This is Why We Must Study Prophecy!

Posted by Olivier Melnick on February 6, 2023

Almost 30% of the Bible is prophecy, so why would we not study nearly a third of the Bible? Yet, on one side of the spectrum, many churches and pastors refrain from teaching prophecies; on the other side, just about anything goes regarding prophecies on the internet. Where is the balance? I believe that the balance can only be found if we apply a very specific method of interpretation known as grammatical/historical, literal hermeneutics, remaining faithful to the original context. It is worth repeating that a text without a context is a pretext!

The prophets looked forward to Messiah as the meaning of their prophecies (Messiah, Savior and redeemer as found in 1 Peter 1:10-12): “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Messiah within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Messiah and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — things into which angels long to look.’
On the other side of the cross, the apostles looked back on Yeshua as the one who fulfilled the Messianic prophecies of the Tanach. We, too, look forward to the Messiah as fulfilled from the Old Testament prophecies. There is so much to be gained by studying prophecies:

We Study Prophecy Because It is part of the Bible:  All words given to us in the Bible are there for a reason. In some cases, we get the whole meaning upon a more in-depth study, but it is all there for us to live by.
2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.
2 Peter 1:21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

We Study Prophecy Because God worked through His prophets: The prophets of old were God's mouthpiece. They were the messengers of God who delivered His message to men as the priests delivered Man's message to God. Being through dreams, visions or direct dialogue, God worked through His carefully selected prophets.
Amos 3:7 Certainly the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret plan To His servants the prophets.

And He also rejected false prophets: Many men came and went through Bible history claiming to be prophets of God but speaking a different message far away from God's truth. A biblical prophet only had to be 100% accurate 100% of the time. No pressure, right? By the way, there is no indication in the Word of God that "modern-day prophets" fall under a different standard.
Deuteronomy 18:20-22  But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name, a word which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How will we recognize the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 When the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, and the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you are not to be afraid of him.

We Study Prophecy Because Paul referred to the prophets: A substantial portion of the New Testament was written by the Apostle Paul, who referred to the Law and the Prophets (a euphemism for the Tanach.) He validated the importance of learning from the prophets of old.
Romans 3:21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.

We Study Prophecy Because Yeshua referred to the prophets: The Messiah Himself quoted from many of the Prophets of old. His teachings often took the audience back to the truth first delivered by prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah and so many more.
Matthew 7:12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

We Study Prophecy Because It Validates the Bible: Suppose we take silver dollars and lay them on the surface 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 all over the state. Blindfold someone and tell them to travel as far as they wish, but they must pick up one silver dollar, and it has to be the marked one. What chance would they have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing only eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man.

We Study Prophecy Because It Strengthens Our Faith: God has always been in control of all events of history. We are comforted with the fact that in the Word, He gave us Messianic prophecies that were all literally fulfilled in ONE person, and likewise, the future, yet-unfulfilled prophecies will also be literally fulfilled.
John 14:1-4“Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”
As believers in Yeshua, we rest in the fact that God knows and controls the future. The events of the Second Coming are guaranteed by those of the first coming. This is why the Second Coming is called the “blessed hope.”
Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua,
Based on prophecy and in light of the fact that the Lord could return at any moment, we should strive to lead lives that are pleasing to Him. (Titus 2:14; 2 Peter 3:13-14). In the effort to lead better lives for Him, we cannot avoid closer to God.
Titus 2:14:  …” who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, eager for good deeds.”
2 Peter 3:13-14:   …” But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found spotless and blameless by Him, at peace….”

We Study Prophecy Because it Equips Us to Share with the Lost: To understand who Messiah is based on the picture painted in the Tanach. By studying Messianic prophecies in the Tanach (Old Testament), we discover that through progressive revelation, God has granted us increasing knowledge about the person, character, timeline and redemptive career of the Messiah at His First and Second Coming. To understand who Messiah is based on the Objections to the Messiahship of Yeshua Once we understand the meaning of each prophecy, we can study and compare the Jewish objections. Eventually, as the prophecies are studied within the grammatical/historical context, they all point to the same person: Yeshua of Nazareth.

We regularly run into prophecies as we study the Bible or in our daily devotions. If we ignore them every time we see them, we will ignore almost a third of the instruction manual God left for us. How can we properly function and behave if we only pay attention to two out of three verses in the Bible? Ignoring prophecy will impair us and force us to come to conclusions that are not in line with the whole counsel of God, and that is a very slippery slope I am not willing to get on, especially in a day and age when Bible prophecy is being fulfilled in front of our very eyes.

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3 comments on “This is Why We Must Study Prophecy!”

  1. I love God’s prophecies because it reminds me of how amazing He is and His ways. When I die to myself and live His way that the Holy Spirit gives me… my days are awesome and my relationship grows with my Savior!!

  2. We also must study prophecy because prior to the very first WORD of SCRIPTURE was written ALL of GOD'S Words are prophetic!! Moses and Job wrote prophecies, therefore ALL of Scripture (OT, Poetic, and NT) are essentially prophetic. Even Genesis 1:1 or Job 1:1.

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