as one of the first tests of general relativity, the theory predicted that large masses such as stars would bend light, in contradiction to accepted theory; this was observed in a 1919 eclipse.


“What is Delphi Method”

In this video, we will explore What is Delphi Method.

It’s often hard to know what will happen in the future, but that doesn’t mean that we should not try to predict it.

[ Productivity Guy ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESxuo1CePZI


“A Tool for Predicting the Future”

Researchers design a user-friendly interface that helps non-experts make forecasts using data collected over time.

Publication Date:March 28, 2022

Caption:MIT researchers created a tool that enables people to make highly accurate predictions using multiple time-series data with just a few keystrokes. The powerful algorithm at the heart of their tool can transform multiple time series into a tensor, which is a multi-dimensional array of numbers (pictured).

Credits:Image: Figure courtesy of the researchers and edited by MIT News
Whether someone is trying to predict tomorrow’s weather, forecast future stock prices, identify missed opportunities for sales in retail, or estimate a patient’s risk of developing a disease, they will likely need to interpret time-series data, which are a collection of observations recorded over time.

Making predictions using time-series data typically requires several data-processing steps and the use of complex machine-learning algorithms, which have such a steep learning curve they aren’t readily accessible to nonexperts.

To make these powerful tools more user-friendly, MIT researchers developed a system that directly integrates prediction functionality on top of an existing time-series database. Their simplified interface, which they call tspDB (time series predict database), does all the complex modeling behind the scenes so a nonexpert can easily generate a prediction in only a few seconds.

The new system is more accurate and more efficient than state-of-the-art deep learning methods when performing two tasks: predicting future values and filling in missing data points.

One reason tspDB is so successful is that it incorporates a novel time-series-prediction algorithm, explains electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) graduate student Abdullah Alomar, an author of a recent research paper in which he and his co-authors describe the algorithm. This algorithm is especially effective at making predictions on multivariate time-series data, which are data that have more than one time-dependent variable. In a weather database, for instance, temperature, dew point, and cloud cover each depend on their past values.

The algorithm also estimates the volatility of a multivariate time series to provide the user with a confidence level for its predictions.

“Even as the time-series data becomes more and more complex, this algorithm can effectively capture any time-series structure out there. It feels like we have found the right lens to look at the model complexity of time-series data,” says senior author Devavrat Shah, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor in EECS and a member of the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society and of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems.

Joining Alomar and Shah on the paper is lead author Anish Agrawal, a former EECS graduate student who is currently a postdoc at the Simons Institute at the University of California at Berkeley. The research will be presented at the ACM SIGMETRICS conference.

Adapting a new algorithm

Shah and his collaborators have been working on the problem of interpreting time-series data for years, adapting different algorithms and integrating them into tspDB as they built the interface.

About four years ago, they learned about a particularly powerful classical algorithm, called singular spectrum analysis (SSA), that imputes and forecasts single time series. Imputation is the process of replacing missing values or correcting past values. While this algorithm required manual parameter selection, the researchers suspected it could enable their interface to make effective predictions using time series data. In earlier work, they removed this need to manually intervene for algorithmic implementation.  

The algorithm for single time series transformed it into a matrix and utilized matrix estimation procedures. The key intellectual challenge was how to adapt it to utilize multiple time series.  After a few years of struggle, they realized the answer was something very simple: “Stack” the matrices for each individual time series, treat it as a one big matrix, and then apply the single time-series algorithm on it.

This utilizes information across multiple time series naturally — both across the time series and across time, which they describe in their new paper.

This recent publication also discusses interesting alternatives, where instead of transforming the multivariate time series into a big matrix, it is viewed as a three-dimensional tensor. A tensor is a multi-dimensional array, or grid, of numbers. This established a promising connection between the classical field of time series analysis and the growing field of tensor estimation, Alomar says.

“The variant of mSSA that we introduced actually captures all of that beautifully. So, not only does it provide the most likely estimation, but a time-varying confidence interval, as well,” Shah says.

The simpler, the better

They tested the adapted mSSA against other state-of-the-art algorithms, including deep-learning methods, on real-world time-series datasets with inputs drawn from the electricity grid, traffic patterns, and financial markets.

Their algorithm outperformed all the others on imputation and it outperformed all but one of the other algorithms when it came to forecasting future values. The researchers also demonstrated that their tweaked version of mSSA can be applied to any kind of time-series data.

“One reason I think this works so well is that the model captures a lot of time series dynamics, but at the end of the day, it is still a simple model. When you are working with something simple like this, instead of a neural network that can easily overfit the data, you can actually perform better,” Alomar says.

The impressive performance of mSSA is what makes tspDB so effective, Shah explains. Now, their goal is to make this algorithm accessible to everyone.

One a user installs tspDB on top of an existing database, they can run a prediction query with just a few keystrokes in about 0.9 milliseconds, as compared to 0.5 milliseconds for a standard search query. The confidence intervals are also designed to help nonexperts to make a more informed decision by incorporating the degree of uncertainty of the predictions into their decision making.

For instance, the system could enable a nonexpert to predict future stock prices with high accuracy in just a few minutes, even if the time-series dataset contains missing values.

Now that the researchers have shown why mSSA works so well, they are targeting new algorithms that can be incorporated into tspDB. One of these algorithms utilizes the same model to automatically enable change point detection, so if the user believes their time series will change its behavior at some point, the system will automatically detect that change and incorporate that into its predictions.

They also want to continue gathering feedback from current tspDB users to see how they can improve the system’s functionality and user-friendliness, Shah says.

“Our interest at the highest level is to make tspDB a success in the form of a broadly utilizable, open-source system. Time-series data are very important, and this is a beautiful concept of actually building prediction functionalities directly into the database. It has never been done before, and so we want to make sure the world uses it,” he says.

“This work is very interesting for a number of reasons. It provides a practical variant of mSSA which requires no hand tuning, they provide the first known analysis of mSSA, and the authors demonstrate the real-world value of their algorithm by being competitive with or out-performing several known algorithms for imputations and predictions in (multivariate) time series for several real-world data sets,” says Vishal Misra, a professor of computer science at Columbia University who was not involved with this research. “At the heart of it all is the beautiful modeling work where they cleverly exploit correlations across time (within a time series) and space (across time series) to create a low-rank spatiotemporal factor representation of a multivariate time series. Importantly this model connects the field of time series analysis to that of the rapidly evolving topic of tensor completion, and I expect a lot of follow-on research spurred by this paper.”

[ Adam Zewe | MIT News Office ]


“Unpredictability: Black Swans and OCPs”

This episode ends Year 2, not with predictions for the future, but rather a discussion of concepts of Black Swan Events and Outside Context Problems, highly unpredictable events which massively impact civilization.

[ Isaac Arthur ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHvLuhjfAyA


“Earth 2050: Predictions for the Next Generation”

To ring in the New Year, we’re joining up with Kaspersky Lab’s Earth 2050 project to make some predictions about how our world will change over the next generation as we make improvements in technologies on medicine, data storage and manipulation, and robots & AI.

[ Isaac Arthur ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4p7GJiRuZo


“Earth 2050: welcome to the future”

Earth2050 it’s an interactive project that provides a fascinating glimpse at a #future based on predictions from futurists, Kaspersky professionals and members of the public. Check it out at 2050.earth

[ Kaspersky Lab ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlTJNjuZWyE


“Predictions | Kaspersky – Earth 2050”

The list and ratings of all predictions and authors who contributed to the Earth 2050 project.

[ Kaspersky ]

Article: https://2050.earth/predictions


“The future is here: Kaspersky platform, powered by neural network, answers questions of tomorrow”

Kaspersky has launched its Safer Tomorrow platform, to try and better answer humankind’s most significant questions about the future. The platform is powered by a foretelling neural network, developed by a branch of global advertising agency BBDO. Selected daily predictions are shown on a live-streamed billboard situated on the east coast of New Zealand – one of the first locations to see the new day and meet the future.

Kaspersky is committed to building a more protected and safer world. To achieve this, the global cybersecurity company closely follows technological trends and predictions to generate a picture of what we can expect in the future and to understand how we can secure it. Kaspersky also believes that the more people who consider the future and its likely trajectories of society and technology, the more they will be able to foresee and contribute to a better and safer tomorrow.

Kaspersky
With Safer Tomorrow, anyone from around the globe can get answers to the most significant questions about ‘tomorrow’ – from “when will flying cars become ordinary vehicles?” to “what will 3D printing be capable of by 2050?” In addition, they can watch the billboard live from one of the world’s most easterly time zones via http://www.safertomorrow.online.

The neural network, specially developed for the platform, uses the latest machine learning architecture and techniques. The algorithm has been trained to analyze requests and provide predictions based on data collected from hundreds of thousands of related sources. These references include science fiction books and magazines, as well as selected media and blogs. It also uses insights from Earth 2050 – Kaspersky’s award-winning interactive project that provides a futuristic image of what the world will look like in 30 years’ time.

“Looking into and understanding the future is something that has occupied the minds of humankind throughout time. It is this knowledge that allows us to be secure, prepared and confident. Kaspersky believes in a bright future where, as-of-yet unseen potential for humanity will be opened up by technology, which is why we secure it. We created the Safer Tomorrow platform to raise people’s awareness about what the future might look like and to feel more certain about upcoming opportunities,” says Andrew Winton, Vice President for Global Marketing at Kaspersky.

The temporary billboard stands at Castlepoint Station on the Wairarapa coast of New Zealand and can be found here. The construction will be accessible to the public until February 25 and will be dismantled thereafter. The structure has been designed with the environment in mind–utilising sustainable materials which will be recycled after the dismantle. The billboard will be showing short selected predictions on the LED screen, 24/7.

[ Kaspersky ]


“Earth 2050: By Kaspersky”

Earth 2050 is a concept website and simply shows various predictions of what the world will be in 2050.

A glimpse into the future

it’s an interactive project that provides a fascinating glimpse at a future based on predictions from futurologists, scientists, and Internet 

Hey there. Welcome to Earth 2050! It’s a site about the future as seen through the eyes of futurologists, scientists, and Internet users from all corners of the globe.

Select a year — 2030, 2040, or 2050 — and study the predictions for different cities and countries: what will happen to our planet, what our lives will be like, what jobs we will have, what we will eat, and more. Got anything to add? Vote, comment, and make your own predictions!

This project was created and is supported by Kaspersky, which for more than 20 years has been developing innovative solutions to protect critical infrastructure and cities, businesses, and ordinary users.

We at Kaspersky try to make the world a safer place. To do this, it’s important to have a mental picture of what we can expect in the future: how people will live in 20 or 30 years’ time, what needs to be protected, what threats will exist, how the physical world will interact with the virtual. Therefore, we are looking for a variety of opinions — from experts, futurologists, and simply anyone who cares about the future.

The more we consider the likely trajectories of society and technology, the more we can foresee — and thus make our common future better and more secure.

What you can do here
Earth 2050 has two main pages, arranged differently. The Map loads by default on desktop computers, and the less-demanding Feed appears on smartphones and tablets. There’s a Map–Feed toggle in the middle of the screen.

Circles on the Map indicate places where someone has left a prediction. If the circle is white, predictions about the place are text-only; if yellow, the predictions include illustrations.

Many of the illustrations are 360-degree panoramas that reveal more details when rotated. They too have circles on them with predictions and additional images. The toggle in the upper left corner lets you travel through time — to 2030, 2040, and 2050. You can use this feature to see how a particular place will change over the years.

The Feed has all this too, but organized slightly differently. It’s great for watching the latest news or viewing predictions on a specific topic.

Agree with a prediction? Vote for it. Don’t agree? Click No. You can also leave comments under each prediction. Lively discussions are raging right now under many. To vote for or comment on a prediction, you first need to register.

Add your own predictions
We invite everyone to speak up and offer their vision of the future. To leave a prediction, you need to log into your profile and click your avatar followed by the Add prediction button (or just click here). Next, you need to indicate the place about which you want to make a prediction, choose a year, write your forecast, and post it. After approval by the moderators, it will appear on the site.

FAQ
Why isn’t my city on the map?
This is a long-term project, and we can’t do it all at once. But we will try to fill in the blanks. Suggest your vision of the future of your hometown, street, or favorite place on Earth. Add a prediction and this place will appear on the map.
Who wrote and drew everything?

Many renowned futurologists and experts in specific areas are involved in the project.

Our authors include British futurologist Ian Pearson, US science fiction writer David Brin, British cosmologist and astrophysicist Martin Rees, angel investor Steve Hoffman, popular blogger Isaac Arthur, architect and engineer Carlo Ratti, and many other top-notch professionals. Many predictions came from Kaspersky’s own experts.

The illustrations were created by professional artists and concept designers from around the world.

I am not a futurist. Can I make a prediction?
We welcome everyone’s ideas. But only those that pass our editorial filter will get published. We’re sure you understand that only high-quality content can be allowed onto the site.

In your version, equipment looks different in different places in 2050. Won’t we have globalization?
Sure we will. But the future is not a stiff monolith; it’s a motley mosaic of many concepts and ideas. We all have different backgrounds and perspectives, and so of course ideas and predictions will differ slightly from place to place.

Website: https://2050.earth/


“Just why is it so hard to predict the future?”

The birth of the industrial revolution and steam power lead many to predict that all manual labour would be replaced with steam powered machines and that future societies would only work three hours a week. As medicine got better and people toiled less, we were also expected to live to 150 years old. Social and technological momentum suggested the planet was on the brink of an incredible utopian future, but it wasn’t to be and the world was plunged into two dreadful global wars within 50 years.

“We often overemphasise the role of technology and underestimate where technology fits in a social context”
Their future predictions were incredible, wonderful – and completely wrong. Just why is the future so hard to predict? The 1893 meeting points to a number of traps we sometimes fall into when thinking about the future and can help us understand why we get it wrong so often.

We tend to assume the future will be better and comfortably buy into utopian visions. In his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari suggests that this is an inherent part of the human collective. Believing in a better future is good for social cohesion and politicians exploit this tendency frequently. US president Donald Trump regularly talks about a future vision of an imagined past where everything was “just great”, while French president Emmanuel Macron talks about a clean future where everything is clean, sustainable and crisp. Both are fictions, but humans don’t like uncertainty and we seem willing to go on these journeys.

In science, we have a much better understanding of mother nature than human nature and this impacts on how we think about the future. Mother natures’ rules are defined by the physical world and they are logical, well understood and don’t change. This allows scientists to understand complex physical processes like climate change with a high degree of certainty. But human nature determines how society will react on a social and political level to events like climate change. Humans are irrational and emotional, making us hard to predict. This is what makes the precise future impact of climate change and many other events harder to predict.

“Just because we are bad at predicting the future doesn’t mean we shouldn’t”
When thinking about the future, we often overemphasise the role of technology and underestimate where technology fits in a social context. We love talking about technology because it is exciting, but it also allows us to avoid the deeper questions about ourselves and society. Ask a scientist what the is the cause of climate change and they will likely say it is greenhouse gasses. Ask a spiritual leader and they might tell you the cause is our relationship with consumption. When thinking about the future, we tend to look outward and point to technologies rather than look inward. This throws up questions about who creates narratives of the future: in today’s world, it is predominantly technologists.

But just because we are bad at predicting the future doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. We have to plan for future infrastructure, population changes, pensions, hospitals, homes, schools and more. This requires us to peek into the nebulous cloud of possibilities that is tomorrow and chart a course towards some distant future.

But we are not hostages to some unknown fate and we can plan for a future we want to create. This is the fundamental difference between today and society in 1893. Then, they could only imagine the future; today, we have the collective human skills to understand the choices we have to make in steering a course towards a future we want.  

The world would be a very boring place if we could predict it. 

While economic forecast will continue to be wrong, exit polls terribly incorrect and oil prices impossible to predict, we should strive to understand and perhaps even celebrate the uncertainty that drives these deviations. After all, the world would be a very boring place if we could predict it. 

[ Paul Deane ]


“Key Future Predictions To 2050: 5 Phases Everyone Should Understand”

What will happen to the world over the course of the next fifty years? Will we see nations replaced by corporations as the leading powers in geopolitics? Will the planet be engulfed in catastrophic conflicts and wars? Or will we see the dawn of a new age of enlightenment where humanity puts aside its differences and works together to build a better and fairer world? According to one leading author, futurist, and social theorist, it could be all three!

Key Future Predictions To 2050: 5 Phases Everyone Should Understand
Key Future Predictions To 2050: 5 Phases Everyone Should Understand ADOBE STOCK
Jacques Attali has written over 80 books, covering fiction, non-fiction, and even children’s literature. He has also headed the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, co-founded the EUREKA program for the development of new technologies, and served as an advisor to French President Francois Mitterand. However, what he enjoys most is looking at the past and attempting to use what he finds to predict what will happen in the future.

One of his best-known works is A Brief History of the Future, published in 2006. In it, he postulates that since capitalism overtook militarism as the driving force behind humanity’s progress, in around 1200 AD, there have been nine distinct “core” periods. In each of these periods, progress centered around one geographical core – a city – and one technology that arose in that city.

This started with Bruges, Belgium – associated with the invention of the rudder stock, and progressed through Venice (the caravel – small sailing ships), Antwerp (printing press), Genoa (accounting), Amsterdam (the fluyt cargo vessels), London (the steam engine), Boston (piston engine), New York (electric motors) and Los Angeles (the computer chip).

When Attali joined me recently to take part in a webinar, we discussed the theories put forward in his book regarding what comes next. They do not all make for cheerful predictions! Firstly, he predicts the decline of the United States as the world’s dominant superpower. However, he tells me, the situation is more likely to be similar to that which followed the fall of the Roman Empire than the fall of the British Empire centuries later. This is because, as with the decline of Rome, there is no industrialized and modern successor ready to step in and take the place of the US.

He tells me, “That’s the core of my book … maybe we will not have a new center. If we have a new center, it means we agree to move from the American empire to a new empire, and my guess is that we are not going to … at the end of the Roman empire, there was no successor.”

Of course, what followed the end of the Roman empire is a period that has generally come to be known to historians as the “dark ages” – with traditional thinking being that we saw a deceleration of human progress, declining living standards, and a bleak period in the development of art, literature, and culture.

How Scotiabank Has Set Up a Leading Analytics And AI Competency Center?
“I don’t think China or anyone else can replace the US, like no one replaced the roman empire,” says Attali.

So what comes next? Well, Attali broadly divides the coming decades into five periods – the decline of the existing dominant empire (the US), a period during which other powers (China, Russia, and the European Union, in particular) will attempt to fill the void, a period he calls “hyper empire”, where capitalist corporations will be the leading lights of society and human progress, then “hyper conflict” – warfare, on a local or global scale, and “positive society”, which he also calls the “rule of law” – something similar to a modern re-run of the enlightenment, when humanity started to find its way out of the medieval dark ages that followed the fall of Rome.

Importantly, Attali does not see this as a linear progression – indeed, all of these periods – or “waves,” as he calls them, may happen simultaneously. In fact, they probably already are. Which of them wins out, and becomes the driving force behind humanity’s development over the next half-century, is currently up in the air.

For example, Attali says Hyper democracy – or “positive society” – might appear after hyper conflict or instead of hyper conflict.

He says, “The ‘third phase’ – hyper empire – is going on now. It’s possible that governments seek to avoid it by closing borders … but I don’t see governments being able to stop it … the US government could have done it but is so embedded with companies that [it can’t] stop them.”

As far as the threat of war goes, local conflicts such as the one currently underway in Ukraine, or others that may arise in disputed territories such as Taiwan, could act as a catalyst for larger global wars.

“Everything is possible, and we should do everything we can to stop this war which is coming, and do everything we can to put in place a global rule of law. We need rule of law for the environment, for health, for hygiene, for food … [otherwise] the biggest losers with be mankind, and life as a whole.”

Attali is also deeply interested in the question of what makes us human – and how that might change as technology – from artificial intelligence to cloning to bio-engineering – unlock new possibilities when it comes to creating and sustaining life. It’s no longer inconceivable that we might one day transcend our mortality by overcoming the effects of aging or replacing parts of our bodies with artificial or mechanical components. But if we are heading towards an eternal life (or at least, greatly increased longevity) where we will live as mindless consumers or slaves to a corporate hierarchy, is there any point?

Attali tells me, “There is no simple answer to that, but if you want to avoid a life which is absurd, I would suggest it is to say simply and with humility that we don’t know the reason why mankind is here on Earth, we don’t know the reason that a million years ago an entity arose which can ask the question ‘why am I here?’ … the only thing we can do here in the middle of the universe is to have a better mankind and to hope one day to find the answers to these questions.”

Click here to watch my conversation with Jacques Attali in full, where we talk more about his career, his work, and his predictions for the future of the world and humanity.

[ Bernard Marr ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RheIE8pDjjI&t=1s


“9 Failed Scientific Predictions”

Now we know that scientific discovery is about moving forwards and the quest for knowledge which inevitably means that predictions will be proven wrong over time. Here we take a look at some of the most famous scientific predictions that were shown to be a little wide of the mark. [ more… ]

Article: https://www.technologynetworks.com/tn/lists/10-failed-scientific-predictions-276945


“7 Failed Predictions from History”

From a July 2 Independence Day to a doomed Civil War general’s last words, get the facts on seven predictions that were famously off the mark.

[ Evan Andrews ]

Article: https://www.history.com/news/7-failed-predictions-from-history


“50 Years of Failed Doomsday, Eco-pocalyptic Predictions; the So-called ‘experts’ Are 0-50”

This week Myron Ebell (director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute) and Steven J. Milloy published a post on the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) blog titled “Wrong Again: 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions:” [ more… ]

[ Mark J. Perry ]

Article: https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/50-years-of-failed-doomsday-eco-pocalyptic-predictions-the-so-called-experts-are-0-50/


“10 predictions for the future that got it wildly wrong”

A hundred years from now, Elon Musk could be lauded as a visionary genius – or labelled a fantasist.

The Space X CEO is predicting his company will take a million people to Mars by the end of the century, where they’ll live in a self-sustaining city. As bold predictions go, that’s a big one.

For centuries predictions like this have driven humanity’s progress. They have also left some of their authors stranded on the wrong side of history.

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution forces us to think about where today’s innovations are taking us, here are 10 predictions that didn’t stand up to the future’s steely gaze. [ more… ]

[ Simon Torkington ]

Article: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/10/10-predictions-for-the-future-that-got-it-wildly-wrong/


“Nanobots, ape chauffeurs and flights to Pluto. The predictions for 2020 we got horribly wrong”

You’re late for work because you forgot to set the alarm clock embedded in your forearm. Rushing out of bed, you give your family members, located thousands of miles away, a quick virtual hug, and hop into the car — ordering your ape chauffeur to step on it. It’s a stressful day, sure, but at least your vacation to the Moon is just a few days away.

That may not sound like a typical morning, but people thought it could have been.
History is littered with predictions and future projections. Many of these are given with supreme confidence, before they fade conveniently into insignificance as they whiz wide off the mark.
But as we charge into the third decade of the 21st century, it’s time to ask: Where did we think we’d be in 2020? [ more… ]

[ Rob Picheta ]

Article: https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/01/tech/2020-predictions-we-got-wrong-scli-intl/index.html


“Top 10 Historical Predictions That Turned Out to be False”

Only time will tell…  Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 historical predictions that turned out to be false.

[ WatchMojo }

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34EJmyIQe3A


“13 Predictions About the Future That Were Dead Wrong

When it comes to forecasting the future, sometimes the experts really miss the mark. Check out these not-so-accurate predictions for the world of tomorrow. [ more… ]

[ Joe McKinley ]

Article: https://www.rd.com/list/predictions-that-were-wrong/


“Can we predict the future?”

Alongside the publication of a new chapter in a book on 21st Century Sports, I discuss the the possibilities of predicting the future.

[ Andy Miah ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeo8Moxgp7Q


“9 Historical Figures Who May Have Predicted Our Future”

We like to think that many of our fantastic dreams of the future — from space colonization to artificial intelligence and human enhancement — are fairly recent conceptions. But nothing could be further from the truth. Futurist visionaries have been speculating about these possibilities for centuries. And now, as we head into an era of accelerating change, some of these longstanding predictions may actually come true. Here are nine futurists of the past 400 years whose predictions were ahead of their times.

  1. Robert Boyle (1627-1691): Life extension, nanotechnology, synthetic life, and designer drugs

Best known for developing Boyle’s Law (which describes the behavior of gases), Robert Boyle possessed one of the most creative and insightful minds of the 17th century. After his death in 1691, the Royal Society discovered a handwritten list in which he predicted such things as “the prolongation of life”, the “art of flying” and “perpetual light.” He also speculated about the possibility for sleeping tablets, artificial stimulants, antidepressants, and drugs to “exalt imagination.” Boyle also predicted that we’d eventually accelerate the “production of things out of seed” and be able to “transmutate” minerals, animals, and vegetables — all precursors to what today we call nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and genetic engineering. And lastly, he predicted that we’d eventually be able to “cure…diseases at a distance or at least by transplantation.” Not bad for a pre-Enlightenment thinker surrounded by magical and superstitious beliefs.

  1. Denis Diderot (1713-1784): Human enhancement, artificial intelligence, reanimating the dead, and animal uplift

Denis Diderot is probably the most remarkable futurist of the European Enlightenment. He is probably best known for being the chief editor and contributor to the Encyclopedie, the world’s first comprehensive and publicly accessible encyclopaedia. But his legacy extends much further than that. Writing in Lettre sur les aveugles à l’usage de ceux qui voient and other works, he argued that organisms were the products of self-generation that changed over time — a precursor to the theory of natural selection. In the same essay — one that landed him in the dungeons of the Vincennes fortress on account of its anti-religious overtones — he predicted that humanity might eventually be able to redesign itself into a great variety of types “whose future and final organic structure it’s impossible to predict.” And consistent with his materialism, Diderot also argued that consciousness was a product of brain matter (what he called “thinking matter”). Consequently, he believed that the conscious mind could be deconstructed and put back together. He felt that science would eventually find a way to bring the dead back to life, and redesign animals and machines into intelligent creatures (in other words, animal uplifting and artificially intelligent robots). At the same time, however, he rejected the idea of progress, saying that the aim of progressing through technology was doomed to fail — including his prediction that we could end up in a Borg-like end-state. Wow.

