Didn’t you love it when teachers began their next class with, “Let’s review….”
Seriously (well, maybe), they did you a favor. Especially if you daydreamed your way through the previous session or didn’t show up for class at all! Even if you read the textbook topic for that lesson and paid full attention, education experts agree that review and repetition is the best foundation of learning.
Whatever your view of review, let’s begin with … a (brief) review!
First, an excerpt quote from the beginning of last week’s Part I article:
“There are many reasons (two in particular) that elevate the Word of God light-years beyond all religious and philosophical systems and scripts. In italics for sheer emphasis:
“(1) The Bible contains not just one or two, but hundreds of fulfilled prophecies and dozens more awaiting fulfillment. (2) Multiple miracles to further prove that the God of the Bible is the only true and living God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
“…God the Father and God the Son (Messiah Jesus) point to divine prophecies and miracles as the acid test of Biblical accuracy and reliability. Essentially, the Lord is telling the world: If you don’t (want to) believe what I say, then look at the historical record of what I’ve done through miracles and fulfilled prophecy.”
Then, another quote from the final portion of last week’s article:
“…All Biblical prophecies (and miracles) are anything but ordinary. In fact, they are stunning, staggering, and spectacular. The time-dedicated prophecies are an extra special demonstration of God’s omnipotence and omniscience—knowing and declaring the end from the beginning.”
Before we examine four more Bible prophecies (chronological) that specify a set time of fulfillment, let’s review the first four:
(1) The Great Flood: Forty Days/Nights
(2) Israelites Under Egyptian Bondage: Four Hundred Years
(3) Wandering in the Wilderness: Forty Years
(4) Seven x Seven x Seven x Seven: 2,483 Years!
If you haven’t read last week’s article, then by all means….
Are There More Time Dedicated Prophecies Than the Eight Presented in These Two Articles?
Yes, there are. Here is another excerpt from Part I (in italics):
Regarding the hundreds of Biblical prophecies, there are only a few time-capsule forecasts involving specific dates or duration of fulfillment. Which, in that context of comparison, makes these prophecies unique. Although there are more than eight prophecies that specify a set period, the eight that we will look at are major events that apply comprehensively to Israel and/or the world at large. They are integral components of God’s magnificent plans for and interaction with his chosen people, the Jews; his special possession, Israel; and for all other peoples (Gentiles).
Two more reasons why I didn’t include more time-prophecies than just the eight identified: (1) Restraint of space even for a two-part article. (2) The two most well-known of these time-predicated prophecies are derived directly from dreams of Gentile rulers.
Although that doesn’t render those predictions any less significant, I selected the eight prophecies because six of them were given verbally by the Lord to Noah, Abraham, Moses (2), Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. The seventh given to Daniel by the angel Gabriel. And the eighth (New Testament prophecy) directly from Jesus.
Both prominent prophecies (omitted in our discussion) involved sets of seven years: (A) Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams … seven years of plenty and seven years of famine in Egypt; (B) Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in which the king would be stripped of his throne and live among the animals for seven years.
So, let’s pick it up with the fifth time-dedicated prophecy.
(5) The Babylonian Captivity: 70 Years
Prophecy: “This is what the Lord says: ‘You will be in Babylon for seventy years….’” (Jeremiah 29:10a).
Although both Isaiah and Jeremiah predicted Judah’s fate at the hands of the Babylonians decades before the first of three invasions, the precise length of Israel’s exile was announced a few years prior to the final conquest of 586 B.C. that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. In fact, Chapter 29:4-23 is a letter sent by Jeremiah (quoting God verbatim) to the first group of Jewish exiles in Babylon—which began in 605 B.C. including the deportation of the prophet Daniel and Israel’s King Jehoiachin. The second conquest occurred in 597 B.C.; Ezekiel was exiled to Babylon.
Immediately after God tells Jeremiah how long the captivity will last, we read one of the most beloved passages in all of Scripture:
Fulfillment: “So the message of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The land finally enjoyed its Sabbath rest, lying desolate until the seventy years were fulfilled, just as the prophet had said” (II Chronicles 36:21). *Note: I & II Chronicles were written approximately 430 B.C.
