Everything you always wanted to know about PROPHECY but didn't know who to ask

What is Bible prophecy?
It is history written in advance -- God's description of future events.

Can prophecy be trusted?
Yes. God is omniscient and knows all things. Acts 15:18 says, Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. The term omniscient means God knows everything about everything, and all things about all things. Therefore, because He can see the future -- being omniscient -- He can tell us what will happen 100, 1,000, 5,000, even 50,000 years in advance, and -- no matter how much time elapses -- even the most minute detail will happpen exactly like it was prophesied, because God said it!

Is Bible prophecy always accurate?
Definitely! The scriptures were actually statements made by the all-knowing God through earthly vessels. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21). There are hundreds of prophecies about Christ's first and second coming in the Bible. The law of compound probabilities tells us that the posibility or chance of each one of these being fulfilled is about one in a billion. And God's Word has not failed, even in one small detail, concerning Christ's first coming.

In fact, it stated that He would be the seed of woman (Genesis 3:15); He would come through the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:3,17-19); He would be a descendant of Judah (Genesis 49:10); He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2); He would be born of a virgin -- the precious virgin Mary, untouched by a man (Isaiah 7:14); He would sojourn into Egypt (Hosea 11:1); and He would grow up at Nazareth and be called a Nazarene (Matthew 2:23).

The Bible also stated that He would grow to manhood and be crucified (Psalm 22:14-16). These verses were written 500 years before the Romans instituted crucifixion as a form of execution!

Finally, the Bible stated that He would be raised from the dead (Job 19:25). These and many other Old Testament prophecies foretold what would happen to Jesus in the New Testament. And every one of these prophecies occurred down to the smallest detail, with perfection, and without exception. As Christ came the first time, He will come again (Acts 1:11). I personally believe His return will be very, very soon!

What is the difference between a prophet and a prognosticator?
A prophet has been shown the order of future events by God himself. Surely the Lord God...revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). Prognosticators usually guess what is going to happen, and sometimes are correct. Others become involved with the spirit world and, when their predictions come true, it is because of demonic influence. Leviticus 19:31 tells us, Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.

Why is there so little teaching today about prophetic events or what the Bible says about the future? Primarily because it demands so much study and research. Many do not want to spend the time necessary to study the prophetic scriptures and dig into God's Word as they should. The Bible says, Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

Secondly, many men do not teach from the prophetic scriptures because they are afraid of being branded as "sensationalists." This is sad, because the message of Christ's return is a blessed hope (Titus 2:13), a purifying hope (see 1 John 3:2,3), and a hope that earns one a special crown (see 2 Timothy 4:7,8).

But Jesus was a sensationalist! And much of what He said was also sensational. For instance: For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be (Matthew 24:27); Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven (Matthew 24:29).

Jesus made these shocking statements! So we are branded as sensationalists, like Jesus, when we preach the Word of God.

Can the Book of Revelation be understood?

The Book of Revelation was given to reveal the truth, not conceal it, and to clarify God's eternal purpose, not mystify it.

Can prophecy itself truly be understood?

Yes. The Bible says, 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 (Revelation 1:3). God would not promise a special blessing to those who read, hear, and keep the words of prophecy if it were impossible to understand them.

Why do some people prefer not to hear teaching on prophetic events?
Because of worldliness, men don't want to hear about prophetic events. First John 2:15-17 says, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof. The message of Christ's return is a "purifying hope" (see 1 John 3:2,3). This is the sort of hope that makes a person holy if he really believes it. For these reasons, men don't preach it, and many don't even want to hear it.

In 1948 Israel became a nation. Is this the fulfillment of Matthew 24:32, which speaks of the fig tree blossoming? No doubt about it! When Israel became a nation -- May 14, 1948 -- that's when the fig tree blossomed! How do I know that Israel is the fig tree? The law of first mention. When anything is mentioned the first time in Scripture, it becomes that throughout God's Word. For instance, Joel 1:7 tells us that when the enemy armies were invading Israel, He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree [Israel). Then, of course, Hosea 9:10 says, I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree. Here, again, God is speaking to Jews. Thus, the fig tree is Israel.

Will there ever be a time when Jews will be converted on a worldwide basis?
Yes -- when Christ comes (see Revelation 199) and sets His foot upon the mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4), all the tribes of the earth [which means the twelve tribes of Israel] will mourn. Romans 11:26 says, All Israel shall be saved. Why? Because there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

A total of 144,000 Jews will preach the gospel of the kingdom during the Tribulation hour. Then, when Russia invades the Middle East and God performs one of His greatest miracles on behalf of the Israelites (see Ezekiel 39:22), their eyes will be opened. Thus, somewhere toward the end of the Armageddon period -- or as Christ returns to judge the nations (Matthew 25:31-46) -- a tremendous nationwide conversion of God's people, the Jews, takes place.

