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Introduction to Prophecy - Part 1

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Introduction to Prophecy - Part 1
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Introduction To Prophecy

Many believers are confused about the biblical timeline of future events, as well as the spiritual gift of prophecy—and understandably so. In this study, Pastor Skip Heitzig gives an introduction to biblical prophecy and helps us understand this important gift of the Holy Spirit.

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Introduction to Prophecy – Part 1

Revelation, chapter 19. It says, verse 7, "Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to him for the marriage of the lamb has come and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he said it unto me, right blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the lamb.

"And he said unto me, these are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, see that thou do it not. I am my fellow servant and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus and worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

So tonight we want to go over prophecy and how important it is. A lot of people minimize prophecy. They go, oh, all you ever hear on the radio is prophecy. All I ever hear is prophecy.

Well, we'll discover the two-thirds of the entire Bible is prophecy. So God has quite a stock in it. Turn to 1 John. 1 John, chapter 3. You will be turning in your Bible to a number of passages tonight since this is a topical study.

1 John, chapter 3, verse 1 says, "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God."

Could you turn that mic down just a little bit here?

"Therefore the world knows this not because it knew Him not. Beloved now we, the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be. But we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that has this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He is pure."

Now, let's go over that. He says, notice, in verse 2, "beloved were the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be. But we know that when He shall appear--" when Jesus Christ shall appear-- "we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is." Then it says, "And every man that has this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He--" even as Jesus Christ-- "is pure."

So one of the first and one of the best reasons to study prophecy is because it's one of the most purifying factors in the Christian life. Why? John is speaking about the coming of Jesus Christ, and waiting for the coming, knowing that we'll be like Him, and every man that has His hope purifies himself.

When you realize that Jesus Christ can come any day, at any moment, very soon, it makes you on your toes. It makes you live for Jesus Christ, realizing that you want your life in line with the Lord, and that you want to influence others for Jesus Christ. And it makes you live that pure kind of life, rather than if, oh, the Lord's-- no, you know, He'll never come back.

Like it says in Matthew 25 that the slothful servant said, He is delaying His coming. So it's a very purifying factor. So that's why we're studying it tonight, to get you excited about the Lord coming back. Because He is.

I think if you listen to the 10 o'clock news on TV, or read the newspaper, and if you do read the Bible, I think anybody with any kind of an objective mentality would be foolish not to admit that prophecies today have been and are being fulfilled according to the scripture. It is amazing, the days that we're living.

And, you know, I hear a lot of people say, I'd love to live in Jesus' day. I wish I were one of the apostles walking along the Sea of Galilee, touching Jesus' garment. Hey, I'd rather live today than any other time in history. Jesus said, I'll never leave you or forsake you. And we're living in a time in history where history will culminate and come to an end very shortly.

So, with that, turn to Hebrews, chapter 1.

John? Could you turn that up just a little bit? Praise the Lord. Thanks.

Hebrews, chapter 1, verse 1, "God, who at different times and in different ways, spoke in past times unto our fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son whom He hath appointed heir of all things by whom He has made the world." So we get two things here. One, God has spoken. And God speaks. God continues to speak in the person of Jesus Christ.

So God has spoken in times past through the prophets. Not all at once. God didn't give this scripture that you have in your hands all at one time, in one lump sum, and say, here, Moses. Here's a little leather backed book I'd like you to publish. It's all written out. No problem.

It wasn't given all at once. It was given in different time spans, to different people, in different parts of the world, in different languages. And one of the things that makes the Bible unique is this very fact in itself. And we're going to discover-- we're going to approach prophecy from point one all the way through before we get into the Book of Revelation.

One of the unique things about the scripture is how it was given. The scripture was written. It's 66 different books. Think about that. 66 different books, written over a 1,600 year span, by more than 40 authors, on three different continents, three different languages, times of war, times of peace. Some were prophets. Some were kings. Some were peasants. Some were fishermen. Some were statesmen.

And, yet, when you read it, it has one theme. It has one central theme. And you can look at it, no contradictions, and it speaks about things that other people speak about who live hundreds of years before the other guy wrote. And they seem to have one theme.

