Bible Prophecy 101 An Introductory Bible Information Seminar

Bible Prophecy 101 An Introductory Bible Information Seminar

Bible Prophecy 101 An Introductory Bible Information Seminar Week 6 Topic Outline Recap Week5 Key Messages (New Covenant) Framework (Integration) New Testament Prophecy (Matthew, 2 Peter, 2Timothy) Linkage to Other Scripture Application & Lessons for Us

Question / Answer Session Recap Week 5 Daniel repeatedly said that only God could reveal the future. a) Daniel 2 is about Nebuchadnezzar's dream which had an image with a head of gold, arms and breast of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. b) Using information from Daniel 7&8, we learn that after Babylon would come the empires of Medo-Persia (bear/ram) and Greece (leopard/he-goat). c) The stone that became a mountain and filled the whole earth is interpreted to be the Kingdom of God. Both Zechariah and Malachi prophesied to Jews who had returned from exile in Babylon. a) Zechariah 14 is part of an oracle whose focus is on the city of Jerusalem. b) Exciting things happen: the Mt. of Olives is split in two, there shall be continuous day, and the LORD becomes king over all the earth. c) Malachi 4 predicts the coming of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers and children to faith before "the great the terrible day of the LORD comes".

Key Point Brought Forward The stage is being set for the third and final overthrow of Israel, when this happens, the Return of Christ is very near. 2000 AD Jesus Ourselves 0 1000 BC

David Moses 2000 BC Genesis Abraham Adam Noah 4000 BC Prophetic Framework - Timeline Isaiah Jeremiah Ezekiel

Exodus Leviticus Deuteron. -Judges Daniel Zechariah SamuelPsalms Last week -Malachi N T Last week Matthew

2 Peter 2Timothy This week Framework - Key Events / People Last Week Samuel to Malachi Samuel the prophet anointed and mentored first two kings David was a man after Gods own heart, and wrote prophetic psalms Davids zeal and faithfulness brings Seed promise #3 Elijah the prophet confronted king Ahab over worship of false gods Micaiah the prophet predicted the certain death of Ahab in battle Isaiah the prophet confronted king Ahaz, encouraged king Hezekiah Isaiah foretold the Kingdom age and the suffering Messiah Jeremiah the prophet confronted king Zedekiah and his false prophets Jeremiah predicted doom/exile for Jerusalem/Judah, and a new covenant Ezekiel the prophet (in exile) confronted his listeners, was a man of sign

Ezekiel confirmed Jeremiahs message, and predicted restoration Daniel the prophet confronted Babylonian kings and wrong decrees Daniel saw long term visions regarding the people of Israel Amos the prophet predicted a time when the prophetic message dries up Zechariah the prophet described the time of the end captivity of Jerusalem, quickly followed by its deliverance by the LORD Malachi the prophet foretold a messenger who would prepare the hearts of the people for the day of Messiah's coming Framework - Key Events / People New Testament This Week John Baptist = the prophet who fulfilled Malachis prophecy (+ Isaiahs) John Baptist prepared the people for Messiahs coming, baptized Jesus John Baptist confronted the religious authorities and king Herod, was killed Jesus predicted his death and resurrection, based on OT prophecy (cf. Isaiah) Jesus fulfilled Gods promises to Abraham and David, by his resurrection

Jesus promised an outpouring of Holy Spirit, based on OT prophecy (cf. Joel) Jesus prophesied the fall of Jerusalem, gave signs concerning his Second Coming, and urged his followers to watch (be ready) Jesus gave the Revelation via his angel for John (the apostle) to write The apostles fulfilled the OT+ Jesus prediction, and prophesied at Pentecost Other early believers were also given the gift prophecy (to upbuild the church) Agabus the prophet predicted an impending famine + Pauls imprisonment Peter predicted the destructiveness of false teachers in the church, and taught the believers to have holy and godly lives Paul predicted and confronted false teachers rising up in the church, and exhorted Timothy to hold fast to Scripture teaching John warned against antichrist, believers who became false prophets Key Messages (New Covenant) There had been no prophet of God for 400 years... Then John the Baptist came into the Jordan River region "preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins" (Luke 3:3)

