We need to define Prophecy

Before we get too far into these studies, we absolutely must look at how prophecy is defined, described and validated in the Bible. Otherwise we could get quite confused. Plus, prophecy is the subject of this entire website, so we should be clear about what we’re discussing!

Let’s start with 2 Peter 1:19-21, and see how God defines prophecy in His word:

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

That sums it up, really.

Prophecy is when God tells men what to say or shows them something which will happen in the future. The key element is that the prophecy has to be spoken or shown to the person straight from God (as in, “by the Holy Spirit“). Then the person writes down what they’ve seen or heard (as in, “spoke as they were moved“).

Here are some examples of this process:

The word that came to Jeremiah from the the Lord, saying, ‘Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say,”Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!” ‘ ” Jeremiah 7:1-2

Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said: ‘Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His… He reveals deep and secret things’ ” Daniel 2:19-20, 22

Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.” Ezekiel 1:1-3

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw… After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this’… And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne…” Revelation 1:1-2, 4:1-2, 5:1

These are are direct encounters with God, either by sight or word. None of the prophets say, “I think God wants me to say…” or “I think I just had a vision from God.” It’s unequivocal: “the word came… from the Lord,” or “the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.” Experiencing direct communication from God is never ambiguous. This shows us that God wants us to know 1) when He’s the one communicating, and 2) that He clearly communicates with us.


So, we’ve looked at how prophecy is defined and described. Now, how do we know if it’s valid?

1) Obviously, if the prophecy actually happens! Of course, we can’t use this test for prophecies that are still future, but we can see some that are now in the past and have happened just as the prophets described.

Another consideration about this point is that these same prophets who wrote down prophecies that have happened, have also written down prophecies that are still in the future – so we can expect those future prophecies to happen because the past ones have been fulfilled.

For example, Isaiah and Ezekiel both have prophecies about the Jews returning to Israel, which they have, and Isaiah prophesied about Christ’s second coming and Ezekiel about Christ’s millennial kingdom – so we can be sure that these future prophecies will be fulfilled in the same literal sense and with the same certainty.

2) Does Christ reference the prophet and/or his prophecies? Jesus Christ, who is The Word of God Himself (John 1:1), would not quote any text as having authority from God unless it was the word of God. Here’s one example of Him quoting a prophet who references a (still) future event:

“’Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.‘” Matthew 24:4-5

3) Is the prophet and/or his prophecies referenced anywhere else in the Bible? This can be found in many places.

“I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.” Daniel 9:1

For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him…” Acts 13:27

As He says also in Hosea: ‘I will call them a people who were not my people’… Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel, ‘Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sands of the sea, The remnant will be saved.’ “ Romans 9:25, 27

4) And, as I mentioned before, does the prophecy begin with something like, “the word of the Lord came to…”? (See the earlier part of this post for some examples.)


Every prophecy in the past has been fulfilled – so be ready for those yet unfulfilled to be fulfilled!

  • Israel was exiled to Babylon and Jerusalem was desolated, just as Isaiah, Jeremiah and others warned the Jews they would be, back in the 7th century B.C.
  • The Messiah was born in Bethlehem as Malachi prophesied, born of a virgin and suffered as a sinner for sinners, as Isaiah foretold, was put to death by crucifixion as described in the Psalms, and rose from the dead after three days, as Christ Himself told His disciples beforehand.

So, we can expect…

  • Christ to break the seals of judgment as Revelation describes
  • God to save Israel from the armies of Gog and Magog
  • The Antichrist to rise and people to take his mark
  • Christ to come on the clouds of heaven
  • And so many more terrifying and glorious things!

Things which are coming ever closer.

We see the clock ticking down to the end of the last hour – so don’t wait to put your faith in Christ! Then you’ll be sure of having eternal life and escaping eternal death. That choice is just as real as when you get on the internet or hop on a plane and see the Jews living in Israel – just as the prophets said: Israel became a nation again, and Christ is coming back.

He’s waiting because He wants to save souls.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

2 peter 3:9

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Revelation 1:3

That’s me for now! Keep your eye on the clock! Until next time – unless the Rapture comes first!

Where in the Bible are the prophecies?

I didn’t realize until quite recently that nearly one third of the Bible contains prophecies!

Of course, a lot of them are about Christ’s first coming, when He came as the Savior, and a very large bunch are about the Millennium and the new heavens and new earth (both of which are after the last hour). But this still leaves a significant collection of prophecies about The Day itself – and, more specifically for our study, the last hour before The Day.

So where do we find these?

Well, there are two types of events in prophecy that I’ve been looking for:

  1. What the world will look like when the last hour strikes and The Day begins.
  2. Things that haven’t happened yet, but need to happen before the last hour strikes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The first type of prophetic event will have already happened and some have calculable dates. But the second type is what happens near the end of what we call “the church age” (what we’re living in now, between Christ’s ascension in the first century and the Rapture – basically, the period of time while the church is on earth) and none of these have dates can be calculated (including the rapture; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

But we can guess that the last hour is nearly over based on which prophetic events have occurred and which ones look close to happening.