  1. Marquis de Condorcet (1744-1794): Perpetual progress, radical life extension, and brain enhancement

Unlike Diderot, Marquis de Condorcet was a vociferous supporter of the idea of perpetual human progress through the application of reason, science, and technology. A hugely influential Enlightenment era thinker who contributed significantly to the rise of secular humanism, Condorcet was also a brilliant mathematician and political scientist. His ideas on the “perfectibility of human society” would later provoke Thomas Malthus into writing his famous paper on unsustainable population growth. His most influential work was Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind (written in prison, where else) in which he argued that reason and science can and should be applied to better develop humanity’s intellectual and moral faculties. He also felt that the limited human lifespan was a major contributor to various inequalities and social injustices — and that it could be overcome. To that end, Condorcet argued that discoveries in the sciences and the arts will result in the “true perfection of the intellectual, moral, or physical faculties of man, an improvement which may result from a perfection either of the instruments used to heighten the intensity of these faculties and to direct their use or of the natural constitution of man…”

  1. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790): Eradication of diseases, physical immortality, and bodily preservation after death

Benjamin Franklin, in addition to being a political theorist, activist, scientist, inventor, and a bajillion other things, was also a damn fine futurist in his own right. Reflecting on the fantastic possibilites that may be introduced through the application of “true science,” he wrote to his Unitarian scientist friend Joseph Priestly in 1780:

The rapid progress true science now makes occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born too soon. It is impossible to imagine the height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the power of man over matter. We may, perhaps, deprive large masses of their gravity, and give them absolute levity, for the sake of easy transport. Agriculture may diminish its labor and double its produce: all diseases may by sure means be prevented or cured (not excepting even that of old age,) and our lives lengthened at pleasure, even beyond the antediluvian standard. Oh that moral science were in as fair a way of improvement, that men would cease to be wolves to one another, and that human beings would at length learn what they now improperly call humanity.

Earlier, in 1773, he suggested that it might be possible to preserve a human life in a suspended state for centuries until such time that the person could be revived — a kind of precursor to cryonics and chemopreservation. Instead of cold storage, however, Franklin hoped that he’d be preserved in a vat of madeira wine until science could bring him back to life.

  1. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935): Space elevator, human space flight, self-sustaining space habitats, and interstellar colonization

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky is probably the greatest scientific visionary to ever come out of Russia. Tsiolkovsky was a seminal figure in the Russian cosmism movement (a precursor to transhumanism) and was heavily influenced by Nikolai Fyodorovich Fyodorov (1827-1903) who advocated for radical life extension, resurrection of the dead, and ocean colonization. In 1895, inspired by the newly-constructed Eiffel Tower in Paris, he was the first to come up with the idea of the space elevator (though his model described a freestanding tower reaching from the surface of Earth to the height of geostationary orbit, as opposed to the more modern vision in which tensile strength would keep it together). And while earlier mathematicians such as Isaac Newton, Leonhard Euler and Joseph Louis Lagrange may have described the physical dynamics of objects traveling through space, it was the Jules Verne-inspired Tsiolkovsky who first suggested that humans could actually be sent into space (he developed the now-famous rocket equation describing rocket-based propulsion), travel from planet to planet, and permanently live there. In addition, he thought that space colonization would lead to the perfection of humanity, along with virtual immortality and a carefree existence. And in his 1928 book, The Will of the Universe. The Unknown Intelligence, he predicted that humanity would eventually colonize the entire Milky Way galaxy.

  1. Vladimir Vernadsky (1863-1945): The global brain

Another Russian cosmist, Vladimir Vernadsky was a mineralogist and geochemist who posited the idea of the noosphere, what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin would later describe as the “sphere of human thought.” In his original theory, Vernadsky suggested that the noosphere would be the third phase of life on earth, after the “geosphere” (inanimate matter) and “biosphere” (biological life). The engine driving the noosphere, however, would be human cognition. Vernadsky thought that intelligence (or consciousness) would eventually converge and form a massive network of collaborating individuals. Today, its modern equivalent includes the World Wide Web, the global brain hypothesis, and some interpretations of the Technological Singularity.

  1. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955): The Technological Singularity

Writing in his posthumously published book, The Phenomenon of Man, the French Jesuit priest and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin speculated that humanity was on an evolutionary trajectory that would result in one final transformation. Taking Vernadsky’s idea of the noosphere to its (seemingly) logical conclusion, he surmised that humanity would eventually achieve an “Omega Point,” or what some futurists today might call the Technological Singularity. Chardin argued that the evolution of intelligent life was goal driven (Lamarckianism), and that it would eventually reach a stage of ultimate complexity and conscious awareness. He posited the Law of Complexity/Consciousness, in which he argued that the universe is constantly evolving towards increasing levels of material complexity and consciousness. Eventually, he thought, an Omega Point would be achieved in which conscious life would become transcendent and independent of the physical universe. Chardin’s ideas would go on to inspire such thinkers as Ray Kurzweil, including the development of his Law of Accelerating Returns.

  1. J.B.S. Haldane (1892-1944): Artificial wombs, human cloning, and human genetic engineering

It was the evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane whose shocking predictions inspired his friend Aldous Huxley to write his dystopian masterpiece, Brave New World. Writing in his short work, Daedalus; or, science and the future, Haldane suggested that humanity would soon use genetics for self-improvement and engage in the practice of cloning. He also predicted “ectogenesis” (artificial wombs), the manipulation of genes (what today we would call gene therapy and RNA interference), and fertilization outside the human body (in vitro fertilization). Haldane is famous for once saying, “I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”

  1. John Desmond Bernal (1901-1971): Generation ships, cyborgs, and mind uploading

In 1929, the Irish physicist J.D. Bernal published The World, The Flesh and the Devil — a piece of work that Arthur C. Clarke would later call “the most brilliant attempt at scientific prediction ever made.” In the book, Bernal speculated that humans would eventually construct a type of space habitat for permanent residence, what has since been dubbed the Bernal sphere. He also predicted that humans might someday choose to go about cybernetic implantation, writing that, “Normal man is an evolutionary dead end; mechanical man, apparently a break in organic evolution, is more in the true tradition of a further evolution.” And in fact, his vision of cyborgs was more radical than most; he thought that we might eventually be able to migrate our brains into a “short cylinder” where our nerve cells would be kept circulating at a uniform temperature — a definite precursor to the idea of mind uploading. This “brain cylinder” could be wirelessly connected to powerful external devices that would serve as new sense organs. The brain itself would be subject to continual refinement and redesign, including “mental improvement.” Keep in mind that this was in 1929!

[ George Dvorsky ]


“History’s Most Famous Fortune Tellers And Their Predictions”

Fortune telling. You might imagine a woman in a shawl peering over her glowing green ball in some ramshackle tent at the back of the local fair when the words come to mind. In some cases, this could be a rather accurate depiction, (although her predictions may not be).

In others, however, reality may be different. 

Some soothsayers may not have had a crystal ball in their lap, but somehow they came up with  precise and correct predictions of what was to come. How did they do it? Foretelling the future remains a pseudoscience, if you can even call it that, and how some people have accurately predicted major events in history remains a puzzle. 

Who are they and what did they “see”? Check out this group of impressive prophets throughout history, and draw your own conclusions. 

The Pythia
Predicting the future is not something that is native to modern times. Many cultures have practiced the act in one form or another throughout history, and ancient Greece was no exception. The Pythia was the priestess who prophesized at a place called Pytho. This began around the 8th century BC as the Oracle of Delphi. The Pythia did so in a sanctuary dedicated to the Greek god Apollo. 

It is said that this priestess, who was chosen from among a group of priestesses at the temple, had to dedicate herself to being the Pythia exclusively and give up any and all family obligations once selected. People seeking her counsel brought the priestess offerings of money and sacrificed animals for her words. She was known to go into a frenzy while predicting things like wars, political moves and solutions to national problems.  

Nostrodamus  
Also known as Michel de Nostredame, this famous fortune teller really went all-out. He published a book back in 1555 in France that claimed to predict numerous future events through poems. Some people say there is nothing to them, and that when translated properly, they show the reader vague predictions that can be very loosely interpreted and applied to many things. 

Others, however, say the man was a genius with a clear gaze into the future. 

What did he predict? Some say Nostrodamus foretold the great fire of London that took place in 1666, the French Revolution, Louis Pasteur’s work as the godfather of vaccines, the rise of Adolf Hitler, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, JFK’s assassination and September 11th, 2001, to name a few. Not bad for one mind and one book.

Daniel Dunglas Home
Daniel Dunglas Home was alive in the 1800s in the United States and made his name by healing the sick and communicating with the dead families and friends of his clients. 

Home was originally from Scotland but moved to the United States as a child, and went onto become a well-known physical medium and self-professed clair-voyant who gained fame with the elite on the east coast. He was famous for his so-called ability to let spirits speak directly through him. He also gained a following for his ability to levitate. Tables would dance in his presence, and history has it that he is said to have even levitated his own body to the ceiling in some seances. Many called Home a fraud steeped in trickery, but others backed his act, claiming it to be tried and true magic. 

Edgar Cayce
Have you ever felt really ‘connected’ with the world? Has it ever happend while you were sleeping? You may have found a friend in Edgar Cayce. In fact, he felt so at home while in a self-induced sleep state that he claimed his subconscious mind would actually leave his body and travel to the land of the spirits. Here, it would collect knowledge about the future. It would then bring this back to the land of the living, where he would pass it onto his clients. 

Some say Cayce predicted the stock market crash of 1929 that led to the Great Depression. He is also said to have foretold World War II, the shifting of the Earth’s magnetic poles, the collapse of the Soviet Union and an alliance occurring between the United States and Russia.  

Jean Dixon
Jean Dixon began her career as an astrologist writing in a syndicated column in newspapers in the 1900s in the United States. She wrote several best-selling books, including an astrological cook book and horoscopes for animals. Like many other modern-day psychics, Dixon famously predicted president John F. Kennedy’s assassination. She also advised President Franklin D. Roosevelt during WWII, and gave advice to Richard Nixon while in office, in the face of terrorism on U.S soil. Dixon had a wide audience. According to Oprah,  she foretold her huge career and fame to come in a conversation back in 1977.

Baba Vanga
Do you think you need a great pair of eyes to see what others cannot? Perhaps it depends on your definition of “sight”.

One the most famous clairvoyants in Bulgaria was Baba Vanga, or Grandmother Vanga. Born with proper eye sight, she is said to have gradually lost it after suffering through a large natural disaster best described as a tornado. She says it lifted her up and threw her a great distance. The injuries she sustained when hitting the ground caused her to slowly lose her eyesight. 

Babb Vanga is said to have predicted 9/11, Brexit, Thailand’s tsunami of 2004, future time travel in 2304, Trump and Putin’s lives being in danger in 2020, and terrorism acts by Muslim extremists to name a few events. Was she truly gifted with intelligence beyond that of the rest of us, or just a wild imagination?  

As it is with all other fortune tellers, psychics, clairvoyants and mediums, it is impossible to prove concretely whether she was truly gifted or not. Extremely precise predictions remain elusive, but many of general statements have come true.

What do you think, truth or fiction? The answer, at least for the moment, seems to lie in the mind of the listener. 

[ Victoria Simpson ]


“List of Famous Psychics”

List of famous psychics, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top psychics in the world? This includes the most prominent psychics, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable psychics is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic psychics were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they’re all renowned psychics.

List contains popular psychics like Uri Geller and Danielle Egnew. Featuring mediums, clairvoyants, TV psychics, and more, this list has it all. 

From reputable, prominent, and well known psychics to the lesser known psychics of today, these are some of the best professionals in the psychic field. If you want to answer the questions, “Who are the most famous psychics ever?” and “What are the names of famous psychics?” then you’re in the right place. 

– Sylvia Browne
– The Psychic Twins (Linda and Terry Jamison)
– Edgar Cayce
– Uri Geller
– George King
– Danielle Egnew
– Thomas Charles Lethbridge
– John Edward
– Gary Spivey
– Colin Fry
– Jose Ortiz El Buen Samaritano
– Paul W. Draper
– Mark Edward
– Luke Jermay
– Simon Turnbull
– Derek Acorah
– Daniel Dunglas Home
– James Hydrick
– Maria Papapetros
– Virginia Roberta Faulkner
– Thomas Williams

For more details on each: https://www.ranker.com/list/list-of-famous-psychics/reference

[ Ranker ]


“List of Famous Prophets”

This list of famous prophets includes photos, bios, and other information, when available. Who are the top prophets in the world? This includes the most prominent prophets, living and dead – great prophets from the modern day and in history. This list of notable prophets is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic prophets were born and what their nationality is. The names of prophets on this belong to people from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they’re all renowned prophets.

This list of prophets is made up of people like Jesus Christ (likely the most famous Christian prophet) and Zechariah. Whether you’re interested in the greatest prophets in America, 21st century prophets, current prophets, biblical prophets of Christianity, or anyone else, you’re sure to find any and all world prophets here.

From reputable, prominent, and well known prophets to the lesser known prophets of today, this list of major prophets will enlighten and educate you. Who are the most famous prophets ever? What are the names of famous prophets? Read on to learn more!

This is the list of NON-Biblical “prophets”:

– Muhammad
– Nostradamus
– Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
– Gordon B. Hinckley
– Gordon B. Hinckley
– T. B. Joshua
– Jeffrey Lundgren
– Edgar Cayce
– William M. Branham
– Joseph in Islam
– Dhul-Kifl
– Marshall Vian Summers
– Zakariya
– Shoaib
– Hud
– Saleh
– Idris
– Waluburg
– Albruna

For details on each: https://www.ranker.com/list/famous-male-prophets/reference

[ Ranker ]


“Nostradamus”

This article first appeared in the Christian Research Journal, volume 25, number 2 (2002). For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: http://www.equip.org

SYNOPSIS

Do Nostradamus’s prophecies challenge the uniqueness of biblical prophecy? Christians claim that only biblical prophecy is numerous and specific while proving to be 100 percent accurate. In response, it is often asked whether the sixteenth-century prophet Nostradamus also made many accurate predictions. Critics argue that most of his prophecies are vague and ambiguous, and, therefore, they can refer to more than one person or event. His few specific or dated prophecies, moreover, have proven to be consistent failures.

Devoted Nostradamus enthusiasts, nevertheless, consider him the world’s most accurate prophet and claim to have discovered the “keys” to correctly unlocking the true meaning of his prophecies, but they commit two errors. First, they propose theories about “devices” Nostradamus supposedly used to obscure or “encode” his prophecies. They then use their theories to prove their theories. This is circular reasoning. Second, by applying an arsenal of these discovered “devices,” they manipulate his text to fit their desired interpretation. Words are manipulated by inserting, deleting, or changing any number of letters; phonetic equivalents are used; punctuation and grammar is altered; and other languages are substituted. Numbers and dates are manipulated as well, using arbitrary calculations. The case for Nostradamus’s accuracy rests on the interpretations offered by his enthusiasts. According to sound interpretive principles, however, they fail to demonstrate that the prophecies refer uniquely to one person or event.

Do Nostradamus’s prophecies challenge the uniqueness of biblical prophecy? Christians claim that only biblical prophecy is numerous and specific while proving to be 100 percent accurate. In response, it is often asked whether the sixteenth-century prophet Nostradamus also made many accurate predictions. Critics argue that most of his prophecies are vague and ambiguous, and, therefore, they can refer to more than one person or event. His few specific or dated prophecies, moreover, have proven to be consistent failures.

Devoted Nostradamus enthusiasts, nevertheless, consider him the world’s most accurate prophet and claim to have discovered the “keys” to correctly unlocking the true meaning of his prophecies, but they commit two errors. First, they propose theories about “devices” Nostradamus supposedly used to obscure or “encode” his prophecies. They then use their theories to prove their theories. This is circular reasoning. Second, by applying an arsenal of these discovered “devices,” they manipulate his text to fit their desired interpretation. Words are manipulated by inserting, deleting, or changing any number of letters; phonetic equivalents are used; punctuation and grammar is altered; and other languages are substituted. Numbers and dates are manipulated as well, using arbitrary calculations. The case for Nostradamus’s accuracy rests on the interpretations offered by his enthusiasts. According to sound interpretive principles, however, they fail to demonstrate that the prophecies refer uniquely to one person or event.

NOSTRADAMUS AND HIS PROPHECIES

In 1555, Nostradamus, a doctor by profession, published the first edition of his most famous work, titled, The Prophecies (or, The Centuries). Written mainly in French, it was to include 10 groups (centuries) of 100 prophetic quatrains (four-line poems) each, covering many nations and spanning from the sixteenth century to the year 3797. These enigmatic quatrains contain old French terms, Latin terms, mythical Greek figures, historical allusions, unique words, anagrams, puns, odd spellings, odd syntax, partial words, inverted word order, and so on. They have been described by one devotee as “a massive verbal jigsaw puzzle.”

Since 1775, at least one book on Nostradamus has been published every 20 years, and since 1840, at least one every decade.1 Nearly 450 years have passed since Nostradamus first published his Centuries, yet the number of translations and commentaries found in bookstores bears testimony to the perpetual interest in the French seer and his prophecies.

Ardent devotees claim he predicted many historic events with uncanny accuracy, and they consider him “the most effective prophet in the history of the human race.”2 Did Nostradamus really predict these events? Are his prophecies accurate? Do they pose a challenge to biblical prophecy?

THE UNIQUENESS OF BIBLICAL PROPHECY

Christian apologists point to fulfilled biblical prophecy as one evidence of the Bible’s supernatural source and unique nature as the Word of God. They argue that only biblical prophecy is (1) numerous, (2) specific, and (3) 100 percent accurate (i.e., none of its prophecies have proven to be false), thereby substantiating its supernatural source and uniqueness. This in turn supports the Bible’s claim to be the unique Word of God. Though prophecies outside the Bible meet one or even two of these criteria, only biblical prophecy meets all three.3 This claim that biblical prophecy is unique is challenged by skeptics of the supernatural, critics of the Bible, and even Christians who sometimes ask, “Didn’t Nostradamus also make many accurate prophecies?”

In order to respond to this challenge it would be sufficient to demonstrate that just one of Nostradamus’s prophecies failed to come to pass. If even one has failed, then his prophecies as a whole fail to meet the criterion of 100 percent accuracy. Though Nostradamus claimed he could not err (see below), few of his enthusiasts suggest he prophesied with 100 percent accuracy, and some even acknowledge he made predictions that were glaring failures. Despite this fatal disproof, however, many people still believe Nostradamus made numerous, specific, accurate predictions that rival biblical prophecy. It is necessary, therefore, to examine the evidence in more detail.

ARE NOSTRADAMUS’S PROPHECIES SPECIFIC?

The belief that Nostradamus made many accurate predictions rests on the interpretations offered by his enthusiasts. Since they claim to have discovered specific meaning in his enigmatic prophecies, the burden of proof is on the enthusiasts to demonstrate — using sound principles of interpretation — that specific (unambiguous) meaning exists in Nostradamus’s prophecies. That is, they must show that each prophecy has only one meaning and uniquely fits the event they claim fulfills it.

What Did Nostradamus Say?

Nostradamus made contradictory claims regarding the possibility of interpreting his prophecies. He repeatedly stated that future generations, even those antagonistic to him, ultimately would understand the meaning and truth of his predictions though they are veiled in obscure language: “For although they are written under a cloud, the meanings will be understood. When the time comes for the removal of ignorance, the event will be cleared up still more” (emphasis added).4 He also denied, however, the possibility of correct interpretation: “Most of the prophetic quatrains are so ticklish that there is no making way through them, nor is there any interpreting of them” (emphasis added).5

What Do Others Say?

Critics argue that Nostradamus’s prophecies are ambiguous and therefore could refer to many persons, places, or events. One of Nostradamus’s contemporaries observed: “The style of the [prophecies] is so multiform and nebulous that each may, with a little effort and good will, find in them what he seeks. Like airy vapors, they assume as they unroll, the figures which the spectator’s imagination lends to them….”6 Even ardent enthusiasts agree that it is possible to find more than one meaning in Nostradamus’s prophetic verses. Peter Lemesurier describes them as “a massive verbal jigsaw puzzle.” “Moreover,” he adds, “their language is often obtuse and sometimes positively arcane….the result is that a further layer of impenetrability is added to an already chaotic text.”7 John Hogue admits that “his writing is muddled enough to be taken any way one wishes….His ambiguities have kept the controversy of his prophecies alive, and even enhanced his stature as a seer in the centuries following his death (just as he predicted).”8

A Clear Example of Ambiguity

Nearly any of Nostradamus’s quatrains might be used to illustrate this ambiguity. Quatrain 1–35 launched the prophet’s career and has arguably been his most famous. One would expect this quatrain to be among his least ambiguous:

The young lion will overcome the old one,

On the field of battle in single combat;

He will burst his eyes in a cage of gold,

Two fleets one, then to die, a cruel death.

This quatrain is said to refer to the accidental death of King Henry II of France. At a royal wedding festival, Gabriel, Count of Montgomery defeated King Henry (young lion will overcome the old one) in a friendly jousting competition (on the field of battle in single combat). The count’s lance shattered, and a splinter ran through Henry’s helmet (cage of gold) into his brain, entering just above his eye (burst his eyes). Henry died after days of suffering (then to die, a cruel death).

Critics argue that the items in this quatrain are either not specific or just do not fit the event close enough to support the accuracy ascribed to it. First, contrary to what the enthusiasts declare, the French never used the “lion” as an emblem, so this figure of speech fits neither Henry nor the count in that respect. Second, “young lion” versus “old one” at best overstates the age difference between the two, Henry being at the most six years older; nor was Henry “old,” being only 41. Third, “The field of battle in single combat” could refer to any number of battles in history, and it is unlikely to be a reference to a friendly jousting competition at a marriage festival where, as James Randi points out, it was a serious faux pas even to draw blood.9 Fourth, the shattered lance did not “burst” Henry’s eyes but entered his brain above only one eye. Fifth, “a cage of gold” could only vaguely refer to a helmet of gold. In any case, neither competitor wore a gold helmet since gold is a metal too soft to be used for protective armor; nor is there any evidence Henry’s helmet was gilt in gold. Sixth, the phrase “two fleets one” presents a problem. The French word classe is translated “fleet” everywhere else in the Centuries. Since “fleet” does not fit anything in this event, the enthusiasts, without justification, find a similar sounding Greek word, klasis, which means “a fracture,” and change the line from “two fleets one” to “two wounds made one,” meaning one wound for Henry and another for France who lost her king. Finally, the only line that is remotely descriptive of this event is that Henry “died a cruel death” after days of suffering.

The connection between this famous quatrain and Henry’s accidental death has not been demonstrated using sound principles of interpretation. Because these phrases are ambiguous, to what or whom this prophecy refers remains a mystery. Even if it is allowed that Nostradamus accurately predicted the king’s death in this quatrain, in other prophecies (e.g., Quatrain 4–77) it is obvious he had high expectations for Henry to become the new Charlemagne.

THE INTERPRETIVE METHODS OF NOSTRADAMUS’S ENTHUSIASTS

There are nearly as many methods of interpreting Nostradamus’s predictions as there are enthusiasts. Theories from many viewpoints are proposed: astrology, the occult, “green language,” esoteric keys, cabala, numerology, hidden codes, and psychic hypnotism. The task of examining each of these would be daunting. Regardless of the approach, however, two errors are common to the enthusiasts’ interpretations: first, proposed theories beg the question, in other words, the theories are used to prove the theories; and second, the text is arbitrarily manipulated to get the desired result.

Proposed Theories Beg the Question: The Theories Are Used to Prove the Theories

The enthusiasts all follow a similar procedure: First, they assert that Nostradamus used some literary or mathematical device to obscure or “encode” a word, name, phrase, or date that refers to some event. Second, they argue that because they can make the text fit some event by using this device, this proves Nostradamus used the device. This is circular reasoning. Randi comments on the fallacy of their arguments: “Once they establish — to their satisfaction — that a certain usage or rule makes the prophecy work, the Nostradamians invoke it again and again for any subsequent situation that even remotely resembles the one in which the artifice was established…. They use the theory they are trying to prove, to prove the theory they are trying to prove.”10

One example of this method of justifying a theory comes from enthusiast Bardo Kidogo, who suggests that one of Nostradamus’s methods of obscuring dates was to use a.d. 325 as a start-date for chronological calculations rather than a.d. 1. He concludes, “The proof that 325 a.d. is the start-date of this system is quite simply that all the dates included in the system fit the events described in their verses. There could be no stronger proof than that.”11 The only thing this proves, however, is that some dates fit using this system. It proves nothing about whether Nostradamus used this system. Kidogo, furthermore, offers no evidence to verify which dates are included in this system; apparently, those dates that fit are included, those that don’t fit are not included. This is special pleading and ensures that only dates that fit are included; no negative evidence is possible. In fact, because all the dates do not fit using only this system, Kidogo must propose several others.

So it goes. If one device does not render a fit with the desired event, then another device that does is “discovered.”

Arbitrary Manipulation of the Text

Another fundamental error of the enthusiasts is manipulation of the text, which is really the goal of their many theories. By applying these discovered devices to Nostradamus’s text, any alteration becomes possible in their hands.

Anagrams. Anagrams are the favorite device of the enthusiasts. An anagram is formed by rearranging the letters of a word, name, or phrase to make another word, name, or phrase. The more letters a word contains, the more possibilities that some combination might form a recognizable name or phrase. For example, the name NOSTRADAMUS contains 39,916,800 possible combinations, including USDA MAN ROTS, TOAD MAN USSR, and A SUDAN STORM.12

Anagram is a legitimate literary device and one Nostradamus did use. In addition to merely rearranging letters, however, enthusiasts frequently refer to something they call “rules of anagram” that allow any number of letters to be inserted, removed, or changed. This kind of arbitrary manipulation of the text provides unlimited possibilities for “discovering” some name or event in Nostradamus’s cryptic words. For example, the name “Mabus,” which appears in several quatrains, is frequently manipulated by the enthusiasts:

2-62

Mabus then will soon die, there will come

Of people and beasts a horrible rout:

Then suddenly one will see vengeance

Hundred, hand, thirst, hunger when the comet will run.

Nostradamus “expert” John Hogue suggests the name is a clue to the identity of the third Antichrist. Using the “rules of anagram,” Hogue offers a variety of possible solutions (the following are not direct quotes unless quotation marks are used):

(1) (Therbo)-Majus = Ma(b)us? In the 1970s, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters was located near the ruins of Thurbo-Majus.

(2) Megabyzus = M(eg)ab(yz)us = Mabus? Megabyzus was an ancient Persian terrorist who attacked enemy states from within. This could predict the attack of Saddam Hussein from within by a Persian (or Iranian) ally.

(3) Saddam (Hussein) = Maddas = Ma(bb)(u)s = Ma(b)(u)s? Hogue’s method for producing this interpretation is quite ingenious: “Take a piece of paper and write ‘Saddam’ backwards to get ‘Maddas.’ Now hold it in front of a mirror. If you are dislexic as I am you will soon see ‘Saddam’ and wonder if Nostradamus spelled his approximated name backwards to get ‘Mabus.’ By following the rules of anagram, take one d out of ‘Maddas’ to get ‘Madas.’ Then reverse the second d to get a b for ‘Mabus.’”13

(4) Al Abbas = (M)abbas = (M)ab(u)s? In addition to being a person, “Mabus” might also be a thing, such as the Al Abbas version of Saddam’s scud missiles, which one day may be used as weapons by the Antichrist.