This message clearly linked to Jeremiah's new covenant (31:34): "for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more" John was getting the people ready for Christ, saying (Luke 3:11): "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than Ifor he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire" This message clearly linked to Malachi's prophecy (3:2): "But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fireas a refiner and purifier of silver" Thus the OT teaching was brought forward and established by John Key Messages (New Covenant - cont'd) Jesus preached exactly the same message as John the Baptist: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2, 4:17) Jesus also required baptism as necessary to enter that kingdom: "Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5)

Thus when he explained his mission and gave the commission to preach, he tied together repentance, baptism & forgiveness of sins: "Thus it is written that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations" (Luke 24:47) "Go into all the world and preach the gospel ... He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:15-16) Disciples would remember the new covenant in a fellowship meal: "Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:27 + see 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) Terminology & Definitions Repentance the act of 'turning around' in one's thinking and behavior, as a result of being convicted by the word of God; it was the demanded response of anyone who was not yet reconciled to God by belief in Christ, and the expected response of believers who had strayed from what they knew was the right way of living

before God (Matthew 3:2, Acts 8:22, Revelation 2:5) Baptism the act of immersion in water to signify the 'washing away of sins' and burial of one's old way of life (Acts 22:16, Romans 6:3); it was an act of faith & obedience on the part of a Christian convert (Acts 2:37-38, 8:3536, 16:31-33) Terminology & Definitions Tribulation a time of trouble, distress, ordeal and sometimes persecution; it is experienced by those whom God is punishing, with the intention that they will 'repent' and return to Him (e.g., Jeremiah 11:11-14, Revelation 2:22); it is also experienced by those who have taken a stand for God's way (e.g., Matthew 5:11-12, 1Peter 4:12-17)

Shortly after Paul had been stoned and left for dead, he was speaking to the disciples, "exhorting them to continue in the faith and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22; see also 2Timothy 3:12) Prophetic Pattern (Integration) OT prophecies converge on the NT gospel record Ex Lev Is Jer Zec 2 Sam

Gen Mat Deu Ps Dan Eze Mal The Gospel of Matthew quotes or cites all of these Old Testament books Prophetic Pattern (Integration) Jesus' Olivet prophecy a precursor to his Revelation Is Jer

Zec Mat 24 Gen Rev Dan Eze Mal The Apocalypse uses details and symbols from all these sources Prophetic Pattern (Integration) E.g., five earlier sources basis for Rev. 11:2 the city of chaos is broken down, the gates are battered into ruin

Is (last days context) 24 Zec 14 the city will be taken (last days context) Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, Mat 24 until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled Dan Rev 11 *

transgression that makes desolate 8 + the host trampled under foot Eze (last days context) 21 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it until he comes whose right it is = 3 distinct overthrows? * the nationswill trample over the holy city Prophetic Pattern (Integration) How three distinct overthrows could be understood #1 586 B.C. - by Babylon & allies (Jeremiah 34:1) #2 #3 To fit the pattern, Jerusalem must 100%

belong to the Jews = 1967 recapture of old city part very significant AD 70 - by Rome & allies (Josephus - Wars of Jews) ?? - by nations round about (Zechariah 12:1-4, 14:1) ?? - by Gentiles (Luke 21:20,24, Revelation 11:2) ?? - by horn of 4th beast (Daniel 7:21-25, cf. 8:23-25) ?? - by beast & 10 horns (Revelation 13:1-8, 17:16) ?? - by 10 hostile countries (Psalm 83:1-8) The stage is set right now for this to happen! NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 "Jesus left the temple and was going away... Who: Jesus When: AD 29, three days before Jesus' death Audience: His disciples, who came in private with their question Setting: Having just finished his pronouncement of woes upon the hypocritical Pharisees and scribes (see Context on next slide), Jesus

laments over Jerusalem (23:37-39, citing its desolation - Jeremiah 22:5). He declares "You will not see me again, until you say 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord'" = the people must repent and declare true faith in him (see 21:9) As he left the temple, his disciples comment on its 'noble stones'; Jesus states that the day will come when each of those stones will be "thrown down". So his disciples come and ask for elaboration. NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) Context Chap 21 - Jesus has ridden (mounted on an ass) as a king into Jerusalem in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 and to the acclaim of the people who shout "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Psalm 118:26-27) He then cleanses the temple a second time in fulfillment of Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11 and Malachi 3:2 Chap 22-23 - Jesus then makes the temple his teaching location for his final appeal to the people and the religious leaders, citing Psalm 118:22-23,26 & 110:1 to indicate that he was the Messiah. His appeal includes woes pronounced on the scribes and Pharisees whom he

