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Navigating Prophecy

Last week and the week before, we’ve looked at the blessings of the world to come. There were 10 amazing blessings that should be enough to get any believer’s hopes up!

We are going to shift gears in this series and look at the current time period and what the Bible says for us in this present age. We will take a few weeks to go through this as there is so much to study!

Before we get started though, let’s just acknowledge that this area of Bible study can be hard to navigate! There’s a reason why this topic has been debated for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and why the Body of Christ is still so divided on these issues. But that shouldn’t be the case.

If you believe in Jesus and that He’s coming back, then, as far as prophecy goes, there really isn’t anything else that should divide us. That is our 'north'. The rest of this is a matter of interpretation, sometimes opinion, and when there’s room for disagreement we should be able to do that and still be family! Many of these things are hard to completely pin down and fully understand, so when we encounter scripture we don’t really know for sure what it means, we’re going to be honest and say just that!

One thing is for certain; the body of Christ should not let division come in over this topic. There are bound to be people in our church who hold differences of opinion on this, that’s guaranteed. What we need to do is approach this with the right mindset or heart, and know that whether you are pre-trib’, post-trib’, mid-trib’ or a-milienial, pre-millennial, non-millennial, if you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died for ours sins, rose from dead and is coming back, then you are of sound doctrine and we can all fellowship together. Amen!

So, now that’s out of the way, let’s get into this week’s topic; this present time. We have a few questions that we're going to use to help us navigate some of the prophecies over the coming weeks.

1. Where are we on God’s prophetic timeline?

2. How should we understand the times we are in and those that are ahead?

3. What kind of mindset does God want us to have towards this present time?

Let’s turn to Matthew 24. This is also recorded in Mark 13 and Luke 21.

This passage of scripture has been described and is commonly known as “The Olivet Discourse”. It gives us a rough chronological overview of the resurrection from the dead and His return, His second coming. And it is just that, rough! It’s not detailed and doesn’t answer all the questions. But, it is a very helpful foundation for understanding other prophecies. A timeline like this can help us navigate our way through more complex prophecy, like that found in Revelation.

Let's start this week with the first 5 verses.

Matthew 24:1-5

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

In the coming weeks, we will go through the whole passage. The first thing, in the context section of this, is the disciples pointing out the temple. Jesus proclaims in verse 2 that the stones will be thrown down. This has been fulfilled when the Romans sacked the old city of Jerusalem and completely destroyed the temple. This was a massive event for the Jewish people. Tens of thousands were taken captive and spread around the world and made into slaves. Not one stone was left upon another. Jesus' prophecy was fulfilled.

The disciples recognise an opportunity to ask a question which I'm sure had been burning for a while. "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Because of Jesus' answer, we can establish a rough timeline as to what to expect.

The first thing He tells them is that many will try to deceive the world declaring they are the Christ. There have been many proclaiming to be the Christ. From the Moonies, Jim Jones and David Koresh to Joseph Smith who declared he received a private revelation from God that’s now called the Book of Mormon that is supposed to supersede scripture. These are false Christ’s and we must not be deceived, church.

We are just getting started. Next week we’re going to get into the next verses, the wars and rumours of wars etc., and explore in detail those questions that we asked ourselves;

1. Where are we on God’s prophetic timeline?

2. How should we understand the times we are in and are ahead?

3. What kind of mindset does God want us to have towards this present time?

So, don’t miss next week’s blog. Remember that there is a blessing for those who study this out according to Revelation 1:3; Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. You can also review our 5 Reasons for studying End Time Prophecy here:

Until next week, keep your eyes on Jesus and keep counting your blessings!

Upstream Ministries

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