(5) Raymond Mabus = Mabus? “Mabus” could be former governor of Mississippi and US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Raymond Mabus, who in this scenario would be a potential victim of the Antichrist.14

Hogue’s manipulation of the text is apparent. Note that the solutions offered cover the outcome in either direction: “Mabus” could be either Saddam’s enemy or Saddam himself, the attacker or the attacked, a weapon of Antichrist or a victim of Antichrist. If these were not enough, Hogue recently added three more names to his list of possible solutions:

(6) Usama bin Laden = Usama b = Usaam b = MaabUs = Mabus?

(7) Yasser Arafat (Abu Amar) = Abu Am(s) = Maabu(s) = Mabu(s)? Arafat’s secret PLO code name was “Abu Amar.”

(8) George W. Bush = W Bush = (M) Bus = M(a)Bus = Mabus?15

All that is needed is some violent event to occur involving the Middle East or America, and Hogue, using one of these interpretations, can point to this quatrain as a fulfilled prediction.

Dates. Dates are also manipulated to achieve desired outcomes. Enthusiast Jean-Charles de Fontbrune, for example, argues that Nostradamus predicted the end of the world to be around a.d. 3000, preceded by one thousand years of universal peace. As evidence, he points to quatrains that mention the seventh millennium as the end of the world. Fontbrune argues that the year 7000 is really the year 1999; but Nostradamus stated that his Centuries were “comprised of prophecies from today to the year 3797.” How then does Fontbrune reconcile these four dates? He begins by calculating the difference between the year the prophecy was written, 1555, and the year 3797:

The result is 2,242 years. This should be carried over to the biblical chronology given in the Letter to Henri, Second King of France, i.e. 4,757 years from Adam to Christ. If one adds to these 4,757 years 2,000 years AD, the result is 6,757 — which does not make up the full seven millennia. I believe this is the reason why Nostradamus ‘fabricated’ this extra segment of time in order to cover the 242 years required to reach the year 7000 according to global chronology (6,999 – 6,757 = 242). By adding this segment of 2,242 years to the biblical reckoning one obtains 4,757 + 2,242 = 6,999 (i.e., 1999 AD), a date clearly specified in [Quatrain 10–72].16

Why should Fontbrune start with the date the prophecy was written or use Nostradamus’s first chronology in his Letter to Henry, which dates Adam at 4758 b.c., rather than his second one, which dates Adam at 4174 b.c.? Why, furthermore, didn’t Nostradamus just “fabricate” 243 years so the result would be the full 7,000 years instead of only 6,999? Only by a mathematical shell game can Fontbrune reconcile these discrepancies. Despite all the effort expended arguing for the year 1999 or 2000 as the beginning of the final millennium, Fontbrune elsewhere states, “According to Nostradamus, this thousand-year period begins in 2026, not 2000.”17

Keys. Nostradamus enthusiasts commonly claim to be the only recipients or discoverers of a secret knowledge or unique “key” that “unlocks” Nostradamus’s cryptic predictions. David Ovason argues the key is an occult “green language.”18 Ottavio Cesare Ramotti insists the key is cabala.19 Charles de Fontbrune denies the influence of cabala and argues the key is philological.20 So go the many competing theories.

All the theories proposed by the enthusiasts fundamentally involve a key, or system, or device Nostradamus supposedly used to “encode” his text or meaning. This key, system, or device must be applied in reverse to “decode” the text or meaning; nevertheless, on even the most basic level of codemaking — the anagram — even a slight change in the rules, such as arbitrarily adding or deleting letters, pollutes the “decoding” process. The number of devices and ad hoc rules proposed by the enthusiasts pollute the interpretive process and provide unlimited possibilities for generating the desired “decoded” text.

Astrology. Another prominent theory among enthusiasts is that Nostradamus used an astrological system whereby he related important events (past and future) to the position of the planets. In Quatrain 6–100, however, which bears the title “Incantation of the Law against Inept Critics,” Nostradamus placed astrologers first in a list of unwelcome interpreters:

Let those who read this verse consider it profoundly,

Let the profane and ignorant herd keep away:

And far away all Astrologers, Idiots and Barbarians,

May he who does otherwise be subject to the sacred rite.

This curious statement is difficult to reconcile with the claim, made by many enthusiasts, that astrologers are those best equipped to interpret Nostradamus’s prophecies. Enthusiasts argue the reason Nostradamus scorned astrologers was because his astrology was different from that of his contemporaries. Again, they use their theory to prove their theory.

Little in Nostradamus’s text suggests he possessed a profound understanding of astrology.21 Astrological theories nevertheless abound while interpretations based on these theories yield no proof. For example, to demonstrate the superiority of his knowledge of the prophet’s literary and astrological devices, enthusiast Peter Lemesurier interprets Quatrain 10–72 (see below). After much twisting and straining of the language and text, his method yields an interpretation about a Muslim invasion of Europe in July 1999.22 Lemesurier reminds readers, “Arriving at such a version as the above, however, demands a great deal of study and analysis.” Since July 1999 passed without this event having occurred, however, either Nostradamus’s prophecy was wrong or Lemesurier’s theory is wrong. Like all the other astrological theories, Lemesurier’s “key” fails to unlock any successful, specific predictions or even to provide any real insight into their meaning.

ARE NOSTRADAMUS’S PROPHECIES ACCURATE?

One definition of a false prophecy is a prophesied event that fails to occur. Deuteronomy 18:22 declares, “If the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously” (NASB). If even one of Nostradamus’s prophecies has proven false, then his prophecies as a whole fail to meet the criteria of 100 percent accuracy claimed for biblical prophecy.

What Did Nostradamus Say?

Nostradamus explicitly stated he could not be mistaken: “I cannot fail, err or be deceived, though I am the greatest sinner in this world, subject to all human afflictions” (emphasis added).23 He further claimed that his predictions set “forth the places and times so that men coming after may see them, knowing the events to have occurred infallibly” (emphasis added).24

Contrary to these claims, however, Nostradamus suggested the possibility of error: “I have calculated and composed all during choice hours of well-disposed days, and as accurately as I could….”25 “Should I, however, have made any errors in my calculation of dates, or prove unable to please everybody, I beg that your more than Imperial Majesty will forgive me” (emphasis added).26 “Although my calculations may not hold good for all nations….”27

Prophecies That Failed

Nostradamus’s few dated prophecies should provide the best examples of his accuracy since they are specific in at least that respect. The dated prophecies, however, were consistent failures: the Roman church did not conduct any widespread persecutions of astrologers in 1607 (Quatrain 8–71), the Arabs did not capture the King of Morocco in 1607 (Quatrain 6–54), no monk from Campania was elected Pope in 1609 (Quatrain 10–91), Turkey did not subjugate vast areas of Europe in 1700 (Quatrain 1–49), the Turks did not capture the King of Persia in 1727 (Quatrain 3–77), no upheavals of nature or famine nearly destroyed the human race in 1732, and no culmination of a long and savage religious persecution occurred in 1792 (Epistle).

His most recent dated failure was anticipated and dreaded for many years:

10-72

The year 1999, seventh month,

From the sky will come a great King of Terror:

To bring back to life the great King of the Mongols,

Before and after Mars to reign by good luck.

The name “King of Terror” has been applied to, among other subjects, the Antichrist, nuclear war, a giant meteor, and a foreboding solar eclipse. Enthusiast Henry Roberts suggests the quatrain refers to the arrival of the “Beast of the Apocalypse.” In defense of this interpretation he notes, “By a simple reversal of the numbers and turning 999 upside down we obtain 666.”28 None of these terrors came from the sky in July 1999.

Headlines and Flawed Interpretations

Each generation of enthusiasts finds the headline events of their time in Nostradamus’s quatrains. They suggest that Nostradamus foresaw many famous figures from Napoleon, to Hitler, to Ronald Reagan; historic events from the French Revolution, to the Civil War, to the Cold War; modern inventions from the hot air balloon, to the submarine, to the radio and the light bulb; and many contemporary events from the spread of AIDS, to the O. J. Simpson trial, to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The process is generally the same. After a connection has been made — however spurious — between a word or phrase in a quatrain and some historical person, place, or event, the rest of the text is either ignored or twisted to fit the desired interpretation using an arsenal of discovered “devices.” What is important to note is that justification for these interpretations, if any is given, is at best weak or faulty and at worst deceptive. Because the enthusiasts use so many tedious and confusing devices, it would take volumes just to examine the errors. The following critiques, then, are by no means complete analyses of the interpretations offered. They are, rather, given to illustrate that the case for the accuracy of Nostradamus is riddled with interpretive problems and errors.

1-25

Lost, found, hidden for so long a time,

The pastor [pasteur] will be honored as a demigod:

Before the Moon finishes its full period [cycle]

He will be dishonored by other winds.

This quatrain is said to refer to scientist Louis Pasteur, who discovered pasteurization. The Pasteur Institute was named in his honor. John Hogue includes this quatrain in his list of 10 debunker’s nightmares, but his unjustified interpretation offers no support. Hogue acknowledges that in Quatrain 6–28 the French word pasteur clearly means “pastor of a church” (the Pope?). The natural interpretation of line two in Quatrain 1–25 is that a pastor will be deified, but Hogue offers no explanation why he rejects this reading here. He translates the beginning of line three, “This happens when…” instead of “Before…,” but offers no justification for changing this preposition. Hogue states that the Institute was created in 1889, the end of the last great lunar cycle in astrology, but the Institute was actually established in 1887 and inaugurated in 1888.29 Finally, to suggest how the scientist might be dishonored by, as he translates line four, “other rumors as foul as farting,” Hogue points to a book written a century later that exposes Pasteur’s sloppy research procedures.30 Line one is left unexplained. Hardly a debunker’s nightmare!

1-26

The great one of the lightning falls in the daytime,

Evil predicted by the bearer of demands:

According to the prediction he falls in the nighttime.

Conflict at Reims, London, Tuscan plague.

Hogue claims the falls in this quatrain refer to the assassinations of John F. Kennedy at 12 noon (daytime) in 1963 and Robert Kennedy at 1 a.m. (nighttime) in 1968.31 No explanation is offered for the phrase of the lightning. He suggests that the bearer of demands (or petitions) in line two might be Jean Dixon, who supposedly predicted JFK’s assassination in 1956. No textual support for this suggestion is offered. Line four supposedly refers to student riots in France (Reims) and London in 1968–69 and the environmental effects of a flood in Tuscany, which occurred in 1966. The justification offered is that these events occurred near the year of Robert Kennedy’s death. Half a century ago Henry Roberts saw in this quatrain the taking over of Czechoslovokia by Hitler.32 It has not been demonstrated that this quatrain uniquely fits either of these events.

1-81

Nine will be set aside from the human flock,

Removed from judgment and counsel:

Their fate will be determined on departure,

K., Th., L., dead, banished, astray.

This quatrain is said by some enthusiasts to refer to the Challenger space shuttle disaster. Seven crew members were sent off (set aside). Even before liftoff the booster rocket began to fail (fate determined on departure), and the ground crew could do nothing (removed from judgment and counsel). K, Th, L (Greek: Kappa, Theta, Lambda) is supposedly an anagram for TH(io)K(o)L, referring to Morton Thiokol, Inc., manufacturer of the faulty rocket engine. The crew died (death) while a number of NASA officials were fired (banished, astray).

There are several problems with this interpretation. First, the number of crew members was seven and not nine. Second, enthusiasts offer no contextual reason why set aside from the human flock uniquely indicates being launched into space, or why judgment and counsel refers uniquely to the ground crew, except that they fit the interpretation. Third, there is no evidence validating that K, Th, L is an incomplete anagram rather than initials or an acronym. Henry Roberts offered another interpretation, saying this quatrain refers to the nine members of the Supreme Court.33

2-24

Beasts ferocious from hunger will swim across rivers:

The greater part of the region will be against the Hister,

The great one will cause it to be dragged in an iron cage,

When the German child will observe nothing.

This quatrain is said by some enthusiasts to refer to Hitler and the German army (beasts) battling across the Rhine river. In the earliest manuscripts, the s in Hister appeared as a tall, thin Gothic , which resembles an l. With little effort l can be substituted for and the letters transposed to spell Hitler. There is no justification, however, for doing so except that it is needed to fit the interpretation. A simpler explanation is that, in Nostradamus’s day, the Lower Danube River was known as the Ister or Hister and was associated with the Rhine River. Enthusiasts make the quatrain fit either interpretation. The iron cage in line three fits nothing in Hitler’s battles, so it is sometimes interpreted as the moving van in which Mussolini was kidnapped and murdered — a strained and unconnected interpretation at best.

6-97

At forty-five degrees the sky will burn,Fire to approach the great new city:In an instant a great scattered flame will leap up, When one will want to demand proof of the Normans.

10-49

Garden of the new world near the new city, In the path of the hollow mountains: It will be seized and plunged into the Tub [Vat],Forced to drink waters poisoned by sulfur.

In addition to several fabricated quatrains that began to circulate after September 11, these two authentic quatrains are currently being applied by some enthusiasts to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers (hollow mountains) in New York City (new city), which were near New Jersey, the Garden State (Garden). According to the enthusiasts, the sixteenth-century prophet described the unusual sight in his own figurative terms. New York City, however, is not at latitude 45 degrees, and Hogue even admits, “There are no cities exactly on or near latitude 45 that one could call ‘new.’”34 Second, the planes were neither on fire nor shooting fire from their engines when they approached the city.

These differences are significant. Quatrain 10–49 could just as easily refer to a volcanic eruption (flame will leap up) of Mount Vesuvius (hollow mountain), which is about 15 miles from Naples (Nea-polis, new-city), separated by a fertile, lava-enriched plain (Garden).35 Henry Roberts saw in this a great poisoned tidal wave coming from a pleasure resort near the new city.36 Again, it has not been demonstrated that these prophecies refer uniquely to any of these events.

WHAT SHOULD WE THINK?

Writing at about the time of Nostradamus, Italian scholar Francesco Guiciardini mocked the credulity of those who had willingly accepted Nostradamus’s prophetic ability despite evidence to the contrary. He declared, “How happy are the astrologers! who are believed if they tell one truth to a hundred lies, while other people lose all credit if they tell one lie to a hundred truths.”37

There is no need to be uncritical or uninformed regarding Nostradamus’s enigmatic prophecies. Beyond failing the biblical test of 100 percent accuracy, most of Nostradamus’s prophecies are vague and ambiguous. His reputation as an accurate prophet rests on spurious and unjustified interpretations. His prophecies pose no real challenge to the uniqueness of biblical prophecy, which is specific and accurate; nor should they cause us to fear the future or doubt the sovereign control of God, who has revealed all we need to know about the future through the biblical prophets.

NOTES

  1. See Edgar Leoni, Nostradamus and His Prophesies (New York: Bell, 1961), 57–75, for a thorough overview of commentators and critics up to 1961.
  2. Manuela Dunn Mascetti and Peter Lorie, Nostradamus: Prophecies for Women (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 16.
  3. See Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), 12–13, 164–202.
  4. Leoni, Preface, par. 33, 131. All translations of Nostradamus are from Leoni unless otherwise noted. “Preface” and “Epistle” refer to the prose sections in the Centuries.
  5. Ibid., Epistle, par. 4, 327.
  6. Eugene Parker, “Michel Nostradamus — Prophet” (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 1920), 63–64.
  7. Peter Lemesurier, The Nostradamus Encyclopedia (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997), 138.
  8. John Hogue, Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies (Rockport, MA: Element, 1997), 11.
  9. James Randi, The Mask of Nostradamus: The Prophecies of the World’s Most Famous Seer (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1993), 175.
  10. Ibid., 166–67.
  11. Bardo Kidogo, The Keys to the Predictions of Nostradamus (New York: Foulsham, 1994), 97.
  12. To calculate the number of possible combinations of a given number of letters such as in a word or name, start with the number of letters and multiply by the next decreasing number until you reach 1. NOSTRADAMUS has 11 letters, so the calculation would be 11 x 10 x 9 x 8 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 39,916,800. There are many Web sites that can figure some of the anagrams of any word entered, e.g., http://www.wordsmith.org/anagram/.
  13. Hogue, Complete Prophecies, 202.
  14. Ibid., 201–3.
  15. John Hogue, Nostradamus: The New Millennium (London: Element, 2002), 175–90.
  16. Jean Charles de Fontbrune, Nostradamus: Countdown to Apocalypse, trans. Alex Lykiard (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980), 33.
  17. Ibid., 155.
  18. David Ovason, The Secrets of Nostradamus: The Medieval Code of the Master Revealed in the Age of Computer Science (London: Century, 1997), 1.
  19. Ottavio Cesare Ramotti, The Nostradamus Code (Rochester, VT: Destiny Books, 1998), viii.
  20. Fontbrune, quoted in Randi, 167.
  21. Liberté E. LeVert [Everett Bleiler], The Prophecies and Enigmas of Nostradamus (Glen Rock, NJ: Firebell Books, 1979), 14.
  22. Lemesurier, 142.
  23. Leoni, Preface, par. 18, 127.
  24. Ibid., Preface, par. 33, 131.
  25. Ibid., Epistle, par. 6, 327.
  26. Ibid., Epistle, par. 9, 328.
  27. Ibid., Epistle, par. 11, 329.
  28. Henry C. Roberts, The Complete Prophecies of Nostradamus (Jericho, NY: Nostradamus, 1979), 336.
  29. “The History of the Pasteur Institute,” http://www.pasteur.fr/english.html (13 April 2002).
  30. Hogue, Complete Prophecies, 87–88.
  31. Ibid., 88–89.
  32. Roberts, 17.
  33. Ibid., 36.
  34. Hogue, New Millennium, 7.
  35. Leoni, 746.
  36. Roberts, 328.
  37. Randi, 87.

[ Steve Bright – Christian Research Journal ]


“False claim: Nostradamus predicted the coronavirus outbreak”

Posts on social media claim 16th century French astrologer Nostradamus predicted the new coronavirus. The different posts include a quote attributed to Nostradamus describing the spread of a plague in Italy that will be the end of the global economy as we know it. Some iterations of the claim also reference Nostradamus’ famous book “Les Propheties” (“The Prophecies”). ( here , here , here , here )

The claims include a prophecy written out as follows: “There will be a twin year (2020) from which will arise a queen (corona) who will come from the east (China) and who will spread a plague (virus) in the darkness of night, on a country with 7 hills (Italy) and will transform the twilight of men into dust (death), to destroy and ruin the world. It will be the end of the world economy as you know it.”

This claim is unfounded. Reuters found no evidence of this prophecy being written by Nostradamus. Stephane Gerson, Professor of French, French Studies, and History at New York University, told Reuters this text “does not come from Nostradamus’s ‘Prophecies’,” nor from other prognostications made by Nostradamus ( here ).

Gerson told Reuters, “One should keep in mind that plagues were recurrent in 16th-century Europe, during his lifetime. They were one of the travails about which he wrote (indeed, there are at least 35 references to plagues in his ‘Prophecies’).”

A search for key words in “Les Prophéties” online including “twin year”, “queen” and “east” brought no results ( here ).

The text is also not written in Nostradamus’ famous quatrains style, a type of poem that consists of four lines. Examples of Nostradamus quatrains can be seen here .

In his book “Nostradamus: How an Obscure Renaissance Astrologer Became the Modern Prophet of Doom” ( here ), Professor Gerson says Nostradamus’ lasting appeal relies on the fact that his “arcane predictions could mean anything”. According to Gerson, past experts linked Nostradamus’ success to “the “sheer number of quatrains and the Prophecies’ dearth of categorical statements and references to specific times and places”.

Gerson told Reuters why the timing of this claim during this outbreak doesn’t come as a surprise. “There is nothing surprising about the reemergence of such false Nostradamian prophecies in the wake of a disaster. The same thing has happened for over 400 years: invented or altered predictions, endowed with the aura of Nostradamus, surface again and again, part of an economy of forgery, mass media circulation, and yearnings for order and design each time an unforeseen event threatens our material well-being and our conceptual frameworks.”

Reuters Fact-Check team has debunked similar claims on alleged predictions of the COVID-19 outbreak. Some examples can be seen here and here .

VERDICT
FALSE: There is no evidence to support that Nostradamus prophesied the coronavirus outbreak.

[ Reuters Staff ]


“Bible Prophecy: Why Should I Care?”

Israel, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Conference. Session 01. Sugar Land Bible Church, Texas.  Andy Woods, Olivier Melnick and Jeff Kinley.

[ Jeff Kinley.  ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMc51XFP0AI


“The Importance of Bible Prophecy”

Andy Woods speaks on Bible Prophecy at the March 2018 “Steeling the Mind” Conference. Used by permission of Compass Int’l Ministries in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

[ Andy Woods ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV5OclKm0ds


“Why Is Bible Prophecy Important Now?”

The Bible warns us in Romans 13 “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”

GSV538 – Awaken Session #6

[ Dr. Mark Hitchcock ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr3b2Rih4yE


“Q&A About Bible Prophecy in General”

How can Christians justify ignoring Bible prophecy? Find out with Dr. David Reagan and team on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ Christ in Prophecy ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v-1g3ioHyE


“Why is it important for Christians to study biblical prophecy?”

From the Series, 5 Great Debates of the End Times

[ John Ankerberg ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-Oh-cXfw0I


“Why Should We Study Prophecy?”

When a stranger asks me, “When is your birthday?” I become a little suspicious. I don’t believe they plan to send me a present. They probably want to figure out my horoscope. It’s not unusual to meet people who use astrological predictions to plan their future. Some folks even spend money on fortune–tellers and New Age books. There are people who will try almost anything that promises to reveal the future.

If only these individuals knew where to look! The Word of God is the only place to find an accurate glimpse of tomorrow. Unlike psychics, God foretells the future with perfect wisdom. He knows every detail of the past, present, and future. Through the book of Revelation, He has shared a snapshot of the world’s final days with us. The word revelation itself means “the unfolding of that which was previously hidden or unknown.”

Sadly, the book of Revelation remains a mystery to many Christians. Some pastors have never preached about biblical prophecy from the pulpit because they fail to see its relevance in everyday life. It’s no wonder so many Christians are uninformed.

Have you ever wondered whether prophecy is important? After all, if we can’t know when Christ is returning, then what is the point of studying the End Times? Or maybe you’ve avoided the study of prophecy because it seems too difficult to understand. Perhaps you are simply uninterested in the future because the present keeps you preoccupied and overwhelmed.

I read once that we treat the book of Revelation like the priests and the Levites treated the Samaritan who was wounded on the road—we pass by it on the other side. Why do we avoid the study of prophecy? Or perhaps a better question would be, Why should we study the panorama of prophecy found in Scripture?

The Prominence of Prophecy
Out of the 216 chapters found in the entire New Testament, did you know there are 318 references to the Second Coming of Christ? That means if you were to omit passages about prophecy, you would have to remove one out of every thirty verses in the New Testament. You would also have to skip 23 of the 27 New Testament books because that’s how many mention it. For every prophecy about the birth of Christ, there are eight about His Second Coming. Considering prophecy’s prominence in the Bible, how could any believer call it unimportant?

Jesus not only spoke about the future on many occasions, but He also rebuked people who didn’t recognize the significance of current events. He scolded those who could read the sky for weather but were unable to read the signs of the times. In Luke 12:56, Jesus said, “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” It was no small matter to Him that the people of His generation remained ignorant about God’s prophetic Word. Jesus wants us to investigate what the Bible has to say about the future while asking God to help us determine the day and hour in which we live.

The Protection of Prophecy
Jesus knew that an understanding of prophecy would protect us from future deception. In Matthew 24:4–5, He said, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” This instruction is so important that it is recorded for us again in Mark 13 and Luke 21.

We are living in an age of widespread deception. Almost every week, I receive an advertisement for a new doctrine or method of understanding the Bible. You and I should not be surprised to witness the spread of false teaching. Jesus said in John 16:1, “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.” In other words, knowing what Jesus says about the future keeps us from falling into the trap of wrong doctrine.

While God wants to place us under prophecy’s umbrella of protection, the devil wants to keep us out. Satan knows that if we read Revelation, we’ll learn of his coming doom. We’ll realize that the adversary who tempts us every day has already been defeated and doomed to an eternal lake of fire. If we perceive Satan as a conquered foe in the future, it will help us claim victory over him today. Prophecy protects us from his attacks.

The Book of Signs: A Masterwork on Bible Prophecy
The Preparation of Prophecy
Jesus told many parables to illustrate the importance of being prepared for His coming. One parable was about a homeowner who had been robbed. If the homeowner had known the hour the thief would come, he surely would have watched to prevent the robbery. The lesson of the parable is simple: Be prepared. Always be ready for the Lord’s return, which will be as unpredictable as a thief in the night. First Thessalonians 5:4 says, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.” Prophecy prepares us to meet the Lord.

Prophecy prepares us for other future events as well. Hardly a day goes by without news of wars or rumors of wars, natural disasters or lawlessness. These grim headlines are discouraging. Yet Jesus told His disciples to look for such events as signs of the end of the age. In John 16:4, Jesus said, “These things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.” By studying biblical prophecy, we prepare ourselves for the days ahead. Even though a time of tribulation is approaching, the day of redemption also is drawing near.

The Practicality of Prophecy
Some Christians treat prophecy as an intellectual pursuit with no practical application. If we just walk away and feel smarter than when we started, or if we can boast of our academic studies, what useful difference does that make? The book of Revelation is not only for understanding—it is for action. We must not become so steeped in study that we forget the practicality of prophecy in our daily activities.

Taking prophecy seriously will affect the way we live. One of its most important applications is evangelism. When we live with an awareness of Christ’s imminent return, our enthusiasm to share the Gospel with others is renewed. Some of the most energetic people in the Church have been transformed by their study of prophecy. They are ministry–oriented, reaching out to the lost because they understand what will happen in the future. Prophecy is a driving force behind evangelism and righteous living.

When the Bible repeats something, it should catch our attention. In Revelation 2 and 3, there is a phrase that is repeated seven times: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” In other words, this message is for everyone. God wants every Christian to study prophecy.

The Prize of Prophecy
There is something else unique about the book of Revelation: It is the only book in the Bible that promises its readers a reward. The reward is revealed at the beginning and the ending of the book. Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” The blessing is reiterated in Revelation 22:7, “Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” I don’t know about you, but when God tells me how to receive a prize of blessing, I want to get in on it.

Take time to read and understand the book of Revelation. If you follow its instructions, there will be a prize of blessing for you.

Prophecy’s Panorama
Prophecy gives us a glimpse into the future so that we will know how to live in the present. That is why prophecy is prominent throughout the pages of the Bible. It protects us from deception and prepares us for Christ’s return. Prophecy is not only an academic exercise; it’s applicable for everyday living. At the end of our lives, we will receive a great reward of blessing if we have heeded its instructions.

The book of Revelation is not an imaginative piece of fiction designed for intrigue. No, it is an essential guidebook that teaches us the sequence of events leading up to the victorious return of Jesus Christ.

