Why Study Prophecy Now?

Manfred E. Kober, Th.D.

1. The convergence of the signs of the times.

Never before has there been such a multiplication and convergence of certain signs of the times, that is, events predicted for the 7-year Tribulation which are apparently in their beginning stages now. Prophetically, Israel does not need to be in the Promised Land until after the Rapture and yet in 1948 the chosen people, scattered world-wide, became an independent nation.

A European political and economic union began to emerge in the 1950’s, called today the European Union, which may well be a precursor of the Revived Roman Empire under Antichrist. An imperialistic, militaristic Russia and China cause world-wide concem. The one-world church and the United Nations emerged and are moving toward their position forecast for the tribulation.

2. The conflict in the Arab world.

Arab dictators unexpectedly and inexplicably are losing their stranglehold over their populations. Old alliances are dissolved, new alliances emerge, almost overnight. The winners in these Arab countries, whether Egypt or Lybia and soon in Syria, seem to belong to the extremist Moslem Brotherhood. The oft-repeated diatribes of the Brotherhood leaders against Israel has prompted many students of prophecy to surmise that it is an alliance of Moslem nations which will join Russian (Gog and Magog, Ez. 38-39) in its futile, suicidal attack on Israel in the middle of the Tribulation

3. The conspiracy against Israel.

Antisemitism is sweeping the world, spearheaded by Iran, which is frantically completing a nuclear bomb to be used against Israel. Israel and its allies take serously the threat of Iran's president, Ahmadinejad, "Israel must be wiped off the map" (10/26/05). He insists that Israel is "an insult to humankind" (8/16/12). The new president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, is shown in a video, mouthing the word "Amen" as his radical imam prays, "Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters" (10/2 1/12). The situation will become even more aggravated after the Rapture when a virulent world-wide anti-semitism will break out (Mt. 24:9).

Meanwhile Refomed theologians go to lengthy e塙orts denying that an ethnic people called Israel will possess a future geographical area called the Holy Land. The promises to Abraham and his descendents, (Gen 12:1-3; 15:18) are everlasting (Gen. 17:19). They are unconditional and have neither been fulfilled nor abrogated because of Israel's disobedience. In a document, entitled "An Open Letter to Evangelicals and Other Interested Individuals," signed by R.C. Sproul and over 200 other clergymen and Christian leaders, our Reformed friends insist that a11 the promises to Israel were fulfilled under Joshua. Regrettably these influential individuals deny that Israel has a right to a homeland now; that Israel will have a glorious national future and that Jesus Christ will rule for a lOOO years from the throne of David in Jerusalem over the twelve tribes and the rest of the world.

4. The collapse of the European financial structure.

The so-called “PIGS Nations” (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) are dragging the rest of the countries in the Eurozone into ever deeper depression. The situation may end in dissolution or a dictatorship. European politicians are virtually begging for a strong leader to rescue the situation. On January 1, 2002, publications heralded the introduction of a common currency, the Euro, as the last great step toward a political union of European nations. These are exciting times for students of prophecy! The European Union might crumble but it seems as if the stage is set for a Revived Roman Empire, foretold by Daniel (2, 7). Before that sees fruition, the Church will be raptured from this earth by her Bridegroom.

5. The culmination of the prophetic studies in the end Times.

By studying prophecy, the believer of the 21st century, with the benefit of great prophecy teachers gone before, is actually fulfilling the prediction of Daniel 12:4. Daniel is told to seal up the words of his prophecy until the time of the end, at which time “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” It is true that increased travel and knowledge characterize the last days but the metaphorical expression, “running to and fro” means to “run through a book, i.e. to examine it thoroughly” (Gesenius, Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, 810). The book is apparently that of the Revelation and the prediction is that the knowledge of prophecy will be increased.

6. The combativeness of Covenant Theology.

There is an unprecedented attack on the premillennial, pretribulational, dispensational understanding of Scripture. Jude admonishes us to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3). The believer’s fondest hope is at stake.

7. The content of Scripture with 18 prophetic books.

The biblical emphasis on prophecy makes the study of end-time events unavoidable. One-fourth of the Bible at the time of its writing was prophetic. Approximately one-half of these prophecies have been literally fulfilled. The books of Isaiah through Malachi and Revelation are preeminently prophetic. Other books contain major prophetic truths. For example, every chapter in 1st and 2nd Thessalonians deals with the glorious prospect of the return of Christ. The man of God must declare “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 16:27) and that necessitates his speaking out on major prophetic themes.

8. The comfort of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Sprit enabled the biblical writers to reveal “things to come” (John 16:13). These truths the believers are to use for mutual instruction and comfort (1. Thess. 4:13, 18). The Spirit of Truths disclosed blessed truths to encourage the saint. Thus it is wonderful to realize that the dead in Christ are safe with the Savior, (1. Tim. 4:13-14, “them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him”). Moreover, the Savior might return at any moment for the living saints, (1. Thess. 4:18, “wherefore comfort one another with these words”). Knowledge of the future allows the believer to live in the calm of eternity now.

© Manfred E Kober

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