And you can look at and say, this is one book written by the Holy Spirit through different people. And so the Holy Spirit has edited the scripture. And it's such a unique book in that.

Now, take any other book and you take-- let's say you've got 66 different medical books over a 1,600 year time span, written by 40 authors, and try to treat a patient from it. What kind of luck are you're going to have? Not too good.

But, tonight, we're going to discover even the ancient prophets and John in the Book of Revelation go hand in hand. And, as we study the Book of Revelation next few weeks, you will discover that the Book of Revelation is a pretty simple book once you understand the Old Testament. All you have to do is dig out the idioms in the Old Testament and compare-- get the rule of first mention and compare all the way through scripture, bring it up in Revelation and you'll see exactly what it means.

There's some hard things. But the scripture is one theme. And so we look at it. And we see that this book is God's revelation to us. God has spoken to us. So, in a sense, it's an extraterrestrial kind of a book. It was a book that really didn't originate here, but in the mind of God.

God, who loved man enough to invade their time and space domain, to love them, to give them a revelation of himself so that man could know God. God has spoken so that you can know Him and so that He can pour out his love to you. So God has spoken at different times through the prophets and, in these last days, through the person of Jesus Christ.

When we look at the Old Testament and the New Testament, never look at it as two separate books, or two separate different sets of scripture. A lot of times, people do that, or we think, equally as wrong, that the New Testament is supposed to take the place of the Old Testament.

Well, that's the Old Testament. We throw it aside, and we have the New Testament. So, as a Christian, all I do is read the New Testament. Yes, at first. But if you fail to read and understand the Old Testament, you're missing quite a bit.

Because the Old Testament is unfolded in the New Testament. And the New Testament is enfolded or enveloped in the Old Testament. And so they go hand-in-hand.

In other words, if you just had the Old Testament, all the prophecies concerning Jesus Christ, all the prophecies concerning God's kingdom, and the Messiah, all you'd have is a bunch of promises without a fulfillment. It wouldn't do you a lot of good.

But if you just had the New Testament without the Old Testament, all you'd have is a story and a history of a man named Jesus Christ, without any authenticity or documentation, such as the prophets prophesying that He would come. So they fulfill one another. You can't separate or divorce the two.

In other words, you can't really understand Leviticus till you read Hebrews. You can't really understand Hebrews till you read Leviticus. You can't really understand the Book of Revelation till you know the Book of Daniel and vice versa. They go hand-in-hand.

That's why Paul said we should compare spiritual things with spiritual things. It's always good to compare the scripture. That's why we always, when we're going through a theme or a text, we say, now, turn to this passage. Now, turn to this passage. To see how they wrote and spoke on different issues in the same line.

Now, we hear so much of prophecy today. A lot of good radio programs, TV programs, films, tracks. Why is prophecy so important? Like we mentioned at first, two-thirds of your Bible is prophecy. Two-thirds of the scriptures is prophetic. And it is very important.

In fact, the Bible bases its authenticity as being the word of God upon prophecy. And I want you to turn to Isaiah, chapter 48. The Bible makes incredible predictions. Now, when we talk about predictions, I'm not talking about prophecy like Edgar Cayce, or Jeannie Dixon, or some of these other false prophets. Although they can claim an 88% accuracy, and a lot of them can come right-- can predict things that come true in the future. And Edgar Cayce can predict an 88% accuracy to his prophecies.

But in the Old Testament, it said, if somebody comes and speaks to you in the name of the Lord, a prophecy, and what he says doesn't come to pass, he's a false prophet. So take him outside the city and stone him. Great. There weren't a lot of job applications for prophets in those days.

Because you had to really know that you spoke from God's heart to God's people. If you are 99.9% accurate, you weren't accurate. You were wrong. Because if it's God speaking, there will be no mistake.

So if it's truly the Lord, and if He's speaking, it's not going to be, oh, around this time or that time. It's going to be direct. And tonight, we're going to see an incredible example of that.

But when we speak of predictions, it's not some haphazard guess that God says, well, I predict, you know, my little crystal ball. It's not like our predictions. It's not like the weather predictions. Tomorrow it's going to be sunny. Yeah. Sure. Rains and-- but it's accurate. It's predictable.