[ Dr. David Jeremiah ]


“Is Jesus for Real? Mathematical Proof!”

The fact that Jesus was born and actually did live is not what this page is all about. What this page is attempting to answer is, “Was the Jesus of the Bible who He claimed He was? Was He really God’s Son? Was Jesus the Messiah?”
There are over 300 prophecies listed below that point directly to the Messiah. 

Here is an example of just 8 :
 The time of His birth (see the Daniel 8 & 9 Timeline).
 He would be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2)
 He would be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14)
 He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. (Zechariah 11:12)
 He would be mocked. (Psalm 22:7,8)
 He would be crucified. (John 3:14)
 He would be pierced. (Psalms 22:16)
 He would die with the wicked, but He would be buried with the rich. (Isaiah 53:9)

[ Click link to read the details. ]

Original source: https://www.bibletimelines.net/articles/is-jesus-really-the-messiah

[ Bible TimeLines ]


“The Importance of Bible Prophecy” (Part 1 of 5)

Does Bible prophecy validate the Scriptures as God’s authentic word?

Bible prophecy is one of the most ignored topics in churches today. Pastors avoid it like a plague. They usually assert that it is either too controversial or too difficult to understand. They often claim it is too other-worldly, meaning it has no relevance to Christian living here and now. The result is that one-fourth to one-third of God’s Word has been put on the shelf, and the average Christian ends up living with no anticipation or even yearning for the Lords’ soon return.

There are two areas of God’s Word that have been terribly ignored and abused in the history of the Church. They are the opening of the Bible and the conclusion of the Bible — the books of Genesis and Revelation. People have tended to spiritualize the opening of the Bible by claiming that the 6 days of Creation were really 6 million or 60 million or 600 million years. When you start out spiritualizing the Bible by claiming that it doesn’t really mean what it says, there is a tendency to do the same thing with the ending of the Bible, arguing that the book of Revelation really doesn’t mean what it says.

But, the abuses of Bible prophecy applies to more than just the book of Revelation. It applies to all of God’s prophetic word, and that is a shame, because the study of Bible prophecy is very important for many reasons.

I’m going to give you nine reasons why all Christians should be interested in studying God’s Prophetic Word. The following are the first three.

  1. Quantity
    Number one is this: the quantity. One-fourth to one-third of the Bible is prophetic in nature. That comes as a great shock to many people, but it’s true. Think of it. In the Old Testament, you have the major prophecy books like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and all the Minor Prophets. Plus, you have the Psalms. Nearly all the Psalms are prophetic in nature. That is a lot of literature!

Then you get into the New Testament and you have entire books like 1 and 2 Thessalonians, the book of Revelation, and huge passages like Matthew 24 and Luke 21. One-fourth to one-third of the Bible is prophetic in nature.

What we are told in 2 Timothy 3 is that all Scripture, including prophecy, is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate equipped for every good work. Don’t take one-fourth to one-third of God’s Word and put it on the shelf. Dig into it. Study it. It will bless you.

  1. Uniqueness
    Another reason to study Bible prophecy is its uniqueness. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about this or not, but fulfilled prophecy is a unique characteristic of the Bible. There is no other book in the world that contains fulfilled prophecies. Did you know for example there’s not one fulfilled prophecy in any of the sayings of Confucius or Buddha? There is not one fulfilled prophecy in the Koran, not one. There is not one fulfilled prophecy in the Hindu Vedras. There is not one fulfilled prophecy in the book of Mormon, not one. Only the Bible contains fulfilled prophecy.

The Bible contains hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of prophecies that have already been fulfilled in history. Look at Isaiah 41, “‘Can your idols make such claims as these? Let them come and show what they can do,’ says God the King of Israel, ‘Let them try to tell us what occurred in years gone by, or what the future holds. Yes, that’s it, if you are gods tell what will happen in the days ahead.’” He’s mocking the idols. He’s saying you worship a totem pole. Have your totem pole tell me what is going to happen in the future.

I was in India once and noticed people worshiping large boulders, and even worshiping rats! Have the rat tell me what is going to happen in the future. Have the boulder tell me what is going to happen in the future. The God I worship, the true God of this Universe — Yahweh — He knows the future. He proclaims the future and He sees to it that it comes to pass. Test the idols in that way.

  1. Validates Scripture
    Here’s another reason we should study Bible prophecy: it validates Scripture. Prophecy attests to the supernatural origin of the Bible. Some seminaries say,”No, the Bible is simply man’s search for God.” It is not! It is God’s revelation to man. Bible prophecy proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

For example, take Isaiah 13. In Isaiah 13, he prophesied that Babylon will fall to the Medes and the Persians. When Isaiah wrote that prophecy, Babylon wasn’t even a world empire. When he wrote that prophecy, the world empire was the Assyrians. And ye, Isaiah said that one day Babylon will be the world empire and it will fall to the Medes and the Persians. That has to be supernatural knowledge!

Or, consider Micah 3:12 where Micah prophesied that Jerusalem would become a heap of ruins and that the Temple Mount would be plowed. That was written 100 years before Jerusalem was destroyed and the Temple Mount was plowed by the Babylonians.

Or, consider Jeremiah 29:10. Jeremiah said they were going into captivity in Babylon and there they would stay for 70 years. That is the exact amount of time they stayed there. In fact, in the 69th year of their captivity, Daniel discovered Jeremiah’s prophecy and calculated they had been there for 69 years. He realized they had never repented. And so, Daniel got on his knees and prayed one of the greatest prayers of repentance in all the Bible there in Daniel chapter 9. He asked God to forgive the nation that the prophecy might be fulfilled and so they would be released from captivity in the seventieth year.

Consider this. In Isaiah 44 and 45, written 150 years before the end of the Babylonian captivity, the Jews would be released from captivity by a king named Cyrus. Some 150 years before Cyrus was even born, Isaiah prophesied that the Jews would be released by this man, and the prophecy even gave Cyrus’ name.

Of course, many are familiar with the prophecies of Daniel, especially in Daniel 2 where Daniel was given a vision. He interpreted the vision for Nebuchadnezzar. “Sir, you are the golden head — the Babylonian Empire — and you will be overthrown by the chest of silver, which will be the Medo-Persian Empire. And it will be overthrown by the thighs of bronze, which will be the Greek Empire. And it will be overthrown by the empire represented by the two iron legs.” We now know that was the Roman Empire. Daniel wrote history in advance better than most people have written it after the fact. It was all by the supernatural knowledge of God.

Or, consider Jesus. Jesus was a great prophet. When He left the Galilee for the last time to go to Jerusalem, He put a curse upon three cities. He put a curse upon Capernaum and Bethsaida and Chorazin. He said, “If I had preached in Sodom and Gomorrah what I preached here, Sodom and Gomorrah would have repented. You didn’t repent, curse be upon you.” About 150 years later there was a great earthquake and those three cities were totally destroyed. Tiberius was not, but those three were. They were so totally destroyed that by 1800 the critics of the Bible were writing books in which they were saying they could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the Bible is full of myth, legend, and superstition because it said Jesus spent His ministry in those three towns, and yet they never existed. Today you can go visit all three, because since 1850, all three have been discovered by archaeologists.

Jesus was a prophet. In fact, there’s a picture of Him sitting on the Mount of Olives which reminds me of the fact that in the last week of His life He looked out on that city and said, “Do you see this city? Do you see that Temple? Not one stone will be left upon another. The Temple will be destroyed.” It was 40 years later in 70 AD that Jerusalem and the Temple fell, just as Jesus prophesied. Was that a coincidence? I don’t think so.

In the second part of my teaching on the importance of Bible prophecy, we’ll look at the fourth through sixth reasons why we should all be studying God’s prophetic word.

[ Dr. David Reagan ]


“The Importance of Bible Prophecy” (Part 2 of 5)

Does the teaching of Bible prophecy validate Jesus is God?

Bible prophecy is one of the most ignored topics in churches today. Pastors avoid it like a plague. They usually assert that it is either too controversial or too difficult to understand. They often claim it is too other-worldly, meaning it has no relevance to Christian living here and now. The result is that one-fourth to one-third of God’s Word has been put on the shelf, and the average Christian ends up living with no anticipation or even yearning for the Lords’ soon return.

There are two areas of God’s Word that have been terribly ignored and abused in the history of the Church. They are the opening of the Bible and the conclusion of the Bible — the books of Genesis and Revelation. People have tended to spiritualize the opening of the Bible by claiming that the 6 days of Creation were really 6 million or 60 million or 600 million years. When you start out spiritualizing the Bible by claiming that it doesn’t really mean what it says, there is a tendency to do the same thing with the ending of the Bible, arguing that the book of Revelation really doesn’t mean what it says.

But, the abuses of Bible prophecy applies to more than just the book of Revelation. It applies to all of God’s prophetic word, and that is a shame, because the study of Bible prophecy is very important for many reasons.

I’m going to give you nine reasons why all Christians should be interested in studying God’s Prophetic Word. The following is the fourth reason.

  1. Validates Jesus
    Let’s consider another reason for studying Bible prophecy, and that is it validates Jesus as who He said He was, that He was God in the flesh. Bible prophecy I think is the greatest evidence of that.

Look, for example, at Micah 5:2. This is probably one of the best known prophecies about the First Coming of the Messiah. It says in Micah 5:2 that the Messiah will be born in the town of Bethlehem. This was written 500 years before Jesus was born. But, did you know it says more than that? It says He will be born in Bethlehem Ephrata. Do you know why He said that? Because when He wrote that prophecy there were two Bethlehems in Israel. There were two. There was one up near the Sea of Galilee and there was one down south of Jerusalem. Micah wanted to nail it. It’s like if today I ask where you were born, and you said, “I was born in Springfield.” I’d have to ask you another question because there is a Springfield, Missouri, and a Springfield, Illinois, and a Springfield in almost every nation in the union. There were two Bethlehems. The prophet nailed it precisely!

These are not general, vague prophecies like the ones that Nostradamus wrote that you could take and interpret in any way you want to interpret them. These are precise prophecies. The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Ephrata.

Or, consider Psalm 22. This chapter has one of the most amazing prophecies of all about Jesus. The whole Psalm is about the Crucifixion. Psalm 22:16 says the Messiah will die by having His hands and His feet pierced. That was written 1,000 years before Jesus by King David! It was written at a time when the only way of execution by the Jews was by stoning. But, by Jesus’ time the Jews couldn’t stone because the power of execution had been taken away by the Romans. The Romans had developed a system called crucifixion in which the hands and the feet were pierced. This has to be supernatural knowledge for a person to prophecy that 1,000 years before Jesus is born and 700 years before the Romans developed crucifixion as a sophisticated way of killing people.

Or, look at the little book of Zechariah. It’s amazing the prophecies that are in that little book. People always say, “Oh, that is an apocalyptic book and doesn’t mean what it says.” How about the First Coming prophecies? It says the Messiah will come on a donkey. He will be hailed as a king. He will be betrayed. He will be betrayed by a friend. He will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. The 30 pieces of silver will be used to buy a potter’s field. It says He will be lifted up. It said He will be pierced. All of those prophecies are in that one little book and every one of them were literally fulfilled in the life of Jesus.

One time I did an intensive study of all the Messianic prophecies in the Bible and I came to the conclusion that there are approximately 330 prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures concerning the First Coming of the Messiah, but many of those are repetitive. For example, many times it says the Messiah will be of the lineage of David or the tribe of Judah. So, if you go through and you take out all the repetitive prophecies I came up with, and I have these listed in a book I wrote called The Christ in Prophecy Study Guide, that leaves 109 separate and distinct prophecies. That’s 109 that Jesus fulfilled! That’s a lot of prophecies for one person to fulfill.

The odds of just eight prophecies being fulfilled accidentally in someone’s life are 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That is a one with 17 zeros after it or 1 in one-hundred quadrillion. That’s not my calculations, those are the calculations of an astrophysicist who taught at a college in California back in the 40’s and 50’s by the name of Peter Stoner. I never met Peter Stone. I wish I could have as he’s gone to be with the Lord now. He wrote a book that was published by Moody Press and in this book he calculated these odds. You can go to the book, you can find all the calculations there, and this was just eight of the prophecies, not 109. He just took eight of the most famous prophecies concerning the Messiah and he calculated the odds at 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That is beyond the realm of accidental! It just can’t be.

Again, I never met Peter Stoner, but I know he was a good guy, and the reason I know he was a good guy is because in his book, Science Speaks, he uses Texas to illustrate this point, and being a Texan I love that. Here is his illustration using the great state of Texas. He said, “I want to give you an idea of what 1 in 10 to the 17th is.” He said, “Lets fill the state of Texas knee deep in silver dollars. Then fly over the state and flip out one silver dollar that has a black check mark on it. Then turn lose 10,000 bulldozers and let them just bulldoze around the state for about 10 years and get those silver dollars really mixed up. Then take a guy and blindfold him. The odds that on the first draw he will reach down and pick up the silver dollar with the black check mark is 1 in 10 to the 17th power.” We are not talking about coincidence here. We are not talking about accidental things. We are talking about prophecy fulfilled supernaturally in the life of Jesus Christ.

In the third part of my teaching on the importance of Bible prophecy, we’ll look at how the teaching of Bible prophecy encourages evangelism and holy living.

[ Dr. David Reagan ]


“The Importance of Bible Prophecy” (Part 3 of 5)

Does the teaching of Bible prophecy encourage evangelism and holy living?

Bible prophecy is one of the most ignored topics in churches today. Pastors avoid it like a plague. They usually assert that it is either too controversial or too difficult to understand. They often claim it is too other-worldly, meaning it has no relevance to Christian living here and now. The result is that one-fourth to one-third of God’s Word has been put on the shelf, and the average Christian ends up living with no anticipation or even yearning for the Lords’ soon return.

There are two areas of God’s Word that have been terribly ignored and abused in the history of the Church. They are the opening of the Bible and the conclusion of the Bible — the books of Genesis and Revelation. People have tended to spiritualize the opening of the Bible by claiming that the 6 days of Creation were really 6 million or 60 million or 600 million years. When you start out spiritualizing the Bible by claiming that it doesn’t really mean what it says, there is a tendency to do the same thing with the ending of the Bible, arguing that the book of Revelation really doesn’t mean what it says.

But, the abuses of Bible prophecy applies to more than just the book of Revelation. It applies to all of God’s prophetic word, and that is a shame, because the study of Bible prophecy is very important for many reasons.

I’m going to give you nine reasons why all Christians should be interested in studying God’s Prophetic Word. The following are the fifth and sixth reasons.

  1. Tool for Evangelism
    Another reason to study Bible prophecy is it is a great tool of evangelism. Most people don’t realize this. Bible prophecy is a tremendous tool of evangelism. It can be used as an effective tool to win people to Jesus. The very first Gospel sermon ever preached is proof positive of it. Read Acts 2, that short sermon that Peter preaches. All he did in that sermon was say, “The prophets said the Messiah would do this; Jesus fulfilled it. The prophet said the Messiah would do this; Jesus fulfilled it. The prophet said the Messiah would do this; Jesus fulfilled it.” That is all Peter’s sermon is — one prophecy after another. Suddenly the people interrupted him and asked, “What must we do to be saved?” They were convicted by the teaching of Bible prophecy and him showing them that Jesus had fulfilled prophecy.

Or, consider Philip and the Eunuch. Philip is given a horizontal rapture. He is taken over to another road. He sees this Ethiopian eunuch coming down the road reading a big scroll. He stops and they start talking. The Eunuch asks, “What is this scroll?” He quotes from it. What’s the passage? It’s Isaiah 53. Philip asks, “Do you understand it?” The Eunuch replies, “I don’t understand it.” Philip said, “Let me explain it.” He explains how Yeshua (Jesus) was the fulfillment of Isaiah 53. The man is baptized and then goes on his way rejoicing. He’s the first African convert and probably the guy who founded the Coptic Church. All with Bible prophecy!

Second Timothy 3:15 states, “From childhood you, Timothy, have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” That was written before the New Testament existed. When Paul says “from childhood you’ve known the sacred writings,” he’s not talking about Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He’s not talking about anything in the New Testament. He’s saying, “Timothy, from the time you were a child you have been taught the Torah. You have been taught what we call the Old Testament. From that alone you received enough wisdom to lead you to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” I would submit to you that wisdom is gained primarily through the study of Bible prophecy.

  1. Tool for Moral Teaching
    Another reason to study Bible prophecy is that it’s a great tool of moral teaching. The prophetic Word is a great repository of moral teaching.

Most people don’t realize that if you go through the prophets you will find three or four times as much forth-telling the present rather than foretelling the future. They spent most of their time reading the riot act to people. They spent most of their time talking about religious hypocrisy and things of that nature. For example, here is a quote from Amos. I love Amos! I call him the “Harry Truman of the Old Testament” because he spits words like bullets. Look at what he says. He is speaking for God and he says to them:

“I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer up to me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them. And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. Take away from me the noise of your song. I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.”

God is interested in justice. He is interested in righteousness. The Word is full of passages about His concern for widows and orphans, and for people using unjust scales. He is concerned about social justice. Yes, He is. He is more concerned about the salvation of our souls, but He is also concerned about social justice.

What Amos is saying here is not that these things are unimportant, for they are important. But, they are unimportant if you go through all this religious rigmarole and then you go home and cheat on your wife and cheat on your business partner and cheat on your taxes. What good is all the religious rigmarole? It’s all a bunch of hypocrisy!

Let me show you how this will preach. Here is Dave Reagan’s paraphrase version:

“I hate; I reject your Gospel meetings. Nor do I delight in your worship services. Even though you offer up to me your tithes and offerings, I will not accept them. I will not even look at your communion services. Take away from me the noise of your hymns. I will not even listen to the sound of your pianos. But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.”

The prophets are powerful in talking about morality.

In the fourth part of my teaching on the importance of Bible prophecy, we’ll look at the seventh and eighth reasons why we should all be studying God’s prophetic word.

[ Dr. David Reagan ]


“The Importance of Bible Prophecy” (Part 4 of 5)

Is knowing Bible prophecy necessary for understanding current events?

Bible prophecy is one of the most ignored topics in churches today. Pastors avoid it like a plague. They usually assert that it is either too controversial or too difficult to understand. They often claim it is too other-worldly, meaning it has no relevance to Christian living here and now. The result is that one-fourth to one-third of God’s Word has been put on the shelf, and the average Christian ends up living with no anticipation or even yearning for the Lords’ soon return.

There are two areas of God’s Word that have been terribly ignored and abused in the history of the Church. They are the opening of the Bible and the conclusion of the Bible — the books of Genesis and Revelation. People have tended to spiritualize the opening of the Bible by claiming that the 6 days of Creation were really 6 million or 60 million or 600 million years. When you start out spiritualizing the Bible by claiming that it doesn’t really mean what it says, there is a tendency to do the same thing with the ending of the Bible, arguing that the book of Revelation really doesn’t mean what it says.

But, the abuses of Bible prophecy applies to more than just the book of Revelation. It applies to all of God’s prophetic word, and that is a shame, because the study of Bible prophecy is very important for many reasons.

I’m going to give you nine reasons why all Christians should be interested in studying God’s Prophetic Word. The following are the seventh and eighth reasons.

  1. Stimulus for Spiritual Growth
    Here is another reason to study Bible prophecy. It is a great stimulus for spiritual growth in two areas.

First, Bible prophecy provides hope. The average Christian has very little hope. In terms of trying to define hope, just ask the average Christian, “What is your hope?” And they’ll say, “My hope is to go to Heaven.” You then ask, “Okay, what is Heaven?” Suddenly they become very inarticulate. Are you going to have a body? Going to have a name? Going to be recognizable? Are you going to eat? You going to work? You going to create things? Where are you going to be? Are you going to be on a cloud playing a harp? Are you going to be on the ground? Are you going to be in the New Jerusalem in the ground, or the New Jerusalem out in space? Did you know the Bible answers every question I just asked? Every one of them!

Sadly, we as Christians just haven’t studied. We don’t know. I’ve learned the more you know about Bible prophecy the greater your hope will be. Promise after promise after promise after promise is made to us as overcomers, and we need to know those promises and live in the hope and expectation of those promises.

Second, Bible prophecy motivates holiness. Almost every passage in the New Testament that talks about prophecy says, for example in 1 John, to focus your life upon the return of Jesus Christ. Think about the return of Jesus Christ, because as you think about the return of Jesus Christ you will purify yourselves.

Bible prophecy inspires evangelism and holiness. It is very practical.

  1. Understanding of Current Events
    An eighth reason to study Bible prophecy is that it provides an understanding of current events. There is no way you can understand why there is so much decay in society today unless you know what the Bible says about that. Jesus said when He prophesied point blank that the world would be going to go full circle and that when He came back it would be going just as evil and violent and immoral as it was in the days of Noah. We are seeing that happening before our very eyes.

I have a Time magazine cover about the proliferation of swearing in society. Even people who are secular, even people who do not have a spiritual bone about them, recognize the deterioration of society. There’s a whole cover of Time magazine devoted to dirty words in movies, television, radio, and with the shock jocks. Time asks, “What is our nation coming to?”

Or, consider this apostasy in the Church. Who would ever dream just 20 years ago that we would live in an age when denominations would be endorsing homosexuals as bishops of their churches, and even advocating marriage between homosexuals? That is how fast it has deteriorated. It’s amazing!

I know a bishop of a church in a major denomination who wrote a book about five years ago in which he denied the virgin birth, denied the miracles of Jesus, denied the Second Coming, and argued that Paul and Timothy were homosexual lovers. Why does he even bother?

More and more we are seeing people even among people calling themselves “Evangelicals” like in the Emergent Church Movement who are just taking the Word of God and throwing it out claiming, “There’s not really any truth. We just have got to be touchy-feely about doctrine. We mustn’t be judgmental. We mustn’t be intolerant.” Truth is going out the window!

The growing apostasy reminds me of W. A. Criswell, the former pastor of First Baptist Church, who once said to the effect, “The more I look around at the apostasy in the Church, I’ve come to the conclusion that most people believe that the only part of the Bible that is inerrant and inspired is that part they agree with.” In other words, if you agree with a certain passage, only then is it inspired. If I don’t agree with it, its not inspired and I’ve, got to throw that out, cut that out, get the scissors and chop it out of the Bible. That’s where we are today with the apostasy of the Church.

Or, consider the Middle East. There is no way, no way, you could even begin to understand what is going on the Middle East today unless you know something about the history of Israel from the Word of God and the promises of God to Israel. The fact that Israel has an everlasting covenant for that land God has never taken away. The deed to that land belongs to them. You can’t begin to understand all the conflict that is going on there today unless you get into Bible prophecy. Suddenly your eyes will be opened and you will be understanding things that you never understood before.

In the fifth and last part of my teaching on the importance of Bible prophecy, we’ll look at the final reason why we should all be studying God’s prophetic word and glean three prophetic facts.

[ Dr. David Reagan ]


“The Importance of Bible Prophecy” (Part 5 of 5)

Is Bible prophecy revealing the soon return of Jesus Christ?

Bible prophecy is one of the most ignored topics in churches today. Pastors avoid it like a plague. They usually assert that it is either too controversial or too difficult to understand. They often claim it is too other-worldly, meaning it has no relevance to Christian living here and now. The result is that one-fourth to one-third of God’s Word has been put on the shelf, and the average Christian ends up living with no anticipation or even yearning for the Lords’ soon return.

There are two areas of God’s Word that have been terribly ignored and abused in the history of the Church. They are the opening of the Bible and the conclusion of the Bible — the books of Genesis and Revelation. People have tended to spiritualize the opening of the Bible by claiming that the 6 days of Creation were really 6 million or 60 million or 600 million years. When you start out spiritualizing the Bible by claiming that it doesn’t really mean what it says, there is a tendency to do the same thing with the ending of the Bible, arguing that the book of Revelation really doesn’t mean what it says.

But, the abuses of Bible prophecy applies to more than just the book of Revelation. It applies to all of God’s prophetic word, and that is a shame, because the study of Bible prophecy is very important for many reasons.

I’m going to give you nine reasons why all Christians should be interested in studying God’s Prophetic Word. The following is the final reason.

  1. Reveals the Season of the Lord’s Return
    Finally we need to study Bible prophecy because it reveals the season of the Lord’s return. Nobody can know the date, but we can know the season. Beyond a shadow of a doubt we can know the season.

Look at 1 Thessalonians 5. “Now as to the signs and the seasons, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you for you yourselves know full well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” That’s where I used to stop reading. The Church I grew up in, we stopped there. The preacher would say, “See, not anything you need to know about the coming of the Lord. He will come like a thief in the night. He’s going to sneak up on you. You might as well not think about it nor worry about. Don’t be focused on Jesus coming back, just go on and live your life.”

One day I kept reading 1 Thessalonians 5, and look what it says: “But you, brethren, you believers, are not in darkness that the day should overtake you like a thief. For you are sons of light, and sons of day. We are not of night or darkness, so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.” Why are we sons of day? Because we have the Holy Spirit residing inside of us. And, by leaning on the Holy Spirit, we can understand things from the Word of God that others cannot understand. We can know the season of the Lord’s return.

Jesus is coming like a thief in the night for the world. He is coming like a thief in the night for unbelievers. He is coming like a thief in the night even for those who are believers but don’t know Bible prophecy. But, for those who know Bible prophecy, He is not coming like a thief in the night.

I remember a few years ago when I was in Orlando, Florida speaking. There was a great man of God there by the name of Albert Peak. He’s gone to be with the Lord now. He was 80 years old, and this was the early 90’s. At 80 years old he got up and said, “I’ve been asked to speak on the signs of the times that point to the soon return of Jesus. I’ve been preaching on this for 60 years. Sixty years ago when I began I had to scratch around like a chicken to find just one sign. Today there are so many signs that I’m no longer looking for signs. I’m listening for a sound — the sound of a trumpet!” That’s where I am. I’m listening for the sound of that trumpet.

Look at Hebrew 10:25: “Do not forsake the assembling together as is the habit of some. But encourage one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” What day? It is the Day of Judgment. In verse 27 it is saying that there is something we can see. There’s something that we can perceive with our senses. We can say, “You see that? You see that? You see that? Jesus is coming soon. See that? See that? See that? Jesus is coming soon.” There is something that can be perceived, and of course those are the signs of the times.

Or, consider what Jesus said in Matthew 24:33, “Even so, when you see all these things…” What? The signs He’s been talking about, “…recognize that He’s near right at the door.” When you see all these things taking place, all of them coming together, you will know that I am right at the door ready to step out on a cloud and come back.

Conclusion: all of God’s Word is profitable. All of it! That includes God’s prophetic Word.

So, read it. Study it. And, be blessed by it. Then share it with other people.

Three Facts From Bible Prophecy
I want to take a moment to emphasize three facts that are taught in God’s prophetic word.