Following King Cyrus’ decree of 538 B.C., some of the exiled Jews returned to Israel. However, the seventy years wasn’t complete until the Temple was finally rebuilt in 516 B.C. After that, more Jews and/or their descendants came back to Israel.
Seventy is one of a few notable numbers in Scripture, a multiple of the most pivotal (by far) number of the Bible—the number Seven. Seventy (sets of seven) is the combination prophesied by Daniel that also specifies an exact number of years, albeit the final set (7 years) is still awaiting fulfillment, i.e. the Great Tribulation. The first increment of sixty-nine sets of seven will be examined shortly in the seventh of our eight time-dedicated prophecies.
Although not a prophecy as such, there are other significant seventies in Scripture. Please refer to Eye of Prophecy article: Daniel’s 70 Prophetic Weeks & The Number Seventy! (Posted 5-12-18).
Regarding the Babylonian Captivity, I cited the specified period of 70 years as found in Jeremiah 29:10. But I didn’t complete Verse 10. Here it is in its entirety:
“This is what the Lord says: ‘You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again” (Jeremiah 29:10, italics for emphasis).
Question: Did the Lord bring them home again?
Answer: Yes, but only some (a minority) of the Jews returned from exile.
Next question: Has the Lord done for his people all the good things he promised.
Answer: Not yet. Not completely.
Historically, the answer to this question is obvious. Israel was conquered again, and the Jews again exiled (by the Romans)—this time to virtually all nations on earth and for what would be nearly 2,000 years. Plus, dozens of other Old Testament prophecies concerning extensive return of God’s people to the land that pertain to the end times (in which we are living), contrasted to the partial return of the Jews after the Babylonian Captivity.
A key component of this powerful and precious prophetic promise is found in the beginning words: “But then I will come and do for you…”
Although the (literal) coming of the Lord took place when Jesus was born of a Virgin in Bethlehem as the Messiah, it was just the beginning. But, oh what a beginning (redemption through the once for all sacrifice of God’s Son!) of the good things the Lord had promised.
Messiah’s first arrival could have been but wasn’t all the good things. Why? Because the Jews rejected Jesus as Messiah. Thus, the Lord’s ultimate promise would be delayed until Messiah’s (Second) Coming at which time he will “…do for you ALL the good things I have promised” (Jeremiah 29:10, emphasis added).
As he always does, the Lord kept his promise to limit Judah’s captivity at 70 years in Babylon. Soon afterward, the Jews who returned to Israel began to once again enjoy the Promised Land—but only partially and (because of their continued disobedience and apathy) temporarily.
Where is this leading? I’m glad you asked!
It’s leading right up to the present time.
Last May, Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary as a reborn nation from the floods of exile and the fires of Nazi death camps. This in fulfillment of many prophecies concerning the FINAL and permanent return of the Jews to the Promised Land. At which time (soon afterward) the Lord will come and do for you (Israel) all the good things I have promised….
The literal return of Messiah (will come) is how and through whom the Lord will do all the good things he promised. Otherwise, God through Jeremiah only needed to say, I will do for you all the good things…
Is there a prophetic correlation between the 70 years of Israel’s exile in Babylon and the (ultimate) fulfillment of God’s promise to return his people to Israel, which began to take place 70 years ago? I would answer that question with a question: How could there not be?
The full passage (Jeremiah 29:10-14) establishes that link.
(Over the Old City of Jerusalem, one of many celebrations of Israel’s 70th anniversary as a Sovereign State)
In that regard, was it mere chance that the 2nd Temple was destroyed in the year 70 A.D.? Exactly 586 years after the Temple was rebuilt in 516 B.C., having been destroyed in 586 B.C. Or that both temples were demolished on the same day of the Jewish calendar … 9th of Av!
All of which is EXTRAORDINARY!
(6) Duration of Israel’s & Judah’s Sins: 390 Years & 40 Years
Prophecy: “Now lie on your left side and place the sins of Israel on yourself. You are to bear their sins for the number of days you lie there on your side. I am requiring you to bear Israel’s sins for 390 days—one day for each year of their sin. After that, turn over and lie on your right side for 40 days—one day for each year of Judah’s sin. Meanwhile, keep staring at the siege of Jerusalem. Lie there with your arm bared and prophesy her destruction” (Ezekiel 4:4-7).
