1 Corinthians 12: 4 tells us that the Spirit of God provides a diversity of gifts and one of these is the gift of prophecy, but only given to some. Others may be given gifts as well, such as wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, etc. Still, the gift of prophecy is sought after by many Christian scholars, but it does not necessarily include the ability of foretelling the future. As the late Frank Dowsett explained, this gift “relates more especially to the ‘Gift’ given by God whereby the recipient can understand and expound to others the prophecies already made by God”.
We know from our opening Bible verse that God forecast events because He confirmed this in Isaiah 55:10-11, “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not hither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth. It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it.”
Certainly, no subject is more fascinating than prophecy. So, perhaps it is understandable that the greatest disappointment to students of Bible prophecy is when their interpretation of prophecy doesn’t come about as anticipated. We can look throughout past magazines from the early years of the twentieth century to current issues and pick out dates when noted scholars were certain God had something planned for a specific year. Most of them just didn’t happen. I’m not a scholar but you can include past articles of mine in this group. I suppose we all looked at the numerics mentioned in the Bible to come up with dates deemed significant and wonder why nothing happened. After all, didn’t a myriad of prophecies come about exactly as the number of years dictated, like the French Revolution, The American Declaration of Independence, the formation of the United Kingdom, the end of Papal rule in France, the liberation of Jerusalem and many, many more. Yet, all these only became reality after the fact and in coming to pass, confirmed the words of the Lord when He spoke, “Now I have told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye might believe”.
Still, those of us who ascribe to the Israel Truth seem to have one thing in common, we look forward to the restoration of the Kingdom and look at all the remaining prophesies as having a possible fulfillment in our lifetimes. Of course, we realize it might also be some time away because our Israelite brethren have fallen so far away from the faith and in judging world events, a further fall must be anticipated. On the other hand, the signs told us by Jesus in Matthew 24 couldn’t be clearer in today’s world, so the Kingdom has to be close. In Acts 1, the disciples asked Jesus “wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel”. Jesus’ answer definitely demonstrates it will be restored but the question is still, “When”. Perhaps a dual fulfillment of Daniel 4:26 might give us a glimpse of “when”, “And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; the kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule”. Interesting, in so far as the kingdom formed at Sinai is still here, but without the king. What this passage reveals is that the command “to leave the stump of the tree with its roots” means that the kingdom will be restored to True Israel when we have acknowledged that Heaven rules. It’s not unlike 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”. Hosea 5:15 is similar in its counsel.
It’s sure hard to look at Israelites today in almost total apostasy and see them humbling themselves, but who knows? If the hordes of Gog and Magog descend from the north into our Israel lands, as described in Ezekiel 38, then we will very likely go to our knees very quickly. Indeed, the signs are ripe at the present time and you can almost see the hooks in the jaws of our enemies taunting them to come forward. Unless something miraculous takes place within the leadership of the opposing nations and at the same time something is done to curtail a financial debacle, then you can almost visualize that final battle. Read the signs of Matthew 24, Jesus has laid them out very clearly.
I had a further thought on my article a couple of months ago I entitled, “What If”, wherein I described certain prophetic events that seem to have their terminus in terminal years that end with the number 8, a number that in the Bible always means “new Beginnings”. There was 1918 BC when Abraham received the Covenant; 1558 AD with Queen Elizabeth 1 bringing in the Reformation; 1588 AD, the year of the Spanish Armada; 1918 AD the fulfillment of Daniel 7:9 – I beheld until the thrones were cast down; and 1948 AD the fulfillment of Daniel 12:11 – and the abomination that maketh desolate set up” and Mark 11:12-14 – the fig tree withered. Now, here we are in 2018 AD – one prophetic hour (15 years) from True Israel’s aggression into Iraq, 70 years (70 meaning Israel’s restoration) from the abomination of desolation.
What do these dates mean for 2018, perhaps nothing, but we are now in the fifth month, so time will soon tell!