First, Jesus is returning to this earth to reign for a thousand years in glory and majesty from Mount Zion in Jerusalem. During that time, the earth is going to be flooded with peace, righteousness and justice as the waters cover the seas. This is a promise that is made over and over in both the Old and New Testaments. It is one that Jesus Himself made over and over. In fact, Jesus’ last words on this earth were a promise to return. They were spoken to the Apostle John on the Island of Patmos when Jesus appeared to him 65 years after His resurrection. Jesus said to John, “I am coming quickly,” meaning He is going to return suddenly. And John cried out, “Amen! Come Lord Jesus!”

The second prophetic fact that is made clear in God’s prophetic word is that the return of Jesus is going to take place in two stages. First will be the Rapture of the Church, and then, some seven years later, the Second Coming.

The third prophetic fact is that the Rapture of the Church can occur at any moment. There is not one prophecy that has to be fulfilled for the Rapture to occur.

And so, I have a vital question for you: “Are you ready for the Rapture, or will you be left behind to face the terror of the Antichrist and the wrath of God during the Great Tribulation?”

If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are ready. If not, then you need to repent of your sins and reach out in faith and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Do not delay! God in His mercy has extended your life to this moment to give you an opportunity to escape the wrath of God by accepting His grace that He has offered in the gift of His Son.

[ Dr. David Reagan ]


“Why Teaching Bible Prophecy Is Important”

Sometimes people will say ‘Oh, we can’t understand Bible prophecy.’ Yet the Scripture says ‘Let the reader understand.’ And the fact of the matter is that the very word ‘revelation,’ as in the Book of Revelation, means unveiling. It is not God’s desire to conceal but to reveal. And there is even a blessing promised in Revelation to the person that reads, hears, and keeps the words of the Book. 

[ Don Stewart ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IszRBnko4ag


“Why Is Biblical Prophecy Important?”

Jason Jimenez shares the importance of biblical prophecy.

[ The One Minute Apologist ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8AI57RZQa4


“Is Biblical Prophecy Important?”

Not long ago, I “masked up” and met a fellow pastor at a coffee shop to help him choose a subject for his upcoming preaching series. Because of this “series of unfortunate events” that popularly became known as 2020, I casually suggested preaching from a prophetic book.

“I am really struggling to keep our congregation engaged in serious study,” the pastor admitted, “and the last thing I want to do is start into any passage that will sound speculative, or could be easily sensationalized by the news, or become congregationally divisive.”

He flatly asked me, “Why should I include prophetic passages in the preaching diet of our church when even mature Christians don’t agree on what they all mean?”

It was a thoughtful question, and it deserved a serious answer.

After all, any who have tried to teach through prophetic books will admit the study to “rightly divide the text” can be quite intense, and it doesn’t easily lend itself to offering a myriad of practical instructions that equip today’s struggling families to practice their faith or reach out with the Gospel.

The notion of impracticality probably wouldn’t be surprising if the prophets themselves heard the objection! Those men and their message have always been a point of contention. Long after God revealed to Moses the nature and work of both priests and Levites, He raised up the office
of “seer” or “prophet.” While priests were carefully schooled in practices of atonement sacrifices and were generally well-respected in the ancient Jewish community, prophets came from diverse backgrounds, and were not as widely (or easily) accepted. They didn’t conform to a singular training method, though Elijah and Elisha did minister in some sort of “school of the prophets.”

The work of the prophet was to lend voice (and sometimes written word) to “God’s view of events” and allow people to pick out the underlying and permanent spiritual meanings that were too often veiled. It wasn’t always easy to understand the point of each prophecy, and many demonstrate multiple fulfillments, particularly when they related to a type of Messiah, and also to His work.

With all that possible ambiguity, why would we deem prophetic study as important for a believer’s growth and discipleship? Let me suggest several reasons:

First, prophecy is important because it is an extensive part of God’s revealed truth. Dr. James Gray, the third president of Moody Bible Institute, once noted, “Taking it in bulk, more than one-half of the Bible is predictive, so no further reason is necessary as to why Christians should study prophecy.”

Assuming God knew what we needed better than we do, we would be wise to be wary of anyone who casually dismisses parts of the Bible as “less relevant” to a proper understanding of our Heavenly Father and our mission. While detailed understanding of prophecy is no requirement for salvation, the end goal for us isn’t merely to be saved, but to walk with Him and be led by Him daily. By calling us to know His Word, and by including predictive prophecy in His Word, God signaled His expectation that His people will pay attention to prophetic messages, and avoid being misled by false prophets and error.

Perhaps that is why the Apostle Paul sternly warned the Thessalonians about those teaching false versions of end- time prophecy and used the words, “Let no one deceive you.” Paul was not alone. Jesus warned in Matthew 24 of some who will deceive many— including God’s chosen people, if they aren’t well versed and discerning of the holy text when the time arrives.

Second, prophetic portions offer important answers to questions about the spiritual world. People who are led by Jesus want to know what happens to them when they die, and what will happen to the world in the coming days. Is there a resurrection of the dead and when will it occur? How and when is God’s judgment? These questions are more than fleeting curiosity. They help settle us as we mature in our faith.

Third, prophecy reminds us that patience is a virtue and waiting on God is a necessary discipline for every believer. James (James 5:7-9) reminded us that we must “be patient” until the coming of the Lord, like the farmer who scans a dry field and awaits coming rains. “Instant” is not a normal descriptor for God’s work. He tends to work through extended processes over significant periods. Knowledge of the basics of His revealed plan can build enduring confidence in His control of every event leading to the end of the story, but we will be forced to learn to wait on Him.

Fourth, prophetic portions help us keep perspective over life’s hardship and pain. Rehearsing prophetic timelines can reduce punishing frustration in tough times. We can watch the rise of a Hitler, Stalin, or Bin Laden and become deeply dismayed unless we draw on the revelation of our Savior’s promised return and days ahead when He will set the books straight. Such prophecies help us construct a stable foundation offering courage during time of trial as we trust that God’s hand is directing events with purpose. Prophecy makes clear that He alone will draw things to a culmination in His time. In the darkest moment, we can recall that one day the King of Kings will be revealed to all as the Victor. When we are certain of the outcome and understand some of the purpose of troubles, perhaps we can endure pain.

Fifth, studying prophecy should spur me toward a more distinct (holy) walk. The Apostle Peter called for believers to “prepare their minds for action, keep sober in spirit,” as he reminded: “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” (I Peter 4:7).

Consider how engaging passages on the return of Jesus, and an anticipated face- to-face meeting with Him at the Bema Seat of Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 3 and 2 Cor. 5) can impact our daily choices. Like people who “put on the breaks” when they see a police car beside the high- way, students of prophecy are reminded of coming events and a time when we will give account of our actions to Jesus, and that should cause us to make better choices.

Sixth, prophecy can prepare us so we are not overwhelmed by evil. When darkness rolls in like a storm, it
is hard to remain positive and feel our efforts are not being over-run by forces far more powerful than our own. The description given by Paul in 2 Timothy 3 of “people of the last days” speaks powerfully about the world believers will find themselves engulfed within. Listen to the description (my paraphrase):

It will be a society filled with people who who think highly of those who shamelessly brag, appear openly haughty and don’t bind their tongue before uttering things fully insulting to God and that which

He called sacred. Loud voices will promote lost respect for authority and feel entitled to whatever they choose. They won’t abstain from flagrant violation of Biblical morality; won’t cherish the boundaries that God placed on life and won’t feel the need to live up to promises and contracts if they change their mind. They will seem unable to govern their behaviors, and will have lost sensitivity to those hurt by their trampling of what went before them. They will laugh at, celebrate and entertain themselves with evil but won’t prize good. They will want change even if it is reckless and openly believe they are worth much even if they have accomplished little. Paul’s list ends with this: they will quote verses and use the Bible in their speech – but not within the context and purpose for which they were revealed.

We can wring our hands and wag our fingers at such a lost world, but that was not the driving force behind this prophetic warning. The warnings were to allow the church to know the signs of the end, and to enable shepherds (and through them all believers) to get prepared to navigate this kind of world. It was to keep believers from being overwhelmed by evil and increasingly press them to remain courageous in spite of surroundings. In short, believers were warned so they could be prepared. Standing in shock and disbelief, the church would lose valuable time mounting a response to changed conditions. Yet, God gave us a graphic depiction beforehand.

Seventh, prophecy doesn’t just expose events of the future; it exposes God’s character. How exciting it is to know more about our Creator! How powerful the picture of the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” as set forth in the pages of the Bible’s final book! Of all that we can know of our God, perhaps these three characteristics are best reflected in the prophetic words:

Prophets laid bare the unparalleled power of God. No scene can better depict the might of the Creator than reading about the “Great White Throne” judgment near the very end of the Bible. There is no place to flee God’s judgment, and no one powerful enough to contend with Him.

In that same way, prophecy profoundly exposed the justice of God. The final scenes of human history unfold to declare God has the absolute right to have all things subjected to Him. In His Word, He never minimizes sin, nor hides its devastating effects. Unresolved cases from earth with their unsettled victims find ultimate solace in the fact that the judge has overlooked nothing. Every unconvicted criminal and rapist will stand trial, and every victim wounded so deeply in this life will find peace in the presence of the One Who sees all, remembers all, and holds all to account.

It is also true the prophecies hold out a message of the love of God for His creation. Sitting on a hillside overlooking Nineveh, Jonah argued with God about the forgiveness He offered the repentant gentiles, but the prophet got a front row seat to see God’s joy in offering grace. Jonah saw God’s love drive God’s proclamation. Prophecy, then, like every other part of God’s revealed Word doesn’t just lead us to know events and timelines, they lead us to know God in ways we might not see Him if those portions were neglected.

Prophecy is an essential part of our spiritual diet, so God included it in the book. He called us to know and trust Him. He beckons us to recognize the times and seasons and be ready to meet Him soon. The time between pronouncements of coming judgment and that day of adjudication is “grace time.” That probably best describes our moment in history right now. – by Dr. Randy Smith

Dr. Randy Smith is the founder of Great Commission Bible Institute and served as teaching pastor at Grace Church, Sebring, Fla. He is also the founder of Christian Travel Study Programs and frequently leads study tours of Israel, Italy, Greece, and other Mediterranean countries.

[ Liz Cutler Gates ]


“IS BIBLE PROPHECY IMPORTANT?”

The Bible states that someday in the future a man will stand up in a temple in Jerusalem and claim he is king of the world. [1] Before this happens this man will have implemented a world peace plan.

Did you know that current events indicate this scenario may be just ahead?

A headline I saw recently caught my attention. This is what I read: “Chief Rabbi Asks Dalai Lama to Help Set up Religious UN in Jerusalem.” The article itself was brief, but very interesting. Quoting from the article:

Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi, Yonah Metzger, meeting with the Dalai Lama, a Buddhist monk who is the leader of Tibet, suggested that representatives of the world’s religions establish a United Nations in Jerusalem, representing religions instead of nations, like the UN currently based in New York. [2]

Now, because I have been following Bible prophecy for some time, this particular news item was very interesting to me. Twenty-five years ago, if a news agency had announced a “religious United Nations” to be established in the city of Jerusalem headed up by a Buddhist who many people say is God, the Christian community would have paid attention.

Not so today! Christianity, since the year 2000 has undergone some major changes. Many who were once looking for the imminent return of Jesus seem to have fallen asleep. We now live in a period of time where prominent Christian leaders are telling the Christian masses that paying attention to the signs of our times in light of the Bible is a waste of time.

For example, listen to the following statement by Pastor Rick Warren, taken from pages 285-286 of his popular book, “The Purpose Driven Life.” Regarding the value of Bible prophecy, Warren wrote:

When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus quickly switched the conversation to evangelism. He wanted them to concentrate on their mission to the world. He said in essence, “The details of my return are none of your business. What is your business is the mission I have given you. Focus on that!” [3]

It is amazing to me that a statement of this importance would be found in a number one best seller in the present day Christian book market. While of course, witnessing the gospel “according to the Scriptures” is what Christians are to be about, Jesus also said to be alert and ready when He returns. Knowing the signs that He said would be happening at this time are of paramount importance. However, to this Warren further states:

Speculating on the exact timing of Christ’s return is futile, because Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Since Jesus said he didn’t know the day or hour, why should you try to figure it out? … If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy. [4]
 

So there we are – the gospel according to Rick Warren does not pay much attention to Bible prophecy. In my opinion, this is a mistake. Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was emphatic about the importance of Bible prophecy. He wrote:

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. [5]

Christians are called to be witnesses and watchmen. There are no Scriptures that tell us that in the last days we are to ignore the events that have been pointed out to us as signposts that indicate the imminent return of Jesus. If we do, we might be like the virgins who fell asleep waiting for the bride groom. [6]

[1] 2 Thessalonians 2:4
[2] Online posting:  http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=11885&t=1&c=1, February 20, 2006.
[3]  Rick Warren, “Purpose Driven Life,” Zondervan, page 285.
[4]  Ibid., pages 285-286. [Emphasis not in original.]
[5]  2 Peter 1:19
[6]  Matthew 25: 1-13

[ Roger Oakland ]


“Answering Attacks on Biblical Prophecy”

Fulfilled prophecy is one of the strongest evidences for the truthfulness of the Bible and the authenticity of Jesus Christ.

Numerous Old Testament predictions were fulfilled perfectly in Christ. As the apostle Peter preached: “To Him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name” (Acts 10:43Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)).

Our Lord Himself, on the road to Emmaus, demonstrated how the Old Testament pointed to Him as the Messiah. “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). Jesus’ life, which culminated in His death, burial, and resurrection, was the perfect fulfillment of God’s prior revelation (Matt. 5:17Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)); everything took place “according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3–4Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)).

Though the evidence is overwhelming, unbelieving critics and skeptics raise objections nonetheless. In their unwillingness to embrace the truth, they propose alleged “problems” with biblical prophecy. But how are Christians to answer those kind of critical attacks?

In this post, I’d like to briefly respond to five common objections to biblical prophecy:


Critical Objection 1: Many biblical prophecies were written after the events they predict.

This objection is usually reserved for prophecies that were both predicted and fulfilled during Old Testament times. (After all, it’s impossible to credibly assert that messianic prophecies from the OT post-date the life of Christ.)

In response, a couple points can be made. First, very compelling cases have been made by conservative commentators for the authenticity of each of the Old Testament prophecies in question. Excellent discussions on the dating of each prophetic book, and even each individual prophecy, can be found in solid exegetical commentaries and other OT resources.

As just one example, consider the book of Daniel (a particular hotbed for critics), in which the prophet Daniel predicts with astonishing detail the rise of the Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires. In chapter 11 of Daniel alone there are over 100 prophecies which were fulfilled years after they were predicted. “The detail of this history as presented provides one of the most remarkable predictive portions of all Scripture,” notes commentator Leon Wood. [1]

Daniel’s prophecies are so precise, in fact, that critical scholars have argued that it could not have been written until after the events it describes (usually ascribing it a date in the second century B.C.). But as biblical linguist and Old Testament professor Gleason Archer explains,

The linguistic evidence from Qumran makes the rationalistic explanation for Daniel no longer tenable [i.e., that it was written after the events it predicts]. It is difficult to see how any scholar can defend this view and maintain intellectual respectability. . . . There is no evading the conclusion that the prophecies of the Book of Daniel were inspired by the same God who later fulfilled them, or who will fulfill them in the last days. [2]

When the evidence is honestly considered, biblical prophecies (like those in Daniel) cannot be explained away.

Second, it is important to understand that the case for redating OT prophecies (as the critics attempt to do) is an arbitrary one—driven not by historical evidence but by antisupernatural presuppositions.

Bruce Waltke reveals why critical scholarship is unwilling to accept the actual date of Daniel’s authorship, in the sixth century B.C., even after linguistic and archaeological evidence has confirmed it.

If evidence for a sixth-century date of composition is so certain, why do scholars reject it in favor of an unsupportable Maccabean hypothesis? The reason is that most scholars embrace a liberal, naturalistic, and rationalistic philosophy. Naturalism and rationalism are ultimately based on faith rather than on evidence; therefore this faith will not allow them to accept the supernatural predictions. [3]

Moreover, in their attempt to explain away OT prophecies by redating them, skeptics generally ignore one major aspect of biblical prophecy — namely, those prophecies relating to Jesus Christ. Since messianic prophecies (which everyone agrees predate Jesus) were literally fulfilled by Christ, they serve as compelling examples of authentic predictive prophecies. As such, they directly undermine any antisupernatural bias.

If the Old Testament accurately predicted the coming of the Messiah, hundreds of years before He came, there is no reason to doubt the authenticity of its other predictions. As William Webster explains, “The Old Testament prophecies are there for all to read. There are several hundred years between the writings of these prophecies and the life of Jesus, and yet He fulfilled every one of them” [4]


Critical Objection 2: Many “fulfillments” were arbitrarily directed toward Jesus by His followers (even though the original prophecies were not messianic in their original contexts).

This objection is due in large part to confusion over the way that the New Testament writers speak of prophetic “fulfillments.” As Bible scholar William Varner explains:

Regarding the specific number of promises about the Messiah, there is a wide divergence of opinion. Rabbinical writings refer to 456 separate Old Testament passages used to refer to the Messiah and messianic times (Edersheim, 710-41). One Christian scholar lists 127 personal messianic prophecies (Payne, 667-68). The differences are due to the way in which the New Testament refers to the Old Testament promises. There are direct messianic prophecies (e.g., Micah 5:2Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); Zech. 9:9Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)); typical messianic prophecies, utilizing an immediate referent in the prophet’s day which pointed to the ultimate referent (e.g., the sacrificial levitical system); and applications of Old Testament concepts to the Messiah (e.g., the reference Matthew 2:23Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) makes to the prophets saying: “He will be called a Nazarene.”) If we limit ourselves to the direct messianic prophecies just mentioned, a conservative number would be around 65. [5]

When we talk about “fulfilled prophecy” with unbelievers, it is best to either explain how the New Testament speaks of fulfillment, or to focus on direct messianic prophecies. Narrowing the “prophetic field” to just the direct messianic prophecies does not diminish the apologetic value of prophecy. Rather it increases the credibility of our apologetic case by removing potential confusion from the hearer.

It has been calculated that the probability of only 48 prophecies coming true in one person is 10 to the 157th power, making it a statistical impossibility. [6] Thus, with 65 direct prophecies related to Jesus, the case for Christ does not get any weaker when we get more specific.

We would add also that the Jews before the time of Jesus saw key passages like Genesis 3:15Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); 49:10Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); Deuteronomy 18:15Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), 18–19Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); Psalms 2; 118:22; Isaiah 11:1–10Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); and 53:1–12Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) as messianic in nature. Jesus’ followers did not invent the messianic implications of these passages. [7] As Alfred Edersheim explains, “A careful perusal of their [the Rabbi’s] Scripture quotations shows that the main postulates of the New Testament concerning the Messiah are fully supported by Rabbinic statements.” [8]

To this we could add the words of Franz Delitzsch and Parton Gloag: “The ancient Jews admit the Messianic character of most of [the messianic prophecies]; although the modern Jews, in consequence of their controversy with the Christians, have attempted to explain them away by applications which must appear to every candid reader to be unnatural.” [9]


Critical Objection 3: Many of the “fulfillments” were intentionally fulfilled by Jesus, meaning they were contrived. Jesus was motivated to try and fulfill messianic prophecy, so He manipulated the circumstances to make that happen.

The answer to this objection is easy. On the one hand, there are prophecies that Jesus intentionally fulfilled. We cannot deny that He was very aware of the Father’s timing (cf. John 13:1Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); 17:1Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)), and that He deliberately purposed to accomplish certain things at the proper moment (cf. Luke 9:51Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); 18:31Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)).

On the other hand, Jesus fulfilled many prophecies that no mere man could accomplish in his own power, no matter how intentional he might be. The Old Testament predicts that the Messiah would be a physical descendant of Abraham (Gen. 22:18Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)), Jacob (Num. 24:17Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)), Judah (Gen. 49:10Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)), Jesse (Is. 11:1Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)), and David (Jer. 23:5Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)), but not of Jeconiah (Jer. 22:30Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) — making the virgin birth necessary); that He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)); that He would have a forerunner like Elijah (Mal. 3:1Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)); that He would be able to perform miracles (Is. 35:5Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), 6Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)); that He would cause a major stir among His people and eventually be rejected by them (Psalm 118:22Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)); that He would be beaten and killed as a criminal (Is. 53:5–12Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)); that He would be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Is. 53:9Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)); that He would have His side pierced (Zech. 12:10Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)); that He would die before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple (Dan. 9:26Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)); and that, in spite of His death, His days would be prolonged, implying His resurrection (Is. 53:10Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)).

That list is not exhaustive, but it makes the point — these are things that are humanly impossible to fake or manipulate. Jesus fulfilled many prophecies that, from a human perspective, could not have been “orchestrated” or “pre-arranged.”

Finally, it should be noted that even if Jesus did fulfill some prophecies intentionally, it does not invalidate those predictions. The fact that Jesus fulfilled OT prophecy perfectly, intentionally or not, points convincingly to Him as the Messiah. No one else in all of history (in spite of their best efforts) can make such a claim.

In the words of Robert Newman: “Of all the Messianic claimants that Judaism has ever had, the only one ever considered an outstanding historical figure and ethical teacher (even by atheists) is Jesus of Nazareth. And He ‘just happened’ to conduct His short public ministry and be ‘cut off’ (killed) in the period A.D. 28-35 [in fulfillment of Daniel 9]!” [10]


Critical Objection 4: Many of the “fulfillments” were invented by Jesus’ followers (as recorded in the NT gospels) and cannot be independently verified by other sources.

This objection can also be answered on several fronts. First, as we have written about elsewhere, the New Testament gospel writers demonstrate themselves to be historically reliable sources (cf. Luke 1:4Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). Their authoritative record presents the Jesus of history in perfect detail. To read their accounts is to glimpse a true picture of the Savior.

Second, the main points of the Jesus’ life are attested to by sources outside the Bible, even by those who were antagonistic to Christianity (see here). Though not authoritative, these extra-biblical sources are very affirming. As historian Edwin Yamauchi explains:

Even if we did not have the New Testament of Christian writings, we would be able to conclude from such non-Christian writings as Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger that: (1) Jesus was a Jewish teacher; (2) many people believed that he performed healings and exorcisms; (3) he was rejected by the Jewish leaders; (4) he was crucified under Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius; (5) despite this shameful death, his followers, who believed that he was still alive, spread beyond Palestine so that there were multitudes of them in Rome by A.D. 64; (6) all kinds of people from the cities and countryside—men and women, slave and free—worshipped him as God by the beginning of the second century. [11]

After extensively studying ancient sources regarding Christ’s life (outside of the New Testament) Gary Habermas concludes:

We have examined a total of 45 ancient sources for the life of Jesus, which include 19 early creedal, four archaeological, 17 non-Christian, and five non-New Testament Christian sources. From this data we have enumerated 129 reported facts concerning the life, person, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus . . . While some believe that we know almost nothing about Jesus from ancient, non-New Testament sources, this is plainly not the case. [12]

Third, other prophecies (regarding the nation of Israel) have also been fulfilled since the time of Christ (and the completion of the New Testament). Following the destruction of the Temple by the Romans (Dan. 9:26Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); cf. Luke 21:24Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)), such prophesies include the dispersion of the Jews among the nations (Deut. 28:64Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); cf. Ezek. 22:14–15Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); Hos. 9:17Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)), the persecution of the Jews throughout much of history (Deut. 28:65–67Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)), and the subsequent return of Israel to the land (Ezek. 20:34Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); Hos. 3:4–5Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); Amos 9:14–15Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); Zeph. 2:1Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), 2Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); cf. Is. 11:11Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). Obviously, these prophetic fulfillments could not have been faked by early Christians.


Critical Objection 5: Many Old Testament predictions about the Messiah did not come to pass when Jesus was on earth.

This is easily answered by noting the difference between historical prophecies (those which spoke of events which would occur in a relatively short time after they were predicted—including messianic prophecies), and end-times prophecies (which will not be fulfilled until Jesus returns).

To quote again from Dr. Varner:

The key to understanding the role of the promised Messiah, and also the main difference between traditional Jewish and Christian messianic views, lies in recognizing His dual role of suffering and reigning. While there are many passages that describe a glorious reign for the Messiah (Jer. 23:5Open in Logos Bible Software (if available),6Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); 30:1–10Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); Zech. 14:3ffOpen in Logos Bible Software (if available)), there are others that describe His rejection and suffering (Psalm 22, Isa. 53Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), Zech. 9:9Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); 12:10Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); 13:5-7Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). The NT views the suffering and glory passages as fulfilled in Jesus’ first and second comings respectively (Luke 24:25-27Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); 1 Peter 1:10Open in Logos Bible Software (if available),11Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). [13]

So what can we conclude at the end of all this?

Christians need not be afraid when objections like these are raised. Unlike other religions that collapse under scrutiny, Christianity stands up to critical investigation. Believers, then, can be confident that there are good, reasonable answers to every objection. After 2,000 years, the Christian faith remains unscathed by higher critical attacks. That fact alone is testimony to its truthfulness.


(* Today’s post was adapted from my book, Reasons We Believe: 50 Lines of Evidence that Confirm the Christian Faith.)

[ Nathan Busenitz ]


“The Basics of Bible Prophecy”

What are the basics of Bible prophecy? Find out with Dr. David Reagan and Nathan Jones on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ Christ in Prophecy ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejaoXzvBBbc


“How Not To Interpret Prophecy”

How do we not interpret Bible prophecy? Learn how with Dr. David Reagan on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ Christ in Prophecy ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDyBNW-bOoc


“The Evidence of Biblical Prophecy”

BYT-07 – The Evidence Of Biblical Prophecy (960623AM)

[ John Barnett ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrkRtg0Hi0s


“An Important Overlooked Sign of the Times”

What key yet often overlooked prophecy points to the soon return of Jesus Christ? Find out with Dr. David Reagan preaching at Brookhaven Church in January 2022!

[ Dr. David Reagan ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6mdHQmuMnU


“Running Out of Time”

On Apr. 25, 2022, All News Pipeline (ANP) posted an article by Stefan Stanford about the string of fires at U.S. food processing facilities.

Stanford believes these fires will add to food shortages in the U.S.

He said, “We’re running out of time to prep as we’re still, fortunately, able to do now.”

I agree with what Stanford said, but here are some of my thoughts when I read it:

Christians are running out of time to get the gospel out, reach lost loved ones, give, serve, lay-up treasure in heaven, etc.
Cold and lukewarm Church members are running out of time to get saved and go to heaven.
Those that have heard the gospel, refused to believe it, accept Jesus, and repent of their sins, are running out of time to get saved before they are struck with strong delusion.
Church members that could attend Church but aren’t are running out of time to get started back.
Much more could be said, but know that I believe we are in the last days of the last years before the Rapture of the Church, and we are running out of time to do whatever God wants us to do.

Here are some articles that seem to indicate that we are in the last days of the last years.