Along with a couple of other prophets like Isaiah, Hosea, and Jeremiah; Ezekiel was instructed by God to do a few extraordinary (bordering on the bizarre) things to graphically reinforce some prophecies. They were visual object lessons for God’s people to get their attention that much more.
Likely, your first reaction would be: Isn’t the Lord referring to Israel’s and Judah’s past sin(s)? If so, how is this a prophecy, as such?
Once again, so good that you asked!
If you read last week’s article, you might recall that a few verses from Isaiah were quoted in which God declares that he is the only true God and only he can declare the end from the beginning. While also challenging fortune-tellers and man-made gods, idols, prophets, religions to do likewise; if they would be so presumptuous.
Here is one of those verses to answer the specific question (but also in general) of whether the Lord’s directives to Ezekiel—other than telling Ezekiel to continue prophesying of Jerusalem’s imminent destruction—was prophetic or not.
“Present the case for your idols, says the Lord. Let them show what they can do, says the King of Israel. Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what’s going to happen. Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything—good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us. But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Those who choose you pollute themselves” (Isaiah 41:21-24, italics for emphasis).
Before the Lord issues his challenge for the makers and followers of these false gods (idols) to “tell us what the future holds,” he dares them to: “try to tell us what happened long ago.” This was especially applicable to leaders and historians of one nation attempting to accurately tell their people what happened in and with other nations. But the Lord’s statement also applied within nations.
From God’s vantage point, remembering and correctly telling (100% accuracy) what happened long ago is as much a part of prophecy as is declaring the future. The Lord is referring to more than just history (historical events), as several past events have been recorded and dated by religious leaders and historians. He’s referring more so to cause and effect, i.e. how many years or length of time of what people have done in the past (especially as a nation) relate to what’s happening now or would happen in the future. Whether the people could or would realize any correlation; usually they can’t or don’t want to connect the dots. That’s primarily what the Lord meant when he said: so that we may consider the evidence.
This was particularly true in ancient times, when rulers of several nations (like Egypt) disallowed preservation (writings, pictographs) of bad times or failures during their reigns.
This was also the case with false prophets speaking for their (man-made) gods; who couldn’t or didn’t want to remember the cause and effect of past incidents, whether they were written down or not. Including their predictions that didn’t come to pass … which was most of the time! Come to think of it, even in our age of vast (finger-tip) knowledge and instant global communication, we’re not too adept at remembering why things happened.
Fulfillment: This is the passage that I haven’t written about before, mostly because I couldn’t (until recently … again with discernment from the Lord) match up the 40 years of Judah’s sin with a specified period in her history. But that’s because I was thinking in terms of the first part of God’s instructions to Ezekiel: lay on his left side for 390 days bearing Israel’s sins for 390 years. Which I had linked to Israel’s (northern kingdom) history, but only partially. We’ll get to that shortly.
*Note: It’s understood that the 390 years and 40 years are separate, yet uninterrupted segments of time. As opposed to increments (years) of both periods starting and stopping. For one thing, it’s clear that both sets of times began after Israel split into two kingdoms, as the Lord specifically cites both Israel (ten northern tribes) and Judah (two southern tribes) … not Israel as a (former) unified nation. For another thing, Ezekiel’s dramatic portrayal of these periods was consecutive—390 days on his left side, then 40 days on his right side. Not a few days, then stop, then start again.
In quick review of Israel’s history as a nation, she peaked as a world power during the glory years of King David and King Solomon. But that pinnacle lasted only 80 years. Judah’s prosperity, prominence, and existence as a nation would last longer than Israel’s; however, both kingdoms began to decline geographically, politically, militarily, economically, socially, and spiritually when they split apart after King Solomon died.
(Before Israel divided into two kingdoms, much of the surrounding land belonged to Israel. Gradually, these lands were retaken by Israel’s enemies)
Israel / Ten Northern Tribes: According to God, Israel’s sin (rebellion against God and against Israel’s God-appointed dynasty of kings through King David) continued 390 years. Would we, therefore, be able to match those years to a specific stage of Israel’s (ten northern tribes) history?
