Prophecy meaning in the Bible is, in a way, a “message from God” or a message from a divine inspiration that mostly foretells future events. To prophesy, on the other hand, is to declare a word or message from God, which is the job of a “prophet.” The relationship between prophesy, prophecy, and prophet is a fundamental knowledge that must be thoroughly comprehended.
The first biblical prophecy, referred to as the “first great promise,” is found in Genesis 3:15, after Adam and Eve chose to heed the deceiver’s words rather than the voice of truth.
God uttered, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). This verse is the first golden thread among the rest of the prophecies that points to the fulfillment of the promised Messiah in the New Testament.
- 1 What Is The Meaning Of Prophecy In The Bible?
- 2 What Are The Prophecies Fulfilled In Jesus Christ?
- 3 What Are The Reasons For Prophecies In The Bible?
- 4 What Are The Purposes Of Prophecy?
- 5 What Is The Importance Of Prophecy?
- 6 Conclusion
What Is The Meaning Of Prophecy In The Bible?
One thing is certain about prophecy: it is not simply words or writings about history or a great prediction made by humans to spread religion. Instead, a Bible prophecy is a living, accurate, and authoritative message from God to His people, not just to the Jewish nation but to all mankind.
It’s important to remember that the prophets of the Old and New Testaments were, first and foremost, regular people. But the Book of 2 Peter tells us that no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man. “Still, men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). This serves as a reminder that no Bible prophecy uttered by a true prophet of God was made possible without God’s Spirit.
What Are The Prophecies Fulfilled In Jesus Christ?
A complete understanding of the New Testament is impossible without recognizing it as the fulfillment of the many prophecies in the Old Testament. In the same way, it is impossible to grasp the Old Testament in its entirety without acknowledging it as the launching pad for the ministry and life of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
The Messianic Prophecies are prophecies that foretell, more or less distinctively, the coming of Christ, His work of salvation, and His Kingdom Dominion. It is important to note that a great deal of the Old Testament prophecy relates directly to Jesus, that is, to perpetuate faith in and prepare the world for His coming.
The Books of Acts tell us, “To Him, all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). This great chain of events shows God’s all-wise overruling providence.
A Virgin Will Give Birth To The Messiah
Old Testament Prophecy: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
The Fulfillment: Apostle Matthew, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (Matthew 1:2–3).
The Promised Messiah Would Serve As A Priest After The Order Of Melchizedek
Old Testament Prophecy: “The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek'” (Psalm 110:4).
The Fulfillment: “So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; as he also says in another place, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:5–6).
Messiah Is To Be Executed By Crucifixion
Old Testament Prophecy: the Messiah is to be like a suffering servant, “He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth” (Isaiah 53:9).
The Fulfillment: “Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty” (John 19:28).
The Messiah’s Resurrection From the Dead
Old Testament Prophecy: “But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah” (Psalm 49:15).
The Fulfillment: Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:24).
What Are The Reasons For Prophecies In The Bible?
Mankind has one thing in common: the inability to learn unless told. Thus, it is imperative that God take action to shake His people out of their stupor.
To Warn The People And Prove The Authority of God’s Words
God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah: “Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the LORD.
“Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it” (Jeremiah 18:5-8).
As seen throughout the Bible, disobeying God’s warning often leads to unpleasant consequences. One example is the High Priest Eli in 1 Samuel 2-3, who, despite knowing what would happen to his sons if they did not repent, ignored God’s warning to restrain them. Because nothing had changed since the first warning, the consequences he had been warned about came true. His sons were killed in battle, and he died not long after.
To Provide Hope For the Future
The prophecies in the Bible weren’t all just warnings, but some provided comfort for the believers. The Bible spoke about the Future Glory, “I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). It’s a promise that our present-day troubles are nothing compared to what we will experience in the Lord if we endure.
Apostle John wrote, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).
To Help Us Understand The Future
Tragedies never catch God off guard. However, Jesus warned His disciples to be on the lookout for signs of the end of the age. Jesus said, “I have told you this so that when their time comes, you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you” (John 16:4).
Hardly a day goes by that we don’t read about wars, rumors of wars, natural disasters, or lawlessness in the news. These realities can be disheartening, which is why knowing and understanding the prophecies by heart will prepare us for future events.
What Are The Purposes Of Prophecy?
Prophecy serves two purposes: foretelling the present and future. Forthtells are prescriptive. It teaches God truths, if not future but now for comfort and edification (Corinthian 144:3).
Foretelling is predictive and relates to upcoming events. It can provide uplifting and comforting. Predicting or prescribing prophecy always leads toward God and His people in all aspects. Prophesying has a message that God carries out. The prophecy is fulfilled by the God of glory.
What Is The Importance Of Prophecy?
The power of the Holy Spirit at work in the word of God is unleashed among us through the gift of prophecy. It edifies and strengthens the church and the body of Christ.
When someone speaks prophetically, the Spirit works in both the speaker and all those who hear. This is a crucial point to understand the power of the prophetic word: when God speaks, things happen. “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all of their host by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6).
A prophecy’s ultimate purpose, whether to reveal the future or correct the present, is to glorify God and bring him honor and worship. If a prophecy elevates human effort over divine guidance, then it is not from God.
Biblical prophecy can appear complicated and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be if we try to understand what the Bible’s predictions mean for our lives right now. And when we know the One who is the Alpha and the Omega (Isaiah 46:10), we can face the future confidently, believing that He knows it better than we do.
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