This is why studying prophecy is so exciting! When they’re being fulfilled, we can guess that the rapture must be close!

So, here are the passages to check out if you want to take a crack at piecing together God’s timeline for yourself. (Which I would strongly encourage, because if I can take stab at it, who am no Bible scholar, then you can – I mean, God wouldn’t have given any of it to us if we couldn’t understand it!) Please realize that these lists are not comprehensive. For instance, the books of the minor prophets are riddled with descriptions of “last hour” events, so I’ll include more of those when I go into each list separately and more in-depth in future posts.


What things will look like before The Day – things that have already happened to set the stage:

Israel:

  • Sixty-nine of the seventy weeks will have been fulfilled, and the Messiah will have been cut off. (Daniel 9:24-26)
  • Israel will come back to life in terms of being a country with a land and language, the people having returned from exile. (Ezekiel 36-37)
  • The people of Israel will return to the land of Israel. (Isaiah 43:5-6, 44:24-27, 66:7-9)
  • Israel will be temporarily blinded after rejecting God’s salvation in Christ, and He is preached to the Gentiles. (Romans 11:25)

“The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it.” ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock. Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ {Ezekiel 36:34-38}

The world:

  • Three world empires will have fallen for good (Assyrian, Persian, Greek), and one (Rome) has temporarily fallen, which will rise again but with less strength. (Daniel 2:31-43)
  • Evil and catastrophes will increase. (Matthew 24:5-12)
  • It will be a time of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24b)
  • People will be suppressing the truth, denying God, and worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. (Romans 1:18-25, 28)
  • They will not have a love of the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:10b)
  • Ungodly behavior and thinking will increase. (2 Timothy 3:1-7, 13)

“…they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” {2 Thessalonians 2:10b}

The church:

  • The Gospel of salvation by faith will be preached to the Gentiles after being preached to the Jews. (Acts 13:44-48) (also about Israel)
  • The Jews will reject Christ, and the Gospel will be preached to the Gentiles. (Romans 9:25-26, 10:14-20)
  • Those in Christ will be waiting for Christ’s appearing. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-10)
  • The church will exist in the last days. (1 Peter 4:7)
  • There will be an increase of false prophets. (Matthew 24:11)
  • Many antichrists will come, denying that Jesus is the Christ. (1 John 2:18, 22-26)
  • Mockers will come, causing divisions. (Jude 17-19)
  • Those in Christ will be reading the prophecy and keeping it. (Revelation 1:3, 22:7)

 “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” … So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.” But Isaiah is very bold and says:I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” ” {Romans 10:15-20}

Things that need to happen before the last hour strikes (which haven’t happened yet):

  • The Restrainer must be removed (2 Thessalonians 2:3-7)
  • The falling away in the church (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a)
  • The mystery of lawlessness is nearly finished rising (2 Thessalonians 2:7)

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed…” {2 Thessalonians 2:1-7}

  • The aggressors in the first war of Gog and Magog will be getting into position (Ezekiel 38:1-12)
  • The plans for Israel’s third temple will be coming together (Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3b-4; Daniel 9:27)
  • Israel will be strong and prosperous (Ezekiel 36:8-11, 38:11-14)
  • The Gospel will have been preached in all the world, and then the rapture will come! (Matthew 24:14)

The last point may be the most important for us all to understand, because it directly affects everyone – everyone can hear the Gospel and everyone has a chance to accept it. The reason the last hour hasn’t struck is because God is not willing that any should perish and He “desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth”!

The prophecies about what the world will look like, and the events that need to happen before the last hour, either have happened or the stage is being set for them to happen. So don’t wait! We’re in the last hour, and now is the time to believe what God says, to be reconciled to Him and have eternal life through Christ as your Savior.

Look at the clock! Why would you wait?

Paul was sure Christ was appearing at any moment to bring His church to heaven – and that was 2,000 years ago, before Rome had fallen, before Israel had been dispersed through the world and then brought back to the land as a nation, before Israel was prosperous and green – and now it’s after all of these things have happened. The end is near, and the stage is nearly set for God’s judgment. But He’s waiting. His appointed time has not yet come because He’s not done saving souls.

Trusting in Christ to forgive your sin and give you His perfect record so you can have eternal life – His death and resurrection – is the only way to have an unshakable hope of life and escape from that judgment.

As I mentioned before, I’ll be tackling these lists of prophecies on their own and more in depth in upcoming posts because there are some exciting specifics to look at! Specifics in the prophecies that correlate to specific historic and current events.

So, until next time (unless the rapture comes first), keep your eye on the clock!

Why talk about this stuff?

Short answer? Because God said it in His word, and it’s getting so close! And I want you to know about it because God wants us to know so we’ll be saved from the wrath to come.

But the heavens and the earth, which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men… The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3

The rather longer answer is: God wouldn’t have told us about any of these things if they weren’t important or if we couldn’t understand them or if they weren’t relevant to the readers of His word.