There is no doubt about it. Jews are going to be saved en masse. The greatest hour in history is coming for Israel!

Will the fulfillment of this promise involve a lengthy period of time?

No. Israel will be born in one day. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him (Zechariah 12:9,10). Zechariah 13:1 says, In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

Is there an outline in the Bible that we can go by -- past, present, and future -- as far as the Jews are concerned? Yes! Romans 9, 10, and 11. Chapter 9 tells of the Jews' past and describes their heritage (verses 1-5). Chapter 10:1-3 tells of their present blindness in rejecting the Messiah. Chapter 11 describes their coming blessing, when all Israel shall be saved (Romans 11:26). What a glorious future!

Some people believe that Christians -- believers -- are the true Israelites. How do you feel about that? That's where we get into trouble! The text used by these proponents is Romans 2:28,29: For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly [in the flesh]...but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly. But this is not accurate in the light of Galatians 3:28, which tells us that there is neither Jew nor Greek in Christianity...neither bond nor free...neither male nor female. Literally taken, that would make transvestites out of all of us. Likewise, God does not change Christians into spiritual Israelites.

One can't do that! And here's why: the term Israel or Israelite is found 2,300 times in the Old Testament, and it is always in reference to Jacob, and Jacob becomes Israel (see 2 Kings 17:34).

Furthermore, Jacob and Israel are referred to as Jews eighty times in the Old Testament and 170 times in the New Testament. So how is one going to justify such overwhelming evidence? When Galatians 6:15,16 speaks about the God of Israel, it is in relation to converted Jews -- Hebrew Christians. But that doesn't make the entire Church Jewish!

This one misconception has caused more damage to the cause of prophecy in our day than any other teaching! The theory started with Augustine in about 190 A.D., and has led to endless symbolizing, with many others following his error. That's where the confusion began. One can't justify it. Israel is Israel -- period!

There are some who believe that the two lost tribes of Israel are actually England and America. Is this true? That's the theory known as British Israelism, propagated by Garner Ted Armstrong and his father, on their television program and in their magazine.

No, it isn't correct, because the names of the twelve tribes of Israel are found in Revelation 7:4-8 -- Juda, Reuben, Gad, Aser, Nephthalim, Manasses, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zabulon, Joseph, and Benjamin. And that doesn't sound like "Sherlock Holmes" or "Winston Churchill" (British names) to me!

A highway has just been built from the Far East to the Middle East. Is there any significance in this event, as far as Bible prophecy is concerned? Definitely. The oriental armies are going to march across that highway on their trek down to the Middle East (see Revelation 16:12; Daniel 11:44).

In Matthew 24:34, Jesus says, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. What exactly does "this generation" mean? There are those who say that genea is a term for "race" -- "This race of Jews shall never pass away." These people believe that the Jews shall never pass until all the signs are fulfilled. That is true, for throughout history God has protected the people of Israel.

But I believe it also means that the generation that lives to see all these prophetic events transpire shall not pass from the earth until all the signs are completed. I further believe that we are that generation!

How long is a generation?
Oh, I love this! Matthew 1:17 tells us that all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and [all the generations] from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and [all the generations] from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations. When we add fourteen plus fourteen plus fourteen, the total is forty-two generations from Abraham to Christ.

The great chronologist, Thiele, says that from Abraham to Christ, we have a total of 2,160 years. Divide forty-two generations into that, and the length of a generation becomes 51.4. Add that to May 14, 1948, and one comes out at Rosh Hashanah, September 1999, when this generation that lives to see "all these things" comes to a glorious conclusion. Add that to 1967, the time Israel captured Jerusalem, and you get A.D. 2007.

There are many who feel that the 1990s could be the closing of this age of grace. Why? The Bible says, When ye shall see all these things, know that it [the coming of Christ] is near, even at the doors (Matthew 24:33).

When one sees the European Economic Community (the revived Roman Empire) forming and present situations developing in Russia and the Mid-east, one knows that the time is near. All signs are already casting their shadow -- or beginning to occur -- simultaneously.

Therefore, I believe the present generation could see Jesus Christ when He comes in the twinkling of an eye.

What exactly is meant by "the times of the Gentiles?"
It means Gentile dominion over the Jews and the world, or the period of Jewish captivity -- beginning with the Babylonians and ending with Armageddon at the conclusion of the Tribulation hour. That period of Jewish captivity started under Nebuchadnezzar in 536 B.C. and extends until Armageddon.

Since Jerusalem is now under Jewish control, does this indicate that "the times of the Gentiles" is fulfilled? No. Events which have occurred since the six-day war in 1967 prove that Israel's present possession of Jerusalem is temporary. The hordes out of the north will attempt to capture Jerusalem as they come against Israel (see Ezekiel 38:15,16). Therefore, one might see the control of the city shifting back and forth once or twice before the final onslaught. Once Armageddon occurs, however, Jerusalem will be controlled by the Jews forever.

