Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, through human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.2 Peter 1:20-21
Simply put, Bible prophecy is God revealing history in advance. Prophecies are divinely inspired revelations given by God through a person. Prophecies were given as a prediction, warning, or directive for taking action. In the verse above, Peter tells us how prophecies were given.
The technical term for the study of end-time Bible prophecy events is called eschatology. Eschatology literally means the study of last things. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind.” Eschatology touches on all other key areas of systematic Biblical study.
Genesis, the first book of the Bible, introduces key themes that are progressively revealed in later books, and these themes find their final resolution in Revelation—the last, and distinctively prophetic, book of the Bible. The Bible, though written by at least 39 men on three continents over a period of at least 1500 years, tells one complete story beginning with eternity past and ending with eternity future.
Unlike the vague predictions of modern-day psychics and palm readers, biblical prophecies are specific predictions of clear future events given through God’s appointed prophets. The main test of a true prophet is that their predictions come true 100% of the time.
Deuteronomy 18:22—If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.
Another important test of a prophet is that their prophecies must agree with scripture and not cause anyone to worship false gods.
Deuteronomy 13:1-4—If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
Another important aspect of prophecy is that it displays the character and nature of God. Through the prophets, God made it clear that only he can appoint and predict future events. In essence, God ties his own credibility and character to the accuracy of biblical prophecy!
Isaiah 42:8, 9—I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols. Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens.
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