Answer: We sure can!
Solomon’s reign ended in 930 B.C.
As with nearly all historical dynasties of kings (Biblical or secular), the succession dates of kings are listed consecutively. Thus, Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, began his reign over Judah in 930 B.C. as did Jeroboam I (historically or technically … but not actually) over the northern kingdom of Israel. Reason: the actual division into two kingdoms took several months as did the time for Jeroboam to travel back to Israel from his hiding place in Egypt. Then a few more weeks or months before, “…on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a day that he himself designated, Jeroboam offered sacrifices on the altar of Bethel. He instituted a religious festival for Israel…” (I Kings 12:33).
That religious ritual was a direct violation of God’s commandments. Sacrifices were to be offered only in Jerusalem and only on days/months previously established by the Lord as found in the Law of Moses. This, then was the beginning of Israel’s (northern kingdom) blatant defiance of the Lord.
Although, the Bible doesn’t specify how much time elapsed from Solomon’s death to when Jeroboam assumed the throne of Israel, then offered these perverted sacrifices, the implied time is convincingly clear to be no more than two years. Probably more like 18 months.
Either way, I believe we can safely identify (sometime during) the year 928 B.C. as the beginning date of the 390-year period identified by the Lord to Ezekiel. Things in Israel deteriorated exponentially after that. None of Israel’s 20 kings (northern ten tribes) ever truly served the Lord, with the Biblical epitaph of these kings (also Judah’s kings) summarized in terms of whether they pleased the Lord or did evil in his sight. With Biblical evidence that as the kings went, so went the people.
Let’s do the math.
928 B.C. + 390 years arrives at the year 538 B.C.
What happened that year? King Cyrus, whose Mede/Persian Empire had defeated Babylonia the year before, issued a decree for Jews throughout his kingdom to return to Israel … not just the Jews in Babylon (see Ezra 1:1-4 & II Chronicles 36:22-23). This signaled the end of God’s indictment for Israel’s sins (390 years) as related directly to Ezekiel’s prophecy.
In that sense, the Lord’s parameter of 390 years was both past and future, as this revelation was given to Ezekiel in 593 B.C. It would be another 55 years before the 390 years ended.
Once again … extraordinary!
One more observation: Although Assyria conquered the ten northern tribes in 722 B.C., there were still descendent Jews from those tribes who remained in Israel proper. Some of them were exiled to Babylon along with the surviving Jews of the two southern tribes. However, it’s also evident that the Jews (still in Israel) from the northern tribes or those taken captive and resettled in other nations designated by Assyria continued to disobey the Lord and worship pagan idols. Thus, the period of their sins lasted until some Jews (from several tribes) began to return to Israel after Cyrus announced his decree.
Judah / Two Southern Tribes: What about the 40 years of Judah’s sins? For which Ezekiel was to lay on his right side to “bear those sins for 40 days, one day for each year.” Although I had ascertained the historical application of the 390 years time-lapse for Israel (except that 55 of these years were still future to Ezekiel), until recently I hadn’t made the connection to Judah.
There was also a total of 20 rulers (nineteen kings, one queen) who reigned in Judah. However, seven of them were good kings for most or all their reign, especially Hezekiah and Josiah. Even if we subtract the years of the faithful kings (and the corresponding loyalty of the two southern tribes of Judah to the Lord), the number of years in which Judah constantly sinned against the Lord was far more than forty years, i.e. from Solomon’s death to Ezekiel’s prophecy, let alone the additional years until Cyrus’s decree.
Why only 40 years for Judah? What 40 years? When? For what sin or sins? When, in fact, the 70-year exile to Babylon was the immediate proximate (cause and effect) punishment for Judah’s sin of disobedience and idolatry?
Like the proverbial light bulb or beacon suddenly flashing, it came to me … meaning discernment from the Lord. The 40 years didn’t apply to the past or present or even near future; it couldn’t because the years didn’t match up. Instead, it applied exclusively to the not-so-near future!
What extended future? When did the 40-year period begin? And what ended it?