We are approximately at that period when the "times of the Gentiles" is fulfilled, for Luke 21:24 says, Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles. It was under Nebuchadnezzar that this domination began and it was not until June 1967 that the Jews again took Jerusalem. The Gentiles will try to get it back when all nations [are gathered] against Jerusalem to battle (Zechariah 14:2), and will capture the city briefly. Then Messiah will appear and destroy the armies of the world (see Zechariah 14:4). Immediately the times of the Gentiles will cease.

When was Jerusalem first mentioned in the Bible?
Genesis 14:18 speaks of the city of Salem over which Melchizedek was king. Later the term Jehru was used. When the two were combined, the name became Jerusalem, and has been known as such for over 4,000 years.

Is there any significance to Jerusalem being rebuilt in our generation?
Definitely! Jerusalem is going to be the capital of the world! The very fact that the Jews are now in control of Jerusalem -- and have been since the six-day war of 1967 -- proves that the times of the Gentiles is coming to a swift conclusion and that Jesus must come very soon.

When will the Jews resume worship in their Temple, actually offering sacrifices again, as prophesied in the Bible? There could, in fact, be two temples -- one desecrated by the Antichrist as he sits there calling himself God (2 Thessalonians 2:4), building an image of himself to be worshiped (Revelation 13:15), and another after the seven years of Tribulation. I am not certain whether there will be one temple which will be cleansed after having been defiled by the Antichrist, or whether an entirely new temple will be constructed after the Tribulation. Regardless of whether there will be one or two temples, we find the Jews offering sacrifices once again in the Temple, in Ezekiel 40 through 48.

The Jews from throughout the world are returning to Israel. Yet the largest number of Jews yet dispersed anywhere in the globe is in the United States. Will there be a great exodus of Jews from the United States to Israel ? Ezekiel 36:24, Amos 9:15, and other portions of Scripture indicate that the Jews will return to their homeland from all over the world. According to Jeremiah 3:17,18, the last group to return home will be from the north -- Russia. We're seeing it happen now. However, I don't think there will be a mass exodus, as far as America is concerned, until Christ returns.

Matthew 24:31, which is the introduction to the Millennium, says that when Christ comes to reign for a thousand years, the eighth trumpet sounds, and its blast causes all the elect from the four winds -- north, south, east, and west -- to rreturn. That's when I believe Jews from the U.S. will migrate en masse to Israel.

Does the "gospel of the kingdom," preached by the 144,000 Jews (Revelation 7:4-8), include the blood of Jesus Christ? Yes -- they're going to be preaching the same message that John the Baptist preached -- the message that the King is coming (Matthew 24:14). John's message also included repentance (Matthew 3:2) and the blood, for he said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). How did He take away the sin of the world? By the shedding of His blood (see Ephesians 1:7). By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle John wrote in Revelation 1:5, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.

In every dispensation, there is only one way to get saved! That is by the blood, whether it was under Moses' law (past), whether it is under grace (present), or whether it is during the Tribulation hour (future). It is the blood of Jesus that makes atonement for...souls (Leviticus 17:11). And without shedding of blood is no remission [of sins) (Hebrews 9:22).

Thus, John, warning the people that the King was coming, preached repentance and the sacrifice of Christ. The 144,000 will promote the same message.

Who are the "elect" of Matthew 24:22?
Oh, I like this! The post-tribulationists use this verse -- except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened -- saying it indicates that the Church will be here because we are the elect. I say, "Hold it! God has two elect groups on earth!"

There is the Church (see Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:2), but that is not the group referred to in Matthew 24:22. How do I know? Isaiah 42:1 speaks of the Jews as God's elect. So does Isaiah 45:4, 65:9, and 65:22. How does one know that the Jews are the elect for whom the days are being shortened in Matthew 24:22?

Let's keep the text in context. First of all, this elect group is to flee from Judaea to the mountains. Judaea, my friend, is the Holy Land (see Matthew 24:16)! They are not to flee on the sabbath day [shabbat) (Matthew 24:20). According to Exodus 31:13, the Sabbath Day is eternally practiced by the Jews. In Mark 13:9, we find that they are beaten in the synagogues ...not the church. We don't meet in synagogues because we are the Church (see Acts 2:47).

Finally, all these events take place in the area of Jerusalem (see Luke 21:24). So the elect, at this point in time, are Jews -- Israelites.

