The Sure Word of Prophecy
By what means is all Scripture given?
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Tim. 3:16.
For what purpose?
"That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. " 2 Tim. 3:17.
To whom do the things revealed belong?
"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever. " Deut. 29:29.
What is the last book of the Bible called?
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him." Rev. 1:1.
What is said of those who read or study this book?
"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein." Rev. 1:3.
NOTE: The book of Revelation, then, is not only designed to be understood, but a blessing is pronounced upon those who read or study it. No one would expect to obtain a blessing by reading a book he could not understand; hence the implication is that he who studies this book may understand it.
How were the Old Testament prophecies given?
"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." 2 Peter 1:21.
What is said of the interpretation of these prophecies?
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation [impulse]." 2 Peter 1:20.
NOTE: The Peshito Syriac version renders this verse: "No prophecy is an exposition of its own text." The idea conveyed is that the text in which the prophecy is found, does not explain itself; but that one must go to some other statement of the Holy Spirit for an explanation. No one, unaided (relying on his own private judgment, is competent to give an exposition of a prophecy. Its meaning should be sought elsewhere in the word of God, "comparing spiritual things with spiritual." -- 1 Cor. 2:13.
In giving their prophetic utterances, what did the prophets seek?
"Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you." 1 Peter 1:9, 10.
By whose spirit were they actuated?
"Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." 1 Peter 1:11.
NOTE: Then all the prophecies of the Old testament, as well as those of the New, were dictated by the Spirit of Christ, and are therefore designed to be studied by Christians.
How did Peter confirm his former preaching on the coming of Christ?
"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of His majesty." 2 Peter 1:16.
When did the apostle see the majesty (kingship) of Christ, and hear the a probative words of God?
"And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount." 2 Peter 1:18.
What other and more certain evidence did he have of the power and coming of Christ?
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." 2 Peter 1:19.
NOTE: The Revised Version renders this verse, "We have the word of prophecy made more sure."
To what prophecy did Christ refer His disciples when predicting the destruction of Jerusalem?
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand)." Matt. 24:15.
When were all the prophecies in the book of Daniel to be understood?
"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Dan. 12:4.
NOTE: It is certain that the study of prophecy should by no means be neglected. This part of the word belongs to that which is said to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. God gives His people, through the prophetic word, an opportunity to learn what is coming on the earth, that they may know how to act when the predictions shall come to pass. In view of this, whoever is overtaken unawares by any calamity which the prophecies have pointed out, will be held guilty by Him sho so kindly reveals these things for our benefit.