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Revelation 1

These things which are written are truths we can act on, which affect the our lives in ways that involve choices and actual daily living. What the choices boil down to are choosing death or life – the life that God promises or the death of lies that separate people from God – choices that affect your eternal destiny. The prophecies in the Bible about the end of the world display very vividly what the destinies of every person will look like (whether Israel, Christians or unbelievers). They’re big red arrows with flashing lights, saying “Pay attention! God keeps His promises and that’s going to affect you!”

Knowing what God’s promises are – the ones He’s already fulfilled and the one’s He’s going to fulfill – gives a person hope unlike anything in this world. I mean, is there anything throughout all of history that we’ve been able to count on 100%? Other than God, there has been no person who could be counted on to do everything they’ve promised to do, even if they gave it their all, because, well, there’s always human weakness. Too many things can get in the way: health, other people, weather, accidents… But when God says something will happen, it will happen.

God tells us about the future in His word because He wants us to know these things and to live our lives knowing they are as good as done. Knowing that He’s coming back, that He will judge the world in perfect judgment, that He’s keeping His promise to restore Israel, that He will reign as King and restore His creation, and all of the promises bound up in those things, gives us hope of a better world to come when the one we’re in is crumbling around us, and gives us a purpose to share that hope with others (and the simple but profound reality that we do have a purpose).

If you already have your faith in Christ, then this purpose and this hope combine to create a sense of urgency and anticipation – they give us our motivation in this life.

Life seems unbearable sometimes, but it will be over and it all had a purpose, because Jesus Christ is real and He keeps His promises. He is coming! And it’s looking like we will be the generation that will see Him in the air…

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

The absolute hope I have gives me comfort and such joy, and yet weighs on me because so many people don’t have it. So I’m sharing it with you, and I pray that the Spirit of God would bring His truth to shine brilliantly clear for you, as well!

That’s me done, for now!

A Parenthesis about Anna

Just so you know, I’m not claiming the title of teacher or expert – I’m simply a Bible student.

I’ve been taught how to study God’s word by some meticulous, devoted pastors and teachers who love the Lord and His word. Their delight in discovering the truth contained in it has been infectious! And they taught me that God can be understood in His written word.

And it has been my delight to understand Him through those words!

This site is an outlet for that delight to spill over and give all who read it the same hope, purpose, and assurance that it’s given me – that He’s given me. That’s my prayer.

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Revelation 1:3

Why Generation 23:00?

What is Generation 23:00 all about? To be blunt, what is the point?

To give an equally blunt answer, because the Bible says we’re in the last hour.

Hence:

  • Generation = this generation alive now
  • 23:00 = the last hour before the next day comes

Little children, it is the last hour…

1 John 2:18

But the “last hour” before what?

To be very general, that would be what the Bible describes as “The Day of the Lord.” This day of the Lord is both a literal day and a series of events leading up to and surrounding that literal “Day.”

The literal Day is when Jesus Christ comes back to earth, stands on the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem, and sits on the throne of David to reign as the King of kings during the Millennium.

I’ll try to give you a very rushed and un-detailed overview of the events of this last hour – please keep in mind that I’m not 100% sure of the exact order, except for the Rapture at the beginning and Christ’s second coming at the end:

  • It begins with the Rapture of the church to Christ in the clouds where He takes us to heaven.
  • Then there is the battle of Gog (and Magog) with Israel, when God defeats the invading army.
  • Then The Antichrist will arise and bring peace to the earth, beginning the last “week” (aka 7 years) of Daniel, a.k.a. the Tribulation. He confirms a covenant with Israel and they are allowed to build another temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It seems Israel will also see him as their promised Messiah – until he stands in the temple and commands Israel to worship him as God.
  • Then the “great Tribulation” begins, when Israel flees to the desert for 3 1/2 years while the Antichrist persecutes them as they’ve never been persecuted before.
  • While much of this is happening, God will be pouring out His judgments (all of which are found in Revelation) on an unrepentant rebellious world.
  • At last Christ will come and rescue Israel and throw Satan, the Antichrist and the false prophet into the lake of fire, and begins His reign of perfect righteousness!

So, that is when the next hour strikes – but how do we know we’re in the “last hour” now? What are these last few “minutes” we’re seeing tick by?

Well…

That’s what Generation 23:00 is all about! I’m going to look at the Bible and the prophecies in it, and at the events going on the world that are setting the stage for these events of The Day.

Here are a few of the “ticks” in brief that are happening as we speak:

  • The glaring, lights-flashing, in-your-face event is the existence of the country of Israel! There are SO MANY prophecies that are being fulfilled right now in Israel – it’s almost ridiculous… and definitely exciting!
  • Others include the absence of America in Bible prophecy, alliances in the Middle East, the pandemic of error sweeping through the church, the centrality of Europe and the Roman Empire, the world coming together to eventually form a one-world economy, government and religion, and more things along those lines.

All of these things tie into Bible prophecy as pieces that must fall into place before The Day approaches and the clock strikes midnight.

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