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.