Why Prophecy? To keep us vigilant and to realize that the world will not end this year

Island Called Patmos, Revelation 1:9
The island called Patmos is where the last book of the Bible was written in the late first century (see Revelation 1:9).


Should you pay attention to prophecy?  Some wonder about that.  Some consider that most prophecy is already fulfilled, which is a wrong and dangerous position to take (see The Dangerous Rise of Preterists).

I received an email newsletter today from a claimed Church of God (COG) group, which I will not identify, that basically claims because it reached 170 nations/territories over the internet that Matthew 24:14 has been fulfilled, its proclamation work is over, and the end is basically here now.  Yet, there are more nations/territories than that, and that group did not fulfill Matthew 24:14 (to put this in more perspective, COGwriter.com, for example, reached at least 221 nations/territories and with many times the number of visitors than that group did, and I still do not believe that Matthew 24:14 has been fulfilled yet–there is at least 3 1/2 more years, and at this stage, probably at least 4 1/2).  So that particular group, like certain others that misunderstand when the end is, is wrong.

Actually, nearly all the COG groups have significant prophetic misunderstandings.  The Sardis group CG7-Denver, for example, is preterist and thus believes many events that are prophesied for the future are already past, hence Jesus warned them “you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (Revelation 3:3). Nearly all the rest of the COG groups are Laodicean and hold to prophetic misunderstandings, that unless they repent as Jesus tells them to (Revelation 3:14-22), they will not possibly know when the Great Tribulation will be (details are in the article The Laodicean Church Era).

And then there are a variety of wrong prophetic position of Protestants and Catholics.

Since many are wrong, is paying attention to prophecy and and current events important?


In the first recorded sermon, the Apostle Peter tied current events in with biblical prophecy (Acts 2:14-40).  Partially because people were aware of the events that Peter discussed, many paid attention and thousands were converted (Acts 2:41).

Throughout the New Testament, Christian leaders did try to tie events to prophecy and other parts of the Bible to known events better reach their audiences (e.g. Acts 17:22-31).

The first message that it is recorded that Jesus preached (the gospel of the kingdom in Mark 1:14) and the last message Jesus gave (the Book of Revelation) were prophetic.  Various messages that He gave (e.g. Matthew 24, Luke 21) were tied to upcoming world events.

Does this mean that prophecy is the most important characteristic of the true Church? No, love is (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:1,8).

Yet, the pursuit of love is also tied in with prophecy in the Bible (1 Corinthians 14:1). Those who truly have the love of the truth, will be spared from some prophesied events according to 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.

Today, massive societal changes are taking place. Many of them are prophesied in the Bible. Even though between perhaps one-quarter to one-third of the entire Bible is prophetic, most simply do not understand that truth about various key prophecies in the Bible that Jesus urged His followers in the end to understand (e.g. Matthew 24:15).

Jesus wanted His followers to pay attention to when He would return. Notice also the following:

54 Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. 55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. 56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time? (Luke 12:54-56)

Various Jews knew that the Messiah was expected about the time that Jesus was on earth. Yet, the vast majority failed to properly recognize Him.

Well, we are in the time that Jesus called the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:4-8). More sorrows and troubles are ahead, many world events are aligning with properly understood biblical prophecy, and true believers should be willing to watch and discern the signs of this time.

Some, despite claiming to believe the Bible, either discount or overlook prophecy. But that is not supposed to be the case for true Christians:

29 “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:29-36)

Notice that Jesus taught that His followers will always to pay attention to events and prophecies related to His return. Jesus repeatedly told His followers to watch for world events that would fulfill prophecy in other scriptures such as Matthew 24:42, 25:13; Mark 13:9,33,34,35,37, and Revelation 3:3. Jesus did expect His followers to watch.  Jesus used prophecy to keep His followers vigilant–He wanted them to be ‘hot’ and not lukewarm (Revelation 3:14-22).

Jesus also taught that the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of truth,” would assist the faithful understanding all truth, including prophetic ones:

12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when …the Spirit of truth, has come, {it} will guide you into all truth; …will tell you things to come. (John 16:12-13)

Having the Holy Spirit and properly being led by the Holy Spirit helps us understand prophecy.

The Bible also teaches:

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20)

Yet many do not seem to believe that God’s Spirit is currently working prophetically now. Many also tend to despise biblical prophecies as well as, often, their proper explanation(s).

While some discount the importance of prophecy, notice what the Apostle Paul taught:

11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:11-14)

Are we not a lot closer to the end now than when Paul wrote that?  Paul also taught that true Christians were not to be like others who would not know near when Jesus would return (1 Thessalonians 5:4).

The Apostle Peter wrote:

11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:11-13)

Properly paying attention to prophetic events helps one to be ready for Jesus (Luke 21:36;).  Additionally, the reality of prophecy and world events is also intended to be a reflective exercise to get Christians to examine their lives enough to change as they should (cf. Romans 13:11-14; 2 Peter 3:10-13).

Another reason to pay attention to prophecy and events is so that you will not be carried away with false prophetic and other teachings.  That is also part of the reason that there is a ministry, including prophets:

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ —  16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.  (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Throughout the years, various ones have claimed that the end was sooner that it was.  One of most famous in the 21st century were the pronouncements of the now deceased Harold Camping.  But those who properly understood current events in the light on biblical prophecy could easily prove he was in error (for details, see Harold Camping’s Teachings About the End of the World Do Not Agree with the Bible).

There are others as well.

But no matter what anyone says, the world will not end this year, or next year, or even the year after.

How can I be sure?

Well, for one reason, the Apostle Peter wrote:

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).

This is the case with the Continuing Church of God.  (Details about what biblical signs to watch for and WHY the end cannot happen this year, etc. are in the article When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?)

Part of the reason to watch events and understand Bible prophecy is so that we will not affected by those who promote false doctrines or claim that the end can come before the Bible allows it (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:2; Ephesians 4:14).

Prophecy also assures us that God is in charge and that His will will be done. The faithful do not have to fear what humans can say or do. Notice what Jesus said in one of the most reassuring of the prophecies:

32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32, NKJV).

The Bible is clear that certain events need to occur before the end comes. And that includes us all growing in “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18, NKJV).

Part of that knowledge is prophetic. And part of that biblical knowledge tells us that the world will not end this year.

Several items of possibly related interest may include:

When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2014, 2015, or 2016? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2013 o 2014? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? A related sermon is titled The Millennium.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2021 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Blood Moons and Prophecy There are four ‘blood moons’ expected in 2014 and 2015. Do they signal the Day of the Lord or the return of Jesus Christ? A related YouTube video is also available: Blood Moons, Prophecy, 2014, and 2015.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? A related sermon is available titled Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing?  This is a sermonette length video.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.

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