labels "blind guides, hypocrites, white-washed tombs, brood of vipers" Chap 25 - Chapter 24 is part of a discourse that carries over to include chapter 25, which contains three illuminating parables on how Jesus will deal with faithful and unfaithful disciples. While this teaching is also prophetic and very important, it is not discussed at this time. NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) {1} Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. {2} But he answered them, "You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down." {3} As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?" Points: v.2 Per Josephus, this was done by the Roman soldiers in AD70 when Jerusalem was sacked and the temple rubble searched for melted gold. v.3 Essentially two aspects of one question (see Luke 21:7, Mark 13:4). Jesus' answer turned out having two fulfillments: the first in the AD70 overthrow of Jerusalem, the second in the "last days" (since the part of

the prophecy about his actual, literal "coming" has not yet happened). NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) {4} And Jesus answered them, "Take heed that no one leads you astray. {5} For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. {6} And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. {7} For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: {8} all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs. Points: v.4-5 First warning about false prophets and deceivers; it definitely had application in the first century (Acts 21:38, 20:29-30, Galatians 2:4-5) v.6-8 Turmoil caused by war is hardly prophetic; but when coupled with 'natural disasters', they were 'signs' = God-caused happenings designed to bring people back to things that really count and to ask for God's help. The "birth-pangs" = a woman's labor pains, a metaphor to describe the agony & re-birth of Jerusalem (e.g.,Jeremiah 4:31, Isaiah 26:17,66:7-11). NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd)

{9} Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. {10} And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. {11} And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. {12} And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold. {13} But he who endures to the end will be saved. {14} And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come. Points: v.9-10 First mention of tribulation; like the Master, the disciples would be persecuted, betrayed by friends, and killed; they had been warned of such by Jesus earlier (10:16-23; see extra details in Luke 21:12-18) .v.11-13 Second warning about false prophets + the result of their work; thus the necessity to keep the faith until life ends or Christ returns v.14 In some sense, preaching the gospel world-wide would precede Christ's coming; Colossians 1:23 = prior to AD70, ?? in last days NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) {15} So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), {16}

then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; {17} let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house...{19} And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days!{21} For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. {22} And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Points: v.15-20 Understanding what Daniel wrote prompted people to flee when the zealots took over; those who understood Jesus' words fled Jerusalem during a temporary break-off of the Roman siege in AD 70 v.21-22 Describes an unprecedented time when unless God intervened, there would be no survivors; it's said the final Roman siege lasted 5 mo. (see Revelation 9:5); God may further shorten the "last days" tribulation NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) {23} Then if any one says to you, 'Lo, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. {24} For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. {25} Lo, I have told you beforehand. {26} So,

if they say to you, 'Lo, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out; if they say, 'Lo, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. {27} For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. {28} Wherever the body* is, there the * NIV translation = carcass & vultures eagles* will be gathered together Points: v.23-26 Third warning about false prophets; their performance will be such that even faithful believers might be fooled! Two scenarios are given to help recognize their deceitful teaching (e.g., invisible coming). v.27-28 The flash of lightning is very bright and unmistakable = unless blind or your eyes are deliberately closed, Christ's return is obvious.The vulture image = also obvious + a fitting metaphor for Jerusalem's end. NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) {29} Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of

the heavens will be shaken; Together, sun, moon & stars are OT symbols for Israel (Genesis 37: 9-10), and a fitting metaphor for Israel since they are to last forever (Jeremiah 31:35-36, Ps. 89:36-37); being darkened and shaken = its downfall (Dan. 8:10, Lamentations 2:1-2, Joel 2:10) {30} then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; "the sign" = the unmistakable lightning (and other divine things

as in Revelation 11:19) which announces his coming? "tribes" = Israel mourning "him whom they pierced" (Zechariah 12:10); Jesus "coming on the clouds" = literally seen the way he went (Acts 1:9-11) NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) {31} and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. "elect" = the faithful from all the ages who chose to follow the teaching of God, who call on His Name, and whom He takes care of (Colossians 3:12, Luke 18:7, Romans 8:33, Titus 1:1); both risen dead and the living

are included in the gathering (1Thessalonians 4:15-17) Compare Matthew 13:41,49 where Jesus said his angels would gather in the righteous The "trumpet call" could signify assembly, alarm, war, or times of gladness (Numbers 10:1-10); all aspects line up with the 7th trumpet blast which heralded "the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15); it also aligns with "the last trumpet" associated with the resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:52) NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd)