One, concerning food shortages: on Apr. 27, 2022, the CEO of Goya Foods warned that:

“We are on the precipice of a global food crisis.”
“Americans will have to tighten their belts and consume less.”
Americans “can afford higher-priced food, but other countries won’t be able to bear it.”
It was also reported that:

The UN is warning of problems in the Middle East now.
In late April, the Rockefeller Foundation said we have about 6 months to a “massive immediate food crisis.”
Two, concerning freedom of speech and religion in the coming world government: on May 14, 2008, Barack Obama was running for President of the U.S., and Michelle said,

“We are going to have to change our conversation.”
“We’re going to have to change our traditions, our history.”
“We’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.”
On Apr. 27, 2022, it was announced that the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) has created a new Disinformation Governance Board.

This “Arbiter of Free Speech” (Nina Jankowicz) is an extreme feminist that is on record as:

A Trump hater,
Criticizing Trump voters,
Saying Hillary Clinton’s paid-for Dossier in the Russian collusion case is true,
Saying the Hunter Biden Laptop from Hell is Russian disinformation, etc.
Jankowicz’s record is one of disinformation and opposition to free speech and the truth.

This known purveyor of disinformation has been picked to head a new government agency to change and control people’s conversation.

One commentator said she may censor or arrest people that disagree with the government narrative.

Another commentator said this is an effort to crush Republican opposition and establish one-party rule.

As a prophecy teacher, I am concerned that people could be denied the right to buy and sell for disagreeing with the government narrative.

Three, concerning world government: on Apr. 27, 2022, it was reported that the World Economic Forum (WEF) was created by three members of the U.S. Council on Foreign relations (CFR) (Henry Kissinger, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Herman Kahn) and funded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Kissinger recruited Schwab (head of the WEF) whose main goal seems to be to bring down leaders of nations and give their power to a handful of pre-selected people that support world government.

This supports the long-held belief by some that a shadow government is running things in the world.

The involvement of the CFR and CIA also confirms that world government is a goal of the U.S. even though many people have called it a conspiracy theory for years.

Four, concerning world government: in late Apr. 2022, it was reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) will gather on May 22-28, 2022, to vote on 13 amendments the U.S. wants to a treaty that will give the WHO control over the health of individuals in every nation on earth.

These amendments will transfer the power to make decisions on lockdowns, mandates, treatments, and more from national governments to the global WHO.

The WHO will be empowered to determine who can and cannot meet, how many can meet, what treatments people can and cannot take, etc.

Everyone on earth will be required to abide by WHO global dictates, and these amendments will not require the approval of nations (or the U.S. Senate) because they will be changes to an already-approved existing treaty.

If these amendments are approved by the WHO (and they probably will be), they will become international law that replaces the sovereignty of nations six months from now (in Nov. 2022).

The WHO could have control over the health care of everyone on earth before the end of 2022.

This is solid evidence that the U.S. is working to establish a world government and humanity is running out of time.

The WEF, CFR, CIA, and others want to control the world’s food supplies, health care, everyone’s conversation, what kind of vehicles people drive, people’s income, people’s religious beliefs, and more.

Obama’s “fundamental transformation of the United States of America” is about the destruction of the America that many of us grew up in.

The UN’s “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” goals is about the establishment of a world government that will rule over the United States of America and all other nations.

The coming Tribulation Period will be unlike anything that has ever happened before or ever will happen; and except those days be shortened, no flesh will be saved (Matt. 24:22).

For those who question that the fundamental transformation of America is about the destruction of America that many of us grew up in, I ask:

Why has America’s energy independence been destroyed?
Why is America’s economy being destroyed (lockdowns, inflation, supply-chain crisis, etc.)?
Why is America’s health care system about to be destroyed?
Why has America’s border patrol been made ineffective?
Why were billions of dollars of America’s weapons left in Afghanistan?
Why does America’s proposed budget reduce the size of America’s army?
Why is the U.S. Constitution, freedom of speech, being destroyed?
Five, concerning Israel: it is beginning to look like the Israeli government may soon collapse.

The government cannot lose any votes in the Knesset, but the Ra’am Party (Arabs) is threatening to withdraw its support, and if they do, the Israeli government will collapse.

On May 1, 2022, it was reported that the Ra’am Party asked King Abdullah of Jordan to submit a list of demands concerning the Temple Mount that Israel must agree to or Ra’am will withdraw its support of the Israeli government, and it will collapse.

These demands include stopping Jews from praying on the Temple Mount, stopping the Israeli police from interfering with Muslim rioters on the Temple Mount, and other actions that Israel cannot agree to.

Six, concerning the Battle of Gog and Magog: the relationship between Russia and Israel continues to worsen.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov recently said Hitler had Jewish blood.

On May 1, 2022, Israeli Prime Min. said Lavrov’s statements “are untrue and his intentions are wrong.”

He called Lavrov’s statements “lies.”

On May 2, 2022, Israel summoned Russia’s ambassador to Israel to protest this.

The co-operation between Russia and Israel in Syria appears to be coming to an end.

Seven, concerning a covenant with many for peace in the Middle East: on May 2, 2022, a member of Israel’s Knesset (ruling body) called upon the EU to establish an inter-governmental group to work with nations with Israel and the Arabs to promote the Abraham Accords.

It is interesting that the Antichrist will come out of the EU, and the EU is being asked to establish a body to work with many on something that could lead to a covenant of peace in the Middle East.

Finally, are you Rapture Ready?

If you want to be rapture ready and go to heaven, you must be born-again (John 3:3). God loves you, and if you have not done so, sincerely admit that you are a sinner; believe that Jesus is the virgin-born, sinless Son of God who died for the sins of the world, was buried, and raised from the dead; ask Him to forgive your sins, cleanse you, come into your heart and be your Saviour; then tell someone that you have done this.

[ Raymond Duck ]


“Are The Biblical End Time Prophecies Becoming Fulfilled?”

This feature length documentary explores Bible prophecy concerning the last days prophesied in the Old and New Testaments. Featuring never-before-seen interviews with some of the leading researchers on the subject, Megiddo chronicles the biblical prophecies through to modern day. Seen through the lens of prophecy, what is the significance of recent catastrophic world events? 

[ Parable – Religious History Documentaries ]

Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpedOFfqhQU


“Arguments For and From Fulfilled Biblical Prophecies”

This session will explore arguments for and from fulfilled biblical prophecy. First, we will examine criteria for assessing predictive prophecy. We will then assess 1) Old Testament City Prophecies (e.g. prophecies about Jerusalem and Tyre) and 2) the New Testament record of fulfilled Old Testament messianic prophecies in light of the biblical and extra-biblical evidence. We will conclude by asking what the case for fulfilled biblical prophecy can contribute to a ‘ramified natural theology’ (i.e. a natural theology that takes into account ‘Christian evidences’).

[ Peter S Williams ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMwBlRL7w_Y


“Prophetic Headlines Q&A”

The Bible warns us in Romans 13 “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”

[ Jack Hibbs ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_1vpzX-Hi4


“While We Wait”

The Bible warns us in Romans 13 “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”

[ Jack Hibbs ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xZAWUsRDpI


“The End Times: Ten Upcoming Events in Bible Prophecy”

The Bible warns us in Romans 13 “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”

[ Charlie Campbell ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwfR3QI5zGA


“Bible Prophecy Q&A with Amir Tsarfati, Jan Markell, Pastor Barry Stagner and Pastor Jack Hibbs”

Jan Markell, Jack Hibbs, Amir Tsarfati, and Barry Stagner conduct a Q & A, tackling some hot-button issues facing our times.

[ Jack Hibbs ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRg-2hLLgXc


“Bible Prophecy 101”

The Bible warns us in Romans 13 “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”

[ Jack Hibbs ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXZHT_8d5DU


“Why Biblical Prophecies Are Important”

From BYT-06 – Prophecy – God Telling The Future (960616AM )

[ John Barnett ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=truzdXU-HzA


“Basics of Bible Prophecy, Part 1”

Is it possible for the average person to understand Bible prophecy or do you have to have a seminary degree? Find out with guest Darryl Nunnelley and Dr. David Reagan of the Lamb & Lion Ministries evangelism team as they provide their Prophetic Perspectives.

[ Christ in Prophecy ]

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTbz34P9zfk

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaKM5asg6d8


“Why Does God Reveal Future Events to His Church?”

The Joshua Fund Founder and Chairman, Joel C. Rosenberg, gives us insight into the ways the Church should respond in light of Bible prophecy.

[ Joel C. Rosenberg ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RoKHkIVChI


“The Interpretation of Bible Prophecy”

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different interpretations of end time Bible prophecy? How in the world can Christians read the same Scriptures and come to such different conclusions as to what they mean? Is someone taking the wrong approach? And if so, what is the right approach to the understanding of God’s prophetic word?

Greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. This is the fourth in a series of programs on the fundamentals of Bible prophecy. In our first program we took a look at the way Bible prophecy has been ignored and the many ways in which it has been abused. The Scripture that comes to mind in reference to that program is 1 Thessalonians 5:20 which says, “Do not treat prophecies with contempt.”

In our second program, we examined the importance of prophecy and we concluded that there are many reasons why every Christian should be interested in studying God’s prophetic Word. The Scripture that I think of in reference to that program is 2 Peter 1:19 which encourages us to pay attention to prophecy because it is like a light shining in a dark place.

Our third program focused on the variety of Bible prophecy. We saw that God used a very diverse group of people to serve as His prophets, young and old, rich and poor, sophisticated and uneducated. He then communicated with these people in diverse ways, through dreams, visions, angels, and words of knowledge. And the prophets themselves proclaimed their messages in diverse ways.

We have written prophecy and oral prophecy, active prophecy and symbolic prophecy. And the theme verse for that program was Hebrews 1:1 where it says that, “Long ago at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets.” This week we’re going to take a look at the interpretation of Bible prophecy and hopefully you will come away from this program absolutely convinced that God’s prophetic Word is not impossible to understand. My topic for this session is the interpretation of Bible prophecy.

I grew up in a church that really didn’t believe in end time Bible prophecy. It’s amazing that I’m a Bible prophecy teacher it’s a miracle of God. Because I grew up in a church where the only sermon I ever heard about Bible prophecy was one that stated that there is not one, not one verse in the Bible that even implies that Jesus will ever put His feet on this earth again. I heard that statement over and over and over.

Well, when I was about 12 years old I was flipping through the Bible one day, this really happened, I was just flipping through. And we didn’t ever study the Old Testament. But I had a whole Bible and I was flipping through it and I just happened to open it to Zechariah 14, and I started reading it. And I was absolutely amazed at what I read.

I was only 12 years old but I could understand what it said. You see, Zechariah 14 not only implies that Jesus Christ is going to come back and put His foot on this earth, it says so point blank. Let me give you a summary of what Zechariah 14 says. Behold a day is coming for the Lord when I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle.

Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations and in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives and the Lord will become king over all the earth. I read that and read that and I shook my head and I just could not believe what I was reading because every sermon I had ever heard about the end times said He was never coming back, never gonna put His foot on this earth again. And certainly was never going to reign in a rule of majesty over this earth. And here it was Zechariah 14, seeming to say exactly the opposite.

So I began to ask myself, “What in the world does Zechariah 14:1-9, mean?” Does it mean what it says or does it mean something else? And finally, after several weeks of wondering I made an appointment to see my pastor. I went to him in fear and trembling. I sat down and I said, “Pastor, you know you always say there’s not one verse in the Bible that even implies Jesus will ever put His foot on the earth again.”

He said, “That’s right son.” I said, “Well what about this?” And I handed it to him. And I’ll never forget, he sat there and he read it and he read it and he read it. I thought he was never going to say anything. I don’t think he had ever seen that passage before. And he kept reading it and reading it and finally he looked up and he put his finger in my face and he said, “Son I wanna tell you something.

I don’t know what this passage means, but I’ll guarantee you one thing, it does not mean what it says.” Well, it didn’t mean what it said because it didn’t agree with his preconceived idea. And for me that was unacceptable. Because I had been taught since the time I was born that the Bible was the Word of God and the Bible says what it means and means what it says.

That preacher… in fact, our church had a very unusual position. Our church took the position that the Bible means exactly what it says from beginning to end unless it’s talking about the Second Coming of Jesus in which case it never means what it says. Well that just didn’t make any sense to me. Every time after that we would have a visiting evangelist come and he would get up and say, “There’s not one verse in the Bible that even implies Jesus would ever put His foot on the earth again.”

I’d go up and I’d say, “What about Zechariah 14?” And they’d look and they’d look and they’d say, “Doesn’t mean what it says.” Well, this went on until I was about nineteen. When I was about nineteen we had a guy come who had a seminary education. Now back in those days that was very unusual, particularly in the church I grew up in. You just didn’t have anybody that went to seminary.

This guy had a seminary education, he was highly educated and he got up and made that same statement. “There is not one verse in the Bible that even implies Jesus will ever put His feet on his earth again.” I went up to him afterwards scared to death, I said, “Sir, what about Zechariah 14?” He didn’t even have to read it, he knew it. He said, “Let me tell you about Zechariah 14 son, it doesn’t mean what it says.”

I said “Why?” he said, “Because it is apocalyptic!” Well I tell you the truth, it just scared me to death, scared me to death. I didn’t know if that was a disease or if that was a philosophy or a theology or what it was but he was seminary educated therefore he knew what he was talking about and so guess what? When I started preaching, I would get up and I would say, “There is not one verse in the Bible that even implies Jesus will ever put his feet on the earth again.” And when some little old lady in tennis shoes would come up and say, “What about Zechariah 14?”

I would yell, “Apocalyptic!” And she’d run for the door and I’d grin and she didn’t know what I was talking about. I didn’t know what I was talking about, but all God’s children were happy. And that was the way I handled it for a long time, until one day I did something that I hadn’t done before in my life. I sat down one day and I read the entire book of Zechariah, it only took a few minutes, it’s a very short book, one of those so-called “minor” prophets.

And as I was reading that book, I noticed something very, very interesting. This book, this apocalyptic book, contains many First Coming prophecies. And every one of them meant what they said. Here I was so… because the book’s apocalyptic, never means what it says, yet it has all these first coming prophecies and they all meant what they said. For example, it says the Messiah will come on a donkey.

It says He will be hailed as a king. It says He will be betrayed, that He will be betrayed by a friend. That He will be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. It even goes on to say that the thirty pieces of silver will be used to buy a potter’s field. It says that he will be lifted up. It says He will be pierced. Now folks you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if the First Coming prophecies meant what they said, the Second Coming prophecies in the same book must mean what they say.

Regardless of whether you’re gonna call it apocalyptic or not. They mean what they say. That day I stopped playing games with the Word of God. That day was a revolutionary day in my life. I started accepting the Bible for its plain sense meaning from the beginning to the end. I accepted what I call the golden rule of interpretation, that if the plain sense makes sense, don’t look for any other sense or you will end up with nonsense. Just accept it for its plain sense meaning. That does not always mean the literal meaning but the plain sense meaning, even when you’re talking about symbols.

Let me give you a classic example of the nonsense way of interpreting Scripture. It is found in this book by Loraine Boettner called the Millennium. Loraine Boettner is dead now but this book was a book that he wrote early in the 20th century. It was a book in which he tried to spiritualize everything that the Bible says about the end times, and when he got to Zechariah 14 I could hardly believe my eyes.

Now this is a classic example of spiritualization and here’s what he said, “Zechariah 14 says that in the end times that when the city of Jerusalem is about to fall, the Antichrist is about to conquer, that the Lord will come back to the Mount of Olives. His feet will touch the mountain, it will split in half He will speak a supernatural word, the Antichrist’s forces will be destroyed, and on that day He’ll become king over all the earth.” But he said, “It doesn’t mean that.” He said, “What it really means is this: the Mount of Olives stands for the human heart.

The enemy forces around Jerusalem stand for the attack of Satan on the human heart. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior He comes into your life, He stands on your Mount of Olives, your heart breaks in contrition and repentance and on that day the enemy forces are defeated and Jesus becomes king of your heart.” Can you believe that?

This is what I mean by spiritualization. This is the kind of freedom that people take with the Word of God, particularly with regard to Bible prophecy as they try to spiritualize it away and say it doesn’t mean what it says.

Let me tell you something, I want to tell you why spiritualizing is so popular, I want to tell you why people love it. The reason people love to spiritualize scripture is because spiritualizing makes you God. You see, when you start spiritualizing, then Scripture means anything you want it to mean. You become God instead of the God who wrote the Scriptures. Well let me tell you something, I believe God knows how to communicate. I believe He knows how to say things, I think He means what He says, I think He says what he means.

I don’t believe you have to have a PhD in hermeneutics or a PhD in imagination to understand the Word of God. You’ve got to have the Holy Spirit residing inside of you. That’s why there are renowned seminary professors who have degrees piled on top of degrees who simply play loose with the Word of God because they’ve never been born again. They don’t have the Holy Spirit inside of them. They can’t interpret the Scripture because they don’t have the Holy Spirit to help them interpret the Scriptures.

I want to give you some keys to understanding God’s word. To understanding God’s prophetic Word in particular. And here are the keys, number one, approach the scriptures with a child-like faith. And I mean this the Bible was given to us to read, to believe, and to apply to our lives. We are not supposed to approach the Bible as if it were Shakespeare for us to analyze and to criticize and dissect and to rip to pieces, which is what most seminary professors do as they play around with the Word of God.

The person that summed this up best for me was a dear friend who’s gone to be with the Lord, Dr. Henry Morris, the founder of the Institute for Creation Research. Look what he said about Revelation, “The book of Revelation is not difficult to understand, it is difficult to believe. If you will believe it, you will understand it.” It’s so simple. You talk about the two witnesses, the book of Revelation says there’re gonna be two witnesses of God who are gonna preach in Jerusalem for three and a half years before the Antichrist comes to kill them.

Well if you believe that you’ll understand the book of Revelation but if you look at most commentaries they say, “Well, no these are really not two witnesses. This is really just sort of a representative of evil in the world or good in the world.” And they just spiritualize it into meaninglessness. And of course the next one spiritualizes a different way and the next one spiritualizes a different way, and nobody therefore can agree upon what the book of Revelation says because everybody spiritualizes it to say whatever they want it to say.

An example of this is Revelation chapter 7. In Revelation chapter 7 it says that at the beginning of the Tribulation a God is going to seal 144,000 Jews on their forehead and they will be protected throughout the Tribulation and become great missionaries for the Lord Jesus Christ all over the world. Well, the interesting thing about that is that if you look at commentaries you will find that most commentaries say, “No they really aren’t Jews, this is the Church.”

They replace the Jewish people with the Church! If God had meant the Church surely He would have said the Church. He said Jews! He said 144,000. He named them by tribes. What would He have to do to convince us that He’s talking about 144,000 Jews? Approach the scriptures with child-like faith. Number two and that is to determine the meaning of symbols. People always say, “Well, you know, prophecy is full of so much symbolism.” There are a lot of symbols in prophecy, but let me remind you of something, symbols stand for something literal.

They don’t just stand for anything you want them to stand for. They don’t just stand for anything your imagination wants them to stand for. They stand for something literal. And you must be very careful in interpreting what symbols stand for, and you know what, the answer is usually very clear. Usually the Bible will tell you what the symbols stand for, point blank, just tell you.

And if not, then you can take that word and look in a concordance, the word or the phrase, and you will find that in some other setting it’s very clear and then it becomes clear in the setting where you’re trying to figure out what it’s all about. How should symbols be interpreted? They should be interpreted carefully and they should be interpreted Biblically.

Remember a symbol is something that stands for something literal. So actually you don’t really have to guess most of the time, you just look in the Bible and it will tell you. The Bible is its own best interpreter. That’s the rule I’ve found in regard to symbols. And I want to give you some examples. In the Old Testament, Ezekiel was taken and he was put into a valley of dry bones.

I’ve been there, I’ve had that happen. You know the “frozen chosen” that you’re speaking to sometimes. Well he was put in this valley of dry bones and he was told to preach to them and as he preached man those bones started rattling around, started coming together. And I want to see an instant video replay sometime of that to see how big his eyes got when all those bones started coming together. Now what was that all about? The Lord told me, I mean point blank. Right there in Ezekiel 27.

The Lord said, “Let me tell you what this is all about. People think the Jewish people are dead because they’re in captivity, that’s not true.” He said, “I’m gonna bring them back, they’re gonna become a people before me forever.” He said, “One day I’m gonna bring them back to the land reestablish them in their land. And I’m gonna bless them like they’ve never been blessed before and through them all the nations of the world are gonna be blessed.”

God tells him the meaning of the symbolism. And yet, I would say to you without hesitation that 75% of all the sermons preached today from pulpits about Ezekiel 37 will say, “No that’s not talking about the Jewish people at all, it’s talking about the Church and about a great end time revival that’s going to occur in the Church.” No, it’s talking about the Jewish people, it’s not talking about the Church, but that’s what happens when people start spiritualizing Scripture.

[ Dr. David Reagan ]


“Can we Understand Today’s Events from Bible Prophecies?”

There is a large body of prophetic information in the Bible which reveals major events in the world before, during and after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. These signs of the times help us understand the unfolding of God’s divine plan for humanity, so we can be better prepared for future events.

The Lord expects us to heed these signs, as their message is just as obvious as the signs of nature: “When you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, A shower is coming; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, There will be hot weather; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” (Luke 12:54-56). The Israelis know that when clouds gather from the Mediterranean Sea in the west, rain is coming. When a strong southerly wind blows across the plains of the hot Negev desert, they know that it will be a very hot day.

The signs of the times refer to important things that happen in the world, which are indicators of contemporary and future events. Those who fail to interpret the signs of the times are branded as hypocrites – spiritually blinded people who are ignorant of what the Lord is communicating to them through the very obvious fulfilling of biblical prophecies.

Although there will definitely be a surprise element in the time of the rapture, we nevertheless have various signs indicating its nearness. Referring to certain signs which He mentioned in His Prophetic Discourse, the Lord Jesus said: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). There are various signs indicating the nearness of the end of this dispensation, among which the following are the most important: [ more… ]

[ Prof. Johan Malan ]

Article: https://www.jam.org.za/en/articles/719-can-we-understand-today-s-events-from-bible-prophecies


“AN UNDERSTANDING OF PROPHECY THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE”

My friend made a statement that shocked me.

He declared he had zero interest in unfulfilled prophecy. Yet, he self-identified as a Christian of many years who believed the Bible.

Granted, there is a lot of so-called prophecy “out there” that is absolute nonsense – but we will be talking about unfulfilled prophecy in the Bible. I’ll also have to acknowledge that there are some well-meaning people who distort and misuse prophetic texts from the Bible – but we’re not dealing with that here.

Asked the reasons for his position, my friend told me he had listened to people who wanted to talk about nothing else – mapping out the future in great detail based upon their understanding of the Bible. There didn’t seem to be any point, so he concluded that the study of unfulfilled prophecy was irrelevant.

He also had heard heated debates among sincere Christians. Some contended the return of Christ would be pre-Millennial, others post-Millennial, and yet others a-Millennial. Some argued there was no Rapture, while others argued just as vehemently there was, but then they disagreed among themselves on whether it was pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, post-tribulation, or pre-wrath – and so on. 

He grinned as he repeated the witticism, “I suppose I’m a pan-Millennialist. I believe it will all pan out in the end.” 

Babies and bathwater
You’ve heard the saying, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.” It’s a warning that when you get rid of unwanted elements (i.e., dirty water), make sure you don’t throw out the essentials (i.e., the baby) as well.

I can understand my friend’s desire to avoid the confusion and distaste left by argumentative people. But, to dismiss unfulfilled biblical prophecy altogether was “throwing out the baby.”

My response was to ask whether he believed that Jesus Christ was going to return to earth physically some time in the future. 

He acknowledged that he believed that, but he was no longer interested in the finer details that some saw as so crucial. 

Fair enough, it looked like the “baby hadn’t been thrown out” after all – he still believed in the future physical return to earth of the Lord Jesus. 

Prophecy is important
To avoid quibbles about the meaning of “prophecy,” our discussion will focus on unfulfilled prophecy, or predictive prophecy. Some may use the word “eschatology.” In this context, eschaton is the Greek word for “last” – so, eschatology is the study of last times, or last things. 

Here are two reasons why biblical prophecy is important.

First, there is a lot of unfulfilled prophecy in the Bible. Some has been fulfilled since it was written or declared – but much remains unfulfilled. It is estimated that about one-quarter to one-third of the Bible is prophecy. That’s a lot.

Based on sheer volume, prophecy is important.

Second, there have been significant godly people throughout biblical history who were prophets. These people include, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Anna (Luke 2:36), Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen (Acts 13:1), Agabus (Acts 11:28; 21:10), and a host of others. Their service was important to God and his people. 

Prophecy is practical
Unfulfilled or predictive prophecy has practical benefits. 

For instance, in John 14 Jesus told his disciples that he would be going away and that he would be returning. This referred to his Ascension into Heaven after his Crucifixion and Resurrection, to be followed by his Return. In this context, he states: 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled …” (14:1);
“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (14:27b). 
They were distressed at his impending departure. He told them of the future to give them assurance they were not being abandoned – he was coming back for them. His intent was to give peace and hope in the present. 

We could multiply examples to demonstrate the present practical purposes of unfulfilled prophecy. Here are quotes from two Bible scholars that summarize and confirm this: 

“Every item of predictive prophecy was given to a particular historical people to awaken and stir them to righteousness by revealing in part what God will do in the future. Any disclosure of the future was given to influence present action. … The future aspect of prophecy was intended to instruct, to reprove, to encourage, to call people to repentance.” (A. Berkeley Mickelsen)
“A great deal of predictive prophecy of Scripture is yet unfulfilled. In the time before a prophecy comes to pass, it is designed to affect present thought and conduct, not to satisfy curiosity concerning the future.” (J. Robertson McQuilkin) 
Here is a sampling of some more “predictive prophecy” and the intended influence upon our present thought and action: 

Paul’s eschatological teaching in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 ends with this purpose for influencing present action: “therefore encourage each other with these words” (4:18).
Peter’s eschatological statement, “The end of all things is near” is immediately followed with this present practical impact, “Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray” (1 Peter 4:7).
The apostle John writes of the coming of the Lord with the intent that “everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself …” (1 John 3:1-3). 

 I encourage you to refresh your understanding of predictive prophecy, or eschatological statements, in the Bible. As you read, discern the impact the prophetic statement is intended to have on your present thought and conduct.

[ Dr. John B. MacDonald ]


“What Does God Want Us To Know”

Welcome to class #1 of our 20 classes summarizing & applying Revelation’s truths called the HOW IT ALL ENDS SERIES.
Here is the Expositional Bible Study course I just finished teaching to 300 college students, leading them through a personal study of each verse of the Book of Revelation. 
Every chapter, every verse, every doctrine, every prophetic theme–all here in this one 20-hour class.
Want to get a personal grasp of what God explains about “How it All Ends”? 
This 20 lesson course is just what you need!