Notice chapter 48, verse 3. This is God speaking. "I have declared the former things from the beginning. And they went forth out of My mouth and I showed them. I did them suddenly and they came to pass."

Notice verse 5, "I have even from the beginning declared unto you, before it came to pass, I showed it to you, lest you should say my idol hath done them. My graven image and my molten image has commanded them. Thou hast heard, see all this, and will you not declare it? I have showed you new things from this time, even hidden things."

So God said, I'm going to give you prophecy. I'm going to speak things in advance. Why? So then when they come to pass, you will remember that I've spoken them. And you'll know that it's not your idol, who couldn't do it, but that the Lord your God has spoken. So He authenticated Himself by saying, I'll tell you what's going to happen in advance, so that when it comes to pass, you'll know that it was your Lord that spoke these things. The God of Israel.

Turn to 2 Peter, chapter 1. 2 Peter, chapter 1. It says, in verse 19, "For we have also a more sure word of prophecy where unto you do well that you take heed as unto a light that shines in the dark place and until the day dawn and the day star arise in our hearts."

Now, previously, Peter was speaking the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. And we know that He's risen from the dead, because we've seen Him with our own eyes. We've been around. And we hung around this guy for years. And we saw Him and we saw him after His Resurrection.

But he says, "we have a more sure word of prophecy, even surer than the eyesight, where unto you do well that you take heed as unto a light that shines on a dark place until the day dawn and the day star arise in our hearts, knowing first that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation. For prophecy came out in old time by the will of man, but by holy men of God they spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

You do well that you take heed to prophecy. Why? Because it's like a light that shines in a dark place. You're living in a very dark world. And there's really no light or no hope except what God has given you in his scripture of revelation concerning you and your future. And prophecy has your past, your present, and your future all marked out.

And that's interesting to me. That's very comforting to me, that God is so sovereign that he's got my life in his hands, that he knows what's going to happen tomorrow. And like we say so often, we don't know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow, and just the fact that God is controlling our lives, and he's is sovereign, he's in control.

And so prophecy, when you examine prophecy and you see the amazing fulfillments, it gives you something to pin your faith on. Christians have been accused of blind faith. Oh, they just believe. They're just told to believe. Not so.

Well, first of all, faith is never blind. It sees more than anybody else sees. It sees beyond the circumstances. But to have faith, you have to have faith in something, you got to believe in something, in Jesus and His word. And when you see these prophecies of the word of God, it's something to stick your faith on. It's something to pin it to. So that's important. That's what we're going to discover tonight.

Turn to Luke chapter 19. We're going to go through an example here of prophecy in the scripture, amazing. Luke chapter 19. We're going to discover here that Jesus held the religious leaders of his day accountable for not being able to discern prophecy. Because the religious leaders of Jesus' day failed to be students of prophetic scripture, they failed to recognize Jesus Christ as their messiah.

If they had studied the book of Daniel and seen the direct prophecies concerning him, they would have known the coming exactly of the Messiah. Because they failed to be students of prophecy, they failed in recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

Notice in verse 28-- "And when he had thus spoken, he went before in ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass when he came nigh unto Bethany at the mount called the Mount of Olives, that he sent two of his disciples, saying, go into the village over against you. In the which at your entering, you shall find a colt tied whereon yet never a man sat. Loose him and bring him here. And if any man ask you how come you're loosing him say, because the Lord is need of him."

"And they that were sent went their way, and they found even as you said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners asked and said unto him, how come you're loosing the colt?

And they said, the Lord has need of him. And they brought him to Jesus and cast their garments upon the colt, and they said Jesus thereon, and as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now unto the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty words that he had seen, saying, blessed be the king that comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.

And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, master, rebuke your disciples. And he said unto them, I tell you that even if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

I wish they would have held their peace. I would have loved to have seen that. Can you imagine that? And the stones cried out. If only they were to hold their peace, to see those stones crying out. You know, when I was over in Israel and we were walking down the Mount of Olives and there's all these stones there I said, man, if these stones could talk, all that they've seen. They're probably sitting there wanting to cry out.

