Derek Prince - Why We Really Need Biblical Prophecy?
Now we’ve got to come back to this theme. I next want to point out to you that it’s very important that we have a basic understanding of biblical prophecy. Unfortunately, so many people have been turned off by false flashy, shallow interpretations of prophecy and they’ve really lost confidence. Well, don’t let that happen to you. Don’t let the misuse of something good turn you away from something good. For instance in my lifetime, which has been quite lengthy, I’ve seen all the gifts of the Spirit misused at one time or another. But that has not caused me to despise the gifts of the Spirit. It just makes me more careful as to how I use them. The same is true of biblical prophecy. We need it. Without it, I’ll show you we’re stumbling in the dark. We need to be careful how we apply it.
Now I’m going to turn to 2 Peter 1:19-21. We also have the prophetic word made more sure. The ‘prophetic word’ is the prophecies of the Bible, the written prophecies. We’re not talking about the gift of prophesying now although it's placed in out lives but I’m talking about the written prophecies of the Bible the written Word made more sure: Which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place. Notice that. You cannot afford to despise the prophetic Scriptures because Peter says you do well to give heed, to pay attention to them because they’re a light shining in a dark place. The world in which we live today is undoubtedly a dark place. Furthermore, it’s getting darker. We need a light that will guide us through the darkness. The light that God’s provided is the prophetic revelation of Scripture.
Now, you can be wonderfully saved and a good Christian but be walking in the dark because you haven’t used and availed yourself of the light of prophecy. If you walk in the dark you’ll stumble over things you needn’t run into and you won’t really know where you’re going. You won’t really understand what’s happening all around you. That’s through failure to apprehend the truth of the prophetic word. It is extremely important. And then Peter says we need to give heed to it: Until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. That’s not the coming of Jesus. This is an inner, subjective personal experience where the morning star that immediately precedes the rise of the sun shines in our hearts. And you know what it does? It tells us Jesus is coming back. And we get excited. If you’ve never been excited about the return of the Lord it hasn’t meant much to you. It’s the only hope for humanity. Nothing else can ever meet all the desperate needs of the human race.
People talk about this as pie in the sky. I don’t believe it. I believe it’s totally realistic. In fact, I believe it’s utterly unrealistic to expect politicians to solve the problems of humanity. They’ve been trying a long time and it seems to me the mess is worse than it used to be. I think it’s unrealistic to expect a human solution to the problems of humanity. That is the teaching of humanism but humanism is an anti-Christian force which is at work in most world governments today. So we need prophecy. All right? Have I convinced you of that? Peter goes on to say it doesn’t originate with men but it comes from God. Now let me quickly give you two keys to understanding biblical prophecy. The problem with me in this is if I get into it I find it hard to get out of it. But in Deuteronomy 29:29 Moses said to the children of Israel: The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever that we may do all the words of this law.
So there are two kinds of things, the secret things and the things that are revealed. The secret things belong to God. Nobody can understand them. The things that are revealed are for us to act on. I think the main reason why people mess up the study of prophecy is they’re trying to understand the secret things and at the same time they’re not obeying the things that are revealed. When I speak on prophecy almost always somebody comes up to me afterwards and says Pre-, mid- or post-? You know what that means? Pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, post-. Do you know what I answer? I don’t know. I’m not ashamed. Furthermore, I don’t believe anybody knows. I don’t believe even Jesus knows because it says that day and hour no one knows, not even the Son, only the Father. So if I don’t know something that Jesus doesn’t know it doesn’t embarrass me. The problem is people wanting to know things that can’t be known. And do you know what the motivation behind that is? Pride. That’s the most dangerous of all motivations. If we have revealed truth and obey it, God will give us more. If we don’t obey it He won’t give us any more.
You say, God please show me next. He says, you haven’t acted on what I’ve already shown you. Why should I show you any more? So that’s the key to the effective use of biblical prophecy. Get to know the things that God wants us to understand and don’t bother God about the things that He doesn’t want us to understand. And secondly, whatever God reveals to you, obey it, act on it. In my opinion one clear revelation of biblical prophecy is contained in Matthew 24:14: This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nationsand then the end will come. So when will the end come? When this gospel of the kingdom has been preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations. Who's job is that? Ours. I’m glad you said that. If we’re not working on that, if we’re not obeying that revelation why should God tell us any more? But you begin to work on that revelation, you begin to devote yourself in whatever way to getting the gospel of the kingdom out to all nations, you’d be surprised what God will show you next. If you haven’t acted on that why should He show you any more?