Saturday, February 28, 2009

Should Prophecies Have Definite Settings?

This lesson is in reply to Lucio's comment that challenged the prophecy of Samuel Percee on bases that he gives a definite setting. Actually the Bible teaches us to use dates and fixed time. That is why it is stated: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl 3: 1). I want you to take time and read this verse again “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Mt 24:26). While we may not know the day and hour we could know the seasons (Mt 24:32-33).
Abraham had a son at the fixed time that God had spoken to him (Gen 21:2). Moses prophesied unto Pharaoh: “..To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land” (Ex 9:5). Tomorrow connotes a fixed timeline. Here is another example: ““Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now” (Ex 9:18). Elijah told the married woman of Shunem: “About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life” (2 Kings 4:16-17). That is a distinct time. It would have been preposterous or presumptuous for the angel, Moses and Elisha to prescribe precised periods in which their prophecies would be fulfilled. But when God is the one charging the prophet to say whatever they say: they have no worry because He watches over his word to fulfill it (Jer 1:12).
Now let us look at another exact prophecy again: “Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.. And it came to pass as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, shall be to morrow about this time in the gate of Samaria (2 Kings 7:1; 18).
Actually, prophecies where the prophets shy from giving approximate or definite time could actually be the false prophecies. I think that you should take time and reread the Bible fully so that you will be abreast with its content. The fact that there are no more précised prophecies today should worry the Christians than bolster their unbelief that only false prophets give precise time. There are many examples of time specific prophecies like that of Daniel (Dan 9:25). Habakkuk endorses the idea that God does not give prophecies with indefinite settings(Hab 2:3).
When the Bible says: “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Prov 27:1), it simply means we should not brag about our future plans because though a man proposes in his heart it is God who disposes (Prov 16:9). Who knows if you will be healthy next year to build the new house as you planned? God alone knows for you could incur a stroke and stay homebound.
One other thing to take note is that if the time was indefinite the incident was clear from the onset like the case of Aqabus and Paul. Agabus had already prophesied almost like Samuel Percee that there was going to be great dearth which came to pass during the days of Ceasar (Act 11:28-30). Since it was not a prophecy to send them away from God the disciples rather prepared to send succor to those areas. Later Agabus came down from Judea to meet them in Philip’s house at Caesarea. He took Paul’s belt and bound his hands and feet, and said: “Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles” (Act 21:11). That was definite and precised.
Christians who hear about a prophecy of doom and start to deny it are actually carnal Christians who fear prayers. There is nothing bad in taking extra precautions if threats are made against your life.

Until then, indefinite prophecies should worry us most.

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