Tuesday, June 28, 2011

“Prophecy” defined

I visited your church for the first time on Sunday and very much enjoyed hearing God's Word taught being rightly divided.   You mentioned the book of Job, Psalms, etc., as being written for the Jewish people during the Tribulation.  I find that very interesting, had never heard that before and would like to study this further.  I'm wondering if you would have any suggestions as to sources I could find?

A small group from the church I attend is going to be holding a bible study at my place. None of us really know anything but we are looking to learn.  Maybe you or someone from your church would be available should we have any questions.  (Or, rather, when we have questions!)  I've been reading Charles Baker's A Dispensational Theology, have grown to like this book very much, have located some copies and have given to friends at church, the book (and Baker's writing style) have been very well received and are prompting interest. 

I would be happy to answer any questions that your bible study group may have.  Also, in addition to brother Baker's books, a book that I know has blessed countless numbers of people in understanding God's word is called "Things that Differ" by Cornelius R. Stam.

Anyway, yes, all the books of the bible outside of Paul's 13 epistles are considered books of "prophecy" by God.  They all teach the nation of Israel to look forward to their long promised Messiah and his kingdom of heaven on earth for them.

Peter explains to Israel the delay in their kingdom coming (because of Paul's message—the present dispensation of grace to us gentiles) and Peter says that all those old testament books to Israel are called "prophecy."

2 Peter 1:21
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

One of these "holy men" that were moved by the Holy Ghost and wrote these prophecies is David, who wrote most of the Psalms.

Earlier in the book of Acts, Peter explains to the men of Israel that those things that were written in the old testament spoke of a future time to come (the kingdom)—which is the definition of prophecy.

Acts 3:18-21
But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the [physical] presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, [at His 2nd coming and the setting up of the Kingdom] which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

In Acts 4, Peter says that what David wrote in Psalms is a passage that was being fulfilled as Israel was about to enter into the prophesied Tribulation period/Day of the Lord:

Acts 4:24-28
And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

And one more passage...the Lord Jesus, himself, during his earthly ministry to Israel says that what David wrote in Psalms was a prophetic look into the future Tribulation/kingdom:

Mark 12:36

This is a passage explaining the wrath of God being poured out during the Tribulation period (future from us) and the Lord Jesus Christ setting up His earthly kingdom in Israel in the future.

So yes, the book of Psalms (and all the "poetic" books of Job through Song of Solomon) are not only historical books for Israel, but they are also prophetic books—books "looking toward the future!"

James calls Job a prophet and uses the book of Job for that very purpose! Job is the oldest book of the bible, but James tells Israel…

James 5:10-11
Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.  Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

As Israel, in the future—after the church, the body of Christ has been caught away—reads the book of Job, they can endure the persecution of the Antichrist by seeing how God was faithful to deliver Job from Satan's attack as well!

In conclusion, here are a few Psalms looking forward to and prophesying the actual day that the Lord Jesus reigns on the earth in the future:

Psalm 47:8
God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

Psalm 93:1
The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.

Psalm 96:10
Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.

Psalm 97:1
The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.

Psalm 99:1
The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha! 

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