[ John Barnett ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4wNMkk-49s


“Don’t Ignore Biblical Prophecy”

SCRIPTURE
Alas for that day! For the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the almighty.  Joel 1:15

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand— a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was in ancient times nor ever will be in ages to come. Joel 2:1 and 2

Before them the Earth shakes, the Heavens tremble, the sun, and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord thunders at the head of His army; His forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys His command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?  Joel 2:10 and 11

I will show wonders in the Heavens and on the Earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; Joel 2:30-32a

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the Earth and the Heavens will tremble, but the LORD will be a refuge for His people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.  Joel 3:14-16

SPOTLIGHT
What would you do if your local T.V. weatherman  suddenly interrupted the regular scheduled program with a tornado warning instructing everyone to take immediate shelter in a safe place?

How would you respond?  Would  you ignore the warning or would you immediately run to your basement? Few people would dismiss the weatherman’s prediction of the future. 

Like the weatherman, God has filled His Word, the Holy Bible, with future pictures of things to come. They are called  Biblical prophecies which provide hints but not details of future events.

What is so very important is that Christians  DON’T IGNORE BIBLICAL PROPHECY!  

The book of Joel is named after its author and is comprised of three short concise chapters filled with prophetic pictures of things to come. Several verses in the book of Joel are quoted in the New Testament by three different authors. The Apostle John who wrote Revelation quoted Joel.  The Apostle Paul quoted Joel in Romans. Significantly,  the fulfillment of the coming of the Holy Spirit in Joel 2:28-32 is quoted in great detail when Dr. Luke records Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost. See Acts 2:16-21.  

The key phrase in the book of Joel is “the Day of the Lord.”. It appears five times as identified in the Scripture section above. Joel described the day of the Lord as a time when there would be days marked by darkness, armies conquering like a consuming fire, and the moon turning to blood. All of this reinforces New Testament pictures of the future. The Apostle Paul wrote in 

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters,  not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come.  Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness  is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.” The Apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:10-13 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”

The bottom line is this. DON’T IGNORE BIBLICAL PROPHECY! Take the Biblical prophetical hints of the future very seriously. When you listen to or read your newspaper, keep God’s prophecies in mind. Filter what is happening now in the world through Biblical prophecy. 

SOMETHING TO DO

– In order to be sure that you are not ignoring Biblical prophecy, the first thing that you need to do is read Joel 2 and Acts 2 to be convinced that God predicts and fulfills prophecy.  

– Seek out some people who you know who have trusted and studied God’s Word for some time. Ask them about the importance of prophecy. 

– Ask your Pastor to recommend a good book to read about Biblical prophecy.  

SOUL TIME PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth and things and times to come, thank you that Biblical prophecy assures me that You’ve got the whole world in Your hands and under control. I trust You for my salvation and for my future here on earth and eternally with You. AMEN

[ Jack Richards ]


“Biblical Inspiration Validated By Prophecy”

[ John MacArthur ]

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM0piTY9_cE

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zliwb1C_Dmk


“Fulfilled Prophecy Demonstrates the Divine Inspiration of Scripture”

Steven J. Lawson gives examples of fulfilled prophecy as evidence of the divine inspiration of Scripture.

[ Steven Lawson ]

Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb_gibWVEpE


“Fulfilled Prophecy: Evidence for the Reliability of the Bible”

Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events-in detail-many years, sometimes centuries, before they occur. Approximately 2,500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2,000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors.

(The remaining 500 or so reach into the future and may be seen unfolding as days go by.) Since the probability for any one of these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance averages less than one in ten (figured very conservatively) and since the prophecies are for the most part independent of one another, the odds for all these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance without error is less than one in 102000 (that is 1 with 2,000 zeros written after it)!

God is not the only one, however, who uses forecasts of future events to get people’s attention. Satan does, too. Through clairvoyants (such as Jeanne Dixon and Edgar Cayce), mediums, spiritists, and others, come remarkable predictions, though rarely with more than about 60 percent accuracy, never with total accuracy. Messages from Satan, furthermore, fail to match the detail of Bible prophecies, nor do they include a call to repentance.

The acid test for identifying a prophet of God is recorded by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:21-22. According to this Bible passage (and others), God’s prophets, as distinct from Satan’s spokesmen, are 100 percent accurate in their predictions. There is no room for error.

As economy does not permit an explanation of all the Biblical prophecies that have been fulfilled, what follows in a discussion of a few that exemplify the high degree of specificity, the range of projection, and/or the “supernature” of the predicted events. Readers are encouraged to select others, as well, and to carefully examine their historicity.

(1) Some time before 500 BC, the prophet Daniel proclaimed that Israel’s long-awaited Messiah would begin his public ministry 483 years after the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25-26). He further predicted that the Messiah would be “cut off,” killed, and that this event would take place prior to a second destruction of Jerusalem. Abundant documentation shows that these prophecies were perfectly fulfilled in the life (and crucifixion) of Jesus Christ. The decree regarding the restoration of Jerusalem was issued by Persia’s King Artaxerxes to the Hebrew priest Ezra in 458 BC, 483 years later the ministry of Jesus Christ began in Galilee. (Remember that due to calendar changes, the date for the start of Christ’s ministry is set by most historians at about AD 26. Also note that from 1 BC to AD 1 is just one year.) Jesus’ crucifixion occurred only a few years later, and about four decades later, in AD 70 came the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 105.)*

(2) In approximately 700 BC, the prophet Micah named the tiny village of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Israel’s Messiah (Micah 5:2). The fulfillment of this prophecy in the birth of Christ is one of the most widely known and widely celebrated facts in history.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 105.)

(3) In the fifth century BC, a prophet named Zechariah declared that the Messiah would be betrayed for the price of a slave—thirty pieces of silver, according to Jewish law-and also that this money would be used to buy a burial ground for Jerusalem’s poor foreigners (Zechariah 11:12-13). Bible writers and secular historians both record thirty pieces of silver as the sum paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus, and they indicate that the money went to purchase a “potter’s field,” used—just as predicted—for the burial of poor aliens (Matthew 27:3-10).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1011.)

(4) Some 400 years before crucifixion was invented, both Israel’s King David and the prophet Zechariah described the Messiah’s death in words that perfectly depict that mode of execution. Further, they said that the body would be pierced and that none of the bones would be broken, contrary to customary procedure in cases of crucifixion (Psalm 22 and 34:20; Zechariah 12:10). Again, historians and New Testament writers confirm the fulfillment: Jesus of Nazareth died on a Roman cross, and his extraordinarily quick death eliminated the need for the usual breaking of bones. A spear was thrust into his side to verify that he was, indeed, dead.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1013.)

(5) The prophet Isaiah foretold that a conqueror named Cyrus would destroy seemingly impregnable Babylon and subdue Egypt along with most of the rest of the known world. This same man, said Isaiah, would decide to let the Jewish exiles in his territory go free without any payment of ransom (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1; and 45:13). Isaiah made this prophecy 150 years before Cyrus was born, 180 years before Cyrus performed any of these feats (and he did, eventually, perform them all), and 80 years before the Jews were taken into exile.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1015.)

(6) Mighty Babylon, 196 miles square, was enclosed not only by a moat, but also by a double wall 330 feet high, each part 90 feet thick. It was said by unanimous popular opinion to be indestructible, yet two Bible prophets declared its doom. These prophets further claimed that the ruins would be avoided by travelers, that the city would never again be inhabited, and that its stones would not even be moved for use as building material (Isaiah 13:17-22 and Jeremiah 51:26, 43). Their description is, in fact, the well-documented history of the famous citadel.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 109.)

(7) The exact location and construction sequence of Jerusalem’s nine suburbs was predicted by Jeremiah about 2600 years ago. He referred to the time of this building project as “the last days,” that is, the time period of Israel’s second rebirth as a nation in the land of Palestine (Jeremiah 31:38-40). This rebirth became history in 1948, and the construction of the nine suburbs has gone forward precisely in the locations and in the sequence predicted.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1018.)

(8) The prophet Moses foretold (with some additions by Jeremiah and Jesus) that the ancient Jewish nation would be conquered twice and that the people would be carried off as slaves each time, first by the Babylonians (for a period of 70 years), and then by a fourth world kingdom (which we know as Rome). The second conqueror, Moses said, would take the Jews captive to Egypt in ships, selling them or giving them away as slaves to all parts of the world. Both of these predictions were fulfilled to the letter, the first in 607 BC and the second in AD 70. God’s spokesmen said, further, that the Jews would remain scattered throughout the entire world for many generations, but without becoming assimilated by the peoples or of other nations, and that the Jews would one day return to the land of Palestine to re-establish for a second time their nation (Deuteronomy 29; Isaiah 11:11-13; Jeremiah 25:11; Hosea 3:4-5 and Luke 21:23-24).

This prophetic statement sweeps across 3,500 years of history to its complete fulfillment—in our lifetime.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1020.)

(9) Jeremiah predicted that despite its fertility and despite the accessibility of its water supply, the land of Edom (today a part of Jordan) would become a barren, uninhabited wasteland (Jeremiah 49:15-20; Ezekiel 25:12-14). His description accurately tells the history of that now bleak region.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 105.)

(10) Joshua prophesied that Jericho would be rebuilt by one man. He also said that the man’s eldest son would die when the reconstruction began and that his youngest son would die when the work reached completion (Joshua 6:26). About five centuries later this prophecy found its fulfillment in the life and family of a man named Hiel (1 Kings 16:33-34).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 107).

(11) The day of Elijah’s supernatural departure from Earth was predicted unanimously—and accurately, according to the eye-witness account—by a group of fifty prophets (2 Kings 2:3-11).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 109).

(12) Jahaziel prophesied that King Jehoshaphat and a tiny band of men would defeat an enormous, well-equipped, well-trained army without even having to fight. Just as predicted, the King and his troops stood looking on as their foes were supernaturally destroyed to the last man (2 Chronicles 20).

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 108).

(13) One prophet of God (unnamed, but probably Shemiah) said that a future king of Judah, named Josiah, would take the bones of all the occultic priests (priests of the “high places”) of Israel’s King Jeroboam and burn them on Jeroboam’s altar (1 Kings 13:2 and 2 Kings 23:15-18). This event occurred approximately 300 years after it was foretold.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 1013).

Since these thirteen prophecies cover mostly separate and independent events, the probability of chance occurrence for all thirteen is about 1 in 10138 (138 equals the sum of all the exponents of 10 in the probability estimates above). For the sake of putting the figure into perspective, this probability can be compared to the statistical chance that the second law of thermodynamics will be reversed in a given situation (for example, that a gasoline engine will refrigerate itself during its combustion cycle or that heat will flow from a cold body to a hot body)—that chance = 1 in 1080. Stating it simply, based on these thirteen prophecies alone, the Bible record may be said to be vastly more reliable than the second law of thermodynamics. Each reader should feel free to make his own reasonable estimates of probability for the chance fulfillment of the prophecies cited here. In any case, the probabilities deduced still will be absurdly remote.

Given that the Bible proves so reliable a document, there is every reason to expect that the remaining 500 prophecies, those slated for the “time of the end,” also will be fulfilled to the last letter. Who can afford to ignore these coming events, much less miss out on the immeasurable blessings offered to anyone and everyone who submits to the control of the Bible’s author, Jesus Christ? Would a reasonable person take lightly God’s warning of judgment for those who reject what they know to be true about Jesus Christ and the Bible, or who reject Jesus’ claim on their lives?

*The estimates of probability included herein come from a group of secular research scientists. As an example of their method of estimation, consider their calculations for this first prophecy cited:

Since the Messiah’s ministry could conceivably begin in any one of about 5000 years, there is, then, one chance in about 5,000 that his ministry could begin in AD 26.
Since the Messiah is God in human form, the possibility of his being killed  is considerably low, say less than one chance in 10.
Relative to the second destruction of Jerusalem, this execution has roughly an even chance of occurring before or after that event, that is, one chance in 2.
Hence, the probability of chance fulfillment for this prophecy is 1 in 5,000 x 10 x 2, which is 1 in 100,000, or 1 in 105.

[ Hugh Ross ]


“Hitchcock on Claims of Bible Prophecy”

Does the perfect track record of fulfilled Bible prophecy assure future Bible prophecies will come to pass? Find out with guest Mark Hitchcock on the show Christ in Prophecy.

[ Christ in Prophecy ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbBLYCzv2cA


“PROPHECIES JESUS FULFILLED”

Josh speaks at Dr. David Jeremiah’s Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, a suburb of San Diego.

[ Josh McDowell ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33buor5NfcU


“Palm Sunday and Daniel’s 70th Week”

Daniel 9 records perhaps the most amazing prophetic passage in all the Bible. Who would ever dream of predicting an event 500 years into the future and naming a specific day on which it would occur? One man did just that. His name is Daniel; his prediction was the day Jesus would ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. When Daniel the prophet knelt down in prayer after his time of Bible study his prayers received an incredible answer. God dispatched Gabriel to tell Daniel that Jesus Christ would enter Jerusalem as King 500 years in the future. The amazing detail of this prophecy is that God told him the very day of Christ’s entry! [ more… ]

[ John Barnett ]

Article: https://discoverthebook.org/palm-sunday-and-daniels-70th-week/


“The 70 Weeks of Daniel prove that Jesus is the Messiah”

Daniel 9:24-25

“He (Messiah) will be revealed 7 weeks + 62 weeks ( = 69 weeks of years) AFTER the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls, THEN He (Messiah) will be CUT-OFF  (executed!) but NOT for Himself.”

Now, let’s break down this mathematical prophecy:

A week of years (shabua or shabu’im)  =  7 years
The “70th Week” (the last 7 years) of this prophecy is yet future … the “Apocalypse.”
The Jewish calendar is both Lunar and Solar.  It uses a 360 day lunar year and then adds a ‘Leap Month’ on specific years to accurately coincide with the Solar cycle we use on our ‘Julian’ calendar.  The Bible uses 360 day years for prophecies and expects us to add the appropriate ‘leap months’ on schedule.  The easiest way to unravel this prophecy is to first convert the years into days.

Add 7 + 62 weeks of years  =  69 weeks of years
Multiply 69 (weeks) x 7 (to get the total number of years in this prophecy) =  483 years
Multiply 483 years x 360 (to get the total number of days in this prophecy) =  173,880 days
The prophet Daniel, who lived 500 years before Jesus (Yeshua), wrote that from the day of the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls, until the coming Messiah would be 173,880 days.

Now let’s convert the 173,880 days into our 365.25 day solar year calendar, equating the .25 to adjust for leap years.

173,880 days ÷ 365.25 (days in a year)  =  476  years   (on our solar ‘Julian’ calendar)

The prophet Daniel told us it would be 476 years from the “commandment to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls” to the time the Messiah of Israel would first be revealed.

The Clock Starts

This prophecy of the coming Messiah is both remarkable and extremely precise.  There were other orders to rebuild the Temple, but, there was only one commandment to restore Jerusalem and its wall.  On March 14th, 445 BC King Artexerxes I of Persia issued the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem and specifically included its wall. Nehemiah 2:2-9

The Clock Ends with the Triumphant Entry
Now take the 476 years in this prophecy and start counting from March 14, 445 B.C. when the command to rebuild the city Jerusalem and its wall was given and you end on the exact year and the very day Jesus (Yeshua) rode ‘triumphantly’ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, being praised as King and Messiah by thousands upon thousands of Jewish people who had gathered from all over for the Passover.  Honored, yet lowly, riding on a donkey – exactly as another prophet, the prophet Zechariah, said He would:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion (Israel)! Behold, your King (Messiah) is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, yet He is lowly and riding on a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9, written approximately 500 B.C.

On the 10th day of Nisan (“Palm Sunday”) 32 AD, 476 years after the command was given to rebuild the city and its wall, Jesus made His famous “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey.  It was the only day that He ever allowed Himself to be honored as Messiah or King (Mark 11:1-12) as the people of Israel cried out and sang “Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” Psalm 118

First Part of the 70 Weeks of Daniel Summarized

March 14, 445 B.C.       Commandment is issued by Artexerxes I to rebuild the wall to  April 6, 32 A.D. “Palm Sunday”, 10th of Nisan – Jesus welcomed as King and Messiah =  477  years- 1  year for no “0” A.D. or B.C. =  476  years

[ Cross To Light ]


“Decoding Daniel’s Seventy-Weeks Prophecy

[ David Jeremiah ]

Article: https://davidjeremiah.blog/decoding-daniels-seventy-weeks-prophecy/


“Daniel 9:24 Commentary”

[ Precept Austin ]

Article: https://www.preceptaustin.org/daniel_924


“Does Daniel 9:24-27 predict the coming of Jesus?”

The Historical and Literary Context
The context of this passage is where Daniel considers the prophecy in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:10-14; 29:10-14) regarding the seventy years of captivity (Daniel 9:2).  Daniel knows that the seventy years is coming to an end soon since it is 539 B.C. and the Jews have been in captivity since 605 B.C.1  This would mean that four years are left.  He prays before God and pleads for forgiveness for Israel’s sin (3-19).  Daniel then sees the angel Gabriel who tells him important information about the future of Israel (24-27). [ more… ]

[ Ryan Turner- CARM ]

Article: https://carm.org/evidence-and-answers/does-daniel-924-27-predict-the-coming-of-jesus/


“Daniel 2 – What Bible Prophecy Says About our Day”

Have you ever had a dream that left an impression but when you woke up the next morning you just couldn’t remember it? You know that it was important, bizarre, remarkable even, but for the life of you, you just can’t seem to remember a single thing about it?

Well, that exactly what happened to one of the greatest kings in history.  In ancient Babylon, dreams had special significance. Dreams were part of religious experience. It was believed that the gods spoke to people through dreams and that the king, especially, was a recipient of these divine messages. 

So, when Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Babylonian Empire and the most powerful person on the planet, had a dream, an important one, and couldn’t remember it, he was upset and frustrated and desperately wanted to know what it was. 

So, he summoned his wise men, who claimed to be in contact with the gods and said they knew how to read minds, interpret dreams and tell the future.  Of course, the king assumed that knowing how to interpret a dream also meant being able to conjure up a forgotten one as well. 

He was wrong. In the end, the God of heaven intervened and through Daniel, a Bible prophet, God showed Nebuchadnezzar not only his dream but its interpretation as well. 

The dream and its interpretation are the key to understanding and knowing the future.   It’s a kind of blueprint that maps both history and prophecy from the time of Babylon, 600 BC,  right down to the second coming of Jesus and the end of the world as we know it.  It’s one of the most amazing dreams and predictions ever recorded. 

So, what was this dream?  What did it predict, and why should that matter to us now?   Well, let’s look at 12 facts about Nebuchadnezzar’s remarkable dream. 

[ Gary Kent ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aycFZwuGU9c


“God Loves You”
Mr Cline, it is said, was a miserable old man. He lived every which way but good. He fought every battle but the good fight and he knew it.

He wasn’t worthy of anyone’s friendships, so he reached out to no one.

He didn’t go to church because the back pew was too far forward for someone like him. 

He wasn’t proud of his sin, but he was painfully aware of it.

Then, one Sunday evening, he walked by a church and hear the people singing and rejoicing, and felt that old pang of loneliness.

For just a moment he paused in his steps and listened. He had heard the melody before, but now he listened to the words of the hymn. People were singing this: Save by grace alone, this ism my plea. Jesus died for old man Cline, and Jesus died for me.”

He was astounded that there would be a hymn that identified him specifically—and why would these people be singing it.

He couldn’t resist slipping into the church, and sliding secretly onto the back pew.

He had a lump in his throat knowing that for the first time that the Gospel was for him.

Then he picked up a hymnal and found that what he really had heard was, “ Jesus died for all mankind.”

But, it didn’t matter that he misheard the words, he knew in his heart what he needed to hear.

After all, “ all mankind” included him!

[ David Jeremiah ]


“Top 5 Craziest Prophecies Jesus Fulfilled”

[ Landon MacDonald ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1sTq1nxAWc


“What are the Prophecies that need to be Fulfilled before the Rapture?”

Dr. Ed Hindson, co-author of “Target Israel”, explains about the bible prophecies – what has been fulfilled and what is to come.

[ 100Huntley ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWtpfLh4rP4


<<< SONGS >>>


Don’t Stop

If you wake up and don’t want to smile
If it takes just a little while
Open your eyes and look at the day
You’ll see things in a different way

Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be better than before
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone

Why not think about times to come?
And not about the things that you’ve done
If your life was bad to you
Just think what tomorrow will do

Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be better than before
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone

All I want is to see you smile
If it takes just a little while
I know you don’t believe that it’s true
I never meant any harm to you

Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be better than before
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone

Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be better than before
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone

Don’t you look back
(Ooh)
Don’t you look back
(Ooh)
Don’t you look back

[ Fleetwood Mac – “Rumours” album ]

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV9JJmSCiI8


<<< APOLOGETIX SONGS >>>


Isaiah 9-1-2
(Parody of “I Got a Line on You” performed by Spirit)

Let me take you, baby, now to a scripture I read
Got to show you something cool Isaiah said

(I — I got some lines)
Oh, I got some lines for you, baby
(I got some lines for you, babe)
(I — I got some lines)
Oh, Isaiah 9:1,2
(Isaiah 9:1,2, babe)

Ow! 
Oo!

God had pledged to honor Galilee
The Gentiles would get the Lord’s love 
If you go to Matthew, He’ll make clear to you 
These God-inspired lines will take us to Jesus Christ

(I — I got some lines)
Hey-ey-ey, I got some lines
(I got some lines for you, babe)
(I — I got some lines) 
Yes, Isaiah 9:1,2, baby
(Isaiah 9:1,2, babe)

Ow!
Read it!

Heyyyy hey heyyy I got some lines for you
(I — I got some lines) 
(I got some lines for you, babe)
(I — I got some lines)
Isaiah 9:1,2, baby
(Isaiah 9:1,2, babe)

Now, listen!
Now, when this all is over
Remember these numbers in our song
Look in Matthew, Matthew, Matthew chapter 4 — read along
A-hey-ey, hey!

(I — I got some lines) 
Oh, I got some lines for you, baby
(I got some lines for you, babe)
(I — I got some lines)
Oh, Isaiah 9:1,2
(Isaiah 9:1,2, babe)
Matthew 4:15
(I — I got some lines)
Ohhhh! Christ’s in Galilee, baby
(I got some lines for you, babe)
God prophesi-i-ied
(I — I got some lines)
I got some lines for you, baby
(Isaiah 9:1,2, babe)
Matthew 4:16
(I — I got some lines)
Oh, I got some lines for you, baby
(I got some lines for you, babe)
Oooooooooooh
(I — I got some lines)
(Isaiah 9:1,2, babe)

[ Apologetix – “Overdue Books” album ]

Amos
(Parody of “Layla” by Eric Clapton)

What are you doin’ here, you looney?
No-one made you prophesy
You’d better run — you’ll die unless you don’t
You know you’re just some foolish guy

Amos — go back to watchin’ sheep
Amos — stop makin’ prophecies
Amos — are you gonna heed my stern advice?

So why’d you visit a foreign nation
When your own land is just due south?
Goodbye, you fool
Don’t tell us what to do
Or Jeroboam will cut you down

Amos — go back to watchin’ sheep
Amos — and sycamore-fig trees
Amos — are you gonna heed my stern advice?

We’re a successful civilization
And our economy’s goin’ great
So please don’t say
Another word today
About our moral lapse and faith
REPEAT FIRST CHORUS

[ ApologetiX – “The Boys Aren’t Backin’ Down” album ]

Micah No. 5
(Parody of “Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega)

Ladies and Gentlemen
It’s in Micah number 5

I want, to, read verse 5
Doing Micah, in the Bible, cause he prophesied
To the little town of Bethlehem, and the Lord said
“It once was pretty puny but it’s really important.”
In about 700 BC
Old Micah said the Son of God would be
Born eventually, prophetically, in Bethlehem Ephrathah
The birthplace of King David, now you get to see the
So what can I do to really thank You, my Lord?
I see your birthday is just around the corner
Anything I buy, it’s all Yours
Tell me something to get you
I’m stumped here!

A little bit of Hanukkuh candlelights
A little bit of caroling songs outside
A little bit of wreath that’s small and green
A little bit of tinsel on my tree
A little bit of Santa, just for fun
A little bit of Mary, she’s Christ’s mom
O little town of Bethlehem in the sand
A little baby too, hey He’s the Man!

God’s Son came down, they moved Him all around
Going to Bethlehem town, so Herod can track Him down
His mom and dad left, on one sad night
Went down to Egypt, once Herod died
Nazareth was the place where they’d reside
They said, “Looks like this kid’s gonna be the Christ”
A little bit of Hanukkuh candlelights
A little bit of caroling songs outside
A little bit of wreath that’s small and green
A little bit of tinsel on my tree
A little bit of Santa, just for fun
A little bit of Mary, she’s Christ’s mom
O little town of Bethlehem in the sand
A little baby too, hey He’s the Man!

A little bit of Hanukkuh candlelights
A little bit of caroling songs outside
A little bit of wreath that’s small and green
A little bit of tinsel on my tree
A little bit of Santa, just for fun
A little bit of Mary, she’s Christ’s mom
O little town of Bethlehem in the sand
A little baby too, hey He’s the Man

Mi-cah 5:2
“God above has a birds-eye view”
His human Son was prophesied
You can read it in Micah 5

[ Apologetix – “New and Used Hits” album ]

Read Isaiah
(Parody of “Green Eyed Lady” by Sugarloaf)

Read Isaiah’s lovely pages
Scrolling slowly toward the Son
Read Isaiah closely, baby
See verse 18 pave the way in chapter one

Read Isaiah 6:1, baby
Yes, the Lord, he glimpsed in majesty 
See God later reveal in line 7:14
That His Son’s the virgin mother’s seed

Read Isaiah 9:6, baby
Chapter 9 relayed the plan
The Almighty’s own Son came here 
God and Savior — and a man

See Christ make a passion statement
Sheds His blood, He gives His life for me 
See God’s grace revealed like I’ve never seen 
In His Son — in chapter 53

[ Apologetix -“Double Take” album ]

Schoolhouse For Prophets
(Parody of “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper )

Hearing God’s own voice
Calling girls and boys
Amid all that noise
Gives me boundless joy
Well, we told Elisha: “Can’t find an ax!”
The ax head floated — that’s a fact

Schoolhouse for prophets
Schoolhouse for Heaven
School for those who seek Him

Know the Temple, know the Book
Know God’s precepts — learn and look – ahhh!

Well, the pot was black
And they got poison vegetables
And they dropped those into it
“We can’t eat it,” they thought, but we survived!

Schoolhouse for prophets
Schoolhouse for Heaven
A school for those who seek Him

Know the Temple, know the Book
Second Kings is where to look
Chapter 6 and
Chapter 4
E-li-sha comes
Back for more

Schoolhouse for Heaven
Schoolhouse for brothers 
Schoolhouse for believers
Schoolhouse completed!
Yayyyyy!!!

