Bible Prophecy

"I'M ALRIGHT JACK ..."

The ostrich is famous for hiding itself in the sand when it can't face the world. It thinks that what you hide from will go away. Many people today are like the ostrich, hiding their heads in the sand. Materialism, mindless entertainment and the approval of their friends are the sand, and many people today are so immersed in it that they never raise their heads to look around and ask where they are going. "I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry" (LUKE 12:18-19).

But the reality is that there is very little time left. U.S. scientists have constructed a "Doomsday clock", based on the international situation we live in, and it points conservatively at a few minutes before midnight. The reality is that things are not O.K. and it is no use pretending they are.

Bible ProphecyFor the man who lifts his head and looks around, there comes a great longing to find some guide that will show the way out of our situation. Like a road map which shows you where you are, and how to get from there to your destination, Bible prophecy describes our times and points the way to salvation. It describes our social and moral circumstances; it describes the development of the international situation, identifying the nations; it describes the build-up to the final conflict of Armageddon, and it describes the nuclear holocaust. It also tells us of those who have escaped death, who are saved, and what their part is in these last days. The religious world in the face of which the Lord will raise up His saints is described and identified, and the New World Order to be established after Armageddon is set out in Bible prophecy.

Bible prophecy is of course not solely concerned with our times - and history, archaeology and even science have demonstrated its accuracy in the past. This only serves to direct us all the more towards heeding the Bible message for us today. If prophecies have been being proven true for over two thousand years so far, it seems reasonable to believe that they will go on being true. And the accuracy of the Bible's description of our times indicates even more plainly to us the Divine inspiration of prophecy.

The Bible says, "Heaven and Earth shall pass away: but 'my WORD' shall not pass away" (LUKE 21:33). And then, "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: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the 'will of man' , but Holy Men of God SPAKE as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 PETER 1:19-21).

Ancient Predictions of Modern Weapons

Zechariah chapter 14 talks about the last days and in verse 12, a very strange plague is described. "And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they stand on their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongues shall consume away in their mouth."

This was written around the year 520 B.C., but through all of recorded history no-one had ever seen such a quick-acting, terrible disease afflict anyone - until August 1945 when a nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The Bible had accurately described the effects of nuclear weapons on people. The Bible also describes the great mushroom cloud which accompanies a nuclear explosion. In JOEL 2:30 we read, "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke." The Hebrew word for 'pillars' can also be translated as 'palm trees': i.e. palm trees of smoke. Note that Joel chapter 2 is also talking about the last days.

These prophecies have been accurately fulfilled in our times, and EZEKIEL 38-39 indicates the line-up of nations in the battle of Armageddon which will end this age. The important nations, the trouble-spot from which the war flares up, and the alliance blocs are all very recognisable today. We are - from these prophecies - obviously living in the very last days of this age.

The Seven Times Punishment of Israel

Another prophecy concerned the return of the Jews into Jerusalem. It is a matter of historical fact that the princes and learned Jews left Jerusalem and were taken captive into Babylon under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar in 604 B.C., and that the Jews returned to Jerusalem in 1917 A.D. In LEVITICUS 26:28 God promised seven times of punishment. The prophetic year is 12 x 30 or 360 days; taking a day for a year (EZEKIEL 4:6) is 360 years - or a time (LEVITICUS 25:8). Thus 7 x 360 is 2520 years - the time from 604 B.C. to 1917 A.D. (remembering that there is no zero B.C. or zero A.D.). Interestingly, in DANIEL 12:12, God stated, "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days" (1335). The Turkish coin that was minted in 1917 had both 1917 and, on the reverse face, the equivalent year in the Turkish calendar - 1335. Prophecies made by Jesus suggest that the restoration of the state of Israel marks the final lead-up to the end time, and so the return of the Jews to Jerusalem in 1917 is not only an amazing fulfilment of Bible prophecy, but also of great significance to us today.