In verse 41 it says, "And when he was come near, he beheld the city and he wept over it, saying, if you had known, even thou, at least in this your day the things which belong unto your peace, but now they are hid from your eyes." Let's go over that again.

"If you had known, even thou, at least in this thy day the things which belong to your peace, but now they are hid from your eyes. For the day shall come upon you that your enemies shall cast a trench about you and encompass you around, and keep you on every side. And they shall lay you even with the ground and your children with you. And they will not leave you one stone upon another, because you knew not the time of your visitation."

The whole thing that this scripture is hanging on is that they failed to know the time of their visitation. And so Jesus said, they're going to lay a trench about you. They're going to come in and wipe you out, and not one stone will be left upon another.

Few years later, after Jesus died, rose again, Jerusalem is back to normal, Titus and the Roman legions came in and besieged Jerusalem, and they killed all the Jews, even as Jesus said. And they took the temple and Titus commanded his soldiers, do not destroy the temple. One of the soldiers got drunk, riding by threw a flaming torch into the temple, it caught fire and it caught the priest's garments and the veil on fire.

The temple went up in a flame. It was so hot in there that the gold on the top of the temple melted through the cracks, and the soldiers, to get the gold out when they pillaged Jerusalem, took one stone, every single stone from the temple off to get to the cracks to get the gold in the cracks. And the prophecy was fulfilled that not one stone would be left upon another. Every single stone in the temple was unturned to get the gold out. This is after they rejected Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Jesus wept over Jerusalem, not because he was dying, but because his people rejected him. And he said, if you had only known the time of your visitation. Now, how could they have known? What was it that would have given it away so that they would have known when Jesus Christ would have come? How come they missed it?

Let's find out. Turn to Daniel chapter 9. The Book of Daniel chapter 9. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel-- Ezekiel, Daniel. Excuse me. Page 915 if you've got a Bible like mine. Book of Daniel, chapter 9.

Now, I'd appreciate it if everyone here could really tune into this. Because this is going to be some difficult sort of technical stuff in a way. Daniel is such an incredible book, that scholars have tried to prove that it was written after the fact of these prophecies. Because they're so incredible, they're so detailed, that they said no one could write with such accuracy. It's impossible for someone to predict with such accuracy the things that Daniel wrote about.

So much so, that when Alexander the Great came into besieged Jerusalem, Jedua the high priest came up to Alexander and showed him personally where Alexander was prophesied in the scripture. And it blew his mind so much he spared Jerusalem. An amazing book, the Book of Daniel. We'll go through it sometime. It blows my mind.

Verse 20. Now think back as we go through this, all the time when Jesus said, if you would have only known the day of your visitation. If you'd have only known this day, but you have failed to recognize it.

Now verse 20 it says, "And while I was speaking and praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, yea, while I was speaking in prayer--" and now remember, Daniel's speaking. He's in captivity as a little kid. This is years later, though. It's almost 70 years later. He's still in Babylon. He's still facing Jerusalem, praying, and they get to go back to the land.

"--while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel--" this is the angel "--whom I had seen in the vision of the beginning, being cause to fly swiftly touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me and talked with me and he said, oh Daniel, I am come forth to give you skill and understanding. At the beginning of your supplication, the commandment came forth and I am come to show you, for you are greatly beloved."

Isn't that an interesting word? He was beloved. There's only one other person in the scripture that's called beloved. You know who that is? John. You know what he wrote? The Book of Revelation. Real interesting, only two fellows. Prophetic literature. It says you're greatly beloved.

"Therefore, understand the matter and consider the vision." Here it is. "70 weeks are determined upon the people, your people, and upon your holy city that is Jerusalem, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring an everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.

Know, therefore, and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem unto the Messiah, and its [NON-ENGLISH]-- until the Messiah the prince, or God's anointed one, "--shall be seven weeks, three score and two weeks, the street shall be built again and the wall, even in troublest times. And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, not for himself and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. And the end thereof shall be with the flood unto the end of a war, desolations are determined.

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week, and in the midst of the week, he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. For the over spreading of abominations, he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation. And that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." So he says 70 weeks are determined upon Israel. There's a couple things here. It concerns Israel and it concerns Jerusalem, and that's a key. 70 weeks are concerning the people of Israel and Jerusalem.