[ Apologetix – “Doves in Snakes’ Clothing” album ]

We Didn’t Start Messiah
(Parody of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel )

Perfect humans, had it made, then they kind of went astray
Sought the serpent for their wisdom so they had to go
Though the Lord made a prediction
Soon the lady’d have some kids and
From her seed would come to be the Man who’d win my soul
So the Lord made some coverings that came from
Animals He skinned alive, animals that had to die
After that a bad scene, Cain has got a cruel scheme
Offering some old vegetables his sacrifice was nullified

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, the Israelites already prophesied Him

Though his brother’s plan was flawed
Abel had a lamb for God
Sacrificed it and God liked it, Cain was ticked off
Abel’s done, murder one, Adam and Eve had another son
Named him Seth now Cain has got a spot
Seth’s line, Cain’s seed, both left God as sin increased
They could not foresee the plan – salvation through just one man
But Noah knew a bit – wound up on a cruise ship
In the waves, they were saved, God knows what He’s doin’

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, the Israelites already prophesied Him

Noah docked after that and he built an altar at
A spot where it was dry and he probably lit a fire
Seven pairs of animals that were clean were available
Brought them for sacrifice – tell me what that symbolized
Oh, oh
But he’d hardly been there became drunk and lost his shirt
Canaanites were past hope, Shem was blessed by Noah, though
Who do Shemites be? Abraham and then his seed
Always check for types, bro, Melchizadek is one of those

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, the Israelites already prophesied Him

Spent three days with Isaac, Abraham surmised if
He killed him in faith then Yahweh still could raise him
The Lord He saw the faith he had — didn’t need to take the lad
Showed him a ram – Abe said He’d provide the lamb
Close call — Isaac blessed Jacob, all his kids were next 
Jacob claimed that someday – one from Judah had to reign

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, the Israelites already prophesied Him

Brother Joe, where’s he been? In the depths and back again
Big shot – who’d have thought God would raise Joe’s stock?
Made a break to palace life, there he sat at Pharaoh’s right
Highest ruler in the land, brothers did not understand
Little Moses has arrived, government infanticide
From Egypt Moses left, plagues, Passover kept
Find a perfect lamb that’s pure
Stripes of blood are on the door
Rock with water, Yom Kippur
I can tell ya many more

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
But when we are gone
He will still live on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on

We didn’t start Messiah 
Yet we’re always yearning since the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, He isn’t hiding – if you try you’ll find Him

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning since the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, He isn’t hiding – if you try you’ll find Him

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning since the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, He isn’t hiding – if you try you’ll find Him
Revelation 13:8b … all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.

[ Apologetix – “Handheld Messiah” album ]

Jesus and Moses
(Parody of “Heat of the Moment” by Asia)

The testament you read divides in two
One thing that’s old and one that’s rather new
One book in two divided law from grace
But that don’t mean that either’s out of place

Do you remember in the wilderness
The Israelites heard Moses tell them this
One day another Prophet He will come
And we would see that that was God’s own Son

It was just Jesus and Moses
Tellin’ you what the Lord meant
Jesus and Moses
Showed you the light (ahhhhh)

And now you find in Acts 3:22
That this old prophet’s word from God came true
You can discern yourself Who’s King of Kings
Look back to Deuteronomy 18

God sent us Jesus and Moses
Jesus and Moses
Jesus and Moses
Showed you the light (ahhhhh ah ah ah ah ah)
LEAD

And when you look for God be sure you know
How many times He said Messiah would come
When Moses said a Prophet like himself
He made (a) prediction you’ll remember well

Yes, it was Jesus and Moses
In the New and Old Test’ment
Jesus and Moses
Showed you the light
Yes, it was Jesus and Moses
Jesus and Moses
Jesus and Moses
Showed you the light (ahhhhh ah ah ah ah ah)

LEAD

Jesus and Moses
Jesus and Moses
Jesus and Moses

Jesus and Moses
Jesus and Moses
Jesus and Moses

[ Apologetix – “Music Is as Music Does” album ]

Daniel’s Visions
(Parody of “Double Vision” performed by Foreigner)

Seen old Daniel interpret different kind of scenes
From writing on walls to King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams
But I know that in good time — in his final state
He wrote some visions down, too, that skeptics hate

Film arrives — it’s got Daniel’s visions
No surprise — they’re God’s Bible visions
Ooh … when he gets through, you’ll see
It all came true, truly
Find Daniel seven — read the rest with me

Daniel knew more than the — the ruling elite
Don’t try erasin’ what by God has been decreed
The lines he writes make Nostradamus look illiterate
He crams 500 years into several minutes

Film arrives — it’s got Daniel’s visions
Don’t despise — all those Bible visions
Ooh … when he gets through, you’ll see
It all came true, truly
Try Daniel 7 all the way through 12 and blessed you’ll be
It blesses me! Yeah heh heh-eh-eh hey

Oooh … Daniel’s visions
Unique (ooh) … Bible visions
(Oooh … Daniel’s visions) Don’t think me out of my head
Take into account what I said
(Oooh … Daniel’s visions) And check out Daniel’s visions
Ohhh oh-oh
(Oooh … Daniel’s visions) Read the Bible, Bible
Oh-oh-oh
(Oooh … Daniel’s visions) And find Daniel’s visions
(Oooh … Daniel’s visions)
Yeah-eh eh-eh-eh-eh-eh
(Oooh … Daniel’s visions) I’m readin’ Daniel’s visions
Oooooh
(Oooh … Daniel’s visions) How long? How long till Christ returns?

[ Apologetix – “Overdue Books” album ]

It’s Still Got The Joel You Need
(Parody of “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” by Billy Joel)

What’s the matter with the quotes I’m sharin’?
Can’t you tell that your guy’s too dry
Babe, I’m not some kind of old, drab scholar
Well, but that dude’s from ancient times
Yeah, but you should try him out, baby, really
You can’t just trash him till you’ve read him or you’re silly
Yeah, the Bible doesn’t have a dude named Billy
But it’s still got the Joel you need

Once the man predicted Armageddon
Can you us tell that without a smile?
What he said back then was quite inspired
It’s a concept we’ve been hearin’ a while 
Now it is, but it was new then to them, though
And, yes, verse 2:32’s monumental
God wants your trust even if there’s locusts
It’s still got the Joel you need

Ohhhh, there was man between Hosea and Amos
And there’s locusts in his famous scene
Maybe you’d abandon town, but you can’t get around
What the Lord predicts in chapter 3
Ain’t Armageddon extreme?

How about a prayer to fix our blindness
And deprive our arrogance?
Well, you should really read what Joel promised, baby
Would you just give Him half a chance?
Don’t waste your money on your shoes, status seekers
You get more value from a sheep-shearin’ preacher
Just pray, He’ll save, that’s great, anyway
It’s still got the Joel you need
Ooooooooooh hoo!
What’s the matter with that crowd I’m seein’
Don’t you know that’s the sound of tongues?
What did Simon Peter say they was doin’?
Said you’re wrong if you think they’re drunk
Go to Joel in chapter two – that’s the one he
Told us we should look at ’cause Joel saw it coming
It’s the last days – hooray — verse 2:28 
It’s still got the Joel you need
Yeah, the Bible doesn’t have a dude named Billy
But it’s still got the Joel you need

[ Apologetix – “Minor League” album ]

Messiah
(Parody of “Desire” by U2 )

Brothers, quite honestly
Is the Bible a white lie? It predicts history
Have you read the parts prophesyin’ Messiah?

See, from Daniel – the Israelites knew
The Christ would be there – be there real soon
And so they counted till they got one
And eschewed everyone who’s not one
It’s in Daniel, chapter 9 — the
That’s in Daniel, chapter 9, the
Right in Daniel, chapter 9, the
Look in Daniel, chapter 9, the
Messiah! Messiah!
You ready?

Under Caesar’s when they’d find the
Messiah! Messiah!
Yearning — yearning

He gave all us the time projections
Seek the prophets for your directions
The Scriptures that came long ago
I can preach it — still your heart has to let Him in, though
So let Him, honey, honey, honey
Honey, honey, honey, honey, honey

And when Jesus gets inside ya
Messiah! Messiah!
Messiah! Messiah!
Messiah! Messiah!

Are you ready?

[ Apologetix – “Handheld Messiah” album ]

Don’t Scoff
(Parody of “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac)

If He waits ’cause He don’t want a trial
If He takes just a little while
Don’t be surprised — look up and pray
Do these things that the scriptures say

Don’t scoff — He could come back tomorrow
Don’t scoff — He could soon be here
It could be years — never can be sure
Just obey God, just obey God

When God’s Kingdom has finally come
He’ll talk about the things that you’ve done
If you like stuff that’s bad to do
Just wake up and follow the Truth

Don’t scoff — He could come back tomorrow
Don’t scoff — Let’s assume He’s near
It could be years — better just be sure
Just obey God, just obey God

All I want is to leave here in style
You can say, “Yes, it’s been a while”
I know you don’t believe that it’s true
You never planned any rendezvous

Don’t scoff — He could come back tomorrow
Don’t scoff — He could soon be here
It could be years — never can be sure
Just obey God, just obey God

Don’t scoff — He could come back tomorrow
Don’t scoff — Let’s assume He’s near
It could be years — better just be sure
Just obey God, just obey God

Ooooooh … don’t you look bad
Ooooooh … don’t you look bad
Ooooooh … don’t you look bad
Ooooooh … don’t you look bad

[ ApologetiX – “Come See, Come Saw” album ]

Paranormal
(Parody of “Destroyer” performed by The Kinks)

Met a girl called Zelda with a book attacking my faith
Dealin’ with familiar spirits — scented candles everywhere
Stop! Oh, Lord, save this one’s soul
Girl, I let the Spirit lead, but the spirit guiding you is not guiding me
And have you read what the Lord said?
Cause He prohibits necromancing the dead
And since He blew through – inside of me
He teaches stuff to Me – from the Truth — something you never knew

Paranormal things destroy ya — paranormal things destroy ya

Well, I tell her straight, and I quote, “Spirit guides are snares”
Zelda looked at me and said, “Dude, you look so scared”
And she said, “Man, there’s really nothing wrong with it
“Some say they’re gonna help instruct”
“You’re wrong,” I shout, “they can’t help you out
“They’ll tell you good things so you’ll sin and sell yourself out”

Spirit voices they’ll destroy ya – spirit voices they’ll destroy ya

Spirit voices got so much bad info
So what you came for is not what you drive home
You’ll grow involved with the paranormal
Till no one can cure ya – they’ll destroy ya

And the ghosts like tricks – hear me, girl
Paranormal things destroy ya
Spirits pose as friends
Paranormal things destroy ya
LEAD

Stop this nonsense, Zelda, please, I’ll help you understand
There’s a ton of verses I could read on this stuff with God’s commands
There’s Isaiah 8 verse 19
And there’s Leviticus 20 verse 6
You see, they’re not ghosts, baby, it’s just a façade
‘Cause there’s an enemy, drawing you, snaring you – it’s the truth

Spirit voices they’ll destroy ya – paranormal things destroy ya

They’ll destroy ya – check yourself
Deuteronomy 18, verse 9-12
And my advice can help instruct ya
You might refuse but they’ll corrupt ya

(Yeah, and they won’t like this, no, they won’t)
Paranormal things destroy ya
(That’s some clairvoyance)

Paranormal things destroy ya
(Hey, hey, hear me, girl)
Paranormal things destroy ya
(And they won’t like this)

Paranormal things destroy ya
(Yeah, they don’t like this!)

[ ApologetiX – “Xit Ego Lopa” album ]

Get Serious

J Jackson talks about ApologetiX’s mission: “To reach the lost and teach the rest,” and that they take the Bible VERY SERIOUSLY!


<<< DEEP THOUGHTS >>>


“I don’t try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.”
[ Ray Bradbury ]

“Prediction in business is at least two things: Important and hard.”
[ Howard H. Stevenson ]

GENERAL PREDICTIONS
“I’m getting out of the business because cinema is little more than a fad.”
[ Charlie Chaplin ]

“There’s just not that many videos I wanna watch.”
[ Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube, questioned the future of YouTube ]

“There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable and nothing but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers.”
[ Phillip Franklin, vice president of the White Star Line, which had produced the Titanic ]

“Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”
[ Dr. Dionysius Lardner ]

“X-rays will prove to be a hoax.”
[ Lord Kelvin ]

“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.”
[ Sir William Preece ]

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
[ Lord Kelvin ]

“And for the tourist who really wants to get away from it all, safaris in Vietnam!.”
[ Newsweek ]

“Ours has been the first and will doubtless be the last expedition to visit this profitless locality. It seems intended by nature that the Colorado River shall be forever unvisited and undisturbed.”
[ Joseph Christmas Ives ]

“Everything that can be invented, has been invented.”
[ Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of US patent office ]

“Stock prices have reached a permanently high plateau.”
[ Irving Fisher, American economist ]

“There will not be a women Prime Minister in my lifetime, the male population ism too prejudiced.”
[ Margaret Thatcher ]

“Democracy will be dead by 1950.”
[ John Langdon Davies, Brisis jounalist ]

“A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.”
[ The New York Times ]

“There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable and nothing but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers.”
[ Phillip Franklin, vice president of the White Star Line, which had produced the Titanic ]

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.”
[ William Orton, President of Western Union ]

“I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea.”
[ HG Wells ]

“The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad.”
[ President of the Michigan Savings Bank ]

“There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.”
[ Albert Einstein ]

“Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop, because women like to get out of the house, like to handle the merchandise, like to be able to change their minds.”
[ Time Magazine ]

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
[ Thomas Watson, president of IBM ]

“I predict the internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”
[ Robert Metcalfe, Founder of 3 Com ]

“The concept of e-Commerce is baloney. No online database will replace your daily newspaper.”
[ The Oxford Eagle ]

“Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”
[ Darryl Zanuck, co-founder of 20th Century Fox ]

“December 21st, 2012 will mark the end of the world.”
[ Many different theorists interpreting the Mayan Calendar ]

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
[ George Wald, Harvard biologist ]

“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
[ Kenneth Watt, Ecologist ]

“We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
[ Barry Commoner, Biologist ]

“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
[ The New York Times ]

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” [ Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO ]

“The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.”
[ Francis Bacon ]

“I confess that in 1901 I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years. Two years later we ourselves made flights. This demonstration of my impotence as a prophet gave me such a shock that ever since I have distrusted myself and avoided all predictions.”
[ Wilbur Wright ]

“This year there died that trifler, so famous throughout the world, Michel Nostradamus, who boasted while he lived that he knew and could foretell future events by the influence of the stars, in whose name afterwards many ingenious men have put forth their imaginings…”
[ Henri de Sponde ]

“All honor, then, to this king of pretenders who has been able to make his bluff good for over three and a half centuries. And the end of his reign is as yet far in the future.”
[ “Parker” – In Leoni book page 105 ]

BIBLICAL PREDICTIONS

“Taking it in bulk, more than one-half of the Bible is predictive, so no further reason is necessary as to why Christians should study prophecy.”
[ Dr. James Gray ]

“The countdown seems to have begun. When we launch a satellite into space, NASA has an impressive checklist of things to be tested before the vehicle finally lifts off from its pad. There are sometimes delays in checking off the items on the list, but once the countdown has begun, it usually continues to the end. It is only a matter of time. We are all familiar with the impressive final seconds—10, nine, eight… three, two, one, blastoff!

To those of us who a look at today’s world and then look at the variety of scriptures that focus on the end times, it seems that the countdown to the coming of Christ has begun. Neither ‘the day nor the hour’ nor ‘the Times or the seasons’ are ours to know (Matthew 25:13; Acts 1:7). But what we see appears to be rapid movement of events toward the final seconds before the church is launched into space–and the subsequent judgments the sand on the world.”
[ John Phillips ]

“We take 100,000,000 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly…Blindfold a man and tell him…he must pick up one silver dollar…What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have of writing…eight prophecies and having them come true in any one man.”
[ Peter Stoner ]

“Interpreters of prophecy during the last few centuries have been, most of them, childish and nonsensical; the fact is, when fancy is their guide men wander as in a maze; they see, like children gazing into the fire, not what is really before them, but what is in their own heads.”
[ Charles H. Spurgeon ]

“The nature of such a work ought to be that every prophecy of the Scripture be sorted with the event fulfilling the same, throughout the ages of the world, both for the better confirmation of faith and for the better illumination of the Church touching those parts of prophecies which are yet unfulfilled: allowing, nevertheless, that latitude which is agreeable and familiar unto Divine prophecies; being of the nature of their Author with whom a thousand years are but as one day, and therefore are not fulfilled punctually at once, but have springing and germinant accomplishment throughout many ages, though the height or ruiness of them may refer to some one age.”
[ Sir Francis Bacon ]

—————————————

RELATED SCRIPTURE VERSES:

2 Peter 1:21 ESV / 286 helpful votes
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Amos 3:7 ESV / 213 helpful votes
“For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.

Acts 2:16-21 ESV / 193 helpful votes
But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. …

1 Corinthians 14:3 ESV / 172 helpful votes
On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.

Joel 2:28-32 ESV / 113 helpful votes
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

2 Peter 2:1-22 ESV / 99 helpful votes
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; …

Deuteronomy 18:18-22 ESV / 72 helpful votes
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

Micah 5:2 ESV / 58 helpful votes
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

1 Corinthians 14:1 ESV / 56 helpful votes
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

Isaiah 7:14 ESV / 54 helpful votes
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 ESV / 53 helpful votes
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, …

1 John 2:18 ESV / 52 helpful votes
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.

2 Timothy 3:16 ESV / 50 helpful votes
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Acts 13:27 ESV / 43 helpful votes
For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 ESV / 40 helpful votes
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

Isaiah 46:10 ESV / 38 helpful votes
Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’

Revelation 1:3 ESV / 35 helpful votes
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

Ezekiel 34:1 ESV / 35 helpful votes
The word of the Lord came to me:

Revelation 1:1 ESV / 34 helpful votes
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,

Zechariah 9:9 ESV / 33 helpful votes
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

2 Peter 1:19 ESV / 29 helpful votes
And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,

Revelation 19:10 ESV / 28 helpful votes
Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Hebrews 8:8-12 ESV / 28 helpful votes
For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

Acts 2:25-28 ESV / 27 helpful votes
For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

Acts 2:6-21 ESV / 27 helpful votes
And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, …

Matthew 24:36 ESV / 27 helpful votes
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

Isaiah 53:1-12 ESV / 27 helpful votes
Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. …

Luke 7:27 ESV / 26 helpful votes
This is he of whom it is written, “‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’

John 13:18 ESV / 25 helpful votes
I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’

1 Corinthians 12:1-31 ESV / 24 helpful votes
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; …

Acts 2:30 ESV / 24 helpful votes
Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne,

Psalm 22:1-31 ESV / 24 helpful votes
To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. …

John 12:13 ESV / 23 helpful votes
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”

Luke 1:70 ESV / 23 helpful votes
As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,

Genesis 3:15 ESV / 23 helpful votes
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Acts 1:16 ESV / 22 helpful votes
“Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.

Mark 9:11-13 ESV / 22 helpful votes
And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”

Zechariah 12:10 ESV / 22 helpful votes
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

Romans 11:26 ESV / 21 helpful votes
And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;

Acts 3:22 ESV / 21 helpful votes
Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.

Mark 15:27-29 ESV / 21 helpful votes
And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,

Psalm 2:7 ESV / 21 helpful votes
I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.

Genesis 22:18 ESV / 21 helpful votes
And in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

Acts 13:40 ESV / 19 helpful votes
Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:

Acts 13:35 ESV / 19 helpful votes
Therefore he says also in another psalm, “‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’

Matthew 27:35 ESV / 19 helpful votes
And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots.

1 Corinthians 13:2 ESV / 18 helpful votes
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Acts 13:34 ESV / 18 helpful votes
And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’

Luke 1:33 ESV / 18 helpful votes
And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Deuteronomy 18:15-19 ESV / 18 helpful votes
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.

Genesis 12:3 ESV / 18 helpful votes
I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

1 John 4:1 ESV / 17 helpful votes
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Hebrews 1:9 ESV / 17 helpful votes
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

2 Timothy 2:15 ESV / 17 helpful votes
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Ephesians 2:19-20 ESV / 17 helpful votes
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

Matthew 1:22-23 ESV / 17 helpful votes
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Malachi 3:1 ESV / 17 helpful votes
“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.

Ezekiel 37:15 ESV / 17 helpful votes
The word of the Lord came to me:

Isaiah 53:12 ESV / 17 helpful votes
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Psalm 22:1 ESV / 17 helpful votes
To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

Mark 14:27 ESV / 16 helpful votes
And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’

Matthew 24:1-51 ESV / 16 helpful votes
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. …

Hosea 6:2 ESV / 16 helpful votes
After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.

Acts 13:33 ESV / 15 helpful votes
This he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’

John 19:28 ESV / 15 helpful votes
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”

Luke 4:18 ESV / 15 helpful votes
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

Luke 2:32 ESV / 15 helpful votes
A light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

Jeremiah 23:5 ESV / 15 helpful votes
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

Isaiah 53:9 ESV / 15 helpful votes
And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Psalm 22:18 ESV / 15 helpful votes
They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

Jude 1:17 ESV / 14 helpful votes
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 19:37 ESV / 14 helpful votes
And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

Matthew 7:15 ESV / 14 helpful votes
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Ezekiel 32:1 ESV / 14 helpful votes
In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me:

Jeremiah 31:15 ESV / 14 helpful votes
Thus says the Lord: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.”

Isaiah 11:1 ESV / 14 helpful votes
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

Romans 3:21-22 ESV / 13 helpful votes
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:

Acts 26:23 ESV / 13 helpful votes
That the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”

Acts 15:17 ESV / 13 helpful votes
That the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things

Acts 3:25 ESV / 13 helpful votes
You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’

Luke 20:42 ESV / 13 helpful votes
For David himself says in the Book of Psalms, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand,

Ezekiel 35:1 ESV / 13 helpful votes
The word of the Lord came to me:

Psalm 110:4 ESV / 13 helpful votes
The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Revelation 1:7 ESV / 12 helpful votes
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

1 John 4:4 ESV / 12 helpful votes
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 ESV / 12 helpful votes
But test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

Luke 1:17 ESV / 12 helpful votes
And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

Matthew 7:12 ESV / 12 helpful votes
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Isaiah 53:3 ESV / 12 helpful votes
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Deuteronomy 18:21-22 ESV / 12 helpful votes
And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

Acts 2:17 ESV / 11 helpful votes
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;

2 Kings 20:5 ESV / 11 helpful votes
“Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord,

Galatians 4:4 ESV / 10 helpful votes
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,

1 Corinthians 14:31 ESV / 10 helpful votes
For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged,

Acts 2:31 ESV / 10 helpful votes
He foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.

John 12:15 ESV / 10 helpful votes
“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

John 6:45 ESV / 10 helpful votes
It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—

Luke 23:46 ESV / 10 helpful votes
Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

Luke 21:1-38 ESV / 10 helpful votes
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said, …

Matthew 27:46 ESV / 10 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”


A quick summary of the Christian “Gospel”:
JESUS’ PROPITIATION made our SINS FORGIVEN and IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS to us so that we have GOD’S ACCEPTANCE into His Heaven and receive ETERNAL LIFE.”
[ Mark Besh ]


Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ’pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!


<<< FOCUS VERSES >>>


“But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”

You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.”
[ Deuteronomy 18:20-22 ]

Set forth your case, says the Lord; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.
Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified. Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you.”
[ Isaiah 41:21-24 ]

“This is what God the Lord says—the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: ’… I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you’.”
[ Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 42:8-9 ]

“I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me?… Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?”
[ Isaiah 44:6, 8 ]

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure”… I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.”
[ Isaiah 46:9–11; cf. 14:24, 26-27 ]

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
[ Isaiah 55:6-7 ]

“No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed.”
[ Isaiah 65:20 ]

“I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army… Persia, Ethiopia and Libya are with them… Gomer and all its troops [probably referring to Germany]; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops [a reference to modern Turkey]… Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you… In the latter years you will come into the land of those… gathered from many peoples on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations… You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against my land.”
[ Ezekiel 38:4-8,16 ]

“Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again[e] with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.”
[ Daniel 9:25 ]

“And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its[f] end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.”
[ Daniel 9:26 ]

“And in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening. Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.”
[ Mathew 16:3 ]

“What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
[ Matthew 24:3 ]

“Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”
[ Matthew 24:4-5 ]

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”.
[ Matthew 24:29-31 ]

“‘I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”
[ Matthew 25:35-40 ]

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels… and these will go away into eternal punishment.”
[ Matthew 25:41, 48 ]

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
[ Matthew 28:19-20 ]

“Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—lest, coming suddenly, he finds you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
[ Mark 13:35-36 ]

“‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?’”
[ Luke 12:54-56 ]

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”
[ Luke 13:24 ]

“Watch, therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
[ Luke. 21:36 ]

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
[ Luke 24:27 ]

“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
[ John 3:19 ]

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
[ John 14:1-3 ]

“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.”
[ John 16:1 ]

“These things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.”
[ John 16:4 ]

“Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”
[ Acts 2:38 ]

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
[ Romans 8:18 ]

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
[ Romans 13:12-14 ]

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
[ Romans 15:4 ]

“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
[ Galatians 4:4-5 ]

“But our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
[ Philippians 3:20 ]

“Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
[ 1 Thessalonians 4:18 ]

“But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.”
[ 1 Thessalonians 5:4 ]

“God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
[ 1 Thessalonians 5:9 ]

“When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”
[ 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 ]

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
[ 2 Timothy 2:15 ]

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
[ 2 Timothy 3:1-7 ]

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
[ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ]

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
[ 2 Timothy 4:3-4 ]

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
[ 2 Timothy 4:7-8 ]

“Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
[ Titus 2:3 ]

“Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have the habit of doing. Rather, let us encourage each other, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
[ Hebrews 10:25 ]

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
[ James 1:12 ]

“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”
[ James 5:7-9 ]

“The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God . . .so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen”
[ 1 Peter 4:7-11 ]

“We have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”
[ 2 Peter 1:19 ]

“The heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”
[ 2 Peter 3:5b-7 ]

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
[ 2 Peter 3:8 ]

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
[ 2 Peter 3:9 ]

“But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.”
[ 2 Peter 3:13-14 ]

“Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
[ 2 Peter 3:9 ]

“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”
[ 1 John 2:28 ]

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
[ 1 John 3:2-3 ]

“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”
[ Revelation 1:3 ]

“But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood… and they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
[ Revelation 9:20-21 ]

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.”
[ Revelation 19:5-8 ]

“For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness to Jesus.”
[ Revelation 19:10 ]

“Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
[ Revelation 22:7 ]


If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

Mark

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