Answer: The 40 years began when Israel (at that time composed mostly of Jews from the two southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin) completed their national denial of Jesus as Messiah that culminated in his arrest by the Jews and crucifixion by the Romans.
Jesus was crucified in A.D. 32.
As heartbreaking as that was, what came next was even worse.
Despite Jesus’s resurrection from the dead confirmed by hundreds of witnesses who saw him sometime during his 40 days on earth before he ascended to heaven, most of Israel still refused to accept him as Messiah. Jesus’s resurrection meant they had no reason (excuse) whatsoever to deny his Messianic divinity as the Son of God.
FORTY years later, the final demise of Judah took place when the Romans completed their campaign against Israel (beginning in A.D. 66) with the siege of Masada in late 72, early 73 A.D. Although the sack of Jerusalem and destruction of the 2nd Temple took place in 70 A.D. there were still Jewish zealots who continued to resist Rome. Thus, in the context of Ezekiel’s prophecy, the fall of Masada would be the pivotal end-point to the 40-year period of Judah’s (most grievous of all) sin against the Lord.
During those 40 years, Israel (Judah) had every chance to scrutinize their Hebrew Scriptures. To, with an open mind and heart, clearly see that Jesus of Nazareth had fulfilled the Messianic prophecies. Including Daniel’s stunning disclosure that Messiah would be killed BEFORE the rebuilt temple was destroyed (Daniel 9:26). Sadly, they did not. They would not.
*Note: For those who subscribe to some Bible scholars’ proposal that Jesus was crucified closer to or in the year of A.D. 30, that’s okay; even though I’m convinced that Sir Robert Anderson’s calculations are accurate, as we shall soon see. If anyone prefers A.D. 30, then 40 years would elapse with the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70. Either time-frame validates Ezekiel’s 40-year prophecy concerning Judah.
Another clarification came to me about the same time. I had sometimes wondered why the Lord constantly referred to Ezekiel as the son of man, when speaking to Ezekiel. That question was answered by linking it directly to this prophecy.
Not just the years, but the command for Ezekiel to bear the sins of Israel and Judah for the specified periods. Clearly, this was symbolic, as only Messiah could literally take the sins of Israel/Judah (and the whole world) upon himself, as previously prophesied by Isaiah and King David. Therefore, Ezekiel’s designation as the son of man was also prophetic.
What title did Jesus often use of himself when speaking not only to his disciples, but many others?
Correct: SON OF MAN!
How extraordinary is that!
(7) Jerusalem’s Walls Rebuilt to the Time of Messiah’s Coming: 483 Years
Prophecy: “Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One (Messiah)—comes….” (Daniel 9:25). *Note: One set of seven equals seven years.
Fulfillment: When Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday… hailed as the Messiah by the people (Matthew 21:1-11).
As alluded to in last week’s article, this amazing insight had been given to Sir Robert Anderson, as contained in his book, The Coming Prince, published in 1894. Concerning the parallel between the 483 years of Daniel 9 and the 2,483 years (seven x seven x seven x seven) of Leviticus 26 covered in last week’s post, here is an excerpt from that article (in italics):
Anderson’s insight related to the prophesied time parameters of the first Advent of Messiah which resulted in Israel’s rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. Whereas, the Seven Times Over prophetic paradigm pertains to the physical return of the Jews to Israel—specifically the (time dedicated) end of Gentile dominance of the Jews in preparation for the Second Coming of Messiah Jesus.
Because space/time is limited, I’ll condense Anderson’s breathtaking disclosure by providing an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, An Incredible Time-Lapse Prophecy (Posted 1-18-14).
…Sir Robert Anderson calculated (with partial assistance from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich) the Julian date of King Artaxerxes edict to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem to have been March 14th, 445 BC. Furthermore, the Julian date for Jesus’s magnificent ride into Jerusalem was April 6th, 32 AD. By employing the Hebrew calendar, Sir Robert Anderson tallied 173,880 days had elapsed which is exactly 483 Jewish years!! Absolutely astounding! I repeat for emphasis: Incredible!!