And then he says, "To finish the transgression, to make an end to sin and to make reconciliation for iniquity, these are fulfilled." To finish transgression, to make an end of sin, reconciliation of iniquity, that's when Jesus Christ died on the cross, these aren't fulfilled. To bring an everlasting righteousness-- you can't say that happened. To seal up the vision-- John said it wasn't sealed yet in Revelation. And prophecy, and to anoint the most holy or the most holy one, that's Jesus Christ. It will be done later on.

So he says a couple things here. It's concerning Israel and Jerusalem, and it's concerning two different princes. One in verse 25, Messiah the prince who's going to come, and then in verse 26, after Messiah shall be cut off, the prince of the people, the prince that shall come, the prince of the people that shall come. Two different princes, and we'll discover what this is.

It says 70 weeks. Now notice how it's divided here in verse 26. Oh, excuse me, yeah 26. "Know there or understand, from the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the Messiah the shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks, or 62 weeks, and then so forth. And after three score and two weeks, or 69 weeks, Messiah shall be cut off not for himself."

And then it says, "The prince of the people that will come after that will make a pact for one week." The people then shall come. So the countdown of this prophecy begins when? In verse 25. "When the commandment goes forth to restart and rebuild Jerusalem, you can start counting until the Messiah, shall be 69 weeks." Or seven weeks and 62 weeks, 69 weeks.

Now, first of all, what is a week? The word week here in Hebrew is translated as shebua, plural shebuim. It literally means a week of years, or just means a period of seven, a week of years in a lot of translations it's translated. So 70 periods of seven years or 490 years are determined upon the people of Israel.

Now first of all, what a weird thing to throw in the middle of the book of Daniel? Daniel is in captivity, and all of a sudden this angel says, hey, Daniel, did you know that 490 years are determined upon Jerusalem and Israel? And he says, no one understand. And he's speaking about end times-- 490 years. The countdown is when the commandment goes forth to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem.

Now it says that in verse 26, after three score and two weeks, Messiah shall be cut off. He's speaking around the 69th week. Messiah will come, and the Messiah shall be cut off. Now, we're speaking of 490 years. 69 weeks would be 483 years. Is that correct? 483 years. If you were to take that into days, and we're not using a 365 day Julian calendar year by which we go by. But they were in Babylon and they used a Babylonian calendar, which was 360 days to a year. If you use the Babylonian or prophetic calendars, 360 days to a year, and you take 483 years, you have 173,880 days.

So the angel comes to Daniel and says, Daniel, know that's 70 periods of 70 years are determined upon Israel. And after 173,880 days, the Messiah will come, and then the Messiah shall be cut off. What a weird thing to say. OK, let me take my notes, so he writes it all down.

Now this is amazing, because in history there's been only one time when Israel was allowed to go back into the land after a captivity, specifically to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple. It was after the captivity. And you remember in the book of Nehemiah, he's all downtrodden. He goes, what's wrong? The King goes, what's wrong? Artaxerxes says, what's wrong? I miss Israel. I want to go back and build a temple.

Artaxerxes has the commandment for Israel to go back into the land and rebuild the temple. If you were to count from that day, which was March 14, 445 BC, and you were to count 173,880 days, you'd come to April 6, 32 AD, the tenth of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar. 173,880 days after the angel said to count. From the going forward of the commandment to restored and rebuild Jerusalem, which is March 14, 445 BC, 173,880 days, April 6, 32 AD. Big deal. What does it mean?

Well he said, from that day, the commandment goes forth until the Messiah will be this allotted period of time. Exactly 173,880 days after the king, Artaxerxes Longimanus, gave the commandment for Israel to restart and rebuild Jerusalem, to go back into the land, you come to a day, April 6, in which Jesus Christ was put upon a donkey, and he rode into Jerusalem and was acclaimed as king of kings to the exact day, not a day later, not a week later, to the exact pinpoint of day.

It's been documented in history by a man named Sir William Ramsay, who is English. He got knighted for writing this out. He documented it all. To the exact day, Jesus Christ came in and fulfilled this prophecy that was given in Daniel. And so Jesus said, if you would have only known.