{32} From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. {33} So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. {34} Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. {35} Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. {36} But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. Points: v.32-33 When the apostles saw all these predictions of Jesus coming to pass, they rightly expected his Coming to be near = the "last days" had come upon them (e.g., 1Peter 4:7-17, 2Peter 3:1-13, 2Thessalonians 2:1-11, 1John 2:18, Revelation 1:3,22:20); so why didn't Jesus come? v.34-35 "this generation" could be those who lived long enough to see the events of AD70 unfold; in the last days, something comparable? v.36 since no one except God knows the exact date, it is fruitless to try to figure it out; what matters is readiness, not calculating dates NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) {37} As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. {38} For as in those days before the flood they were eating and

drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, {39} and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. {40} Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. {41} Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. {42} Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Points: v.37-39 Everyone expected normal daily activity to continue; they were willfully ignorant of what Noah was preaching or doing (i.e., building an ark), to their utter destruction (2Peter 2:5,3:5-7); Jesus predicted and Peter confirmed that people's behavior will be the same in the "last days" v.40-42 Christ's coming involves the final selection (via angels v. 31) that can include/exclude anyone, anywhere, anytime; since we do not know exactly when, we must be ready to be taken when the time comes NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) {43} But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. {44} Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect. {45}

"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? {46} Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Points: v.43-44 In case his disciples missed the lesson, Jesus restates the need to be ready (AKA watch, be prepared); why? because he is coming when we do not expect it = things not happening according to our understanding? distracted? given up? stopped praying? (Luke 18:1,8) v.45-46 Readiness does not mean sitting down and waiting for the event; it means to be up and doing the service of the Master (see chapter 25 parables); Christ will reward based on such doing (v. 47) NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) Jesus' Olivet prophecy is recorded in three Gospels Matthew 24-25 Primary source so far

Mark 13 Luke 21 Extra details Some important and relevant details will be gleaned from Luke NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) More information from Luke 21 {20} But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near... {22} for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. {23} ...For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people; {24} they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Points: v.20,24 Jerusalem is explicitly identified + stated to be downtrodden by Gentile enemies who kill and take captive until their time is up. v.22-23 This desolation is part of God's wrath and vengeance upon the people, because they had murdered all the prophets sent to them -especially God's Son -- and continued to persecute those who preached Christ (Matthew 23:32-36, 21:33-41,1Thess 2:16, Revelation 6:9, 8-9) NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) More information from Luke 21 {25} And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, {26} men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken ... {28} Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Points: v.25,26 The distress is not limited to Israel; other nations will feel the "perplexity" (Greek = 'no way out') and men around the world will be "fainting with fear and with foreboding" = illustrated in the recent events around the aftermath of the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center

v.28 In striking contrast to the distress and despair experienced by people in the world, believers are to regard these times as a precursor to Christ's return and their redemption = cause for joy + witnessing NT Prophecy - Matthew 24 (contd) More information from Luke 21 {34} But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare; {35} for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. {36} But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man. Points: v.34 This lists some of the distractions and indulgences which cause believers to be not ready; so beware of being ensnared (Isaiah 5:11-12) v.35 "the whole earth" = global; the Return impacts all mankind v.36 Reinforces the need to "watch at all times"; Luke adds the need to pray for "strength to escape" (prevail, overcome) = believers will go through the tribulation; "to stand" = be worthy,accepted (Ephesians 6:13)

Olivet Prophecy + Last 50 years AD30 - AD70 Recap: Last Days - stage reset Observation & Forecast: Wars & rumors of wars (local) ditto + global (now) Build up of fear & distress (local) ditto + global (now) Persecution of believers & call for endurance (local) ditto + global (now)