Sir Robert Anderson factored in leap years and the 24 days from March 14th to April 6th. Some mathematicians/scholars determined that Anderson was two days off or so; but whether they’re right or Sir Robert was right, doesn’t matter all that much. The fact is: to calculate within two days, or two weeks, or two months, or even two years is remarkable. When you’re talking about 483 years, even a gap of two years still gives significant validation to the prophecy. Meaning that it’s not the God-given prophecy that’s a little off; rather, it might just be a slight miscalculation of what is a complex system of balancing two calendars over such a long period of time.
*Note: The well-known 70th week is the seven years (Great Tribulation) of Daniel’s astounding prophecy. However, because it is part of that two-phase (total of) 490 years, I have not included it as a separate time-specified prophecy in today’s article.
You may also want to refer to Eye of Prophecy articles, The Most Panoramic Prophecy in the Bible, Part I & Part II (published 1-13 & 1-20-18). The prophecies found in Daniel 9:24-27 are discussed in detail, broken down into seven categorical events:
(1) The Seventy Weeks of Daniel; (2) Sixty-Nine Weeks to Messiah’s Arrival on Earth; (3) Messiah’s Death; (4) Soon After Messiah’s Death, a Ruler (Antichrist) Would Arise; (5) The Armies (Roman Legions) That Destroyed the 2nd Temple Belonged to Nero Caesar; (6) Antichrist’s (the ruler) Seven-Year Treaty with Israel; (7) Antichrist Final Fate Sealed At the End of the Tribulation
(8) Resurrection of Messiah Jesus: In Three Days
Now, let’s look at the final prophecy that includes a specific time-lapse fulfillment. The length of time is known by virtually the whole world; however, many (even including some believers!) don’t know or have forgotten that Jesus, himself, predicted his death and his resurrection. And the precise length of time between the two!
Prophecy: “…He said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead’” (Mark 9:31).
Not once, not twice, but three times Jesus foretold his death and then his resurrection in three days. Not only that he would be betrayed into the hands of his enemies, but who would betray him … one of his own disciples—Judas Iscariot.
Not only that he would be killed, but by whom and what would happen before he was crucified.
“Listen, he said, we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again” (Mark 10:33-34).
Jesus also prophesied (indirectly) of his death and resurrection to the Jewish religious leaders. However, because he knew they wouldn’t believe him or in him, Jesus used analogies: (A) The sign of Jonah—three days/nights in the belly of the great fish; (B) The Temple: if (when) torn down, he would rebuild it in three days—speaking of his death and bodily resurrection from the dead.
Just a few hours before he was falsely arrested, illegally tried, unjustly sentenced, mercilessly beaten, and cruelly nailed to the cross, Jesus explicitly explained the purpose for his suffering, death, and resurrection. None other than implementation of the New Covenant promised by God, his Father, through the prophet Jeremiah (Chapter 31).
After breaking bread with his disciples and comparing the bread to his broken body on the cross, we read what Jesus said next:
Fulfillment: “But very early on Sunday morning, the women went to the tomb… They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes….
“Then the men asked, ‘Why are looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day’” (Luke 24:1-7).
There’s absolutely no way that a mere man could have known for sure (or at all) that he would be arrested, tried, and put to death; let alone all the particulars of what many call the Passion of The Christ. Do you know of any other person in history who not only foretold the details of his death, but confidently claimed that he would rise from the dead? And when! And did!
I’ll give you hint. There aren’t any. But you knew that!
Things to Ponder
The resurrection of Messiah Jesus is the crowning achievement of Biblical prophecy and is also the mightiest miracle of all. It is: Extra extraordinary!
“…For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus” (Revelation 19:10b). That’s because Jesus IS the essence of prophecy.
Said the Apostle Peter after healing a crippled man: “…Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’
“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:9-12).
“…Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said” (I Corinthians 15:3-4).
All subsequent prophecies in the New Testament, including the book of Revelation, focus on Messiah Jesus. Especially his magnificent return—preceded seven years by the Rapture and the subsequent Great Tribulation—to set things right in this wrong, weary, and wicked world of ours.
“…All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
“Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him—even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!” (Revelation 1:5-7).
Jesus is Risen!