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Message details

Prophecy Update 2013-02-24

Notes Additional file Play

-For both todays and next Sunday’s prophecy update, I’m sensing the Lord would have me to do something a little differently than usual. -Actually, it’s not only the prophecy update it’s also our study in the book of Romans that the Lord has been leading me to do this as well. -Let me explain, unless otherwise directed, I believe the Lord would have me share what He’s been impressing upon my heart as of late.

-First, as it relate to Bible Prophecy, the Lord sort of confirmed to me that it was incumbent upon me to go back to the basics, as it were. -Perhaps a better way to say it would be that it’s important, especially when it comes to Bible Prophecy, to revisit the basic Biblical beliefs. -I suppose you could say, in some way it’s Prophecy 101, or Prophecy for Dummies, if you prefer, and no, I’m not calling anyone a dummy.

-One of the biggest problems for Christians concerning Bible prophecy is that often times we know what we believe, but we don’t know why. -Whenever we are asked, we’re able to give to every man an answer of “what” we believe about Bible prophecy, but not “why” we believe it. -The problem with this is that unless one is grounded in the Word, rightly dividing the Word of truth, they become susceptible to the false.

-By way of illustration, it’s akin to the training of bank tellers. They teach them the basics of genuine currency in order to detect counterfeits. -They do this by having them rightly handle genuine currency, and in so doing, they become so familiar with it they can spot the counterfeit. -So too is this true for us rightly handling the genuine Word of God, and in so doing, we become so familiar with it, we can spot counterfeits.

-It’s for this reason that I’m deeming it necessary, by the Holy Spirit, to get back to the basic fundamentals as it relates to Bible Prophecy. -My hope and prayer for these next two Sunday’s is that we as a church will all become so solid in “why” we believe, “what” we believe. -Lest you think that this has the propensity to insult the intelligence of those seasoned and savvy prophecy experts, you may be surprised.

Charles Swindoll says it best in an article titled, “Back to the Basics” on his Insight for Living website. Indulge me for just a bit as I share with you some of what he writes. He begins by talking about “The late football strategist Vince Lombardi” who was a fanatic about fundamentals. Those who played under his leadership often spoke of his intensity, his drive, his endless enthusiasm for the guts of the game. Time and again he would come back to the basic techniques of blocking and tackling. On one occasion his team, the Green Bay Packers, lost to an inferior squad. It was bad enough to lose . . . but to lose to that team was absolutely inexcusable. Coach Lombardi called a practice the very next morning. The men sat silently, looking more like whipped puppies than a team of champions. They had no idea what to expect from the man they feared the most. Gritting his teeth and staring holes through one athlete after another, Lombardi began: “Okay, we go back to the basics this morning. . . .” Holding a football high enough for all to see, he continued to yell: “Gentlemen, this is a football!” How basic can you get? He’s got guys sitting there who have been playing on gridirons for 15 to 20 years . . . who know offensive and defensive plays better than they know their kids’ names . . . and he introduces them to a football! That’s like saying, “Maestro, this is a baton.” Or, “Librarian, this is a book.” Or, “Marine, this is a rifle.” Or, “Mother, this is a skillet.” Talk about the obvious! Why in the world would a seasoned coach talk to professional athletes like that? Apparently, it worked, for coaches don’t lead their teams to three consecutive world championships all the time. But—how? Lombardi operated on a simple philosophy. He believed that excellence could be best achieved by perfecting the basics of the sport. …What works in the game of football works in the church as well. … “Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Bible!”

-Dare I say, “ladies and gentlemen, this is Bible Prophecy!” This is what Bible Prophecy says will happen in the last days of human history. -Simply put the next event on God’s prophetic clock is the rapture of the church of Jesus Christ, which sets into motion the 7-year tribulation. -That said, I’ll have you turn to the book of Revelation and the first chapter where we’ll begin by reading verse three, then verse nineteen.

Revelation 1:3 NIV Blessed is the one who reads 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 1:19 NIV "Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.

-The reason for reading these two verses in Revelation chapter one is that they “reveal” to us two features unique to the Book of Revelation. -The first one is in verse three, which basically tells us that anyone who reads, hears, and takes to heart what’s written in it will be blessed. -This means that Revelation is the only book of all the books in the Bible promising a blessing to those who read, hear, and take it to heart.

-This begs the question of “why?” Why is this book such a blessing? Because, the time is near, and if we take it to heart, we’ll be ready. -Conversely, if I do not read, hear, and take to heart this book, then I won’t know the time is near, and consequently, I will not be ready. -This explains why Satan doesn’t want Christians to read the book of Revelation. He ties the hands of its blessing with the ropes of our fear.

-The second unique feature to the book of Revelation is that verse nineteen gives to us, as one Bible teacher refers to it, a “divine outline.” -The Apostle John is told to write what he had seen, (past tense), what is now, (present tense), and what takes place later, (future tense). -By giving to us this divine outline, we can divide the book into three parts; that which had already happened, is happening, and will happen.

-Forgive me for closing this prophecy teaching so abruptly, but I need to paint the canvass of Revelation with the broad brush of this outline. -Then, Lord willing next week, we’ll pick it up by filling in some of the blanks, and connecting some of the dots so as to better understand it. -More specifically, we’ll delve more in depth, and in so doing we’ll have a better handle on the basics of “why” we believe “what” we believe.

SCRIPTURE

CHAPTER(S)

EVENT(S)

What you have seen… (Past)

1

Jesus Christ

What is now (Present)

2 & 3

Church History (Church mentioned 19 times)

What will take place later (Future)

4 & 5

The Rapture

What will take place later (Future)

6 -19

The Tribulation (Church not mentioned)

What will take place later (Future)

20

The Millennium

What will take place later (Future)

21 & 22

The New Heavens & Earth

 Notes
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