We are at a very important time in history. It is a time when the Church is, quite frankly, largely blind to what is happening. This is because there is an area of God’s Word that the Church has not been consistently examining with any great scrutiny and that is eschatology, or the study of end times. This is concerning considering such a large part of the Bible is end-time prophecy.
One reason for this is that we have created an atmosphere in the Church in which we don’t believe prophecy is knowable and so we don’t bother to study it. Does God give us so much prophecy only to have it remain unknowable? I don’t think so. This is doing both the saved and the unsaved a great disservice in many ways as it is simply not true.
Another reason, equally as destructive, is that we also believe it has all been figured out and so we rest in certain traditional interpretations that have been passed down to us. Can we honestly say it’s all been figured out? I don’t think so. Consider what one of the angels who helped deliver Daniel’s prophecy told him:
“But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” [Daniel 12:4 NASB]
In proper context, this means that end-time prophecy is sealed from full understanding until the time of the end and, at that time, many people will be searching the pages of Daniel’s book for prophetic insight because their knowledge will have increased. Knowledge of what? Knowledge of history and current world trends and events. This can only happen with the unfolding of time as it reveals these things to us.
As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. [Daniel 12:8-9 NASB]
Consider, this means at the very least some interpretations of end-time prophecy taught before the time it is unsealed will, necessarily, be incorrect. In other words, the Bible says what it has always said but only at the right time will we be able to properly know and identify these things.
I submit to you we are now in that time.
It is my constant prayer, hope and desire that the Church’s eyes will be opened to prophecy in a way they have never been before and that we will actually have answers to questions rather than an ambiguous, ever-growing mountain of speculation that never seems to quite get as specific as we might like.
In fact, consider that the reason we’ve had to speculate about so many things is because we’ve had the wrong answers and they don’t quite fit. Think of it as trying to update a new computer with an old operating system. It won’t run quite right on something it wasn’t designed to run. You won’t get the full benefit because it won’t do what it’s supposed to do.
KEEP IT SIMPLE SAINT
We need to pull back a bit from all the little details of prophecy to the larger picture, the larger story, and start at the roots. Once we set everything on its proper foundation and let the story tell the story, we will be surprised at how the rest will click and fall into place. We will wonder why we’ve never seen it before.
It’s here where I want to issue the challenge that was issued to me:
The Old Testament prophets are littered with the names of the nations that Christ will judge upon His return to the earth. Can you find any nation listed that is not located in the Middle East?
Despite what interpretations and traditions we might bring to the text, geography doesn’t lie about the location of prophetic events. Setting Bible prophecy on its correct geographic foundation is absolutely essential in understanding the time we are in right now. Christians, pastors and teachers of Bible prophecy, will you take this challenge seriously? It could have a direct effect on how you interact with people right now, today. People need to know Christ or know Him better because the hour is much later than we are aware.
NEXT >>> Isaac and Ishmael: The Origin of Middle East Conflict and the Foundation for Understanding Eschatology
9 responses to “Calling the Church to Prophetic Awareness”
Thanks for your post, I agree with you. I’ve been looking at all the old Babylonian and Persian gods, and doing that is helping me understand Daniel and Revelation better.
I have a blog aimed at a general audience, where I did a post on the old ‘gods’ a week back: http://jobloggz.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/you-cant-teach-an-old-god-new-tricks/
I would appreciate hearing what you think, whether you agree or disagree.
Speaking of prophecy unfolding, what do you think of Iran’s word ‘Daesh’ to describe ISIS warriors?
A Google search of this newsy word ‘daesh’ (alternative spelling sometimes, ‘daash’) reveals that, aside from possible Acronyms for ISIL, is it the Arabic verb for “to crush”, “to trample down”. I suspect the Antichrist’s army, that is the beastly vision crushing the whole earth, will engulf ISIS warriors, along with the latter’s monstrous cruelty. It’s fascinating that the above-referenced articles, from The Iran Project, includes the word ‘daesh’ numerous times, and one article references ‘Assyrians’ when talking about the ancient artifacts destroyed by Daesh.
God’s ancient words are today’s news. Jesus is LORD, and He’s coming soon.
unfortunately the link won’t load but that is very interesting and no surprise to me. certainly, we can see with our own eyes that Islam does nothing but trample and crush. just another reason why it’s a way better fit for the 4th beast instead of Rome.
In your article “Calling the Church to Prophetic Awareness,” I think your cry, “Keep it simple!” and your challenge to I.D. the Old Testament nations of prophecy as real geographic places today, is vital. You call for a sound hermeneutic: literal, historical, grammatical. Horatius Bonar, in the 1800s, noted at least 109 instances of Hebrew Scriptures literally fulfilled at Messiah’s first coming. He declared: “…literal fulfillment is the New Testament rule.” He eschewed the spiritualizing away of God’s future dealings with national Israel: “Can we be wrong,” he averred, “in maintaining that, since Christ and His apostles quoted literally, and interpreted literally, we ought also to do the same?”
May I take the liberty to quote, at some length, from the 1876 writings of this remarkable hymn writer and saint? You can find the following quotes, and much more, at futureisrael.org (select “Horatius Bonar.” Scroll down that page and select chapter 13 of “Prophetical Landmarks – 1876”). In this incisive analysis of sound, prophetic interpretation, Bonar ends this eye-opening chapter with some of the most thrilling descriptions of Israel’s blessings to the world, that I have ever seen put into words. All this written — by faith — over 70 years BEFORE Israel became a recognized nation once more! :
“Every word of prophecy is big with meaning. Hence it must be most carefully and exactly interpreted. To attach a general meaning to a whole chapter, as is frequently done ((here — I point out — consistently done by replacement theologians!)), shows not only grievous irreverence for the Divine Word, but much misconception of the real nature of that language in which it is written. Yet such is often the practice of many expositions of prophecy. They will take up a chapter of Isaiah, and tell you that it refers to the future glory of the Christian Church; and that is the one idea which they gather from a whole chapter, or sometimes from a series of chapters. Their system does not admit of interpreting verse by verse and clause by clause, and affixing an exact and definite sense to each….