Zacharias chapter 9 verse 9, notice what it says. "Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion. Shout, o daughter of Jerusalem. Behold, your King is coming unto you. He is just in having salvation, lowly riding upon an ass upon the colt the foal of an ass." Riding upon a donkey. Fulfilled exactly in Luke chapter 19 verse 28 through 44. And he said that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah appears will be this exact day, 173,880 days. And it was fulfilled to the exact day.

So when God says something, it's not just about. It's exactly. Now, if you're Jewish, this has great significance, because the Jews don't believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. But there's a problem. Because according to the prophecy, the Messiah would have to show up after the 69th week and before the destruction of the temple, according to Daniel 9. The only one that ever did that was Jesus Christ. So if you don't believe Jesus the Messiah, you have to take out Daniel 9 and throw it away, because it's an exact dealing.

Now, back to the rest of it. Turn to Luke chapter 24 now. I read this story a few times. Verse 13. "And behold, two of them went the same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about three score furlongs. And they talked together of all the things which had happened. And it came to pass while they communed together and they reasoned, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. And their eyes were holden that they could not know him. And he said unto them, what manner of communications are these that you have with one another? How come you walk and you're sad?

And one of them said, whose name was Cleopus, answering, are you a stranger in Jerusalem? Don't you know the things that have come to pass? He said, what things? And he said, concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet, mighty indeed in word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death and have crucified him. And we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel. Beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done.

And certain woman also of our company made us astonished. And they came early to the sepulcher and they found not his body. And they came saying they also had seen a vision of the angels which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulcher and found it even so as the woman had said. But him, they saw not.

Then he said to them, oh foolish ones and slow of heart to believe, all that the prophets have spoken, ought not the Messiah to have suffered these things to enter it into his glory? Notice this, "Beginning at Moses in the pentateuch and all the prophets, he expounded into them all the scriptures the things concerning himself." I wish that would have been recorded. It's not recorded. It kind of bums me out. Because Jesus, the very first Bible study he ever gave after his resurrection, was a prophetic Bible study.

He showed them all the things prophesied concerning him in the scripture, beginning with Moses, going through Psalm 22, Isaiah chapter 53, Daniel chapter 9, and all the prophets. I wish that would have been recorded. And Jesus appeals to prophecy, his first Bible study after his Resurrection was prophetic, showing how he was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. So he thought it was pretty important, and he showed how that was fulfilled even to the day.

A lot of people look. And we've said before, many times, that there were over 330 prophecies concerning Jesus Christ, his first coming. He fulfilled all of them. A lot of people say, well, you know, he did it deliberately. I've hear people say, Jesus did it deliberately. He tried. He tried to live his life as though to fulfill those prophecies. Well, could make sense. You could deliberately fulfill some of them if you wanted to go and die for it, but it would be kind of stupid.

But there's certain prophetic things that you just can't do. You can't decide where you want to be born. The Bible says the Messiah would come out of Bethlehem. Now how many people in the world are born out of Bethlehem? Have any of you here born in Bethlehem? No. So it knocks out a whole lot of people, population the world.

How many people are born under the lineage of King David born in Bethlehem? Now here's one. How many people are born of a virgin in Bethlehem under the lineage of King David? How many people born of a virgin, born in Bethlehem under the lineage of King David, was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver? What about how many people born of a virgin in Bethlehem under the lineage of King David Saul for 30 pieces of silver were buried in a rich man's tomb? And on and on and on.

This blew somebody's mind so much, who is a professor named Professor Peter Stoner, so much, he was so intrigued by prophecy, that he said, what are the odds of one man fulfilling prophecy? Now, let's say I predict that there's going to be an earthquake next year in Albuquerque. My odds are 1 and 2, a 50/50 chance it's going to happen. It's one in two that it's going to happen.

Now if I add another factor I say, there's going to be a earthquake next year in Albuquerque on July 4, then I decrease my odds, one in four that that's going to happen. If I add another one and I say, there's going to be an earthquake in Albuquerque next year on July 4 in the daytime, and it's one in eight. And if I add 10 more factors to make it more complicated, the odds of my prophecy being fulfilled is one in 1,024.

