The Study of Prophecy

by W.E.B. [William E. Blackstone]

It may be you disapprove the study of prophecy, because Jesus said: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man" (Mat. 24:36), and, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power." Acts 1:7.

Dear reader! do not conceive that the study of prophecy consists merely in the setting of dates or forecasting future events. For wise reasons the Master has withheld from us "the day and the hour" when He will come, but He called the Pharisees hypocrites, because they could not discern the signs of the times, and He has commanded us to WATCH, and he has pronounced a blessing upon the study of prophecy.

Peter exhorts us to GIVE HEED unto the sure word of prophecy. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Tim. 3 :16.

The greater part of this Scripture consists of prophecy, and' if Christians would give more attention to it, they would not find themselves distracted from present service, but "they would find much light thrown on their present path, much practical encouragement given to their ministry." Their faith would rest upon a broader and deeper comprehension of God's character and ways, and their spiritual horizon would stand out in clearer outline than before.

"But to perceive and understand all this requires much more than a surface study of Scripture, or the mere forecasting of future events. It must be read in its profounder teachings, in those wonderful depths of meaning that underlie its illustrations, its metaphors, its history, as well as sparkle up to the sunlight, in its bright prophetic announcement of coming glory." Such a study of God's word will be found of paramount importance to meet the skepticism of the day, "for it furnishes us out of God's own armory, and trains us in His school of warfare." See how God uses prophetic truth to confound the philosophers and skeptics. And He points to the prophecies fulfilled as an assurance of the 'accomplishment of the new things declared by Him. "Before they spring forth I tell you of them." And He sets forth Israel as the WITNESSES before all nations of the Word He has declared and that He is God.

And such they are today.
Prophecy is their history.
Who but God could thus preserve them?
Who but God could foretell their history?

"This weapon alone out of God's armory can cut through all the sophistries and opposition of men." God forbid then that we should despise prophecies. -1st Thessalonians 5:20.  "0 Earth, Earth, Earth, hear the Word of the Lord." Jeremiah 22:29.

SOURCE: Jesus is Coming by W.E.B. 3rd. rev. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1908. Chapter 16.

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