August 2013, by Norman Edwards
Even since mankind was created, people have wanted to know what lies ahead in the future. They have sought prophets (ones who claim to hear from God), prophetic interpreters (those who interpret Bible prophecy), wise men and a host of spiritual advisors (people who claim to have future knowledge from the spirit world apart from God). A significant part of the Bible is prophecy and the Bible encourages us to read it. It also encourages us to seek the gift of prophecy—to receive present revelation directly from God or to divinely know the meaning of prophetic scriptures. But it also discourages us from seeking future knowledge from demonic or ungodly sources.
Most presentations of prophecy put forth a specific interpretation of prophetic Scriptures. While it may initially feel exciting to see future events from the Bible, nearly all of such prophetic interpretations prove wrong after 10 to 20 years and are revised or discarded by their authors. This has been going on ever since Bibles were printed in the 1500s. For more information, read Why Prophecy is Symbolic and Only God Knows Date of the End.
While not very many modern-day churches accept it, the overwhelming teaching of the New Testament is that we should seek the spiritual gift of prophecy to understand our future now. This does not mean that God will reveal anything we want—several scriptures tell us that some things we are not ready to know (Dan 12:4; John 16:12; Acts 1:7). But things we need to know should be available to us through prophets in the church. Read Need Prophets more than Prophecy.
The last two links in the section are more to answer specific questions. Modern Israel in Prophecy is helpful for those sorting out news and the role of the Modern Middle-Eastern Nation of Israel in prophecy. Church Eras in Revelation 2 & 3 expounds the straightforward meaning of these two chapters and shows the error of trying to impose a meaning that Christ did not impart.
Bible Prophecy Articles: