How Will Prophecy Impact You?

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How Will Prophecy Impact You?

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As a student of both history and the Bible, I've always found prophecy to be a fascinating intersection between the two.

I've explored the ruins of the ancient hilltop city of Samaria, capital of the powerful kingdom of Israel, captured by Assyrian invaders just as foretold by God's prophets (2 Kings 17:5-18). I've been to the desolate hill of Shiloh, which, God foretold, the entire kingdom of Judah would become like if the people didn't heed His warnings to repent (Jeremiah 7:12-14). Sadly, they refused and suffered the consequences of their rebellion.

I've visited Bethlehem, the town which the prophet Micah foretold would be the birthplace of the greatest Man of all time, One who would forever change human history—Jesus the Messiah (Micah 5:2).

Not far away is Jerusalem, where His enemies plotted and executed Him, and where many a prophecy was given and fulfilled—including the destruction of the magnificent temple built by Herod the Great of which Jesus said, "Not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down" (Matthew 24:2). Overlooking the city, I've marveled at the Mount of Olives, from which Christ ascended into the sky and to which He promises to return (Acts 1:9-11).

In the northern part of the country I've walked the dusty paths of Megiddo, from which the end-time (but misnamed) "battle of Armageddon" gets its name, and the ruins of Capernaum and Bethsaida, towns where Jesus conducted much of His ministry and which He declared would perish for their unbelief (Matthew 11:21-23).

Further afield, I've visited the Greek island of Patmos, where the apostle John received the visions of the book of Revelation, which describes human history from that time up through the return of Jesus Christ and beyond. And in Turkey I've journeyed to the seven cities of Asia Minor to which Jesus Christ sent prophetic messages regarding His people down through the ages up until the end time (Revelation 2–3).

I've also seen the ruins of two ancient superpowers—Egypt, which Ezekiel foretold would be brought low and never again attain its former greatness (Ezekiel 29:12, Ezekiel 29:15), and Rome, prophesied heart of an empire that would rise to rule the known world before collapsing (to later be resurrected in the end time).

I've also been privileged to visit museums in Jerusalem, Cairo, Amman, Istanbul, London and Chicago where one can see artifacts that, like the many locations listed above, bear silent witness to various aspects of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

Regrettably, many people doubt Bible prophecy. But in my travels I've seen too much compelling evidence for its dead-on accuracy to ignore its truthfulness and crucial message for our times.

Much prophecy has been fulfilled. Much remains to be fulfilled. But the most important aspect of prophecy for you and me is how it impacts our lives—a theme explored in the first two articles in this issue.

Students of Bible prophecy also recognize that much prophecy is given in symbols—where God commanded that certain things be done in representation of events to come later. That's another theme explored in this issue, wherein we show that God's festivals proclaimed in the Bible reveal how He will work out some of Scripture's more amazing prophecies to bring to pass His plan for the salvation of mankind. 

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  • KARS
    The Bible defines itself. I know because it took me just over 3 years to read over the whole book. I am a slow reader and with prayer before hand and God our Father's help; reading from chapter to chapter without taking a break in the writer's taught (say the complete thought was 4 chapters long); one can come to understand what God has been doing, did, and is going to do. If we are willing to heed God our Father's call in humility, respect and full submission; one will begin to understand just why we were born in the first place and what our true purpose in life is.
  • Eric V. Snow
    Well, let's examine the history of Babylon some. Notice that Isaiah's prediction doesn't state exactly when it would be fulfilled. In this case, it isn't like the 70 weeks prophecy, which predicted the year when Jesus would come the first time (Daniel 9:24-27). Isaiah wrote approximately from 740 to 700 b.c. The city was taken by the Persians under Cyrus the Great in 539 b.c. After Alexander the Great defeated the Persian Empire, the city of Babylon declined. Alexander tried to clean up the mess some. He employed some 10,000 workmen for two months to rebuild a ruined temple there, but gave up the project. After Seleucia was founded by one of Alexander's generals, the city of Babylon went into full decline when another city was made the capital in place of Babylon. It became a quarry for the builders of the new capital. So then, the city wasn't rebuilt several times after Isaiah made his prediction. It finally collapsed during the Seleucid period, and never was rebuilt, even by Saddam Hussein, who toyed with the idea. Fideism, or blind belief in the Bible, isn't required by it. There's no need to be an intrinsic skeptic about man's religious or secular knowledge.
  • BMH
    Director, Babylon was rebuilt, but was completely destroyed and not rebuilt after Alexander the Great died. I don't see Eric Snow's comments as a contradiction to historical fact. The city that Sennacherib destroyed was completely covered over when Esarhaddon rebuilt it so that level was never inhabited again. Esarhaddon built a completely new city on top of the marshy ruins of the old one. The words of Isaiah were literally fulfilled. If God sets up nations and lowers them, then there are no "moving targets" in the future. His truths are certain and will come to pass as a great many already have. In terms of biblical "awareness" of the current world, you must spent some time and effort to find where the current (and often different) nation names are listed in the Bible. Just because we don't currently understand something does not make it false, especially when there is overwhelming evidence that it is true.
  • The Director
    Eric V Snow, your characterization of Babylon begs comment. Please read a bit of history. Perhaps you will learn how Babylon was rebuilt several times. It is true the location today is not occupied and the remains of the city are rubble, but that was not true for centuries after Isaiah wrote. If this is like predicting the destruction of a major city like New York, then at least count the years that each location was a city, New York perhaps four hundred years, Babylon, several thousand. The furture is a moving target. The past is an at best partially told tale. The present is complex and its essence is a matter of point of view more than fact. Proof of the Bible's inspiration cannot be at issue. How a person finds guidance to good behavior suggess we spend time behaving well rather than arguing for proof in something as undefined as the Bible which exists in thousands of versions with varying theologies for each version. This site is championed by a church which features God. The predictions included in the various versions of the Bible, that is Old and New Testaments show a lack of awareness of the world as now known. How was that left unpredicted? Amen.
  • Eric V. Snow
    Fulfilled biblical prophecy is the greatest proof of the Bible's inspiration by an Almighty God. Skeptics can't reasonably explain how Daniel, Isaiah, John, and Jesus Himself successfully predicted events that occurred centuries after they spoke. Most importantly, their predictions were "risky" or "falsifiable" theoretically. They aren't like the ambiguious predictions of astrology columns in daily newspapers, which can be "fulfilled" in different ways. On the other hand, the prophet Isaiah predicted that the city of Babylon would be totally destroyed and then not inhabited ever again (Isaiah 13:19-21). This is like predicting the destruction of major cities as London, New York, or Shanghai today. Furthermore, he boldly said that the city wouldn't be rebuilt. Many ancient cities were continually rebuilt after being destroyed, but not this one. Any agnostic or atheist should investigate carefully the predictions especially of the prophet Daniel. God used him to make predictions so accurate that skeptics try to write him off as writing history after the events happened instead, which isn't workable because of the old-fashioned Aramaic he wrote in.
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