MANY PROPHECIES BECOME IN THIS WAY A MERE WASTE OF WORDS ((emphasis, mine)).What might be expressed in one sentence, is beaten out over a whole chapter; nay, sometimes over a whole book….
“THESE EXPOSITORS THINK THAT THERE IS NOTHING IN PROPHECY, EXCEPT THAT JEW AND GENTILE ARE ALL TO BE GATHERED IN, AND MADE ONE IN CHRIST ((emphasis, mine)). Prophet after prophet is raised up, vision after vision is given, and yet nothing is declared but this one idea! Every chapter almost of Isaiah foretells something about the future glory of the world; and every chapter presents it to us in some new aspect,…but according to the scheme of some, every chapter sets forth the same idea….Is not this handling the Word of God deceitfully?” ….
“Why are they so AFRAID of literality? We know of no instance in which the literal sense has injured the Church, or introduced heresy; from the days of Origen down-wards, to the era of modern Neology, all manner of evil has attended the departure form the literal sense of the Scripture!”
Reblogged this on Totalhealthwealth's Blog and commented:
The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy
I like to hear more about your news and everything the Lord talk to you
As the people of the LORD are called to prophetic awareness, familiar Scriptures, heretofore unnoticed as literal future, pulse with fresh life.
In some moment when you were especially pained by the anguish of a suffering world, have you ever read an optimistic passage, and felt the world’s harshness mocked it? When, for example, you came across words like this: “The earth will be filled with the glory of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea….” (Habakkuk 2:14). Ever felt like you had to defend such a description by “spiritualizing” it?
I have to admit that I’ve read not a few Old testament passages when literal interpretation seemed too impossible for earthly fulfillment. Not so, when a prophetic light streams across the words!
Now I am understanding that much Scripture graphically focuses on OUR TIME. And why not?
Is not all history to climax in the triumph of the cross: the resurrected redeemed, sharing in Messiah’s triumphal reign UPON THIS EARTH, after the final death-struggle of Satan’s usurpation? A plethora of passages begin to sing this song, when one is aware of the prophetic.
Here’s an exercise in prophetic awareness: try reading Psalm 9 as though you were in one of 4 places: 1) hearing of the deaths of TRUE martyrs — not murderers; 2) yourself persecuted, or imprisoned, awaiting martyrdom; 3) as a martyred soul, under heaven’s altar crying out, “How long, O LORD, before you execute vengeance?” or, 4) witnessing first-hand the wonders of the Messianic age, beginning with the judgment of the nations.
Here is Psalm 9, from biblehub.com. I’m using the HCS tab (Holman Christian Standard translation), because it is keyed throughout to Strong’s Concordance:
Notice that this Psalm is “according to muth-labben.” Strong’s interprets these words, “TO DIE FOR THE SON.”
Psalm 9 can be a martyr’s beacon as the vicious onslaughts of Satan’s final kingdom are wrecking the world!
With prophetic surety, the Psalmist exclaims:
“You have destroyed the wicked; you have erased his name forever and ever. The enemy has come to eternal ruin….” (vss. 5,6)
And just look what a turn history takes:
“But the LORD…has established His throne for judgment…. He executes judgment on the nations with fairness.” (vss. 7,8)
In concert with prophetic expectations, “The LORD has revealed Himself….” (vs. 16)
In verses 19, 20, we can almost hear the anguished prayers of TRUE martyrs of the present holocaust (those now, and in future), as they are being hounded, hunted, plundered, tortured, violated, driven out, mocked, maimed, murdered:
“Rise up, LORD! Do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your presence. Put terror in them, LORD; let the nations know they are only men.”
Try reading the following petition with one word especially emphasized: “Put terror in THEM….” It’s as if the persecuted cry against their unrepentant tormenters: “LORD, turn the tables on the terrorists! Put terror in THEM!”
We pray for the salvation of all. Oh that “the terror of the LORD” would lead the persecutors to know God’s love, mercy, forgiveness. That repentant enemies would become our forever brothers and sisters.
Today, a Christian is being murdered on average, every five minutes. And anti-Semitism is burgeoning globally. Along with the recent martyrs already in heaven, we must be keenly aware of Daniel’s warning: the saints will be given into antichrist’s hands for “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” We know of our Savior’s warning (now, more than ever): those who kill us think they do God service.
God is calling the readers of Scripture to prophetic awareness. May the LORD grant us “the patience of the saints,” should we be destined — “MUTH-LABBEN” — TO DIE FOR THE SON.
“Even so, come, LORD Yeshua.”
Reblogged this on hollandv36wordpresscom and commented:
This is truly revelation for this day and time.
A couple of scripture verses that might explain the present misleading eschatological narratives.
1 Corinthians 2:9-16 KJVS
 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them , because they are spiritually discerned.  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Much of the theology of the past and present mainline church denominations were and are written by men who lacked the mind of Christ. Simply because they did not receive the Christ in you the hope of glory and received not the Spirit of truth. And for that reason they have not the love of the truth.
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 KJVS
 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Now, this is not a recent development as the Apostle Paul prophecied of these matters nearly two thousand years ago.
B2 Timothy 4:3-4 KJVS
 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
So that is why website’s like this are of so much value in leading us into the truth and insights regarding end time events.