Professor Stoner said, what are the chances of one man fulfilling eight prophecies that Jesus fulfilled? So he took the law of compound probabilities-- he was a professor of it-- and he said, the odds of one man fulfilling eight prophecies would be 1 in 10 to the 17th power, or 17 zeros after it. Sounds good. What does that mean?

You could take 1 in 10 to the 17th power silver dollars, and it would be so many that you could-- how many are from Texas? You could take the entire state of Texas and fill it two feet thick full of that many silver dollars. Now paint one red and tell someone to find it. His chances are one in 10 to the 17th power, roughly the odds of one man fulfilling eight processes.

Professor Stoner said, gee, that's good. Now what would the odds of one man fulfilling 48 prophecies be? And he came up with the odds 1 in 10 to 157th power, 157 zeros after it. Now he thought, to visualize, he goes, well, you can't use silver dollars. You could fill the world with that many silver dollars, and you'd still have some left over. So he decided to use electrons.

An electron is so small that to count one linear inch-- go home and get a bunch of electrons and count them-- count one linear inch of electrons would take you 19 million years counting at the rate of 250 electrons per minute. That's hauling. That's cooking. That means you don't stop. You're not going to eat, drink, or sleep. You're going to count 250 electrons with your little electron microscope per minute, it would take you 19 million years to count one linear inch.

Now, to count one cubic inch of electrons, square inch, counting at the rate of 250 electrons per minute, non-stop day and night, no sleep, eat, drink, take you 19 million times 19 million times 19 million years, or 19 million squared years, cubed, to count that many electrons. It's a lot. Or roughly the number of one man fulfilling 48 prophecies that Jesus Christ fulfilled.

Now, take an electron and paint it red. Say can't go find the electron. There are over 300 prophecies concerning Jesus Christ. For someone to say, oh, the Bible is a coincidence, it's just a book, it's a blind faith, it's just a leap in the dark, it's someone who is pretty stupid and who really hasn't examined scriptural proof.

The Bible talks about being able to give every man an answer for the hope that lies in you. It says that Paul and Peter proved from the scripture that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, proved it. Not just, hey, just faith, man, you know, it's there and God said it, so just faith, but showing people in the scripture what God has said so they can say, this is true. This is valid.

Not that you prove God. You can never prove God. You couldn't prove a lot of things. But you can through the scripture prove that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Because for someone to say, though, this is just a coincidence that he happened to fulfill 48 or even or 300 prophecies, would be pretty lame. Jesus Christ fulfilled all of them, amazing things that Jesus did.

It's not a leap in the dark at all. What does this cause us to do? Causes me to get real excited. Because Jesus-- I think it's for every one prophecy concerning Jesus' first coming. There's something like three concerning his second coming. And when I read Matthew chapter 24 and I turn on my television set, I get awfully excited. Or if I read Daniel chapter 2 or Daniel 7 or Daniel 11, or Ezekiel 38 and 39, I go, far out. Jesus Christ is coming soon.

And if Jesus Christ predicted something, if he fulfilled the first prophecies with such high accuracy, who are we to say that Jesus Christ isn't going to come soon? When he predicted, and he said, of the times and seasons, brother, you have no need that I write unto you. You know that the day of the Lord is coming as a thief in the night, but you're not in darkness that that day would even overtake you as a thief, giving you signs to know about it.

And he says, when these things begin to happen, look up, for you know that your redemption draws nigh. I wouldn't even care if by August 1 we didn't make it into our building. I'd rather be in heaven. Not saying that that's going to happen, but I'd rather move into heaven than move into a new building. Because this is a building that we have prepared for you, but God has one that God has prepared for you. It's going to be a lot better. Let's pray.

Father, we thank you, Lord, that your word is not a leap in the dark. Though we can take heed to a more sure word of prophecy, that we should take heed because it's like a light that shines in dark places, Lord. We're in very dark places today. But thank you, Father, for your word. It's not just a fairy tale. It's not just a book that grandma had on the shelf, but it's alive, Lord. And we just pray that we can take heed to it. In Jesus' name, amen.

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Introduction to Prophecy - Part 2
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