False prophets and false christs (local) Great tribulation such as has never been (Israel) ditto + global (now) have all the makings for this to start anytime (Israel + global) Jerusalem trodden down by Gentiles Jerusalem trodden down by Gentiles (Roman army & allies) (prediction of Zech 14, Rev 11) Christ to have returned, but did not Christ to return (prediction - this time he really will come ) Olivet Prophecy (contd) Application / Lesson - false prophets Jesus warns about false prophets three times = must be an important

subject; the letter of 2 Peter is focuses on the topic as well: Chap 1 - "we have the prophetic word made more sure; you will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place..." = states the value of Bible prophecy, especially in a dark world Chap 2 - "but false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them..." = the danger is internal, i.e., within the church Chap 3 - "first of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days and saying 'Where is the promise of his coming?'" = this is a 'last days' problem and we are experiencing it now Olivet Prophecy (contd) Application / Lesson - the 'rapture' Illustration: it is taught that believers are 'raptured' up to heaven to avoid the great tribulation on earth; the primary text to prove this is 1Thessalonians 4:17. Is this sound exposition? Let's see: a) neither v.17 nor its context says anything about "tribulation" or "heaven" = these terms/ideas are being read into the text b) the Greek word presumed to mean 'rapture' simply means

'caught away' (e.g., Acts 8:39), not 'caught up' c) v.16 says the the Lord will "descend from heaven" = he is coming down to the earth; v. 17 says that the risen dead + alive believers are caught away together "to meet the Lord in the air [not heaven], and so we shall always be with the Lord". But the location is not specified. To claim it is heaven is an assumption. A more likely location is the earth since (1) that's where the Lord was coming in the first place (2) countless other passages put the Kingdom there. Olivet Prophecy (contd) Application / Lesson - the 'rapture' Furthermore, when you align the details of 1Thes 4 with those of Matthew 24, it is apparent that the 'caught away' occurs after the tribulation, not before it! Here's the analysis: v.16 descend from heaven v.30 see the Son of Man coming with the archangel's call on the clouds with the sound of the v.31 send out his angels

trumpet of God with a loud trumpet call v.17 caught away together they will gather his elect in the clouds Pt #1 - these speak of the same event to meet the Lord Pt #2 - but v.29 in Matthew says "Immediately after the tribulation of those days" = v.30-31 take place after the tribulation Pt #3 - since v.16-17 = same event as v.30-31, they also take place after the tribulation + being "caught away" is upon Jesus' Return Olivet Prophecy (contd) Application / Lesson - the 'rapture' Does it matter? Yes! This is far more that getting a sequence wrong. The rapture is an attractive teaching because it gives the (false) hope to believers of not going through the tribulation. What will these believers think when they are not 'taken away' but 'left behind'? Panic? Believe that Christ has abandoned them? They may overlook the verses that indicate persecution (on account of God and Christ) has

been the experience of the faithful throughout the ages. They may forget that God uses the time of tribulation to bring people back to Him, and that's the best time to have His people there witnessing to to the unbelievers and demonstrating God's love in very tough times. So, while the church in Philadelphia was told they would be "kept from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world" (Rev 3:10) they were the exception, not the rule (e.g. Rev 2:10,13,6:9-11,11:7). Olivet Prophecy (contd) Application / Lesson - the fig tree Hypothesis: Suppose the passage in Luke 21:29-31 about the "fig tree, and all the trees" is not merely a metaphor, but is a parable whereby a tree represents a nation (as in Ezekiel 31). Then interpret the "fig tree" to be = Israel, based on Jesus' cursing the fig tree in Matthew 21:19-20, cf. Hosea 9:16). Then interpret the other "trees" = nations in the Middle East (cf. Ezekiel 31:16). IF this is a valid interpretation, then: It is of prophetic interest that Israel became a nation in 1948, against all human odds, and has continued to survive despite attempts in 1967 and 1973 to wipe out her existence. Other Middle East countries have also come into existence quite

recently: Syria (1943), Lebanon (1943), and Jordan (1946), while the 'Palestinian state' is still trying to emerge. These just happen to be the enemies of Israel listed in Psalm 83. Then our generation may be the one (picked by God) who would recognize the sign and "know that the kingdom of God is near"! NT Prophecy - 2 Timothy 3 " But understand this, that in the last days... Who: Paul, the apostle When: AD 65-67 Audience: Timothy, a young elder in the church at Ephesus Setting: Given that this was Paul's last letter, he would have laid out the most crucial and vital matters to his "son in the faith". One such matter was the lack of sound Scripture teaching and consequent false doctrine that had infiltrated the church (e.g., Galatians 2:4-6, Titus 1:10-16, 1 Timothy 4:1-16). Paul already had predicted that this would happen at Ephesus (Acts 20:28-32), where the solution was the same as here: "I commend you to God and the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified"