A Prophecy Fulfilled: "As Birds Flying"

One amazing fact about Jerusalem is that the Bible not only gave the exact year for its deliverance but also the precise manner in which it would be delivered without damage to its buildings. On November 27th 1917, General Allenby gave orders before the victorious advance and gave instructions that "on no account is any risk to be run in bringing the city of Jerusalem or its immediate surroundings within the area of operations." General Allenby was familiar with the Scriptures, and he would therefore see fit to protect a dedicated city. He had taken the Bible with him from England for the campaign. Eventually, when the time came to attack and occupy the city, Allenby sent six bombers over it armed with leaflets. The leaflets were to call on the city to "surrender" and the bombs carried were in case of emergency. Not long after the pamphlets had fallen, the Mayor of Jerusalem opened one of its famous gates, walked out under a "white flag of surrender", and handed the keys of the city to Allenby. The six planes continued flying and located a battery of Turkish guns outside the city, waiting to demolish it when the British troops had entered and occupied the famous capital. Writing of Jerusalem's deliverance, Sir Charles Crawford said: "The Turkish gunners were about to lay the city in ruins, when "as birds flying" aeroplanes dropped bombs upon them and they retreated in panic. Jerusalem had been saved by the Royal Air Force."

And so when we turn to the Bible, we find the fulfilment of a wonderful prophecy: "As birds flying, so will the Lord defend Jerusalem; defending also He will deliver it; and passing over it He will preserve it" (ISAIAH 31:5). What an amazing prophecy, and what a marvellous fulfilment in the age of flying.

What Does Bible Prophecy Tell Us of the Future?

The Bible indicates a future wonderful beyond our imagination. "Then you shall see and be radiant and your heart shall thrill and tremble with joy (at the glorious deliverance) and be enlarged" (ISAIAH 60:5 AMP).

Jesus Returns

The Bible shows that after about 2,000 years of this gospel age the world has reached a point where total destruction is imminent (MATTHEW 24:22). Nuclear warfare is forecast (ZECHARIAH 14:12) in a World War starting in Palestine and spreading to include the USA and Russia (See EZEKIEL 38-39). The cause is still man's disobedience.

Jesus promises to return shortly as King of all the earth ruling from Jerusalem (ZECHARIAH 14:3-9). At His return the true church will be resurrected or changed into a spiritual form to meet Him (1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-18). He will reign for 1,000 years, a period often called the Millennium (REVELATION 20:1-5), and the church will reign with Him. The people of the earth will live and die much the same way as just now except that peace will prevail even amongst wild animals (ISAIAH 65:17-25). Jesus will rule as a dictator (ZECHARIAH 14:16-21; ISAIAH 11:4-10) and will show the beauty possible in life on this earth when it is lived according to God's pattern.

CartoonAt the end of the millennium, Satan, who was bound at its start, will be released. Men will believe his lies as quickly as Adam did and rebel against Jesus. This will prove for all time natural man's inability to walk with God. Their armies will be destroyed (REVELATION 20:7-10).

The Great Resurrection and Judgment

At this point Jesus becomes the great Judge of all the Earth (REVELATION 20:11-15). All the dead except the living church will be resurrected and brought before Him and judged by their works. Some will already have their names in the Lamb's book of life REVELATION 20:12), e.g. Moses (EXODUS 32:32), Job (JOB 19:25-27), Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets (LUKE 13:28), and will pass straight into the kingdom. Those who meet God's standard and who never rejected the gospel (2 THESSALONIANS 1:8-9) will live with Him for ever. The rest will be destroyed or cease to exist in the symbolic lake of fire which will also destroy death and the grave (hell) (REVELATION 20:12-15).

We exhort every reader to obey God's command while time permits: "Repent (turn around), be baptised (Bury the old man) and receive God's Holy Spirit. Save yourselves from this untoward generation" (ACTS 2:38-40).

The person who ignores Bible prophecy and its message to us is hiding from undeniable reality. The ostrich, with its head in the sand, a) is not getting anywhere, and b) is not particularly well protected anyway from the dangers it hides from. The ostrich stands there looking silly, while reality and disaster closes in with a big boot... And it needn't be like that.

Source: 'Voice of Revival'