Who are the "two witnesses" mentioned in Revelation 11:3?
There are three persons from Bible history who most men will invariably choose as candidates for the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11:3 -- Moses, Elijah, and Enoch. I personally believe the two witnesses will be Moses and Elijah. Why? Because in Matthew 17, when Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the mount and was transfigured before them, it was Moses and Elijah who appeared with Him. At the transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus -- not Moses and Enoch, not Elijah and Enoch.

The transfiguration scene, then, is a picture of that coming day when the two witnesses -- Moses and Elijah -- will be revealed. Malachi 4:5,6 predicts that Elijah will come as one of the two witnesses. This prediction is corroborated by the fact that Elijah did not die a physical death but was taken up into heaven by a whirlwind and chariot of fire (see 2 Kings 2:9-11). The Bible also tells us that Moses' body was preserved by God (see Deuteronomy 34:5,6; Jude 9). So these are good Bible reasons why I believe the two witnesses will be Moses and Elijah.

So much is now being written and spoken about the revived Roman Empire. What is the revived Roman Empire? My video study, Revelation Revealed, Verse by Verse, presents a ten-hour, in-depth study on this subject. Here are a few glimpses: the ten toes (Daniel 2) and ten horns of the beast (Daniel 7) represent the ten nations that will unite together at the endtime to form the revived Roman Empire. These ten nations must be nations that were part of the original Roman Empire.

It all started with Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg (1948); then Italy, France, West Germany (1957); next, England, Ireland, and Denmark (1973). And finally, Greece (1981) was added to make ten nations. But the problem is that Denmark and Ireland do not belong, because they were not a part of the original Roman Empire. So there must be others coming in. That's why we presently see it as twelve nations, counting Portugal and Spain, because two are going out.

We could get into all the ramifications, but the point is, when there are exactly ten nations that were all part of the original Roman Empire, that is when Christ will return. When there are ten -- the final ten, after all the changes have been made -- then shall the God of heaven set up His kingdom. It shall never be destroyed.

That's when He comes as KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16).

Has there ever been in history an alignment of nations like the one you just described? This is the first time in world history that we have had nations aligning that were part of the old Roman Empire, which can now honestly be called the revived Roman Empire. And, unbelievable as it may seem, it was the Club of Rome in 1957 that approved this amalgamation of nations. Now their constitution is based on the Treaty of Rome. If you don't think this is the revived Roman Empire, what is? We call it the E.C.-- the Economic Community. Watch it in the headlines in days to come!

Our President and world leaders everywhere have been talking about a New World Order. What is the New World Order? This grouping -- the revived Roman Empire, or E.C.-- I believe, forms the foundation of the New World Order (see Daniel 7:20), out of which the Antichrist will arise (see Revelation 13:1). This beast (Antichrist) has all the world marveling and wondering after him, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Also, Power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him..And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark (Revelation 13:4,7,8,16).

You have always said that Russia would march down from the north and invade Israel. Now, because communism has literally crumbled, has your opinion changed? No. I have a full-length video on this topic. It's our best-seller, Russia, World War III, and Armageddon. For forty years I've preached this message across America to audiences totaling ten million people, and I have never spoken of a coming war with the U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)! I always said, "Russia!"

So if the entire empire disintegrated, it still wouldn't matter, because it would be Rosh -- the Hebrew word for "chief prince," which is Rucia in Greek, and Russia in English! The prophecy is still 100 percent correct!

Where does America Fit into end-time prophecy?
Many great theologians, such as Dr. Logsden, former pastor of Moody Memorial Church, taught that Isaiah 18, Jeremiah 50-51, and Revelation 18, depicted America as Babylon. There are many tremendous reasons why these great men believed this.

For further enlightenment, I suggest that you study my video teaching, America in Prophecy.

What groups of people will compose the one-world church?
All of apostate Christendom (Revelation 17:4,5,9,15,18). Since Revelation 20:4 says, I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, we have to believe that all those taken at the Rapture were those who believed that all scripture [was] given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16), that holy men of God spake [and wrote] as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21); and that they believed everything the Bible had to say about Jesus.

That means they believed that Jesus was God from all eternity (Romans 9:5; 1 Timothy 3:16); that He was born of the precious virgin Mary (Matthew 1:23); that it was a miracle (Luke 1:35); that He died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3); that His blood was shed to cleanse all men from sin (1 John 1:7) [the shed blood is mentioned 700 times in the Bible!]; and that He rose bodily from the grave (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). This is the doctrine of Christ.

So all the churches remaining after the rapture of the Church will be those that denied the doctrine of Christ. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist (1 John 2:22). May I say to multitudes within Christendom -- watch out if you are in one of those churches denying these truths!

If one denies the doctrine of Christ is he upholding the doctrine of Antichrist?
Anyone who denies that Jesus is God is "anti-Christ." And these churches which band together to create the one-world church will center around the heretical teaching that deprecates or belittles Christ

source: Dr. Jack Van Impe, JVIM Ministries.