NT Prophecy - 2Timothy 3 (contd) {1}But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. {2} For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, {3} inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, {4} treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, {5} holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people. Points: v.1 Explicitly, this is a "last days" problem = relevant to ourselves. v.2-5 This list of detrimental characteristics could easily describe the behavior of worldly people, but astoundingly enough, these people are professed members of the church! They go through the motions of religion, but evidently expect and seek nothing from God or His Book. NT Prophecy - 2Timothy 3 (contd) {6} For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses, {7} who will listen to anybody and can never

arrive at a knowledge of the truth. {8} As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith; {9} but they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men Points: v. 6-7 Itinerant false preachers were worming their way into the house churches and placing more burdens on emotionally-charged women. v.8-9 Citing two false prophets out of the past, Paul exposed these "men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith" ; however, when rightly and firmly opposed by men of truth (such as Timothy and Titus -- see 2:24-25, 4:13, Titus 1:9-11), they would be thwarted and silenced. NT Prophecy - 2Timothy 3 (contd) {10} Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, {11} my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. {12} Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, {13} while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. Points:

v. 10-11 Paul rehearses his past accomplishments and characteristics, not to boast, but to lay out the God-directed experiences of suffering which "produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts" (Romans 5:3-5). v.12-13 Thus Timothy should expect to join the company of prophets and apostles who suffered for their stand in the fight against evil men. NT Prophecy - 2Timothy 3 (contd) {14} But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it {15} and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. {16} All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, {17} that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. Points: v. 14-15 Timothy had a great heritage in godliness from both his mother and grandmother (1:5) plus the benefits of Paul's mentoring him from an early age (Acts 16:1-3). The core of his upbringing and continued

instruction "for salvation through faith in Christ" was Scripture. v.16-17 The purpose of the inspired word of God is to transform and train the individual believer for the Lord's work; in that process, it is also the primary and most effective weapon against false teachers (2:24). NT Prophecy - 2 Timothy 3 (contd) Application / Lesson Paul wrote to Timothy (and therefore to us): {2 Timothy 4:3} For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, {4} and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. {5} As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. Given this forecast, we should not be surprised to observe such happenings in today's churches. Our response? Make sure we are neither the false teachers nor the lazy listeners, but make it a point to check things out against the Bible text (Acts 17:11). Then get on and do the work given to us.

NT Prophecy - 2 Timothy 3 (contd) Application / Lesson Paul also said to Timothy (and therefore to you and me): {2 Timothy 4:1} I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: {2} preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. Given this charge, in the context of the certainty of Christ's return to judge us and to set up the Father's kingdom, we should be keen to share our faith and understanding of Scripture with everyone and anyone, any time, any place. Key Point To Take-away Bible prophecy is given, not to help us predict future dates, but to make us faithful servants of God who "watch" by being prepared for the

Master's Return Review Matthew 24-25 (along with Luke 21) is a prophecy by _____ a) Jesus is answering the disciples' question about when the temple ____ would be thrown down, and + what would be the signs of his ______. b) It turns out that the destruction of the temple would be in the year ___ while the actual _______ of Christ would not be until the ____ ____. c) Jesus warned about false ______, predicted a time of great _________ such as never had been, declared there would be a downtrodding of the city of _________, but assured that he would be returning from heaven in power and glory, and send out his ____ to gather the ____. d) To "watch" means to be ________, doing the work of the _____. 2Timothy 3 is Paul's warning about things in the ____ ____. a) The times of stress and godless living were to be seen in the _______. b) The only way to overcome evil times and to refute false teaching was to use God's inspired ________, and keep faith in _______. Final Words

The bad news is: Israel, and probably ourselves, are in for some very tough times. The good news is: Israel will be delivered, we have a tremendous opportunity to be witnesses for God and His Word, and there is total certainty that Jesus is returning as King to make everything on earth right again, to the glory of the LORD. Question / Answer Session + Now concluded

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